NRF’s Super Bowl Spending Survey estimates some 184 million viewers to watch this year’s Super Bowl on Sunday, February 1

Average Fan to Spend 14% More for Patriots/Seahawks Match-Up

WASHINGTON, 2015-1-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The most widely watched sporting event of the year will draw an estimated 184 million viewers when the Seattle Seahawks return to the Super Bowl after last year’s win to face the New England Patriots on Sunday, February 1, for Super Bowl XLIX. According to NRF’s Super Bowl Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, average viewer spending will reach a survey high of $77.88, up from $68.27 last year, with fans planning to splurge on everything from game day food and new televisions to athletic wear and decorations. Total spending is expected to reach $14.3 billion.*

“With renewed confidence in the economy and the outlook for 2015, consumers are looking forward to some good old-fashioned fun with their friends and family to celebrate the big game,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers will take full advantage of the expected traffic from avid fans by making sure they have adequately invested in décor, party food and accessories and other Super Bowl-related inventory.”

Of the 75.8 percent planning to watch the game, nearly eight in 10 (79.3%) will purchase food and beverages, 10.8 percent will buy team apparel or accessories and 8.8 percent will splurge on new televisions to watch the game at home.

According to the survey, the nearly 43 million viewers planning to host a Super Bowl party should expect a full house as one-quarter (25.9%) of those surveyed say they plan to attend a party to celebrate the big game with friends and family. Bars and restaurants can also expect a good turnout on February 1 with more than 13 million viewers planning to head out to watch at their favorite local spot.

Nearly half of viewers (46.8%) say that the game itself is the most important part of the day, and nearly one-third (41.3%) of those planning to watch say that the most important parts for them are the commercials and hanging out with friends and family. Additionally, a record 11.9 percent of viewers this year say the most important part of the Super Bowl for them is the half-time show.

While all age groups agree the game itself is the most important part of Super Bowl Sunday, the survey also found differences among specific age groups when it comes to the importance of commercials, the half-time show and seeing friends and family. According to the survey, one in five (22.8%) 18-to-24-year-olds say the most important part of the game is the commercials, the highest of any other age group, and 25-to-34-year-olds say getting together with friends is the most important part of the day (15.4%), highest among all the other age groups.

While more than three-quarters (77.1%) of viewers say they look at Super Bowl commercials as entertainment, others feel that the commercials make them more aware of the advertiser’s brand (20.1%). For those who do not have favorable opinions of the commercials, many think the advertisers should save their money and pass the savings along to the consumers (16.6%) and 9.7 percent say the commercials make the game last too long.

“More viewers than ever are planning to tune in on game day this year as these connected consumers reach to multiple channels to join in with other fans and follow their favorite national brands,” said Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “Beyond the game, viewers will use this day to catch up with friends and family and treat themselves to their favorite game day treats.”

Millennials will show their spending power this year for the Super Bowl: young adults ages18-24 plan on spending an average of $95.92; those ages 25-34 and 35-44, however, will spend slightly more at an average of $101.54 and $102.82, respectively.

About the Survey
The NRF’s 2015 Super Bowl spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Super Bowl. 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. www.nrf.com

Treacy Reynolds
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

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*Total spening is an extrapolation of U.S. population ages 18 and above.

BRC-BOND DICKINSON RETAIL EMPLOYMENT MONITOR Q4 2014: full-time jobs fell by 0.6% in Q4 2014 compared with the same period last year

LONDON, 2015-1-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The equivalent number of full-time jobs fell by 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year. In the fourth quarter of 2014, the number of outlets rose by 1.9%. Non-food retailers continued to provide a marginal contribution to the overall increase, according to our sample. Food retailers cut back on the number of hours worked compared with the previous year for the 14th consecutive month. The equivalent number of full-time employees in non-food retail rose in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Director General of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, said: “It appears that December was not only a good month for retail sales but also for retail employees – staff numbers were marginally up on last year as retailers hired more people to meet the seasonal demand from shoppers. This increase is important because a temporary job at Christmas is the gateway for many to a long and fulfilling career in our industry.

Over the whole quarter, though staff numbers in food businesses dipped (a sign of the on-going restructuring and the development of new business models), non-food businesses continue to increase their staffing levels. These increases are welcome and demonstrate clear optimism among non-food retailers going into 2015. This performance also mirrors the wider economy which saw unemployment fall to 5.8% – the lowest for over six years.”

Christina Tolvas-Vincent, Head of Retail Employment at business law firm Bond Dickinson, said: “These figures indicate the tough challenges facing the grocery sector and the structural changes it is having to make to adapt to changes in consumer habits and increased competition from discounters. However, there are promising signs of recovery for retailers including the upturn in full-time equivalent employees in December and the increased number of stores, primarily driven by the food sector.

“Many of the retailers we work with see customer service as a key part of their strategy and are taking great pains to ensure they not only stay ahead of the curve on employment laws but go above and beyond them to attract and retain the best people available.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP.
020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association comments on Obama’s remarks on cyber security in the State of the Union address

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s remarks on cyber security in the State of the Union address.

Arlington, VA, 2015-1-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — “The President’s focus on cyber and data security is welcome in the fight against evolving cyber-attacks.  Retailers call on Congress to provide assistance and ensure retailers have the partners and the tools to fight a growing and sophisticated enemy and protect Americans. This includes increased threat information sharing, a single, national data breach notification law, increased card security and collaboration on evolving technologies in order to defeat cyber criminals.”

The attacks from nation state actors, cybercriminals, and hacktivists are increasingly targeting American businesses and financial institutions with more sophistication than before. We must work together to discover and defeat attacks, mitigate harm, and create resilient systems. Retailers have made great strides this year, including:

First Retail ISAC – The Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center

Last year RILA, along with some of America’s leading retailers, set up the first ISAC for the industry, the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC). The R-CISC is a comprehensive resource for retailers to receive and share threat information, advance leading practices and develop research relevant to fighting cyber threats.

The R-CISC is the cybersecurity resource for the retail industry, open to retailers and merchants of all segments and sizes and aims to become a resource for not only the retail industry but related merchant industries as well. The R-CISC is making tremendous strides and is now interviewing and hiring an Executive Director to run the Center. This is just one more step to continuing the growth of the center. More here: www.r-cisc.org

Cyber Threat Information Sharing Legislation

RILA partnered with the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) last year to establish the Merchant-Financial Cyber Partnership. The Partnership was created to bring the two industries together to work on a private sector solution to protect the payments system.  At the end of 2014, the Partnership sent a joint letter to Congress outlining principles for and urging Congress to pass cyber threat information sharing legislation.

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.

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Allie Brandenburger
Senior Director, Communications
Phone: 703-600-2063
Email: allie.brandenburger@rila.org

The Retail Industry Leaders Association announced the election of four retail executives to its Board of Directors

Arlington, VA, 2015-1-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) announced today the election of four retail executives to its Board of Directors. The election took place during the semi-annual Board of Directors meeting, held Sunday in Amelia Island, Florida. Joining the association’s Board of Directors are:

  • Brian Cornell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Target Corporation
  • Alexander Gourlay, President, Walgreen Co.
  • Thomas Millner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cabela’s Inc.
  • Michael Polk, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newell Rubbermaid

Also, two current board members were re-elected to the board at Sunday’s meeting

  • Madison Riley, Managing Partner, Asia Pacific, Kurt Salmon
  • Todd Tillemans, President, Customer Development, Unilever

“I am pleased to welcome these industry leaders to RILA’s Board of Directors. RILA’s ability to represent the interests of the retail industry is dependent on the expertise, insight and support provided by our board members,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. RILA is an outspoken advocate for the most critical issues facing the retail industry. RILA remains at the forefront of a number of battles, including the fight to level the playing field for all retailers as it relates to the collection of state sales tax. RILA also plays a leading role on issues including cybersecurity, comprehensive tax reform, health care, privacy, trade and a variety of labor and finance issues.The 2015 RILA Board of Directors:

  • Richard Dreiling, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Dollar General Corporation (Chairman)*
  • Eric Wiseman, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, VF Corporation (Treasurer)*
  • Robert Niblock, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (Secretary)*
  • William Rhodes, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, AutoZone, Inc (Second Vice Chair).*
  • Hubert Joly, Chief Executive Officer, Best Buy Co., Inc.*
  • James Myers, Chief Executive Officer, Petco Animal Supplies, Inc.*
  • Brian Cornell, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Target Corporation
  • Joseph DePinto, President & Chief Executive Officer, 7-Eleven, Inc.
  • Alexander Gourlay, President, Walgreen Co.
  • Ken Hicks, Executive Chairman, Foot Locker, Inc.
  • Alan Hoskins, President & Chief Executive Officer, Energizer Household Products, Energizer Holdings, Inc.
  • David Lenhardt, President & Chief Executive Officer, PetSmart, Inc.
  • Karen Lowe, General Manager, Global Retail Industry, IBM Corporation
  • Thomas Millner, President & Chief Executive Officer, Cabela’s Inc.
  • Paul Mulligan, President, Coca-Cola Refreshments, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Michael Polk, President & Chief Executive Officer, Newell Rubbermaid
  • Madison Riley, Managing Partner, Asia Pacific, Kurt Salmon
  • Walter Robb, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Whole Foods Market, Inc.
  • Gregory Sandfort, President & Chief Executive Officer, Tractor Supply Company
  • Todd Tillemans, President of Customer Development, Unilever
  • Myron Ullman, Chief Executive Officer, J.C. Penney Company, Inc.
  • Sandy Kennedy, President, Retail Industry Leaders Association*

*Denotes Executive Committee Member

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.

