Pantheon™ Blend No. 1 is available exclusively at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle for a limited time

SEATTLE, 2015-1-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — In May 2014 Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and ceo, came to the Starbucks coffee team with a special request.

He had an idea to celebrate the first Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room, a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience where customers could see the rare small-batch  line of Starbucks Reserve® coffees being roasted. The freshly roasted beans would be delivered to a bar where baristas would create handcrafted beverages using one of six different brewing methods.

“Howard was looking for a special coffee for our Roastery customers, just as a winemaker may have a unique blend that’s available only at the winery,” said Leslie Wolford, senior coffee specialist at Starbucks. “Up to this point, our Starbucks Reserve program featured single-origin coffees – all from one country or growing region, or sometimes even a single farm. He wanted us to break the mold and create our first-ever blend of Starbucks Reserve coffees for our Roastery customers.”

The Creation of Pantheon Blend
Wolford and a team of roasters and coffee experts went to work.

They looked at all the coffees in the Starbucks Reserve® portfolio and started with nine single-origin coffees. Next they roasted and brewed each of them and lined them up on the long tasting room table at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle. From there, the team did a wet blending exercise, spooning different combinations of the coffees – drawing out different flavor notes in each cup.

Each person on the five-member team created two coffees, writing down the recipe on a card that was placed down in front of each cup. The team collectively tasted each of the ten coffees and whittled them down to the top three blends, which were turned over to Starbucks roasters.

“Once we got the blends back from the roasters, we tasted three top recipes for five days and had lots of opinions,” Wolford said. “Then we tried each coffee as a pour-over, in a press, as a shot of espresso, and as a latte. One coffee rose to the top. We invited Howard in to sample, and Pantheon Blend was born.”

Ultimately, Pantheon™ Blend No. 1 was a combination of coffees from Guatemala, Colombia, and Java. Coincidentally those are all coffees on Starbucks original menu board at Pike Place Market store in 1971.

“The experience of this coffee comes in waves,” Wolford said. “We started with Guatemala as the anchor – it’s rich and complex. Next comes the Colombia, which has black currant notes with some sweetness that’s not too overpowering. Finally, the semi-washed Java brings in more of the body and savory notes in the coffee.”

This first blend of Starbucks Reserve coffees holds a special significance for Wolford, who has tasted coffees for Starbucks for more than 20 years.

“To me, this coffee speaks to our history and our future,” Wolford said. “Howard chose the name Pantheon, because it reflects its place among an illustrious group of extraordinary coffees. The best of the best.”

Pantheon™ Blend No. 1 is available exclusively at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle for a limited time.

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.

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Pantheon™ Blend No. 1 is available exclusively at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle for a limited time

Pantheon™ Blend No. 1 is available exclusively at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle for a limited time

Marie Claire magazine features Teavana president Annie Young-Scrivner

SEATTLE, 2015-1-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — The 15 million women around the world who read Marie Claire magazine are looking for fashion and beauty trends, but they want more. They’re turning the pages or checking online to find inspiration and learn from female role models.

February’s edition features a “power profile” of Annie Young-Scrivner, president of Teavana and an executive vice president at Starbucks. In addition to highlighting Young-Scrivner’s leadership roles at Starbucks – including serving as president of Starbucks Canada, president of Tazo Tea, and Starbucks global chief marketing officer – the two-page article touches on some of the challenges she’s faced on her journey to becoming a top business executive.

Young-Scrivner, now 46, was born in Taiwan to Chinese parents and moved to Seattle when she was 7 years old.

“I remember second grade, coming to the U.S., learning my ABC’s,” she told the magazine. “My dad had worked for Kodak and could speak English fluently. When he moved here, he worked for a shipping company.  My mom, who is an accountant, didn’t know any English. She had to go to community college just to learn enough so she could get back into the accounting world.”

As a teenager, Young-Scrivner began working in a department store for the health benefits and to help pay her way through college. That store is now owned by Macy’s, and Young-Scrivner serves as the youngest member of the Macy’s Board of Directors. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration-Marketing from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota.

