BRC report confirms Britain’s retailers are on course to meet ambitious voluntary targets to reduce the direct environmental impact of their operations

LONDON, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The latest report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) confirms Britain’s retailers are on course to meet ambitious voluntary targets to reduce the direct environmental impact of their operations. The figures and case studies, which form part of the BRC’s progress report on the industry initiative A Better Retailing Climate (ABRC) show how retailers are working in partnership with suppliers and customers to make significant progress including lowering energy usage in buildings, cutting emissions from refrigeration, diverting waste from landfill and reporting on food waste.

Last year the participants in ABRC, who include Britain’s leading retailers, agreed on a new range of targets to be met by 2020 after meeting original targets. Today’s progress report highlights progress made against those targets to date by retailers such as:

– A 13 per cent reduction in absolute carbon emissions from retail operations against a target of 25 per cent by 2020

– A 34 per cent reduction in carbon emissions resulting from store deliveries against a target of 45 per cent by 2020

Retailers know they need to work with suppliers and consumers to achieve more reductions as the majority of environmental impacts arise from the production and consumption of products.

BRC Director of Food and Sustainability Andrew Opie said: “Retailers continue to lead the way in reducing the impact of the products they sell and adapting to the challenges of climate change. This shows we can meet the ambitious targets to reduce environmental impact by 2020 when we invest in our supply chain and work closely with consumers.”

In an industry first earlier this month the BRC published food waste figures for the retail industry which showed that retailers are responsible for just 1.3 per cent of all food wasted along the food chain, with the majority coming from within the household. Today’s progress report provides concrete examples of supermarket initiatives to help their customers reduce food waste in the home such as consumer campaigns to raise awareness of the impact of food waste, offering tips on storage and making better use of leftovers and trialling innovative packaging solutions to increase the shelf life of a product.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:
1. The progress report can be found at this link: http://bit.ly/1A1c1cO

2. Launched in 2008, A Better Retailing Climate is a voluntary initiative created by a group of leading retailers (representing half of the uk retail market) which sets out collective environmental impact targets, all of which were not only met but exceeded by 2013. a new set of targets were agreed in 2014, all of which are to be met by 2020. Today’s progress report is the latest assessment of progress made by the participants in meeting those targets.
1. Each of the above figures are measured against 2005 levels.
2. For more information on BRC food waste figures, please visit: www.brc.org.uk/brc_news_detail.asp?id=2751&kcat=&kdata=1

For media enquiries please contact:
Laura Blumenthal, Communications Assistant, 020 7854 8924, laura.blumenthal@brc.org.uk

Toys“R”Us® expands its ongoing support of Special Olympics and pledged its continued leadership in advocating for children of all abilities around the world

Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Provides $1.25 Million Grant in Support of 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles; Company Pledges Additional $500,000 Grant to Aid in Global Growth of Special Olympics Young Athletes™ Program; U.S. Shoppers Can Help Children Enjoy the Thrill of #MyFirstSportsMoment through In-Store Giving Campaign Beginning Saturday, January 31

WAYNE, N.J., 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us® today announced a significant expansion of its ongoing support of Special Olympics and pledged its continued leadership in advocating for children of all abilities around the world. With a $1.25 million commitment from the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, the company will serve as a sponsor of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, which will welcome 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, to Los Angeles, CA from July 25 to August 2. Held every two years, the World Games is the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement and will be the year’s largest sports and humanitarian event. The 2015 World Games marks the first time in 16 years that the Summer World Games have been held in the U.S.

As part of the partnership expansion, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund has also awarded a $500,000 grant to Special Olympics to advance the organization’s ambitious five-year plan to strengthen and expand the Young Athletes Program in the U.S. and across the globe, so kids everywhere can experience the thrill of sports while learning how to hit balls, run bases, take jump shots and more. This inclusive, innovative play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities helps kids ages 2½ to 7, develop critical early cognitive, social and motor skills and introduces them to the world of sports.

