SM Investment Corporation First EVP Hans Sy becomes one of the 14 People of the Year awardees by Stargate’s PeopleAsia magazine

PASAY CITY, Philippines, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — For advocating sustainable green business practices in the company’s operations, SM Prime Holdings and SM Investment Corporation First Executive Vice President Hans Sy earned the nod as one of the 14 People of the Year awardees given annually by Stargate’s PeopleAsia magazine.

Sy received the accolade from PeopleAsia publisher Babe Romualdez during ceremonies held at the New World Hotel in Makati City.

Being the first Filipino representative for the Private Sector Advisory Group of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, he was recognized for advocating the “importance of disaster resilience and in providing opportunities and assistance to disaster-stricken areas.”

The award-giving body noted SM Group’s past relief efforts in Tacloban City after Typhoon Yolanda and Bohol after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the island province. Sy initiated the donation of 1,000 disaster-resilient houses to affected families in Tacloban City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, and Ormoc City. The project is set to be completed in July 2015.

“Quite frankly, 1,000 units are not enough with the damage I saw. But again, I’m not the type who will get discouraged,” said Sy in an interview with PeopleAsia. “But again, I’m not the type who will be discouraged. I just went on with the project and I believe it has also influenced other companies to do the same.”

In November 2014, Sy hosted the largest solar installation in the Philippines consisting of 5,760 solar panels atop SM City North Edsa’s multi-level car park.

People of the Year is an annual award given out by PeopleAsia magazine to individuals who have “left an indelible mark through their contributions in business, leadership, advocacies and entertainment, among others.”

Sy was featured PeopleAsia’s 15th anniversary issue, released December 2014.


L-R: Kevin Belmonte, People Asia President and associate publisher;  Hans Sy, President of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez, Publisher and CEO of PeopleAsia;  and Joanne Rae Ramirez, Editor in Chief of People Asia

L-R: Kevin Belmonte, People Asia President and associate publisher; Hans Sy, President of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez, Publisher and CEO of PeopleAsia; and Joanne Rae Ramirez, Editor in Chief of People Asia

Price Chopper: The Cooking School @ Market Bistro will offer variety of classes this February

Latham, N.Y., 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — For February, the Cooking School @ Market Bistro will offer a variety of classes that range from basic cooking to more advanced recipes and skill levels, including; ethnic foods, quick meals, appetizers, baking and pastry classes. The registration fee for each class ranges from $20 to $100.

Wednesday, February 4; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato….
Three great takes on using potatoes as a main ingredient for a tasty meal. Recipes include potato pancakes, gnocchi a la pomodoro, and sweet potato enchiladas. (Registration: $55 per student (wine served))

Thursday, February 5; 6 to 8 pm
Food and Wine Pairing with Heron Hill Winery
Eric Frarey of Heron Hill Winery will serve wines with small tastes prepared by Cooking School Chef Instructor John Winnek. Pairings include fruit and cheese with Eclipse White, scallop fennel orange salad with Dry Riesling, three cheese ravioli with Chardonnay, grilled chipotle beef with Cabernet Franc, and dessert. (Registration: $50 per student (wine served))

Saturday, February 7; 2 to 4 pm
Demonstration: Come Sauté with Me
Chef John demonstrates how to sauté using basic ingredients and techniques. Recipes include: chicken Marsala, chicken picatta, vegetable stir fry, and Bananas Foster. (Registration: $45 per student (wine served))

Wednesday, February 11; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Knife Skills
Participants will practice chopping, slicing, and dicing while creating these mouthwatering comfort foods. Recipes include: onion soup with three-cheese crouton, beef stew, and bourbon bread pudding. (Registration: $55 per student (wine served))

Thursday, February 12; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Sweets for the Sweet
Participants will make chocolate delights to bring home to their valentine. Recipes include: assorted chocolate truffles and chocolate-dipped strawberries. (Registration: $55 per student (light fare and wine served))

Friday, February 13; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Romantic Roman Holiday
Couples cook together to create an authentic Roman meal to share. Recipes include: penne pasta rustica, veal saltimbocca with lemon garlic artichoke hearts, and ricotta cheese tarts. (Registration is per couple: $100 per couple (wine served))

Tuesday, February 17; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday
Celebrate Fat Tuesday with beads, Zydeco, and traditional New Orleans cuisine. Recipes include: chicken jambalaya, fried catfish, and Bananas Foster. (Registration: $55 per student (wine served))