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Brian Dodge
Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Phone: 703-600-2017
Email: brian.dodge@rila.org

Gap Inc. launches new yearlong management-training program for high-potential sales associates

SAN FRANCISCO,  2015-1-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today announced the launch of a new yearlong management-training program for high-potential sales associates to develop the skills necessary for success as a store manager while still earning a paycheck.

President Obama today highlighted Gap Inc.’s enhanced career advancement initiative in a fact sheet, as one of the best-in-class examples of a companyC committed to investing in America’s workforce.

The new initiative will integrate and ramp up the company’s existing career advancement and management programs, creating opportunities for hundreds of emerging leaders this year, and thousands in the years ahead.

These efforts complement Gap Inc.’s continued commitment to support the development of job and life skills for thousands of students of diverse backgrounds to get hired and succeed in the job market. Company-driven programs include This Way Ahead, which provides job readiness training and paid internships for underserved youth in New York City, Boston, Houston and San Francisco, and Gap Inc. for Community Colleges, which helps community college students across 25 U.S. metro areas prepare for jobs and succeed once they are employed, while developing a pipeline of qualified candidates for the company.

“In today’s global economy, we recognize the importance of teaching job and life skills to help hard-working people get and succeed in a job. Our company’s values and legacy drive us to do more than just sell clothes, and we’re proud of our heritage of investing in the future of people in economically hard-hit communities across the country—and around the world. With this new integrated management program, we’ll be able to turbo-charge our talent pipeline and create immediate opportunities for hundreds of motivated emerging leaders to build and further their careers with us,” said Eric Severson, senior vice president of global talent solutions for Gap Inc. Severson was recently appointed by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to serve on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE).

This enhanced commitment to workforce development builds on the company’s decision in February 2014 to invest in our frontline employees by increasing the minimum hourly rate to $9 in July 2014 and to $10 in July 2015. In total, approximately 65,000 employees in the U.S. will receive a raise as a result of the decision. In recognition of the company’s 45th birthday, in August 2014, Gap Inc. reaffirmed our commitment to equal pay for equal work, translating to gender pay equality across our major geographies, whether dollar for dollar, pound for pound, yen for yen, or euro for euro.

About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix brands. Fiscal year 2013 net sales were $16.1 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,200 company-operated stores, over 400 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.

Wincor Nixdorf: Sparkasse Fürth realized significant savings with its self-service park of 32 CINEO C4060/5 and C4060/8 devices

Paderborn, Germany, 2015-1-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Just four years after introducing Wincor Nixdorf’s CINEO recycling technology across the board, Sparkasse Fürth can look back on positive results. Thanks to more efficient processes, the bank has realized significant savings with its self-service park of 32 CINEO C4060/5 and C4060/8 devices in 22 of its 27 branches and six self-service locations. Cash-in-transit (CIT) costs dropped dramatically since the bank was able to reduce CIT calls to large branches from three or four per week to just one. And because the need for manual replenishments of ATMs decreased, the bank’s centralized service area was able to reduce its staff capacity by 3.5 full-time equivalents (FTE).

According to Manuela Dinkel, who heads up Sparkasse’s central service, the key to the success of the bank’s new teller concept was the rigorous use of the latest generation of cash recyclers from the CINEO family. In conjunction with the bank’s self-service front office software, which was already installed, the bank was able to transfer most of its teller transactions to cash recyclers without the need to keep greater volumes of cash in reserve at its individual branches. One of the key factors in the decision in favor of Wincor Nixdorf was the fact that its CINEO systems can sort out K3 banknotes that are suspected of being forgeries, thus fulfilling the German Bun-desbank’s requirements for the bank’s handling of the contents of cash recycler all-boxes.

A critical element in the concept is that all of the branches of the same size were identically equipped, based on their teller transaction volume. The larger branches use exclusively 8-cassette machines, and the mid-size branches have one 8-cassette and one 5-cassette machine each. Only the smallest branches operate just one 5-cassette machine, because they rarely have deposits of 500-euro banknotes.

Yet cash dispensing variants and site-specific device configuration were just as sig-nificant in the acceptance of the cash recyclers: practical experience over the four years showed that genuine savings can only be achieved when pure cash dispensers are, in some cases, removed entirely, and the device models are chosen to meet site-specific needs. If cash dispensers continue to be used, the denominations dispensed by the recyclers must be very similar to the dispensing patterns of the cash dispensers, because otherwise the acceptance of the recyclers declines strongly.

For this reason, the device park needs constant fine-tuning to ensure that the recy-clers remain available without increasing the need for CIT calls. IT monitoring by Wincor Nixdorf thus has a special role to play in the service concept, since it ensures a device park availability of more than 98%.

White’s Bakery & Cafe, Salsa’s and The Sausage Guy open at the Hingham, MA Stop & Shop

Customers Can Sit and Eat In Daily or Purchase Meals To Go From White’s Bakery, Salsa’s and The Sausage Guy

Quincy, MA, 2015-1-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC is now offering customers an exciting, varied assortment from three well-known local restaurants at the Hingham, MA Stop & Shop. Customers will have a place to sit and eat in or can order food to go from favorite local restaurants White’s Bakery & Cafe, Salsa’s and The Sausage Guy. “This is a great opportunity to offer our customers a better shopping experience through a broader selection of restaurant quality foods prepared for our customers on the spot.” says Joe Kelley, president, Stop & Shop New England Division. “We’ve been local for 100 years and are excited to partner with other local brands that customers know and love.”

The café area is located near the front of the store and is open daily from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. White’s Bakery is open at 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

All three restaurants will offer a variety of specialties:

  • White’s Bakery & Cafe, with stores in Brockton, Mansfield and Hingham, will offer muffins, cupcakes and pastries as well as calzones, pasta salads and dinners to go to satisfy any sweet or savory craving.
  • The Sausage Guy, a well-known Fenway Park vendor brings sandwiches of sausage, peppers and onions.
  • Salsa’s in South Boston and Hingham, will offer favorite Mexican dishes.

Store Hours

The Hingham Stop & Shop, located at 400 Lincoln Street, Lincoln Plaza (RTE 3A), is open 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., six days a week (7 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sundays). For additional information please visit Stop & Shop’s web site atwww.stopandshop.com or www.facebook.com/stopandshop.

About Stop & Shop
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs approximately 59,000 associates and operates 394 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. The company helps support local communities fight hunger, combat childhood cancer and promote general health and wellness – with emphasis on children’s educational and support programs. In its commitment to be a sustainable company, Stop & Shop is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA’s Smart Way program; and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores. Stop & Shop is an Ahold company. To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit www.stopandshop.com or www.facebook.com/stopandshop.

Contact:
Annmarie Seldon
Stop & Shop New England Division
(617) 276-7756
aseldon@webershandwick.com

Family Dollar shareholders approved Dollar Tree Merger

 

  • Family Dollar Shareholders Vote to Approve Dollar Tree Merger
  • Transaction Creates Leading Discount Retailer with More Than 13,000 Stores and Annual Sales Exceeding $18 Billion
  • Completion of Transaction Expected as Early as March 2015

 

CHESAPEAKE, VA, 2015-1-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR), the nation’s leading operator of discount variety stores selling everything for $1 or less, today commented on the outcome of the shareholder vote of Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO) to approve the pending merger with Dollar Tree.

“Today’s vote of approval by Family Dollar shareholders represents a crucial step toward combining Dollar Tree, North America’s leading fixed-price point discount retailer, with Family Dollar, a leading multi-price point retailer with a 50+ year history of serving low and middle income customers”, stated Bob Sasser, Dollar Tree’s Chief Executive Officer. “By adding Family Dollar to our portfolio of brands, Dollar Tree will soon operate more than 13,000 stores in 48 states and five Canadian provinces with annual sales exceeding $18 billion. This merger enhances our geographic footprint and diversifies our business model. We intend to operate and grow both banners. At Dollar Tree stores, everything is $1 while Family Dollar stores will continue to serve low to middle income customers with name brand consumables, home basics, variety and seasonal products at discount store prices. By utilizing the $1 fixed-price point in Dollar Tree and multi-price points at Family Dollar, we will deliver even greater value and choice to a broader range of consumers.”

