NACS: six in ten consumers say gas prices will be higher in 30 days

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — After a week of rising gas prices, a majority of consumers think that the good times of falling gas prices are over. Almost six in ten consumers (58%) say gas prices will be higher in 30 days, nearly double the proportion who said so a month ago (31%).

Despite rising gas prices, a majority (54%) of consumers are optimistic about the economy, a drop from 57% in January but still the second highest level since January 2013, according to survey results released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). Men are significantly more optimistic about the economy than women (66% vs. 53%).

Nearly eight in ten (79%) consumers say that gas prices impact their feelings about the economy. Higher gas prices may affect consumer spending, beginning with travel. The percentage of consumers who say that they will drive more over the next 30 days fell from 24% to 20%. However younger consumers, ages 18-34, are still likely to drive more over the next 30 days, with one in three (33%) indicating so.

Consumers are divided whether they will spend more over the next 30 days. One in six (16%) consumers say that they will spend more on consumer goods over the next 30 days, unchanged from the month prior when gas prices bottomed out. Meanwhile, 19% say that they will spend less.

What will consumers do if gas prices continue to climb? The prolonged period of lower gas prices may have changed consumers’ perceptions about what they consider to be “high prices.” Consumers say that a gas price of $3.50 per gallon would be the level that they would consider reducing the amount that they drive. Nationwide, gas prices averaged $3.50 per gallon as recently as August 2014.

“Consumers remain upbeat about the economy, but there are some concerns for retailers over the coming months and gas prices will likely play a central role,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS’ vice president of strategic initiatives. “The recent increase in prices is clearly affecting consumer sentiment even though gas prices are now equal to what they were a month ago.”

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; 1,102 gas consumers were surveyed February 6-8, 2015. Summary results are at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

-###-

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.

Starbucks Mexico donated over 180,000 rust resistant coffee plants to Chiapas coffee farmers through TODOS SEMBRAMOS CAFÉ program

SEATTLE, 2015-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Martiniano Moreno had spent more than 30 years growing coffee on a farm located in the hillsides near the region of La Frailesca in Chiapas, Mexico. It’s a part of the country well known for producing some of the world’s finest Arabica coffee beans.

Moreno’s decades-long experience hadn’t prepared him for the aftermath of rust, or roya in Spanish, a plant fungus that has been devastating coffee harvests across Central America in recent years as a result of challenging growing conditions.

“The rust was destroying our yields, cutting production by 40-60%,” said Moreno, who supports a family of eight. “It was very difficult to watch. Our entire community relies on coffee. It’s who we are. It’s how we take care of our families; our children.”

A recent visit to a nursery near the village of Jaltenango, however, gave him new hope.

Moreno was invited to receive 3,000 new rust resistant coffee plants Starbucks Mexico donated to Chiapas coffee farmers through a program called TODOS SEMBRAMOS CAFÉ (We All Grow Coffee).

He was one of 60 coffee farmers at the nursery when Starbucks handed out the plants. In total, Starbucks Mexico distributed over 180,000 plants that day.

Recognizing the impact that rust was having on farmers’ crops, Starbucks launched TODOS SEMBRAMOS CAFÉ last summer to direct 100% of the profits from whole-bean Shade Grown Mexico Coffee sold in Starbucks® stores in Mexico from June through December 2014 to purchase rust resistant coffee plants for Chiapas coffee growers who need assistance renewing their plots. The program, run in collaboration with Agroindustrias Unidas de México (AMSA), Anacafé (National Association of Coffee) and the Alsea Foundation, is part of Starbucks ongoing, comprehensive commitment to working with others to support coffee farmers around the world.

For Starbucks, this marks an important milestone in a long journey with coffee farmers in Chiapas. While the company has been sourcing coffee from the region for its U.S. and international stores since 2002, it has also been offering Shade Grown Mexico Coffee, grown under the shade of trees in the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve in Chiapas, as its daily “coffee of the day” in all stores in Mexico since 2008. Starbucks serves more than 10 million cups of coffee from Chiapas annually in the country.

“Chiapas is a major producing region of high-quality Arabica coffee,” said Federico Tejado, ceo of Starbucks Mexico. “We have a strong tradition of building long-term relationships with key coffee producers in different parts of the world, with the aim of providing resources and training to improve the quality of their crops and maintain the stability of their lands.”