Thursday, February 19; 5 to 7 pm
Kids Hands On Cooking: Chinese New Year/2015, The Year of the Goat
Parent and child will cook together to make a Meal of Good Fortune to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Recipes include: edamame-shitake dumplings, pork scallion egg rolls, Mandarin chicken lettuce cups, and fortune cookies. (Registration is per pair: $70 per pair)

Friday, February 20; 10:30 am to 12 noon OR 1:30 to 3pm
Taste Buds Hands On: Kids Get Cookin’ Winter Break
The Taste Bud class (geared towards kids ages 5-8; parents are required to stay within Market Bistro for the length of this class) is where kids will make their own individual pizza, a secret shake, and a super snack mix. (Registration: $30 per person)

Saturday, February 21; 11 am to 1 pm OR 3 to 5 pm
Junior Chef Hands On: Baking Class
Do your kids like to help in the kitchen? Sign up for our Drop, Chop, and Shop class: Drop them at The Cooking School, we’ll have them chop while you shop. Culinary students ages 9 and older will learn how to make baked donuts, assorted fruit hand pies, and carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting to take home. (Registration: $35 per person (light fare served))

Wednesday, February 25; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Eat To Your Heart’s Delight
February is American Heart Month. Participants will learn tips and recipes to create heart smart meals for your family. Recipes include: Italian chopped salad, pork tenderloin rosa di Parma, sautéed broccolini, and apricot nut couscous. (Registration: $55 per student (wine served))

Friday, February 27; 6 to 9 pm
Hands On: Taste of Spain/Warm Winter Tapas
Participants will make homemade sangria (a red wine punch with fruit and spices) to serve alongside warm, winter tapas, a popular Spanish tradition of appetizers or snacks. Recipes include: Spanish omelette, cheese and spinach empanadas and quince and manchego cheese puffs. (Registration: $55 per student (wine served))

Saturday, February 28; 12 to 4 pm
Hands On: Beginner Cake Decorating
Join guest baker Melinda Gamache as she instructs participants in the basics of cake decorating with treats to take home. (Registration: $55 per student (light fare served))

Pre-registration for all classes is required. Register online at or by visiting The Cooking School @ Market Bistro.

Located in the Latham Price Chopper (873 New Loudon Road, Latham, NY 12110), the Cooking School @ Market Bistro is a state-of-the-art kitchen equipped with hands-on cooking stations where attendees can learn to cook or expand cooking expertise. Each station is fully stocked with appliances, knives, and cooking equipment designed to resemble a home kitchen. Both hands-on and demonstration cooking classes are offered, including classes for children. With a wide variety of themes, classes will be taught by a member of Price Chopper’s Cooking School Culinary Team, as well as guests such as local chefs, nutrition experts, and cookbook authors.


About The Golub Corporation: Based in Schenectady, NY, the Golub Corporation owns and operates 134 Price Chopper and Market 32 grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The American owned, family-managed company prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, leadership in community service, and cooperative employee relations. Golub’s 22,000 teammates collectively own more than 47% of the company’s privately held stock, making it one of the nation’s largest privately held corporations that is predominantly employee-owned. For additional information, visit

Maureen Murphy

Apple® announced highest-ever revenue & earnings drive 48% increase in EPS for its fiscal 2015 first quarter ended December 27, 2014

  • Highest-ever revenue & earnings drive 48% increase in EPS
  • Growth led by record revenue from iPhone, Mac & App Store

CUPERTINO, California, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 first quarter ended December 27, 2014. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $57.6 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion, or $2.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.9 percent compared to 37.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

The results were fueled by all-time record revenue from iPhone® and Mac® sales as well as record performance of the App Store℠. iPhone unit sales of 74.5 million also set a new record.

“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”

“Our exceptional results produced EPS growth of 48 percent over last year, and $33.7 billion in operating cash flow during the quarter, an all-time record,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We spent over $8 billion on our capital return program, bringing total returns to investors to almost $103 billion, over $57 billion of which occurred in just the last 12 months.”

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2015 second quarter:

  • revenue between $52 billion and $55 billion
  • gross margin between 38.5 percent and 39.5 percent
  • operating expenses between $5.4 billion and $5.5 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $350 million
  • tax rate of 26.3 percent

Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $.47 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on February 12, 2015, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 9, 2015.