Sasser added, “We are eager to welcome Family Dollar associates to the Dollar Tree team. We appreciate the dedication and hard work of Family Dollar’s associates throughout the integration planning process and we look forward to working together to further grow and improve the Family Dollar brand.”

Several steps need to take place to facilitate the successful completion of the acquisition. By the end of January, Dollar Tree expects to reach a preliminary agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) staff on the list of substantially all of the stores to be divested. Dollar Tree then plans to finalize divestiture agreements with the selected buyer(s), to address any concerns of the investigating state attorneys general, and to execute a consent order with the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. To facilitate the FTC’s continued review, and in light of the practicalities associated with the transaction, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have agreed to provide the FTC with four weeks’ notice prior to closing. Dollar Tree expects to initiate this 4-week notice period (which may be terminated early by the FTC) after Dollar Tree executes a consent decree with the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, which should enable the closing of the merger as soon as March 2015.

Sasser concluded, “I am extremely proud of the entire Dollar Tree team. In addition to completing the due diligence and integration planning work relating to our acquisition, our team worked together to deliver two outstanding quarters during the acquisition process by continuing to provide great values to our consumers.”

About Dollar Tree, Inc.
Dollar Tree, Inc., a Fortune 500 Company, operated 5,282 stores in 48 states and five Canadian provinces as of November 1, 2014, with total retail selling square footage of 45.8 million. Stores operate under the brands of Dollar Tree, Dollar Tree Canada, and Deals. To learn more about the Company, visit www.DollarTree.com.

Forward- Looking Statements

Certain statements contained herein are “forward-looking statements” that are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements and information about our current and future prospects and our operations and financial results are based on currently available information. Various risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual future results and financial performance to vary significantly from those anticipated in such statements. The forward looking statements contained herein include assumptions about our operations, such as cost controls and market conditions, and certain plans, activities or events which we expect will or may occur in the future and relate to, among other things, the business combination transaction involving Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, the financing of the proposed transaction, the benefits, results, effects, timing and certainty of the proposed transaction, future financial and operating results, expectations concerning the antitrust review process for the proposed transaction and the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations (financial or otherwise) and intentions.

Risks and uncertainties related to the proposed merger include, among others: the risk that regulatory approvals required for the merger are not obtained on the proposed terms and schedule or are obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated; the risk that the other conditions to the closing of the merger are not satisfied; the risk that the financing required to fund the transaction is not obtained; potential adverse reactions or changes to business or employee relationships, including those resulting from the announcement or completion of the merger; uncertainties as to the timing of the merger; competitive responses to the proposed merger; response by activist stockholders to the merger; costs and difficulties related to the integration of Family Dollar’s business and operations with Dollar Tree’s business and operations; the inability to obtain, or delays in obtaining, the cost savings and synergies contemplated by the merger; uncertainty of the expected financial performance of the combined company following completion of the proposed transaction; the calculations of, and factors that may impact the calculations of, the acquisition price in connection with the proposed transaction and the allocation of such acquisition price to the net assets acquired in accordance with applicable accounting rules and methodologies; unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the merger; litigation relating to the merger; the outcome of pending or potential litigation or governmental investigations; the inability to retain key personnel; and any changes in general economic and/or industry specific conditions. Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made by Dollar Tree, in this and in other documents or statements are qualified by factors, risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those set forth under the headings titled “A Warning About Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in Dollar Tree’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014, Dollar Tree’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended May 3, 2014, August 2, 2014 and November 1, 2014, and other reports filed by Dollar Tree with the SEC, which are available at the SEC’s website http://www.sec.gov.

Please read our “Risk Factors” and other cautionary statements contained in these filings. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Dollar Tree undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, even if experience or future changes make it clear that projected results expressed or implied in such statements will not be realized, except as may be required by law. As a result of these risks and others, actual results could vary significantly from those anticipated herein, and our financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

Investors/Media Contacts:

Investors:

Randy Guiler
Dollar Tree, Inc.
rguiler@dollartree.com
(757) 321-5284

Media:

Debbie Miller / Nathaniel Garnick
Sard Verbinnen & Co
(212) 687-8080

Morrisons signs new three-year contract for liquid milk with Arla Foods and Dairy Crest

Bradford, England, 2015-1-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons already has an existing relationship with the farmer-owned cooperative, Arla Foods, for liquid milk but the new agreement guarantees increased volumes.

Arla has just opened what is understood to be the most efficient milk processing plant in the world in Aylesbury, where the retailer’s fresh milk is processed and Morrisons believes that this investment in the British dairy industry will lead to stronger returns for Arla farmers in the long term.

Morrisons also has an existing relationship with Dairy Crest and although it will be reducing volumes for liquid milk, the processor will continue to supply Morrisons with high volumes of other dairy products including cheese, butter and soft spreads.

The agreements will also bring closer Morrisons’ ambition to introduce a scheme that will help farmers manage the volatility of their milk price. This will involve working with a group of farmers to help them hedge prices.

Casper Meijer, Morrisons Group Trading Director said “Following the end of our previous five year contract, we have chosen to continue the relationships with our existing dairy companies ensuring no further volatility is brought to the dairy industry. It’s important that we can assure customers of a long term supply of liquid milk and our existing relationships with both processors have already shown us they can deliver that.”

Martyn Jones, Morrisons Group Corporate Services Director said “Arla is owned by farmers which means that members will not only receive more business from Morrisons but should receive a benefit from their cooperative. Also, by working with a second processor, Dairy Crest, we will be reaching a greater number of farmers than we would with a single dairy company.”

As part of the contract negotiations Morrisons held discussions with all the major dairy companies including Graham’s of Scotland. As a result of these discussions Graham’s will now begin to supply their brand of milk and butter to Morrisons stores in Scotland.

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Morrisons doubles its fish processing capability and creates new jobs in its fish manufacturing site in Grimsby

Bradford, England, 2015-1-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Less than three years after Morrisons opened its first fish manufacturing site in Grimsby the retailer is acquiring a nearby site, doubling its fish processing capability and creating new jobs.

Morrisons has agreed a deal to take over the former Kerry Foods site, which has been empty since 2012.

Morrisons currently produces 250 tonnes of fish a week through its existing site. The purchase of the new facility will streamline and bring efficiencies to Morrisons processing as the space will form part of new packing, chilling and filleting divisions.

The current site stands at 35,000sqft, the acquisition of the second site will increase the space to cover more than 120,000sqft.

Mark Harrison, Group Manufacturing Director, said: “Due to the success of our first site and the growing demand for fresh fish from our customers we are expanding our entire seafood manufacturing operation.

“Not only will we be able to supply a wider product range but we’ll also be increasing the number of skilled jobs available in the local area. The new space will mean we can manage the entire process of preparing fish ourselves and because that’s efficient we’ll be able to offer even better value to our customers.”

In addition to the two sites in Grimsby, Morrisons also opened a facility in 2014 at the Humberside Seafood Institute to service the supermarkets growing online and convenience services.

Media contact

For all media enquiries call
0845 611 5111
Available 24 hours

Whole Foods Market to open Streeterville, DePaul, West Loop and Edgewater stores in Chicago by May

Streeterville, DePaul, West Loop and Edgewater locations the first of seven by year-end

Chicago, 2015-1-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market plans to open four stores in the city of Chicago, with the first in Streeterville on Jan. 28, followed closely by stores in Lincoln Park near DePaul University (February 25), the West Loop (March 25) and Edgewater (April 29).

“Whole Foods Market loves Chicago, and we know that the community has been hungry for these stores to reopen for some time,” said Michael Bashaw, president of Whole Foods Market’s Midwest Region. “We took the time to design and build a brand new store for each community that would offer not just a full-service grocery, but also a place to meet friends and share each other’s company. After the communities come to know these stores, I believe they’ll feel the wait was worth it!”

The Streeterville store is the first former Dominick’s location to open as a Whole Foods Market. It will feature a variety of new prepared foods and beverage venues as well as classic Whole Foods Market options. These features include an in-store venue with products from Chicago’s own local raw and vegan foods restaurant RAW, a 12-tap barroom, a coffee bar and wine room, a Ramen station and an apothecary-style Whole Body department.

On opening day, Whole Foods Market will host a bread-breaking ceremony with Whole Foods Market Team Members and Streeterville neighbors at 8:45 a.m., followed by food samples, entertainment, and gift cards for the first 500 customers.  Doors will open at 9a.m. Whole Foods Market officials will be available for interviews for 20 minutes after the bread-breaking ceremony.

Whole Foods Market’s dedication to quality and service extends beyond the brick and mortar of the store.

“Whole Foods Market is committed to the local communities that we serve,” Bashaw said. “We’ve worked with local organizations long before we open our doors and look forward to continuing supporting the community through the coming years.”

Whole Foods Market’s Streeterville store will also empower team members and customers to support local causes. In celebration of opening week, the store will hold five “Days of Community Giving,” in which 1 percent of each day’s net sales will go toward Chicago-based organizations, including Lookingglass Theatre, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago Parks Foundation, Active Transportation Alliance, and Best Buddies.