Her road to the top included driving a delivery truck. After graduating from college, she began a 20-year career at PepsiCo as a route sales representative. That involved loading an 18-foot truck with Frito-Lay products, then stocking grocery store shelves.

“My alarm went off at 2:30 a.m. every day, but I saw it as a huge opportunity to learn from the ground up,” she said.

In the Marie Claire article, Young-Scrivner reflects on her career path and success and shares this sentiment with readers:

“Dream big. That’s one thing my parents taught me,” she said. “I look at myself, a little Chinese girl who didn’t know a bit of English. I am here today because I was able to dream big.”

Additional advice she shares with readers, “Find something you are authentically passionate about. I was a huge fan of Starbucks way before I came to work for the company. I worked in 27 different countries and had 27 different Starbucks mugs. I was a fanatic.”

Now, as president of Teavana, she’s leading the charge to do for tea what Starbucks has done for coffee.

“We will continue to deliver an unparalleled super premium tea experience and transform our retail experience, leveraging our expertise in tea, tea blending and innovation,” said Young-Scrivner.

Teavana currently has 365 stores and 6 tea bars, with ambitions to re-imagine the tea experience for customers around the globe. Beginning in the U.S. and Canada, the Teavana team has their sights on expanding into new channels and across international markets, sharing their passion for super-premium tea, exclusive gifting and entertaining.

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.

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Marie Claire magazine features Teavana president Annie Young-Scrivner

Marie Claire magazine features Teavana president Annie Young-Scrivner

Sainsbury’s partners with Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids to launch the 2015 Active Kids campaign which helps children lead healthier, more active lifestyles

LONDON, 2015-1-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids are swapping chaos and cheekiness for healthy cooking and active lifestyles, thanks to a groundbreaking partnership with leading supermarket, Sainsbury’s.

Sainsbury’s has joined forces with Britain’s longest running comic to launch the 2015 Active Kids campaign which helps children lead healthier, more active lifestyles by donating much needed equipment and experiences to schools, clubs and groups. Since launching in 2005, over £150 million worth of cookery and sporting equipment has been given to over 50,000 organisations.

In issue 3,769 of The Beano out on Wednesday 28 January, Dennis and the gang realise that the reason they keep losing sporting challenges against their oldest rivals, the ‘Posh Street’ pupils, is the rubbish food they are buying from a dodgy snack van lurking outside the school. In a bid to change their fortunes and get fit for their looming sports day, Dennis and the gang run around Beanotown gathering Sainsbury’s Active Kids vouchers. Once collected, they exchange them for cooking and sporting equipment which helps them prepare and overcome Rupert Brightly-Smugg and his posh friends.

Tara Hewitt, Head of Active Kids, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with iconic comic The Beano. Active Kids is all about giving kids the knowledge, understanding and equipment to enjoy an active lifestyle and a balanced diet. The Bash Street Kids, with their cheeky attitude and mischievous behaviour, are the perfect companions to show kids the benefits of what can be achieved by collecting vouchers, eating healthily and being active, now and in the future.”

Mike Stirling, editor-in-chief of The Beano, said: “Dennis and the gang are joining the thousands of children up and down the country in learning about eating well and being active. With all of the extra energy they will have, I am in no doubt that they will cause even more havoc and set up even more pranks on unsuspecting grown-ups and the Posh Street Kids!”

This year, Sainsbury’s Active Kids scheme is bigger than ever with a wide range of activity and cooking equipment, plus coaching and experiences on offer for children of all ages and abilities. Vouchers are available from Wednesday 28 January until Tuesday 5 May 2015, from all Sainsbury’s stores and online via www.sainsburys.co.uk.

Notes to editors

The Beano is the quintessential British children’s comic, first published by DC Thomson in July 1938 and still printed weekly. It reaches hundreds of thousands* of children every week. The Beano is best known for its famed characters such as Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, The Bash Street Kids and Minnie the Minx. The spin-off BAFTA nominated animation series, Dennis and Gnasher is exported around the world and is one of the highest rated shows on CBBC.