Apple will provide live streaming of its Q1 2015 financial results conference call beginning at 2:00 p.m. PST on January 27, 2015 at This webcast will also be available for replay for approximately two weeks thereafter.

This press release contains forward-looking statements including without limitation those about the Company’s estimated revenue, gross margin, operating expenses, other income/(expense), and tax rate. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ. Risks and uncertainties include without limitation the effect of competitive and economic factors, and the Company’s reaction to those factors, on consumer and business buying decisions with respect to the Company’s products; continued competitive pressures in the marketplace; the ability of the Company to deliver to the marketplace and stimulate customer demand for new programs, products, and technological innovations on a timely basis; the effect that product introductions and transitions, changes in product pricing or mix, and/or increases in component costs could have on the Company’s gross margin; the inventory risk associated with the Company’s need to order or commit to order product components in advance of customer orders; the continued availability on acceptable terms, or at all, of certain components and services essential to the Company’s business currently obtained by the Company from sole or limited sources; the effect that the Company’s dependency on manufacturing and logistics services provided by third parties may have on the quality, quantity or cost of products manufactured or services rendered; risks associated with the Company’s international operations; the Company’s reliance on third-party intellectual property and digital content; the potential impact of a finding that the Company has infringed on the intellectual property rights of others; the Company’s dependency on the performance of distributors, carriers and other resellers of the Company’s products; the effect that product and service quality problems could have on the Company’s sales and operating profits; the continued service and availability of key executives and employees; war, terrorism, public health issues, natural disasters, and other circumstances that could disrupt supply, delivery, or demand of products; and unfavorable results of other legal proceedings. More information on potential factors that could affect the Company’s financial results is included from time to time in the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of the Company’s public reports filed with the SEC, including the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 27, 2014, and its Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended December 27, 2014 to be filed with the SEC. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information, which speak as of their respective dates.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Press Contact:
Kristin Huguet
(408) 974-2414

Investor Relations Contacts:
Nancy Paxton
(408) 974-5420

Joan Hoover
(408) 974-4570


Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iPhone and App Store are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

The U.S. convenience store count increased nearly 1% from the year prior according to 2015 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The U.S. convenience store count increased to 152,794 stores as of December 31, 2014, a nearly 1% increase from the year prior, according to the 2015 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count.

The link between fuels and convenience retailing continues to grow. Overall, 83.5% of convenience stores 127,588 sell motor fuels, a 0.7% increase (930 stores) over 2013.

Convenience stores account for 33.9% of all retail outlets in the United States, according to Nielsen, which is significantly higher than the U.S. total of other retail channels including drug stores (41,799 stores), supermarket/supercenter (41,529 stores) and dollar stores (26,572 stores).

“Our continued growth, even during a sluggish economy, shows that our core offer of convenience resonates more than ever with our customers, whether they visit us for a fuel fill-up, quick snack or drink, or stop by for fill-in groceries or healthy take-out meals,” said NACS Chairman Steve Loehr, vice president of operations support at LaCrosse, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip.

The convenience retailing industry continues to be dominated by single-store operators, which account for 63.0% of all convenience stores (96,318 stores total) and 83.5% of store growth in 2014.

Among the states, Texas continues to lead in store count with 15,434 stores. The rest of the top 10 states for convenience stores are California (11,403), Florida (9,810), New York (8,247), Georgia (6,766), North Carolina (6,301), Ohio (5,539), Michigan, (4,907), Illinois (4,670) and Pennsylvania (4,604), which nudged Virginia out of the top 10.

The convenience retailing industry has roughly doubled in size over the last three decades. At year-end 1984, the store count was 85,300 stores, at year-end 1994 the store count was 98,200 stores and at year-end 2004 the store count was 138,205 stores.


Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS ( 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.

RILA’s statement on U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman’s congressional hearings on the U.S. trade policy agenda

Arlington, VA, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) today issued the following statement surrounding U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman’s appearance before the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee to discuss the U.S. trade policy agenda:

“RILA welcomes the continued commitment U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has shown toward our nation’s trade policy agenda,” said Jennifer Safavian, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs at RILA. “Trade is crucial to the retail industry and to breaking down barriers to provide open access to products and markets around the world.Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) could create tremendous new opportunities for generations of American workers, and we call on Congress to take action as soon as possible.”