Whole Foods Market’s One Dime at a Time program provides an incentive to customers who bring their own shopping bags and help develop stronger communities through a small donation.  At the register, shoppers will have the option to receive a 10-cent-per-bag refund as cash back off their receipt, or to donate it to that month’s selected charity organization. Whole Foods Market Streeterville’s first One Dime at a Time recipient will be Lurie’s Children’s Hospital.

Later in 2015, Whole Foods will open suburban locations in Evanston, Willowbrook and Elmhurst, Illinois. Additionally, Whole Foods Market expects to open two more Chicago stores —in the Englewood and Hyde Park neighborhoods— by the end of 2016..
STORES AT A GLANCE

DEPAUL
Square feet: Over 29,000
Open: Feb. 25, 2015
Address: 959 West Fullerton
Highlights:
• Neapolitan style pizza
• Cuban inspired taqueria
• Sandwich bar
• Hot bar and salad Bar
• Walk-up window for coffee

WEST LOOP
Square feet: Over 42,000
Open: March 25, 2015
Address: 1 North Halsted
Highlights:
• Made-to-order individual pizzas
• In-house pita bread station
• Local Baklava from Atopolis in bakery
• Mediterranean fare-chick shwarma and fresh falafel
• Red Star Bar – 24 taps on draft with a large whiskey selection

EDGEWATER
Square feet: Over 54,000
Open: April 29, 2015
Address: 6009 North Broadway
Highlights:
• Wood-fired grill
• Ramen station
• Naan and pita bread station- made in house
• Scratch bakery
• Cut-to-order pasta station with fresh specialty cheese
• Red Star Bar
• Wine bar
• Pickle bar

HIRING INFORMATION
Team members: Hiring 100 to 150 team members for each new location.

 

Toys“R”Us® announced its 10th “Great Trade-In” event from January 23 through February 21

Highly Anticipated Event Returns to Babies“R”Us® and Toys“R”Us® Stores Nationwide from Friday, January 23 through Saturday, February 21 to Provide Shoppers the Opportunity to Remove Recalled or Outdated Baby Products from Homes; More Than 1.1 Million Used and Potentially Unsafe Products Removed from the Marketplace Since the Program’s Inception

WAYNE, NJ, 2015-1-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us® today announced its 10th “Great Trade-In” event, issuing its latest call to action for customers to rid their homes of potentially unsafe, old and second-hand cribs, high chairs, car seats,strollers and more, in exchange for savings on a new item. Since 2009, the company’s Great Trade-In event has resulted in the removal of more than 1.1 million pieces from the marketplace. That number will continue to grow during its latest event, which begins Friday, January 23 and continues through Saturday, February 21 at Babies“R”Us and Toys“R”Us stores across the country.

As many safety standards have changed significantly over the course of the past six years, numerous older products can be deemed non-compliant in accordance to today’s more stringent requirements. Since August 2009, products traded in as part of this national safety program were missing parts, damaged, or others, that were decades old, showed obvious signs of wear and tear. Through the Great Trade-In, Toys“R”Us continues to raise awareness among parents and caregivers about ways to be proactive where children’s safety is concerned.

Over the duration of the Great Trade-In event, stores will accept any used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, high chairs, infant swings, bouncers, travel systems, walkers, entertainers and play yards, in exchange for 25% savings on the purchase of a new baby item, in any of these product categories. There is no limit to the number of items a customer can trade in*. In addition, consumers who do not have items to trade in will receive 15% off a new gear or furniture item with an in-store only coupon available on Babiesrus.com/GreatTradeIn**.

“The Great Trade-In was conceived to bring attention to the dangers associated with potentially unsafe used items in circulation, and we’re proud this program has to-date helped remove more than 1 million items from the marketplace,” said Hank Mullany, President, Toys“R”Us, U.S. “One of our most important responsibilities as a company is to help parents keep kids safe, and we look forward to once again hosting this popular event in our stores to encourage families to turn in old products in exchange for new ones in-line with today’s safety standards.”

Brands participating in the Great Trade-In event include Britax®, Chicco®, Safety 1st®, Graco®, SorelleTM, Evenflo®and more. Customers may exchange any number of used items, from any manufacturer, in the specified product categories. Daycare centers or other organizations that wish to exchange items in bulk are encouraged to contact their local Babies“R”Us or Toys“R”Us store prior to returning their used items to ensure adequate availability of new merchandise.

Those who participate in this highly anticipated Babies“R”Us event are encouraged to engage in the conversation on social media using #BRUGreatTradeIn.

Additional Safety Resources for Parents and Caregivers

In addition to the Great Trade-In event, Toys“R”Us offers the following resources to help parents and caregivers keep their children safe:

  • Toysrus.com/Safety, the company’s dedicated Safety website, features information on the company’s industry-leading safety standards for products sold through its stores and websites, seasonal tips for preventing accidental injury and product recall information.
  • Recall notifications sent via email by signing up through Toysrus.com/Safety.
  • Current recall information is posted on easily visible Safety boards at each store location.
  • Tools and resources for parents to keep track of the products in use in their homes with a Product Record List and Eight Steps to Keep Kids Safe checklist is available online at Toysrus.com/Safety and in-stores upon request. These tools are designed to make relevant product information readily available in the event of a recall so parents and caregivers can act quickly to remove unsafe products from use.

For more information on the Great Trade-In event, customers can visit Babiesrus.com/GreatTradeIn.

*One coupon per trade in. Cannot be combined with any other “R”Us offer for same item or on prior purchase. Visit Babiesrus.com/GreatTradeIn for complete details.
**Trade in offer and 15% coupon offer available in-store only. Must be regular priced item. Some trade in and 15% coupon exclusions apply.

About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 893 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam, and in more than 735 international stores and over 210 licensed stores in 36 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com, eToys.com and FAO.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys“R”Us, Inc. employs approximately 70,000 associates annually worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys“R”Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys“R”Us, Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus, Facebook.com/Babiesrus and Facebook.com/FAO and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus and Twitter.com/Babiesrus.

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Media Contact:
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Linda Connors
973-617-4398
Linda.Connors@toysrus.com

The impact of theft on UK retailers reached its highest level in decade according to this year’s BRC Retail Crime Survey

LONDON, 2015-1-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — The impact of theft on UK retailers has reached its highest level in a decade according to this year’s BRC Retail Crime Survey, released today. The average value of each theft in-store increased by 36 per cent to £241 per incident, helping to push the direct cost of retail crime up to £603m in 2013-14.

The vast majority of respondents also reported suffering increasing levels of fraud, most of which is now committed online. Retailers warned that they expect fraud to pose the single most significant threat to their business over the next two years.

These trends are thought to be, in part, a consequence of retailers being targeted by more organised, sophisticated criminals. The BRC has recommended that dedicated strategies to tackle business crime need to be developed by police around the country, in close partnership with businesses. A fundamental part of this approach is ensuring that data on business crime is properly collected and analysed by police, so that it can be used to inform operational activity.

Helen Dickinson, Director General of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Criminal activity against UK retailers continues to have wide-ranging consequences for businesses, employees and the vast majority of honest shoppers. The average cost to retailers of theft has now reached £241 per incident, the highest in a decade. Fraud committed online also continues to rise.

“It is clear that retailers are facing an increasingly sophisticated criminal. Despite an average investment of £2m per business in crime and loss prevention, retailers need help and support to respond to the threat. Police and Crime Commissioners should follow the lead set by the Mayor of London and work with retailers to develop dedicated business crime strategies to help tackle this growing problem.”

BRC Retail Crime Survey 2014: Key findings
– There were an estimated 3m offences against UK retailers in 2013-14, directly adding £603m to retailers’ costs.
– Although the volume of shop theft offences declined by 4 per cent, the average value of each incident increased from £177 to £241.
– Fraud increased by 12 per cent in 2013-14 and accounts for 37 per cent of the total cost of retail crime.
– Retailers report that cyber attacks pose a critical threat to their business.
– There were 32 incidents of violence and abuse per 1,000 employees in 2013-14.

For media enquiries, please contact Laura Blumenthal, Communications Assistant on 0207 854 8924, laura.blumenthal@brc.org.uk

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP.
020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

The National Retail Federation expressed disappointment at the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on swipe fees

WASHINGTON, 2015-1-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today expressed disappointment at the U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement that it would not review an appellate court ruling on whether the Federal Reserve set a 2011 cap on debit card swipe fees higher than the level sought by Congress in legislation passed the year before.

“The court’s decision is disappointing because it leaves merchants and their customers paying far more than intended by Congress,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “Federal agencies have flexibility in implementing our nation’s laws, but do not have the discretion to blatantly ignore the wishes of elected officials and the clear language of the statute. The court’s ruling means retailers will keep paying billions of dollars more than they should, and that fee-hungry banks will continue to rake in unearned profits that ultimately come out of consumers’ pockets. We will continue to press the issue.”

