Ashley Short appointed member services coordinator at NACS

​ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-1-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ashley Short has joined NACS as member services coordinator.  Short will be assisting in the continued success of the NACS Industry Update Luncheons, retail membership activities, and event needs such as the NACS Human Resources Forum, the NACS Leadership Challenge and the NACS Show.

Short recently graduated from Christopher Newport University (CNU) in Newport News, Virginia, with B.A. in sociology and criminology and a double minor in American studies and history.  During her time at CNU she served as resident assistant, interned with the CNU police department and assisted with campus events and conferences. Short is also an active volunteer with the Special Olympics.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

International Council of Shopping Centers: U.S. shopping center sales rose 4.3% in December vs the same month last year

Latest ICSC Consumer Survey Examines Gasoline Impact Going Forward

NEW YORK, 2015-1-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — U.S. shopping center sales rose 4.3% in December over the same month of the prior year according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).  For the traditional holiday shopping season, November and December combined, sales increased to $487.1 billion for an increase of 3.6% – ­the best performance for a holiday season since 2011 – as expected by ICSC in its forecast last fall.

For the month of December, the most purchased goods category for consumers was apparel/footwear with 51% saying they bought in that category. The second highest category was traditional in-store gift cards at 34%, then toys/games at 29% and smart phones/tablets and video games/consoles each at 18%. Experiences were also highly sought after with 66% indicating they went to a restaurant and 34% saying they bought tickets to a movie, museum, event or other form of entertainment.

As of mid-January, 42% of consumers felt like they had more money to spend as a result of falling gas prices (15% were unsure). Households of 3 or more people significantly felt like they had more money as a result of the price drop than single-person households. There was also a large gap in terms of gender with more men (50%) than women (35%) feeling they had more money to spend. The same held true for younger age groups versus older ones.

“With gasoline prices continuing to recede and an overall improving economy reflected in the latest employment figures and confidence indexes, we can expect the current mood to continue, with consumers heading to brick-and-mortar stores to make purchases in the first quarter of 2015,” said Jesse Tron, spokesman for ICSC.

Of those that indicated they had more money to spend, 72% planned to buy a big-ticket item (i.e. a car, large appliance, home improvement, or travel) in the next three months. Travel came first at 49%, followed by home improvement (40%), a car (24%,) and a large appliance (19%).

Those consumers also indicated a propensity to increase their spending on everyday items as well – 65% increased spending on food services (e.g. restaurants), almost 60% of consumers increased spending on convenience goods (e.g. groceries, drug store items), 55% increased purchases on discretionary goods (e.g. fashion apparel, electronics, furnishings), 50% increased on entertainment (e.g. movies, plays, concerts), and 34% spent more on personal services (e.g. hair salons, fitness clubs).

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 67,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. For more information, visit www.icsc.org.

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Contact: Jesse Tron
+1 646-728-3814
jtron@icsc.org
@JesseTronPR

7-Eleven, Inc. introduced two premium, better-for-you snack bars under a new private-label banner, 7-Select GO!Smart™

DALLAS, 2015-1-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Just in time for people trying to keep their health-related New Year’s resolutions, 7‑Eleven, Inc. has introduced two premium, better-for-you snack bars under a new private-label banner, 7-Select GO!Smart™.

Weighing in at less than 200 calories each, the yogurt-drizzled fruit and nut bars are available in two varieties – Cranberry Cashew andPistachio and Mixed Berries. The GO!Smart bars are available exclusively at participating7‑Eleven® stores for a suggested retail price of $ 1.79.

GO!Smart is part of 7‑Eleven’s growing 7-Select family of high-quality, private-brand offerings and the first designated specifically for the better-for-you category. The gluten-free, low-sodium snack bars carry a simpler, all-natural ingredient list with organic sweeteners like agave and brown rice syrups. These natural sweeteners have a lower glycemic index than sugar.  New packaging features a transparent window so shoppers can see the natural ingredients.

“We started from scratch,” said Sean Thompson, 7‑Eleven senior director for private brand, “and developed bars that offer health benefits and taste great, too.