Since Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s, Congress has authorized every Republican and Democratic President to exercise TPA. The resulting trade agreements have led to the opening of new markets for American companies and workers, and helped ensure a rules-based system for two-way trade. Increasing the access U.S. businesses have to foreign markets is more important than ever, but continued growth is in jeopardy because Congress has not renewed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) since 2007.

Sandy Kennedy, RILA’s President, is a member of President Obama’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations and has been very clear on the importance of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)  legislation and international trade on the retail industry.Read her op-ed from October on the issue: .

Facts on Trade and TPA:

Trade Agreements Open Markets For U.S. Businesses Around The World. 95% of the world’s population lives outside the United States – trade agreements break down foreign barriers, helping American companies, farmers, and workers sell more goods and services to global consumers.

Global Trade Has A Proven Record Of Promoting U.S. Economic Growth And Job Creation. U.S. exports helped drive the U.S. economy and its recovery in recent years:

  • More than 1 in 5 American jobs are supported by international trade
  • Exports account for nearly 14 percent of overall U.S. GDP; and since 2004, U.S. exports have grown faster than GDP
  • U.S. businesses exported a record $2.3 trillion worth of products and services in 2013.

TPA Strengthens Congress’ Role In Shaping U.S. Trade Agreements. TPA gives Congress more input into trade agreements by informing the Executive Branch what the key negotiating objectives should be.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.


Allie Brandenburger
Senior Director, Communications
Phone: 703-600-2063

The National Retail Federation reiterated support for federal data breach notification standard as congressional panel held a hearing on this issue

Law Should Cover All Entities that Maintain Personal Information

WASHINGTON, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation reiterated its long-standing support for a federal data breach notification standard today as a congressional panel held a hearing on this issue, saying legislation should provide consumers with clear, concise and consistent notice whenever and wherever a data breach occurs.

“A single uniform national standard for notification of consumers affected by a breach of sensitive data would provide simplicity, clarity and certainty to both businesses and consumers alike,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David Frenchsaid. “A federal breach notification law would ensure reasonable and timely notice to consumers while providing clear compliance standards for businesses.”

French’s comments came in a letter to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, which is holding a hearing today on what should go into a notification bill.

For the past decade, NRF has called on Congress to pass a federal data breach notification law that would cover all entities that receive, handle and maintain sensitive personal information. NRF believes a national standard would provide retailers a practical framework to handle consumer notification and must preempt the 47 disparate state data breach notification laws retailers now comply with.

“If Americans are to be adequately protected and informed, any legislation to address these threats must cover all of the types of entities that handle sensitive personal information,” French said. “A federal notice obligation applying to all breached businesses would also create significant incentives across industries to invest in technologies to better protect data and to respond appropriately to breaches whenever and wherever they occur.”

“Regrettably, there are those who are spending time and resources casting blame on the victims of cybercrime, but retailers are actively engaged every day in efforts to protect their customers against those who commit the crimes,” French said commenting on the hearing. “Whether pushing for Chip and PIN credit cards or voluntarily and proactively initiating information-sharing platforms, retailers are less interested in finger pointing and far more interested in collaborating with multi-industry stakeholders and law enforcement to stop these crimes from happening in the first place.”

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.


Stephen E. Schatz
(855) NRF-Press


Sigma supports King Island Pharmacy and the local community as the pharmacy burned to the ground over the Australia Day weekend

King Island, Australia, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The spirit of Australian camaraderie was on show over the Australia Day weekend as many quickly responded to the needs of the 1,800 residents of King Island.

The King Island Pharmacy, located in Currie, is the only pharmacy on King Island supporting the local community. An alleged arson attack over the Australia Day weekend saw the pharmacy burn to the ground.

With the need for essential medicines to support the local community, members of Sigma’s Launceston distribution centre jumped into action, with the supervisor John Brophy in particular praised for his actions in responding to the calls for assistance.

John investigated the quickest way to despatch essential medicines, including items requiring refrigeration. He then processed and picked the order and personally delivered it to the airport where he ensured it was loaded onto the plane.

Gary Dunne, Sigma Chief Operating Officer commented “Sigma prides itself on being a partner of choice for our customers, and it is imperative that medicines are delivered to communities irrespective of their location. This is an unfortunate event for the pharmacy and the community of King Island, so I am really proud that John and the team in the Launceston distribution centre quickly responded to do everything possible to support them.”