“Banks will benefit from this ruling but the battle over swipe fees isn’t over,” Duncan said. “There is still litigation pending on credit card swipe fees, and policymakers continue to be concerned by the anti-consumer and anti-competitive practices of the card industry.”

The court today turned down a petition asking the justices to review the case. The petition was filed in August by NRF, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Restaurant Association, NRF member Boscov’s Department Store, and NACS member Miller Oil Co., all of whom were plaintiffs in the original lawsuit.

Under the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act of 2010, the Federal Reserve was required to adopt regulations that would result in debit swipe fees that were “reasonable and proportional” to the actual cost of processing a transaction. Incremental costs of authorizing, clearing and settling each transaction were allowed to be considered but fixed costs were not. Federal Reserve staff calculated the average incremental cost at 4 cents per transaction and initially proposed a cap no higher than 12 cents, but the Federal Reserve Board of Governors eventually settled on 21 cents after heavy lobbying from the financial services industry.

While lower than the average of 45 cents before the cap was set, NRF argued that the 21-cent figure included costs that went beyond those allowed under the legislation and filed suit against the Fed in U.S. District Court in 2011 along with other retail groups. In July 2013, Judge Richard Leon ruled in NRF’s favor and ordered the Fed to recalculate the cap at a lower level, but the Fed appealed. In March 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned Leon’s ruling, citing “ambiguity” in the 2010 law and saying the Fed based the cap on a “reasonable interpretation” of the measure.

Last August’s petition argued that the Circuit Court made a number of legal errors and “bent over backward to find ambiguity” in Dodd-Frank while ignoring the ‘text, structure and purpose” of the law.

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. www.nrf.com

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J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Sainsbury’s pioneered new technology to power its fridges in its Portishead store with a new natural product produced entirely from waste

LONDON, 2015-1-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s has pioneered new technology to power its fridges in its Portishead store with a new natural product – that’s produced entirely from waste.

eCO2 is made from waste sugar beet in the UK by the manufacturers that supply Sainsbury’s supermarkets with sugar.

The new CO2 natural refrigerant from A-Gas – eCO2 – is the first high specification Carbon Dioxide refrigerant to be produced sustainably in the UK and is a product that can make a significant difference in cutting a store’s carbon footprint.

Typically, more than 40 per cent of a supermarket’s energy consumption is directly linked to its refrigeration systems. Natural refrigerants, like CO2, are becoming a popular option as stores look to reduce their carbon footprint.

Following successful trials with Sainsbury’s, A-Gas has now extended this service to the rest of the industry. A-Gas provides customers with a suitably-rated cylinder in which they can supply a liquid sample from the refrigeration system. This is returned to A-Gas where it is tested at its state of the art laboratory.

The growth in the popularity of natural refrigerants will be further enhanced by the  uncertainty for future strengthening of the F-Gas legislation in the coming years; which will see the phasing out of HFC refrigerants with a high Global Warming Potential (GWP).

Sainsbury’s is looking to reduce operational Carbon emissions by 30% absolute and 65% relative compared to 2005; and at Portishead the supermarket group believes eCO2 is a refrigerant which can make an important contribution to this.

A-Gas Operations Manager Rob Parker said: “The X Factor for eCO2 is the sustainable way it’s produced.

“Most CO2 refrigerants are recovered from dirty industrial processes which are far from green in their methods. eCO2 is a by-product of bioethanol production from waste sugar beet – using crops not destined for sugar production.

“This is a first for A-Gas and the UK market, as a CO2 refrigerant produced from waste sugar beet has never been on sale before on a commercial basis.”

Sainsbury’s Head of Refrigeration John Skelton said: “We wanted to use eCO2 to reduce our carbon footprint. A supermarket refrigeration system operates 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, so it has to be extremely reliable. Having the right refrigerant plays an important part in this.”

Little Story: Postive Waste
Put all waste to positive use.

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Sainsbury’s pioneered new technology to power its fridges in its Portishead store with a new natural product produced entirely from waste

Sainsbury’s pioneered new technology to power its fridges in its Portishead store with a new natural product produced entirely from waste

Sainsbury’s becomes the first major supermarket to launch Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified cod on their café menu

LONDON, 2015-1-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s is the first major supermarket to launch Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified cod on their café menu. As the leading retailer for sustainable seafood, this adds to the 150 Sainsbury’s products that carry the MSC logo and have been sourced from sustainable fisheries.

Hand battered cod and chips is on menu at 277 of the retailer’s in-store cafes. Our cod is caught in the North East Atlantic by Icelandic and Norwegian boats. The fisheries are not only sustainable by helping supply fish for future generations, but also help to support local communities in remote areas.

Ally Dingwall, Sainsbury’s Aquaculture & Fisheries Manager said: “We’re proud to have the largest range of fish products to carry the MSC logo, whether you’re buying basics fish fingers or Taste the Difference prawns. This move in our cafes is a great step towards strengthening our position as the leading retailer for sustainable seafood.”

Toby Middleton, Senior Country Manager at MSC said: “This is yet another innovative market first for Sainsbury’s, not just for the UK but globally, as the world’s first supermarket ro offer MSC certified seafood in their cafés. It demonstrates their seriousness to have all the seafood they sell independently certified by 2020. I wholeheartedly congratulate them for this latest step on that journey.”

Sainsbury’s was the winner of the MSC Fish Retailer of the Year 2014, the awards were in part to celebrate the 15th anniversary of MSC. The accolade is for the supermarket with the largest number of MSC labelled products across store. With 150 MSC product lines, Sainsbury’s was the clear winner demonstrating a commitment to MSC certified seafood across all fish categories. More than 1 in 4 MSC products sold last year were from Sainsbury’s by volume.

Little Story: Gone Fishin’

All our tuna is pole and line caught, which reduces the number of animals caught unintentionally and is also good for the environment.

Notes to editors

  • Sainsbury’s is the largest retailer of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable fish in the UK for the fourth year running. We sell over 150 products carrying the MSC logo, including on fish counters and in ready meals
  • Sainsbury’s has been rated Number 1 by Greenpeace for the responsible sourcing of canned tuna in 2008 and again in 2011
  • All of Sainsbury’s own brand canned tuna and all own brand canned tuna in further processed foods (i.e. sandwiches, sushi and ready meals) is pole and line caught
  • In 2008, Sainsbury’s launched its responsibly sourced salmon which is specially reared on RSPCA Freedom Food approved farms on the West Coast and Islands of Scotland. We are also the biggest retailer of Freedom Food fish in the UK
  • We are joint first in the MCS Supermarket survey for our long-term commitment to seafood sustainability
  • We were the first major retailer in the UK to launch Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified River Cobbler. Farmed in South East Asia, this white fish is a step towards providing a more responsibly farmed alternative fish in the supermarket

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Sainsbury’s becomes the first major supermarket to launch Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified cod on their café menu

Sainsbury’s becomes the first major supermarket to launch Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified cod on their café menu

Conrad Williams will captain GB & NI team that also includes World Indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match on 24 January

LONDON, 2015-1-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Conrad Williams (coach: Linford Christie) will captain a GB & NI team that also includes World Indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty (Christie) at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match on Saturday 24 January.

Also lining up as part of a strong GB & NI team is former world junior silver medallist Jessica Judd (George Gandy) in the 1500m, 2008 World Indoor long jump silver medallist Chris Tomlinson (Ken Tomlinson), Commonwealth Games pole vault silver medallist Luke Cutts (Trevor Fox) and World Junior bronze medallist David Omoregie (Mike Guest) in the 60m hurdles, one of six GB & NI senior debutants.

Williams, who has represented GB & NI at Olympic Games, World Championships and European Championships, will compete in an individual 400m indoors for the first time in three years and is excited to lead out his country at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match.

He said: “It’s a real honour to captain the GB & NI team for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match. I was surprised but delighted when Stephen Maguire asked me, it has been a goal of mine to captain a team. I love representing my country and it doesn’t get much better than being made captain. I’m so chuffed and I’m looking forward to leading the team and performing well on the track in Glasgow in both the 400m and 4x400m.”

Kilty, who won World Indoor 60m gold in a thrilling race with a personal best of 6.49 last March, will compete indoors for the first time since his triumph in Poland.

He said: “To be at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match as world champion is really exciting. This is my first race back as world champion and I’m really excited to get back to Great Britain and perform. I’m pretty nervous to get out there, I haven’t competed for about four months. I’m sure the crowd will get behind me so I can run a pretty quick time and put in a good performance.”

British Athletics’ Performance Director Neil Black said: “Coming at the start of the indoor season, the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match is important for hitting the ground running and getting the year off to a good start. It’s great to see six new faces in the GB & NI team and with three of them being teenagers it shows that we have some excellent young talent coming through.”