“In discussions and development for more than a year, the two varieties of GO!Smart bars are made in small batches from recipes created especially for 7‑Eleven,” he added. “Besides those listed in the bar’s name, ingredients include whole grain, crisp brown rice, flax seed, raisins, roasted peanuts, sunflower oil, sea salt, a yogurt-flavored coating and natural flavors.”

According to the USDA, berries are one of the best sources of anti-oxidants.  Nuts like cashews and pistachios are high in fiber, protein and heart-healthy fats, and when eaten in moderation, may promote weight loss, help control blood sugar and improve heart health and cholesterol, according to WebMD.

Each year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions to improve their health — eat less, exercise more and make healthier food choices. According to a study by the University of Scranton, almost half of all Americans resolve to change or improve something, with losing weight at the top of the list. And the younger the resolution-maker, the more likely they are to succeed. Research shows almost 40 percent of 20-somethings will achieve their goals.

Besides its new GO!Smart yogurt-drizzled fruit and nut bars, participating 7‑Eleven stores offer many exclusive – and tasty – items to help customers stick with those “get-healthy” resolutions:

Fresh Fruit – For a limited time, a 4-ounce cup of fresh-cut fruit is just $1 with any fresh food purchase. Choose from several varieties.

Chicken Balsamic Salad – Made fresh with mixed greens, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, grilled chicken, croutons and balsamic vinaigrette, this salad, with dressing, has 8 grams of protein and just 170 calories.

Orange Crème Slurpee Lite Drink – Even a Slurpee® beverage can be enjoyed in moderation … or more often when choosing Slurpee Lite™ varieties. Orange Crème is a refreshing flavor, available for a limited time at participating stores.

7-Select 2% Reduced-Fat, Single-Serve Chocolate Milk – All natural, without artificial growth hormones, colors or flavors; 14 ounces

Organic Valley Organic Fuel — The first milk-protein recovery shake made from real, organic milk. Available in vanilla and chocolate varieties, this organic milk protein shake comes in handy single-serve bottles. Look for it at participating stores in early February.

Breakfast Sandwiches – For those tempted to skip the “most important meal of the day,” 7‑Eleven offers two varieties under 400 calories – Sausage Biscuit and English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich.

Guatemala Santa Rosa Fresh-Brewed Coffee – Coffee appears on some lists of foods and drinks to have when trying to lose weight. This gourmet coffee is made from 100 percent Arabica beans grown inside a volcanic crater.

About 7‑Eleven, Inc.
7‑Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7‑Eleven operates franchises or licenses more than 10,400 7‑Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, there are more than 54,600 7‑Eleven stores in 16 countries. During 2013, 7‑Eleven stores generated total worldwide sales close to $84.5 billion. 7‑Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #2 on Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies for 2013; #1 on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2014 Top Global Franchise list; #10 spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list for 2015, and #3 in Forbes magazine’s Top 20 Franchises to Start. 7‑Eleven is No. 3 on Fast Company magazine’s 2013 list of the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail.” 7‑Eleven places among Top Veteran-Friendly Companies for 2014 by U.S. Veterans Magazine and is among GI Jobs magazine’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers for 2014. Hispanic Magazine named 7‑Eleven among its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7‑Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S. and expanding through organic growth, acquisitions and its Business Conversion Program. Find out more online at www.7‑Eleven.com.

Contact: 
Margaret Chabris
7‑Eleven, Inc.
972-828-7285
margaret.chabris@7-11.com

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Better for you and your New Year’s health resolution, 7‑Eleven just introduced two proprietary health bars as part of its 7-Select private-brand line. Weighing in at just under 200 calories, the 7-Select Go!Smart fruit and nut bars come in two varieties – Cranberry Cashew, and Pistachio and Mixed Berries.

Better for you and your New Year’s health resolution, 7‑Eleven just introduced two proprietary health bars as part of its 7-Select private-brand line. Weighing in at just under 200 calories, the 7-Select Go!Smart fruit and nut bars come in two varieties – Cranberry Cashew, and Pistachio and Mixed Berries.