In conjunction with today’s announcement, Toys“R”Us also introduced a new initiative designed to ensure children of all abilities can experience their #MyFirstSportsMoment. The company will kick off an in-store and online fundraising campaign beginning Saturday, January 31, during which monetary donations will be collected at all Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us® stores across the U.S. and online at Toysrus.com/SpecialOlympics through Tuesday, March 31. Additionally, the company will celebrate the littlest Special Olympics athletes on its official social media channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitt er and Instagram, encouraging consumers to share their #MyFirstSportsMoment memories and experiences. One hundred percent of customer donations received as part of the fundraising campaign will be directed to Special Olympics, and will be used to support the 2015 World Games as well as the expansion of the Young Athletes Program.

“As a company with stores in 37 countries, it is our honor to be part of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, as well as to provide our enthusiastic support in bringing the Young Athletes Program to more children across the globe,” said Antonio Urcelay, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “The Toys“R”Us family has long been a champion of children with special needs, and we have great respect for the work being done by Special Olympics to create an inclusive world for all.”

“Special Olympics and Toys“R”Us have a tremendous legacy of working together and we’re thrilled to expand our relationship on such a global scale,” said Janet Froetscher, CEO, Special Olympics. “We’re incredibly grateful for the support of Toys“R”Us and for its continued leadership in helping us advocate for children with and without intellectual abilities. The ‘#My First Sports Moment’ initiative will allow us to reach more children to give them the opportunity to experience the transformative power and joy of Special Olympics sports.”

For many years, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with the company, has directed grants to Special Olympics to support the organization’s Young Athletes Program. Most recently, it provided $1 million to become the first Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games and with an additional $250,000 grant was also Presenting Sponsor of the Law Enforcement Torch Run held in conjunction with those Games.

For more information about #MyFirstSportsMoment, please visit Toysrus.com/SpecialOlympics.

For program videos and still photos visit, please click here.

Charitable Giving at Toys“R”Us

The philanthropic mission of Toys“R”Us, Inc. and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund is to keep children safe and help them in times of need. The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund contributes millions of dollars annually to various children’s organizations, including those providing disaster relief to victims of large-scale crises, as well as those supporting America’s military families. The Fund also provides grants to leading special needs organizations, furthering the company’s commitment to children of all abilities. In addition to financial and product donations, Toys“R”Us, Inc. hosts in-store and online fundraising campaigns annually that raise millions of dollars for the company’s signature philanthropic partners.

About Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015)

With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games – being staged in Los Angeles July 25 – August 2, 2015 – will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events, will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region. The Opening Ceremony, to be held July 25, 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators. On April 30, 2014, LA2015 and ESPN announced a global programming deal that will see ESPN bring coverage of World Games to millions of fans around the world. Honorary Chairs of the Games are President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown serving as Honorary Hosts. Current Founding Champions and sponsors include The Coca-Cola Company, Mattel, Deloitte, Toyota, Bank of America, OUE, Kaiser Permanente, Davis Elen Advertising, Microsoft, Toys“R”Us, Google, UPS, AEG, David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw, The Walt Disney Company, Panda Express, and Knights of Columbus. LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee, is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.LA2015.org and on social with #ReachUpLA on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram.

About the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program

Young Athletes is a unique sport and play program for children with intellectual disabilities. The focus is on fun activities that are important to mental and physical growth. Children ages 2 to 7 enjoy games and activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Young Athletes is an early introduction to sports and to the world of Special Olympics.

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Toys“R”Us Media Contacts:
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Adrienne O’Hara
973-617-4383
Adrienne.Ohara@toysrus.com

Samantha Xenis
973-617-5306
Samantha.Xenis@toysrus.com

Starbucks and Match offer singles new opportunities to connect at Starbucks

SEATTLE, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Match are offering singles new opportunities to connect at Starbucks. With more than 3 million members already listing “coffee and conversation” as one of their interests, starting today, Match members will now be able to use the “Meet at Starbucks” feature to more easily reach out and make that first coffee date. Additionally, on Friday, February 13, in participating Starbucks locations around the world, customers are invited to join the World’s Largest Starbucks Date.

“There’s no better time to celebrate meaningful moments of connection, and encourage new ones, than during Valentine’s Day,” said Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks global chief marketing officer. “For more than 40 years Starbucks has been a place to connect over a great cup of coffee. We’re a place where people come together to share important life moments – big and small. We’ve been witness to first dates, marriage proposals, job interviews, friends and families reunited, communities gathering, and so much more in our stores around the world.”

“Meet at Starbucks” Feature Now Available to Match Members

According to Match, more than one in three singles said that having coffee together is a favorite activity for a first date (1). In the past year, hundreds of thousands of new Match members mentioned “coffee” in their profiles, and in the past few months, hundreds of thousands of members have added a Starbucks badge to show their love for the brand on their profiles.

Now, Match is introducing the first-ever branded product feature that allows members to directly send an invitation to another member to set up that first coffee date. Using the “Meet at Starbucks” feature, members can send an email to someone they might like and can even find a convenient location for their Starbucks date using the Starbucks store locator.

“Together, Starbucks and Match have made it easier than ever to turn that first flirt into a first date,” said Sam Yagan, Chief Executive Officer of The Match Group. “Match is a ubiquitous part of singles’ lives generating more dates than anyone else and more first dates happen at Starbucks than anywhere else.”

The World’s Largest Starbucks Date

In celebration of love and meaningful connections of every kind, Match and Starbucks are inviting people around the world to participate in the World’s Largest Starbucks Date. On Friday, February 13, participating company-operated and select licensed locations in the U.S. and Canada will feature a special pairings menu. In the U.S., the menu will feature a selection of coffee and treat pairings available for $5 (US).

Starbucks US menu pairings include:

Caffé Verona® Coffee Press for Two and a Double Chocolate Chunk Brownie

Tall Flat White and Chocolate Croissant

Grande Raspberry Mocha or Grande White Chocolate Mocha and Heart Cookie

Available from 2pm to close, the special pairings menu will be complemented with in-store experiences designed to facilitate connection and celebrate love, including special in-store music playlists chosen by Starbucks partners (employees), and photo props to document and share your #StarbucksDate.

Additional markets around the globe (2) will be celebrating the World’s Largest Starbucks date with their own unique in-store activations. Customers in participating markets can check with their local stores for details.

(1) For more information on “Singles In America” visit: www.singlesinamerica.com.

(2) Participating markets include USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, India, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 21,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit our stores or online at Starbucks.com and news.starbucks.com

About Match.com
Founded in 1995, Match was the original pioneer of the online dating industry. Today, almost 20 years later, Match operates leading subscription-based online dating properties in 25 countries, eight languages and five continents and is responsible for more dates, relationships and marriages than any other website.  Match.com is an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI) and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.  For more information, visit http://www.match.com.

For more information on this news release, contact us.

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Starbucks and Match offer singles new opportunities to connect at Starbucks

Starbucks and Match offer singles new opportunities to connect at Starbucks

Gap appointed Scott Key as senior vice president and general manager of Customer Experience

NEW YORK, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gap brand today announced leadership changes designed to intensify the brand’s customer focus, while meeting the global fashion and retailing needs of the business.

As part of its plans to create a consistent, customer-centric experience across all channels globally, the brand has appointed Gap Inc. veteran Scott Key as senior vice president and general manager of Customer Experience. In the role, Key will oversee a newly combined e-commerce and marketing organization, charged with driving a powerful connection across these critical customer touch-points globally.

During his Gap Inc. tenure, Key has served in several senior leadership roles within the Growth, Innovation and Digital division, establishing a track record for innovation while working closely with incoming chief executive officer, Art Peck.  Most recently, he oversaw the company’s Customer Engagement Marketing function.

“Now’s the time to intensify our customer focus and break-through with a truly dynamic and integrated approach to building relationships with our customers,” said Jeff Kirwan, global brand president of Gap. “Scott will help us bring together our marketing and digital expressions so each interaction with our customers is consistent and compelling. It’s a customer-first approach that reflects how people shop today.”

Gap also announced that, in evaluating the right leadership structure for the brand, it would be eliminating the Creative Director role, resulting in Rebekka Bay’s departure from the company, effective immediately. Gap has a strong senior design team in place to ensure a seamless transition and said it would evaluate the long-term leadership approach for the global design team.

“I would personally like to thank Rebekka for her passion and the creative processes she’s brought to the brand,” continued Kirwan.  “She has helped develop a dynamic design team, some of the best creative talent in the industry, and I’m confident that our strong bench of senior designers will see the brand into its next phase.”

Kirwan concluded, “As we look to the future, now is the right time to make these changes and focus the brand on delivering casual, American style and building strong relationships with our customers around the world.”

About Gap
Gap is one of the world’s most iconic apparel and accessories brands and the authority on American casual style.  Founded in San Francisco in 1969, Gap’s collections are designed to build the foundation of modern wardrobes – all things denim, classic white shirts, khakis and must-have trends.  Beginning with the first international store in London in 1987, to the brand’s planned 2015 debut in India, Gap continues to connect with customers online and across the brand’s more than 1,700 company-operated and franchise retail locations around the world. Gap includes Women’s and Men’s apparel and accessories, GapKids, babyGap, GapMaternity, GapBody and GapFit collections.  The brand also serves value-conscious customers with exclusively-designed collections for Gap Outlet and Gap Factory Stores.  Gap is the namesake brand for leading global specialty retailer, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) which includes Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com

 

Whole Foods Market launches comprehensive standards for farmed bivalve mollusks

Farmed oysters, mussels, clams and scallops audited by third-parties for pesticide use, water quality, seafloor impacts, protection of coastal environment and more

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market is launching  comprehensive standards for farmed bivalve mollusks, which include oysters, mussels, clams and scallops, all of which will now be recognized by the retailer’s Responsibly Farmed logo for easy shopping.

The seal signifies that each mollusk farm has been audited by a third party to ensure the industry-leading standards are being met, including prohibiting pesticides, monitoring water quality, protection of the coastal environment, evaluation of sediments on the seafloor and traceability from farm to store.

“As mollusks are becoming more popular and the seafood market more global, it’s increasingly important that our shoppers have responsibly sourced options they can trust,” said Carrie Brownstein, Whole Foods Market’s global quality standards coordinator for seafood, and the creator of these new standards. “With Whole Foods Market’s farmed and wild-caught seafood standards in place, and third-party audits of farms, we’re doing the homework for our customers. They can rest easy knowing that any seafood choice they make in our stores is a conscious one.”

Nationwide, Whole Foods Market has seen more than a 10 percent increase in oyster sales alone over the past two years, and expects Valentine’s Day to be the biggest oyster sales day of the year. As consumer interest continues to grow, the impact of buying responsibly sourced mollusks and other seafood becomes more important.

The new standards were developed following several years of research and collaboration with top scientists and progressive mollusk farmers. Like all of Whole Foods Market’s standards for farmed seafood, this multi-stakeholder approach ensures that the standards address all the important issues in mollusk production, set a high bar for environmentally responsible aquaculture, and are practical to implement on farms.

One of the most unique sections in Whole Foods Market’s mollusk standards is the requirement to evaluate the health of sediments on the seafloor under the farms to help protect bottom-dwelling animals and the ecosystem. If mollusks are grown too densely or in areas without enough water flow, wastes can build up that ultimately create sulfides, which are toxic to animals that live in the sediments.

These new mollusk standards are the latest addition to a huge selection of seafood options that carry the Responsibly Farmed label at Whole Foods Market. The retailer introduced its industry-leading standards for farmed salmon in 2007, and released aquaculture standards for all finfish and shrimp in 2008.

Of key importance to all Responsibly Farmed seafood standards at Whole Foods Market are traceability and third-party audits. With independent aquaculture auditors evaluating the farms and strict traceability requirements at every step in the supply chain, customers can feel confident that standards are being met and that they are purchasing the seafood they intended to purchase.

Experts

Carrie Brownstein

Seafood Quality Standards Coordinator

Carrie Brownstein develops standards to guide seafood purchasing for the Company’s stores throughout the United States, Canada, and the UK.

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Whole Foods Market launches comprehensive standards for farmed bivalve mollusks

Whole Foods Market launches comprehensive standards for farmed bivalve mollusks

 

Wincor-Nixdorf: Russia’s leading provider of online retail financial services Tinkoff Bank selected IRIS Analytics’ fraud prevention solution

Paderborn, Germany, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tinkoff Bank, Russia’s leading provider of online retail financial services and one of the largest credit card issuers in the country with 4.8 million cards issued, has selected IRIS Analytics’ fraud prevention solution, IRIS, as its central fraud prevention system for all payment channels. This includes acquiring, issuing, e-wallet, and online banking.

IRIS has been provided to Tinkoff Bank by Wincor Nixdorf, key partner of IRIS Analytics for worldwide sales, implementation and post-sales support. The Wincor Nixdorf Russia organisation was quick to see the potential of IRIS in their market, and this is their second new business win with IRIS.

IRIS puts Tinkoff Bank into the unique position of securely detecting fraud patterns that involve multiple payment channels in real-time. These types of fraud attacks typically involve major losses and can only be identified by profiling all payment and non-monetary transactions of account holders and merchants. IRIS contains unique functionality that enables merging transaction histories for any number and type of payment channels.

Anatoli Makeshin, VP for Payment Systems and member of the Management Board at Tinkoff Bank,comments: “Tinkoff Bank is the only fully branchless bank in Russia which operates through a high-tech financial services platform providing us deep reach all over the country. The quality of the client service, be it consumers or merchants, is paramount to us and we invest in technologies that help us ensure the security of our clients’ transactions. IRIS enables us to provide the best possible protection against payment fraud with minimum customer disruption, thus adding significantly to our ability to meet our customers’ needs.”

Constantin von Altrock, Managing Director of IRIS Analytics, adds: “We are delighted to welcome Tinkoff Bank to our Russian user base. Our specialists, closely working together with the TCS team were able to get to live production of the first channel — acquiring — in only eight weeks. This included the implementation of the real-time transaction interface as well as the training of the banks’ fraud experts, who were then able to create their own custom decision model for day one operation.”

Sergey Soldatov, General Manager Banking of Wincor-Nixdorf Russia, concludes: “Fraud in the Russian Federation is the fastest growing in Europe, with a 28% growth rate in 2013. At the same time, the Russian payments market is a high growth market, and I am sure that we will see significantly increased interest in IRIS in the near future. Tinkoff Bank is a thought leader in this area, others will follow.”

Starbucks launches an on-the-job training program for people with cognitive and physical disabilities at its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center

SEATTLE, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The national unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 11.2 percent – double the jobless rate for the general population, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Recognizing that disparity, Starbucks is launching an on-the-job training program for people with cognitive and physical disabilities at its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center.

The plant in Minden, Nevada employs 210 people who distribute products to Starbucks® stores worldwide. Several of the partners (employees) have completed the Starbucks Inclusion Academy program which helps them gain skills and work experience in manufacturing and distribution.

The Inclusion Academy is the result of a year-long collaboration between Starbucks and the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). Starbucks provides training space at the Carson Valley plant and instructors for on-the-job and soft-skills practice. The State of Nevada refers candidates to the program, funds the instructor’s salary and pays for the time candidates spend training on the floor. Participants receive three hours of classroom instruction and three hours of work each day for the first four weeks. In the final two weeks, candidates complete an internship in the Starbucks facility.

“The program has opened a lot of eyes,” said Todd McCullough, senior operations manager at the Starbucks facility. “Supervisors and partners look past disabilities and realize we all have different abilities in the workplace.”

McCullough said 13 partners with disabilities who work in the plant have had the “highest attendance and best performance” in the building and enhance the work culture.

“Sometimes in a break room you’ll see that groups separate themselves, but I’ve seen that change over the past year,” he said. “It’s very powerful to see how the whole team engages with people with disabilities.”

Distribution partner Shawn Stainbrook, a Special Olympics athlete, has been at the Carson Valley facility for more than a year. Prior to joining Starbucks he worked for a grocery store for 20 years and said he didn’t feel fulfilled.

“Going to work at Starbucks is enjoyable,” said Stainbrook. “Now I have goals and would say to anyone who doesn’t feel good about where they’re at in life, never give up. You never know what’s around the corner.”

One of the first partners hired at the Carson Valley plant would agree with that advice. McCullough said a partner named Ray, who has difficulty communicating, lived with his parents for most of his life. Since getting a job with Starbucks, Ray has been able to move out and live independently.

In addition to improving the lives of several partners, the Starbucks Inclusion Academy is beneficial for business, said Ken Pierson, DETR Business Development Manager.

“Companies, like Starbucks, that give individuals with disabilities an opportunity to work often end up with some of their most loyal employees,” Pierson said. “The investment in training often results in a high retention rate.”

This week 11 Starbucks Inclusion Academy students will receive graduation certificates from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval at the Carson Valley plant.

“I want to extend my appreciation to Starbucks for its dedication to working with our community to improve Nevada’s workforce and recognizing the importance of hiring people with disabilities,” said Governor Sandoval. “Collaborations with the private sector are vital to our state and we appreciate the opportunity to work with Starbucks on this endeavor.”

“Starbucks is deeply committed to creating pathways to opportunity for our people and the communities they serve,” added John Kelly, Starbucks senior vice president of global responsibility and public policy. “These graduates remind us to do everything we can to develop an inclusive workplace and a diverse network of suppliers.  It’s both the right thing to do and good for business.   We are proud to join Governor Sandoval and DETR to launch the first Starbucks Inclusion Academy in Nevada.”

The Starbucks Newsroom will post photos after a ceremony on Thursday (1/29).

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

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Starbucks launches an on-the-job training program for people with cognitive and physical disabilities at its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center

Starbucks launches an on-the-job training program for people with cognitive and physical disabilities at its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center

Argos and Sainsbury’s team to open 10 new Argos digital stores within existing Sainsbury’s supermarkets

LONDON, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Argos, the UK’s leading general merchandise retailer and Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second largest grocer, have teamed up to open 10 new Argos digital stores within existing Sainsbury’s supermarkets. This will bring extra choice and convenience to Sainsbury’s and Argos’ customers who will have access to the combined ranges in the convenience of a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

These new format Argos digital stores will provide customers with a choice of over 20,000 non-grocery products which they can either buy instantly in store via tablets, or reserve online for easy collection within hours, the same or the following day. An extended range of around 40,000 products can also be ordered in store for home delivery. The Argos digital stores in Sainsbury’s will range in size from around 1,000 to over 5,000 square feet.

The combination of Argos digital stores and Sainsbury’s supermarkets will create a compelling and complementary product offer and provide the convenience that customers are increasingly looking for from their local supermarket. The 10 digital stores will open by summer this year.

Mike Coupe, Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “These 10 Argos stores will complement our supermarket offer, giving customers the opportunity to shop for an extended range of non-food items. They will bring something new and different to our customers, and fit well with our strategy of making our supermarkets more convenient. As well as looking at carefully selected partners, we continue to roll out our ranges of own brand clothing and general merchandise in our supermarkets to give customers even more choice and value.”

John Walden, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, said: “Our new distribution model allows us to provide customers in any Argos location with a choice of around 20,000 lines within hours, regardless of the size or stocking capacity of the store. This strategic capability has opened up options for a variety of new Argos stores and formats, and the possibility that we can now cost-effectively reach more customers and neighbourhoods with an Argos presence. I look forward to the results of the 10 store programme with Sainsbury’s and to understanding the full potential of this exciting opportunity.”

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Argos and Sainsbury’s team to open 10 new Argos digital stores within existing Sainsbury’s supermarkets

Argos and Sainsbury’s team to open 10 new Argos digital stores within existing Sainsbury’s supermarkets

Strong Sustainability Progress: The IKEA Group’s People & Planet Positive strategy on track and delivering good results

Conshohocken, PA, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The IKEA Group Sustainability Report for fiscal year (FY14*) 2014, released today, shows its People & Planet Positive strategy is on track and delivering good results. Sustainability performance is announced today alongside strong financial results, which show an increase in total sales to EUR 28.7 billion ($32.1 billion**), a 5.9% increase (adjusted for currency impact) from last year.

Sustainability highlights from FY14:

  • During the year, IKEA Group committed to own a further 87 wind turbines, bringing the total to 224***, and installed 150,000 solar panels, increasing the total to 700,000 and taking the company a step closer to producing more renewable energy than the total energy it uses by 2020. By the end of 2015, we aim to have invested and committed to invest EUR 1.5 billion in renewable energy projects.
  • The sales value of products for a more sustainable life at home passed €1 billion, a 58% increase compared with FY13. These products enable people to save or generate energy, reduce water use, cut waste and live healthier lives.
  • 75% of all lighting products sold were LED or compatible with LED bulbs, which use 85% less energy and last 20 times longer than traditional (incandescent) bulbs. The entire IKEA lighting range will convert to LED by September 2015.
  • €66 million saved through energy efficiency efforts in stores and warehouses since FY10.
  • IKEA Group is one of the world’s largest buyers of FSC-certified wood in the retail sector, and 41% of its wood was FSC certified or recycled in FY14. All wood was sourced from suppliers that meet the IKEA forestry standard.
  • The share of cotton from more sustainable sources used in IKEA products reached 76%, meaning farmers use less chemicals and water, whilst increasing their earnings. IKEA is on track to reach its goal of 100% by the end of August 2015.
  • 47% of managers are women.
  • The IKEA Foundation donated €104 million in 2014 to projects that support millions of children in some of the world’s poorest communities.

“Sustainability is a key driver of innovation and an integral part of our business strategy. We see it as a great opportunity to improve our business. That’s why we’ve set ambitious 100% targets, for example for our LED lighting range, important raw materials and renewable energy. We are determined to grow IKEA while also having a positive impact on people and the planet,” Peter Agnefjäll, President and CEO, IKEA Group.

“Through our People & Planet Positive strategy, we want to make IKEA completely sustainable. I’m proud to say that we’re making good progress in transforming the supply of key materials, with over ¾ of our cotton and 41% of our wood now from more sustainable sources, and we’re investing in renewable energy to bring us closer to our goal of being energy independent. And by making energy- efficient LED affordable and attractive, we’ve enabled millions of people to live a little more sustainably,” Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group.

*FY14 = Financial year 2014 period is September 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014.**Dollar to Euro calculated at $1.12, January 24, 2015. *** This total does not include recent commitments made in FY15 which bring the total to 279.

IKEA US FY14 Highlights

  • IKEA installed additional solar energy systems to more US locations in FY14, with nearly 90% of our buildings outfitted with solar panels. IKEA announced two new stores; Merriam and Miami would open with solar panels. The IKEA Canton, Centennial, and Stoughton stores had their solar energy systems expanded by at least 25%. The IKEA Perryville and West Hampton distribution centers completed phase two of their solar panel installation.
  • The IKEA Merriam store will also have geothermal technology, a heating and cooling system.
  • In April 2014, IKEA US made its first wind farm investment in the US with the purchase of Hoopeston Wind in Hoopeston, IL. When completed, this project will generate enough safe, pollution-free energy to power approximately 30,000 US homes.
  • In the last 18 months, we have dropped the price of our E26 400 lumen bulbs (dimmable and non-dimmable) from $9.99 to $4.49 in order to make LED affordable for the many people; offering the lowest price on the market.
  • For more information on IKEA US community and environment programs,please read here.

For further information, please contact:
Mona Astra Liss, US Corporate PR Director, Mona.Liss@IKEA.com
610.834.0180, ext. 5852
Martina Smedberg, Media relations IKEA Group, Martina.Smedberg@IKEA.com
+46 42 444 77 76

The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 315 IKEA Group stores in 27 countries. Additionally, there are 40 IKEA stores run by franchises. There are 40 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 14, IKEA Group had 716 million visitors to the stores and 1.5 billion visitors to IKEA.com. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, please visit www.IKEA.com, facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA, http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/, www.youtube.com/IKEAUSA, www.theshare-space.com, www.theshare-space.com/en/Blog

The IKEA Sustainability Report FY14 is available at www.IKEA.com on each country site (under About IKEA, People & Planet).

The IKEA Group reports EUR 3.3 billion net income for the financial year 2014

Conshohocken, PA, 2015-1-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The IKEA Group net income amounted to EUR 3.3 billion ($3.7 billion US)* for the financial year 2014**. Market conditions continued to improve with strong performance in China and North America, and an upward trend in Europe. There were 716 million visits to the IKEA Group stores and more than 1.5 billion visits to IKEA.com

“FY14 was a good year for IKEA. I am happy to see increased growth in all our sales channels; in existing stores, in the opening of new stores and in e-commerce. We reached some important milestones towards becoming energy independent and saw a 58% increase in the sales value of products that enable people to live a more sustainable life at home. Sustainability is an integral part of our business strategy”, says President and CEO Peter Agnefjäll.

Total sales increased by 5.9% (adjusted for currency impact) from last year to EUR 28.7 billion. Together with the rental income from the shopping centre business, total revenue amounted to EUR 29.3 billion (+2.8%). The IKEA Group gained market share in almost all markets and entered a new country – Croatia. The largest markets in terms of sales were Germany, US, France, Russia and the UK.

“We have an ambitious growth agenda and at the same time we’re determined to have a positive impact on people and the planet. Our size gives us a unique opportunity to make a difference and contribute to positive change in society, for instance by making energy-efficient lighting both affordable and attractive for millions of people”, continues Peter Agnefjäll.

Within its own operations, the IKEA Group produced renewable energy equivalent to 42% of the total energy consumed and aims by the end of 2015 to have invested and committed to invest EUR 1.5 billion in renewable energy projects, mainly offsite wind farms and photovoltaic (PV) panels.

In FY14, EUR 200 million were set aside to a new loyalty programme Tack! and the amount for the One IKEA Bonus Program was increased by EUR 98 million, as a thank you to our co-workers.

“A key factor to our strong performance is that we have a long-term view, and we don’t aim to maximise short-term profits. We strive to continuously create better products at lower prices for our customers and to make substantial investments in our future”, says Peter Agnefjäll.

* Dollar to Euro calculated at $1.12, January 24, 2015.
**FY14 = Financial year 2014 period is September 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014.

IKEA US FY14 Highlights

US Sales and Services:

  • US comparable store sales increased by 4.24% in the period September 2013 – August 2014. This builds on growth of 6.7% in FY13 and 8% in FY12. Total sales including e-commerce were up 5.38%.

Expansion:

  • There were 39 US stores in FY14. New stores opened in Miami, FL, August, 2014 and Merriam, KS, September, 2014. Planned store openings: St Louis, MO, Fall 2015; Las Vegas, NV, Summer 2016; Memphis, TN, Fall 2016.
  • Expansion of existing stores includes Stoughton, MA and Canton, MI

Sustainability:

  • IKEA installed additional solar energy systems to more US locations in FY14, with nearly 90% of our buildings outfitted with solar panels. IKEA announced two new stores; Merriam and Miami would open with solar panels. The IKEA Canton, Centennial, and Stoughton stores had their solar energy systems expanded by at least 25%. The IKEA Perryville and West Hampton distribution centers completed phase two of their solar panel installation.
  • The IKEA Merriam store will also have geothermal technology, a heating and cooling system.
  • In April 2014, IKEA US made its first wind farm investment in the US with the purchase of Hoopeston Wind in Hoopeston, IL. When completed, this project will generate enough safe, pollution-free energy to power approximately 30,000 US homes.
  • In the last 18 months, we have dropped the price of our E26 400 lumen bulbs (dimmable and non-dimmable) from $9.99 to $4.49 in order to make LED affordable for the many people; offering the lowest price on the market.
  • For more information on IKEA US community and environment programs, please read here: http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/this-is-ikea/reports-downloads/index.html

People:

  • In June 2014, IKEA Retail US announced that as of January 1, 2015 it will adopt a new minimum wage structure for all hourly IKEA US co-workers based on local living costs. IKEA will utilize the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Living Wage Calculator to determine these new wages. As a result of this change, 50% of IKEA US Retail co-workers saw an increase in their hourly pay rate. 22 US IKEA stores will have an hourly minimum wage of $10.10 or above; 33 retail locations will have an increase in their minimum wage because of this change.

For further information, please contact:
Mona Astra Liss, US Corporate PR Director, Mona.Liss@IKEA.com,
610.834.0180, ext. 5852
Martina Smedberg, Media relations IKEA Group, Martina.Smedberg@IKEA.com
+46 42 444 77 76

About IKEA Group
The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 315 IKEA Group stores in 27 countries. Additionally, there are 40 IKEA stores run by franchises. There are 40 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 14, IKEA Group had 716 million visitors to the stores and 1.5 billion visitors to IKEA.com. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, please visit www.IKEA.com, facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA, http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/, www.youtube.com/IKEAUSA, www.theshare-space.com