Full GB & NI team for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match:

MEN

  • 60m: Richard Kilty
  • 400m: Conrad Williams (Linford Christie) (captain)
  • 800m: James Bowness (William Parker)
  • 1500m: Stephen Mitchell (James Thie)
  • 60m H: David Omoregie (Mike Guest)
  • High jump: Chris Kandu (Fuzz Ahmed)
  • Pole vault: Luke Cutts (Trevor Fox)
  • Long jump: Chris Tomlinson (Ken Tomlinson)
  • 4x400m: Williams, Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams), Richard Buck (Nick Dakin), Elliot Rutter (Dan Cossins), Jarryd Dunn (Keith Holt)

WOMEN

  • 60m: Rachel Johncock (Leon Baptiste)
  • 400m: Kelly Massey (Stephen Ball)
  • 800m: Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Ayo Falola)
  • 1500m: Jessica Judd (George Gandy)
  • 60m H: Serita Solomon (Michelle Bovell)
  • Long jump: Jazmin Sawyers (Alan Lerwill)
  • 4x400m: Massey, Seren Bundy-Davies (Ball), Emily Diamond (Cossins), Victoria Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan)

For tickets to the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix visit britishathletics.org.uk. Sainsbury’s is proud to be a long-term supporter of British Athletics and a champion of inclusive sport for all, from grassroots to elite level.

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Conrad Williams will captain GB & NI team that also includes World Indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match on 24 January

Conrad Williams will captain GB & NI team that also includes World Indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match on 24 January

Kesko is the fourth most important Finnish company in terms of economic welfare according to the Prime Minister’s Office reports

Helsinki, Finland, 2015-1-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Kesko, established in 1940, has played a significant role in the development of Finnish society as a whole. Today Kesko is the fourth most important Finnish company in terms of economic welfare.

According to the recent report published by the Prime Minister’s Office, Kesko is the fourth most important Finnish company in terms of economic welfare. Kesko’s direct impact on the gross domestic product of Finland is nearly one percent. When multiplier impacts of domestic product purchases, transportation and other service acquisitions are taken into account, Kesko’s total significance rises to several percent.

President and CEO Mikko Helander opened the Day of Commerce anniversary seminar organised to celebrate the special year in Helsinki today. Helander said that Kesko’s story of 75 years is linked to the whole country’s history and its turning points in many ways.

Kesko was established after the Winter War in the autumn of 1940. A period of strong reconstruction of society and fast development in the trading sector began after the war. Kesko and K-retailers played a significant role in the reconstruction of our society creating the basis for the success story of the K-Group which has now lasted for several decades.

“We build our success story in cooperation with our partners. The strong Finnish retailing sector provides the basis for a successful food industry, which is a prerequisite for domestic agriculture,” Helander said.

Kesko published today a capital expenditure of €100 million in Itäkeskus. Kesko will build a new and modern shopping centre in the area of the current K-citymarket in Itäkeskus, eastern Helsinki. The centre, to be built phase by phase, will have a special focus on food, enjoyable leisure time and encounters. The plan of the area also enables housing construction. The first phase of the shopping centre will be completed at the end of 2017.

Kesko’s Day of Commerce seminar was organised for the 18th time. The event was attended by more than 700 key people representing trade and industry.

Further information available from Vice President Merja Haverinen, Group Communications, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 10 53 22764.

Kesko (www.kesko.fi) 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.

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Starbucks launches Powermat wireless charging zones in ten central London Starbucks® stores

LONDON, 2015-1-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks is launching Powermat wireless charging zones in ten central London Starbucks® stores, the first on the high street to offer this technology. Customers simply collect a ‘Ring’ at the till point, connect it to their phone and place their device on tables and counters that have Powermat wireless charging technology built in – clearly marked with a circular ‘Spot’.

According to research, 92 percent of people in the UK experience varying levels of stress if their smartphone battery runs out of power(1). This wireless charging deployment is part of Starbucks continued commitment to investing in digital innovations that improve its customers’ overall in-store experience. Having introduced free Wi-Fi to all UK customers in 2011, Starbucks now hopes to do for wireless power what it did for wireless data: solve a real problem for customers.

“We have always tried to anticipate our customers’ needs and innovate with technology to provide even more convenience,” said Ian Cranna, vp marketing & category, Starbucks EMEA. “Our partnership with Powermat demonstrates Starbucks response to an increasing need to stay connected whilst on the go. We’re delighted to be the first to launch Powermat wireless charging in ten London stores and look forward to customers being able to charge their phones wirelessly in many more stores soon.”

“We are excited to bring Powermat wireless charging to the UK on the heels of our very successful rollout in the San Francisco market,” said Carlo Chiarello, Chief Solutions Officer, Powermat. “As Powermat continues to deploy wireless charging across the United States and expands beyond US borders, Starbucks customers are among the first to benefit from this new convenience and added value.”

The initial ten installations will be available in the following central London stores by the end of January 2015: Princes Street, Kingsway, Wardour Street, Pentonville Road, Harewood Place, Berkeley Street, Great Portland Street, Moorgate, Fleet Street, and Euston Tower. The ‘Powermat Spots’ are wirelessly connected to the Powermat-Network Cloud, providing real-time health monitoring of each Spot and venue, as well as online feedback from the Cloud to the Spots, allowing for immediate monitoring and attention when needed.

For more information on wireless charging in the UK contact:

ukpressoffice@starbucks.com

Starbucks@3-monkeys.co.uk 

Scott.Eisenstein@Powermat.com

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, the company 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 us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.com and www.news.starbucks.com.

About Duracell Powermat
Duracell Powermat is the joint venture between Procter & Gamble’s Duracell brand and Powermat Technologies. Duracell Powermat provides real-life power solutions for consumers both at-home and on-the-go at select retailers and at www.duracellpowermat.com. As part of the Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG), Duracell has been powering people around the world for more than 40 years. Powermat Technologies is a pioneer and leader of the wireless power industry and its technology forms the basis of the open standard set by the PMA – the platform of choice for such global leaders as AT&T, DuPont, Duracell, General Motors and Starbucks. To learn more please visit www.powermat.com.

(1) Telegraph UK technology news

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

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Starbucks launches Powermat wireless charging zones in ten central London Starbucks® stores

Starbucks launches Powermat wireless charging zones in ten central London Starbucks® stores

BRC/SPRINGBOARD FOOTFALL MONITOR DECEMBER 2014: Footfall in December 0.7% down on a year ago

LONDON, 2015-1-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Footfall in December was 0.7% down on a year ago, up on the 2.4% fall in November and below the three-month average of a 1.3% decline. Out-of-Town reported the only rise, 1.3% higher than a year ago and has experienced positive footfall growth for every month in 2014. Footfall in shopping centres was 0.1% down on the previous year for December. This is be lowest fall in footfall since Jan-14. All regions and countries with the exception of South East (3.4%), East (2.2%), Scotland (1.6%) and Northern Ireland (1.4%) reported declining footfall.

BRC Director General, Helen Dickinson, said: “A decline of 1.8 per cent in the number of high street shoppers might not at first glance look like great news for retailers but it’s heartening to see the pace of decline in High Street footfall slowing so dramatically from November to December. This is undoubtedly a result of the continuing changes in the way we all prefer to shop. It’s worth noting that fewer shoppers doesn’t necessarily equal poorer sales – in fact, we know that sales have been strong across the Christmas period. This tells us that retailers are getting to grips with the way people’s shopping habits are changing and using methods like click-and-collect to drive internet traffic toward physical stores while, at the same time, targeting discounts to encourage higher sales. What we are seeing currently is the online and physical retailing finding out how they best fit together in the new multi-channel world.”

Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at Springboard, said: “Footfall across the UK in December belied the prevailing furore over the impact on bricks and mortar stores of both Black Friday and the move to online shopping, with just a modest drop of 0.7 per cent from December 2013. Retail Parks finished the year as they began with an increase in footfall, albeit that the increase in footfall in out of town locations has been on a downward trajectory since the largest rise of 5.7 per cent was recorded in January. The most positive result, however, is that footfall in both high streets and shopping centres is in an improved position compared with both November and with December last year. Indeed, the drop in high street footfall of 1.8 per cent is half the decline recorded in December 2013, and the 0.1 per cent drop in shopping centres is both a significant improvement on the 1.5 per cent recorded in December last year and the most modest decrease of any month this year.

“Whilst online shopping becomes ever more mature, and shoppers are increasingly demanding in terms of choice and flexibility to buy, the improved footfall position of our retail destinations in what is our peak trading period of the year indicates that online is driving activity back into bricks and mortar stores. As yet it is inconclusive as to the relative influence of showrooming and click and collect in the omni-channel experience, but what is clear is that if retailers want shoppers to continue to visit their stores then ever more investment is required to deliver the heightened shopping experience that is now demanded.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP.
020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

Majority of Americans are optimistic about the economy thanks to the continuing slide in gas prices, NACS survey

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-1-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the first time in two years, a majority of Americans are optimistic about the economy, thanks to the continuing slide in gas prices. A survey of gas consumers found that 57% of Americans are optimistic, including nearly two-thirds (65%) of those ages 18-34.