Divesh Sanghvi, Pharmacy owner commented “This type of event is not something we expect or prepare for, so it is great to know that we can rely on our partner Sigma to help us through should the situation arise. The entire team in the Launceston distribution centre are to be congratulated for acting quickly and doing everything possible to ensure we had essential stock for our patients at King Island.”

The King Island Pharmacy is temporarily operating out of the King Island hospital while investigations continue.

“King Island needs a community pharmacy. We will continue to operate business as usual whilst we go through the process of assessing our long term options to re-build our pharmacy,” said Mr Sanghvi.

For more information please contact:

Gary Woodford
Manager Corporate Affairs
Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited
Mob: 0417 399 204

IKEA plans to open its second Ohio store in Columbus by Summer 2017

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, todayannounced it is submitting plans to the City of Columbus, Ohio for a store that would increasethe Swedish retailer’s presence in the Midwestern United States as its second store in thestate. The application marks the beginning of the governmental approval process. Until thestore opens in Summer 2017, customers can shop at the closest IKEA stores in: WestChester, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and Canton, MI; or online at

Located in the Polaris Centers of Commerce development, approximately 15 milesnorth of downtown Columbus, the 354,000-square-foot proposed IKEA store and its 1,200parking spaces would be built on 33 acres at the northeastern corner of Interstate-71 andGemini Place. Store plans reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA storesare known worldwide. IKEA also will evaluate potential on-site power generation tocomplement its current U.S. renewable energy presence at nearly 90% of its U.S. locations.

“We look forward to continue growing our Midwestern U.S. presence with IKEAColumbus,” said IKEA U.S. CEO Rob Olson. “This location in such a vibrant retail corridorwould provide our already 155,000 Columbus customers their own store and introduce theunique IKEA shopping experience to other consumers throughout Central Ohio and beyond.”

IKEA Columbus would feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area,and a 450-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberriesand salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store,and preferred parking. In addition to the more than 500 jobs that are expected to be createdduring the construction phase, approximately 300 coworkers would join the IKEA family whenthe new store opens. IKEA Columbus also would provide significant annual sales andproperty tax revenue for local governments and schools.

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be agood business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment.IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovativematerials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goodsfor efficient distribution. U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material;incorporating key measures into buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems,recycled construction materials, warehouse skylights, and water-conserving restrooms; andoperationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale ofincandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 sellingonly LED bulbs. IKEA U.S. has electric vehicle charging stations at 13 stores, solar arraysatop 90% of its locations, and plans for 104 wind turbines.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good designand function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currentlymore than 360 IKEA stores in 47 countries, including 40 in the U.S. IKEA has been ranked in FORTUNE’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, Working Mother magazine’s annuallist of “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” and Training magazine’s annual “Top 100.”IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefitchildren and the environment. For more information see, @IKEAUSA,@IKEAUSANews, or IKEAUSA on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Contact: Joseph Roth, Expansion Public Affairs
(610) 834-0180, x 6500

Development of John Lewis Chelmsford part of the Bond Street retail began, set to open autumn 2016

LONDON, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Work on the Bond Street retail development in Chelmsford, which will include a John Lewis flexible format department store,began today with a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the occasion.

Set to open autumn 2016, John Lewis Chelmsford will anchor the second phase of the Bond Street development in Chelmsford City Centre, owned by Aquila. The scheme willinclude 20 retail units, providing a vibrant mix of shops, river fronted restaurants, and a cinema.

John Lewis Chelmsford will offer the full John Lewis product assortment, including fashion, beauty, electronics, home and nursery. The retailer will boost local employment with the creation of around 350 new jobs and John Lewis’s investment in the city stands at around £15m.

The Chairman of Essex County Council, Councillor Norman Hume and the Mayor and Mayoress of Chelmsford City Council, Councillors Bob Villa and Valerie Villa, were among the attendees of today’s groundbreaking ceremony along with the founder of Aquila Tony Chambers and other key stakeholders from the local community who have helped considerably with this project.

Tim Harrison, Director of Store Development at John Lewis, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see work start on the Bond Street development in Chelmsford and what better way to mark the occasion than by bringing key stakeholders from the local community together. We’re excited at the prospect of opening a flexible format department store here,allowing us to create around 350 new jobs in the local area and providing John Lewis customers with greater convenience and ease of access to a broad range of products.

‘The shop’s selling space will total 90,000 sq ft, split over three floors and will include a customer café.John Lewis Chelmsford is the third flexible department store to be announced by the retailer, following Exeter which opened in 2012 and York which opened last year.