Starbucks Mexico donated three types of coffee plants to farmers in Chiapas. The varietals are known for generating better yields, higher cup quality, and improved rust resistance – Costa Rica 95, Guacamaya (Macaw) and Marseillas. Farmers have found that by increasing the density of plants per hectare, the coffee trees are revitalized and that increases the crop’s disease resistance, quality and yield.

While the first phase of TODOS SEMBRAMOS CAFÉ has concluded, Starbucks Mexico remains committed to extending the program. In collaboration with agronomists, the company plans to develop a tailored program with each coffee producer and perform periodic visits to assist with plant nutrition, soil analyses, PH reviews and identify possible presence of pests or diseases.

“We want to work closely with these producers to help provide recommendations on maintenance and care for these crops which are expected to begin producing their first coffee beans within 16 months,” said Yedid Gurgua Zambrano, an agronomist at the nursery in Jaltenango, Chiapas.

With this initiative, Starbucks is continuing a long-standing tradition of supporting farmers who grow high-quality Arabica coffee beans. Over the past forty years, the company has invested more than $70 million globally in collaborative farmer programs and activities including C.A.F.E. Practices, farmer support centers, farmer loans and forest carbon projects. Most recently, Starbucks purchased a farm in Costa Rica that will act as a global agronomy center, testing and developing solutions that can significantly impact environmental and social conditions of farming communities.

The research and best practices from this work will be open-sourced in order to inform growing principles around the world.

About Starbucks Mexico
Starbucks Mexico is owned and operated by Alsea, the leading restaurant operator in Latin America and Spain with globally recognized brands in the quick service, coffee shop and casual dining segments. Since entering the market with Alsea in 2002, Starbucks Mexico has grown to 443 stores in 52 cities throughout the country. Today, with stores around the globe, Starbucks Coffee Company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Visit Starbucks Mexico online at http://www.starbucks.com.mx/

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

###

Starbucks Mexico donated over 180,000 rust resistant coffee plants to Chiapas coffee farmers through TODOS SEMBRAMOS CAFÉ program

Starbucks Mexico donated over 180,000 rust resistant coffee plants to Chiapas coffee farmers through TODOS SEMBRAMOS CAFÉ program

Argos: A third of UK renters are losing an average of £300 in deposit money for home improvements

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — A third of UK renters are losing an average of £300 in deposit money from their landlord because they’ve made changes to their accommodation without seeking permission first[1], according to recent research.

The findings, compiled for Heart of House at Argos, also found that 45 per cent of tenants felt more settled in a rented property after putting their own stamp on it[1].

Felicity Gough, Assistant Brand Manager for Heart of House, said: “The last decade has seen the first rise in the number of households renting since 1918[2], so with renting becoming increasingly popular, we wanted to understand more about the challenges faced by people in rental properties to see how we could help.”

The research raises questions about what changes tenants can and can’t make to their rental property. Heart of House has teamed up with television presenter Sophie Robinson to identify ways that tenants can make changes to their rented property without compromising their deposit.

Sophie Robinson said: “If you live in rented accommodation it’s really important that you inject some of your personality and put your own stamp on your place. The good news is that you don’t have to go smashing down walls or ripping up carpets to make changes to your home. With some well-chosen accessories you can easily, quickly and affordably transform any room.”

Bring light into a room – Painting the walls a light colour such as pale blue will make a room feel brighter, but if you can’t use paint, try using a mirror hung opposite a window to reflect natural light around a room. If you’re after something less permanent, try propping a mirror up against a wall or a mantelpiece.

Organising clutter – If you have shelves groaning under the weight of books then it is time to be ruthless and pass on any items or books you aren’t going to use. Use your shelves to display candles and ornaments instead, and stack remaining books vertically and horizontally, creating little plinths to display your favorite items.

Introduce texture – Most landlords prefer to keep the décor a neutral colour which can be quite bland, so keep the eye entertained by introducing home accessories with different materials and textures. This can range from knitted pods woolen throws to wooden candle holders, and glass ornaments.

Adding colour – A lot of rental properties have a neutral colour palette, but there’s nothing stopping you from adding a burst of your own colour to a property. This can be done by adding colourful throws and patterned cushions to a sofa, or adding a rug to the floor. Remember to stick to a particular colour theme or story to make the look come together.

Style with symmetry – One trick that designers use to make a room hang together is styling with symmetry. So think about buying a pair of statement lamps and sitting them either side of the sofa, you can also create symmetry with pictures or photos.