*TGI Youth Spring 2014, The Beano readership, 528,000.

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Sainsbury’s partners with Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids to launch the 2015 Active Kids campaign which helps children lead healthier, more active lifestyles

Sainsbury’s partners with Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids to launch the 2015 Active Kids campaign which helps children lead healthier, more active lifestyles

Waitrose to create 2,000 jobs in new and extended shops and in new e-commerce grocery depot in 2015

LONDON, 2015-1-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Waitrose has today announced that it expects to create 2,000 jobs in new and extended shops, as well as in a new e-commerce grocery depot in 2015.

The retailer is opening 14 shops across the UK from spring this year, including seven new supermarkets and seven new little Waitrose convenience shops. This comes on top of the two shops which have already opened this month in Egham and Walbrook.

It is also relocating one supermarket and carrying out two major extensions to existing branches.

Together, they will add almost 230,000 sq ft of selling space to the estate continuing the Waitrose expansion of recent years.

The new supermarkets include Wollaton (Nottinghamshire) Milngavie (East Dumbartonshire), Bagshot (Surrey), Oxford, King’s Cross (which will incorporate a new cookery school), Basingstoke (Hampshire) and Guildford (Surrey).

Waitrose Horsham will be relocated, doubling the size of the current supermarket, and the branches in Saffron Walden and Bayswater will both undergo major redevelopments.

It also plans to add a new little Waitrose in Heathfield (East Sussex) and a further six convenience shops in new locations in the south east.

The business will be also be creating additional roles in its distribution department in order to service its expanding number of branches.

These roles will add to the additional jobs Waitrose has already announced for the capital through the opening of a new e-commerce grocery depot in Coulsdon, South London this March.

Waitrose director of development, Nigel Keen, said: ‘Our expansion story continues as we take the brand to more customers and invest in our omni-channel approach.

‘Last year many of our new branches received than more than 10 applications for every vacancy – so we’re delighted to be able to create an additional 2,000 roles in 2015.’

Notes to editors

About Waitrose:

  • Waitrose currently has 336 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 60 convenience branches and another 29 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.
  • Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, Waitrose.com, through which customers can choose to have their shopping delivered direct to their home or collect items from their local branch with a Click & Collect service. Waitrose also operates direct services websites including a specialist wine website (waitrosecellar.com), a pet products website (waitrosepet.com) and a flowers and gifts ordering service via waitrosedirect.com.
  • The new e-commerce grocery depot at Coulsdon is scheduled to open on 3 March 2015. It will be a purpose-built modern operation with over 80,000 sq ft and double the capacity of the current facility in Acton DFC.

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

Rob Cadwell
Senior Press Officer at Waitrose
Telephone: 01344 826182
Email: rob.cadwell@waitrose.co.uk

Waitrose to pay 33.1 p per litre to Waitrose dairy farmers for the milk they provide to the retailer

LONDON, 2015-1-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Waitrose has confirmed the fair and leading price its pool of essential Waitrose dairy farmers receive for the milk they provide to the retailer. This currently stands at 33.1 p per litre (equivalent to 75.2p for four pints).

Unlike many other retailers, Waitrose sources its milk from a closed producer group of 100 farmers.

This means that instead of working through a processor, Waitrose closely collaborates directly with its farmers to set a price taking into account the cost of production and investing in programmes to strengthen farm resilience.

Mark Williamson, Commercial Director at Waitrose, said: ‘We believe it is important our farmers receive a fair price that gives them a sustainable return.

‘We have built mutual trust and understanding through our long-term relationships and source our milk from an established group of farmers under our pioneering producer group system.

‘To set a fair price we collaborate closely with our farmers, meeting regularly to share the details of the cost of production.

‘Waitrose is consistently at, or very close to, the top of the league table for the price our farmers receive for their milk and this has been the case for many years.

‘We pay this fair price because it gives farmers the reassurance and confidence to invest in their businesses. Farmers are the key to a thriving agricultural economy and it is important they receive a sustainable return for the top quality milk they provide.

‘Simply put, we want our farmers to have the confidence to stay in farming.’

Notes to editors

About Waitrose:

  • As part of the John Lewis Partnership, Waitrose employees own the business ensuring a high level of commitment and service.
  • Waitrose currently has 336 branches dedicated to offering quality fresh food, value and customer service.
  • The food shop enjoys one of the best reputations for dealing with farmers and suppliersIt champions British produce; for example, 100% of Waitrose fresh chicken, beef, pork, milk, eggs and cream are British.
  • Waitrose branches now offer over 2,500 locally and regionally sourced products.Its ‘Community Matters’ scheme ensures each Waitrose branch gives away £1,000 every month to local charities and projects nominated by the community.

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

Rob Cadwell
Senior Press Officer at Waitrose
Telephone: 01344 826182
Email: rob.cadwell@waitrose.co.uk

Kesko names Google’s Country Manager Finland Anni Ronkainen Chief Digital Officer and Group Management Board member

Anni Ronkainen, Google’s Country Manager Finland, appointed Kesko’s Chief Digital Officer and Group Management Board member

HELSINKI, FINLAND, 2015-1-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — M.Sc. (Econ.) Anni Ronkainen, 48, who has been Google’s Country Manager Finland since 2009, has been appointed Kesko’s Chief Digital Officer, responsible for business development, digital business environment and marketing, and a member of the Group Management Board.

Before taking the position of Country Manager, Anni Ronkainen acted as Industry Head  with responsibility for large-scale customers at Google. She has also been the CEO of the McCann Helsinki Group advertising agency and the Business Group Director of Satama Finland Oy which focused on digital media and business solutions.

“Anni Ronkainen will bring global-level digital business knowledge and marketing expertise to Kesko. The digitalisation of retail trade is a strategically important part of our business development  and I’m very pleased that Anni will join our Group Management Board and complement it in these competence areas,” says Kesko’s President and CEO Mikko Helander.

Anni Ronkainen will join Kesko Corporation on 20 April 2015 at the latest.

Further information:
President and CEO Mikko Helander, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 10 53 22301

Kesko Corporation

Merja Haverinen
Vice President, Group Communications

DISTRIBUTION
NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd
Main news media
www.kesko.fi

NRF’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey: Average person will spend $142.31 on candy, flowers, apparel and more, up from $133.91 last year

WASHINGTON, 2015-1-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Cupid has some tricks up his (non-existent) sleeve this year with plans to shower Americans with jewelry, candy and a special night out. According to the National Retail Federation’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, the average person celebrating Valentine’s Day will spend $142.31 on candy, flowers, apparel and more, up from $133.91 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $18.9 billion, a survey high.*

“It’s encouraging to see consumers show interest in spending on gifts and Valentine’s Day-related merchandise – a good sign for consumer sentiment as we head into 2015,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Hoping to draw in eager shoppers, retailers will offer unique promotions on gifts, meal options at restaurants and even experiences.”

While most (53.2%) plan to buy candy for the sweet holiday, spending a total of $1.7 billion, one in five (21.1%) plans to buy jewelry for a total of $4.8 billion, the highest amount seen since NRF began tracking spending on Valentine’s gifts in 2010.

Additionally 37.8 percent will buy flowers, spending a total of $2.1 billion, and more than one-third (35.1%) will spend on plans for a special night out, including movies and restaurants, totaling $3.6 billion. Celebrants will also spend nearly $2 billion on clothing and $1.5 billion on the gift that keeps on giving: gift cards.

The survey found nine in 10 (91%) plan to treat their significant others/spouses to something special for the consumer holiday, with plans to spend an average of $87.94 on them, up from $78.09 last year. Additionally, 58.7 percent will spend an average of $26.26 on other family members and $6.30 on children’s classmates/teachers.

A record one in five (21.2%) say they will include Fluffy and Fido in their Valentine’s Day plans, looking to spend a mere $5.28 on average – which equates to a whopping $703 million on pint-sized gifts of all varieties.