For more information on the project, please visit

Notes to editors
John Lewis – John Lewis operates 43 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, ten John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 30,000 staff are Partners in the business. John Lewis, ‘Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2014’¹ , ‘Best Overall Retailer’² and ‘Best Retailer 2014’³, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

¹ Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014
² Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2014
³ Which? Awards 2014.

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:


For further information please contact:

Vikki Speed
Senior Communications Officer, Corporate & Brand, John Lewis
Telephone: 020 7931 4921

K-Group’s Youth Guarantee programme exceeded all expectations reaching almost double its original target of 1000 young people to be employed

During the Youth Guarantee in the K-Group programme, around 1,800 unemployed young adults in its target group gained a foothold in working life when employed by K-Group stores. The success of the programme, launched in August 2013 and terminated at the end of 2014, exceeded all expectations in the K-Group, reaching almost double the original target of one thousand young people.

HELSINKI, FINLAND, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Half of all K-retailer entrepreneurs, that is, nearly 600 retailers employed young people in the target group of the programme across Finland. Most of them were employed by food stores, but many were also recruited to jobs in the K-Group’s home improvement and speciality goods trade and the car and machinery trade.

“The Youth Guarantee works if we are prepared to invest in it. The close and direct cooperation between employers and the Employment and Economic Development Centres was also central to the success. The target of one thousand employed young people set by us for our programme was far exceeded. K-retailers and Kesko with its subsidiaries are strongly committed to providing employment to young people,” says Matti Mettälä, Kesko’s Senior Vice President, Human Resources.

K-Group retailers and stores made use of various employment options during the programme and, in addition to employment contracts, also offered apprenticeships and work experiments.

“Providing employment to young people is a natural part of the K-Group’s responsible operations. It is particularly positive that the number apprenticeships increased significantly in our stores during the programme,” says Mettälä pleased.

“Young people must be given a chance”

“Young people must be given a chance” is the motto of Taina Källi, who runs a K-rauta store in Järvenpää. She is, for instance, engaged in cooperation with the youth and employment unit of the city of Järvenpää.

“One of the girls who started at the checkout later moved to a permanent job at the store cafe. Now she has been studying to be a cook while at work,” says the retailer.

She also praises the support given by the coordinator of the Youth Guarantee in the K-Group programme in questions related to salary support. The assistance has been of key importance when decisions on employing young people have been made. The Youth Guarantee Coordinator will continue to provide help and expertise to Kesko’s supervisors and K-retailers in issues related to the employment of young people.

K-Group stores are an important employer of young people. In all, around 12,000 young people and adults aged under 30 were employed by K-Group stores during the period from August 2013 to December 2014.

Further information:
Executive Vice President Matti Mettälä, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 10 53 22200
Youth Guarantee Coordinator Johanna Kinnunen, the K-Retailers’ Association, tel. +358 50 342 7860

Kesko ( is one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. We are a retail specialist whose chains have about 2,000 stores in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, and Belarus. Our stores offer quality to the daily lives of consumers.

Walgreens: Oklahoma City, Okla. tops the Top Ten DMAs with Flu Activity list for the week beginning Jan. 26, 2015

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Walgreens Flu Index™ is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranking of those experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country. With the ability to generate hyper-local data that’s as specific as a single zip code, the Index aims to drive consumer awareness and prevention within communities, while also serving as a valuable resource for health departments, media and others at the local level.

Top Ten DMAs with Flu Activity
Week beginning 1/26/2015

  1. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  2. San Antonio, Texas
  3. Tulsa, Okla.
  4. Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.
  5. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.)
  6. Austin, Texas
  7. Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.
  8. Knoxville, Tenn.
  9. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas
  10. Jackson, Miss.

Top Ten States with Flu Activity
Week beginning 1/26/2015

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Arkansas
  3. Texas
  4. Nebraska
  5. Mississippi
  6. Tennessee
  7. Louisiana
  8. Kansas
  9. New Jersey
  10. New Mexico

Top Ten DMAs Flu Activity Gains
From week beginning 1/19/2015 to 1/26/2015

  1. San Antonio, Texas
  2. Tulsa, Okla.
  3. Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.
  4. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.)
  7. Las Vegas, Nev.
  8. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.
  9. San Diego, Calif.
  10. Wichita-Hutchinson, Kan.