Avoid blue tack and nails – Nails leave holes and blue tack leaves grease marks which can be awkward to remove when you leave the property. If you’re looking to hang wall art or photos then consider using picture hanging strips which don’t leave marks on walls when they’re removed, or use your fridge door to express yourself by attaching magnets to the back of photos.

Brighten up your bathroom – Bathroom towels, bath mats and shower curtains can transform the look of a bathroom instantly, and can easily be put back to its original state when you leave.

Introduce flexible storage – Think of useful and stylish items that you can take with you wherever you go, such as a kitchen trolley or freestanding bathroom furniture.

Spruce up the garden – Quickly assembled garden furniture can create instant focal points to an outdoor space, such as a bistro set, bench or bird bath.

Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the National Landlords Association, said: “I’d encourage all tenants to communicate with their landlord at the earliest opportunity to find out what their landlord is or isn’t comfortable with. The vast majority of landlords are happy for tenants to make some changes to their property, so long as they ask for permission first.”

Renters can watch a video full of tips and advice by visiting facebook.com/heartofhouseuk, and browse over 1600 products at heartofhouse.co.uk.

     ENDS

 

Notes to Editors: 

1 The research for Argos of Home Retail Group of 1,000 people was carried out by Opinion Matters in December 2014.

2 ONS. Part of 2011 Census Analysis, A Century of Home Ownership and Renting in England and Wales Release

About Argos

Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 50,000 products through www.argos.co.uk, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the telephone.

Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with around 123m customer transactions a year through its stores and 738 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2014.  Customers can take advantage of Argos’ convenient Check & Reserve service available through its network of 756 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

In the financial year to February 2014, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business.

Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandiser retailer.

About Heart of House
Heart of House is a range of homewares and furniture designed for real family life, available from Argos.Heart of House offers a wide range of more than 1600 practical and stylish products that are made to withstand the knocks, bumps and demands of daily family life.

###

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) launched new initiative to enable UK retailers to improve their energy efficiency

LONDON, 2015-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has today launched a new initiative to enable UK retailers to improve their energy efficiency, in turn driving down business costs and reducing the environmental impact of their operations.

With 25-in-5: Unlocking Energy Efficiency through Smart Regulation, the BRC aims to harness the experience, knowledge and best practices of its members, leading to the rapid deployment of low and zero carbon technologies right across the retail industry. With energy costs expected to increase significantly over the next five years, greater energy efficiency is vital for the long-term growth and viability of the industry, not to mention helping the fight against climate change. The BRC believes that a clearer and more accessible policy landscape can deliver great potential in energy efficiency for the future.

As outlined in 25-in-5, British retailers are already leading the way where it comes to energy efficiency, cutting down significantly on the environmental impact of their operations across a range of areas. Achievements to date include:

  • A 33 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in stores between 2005 and 2012;
  • A 27 per cent fall in carbon emissions resulting from store deliveries in the same period and,
  • An overall drop in energy consumption from buildings of 50 per cent based on 2005 levels.

It is clear that further progress by Britain’s retailers will depend upon measures to simplify an overly complex, unwieldy and misaligned policy landscape which presents much uncertainly for companies, making it difficult for them to invest and bring about further efficiencies. The BRC believes that a range of small, but significant policy simplifications could lead to further improvements in energy efficiency across the retail industry, which will in turn help drive greater investment in green technologies to the benefit of the wider economy while also achieving significant steps towards climate change and energy security objectives.

BRC Director General Helen Dickinson said: “Energy and energy efficiency are of strategic importance to Britain’s retailers. Through our 25-in-5 campaign, we believe we can build on what has been done so far to help drive energy efficiency across the retail industry, allowing our members to benefit from significant energy cost savings while at the same time making a vital contribution to the UK’s climate change and energy security goals”.

ENDS

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

Meijer research: Customers traditionally wait until the last minute to make their Valentine’s Day flower purchases

Retailer’s data shows nearly 40 percent of flower purchases happen from 3-6 p.m. Valentine’s Day

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2015-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whether you love the holiday, or just feel obligated to buy a gift, chances are you are waiting until the last minute if you are purchasing roses. According to purchase data from Meijer, customers traditionally wait until the last minute to make their Valentine’s Day flower purchases. In fact, Meijer research shows that the majority of sales for roses – nearly 40 percent – happen from 3-6 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.