The levels of consumer optimism are the highest measured in the more than two years that consumer sentiment has been measured by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). Consumers are obviously pleased with the continued falling price of gasoline. Almost nine in ten consumers (88%) say gas prices are lower today than they were last month, and they report that gas prices are 50 cents per gallon lower than they were 30 days ago.

Looking forward, consumers are evenly split about where gas prices will go from here. Nearly one in three (31%) say gas prices will be lower next month, which also is the largest percentage recorded. However, an equal number (31%) expect gas prices to go up over the next month. There is an interesting regional split when it comes to expectations of price: those in the Northeast are more likely to expect gas prices to fall (37% expect prices to go down vs. 21% who expect prices to go up), while those in the Midwest expect gas prices to go up (43% expect prices to go up versus 22% who expect prices to go down).

It remains to be seen if lower gas prices will result in more spending or driving. One in four consumers (24%) say that they will drive more this month, significantly higher than the 19% who said so each of the previous three months. However, only 16% of consumers say that they will spend more (excluding gas purchases) this month, while 25% say that they will spend less.

“Consumers generally pay down expenses in January after holiday spending so it’s not surprising that they may not shop more as gas prices fall. But if consumers do, in fact, travel more this month it would be a significant departure from previous years when January travel tended to fall off after the holidays and as winter weather keeps people indoors more,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS’ vice president of strategic initiatives.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts the monthly consumer sentiment survey to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC; 1,108 gas consumers were surveyed Jan. 6-8, 2015. Summary results are at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

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

Anna Ready appointed director government relations at NACS

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-1-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Anna Ready has joined NACS as director, government relations.  Ready will be lobbying and assisting in the continued success of NACS political engagement and grassroots initiatives.

Ready previously served as vice president of Sentinel Strategic Advisors, where she oversaw a vast client portfolio and focused on PAC development and grassroots political engagement. She previously worked for the Gula Graham Group, one of the largest D.C.-based fundraising firms, and on Capitol Hill in the offices of Congressman Trey Gowdy (SC-4) and Congressman Gresham Barrett (SC-3).

Ready graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science from Furman University in South Carolina.

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

Ashley Short appointed member services coordinator at NACS

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

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

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

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

Latest ICSC Consumer Survey Examines Gasoline Impact Going Forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toys“R”Us annual nationwide fundraising campaign to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation raised $6.4 million and collected 220,000 toys

Additionally, Shaquille O’Neal (a.k.a. Shaq-A-Claus) Rallied Toys“R”Us Customers to #PlayItForward Across the Country, Delivering More Than 220,000 Toys to Kids in Need this Holiday Season

Wayne, NJ, 2015-1-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us® today announced that its annual nationwide fundraising campaign to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was its most successful to date, raising $6.4 million and collecting more than 220,000 toys, helping bring holiday joy to kids in need across the U.S. During the 2014 campaign, customers helped make Christmas a little merrier by donating new, unwrapped toys at Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores nationwide through monetary contributions made in stores and online at Toysrus.com/ToysforTots.

“The record-breaking success of this year’s campaign illustrates the true generosity of our customers and the passion our employees have for making kids’ holiday dreams a reality through our partnership with Toys for Tots,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund. “We are once again honored to assist the organization in creating a magical experience for some of the 14.7 million children living in poverty in the U.S who may have otherwise gone without a toy to open on Christmas morning.”

As part of this year’s campaign, NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal (a.k.a Shaq-A-Claus) and Toys“R”Us encouraged customers to participate in the #PlayItForward Challenge by taking and sharing the ultimate “un-selfie” – a photo of themselves donating a toy to Toys for Tots at Toys“R”Us stores. For each selfie shared using the dedicated hashtag, Toys“R”Us donated a toy (or the equivalent cash value) to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. As a result, hundreds of big-hearted kids and families participated by posting their #PlayItForward selfies across social media, helping provide even more children with toys on Christmas.

And, on #GivingTuesday, a global event and social media movement dedicated to giving back that took place on Tuesday, December 2, Toys“R”Us donated two toys to Toys for Tots for every donation selfie posted on social media using #PlayItForward.

“For the past six years, I have been proud to partner with Toys“R”Us and inspired by the millions of helpers who have joined us in our efforts to bring joy to families in need during the holidays through Toys for Tots,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “This year, I came with a mission to #PlayItForward and raise even more funds and toys for kids in need, and I am thrilled to officially declare, mission accomplished! I want to send a Shaq-mongous thank you to everyone who participated in the Challenge – with your help, we were able to make the holidays a little brighter for so many.”

Additionally, hundreds of online shoppers purchased and donated toys from The Great Big Shaq-A-Claus Wish List, which were shipped directly to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to be distributed to children this holiday season.

As the largest retail partner in the history of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Toys“R”Us has now raised over $41.9 million and collected more than 4 million toys since the partnership began in 2004. To kick off this year’s campaign, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys“R”Us, Inc., provided a $225,000 grant to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. The Shaq-A-Claus #PlayItForward Challenge was also supported by the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund.

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.

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Media Contacts:
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Nicole Hayes
973-617-4371
Nicole.Hayes@toysrus.com

Jessica Offerjost
973-617-4766
Jessica.Offerjost@toysrus.com

Whole Foods Market announces the opening of its eighth Manhattan store on the Upper East Side at East 87th Street on February 18th

New York, NY, 2015-1-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) is excited to announce the opening of its eighth Manhattan store on the Upper East Side at East 87th Street (1551 3rd Avenue) on Wednesday, February 18th. The 39,000 square foot grocery store will be a community destination, offering Upper East Side residents a full range of high-quality natural and organic foods. Opening day will start with the company’s traditional bread breaking ceremony followed by an array of sampling opportunities and giveaways.

For additional information and exciting announcements about Whole Foods Market East 87th Street, please visit the store’s social media channels:

Facebook – facebook.com/wholefoodsnyc

Twitter and Instagram– @WholeFoodsNYC

 

Customers can also choose to shop at Whole Foods Market online through Instacart, with delivery in as little as one hour.

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About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company’s motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 78,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 17 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of $12.9 billion and currently has more than 380 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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Earn AIR MILES reward miles at Sobeys, Sobeys Urban Fresh and Foodland stores in Ontario

Sobeys first national grocer to offer AIR MILES Reward Program across Canada 

STELLARTON, NS, 2015-1-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sobeys and LoyaltyOne, Co., owner and operator of the AIR MILES® Reward Program, are expanding their relationship in the province of Ontario. Beginning March 27, 2015, shoppers will be able to earn AIR MILES reward miles at Sobeys, Sobeys Urban Fresh and Foodland stores in Ontario. The expansion also includes the launch of the AIR MILES program’s instant redemption feature, AIR MILES Cash, for in-store savings at the check-out.

With the launch of the AIR MILES Reward Program in Ontario, Sobeys will become the loyalty program’s first Canadian grocery Sponsor to issue reward miles across Canada.

This expansion follows the September 2014 launch of the AIR MILES Reward Program in Sobeys Western Canadian banners including Sobeys, IGA, Thrifty Foods and Edgemont Market, and Sobeys Liquor, while continuing the partnership with Safeway and Safeway Wine and Spirits stores. AIR MILES Cash launched in Safeway and Safeway Wine and Spirit stores in November 2014. In Quebec, IGA, IGA extra, Marché Bonichoix, Les Marchés Tradition and Rachelle-Béry continue to offer the AIR MILES reward program.

Customers also continue to collect reward miles at Sobeys, Foodland and Lawtons Drugs in Atlantic Canada.

“Our customers have responded very positively to the AIR MILES Program in other provinces, and we are looking forward to adding the same value to our customers’ shopping experience in Ontario,” says Marc Poulin, president and chief executive officer, Sobeys Inc. “For the first time, we will have a national rewards program and we are delighted to partner with LoyaltyOne across Canada to provide a more rewarding experience in our stores.”

The Ontario Club Sobeys loyalty program and BMO Club Sobeys MasterCard will transition to the AIR MILES Reward Program in 2015.

The cross-Canada relationship provides Sobeys customers and AIR MILES Collectors the opportunity to earn even more AIR MILES reward miles for their everyday purchases at locations in all 10 provinces.

Collectors can redeem their reward miles for more than 1,200 rewards options, including travel and merchandise in addition to the Program’s instant redemption feature, AIR MILES Cash, which will be available at all Sobeys, Sobeys Urban Fresh and Foodland stores where AIR MILES reward miles are issued.“The expansion of our partnership with Sobeys over the past year, from Atlantic Canada and Quebec to Western Canada and now Ontario, has provided for even more customers to engage with the Program and benefit from its value,” says Andy Wright, president, AIR MILES Reward Program. “We are thrilled to grow and strengthen our long-standing partnership with Sobeys, one of Canada’s leading national grocers.”