“It’s great to see consumers coming out of their shell this year, looking to spend discretionary budgets on those they love once again, though I fully expect many to continue to look for ways to cut costs where they can,” said Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “While many will splurge, some will still look for simple and affordable ways to show their appreciation for friends and family and celebrate in a way they are most comfortable with.”

Discount (35.2%) and department stores (36.5%) will be among the most visited locations for those looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, as will specialty stores (19.4%) and florists (18.7%). One-quarter (25.1%) say they will shop online and 13.3 percent will shop at a local or small business to find something unique for their loved one.

It seems women are in for the biggest treat this Valentine’s Day. Men will spend nearly double what women plan to spend ($190.53 versus $96.58 on average, respectively.)  Additionally, adults 25 to 34 will outspend other age groups at an average of $213.04; 35 to 44 year olds will spend an average of $176.21 and 18 to 24 year olds will spend an average of $168.95.

About the Survey
The NRF’s 2015 Valentine’s Day spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Valentine’s Day. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 6,375 consumers was conducted from January 6-13, 2015 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points.

Prosper Insights and Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues. www.ProsperDiscovery.com

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. NRF.com

Kathy Grannis
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Carrefour invests in fund for fast-growing tech and digital companies

Boulogne-Billancourt, 2015-1-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour announces it has invested in Partech Growth, an investment fund for fast-growing tech and digital companies.

This investment confirms the importance that Carrefour gives to innovation at all levels of its organization. Carrefour constantly undertakes full-scale tests, including in-store, in order to enrich the customer experience and develop solutions and services that address new consumer habits in the Group’s various formats and countries.

This investment in Partech Growth will facilitate the sharing of ideas, experience and expertise and open the way for partnerships between Carrefour and businesses at the cutting-edge of digital trends.

About Carrefour Group The Carrefour Group is the leading retailer in Europe and the second-largest retailer in the world, employing 365,000 people. With more than 10,800 stores in more than 30 countries, Carrefour generated sales under banners of €100.5 billion in 2014. As a multi-local, multi-format, and multichannel retailer, Carrefour is a partner for daily life. Every day, Carrefour welcomes more than 10 million customers around the world. For more information: www.carrefour.com and @CarrefourGroup on Twitter

Group Communication Tel : +33 (0) 1 41 04 26 17
Investor Relations Tel : +33 (0) 1 41 04 26 00

Dunkin’ Donuts introduces the brand’s seasonal lineup of sweet heart treats this Valentine’s Day

  • Heart-shaped Cookie Dough and Brownie Batter Donuts return to Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Coffee and chocolate lovers alike can enjoy the flavors of White Chocolate and Raspberry in Dunkin’ Donuts’ new White Chocolate Raspberry Lattes, topped with festive hearts

CANTON, Mass., 2015-1-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — This Valentine’s Day, Dunkin’ Donuts is putting a little extra “heart” into its menu by introducing the brand’s seasonal lineup of sweet heart treats. Just in time for the sweetest holiday of the year, Dunkin’ Donuts is bringing back two varieties of its beloved heart-shaped donuts, Cookie Dough and Brownie Batter, while introducing special new White Chocolate Raspberry Coffee and Lattes sure to warm any heart.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ Brownie Batter Donut is a heart-shaped donut filled with delicious chocolatey brownie batter flavored buttercreme filling, topped with chocolate icing and heart sprinkles. The Cookie Dough Donut is a heart-shaped donut with cookie dough flavored buttercreme filling, topped with chocolate icing and chocolate chips. Both heart-shaped donuts are available at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide through the end of February.

This Valentine’s Day, both coffee lovers and chocolate lovers can fall in love with Dunkin’ Donuts’ new White Chocolate Raspberry Coffee and Lattes. The rich flavor of white chocolate with the sweet and fruity raspberry flavor creates a combination that invokes the feelings of warmth and enjoyment associated with the holiday. For an extra festive and romantic touch, the White Chocolate Raspberry Lattes are sprinkled with a special red, pink and white hearts topping. Dunkin’ Donuts’ White Chocolate Raspberry Coffee and Lattes are available hot or iced at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants through the end of February.

Chocolate lovers can also enjoy a variety of hot chocolates at Dunkin’ Donuts for Valentine’s Day season, including flavors such as Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, Original, Mint, S’mores and Dunkaccino®. To enjoy Dunkin’ Donuts’ classic hot chocolate at home, Dunkin’ Donuts’ Hot Cocoa K-Cup® Packs are also available for $8.99 at participating Dunkin’ Donuts nationwide.

According to Jeff Miller, Dunkin’ Brands’ Executive Chef and Vice President of Production Innovation, “As we head into the middle of winter, Valentine’s Day provides a much needed respite from the cold and gray, with opportunities for people to treat themselves to rich, indulgent flavors and warm, sweet treats. Our guests love this holiday and we love delighting them with the return of our fun and festive heart-shaped donuts, and new seasonal specialties like our White Chocolate Raspberry Lattes, topped with heart-shaped sprinkles.”

Dunkin’ Donuts today also announced the Snack N’ Go Chicken Wrap as a permanent addition to its lineup of sandwich selections. Offering guests big flavor in a snack-size version of Dunkin’ Donuts’ popular Breaded Chicken Sandwich, the new Snack N’ Go Chicken Wrap features half a filet of breaded chicken, a slice of white cheddar cheese, a slice of bacon and tasty ranch sauce, served on an oven-toasted tortilla. Snack N’ Go Chicken Wraps are available at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide.

To learn more about Dunkin’ Donuts, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DunkinDonuts) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/DunkinDonuts).

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About Dunkin’ Donuts
Founded in 1950, Dunkin’ Donuts is America’s favorite all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods. Dunkin’ Donuts is a market leader in the hot regular/decaf/flavored coffee, iced coffee, donut, bagel and muffin categories. Dunkin’ Donuts has earned the No. 1 ranking for customer loyalty in the coffee category by Brand Keys for eight years running. The company has more than 11,000 restaurants in 36 countries worldwide. Based in Canton, Mass., Dunkin’ Donuts is part of the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) family of companies. For more information, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Name: Lindsay Cronin
Phone: 781-737-5200
Email: press@dunkinbrands.com

Valentine's Day Products Lifestyle

Valentine’s Day Products Lifestyle

Rite Aid Corporation announces the promotion of Ray Payne to group vice president, real estate

Camp Hill, Pa., 2015-1-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) announced today that Ray Payne, currently vice president, real estate west coast, has been promoted to group vice president, real estate. Payne succeeds Karen Smith, who retired last year after more than 35 years with the company.

As Group Vice President of Real Estate, Payne will be responsible for developing and executing the company’s real estate strategy nationwide, including establishing a pipeline of properties for new and relocated stores. Additionally, Payne will oversee the company’s tenant administration program and surplus properties. He will report to David Kelly, Rite Aid’s senior vice president of store development.

“Convenient store locations play an important role in Rite Aid’s dedication to providing an overall exceptional customer experience,” Kelly said. “We look forward to benefitting from Ray’s knowledge and real estate expertise in his new role as he and his team work to forward Rite Aid’s real estate strategy.”

In 1982, Payne worked as a staff attorney and then as a personnel manager for Sav-On Drug Stores. His real estate career began in 1986, working for American Stores Properties as a real estate manager. In 1989, Payne joined PayLess Drug Stores as real estate director and was named group vice president, real estate in 1992. Payne joined Rite Aid in 1996 as the regional director of real estate and was promoted to his current position of vice president, real estate west coast in 2001.

Payne holds a juris doctor degree in law from the University of San Diego and a bachelor’s degree in history from San Diego State University. He is also a member of California State Bar and International Council of Shopping Centers.

Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2014 annual revenues of $25.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.

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Contact:

Media: Kristin Kellum 717-975-5713