“If you’re a procrastinator, don’t worry because you’re honestly in good company,” Meijer Floral Buyer Jamie Robertson said. “This year’s crop of roses is the best we’ve seen in years, and our stores are receiving fresh flower deliveries twice a week so all of our customers can get what they need – even up to the last minute.”

Consumers continue to show their affection by buying flowers for that special someone, making Valentine’s Day the No. 1 holiday for fresh cut flower purchases. Roses remain a favorite and Meijer expects to sell nearly 1 million roses this Valentine’s Day.

“If laid head to stem, that’s enough roses to span 215 miles – or the distance from Grand Rapids to Indianapolis,” Robertson said.

The floral purchasing team at Meijer is particularly pleased with the quality of this year’s rose crop, which featured vibrant colors and big rose heads. For those who prefer something different for their Valentine, Meijer has an extensive floral department with more than 30 varieties of high quality, beautiful fresh cut flowers.

About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 213 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As the inventor of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, garden centers and electronics offerings. For more information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

Contact: Joe Hirschmugl, 616-791-3943, Joseph.Hirschmugl@meijer.com

###

Meijer research: Customers traditionally wait until the last minute to make their Valentine’s Day flower purchases

Meijer research: Customers traditionally wait until the last minute to make their Valentine’s Day flower purchases

ShopRite of Brodheadsville welcomed its new in-store dietitian, Rhianna Cenci, RD

In-Store Dietitian Brings Free Health and Wellness Services to ShopRite Customers

Keasbey, NJ, 2015-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — ShopRite of Brodheadsville has welcomed 2015 with a slate of wellness activities, and a new in-store dietitian, Rhianna Cenci, RD.

“We are excited to add Rhianna Cenci to our team at the ShopRite of Brodheadsville, as part of our commitment to find new ways to better serve our customers and help them live healthier lives,” said store owner Chris Kinsley. “ShopRite is about families serving families. We are happy to add Rhianna as a valuable resource for our associates and customers, to provide expert advice and support for their nutrition and health needs.”

Ms. Cenci received her Bachelor’s of Science from Drexel University. She completed her dietetic internship at Sodexo Health Care Services.

As the new Retail Dietitian for the ShopRite of Brodheadsville, Ms. Cenci can guide customers on a range of issues, from learning how to shop and prepare healthy meals, to proper nutrition for specific health conditions and dietary needs. A schedule of upcoming activities can be found on ShopRite.com under Health Events.

As part of ShopRite’s Retail Dietitian team, Ms. Cenci is one of more than ninety Registered Dietitians who service ShopRite stores in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland.  Together these Dietitians offer nutrition advice, meal planning, and diet modification for specific medical conditions.

All nutritional services are available to customers free of charge.  To make an appointment, customers can call Ms. Cenci at  (570) 402-2746. ShopRite of Brodheadsville is conveniently located at 107 Kinsley Drive.

###

About ShopRite
ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in Keasbey, NJ,  and the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States.  With more than 250 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than six million customers each week.  A long-time supporter of key community efforts, ShopRite is dedicated to fighting hunger in the communities it serves.  Through its ShopRite Partners In Caring program, ShopRite has donated $37 million to 1,700 worthy charities and food banks since the program began in 1999.  As a title sponsor of the LPGA’s ShopRite Classic, ShopRite has raised more than $27 million for local organizations, hospitals and community groups.  Progressive Grocer named ShopRite its 2011 Retailer of the Year and Supermarket News awarded ShopRite its 2011 Retail Excellence Award.  For more information, please visit www.ShopRite.com.

ShopRite of Brodheadsville welcomed its new in-store dietitian, Rhianna Cenci, RD

ShopRite of Brodheadsville welcomed its new in-store dietitian, Rhianna Cenci, RD

 

Wincor Nixdorf will present technologies and services to automate retailers POS and back-office processes at EuroCIS

Paderborn, Germany, 2015-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — At EuroCIS, Wincor Nixdorf will present technologies and services with which retailers can automate their POS and back-office processes to provide an attractive shopping experience for customers and better support for staff. The solutions can help increase sales as well as create opportunities for up- and cross-selling.

The expert for IT solutions for retail and banking will highlight key trends and challenges in retail at the trade show:
•Consumers are extremely well-informed about products and offerings thanks to the Internet. They also expect to have consistent information at their fingertips when shopping at a store.
•Consumers want different checkout options for different shopping
situations – from traditional checkouts and automated checkout solutions to mobile self-scanning.
•Retailers, especially in the lifestyle & fashion segment, are increasingly seeking elegant and mobile solutions that accentuate their brand image and help them connect with their customers.

To address these trends, Wincor Nixdorf will showcase a number of new or enhanced IT solutions:
The new BEETLE /moPOS offers the necessary power and functionality of a traditional POS terminal and the mobility to serve consumers anywhere. The tablet (8.3″ and 10.1″) is based on Intel’s latest processor technology and runs a Microsoft Windows 8.1 or an Android 4.4 operating system. Retailers can thus use their current Windows-based POS and merchandise management applications, as well as any new app-based suite. “The checkout process rarely provides up-selling opportunities because all of the customer’s purchasing decisions have already been made. However, if employees can offer a comprehensive service around the store, this would open up completely new possibilities, for example, to point out complementary products and current sales promotions or answer inventory questions and thereby increase the shopping cart size,” says Dr. Bernd Bueker, Vice President Retail DACH at Wincor Nixdorf. “The mobile POS technology we’re showcasing at EuroCIS opens up completely new opportunities for retailers in this context.”

Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE /iSCAN EASY Hybrid offers retailers maximum flexibility at the POS: The terminal can be converted from an attended to a self-service checkout quickly and easily. As a result, the checkout process can be sped up during peak times by switching over from self-service to attended mode – or returning to self-service mode once lines have shortened. In turn, consumers can ask for an employee to assist them at any time: the retailer takes control of the system again at the touch of a button. Because the 100% ADA II-compliant BEETLE /iSCAN EASY Hybrid is so easy to use, it takes only one store employee to monitor and manage several POS systems simultaneously. The quick and easy convertibility combined with ease of use enables retailers to keep lanes open at all times and optimize their assignment of personnel.

The topic of self-checkout systems is omnipresent in German retailing, but the processes and technologies have not yet been able to become established across the board in Germany – unlike in other European countries, such as most notably the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, but also Spain, Scandinavia and even some markets in Eastern Europe like Poland or Hungary. Germany is lagging behind in terms of the number of installations. Yet the technology has reached such a level of market maturity that it can win broader acceptance among retailers and consumers in Germany, too. In order to promote its acceptance, Wincor Nixdorf is a partner in the “Self-Checkout Initiative” of the EHI Retail Institute. The initiative’s objective is to provide extensive information on self-scanning and complete self-checkout systems in order to optimize knowledge and retailers’ motivation for self-checkouts and increase their use in the industry. In March, the EHI Retail Institute intends to team up with the initiative’s partners to launch a website where all information and the results of studies can be found.

In the field of back-office automation, Wincor Nixdorf will showcase the latest version of its cash office-management solution at EuroCIS. It enables retailers to optimize cash handling and create a closed loop between the POS and the cash office. This automated front and cash office solution frees employees from routine functions, such as sorting and counting cash. It also gives retailers an overview of their current cash situation at all times. This solution is ideal for large retailers that handle significant amounts of cash per shift, such as supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Visitors can discover Wincor Nixdorf’s retail solutions at its trade fair stand (C26) in Hall 9 and at two presentations to be held at the fair:

Retail goes mobile – the store’s digital transformation
Speaker: Mike Werder
February 24, 2015, 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. in the EuroCIS Forum (Hall 10, D04)

Ready for omnichannel retailing? Creating customer experiences, optimizing store processes
Speaker: Thomas Haas
February 25, 2015, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Multichannel Forum (Hall 9, F59)

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. announced leadership promotions

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., 2015-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (NYSE: CBL) today announced the promotions of Andrew Cobb to senior vice president and director of accounting, Stuart Smith to senior vice president – planning/redevelopment, Jennifer Cope to vice president – shared services, Jon Meshel to vice president – development/redevelopment, and Ken Wittler to vice president – development.

Commenting on the promotions, CBL’s President and CEO, Stephen Lebovitz said, “These individuals have established themselves as leaders within CBL in their respective fields and the shopping center industry. We are pleased to recognize their accomplishments and significant contributions to the Company with these promotions.”

Andy Cobb joined CBL in June 2002, as vice president – accounting. In February 2007, he was promoted to vice president and director of accounting. Prior to joining CBL Cobb was an audit manager for Arthur Andersen. Cobb is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University, with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Stuart Smith joined CBL as director of tenant coordination in January 2001, and then became director – tenant design and development in April 2003. He was promoted to vice president – planning/redevelopment in February 2007. Smith has been an integral part of numerous anchor store additions to CBL malls and is responsible for advanced planning for all mall expansions and redevelopments within the Company. Smith is a graduate of Penn State University.

Jennifer Cope joined CBL in July 2001, as a junior analyst in Financial Services. In July 2003, Cope was promoted to financial analyst and then to senior financial analyst in July 2006. Her responsibilities included the management of CBL’s insurance and risk management programs, technology for lease reporting needs, joint venture partner relations, and loan closings and assumptions. In June 2011, Cope was promoted to director – financial services & risk management and then to director – business transformation in March 2014. Cope is a graduate of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and an EMBA.

Jon Meshel joined CBL as assistant project manager in August 1999, and was promoted to project manager in September 2003. In November 2011, Meshel relocated from Boston to Chattanooga as director – development/redevelopment and is responsible for adding larger store formats to CBL’s malls. Meshel is a graduate from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Ken Wittler joined CBL as a project manager in November 1997. Since then, Wittler has overseen the development of more than a dozen malls, additions and renovations for the Company. Prior to joining CBL, Wittler served six years as project manager for Jim Wilson & Associates and four years as Field Engineer for Tribble & Stephens Construction Company. Wittler is a graduate of University of Texas at San Antonio.

About CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.
CBL is one of the largest and most active owners and developers of malls and shopping centers in the United States. CBL owns, holds interests in or manages 148 properties, including 89 regional malls/open-air centers. The properties are located in 30 states and total 84.2 million square feet including 6.5 million square feet of non-owned shopping centers managed for third parties. Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN, CBL has regional offices in Boston (Waltham), MA, Dallas (Irving), TX, and St. Louis, MO. Additional information can be found at cblproperties.com.

CBL contact: Dan Summerlin, Director of Corporate Relations, 423.490.8315, dan_summerlin@cblproperties.com

QVC to expand its designer lineup with an all-star addition

Lifetime®’s Project Runway All Stars Winning Designer Creates QVC Collection

WEST CHESTER, Pa., 2015-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — QVC is about to expand its designer lineup with an all-star addition. The fourth season of Lifetime®’s Project Runway All Stars is drawing to a close, and for one lucky designer that means winning the opportunity to create a fashion line for the leading video and ecommerce retailer. The design competition finale will airThursday, February 12 at 9 PM (ET) on Lifetime, and the winner is scheduled to present their collection during the three-hourQVC Fashion Week—Designer Spring Preview Finale broadcast on Friday, February 13 at 8 PM (ET).

“For the second year, our collaboration with Project Runway All Stars has allowed us to engage a new audience and deliver compelling content to our existing shopping community,” commented Karen Fonner, vice president of content marketing and programming for QVC. “We are honored to introduce this season’s winner to our customers and treat them to the impressive capsule collection.”

Throughout this season of Project Runway All Stars, the contestants complemented their creations with items from the QVC accessory wall, which was stocked with pieces from the retailer’s well-respected designers and stylists. They were also challenged to design separates for QVC’s G.I.L.I. got it love it® collection during the “Versatile Tops and Bottoms” episode, which aired in January. Challenge-winner Sonjia Williams presented a ready-to-wear version of her look on QVC following her victory.

“We have been excited to give our designers greater exposure through our collaboration with QVC,” said Lance Still, executive vice president of promotions and integrated marketing at The Weinstein Company. “We are eager to offer our winner the opportunity to work with QVC, which will allow them to reach a broader consumer market and, undoubtedly, enhance their success.”

This is the second year that the Project Runway All Stars grand prize included a QVC collection. Third-season winner Seth Aaron Henderson debuted his brand early last year. SA by Seth Aaron continues to grow and is currently available on QVC.com with new pieces being added this month.

This season’s winning capsule collection is scheduled to be available, while supplies last, through QVC.com, QVC apps or by calling 800.345.1515 beginning February 13. For more information about QVC’s involvement with the series, visit QVC.com/ProjectRunwayAllStars.

# # #

About QVC
QVC, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corporation (NASDAQ: QVCA, QVCB), is the world’s leading video and ecommerce retailer. QVC is committed to providing its customers with thousands of the most innovative and contemporary beauty, fashion, jewelry and home products. Its programming is distributed to approximately 300 million homes worldwide through operations in the U.S., Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and a joint venture in China. Based in West Chester, Pa. and founded in 1986, QVC has evolved from a TV shopping company to a leading ecommerce and mobile commerce retailer. The company’s website, QVC.com, is ranked among the top general merchant Internet sites. QVC, Q, and the Q Ribbon Logo are registered service marks of ER Marks, Inc.

About The Weinstein Company
TWC boasts an active television division, which garnered nine Emmy nominations in 2013 and has five Emmy nominations for 2014. Weinstein TV produces the highly rated reality powerhouse PROJECT RUNWAY for Lifetime, currently in its 13th season; along with its spin-off series and critically acclaimed PROJECT RUNWAY ALL STARS, hosted by Alyssa Milano. A third season of TLC’s TRAILER PARK: WELCOME TO MYRTLE MANOR will premiere on February 23.

Other Weinstein TV series include PROJECT RUNWAY: UNDER THE GUNN, MILLION DOLLAR SHOPPERS and SUPERMARKET SUPERSTAR for Lifetime, RODEO GIRLS for A&E, and MOB WIVES currently in its 5th season on VH-1.

Recently announced scripted projects include John Fusco’s second season of the historical action-adventure epic, MARCO POLO, for Netflix; MTV’s newly announced series SCREAM based on the successful film franchise, and an adaptation of Daniel Stashower’s bestselling Civil War-era spy thriller, THE HOUR OF PERIL. TWC is also working with the BBC on a co-production of WAR AND PEACE. TWC also produced the Peabody award-winning HBO series, THE NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY, directed by Anthony Minghella.

About Lifetime
Lifetime is a premier female-focused entertainment destination dedicated to offering the highest quality original programming spanning scripted series, non-fiction series and movies.  As a result of the network’s aggressive programming strategy that has doubled the hours of its original programming, in 2014 the network reached its strongest ranking among the key Women 18-49 demo in six years and its youngest median age in 18 years.  Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks.  A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.

Hy-Vee: Triathlon events discontinued; Exciting new event series to be announced by mid-March

Company developing exciting new event series to be announced by mid-March

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, 2015-2-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Hy-Vee announced today it is discontinuing the Hy-Vee Triathlon events, which included timed competitions for elite athletes, amateurs and kids. The company will shift its efforts to create a new event series promoting health and wellness in children. The new series will be aimed at increasing accessibility to children at all fitness levels with a focus on non-competitive participation and helping others. Final details of the new series are still in the planning stages, but Hy-Vee officials anticipate a formal announcement by mid-March.

“We are extremely proud to have put a spotlight on the sport of triathlon, through the world-class Hy-Vee Triathlon,” said Andy McCann, executive vice president and chief health officer of Hy-Vee. “These events will continue to hold a special place in the history of our company, and we thank those athletes and volunteers who allowed us to be successful for so many years.”

The Des Moines-based Hy-Vee Triathlon began in 2007 as part of the supermarket chain’s long-term focus on customer and employee health. Throughout its tenure, the event has seen tens of thousands of athletes and spectators, ranging from community members and employees to world-class athletes, and has raised more than $750,000 for charity.

“It has been an honor to watch the Hy-Vee Triathlon grow into a world-class event, introducing new athletes, spectators and our customers to the sport,” said Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee. “We remain committed to the sport of triathlon, and to providing opportunities for health and wellness — both in and out of our aisles. I am excited about this new event series and what we’ll be able to accomplish with the help of our customers and communities in this next chapter.”

Hunter Kemper, a four-time Olympic triathlete who won last year’s Hy-Vee Triathlon 5150 Elite Cup race, said he is excited to see Hy-Vee continue its focus on making the sport of triathlon accessible to children of all skill levels.

“Winning the Hy-Vee Triathlon in 2014 was a highlight in my career, and I want to thank Hy-Vee for their tremendous support of the sport over the last eight years,” Kemper said. “A legacy has been created here. And I look forward to learning more about the new event series Hy-Vee will announce and the momentum it will continue with a younger generation of athletes.”

Visit www.hy-vee.com, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hyvee or keep up with us on Twitter @HyVee for information about the new series as it becomes available.

###

Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 235 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of more than $8.7 billion annually. Hy-Vee ranks among the top 25 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States. Supermarket News, the authoritative voice of the food industry, has honored the company with a Whole Health Enterprise Award for its leadership in providing services and programs that promote a healthy lifestyle. For more information, visit www.hy-vee.com.