Sobeys has been a valued Sponsor in the AIR MILES Reward Program for more than 15 years. Collectors can get more information on nearby Sponsors by visiting www.airmiles.ca.

About Sobeys Inc.
Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians for 107 years. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, and Lawton’s Drug Stores as well as more than 350 retail fuel locations. Sobeys and its franchise affiliates employ more than 125,000 people.

The company’s purpose is to help Canadians Eat Better, Feel Better and Do Better. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at www.sobeyscorporate.com.

About LoyaltyOne Co.
LoyaltyOne is a global leader in the design and implementation of coalition loyalty programs, customer analytics and loyalty services for Fortune 1000 clients around the world. LoyaltyOne’s unparalleled track record delivering sustained business performance improvement for clients stems from its unique combination of hands-on practitioner experience and continuous thought leadership. LoyaltyOne has over 20 years history leveraging data-driven insights to develop and operate some of the world’s most effective loyalty programs and customer-centric solutions. These include the AIR MILES Reward Program, North America’s premier coalition loyalty program; a majority stake in European-based BrandLoyalty, one of the largest and most successful campaign-driven loyalty marketers outside of the Americas; and a working partnership with Latin America’s leading coalition program, dotz. LoyaltyOne is also the owner of COLLOQUY, a group dedicated to research, publishing and education for the global loyalty industry. LoyaltyOne is an Alliance Data company. For more information, visit www.loyalty.com.

About the AIR MILES Reward Program
Founded in 1992, the AIR MILES Reward Program is Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program with more than 10 million active Collector accounts, representing approximately two-thirds of all Canadian households. The AIR MILES Reward Program allows Collectors to earn reward miles simply by doing their everyday shopping at more than 240 leading brand-name Sponsors, representing thousands of retail and service locations across Canada and leading global brands online. The AIR MILES Reward Program also allows Collectors to indulge in more than 1,200 leisure, entertainment, merchandise, travel and a range of accredited, environmentally-friendly lifestyle rewards. With AIR MILES Cash, Collectors can also have the flexibility to instantly redeem their AIR MILES reward miles in-store towards many every day and high value purchases like gas, grocery, drug store items and home improvement purchases at participating Sponsors.

For More Information, Contact:
Sobeys Inc.: 902-752-8371, ext. 8455, cynthia.thompson@sobeys.com
AIR MILES Reward Program Media Office: 416-552-2352, mediaoffice@loyalty.com

Target Corporation declares quarterly dividend of 52 cents per common share

MINNEAPOLIS, 2015-1-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — The board of directors of Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) has declared a quarterly dividend of 52 cents per common share. The dividend is payable March 10, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business February 18, 2015. The 1st quarter dividend will be the company’s 190th consecutive dividend paid since October 1967 when the company became publicly held.

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,934 stores – 1,801 in the United States and 133 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit ABullseyeView.com or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.

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Target Corporation to discontinue operating stores in Canada through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Target Canada Co.

Target Canada takes steps to ensure a fair and orderly exit, seeks Court approval to begin liquidation process under the CCAA Company provides update on fourth quarter performance in the U.S.

MINNEAPOLIS, 2015-1-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) (the “Company”) announces that it plans to discontinue operating stores in Canada through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Target Canada Co. (“Target Canada”). As a part of that process, this morning Target Canada filed an application for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (the “CCAA”) with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) in Toronto (the “Court”).

“When I joined Target, I promised our team and shareholders that I would take a hard look at our business and operations in an effort to improve our performance and transform our company. After a thorough review of our Canadian performance and careful consideration of the implications of all options, we were unable to find a realistic scenario that would get Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021. Personally, this was a very difficult decision, but it was the right decision for our company. With the full support of Target Corporation’s Board of Directors, we have determined that it is in the best interest of our business and our shareholders to exit the Canadian market and focus on driving growth and building further momentum in our U.S. business,” said Brian Cornell, Target Corporation Chairman and CEO.

Target Canada currently has 133 stores across the country and employs approximately 17,600 people. To ensure fair treatment of Target Canada employees, Target Corporation is seeking the Court’s approval to voluntarily make cash contributions of C$70 million (approximately US$59 million) into an Employee Trust. Upon approval by the Court, the proposed trust would provide that nearly all Target Canada-based employees receive a minimum of 16 weeks of compensation, including wages and benefits coverage for employees who are not required for the full wind-down period. Target Canada stores will remain open during the liquidation process.

As part of its application, Target Canada is seeking the appointment of Alvarez & Marsal Canada as Monitor in the CCAA proceedings to oversee the liquidation and wind-down process for Target Canada and its subsidiaries. Subject to Court approval, Target Corporation has committed to provide a US$175 million debtor-in-possession credit facility to finance Target Canada’s operations during the CCAA proceedings. Target Canada is also seeking Court approval to engage Lazard to advise Target Canada in connection with the sale of its real estate assets.

“The Target Canada team has worked tirelessly to improve the fundamentals, fix operations and build a deeper relationship with our guests. We hoped that these efforts in Canada would lead to a successful holiday season, but we did not see the required step-change in our holiday performance,” said Cornell. “There is no doubt that the next several weeks will be difficult, but we will make every effort to handle our exit in an appropriate and orderly way.”

As a result of the CCAA filing, Target Corporation has determined that Target Canada and its subsidiaries will be deconsolidated from Target Corporation’s financial statements as of the date of the filing.  Target Corporation expects to report approximately $5.4 billion of pre-tax losses on discontinued operations in the fourth quarter of 2014, driven primarily by the write-down of the Corporation’s investment in Target Canada, along with costs associated with exit or disposal activities and quarter-to-date Canadian Segment operating losses prior to today’s filing. Target Corporation expects to report approximately $275 million of pre-tax losses on discontinued operations in fiscal 2015.

Target Corporation’s cash costs to discontinue Canadian operations are expected to be $500 million to $600 million, most of which will occur in the Company’s 2015 fiscal year or later. The Company has sufficient resources to fund these expected costs, including cash on hand and ongoing cash generation by its U.S. business.

Target Corporation expects this decision will increase its earnings in fiscal 2015 and beyond, and increase its cash flow in fiscal 2016 and beyond.

As a result of the decision announced today, Target Corporation will operate as a single segment that includes all U.S. operations. Beginning with the Company’s fourth quarter 2014 financial results, Target will report adjusted earnings per share reflecting operating results from its U.S. operations, excluding discontinued Canadian operations, the impact of the reduction of the beneficial interest asset recognized in connection with the 2013 sale of the Company’s U.S. consumer credit card portfolio, net expenses related to the 2013 data breach, and the resolution of certain tax matters.

Target Corporation plans to provide additional information on the financial implications of this announcement in a Form 8-K to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission later today.

Update on expected fourth quarter U.S. performance

Based on performance through November and December, Target Corporation now expects to report fourth quarter 2014 U.S. comparable sales of approximately 3 percent, better than prior guidance of approximately 2 percent, driven primarily by increased traffic and stronger-than-expected digital sales. The Company expects to report fourth quarter adjusted EPS, reflecting results from continuing operations, of $1.43 to $1.47, about 6 cents ahead of expectations for U.S. Segment performance at the beginning of the quarter.

The Company is not able to provide an estimate of its expected fourth quarter 2014 GAAP EPS. However, GAAP results are expected to include:

  • Losses related to liquidation of Target Canada, as described above, net of taxes
  • Net expenses related to the 2013 data breach, which are not expected to be material
  • Impact of the reduction of the beneficial interest asset recognized in connection with the 2013 sale of the Company’s credit card portfolio, which is expected to reduce GAAP EPS by approximately 2 cents

Cornell and John Mulligan, Target Corporation’s Chief Financial Officer, will host a call with investors today, approximately two hours after the conclusion of the Court hearing of the CCAA application. Target Corporation will issue a press release following the Court hearing and post details for the call on target.com/investors under “Upcoming Events and Presentations.”

Miscellaneous

Statements in this release regarding expected earnings and cash flow and other financial impacts of exiting the Company’s Canadian operations, and fourth quarter 2014 sales and adjusted earnings guidance are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements speak only as of the date they are made and are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially. The most important risks and uncertainties include those relating to the consequences of discontinuing Canadian operations and the risks described in Item 1A of the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014, as updated in the Company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended November 1, 2014.

The adjusted earnings per share expectation for fourth quarter 2014 excludes the items identified above.  The Company’s measure of adjusted earnings per share is not in accordance with, or an alternative for, generally accepted accounting principles in the United States.  The most comparable GAAP measure is diluted earnings per share.  Management believes adjusted EPS is useful in providing period-to-period comparisons of the results of the Company’s U.S. operations.  Adjusted EPS should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for an analysis of the Company’s results as reported under GAAP.  Other companies may calculate adjusted EPS differently than the Company does, limiting the usefulness of the measure for comparisons with other companies.

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,934 stores – 1,801 in the United States and 133 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit ABullseyeView.com or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.

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