Top Ten State Flu Activity Gains
From week beginning 1/19/2015 to 1/26/2015

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Arkansas
  3. Texas
  4. New Jersey
  5. Nevada
  6. Louisiana
  7. Nebraska
  8. Oregon
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Arizona


The Walgreens Flu Index™ is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 20 retail locations.

The Flu Index™ is not intended to illustrate levels or severity of flu activity, but rather, illustrate which populations are experiencing the highest incidence of flu.

© Copyright Walgreen Co. 2015. All rights reserved

About Walgreens
Walgreens (, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, constitutes the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,229 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes,,, and Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations around the country.


Jim Cohn, (847) 315-2950
Kelli Hartsock, (312) 981-8553

Starbucks provides 32,000 three-pack servings of its VIA® Ready Brew Coffee to U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan

SEATTLE, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ —  Starbucks recently provided 32,000 three-pack servings of its VIA® Ready Brew Coffee to U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.

“Getting a cup of coffee is something your average American takes for granted. But for our troops a cup of coffee is a special taste of home,” said Alan Reyes, USO Senior Vice President of Operations. “Imagine a soldier coming off an arduous patrol or hostile fire, and then seeing that Starbucks logo – it takes their minds out of the war zone, even for a few minutes.”

The USO delivered the Starbucks donation to Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan, over the holidays and ensured distribution to overseas service members. Due to security precautions, the coffee delivery could not be disclosed until now.

“Donations like this serve as a reminder to our troops that Americans back home are thinking about them and are thankful for their service,” Reyes added.

“We’ve heard from many servicemen and women about how grateful they were to receive some coffee from their hometown Starbucks. This year we wanted to build on the organic effort and ensure there was enough for everyone still serving in Afghanistan,” said John Kelly, Starbucks senior vice president of global responsibility and public policy.

The VIA coffee donation is one of the ways Starbucks and its partners (employees) have actively supported military service members for the past 12 years. Here are some examples:

2002 – Starbucks worked with the Red Cross to send its first shipment of coffee overseas to troops. Members of the Starbucks Armed Forces Network (AFN) have regularly organized care package shipments since then.

2003 – A Starbucks store in Fredericksburg, Virginia donated 93 pounds of coffee, delivered by then-Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers during a holiday trip to the region.

2004 – 12,000 pounds of Starbucks coffee from the company’s roasting plant in Kent, Washington was shipped to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. At Andrews, airmen with the 89th Aerial Port packed the coffee on pallets and loaded it aboard a C-17. Since that trip, another 5,000 pounds went overseas to troops in August 2005, 18,000 pounds in December 2005, and 1,100 in July 2006.

Members of the Starbucks Armed Forces Network (AFN) have regularly organized care package shipments since then, including the most recent shipment in December of 2014, the AFN packed over 50 boxes for service members.

Starbucks raised funds for organizations supporting veterans and active duty service members through The Concert for Valor and a new book co-authored by Howard Schultz, “For Love of Country.” In addition, Starbucks is on its way toward hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2018.

“The company has a heart for people and I have benefitted directly from the support that Starbucks has continually shown to the men and women who serve our country,” said Eric Christensen, a Starbucks business systems analyst.

Christensen has been in the Army for 22 years and is now a Reservist for a biological detection unit based in Washington state. He’s has been mobilized and deployed three times. Looking back on his service in Iraq, he recalled getting care packages of Starbucks coffee that “meant the world” to him.

Starbucks senior financial analyst Adrian Mays was also deployed overseas when he served in the military from 2001 to 2010.

“I remember being completely surprised and thrilled about receiving a package of coffee and other things that came in handy,” Mays said. “It speaks volumes about how Starbucks cares.”

About the USO
The USO’s mission today is the same as it’s been for the past 74 years – to support troops and their families throughout every step of their journey. The USO delivers programs and services to boost morale, entertain comfort and connect those who are a part of the military community. It has more than 160 locations worldwide and nearly 30,000 volunteers.

About VIA® Ready Brew  
Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew is 100 percent arabica coffee in an instant and microground form that is rich and full bodied just like a fresh-brewed cup of Starbucks® coffee. The coffee comes in convenient easy-to-open serving packets – add hot water, wait 10 seconds, stir and drink.

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


Starbucks provides 32,000 three-pack servings of its VIA® Ready Brew Coffee to U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan

Starbucks provides 32,000 three-pack servings of its VIA® Ready Brew Coffee to U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan