ICSC: 76% of the Valentine’s Day shoppers plan to buy their items in-stores while 60% of online buyers will pick them up in-stores

76% will purchase items in-stores, while nearly 60% of online shoppers will pick up their items in-stores

NEW YORK, 2015-2-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — With Valentine’s Day upon us, consumers are busy shopping for loved ones. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), this holiday, 33% of adults in the U.S. plan to buy chocolate or candy, 19% will buy flowers and 5% plan to buy jewelry. Of those consumers planning to spend money on Valentine’s Day-related purchases, spending will average $96 per adult.

Further, the adults who plan to buy jewelry for Valentine’s Day have spent or will spend an average of $191.80, the adults who plan to buy flowers have spent or will spend an average of $34.90 and the adults who plan to buy chocolate and candy have spent or will spend an average of $21.50.

Falling gas prices could help to fuel spending this Valentine’s Day, as more than half of American adults (51%) feel they have more money to spend, compared to only 42% in an ICSC survey conducted one month ago. Generally, younger consumers surveyed feel that they have more money in their pocket than older consumers.

“January and February have been growing in importance on the retail sales calendar, particularly through Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day sales and promotions. This is highlighting that retailers are doing a better job of spreading out sales across the yearly calendar,” said ICSC spokesperson Jesse Tron. “We also continue to see the importance of the physical store as many consumers will take an omni-channel approach to shopping this Valentine’s Day.”

The survey found that a large portion of Valentine’s Day purchases will occur in brick-and-mortar stores: shoppers plan to buy 89% of chocolate/candies, 88% of cards/decorations, 74% of flowers and 70% of jewelry in stores.

Additionally, many consumers will participate in omni-channel shopping for Valentine’s Day with the majority of consumers picking up their online purchases in a store – 64% of online jewelry purchases will be picked up in-store, along with 67% of chocolate/candies and 51% of flowers.

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

CarMax named to Training magazine’s Training Top 125 for the eighth straight year

Company Makes List of Best Employee Training Programs for Eighth Consecutive Year

RICHMOND, Va., 2015-2-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, has been named to Training magazine’s Training Top 125 for the eighth straight year. CarMax ranks NAo. 61 for 2015. Training Top 125 recognizes organizations for providing extraordinary employer-sponsored workforce training and development programs.

Training magazine, the leading business publication for learning and development professionals, annually selects 125 organizations that excel at employee development. These companies are chosen based on a variety of criteria, including the best leadership development, outstanding training initiatives and demonstrable results of training programs.

“Associate development is a key to our success and to our future,” said Tom Folliard, president and CEO of CarMax. “Regardless of an associate’s position within the company, opportunities to grow personally and professionally are always at their fingertips.”

CarMax regularly adds new training and reviews existing material to guarantee that the curriculum meets the needs of associates and the business. Over the past year, training enhancements included the rollout of a world class on-boarding program for new associates, as well as a new change management training tailored specifically for all levels of the organization. Also, many top instructor-led classes became available as on-demand, bite-sized online modules, now accessible to all associates at any time to fit their work schedule.

Additionally, CarMax’s most comprehensive programs and training tools include:

  • Development programs that deliver individualized, targeted training opportunities
  • Extensive use of technology to support the needs of the associate, including eLearning, student response systems and video testimonials
  • Classroom training that employs hands-on activities combined with real-world application exercises

On average, each CarMax store associate completes more than 60 hours of training per year. Through KMX University, CarMax’s learning management system, associates can view position development plans, launch online courses, register for classroom training, print self-paced training workbooks, take exams that automatically register course completions, add self-reported training, and review their own personal training histories.

About CarMax
CarMax, a member of the FORTUNE 500 and the S&P 500, and one of the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 10 consecutive years, is the nation’s largest retailer of used vehicles. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, CarMax currently operates 143 superstores in 72 markets. The CarMax consumer offer features low, no-haggle prices, a broad selection of CarMax Quality Certified used vehicles, and superior customer service. During the 12 months ending February 28, 2014, the company retailed 526,929 used cars and sold 342,576 wholesale vehicles at our in-store auctions. For more information, access the CarMax website at www.carmax.com.

Media Contacts
Michelle Ellwood, CarMax Public Relations
pr@carmax.com
Twitter: @CarMax, Facebook: facebook.com/CarMax

Leading garden centre retailer Homebase now with the largest selection of plants online

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-2-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of its ongoing digital developments and in a bid to make gardening more accessible, leading garden centre retailer Homebase is expanding its online offer to include thousands of plants, which will be available to purchase throughout the year from March 2015.

This will be complimented by help and advice to inspire people to create a haven for their friends and family this Spring/Summer.

Customers will no longer need to worry about the years and experience it can take to cultivate beautiful mature gardens, with a new range of Italian Specimen Plants with carefully manicured spirals and cloud shapes to create an ‘instant’ garden to be proud of.

Larger plants that can also be troublesome for customers to transport will now be available for home delivery.

Jon Kemp, Head of Garden at Homebase, said: “This is our biggest range of plants ever and now our customers will have more choice – as well as the freedom to shop when and how they want, whether that’s browsing one of our garden centres or at home online or through the new Homebase app.”

No garden is complete without water to create a sense of tranquillity. This season, a new range of Aquatic Plants for growing around, in or floating on your pond, will also provide a home for wildlife.

Over 350 plants are already available to purchase online including Roses, Fruit Trees and Ornamental Flowering Cherries.

For more information visit homebase.co.uk.

ENDS

Note to Editors:
For more information, please contact the Homebase Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email media.relations@homebase.co.uk .

Follow us @Homebase_PR.

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 60 million transactions a year, selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 304 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2014, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 18,000 people across the business.

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

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Leading garden centre retailer Homebase now with the largest selection of plants online

Leading garden centre retailer Homebase now with the largest selection of plants online

UK’s top lawn expert David Hedges-Gower joined forces with Homebase

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-2-12 — /EPR Retail News/ —  The UK’s top lawn expert, David Hedges-Gower has joined forces with leading garden retailer Homebase to offer help and advice to tackle grass that just won’t grow to getting unsightly brown patches back to a perfect shade of green.

With over 35 years’ experience of working with lawns, David is passionate about sharing his experience and knowledge. From his early days maintaining the greens of some of the UK’s leading golf courses, including Oxfordshire Golf Club to big organisations including the RHS and National Trust.

David Hedges-Gower, said: “It’s fantastic that Homebase are championing an area of gardening that is often forgotten about and left to its own devices. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to share my trade secrets and help the nation learn to love their lawns.”

Sarah Coldrake, Garden Tools Buyer for Homebase, said: “We are thrilled to have David on board as an advisor for our growing lawn care range. He shares our passion for ensuring customers have access to information and advice to look after their lawns, and we are excited to be working with him.”

David will be joining Homebases’ stand at The Garden Press event on the 12 February 2015, offering tips and advice on lawn care and maintenance to visitors attending the show.

 

ENDS

Note to Editors:
For more information, please contact the Homebase Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email media.relations@homebase.co.uk .

Follow us @Homebase_PR.

 

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 60 million transactions a year, selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 304 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2014, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 18,000 people across the business.

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

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UK’s top lawn expert David Hedges-Gower joined forces with Homebase

UK’s top lawn expert David Hedges-Gower joined forces with Homebase

 

Foodstuffs South Island opens new ambient distribution centre in Hornby, Christchurch

Christchurch, New Zealand, 2015-2-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Prime Minister, the Right Honourable John Key, was on hand today to open Foodstuffs South Island’s new ambient distribution centre (DC) in Hornby, Christchurch. The greenfield project essentially connects an additional 31,587m2 to the existing 14,000m2 ambient warehouse at Hornby and consolidates operations from the old Papanui DC in Christchurch. This DC sits alongside a 4,000m2 temperature controlled DC already present on the site.

“The new DC will be servicing 300 New World, PAK’nSAVE, Four Square and On the Spot stores throughout the South Island,” says John Mullins, General Manager Supply Chain, Foodstuffs South Island Ltd. “From as far afield as Collingwood and Stewart Island the distribution network sees 200 trucks leave the DC every day and travel a massive six million kilometres around the country each year.”

“Across the new ambient section of the site 400 staff distribute over 450,000 cartons of product out to our supermarkets 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Mullins. “The temperature controlled warehouse adds another 210,000 cartons each week, with the total number of cartons distributed rising to as many as one million at busy times such as Christmas and Easter. No easy feat by any means.”

According to Mullins 70% of goods supplied to the supermarkets comes from the DC with the remaining 30% going direct from suppliers.

“An effective supply chain requires multiple components to work in harmony and we would be remiss in not taking this opportunity to thank our suppliers who have worked with us throughout the development of Hornby and transition from Papanui. Getting the new DC stocked and the state of the art fulfilment software functioning correctly was always going to be a challenge and we wouldn’t have been able to be so successful if we didn’t have the support and cooperation of our supplier community,” acknowledges Mullins.

“Additionally, our distribution centre staff have played a very important role in the set-up of the new DC, in particular assisting with the transition of inventory and order picking from the older Papanui site to Hornby.”

The relocation of 200 Papanui staff across town to the new site at Hornby in late 2014 was a great achievement with staff now enjoying the benefits of a new purpose built building. Highlights include a full service cafeteria and modern amenities such as exclusive use of an onsite gym.

Constructed by Calder Stewart Industries and designed by local engineering firm, Engenium, the building underwent a rigorous design process to ensure it achieved the highest earthquake building standards. Adding to this the regular earthquakes experienced by the Canterbury region meant it was important to design a building that delivered the safest pallet racking solution possible.

“We enlisted the expertise of Dematic, a material handling and logistics automation company based out of Luxembourg with a manufacturing plant in Sydney, to install the ColbyRACK storage system which is purpose built to deal with the forces generated by seismic events,” says Mullins.” Through close consultation with the structural engineer Dematic were able to ensure that the specially constructed post-tensioned concrete floor did not conflict with the positioning of the racking systems seismic base plates, thus ensuring the racking system will behave predictably during earthquake events.”

Foodstuffs South Island has also worked with Dematic to install a state of the art order picking system, or tool to ‘pick’ products from the DC shelves for distribution out to the supermarkets. Dematic’s PickDIRECTOR includes a semi-automatic ‘pick module’ which handles all split case and small carton order requirements via a series of zone routing and sortation lanes over both the ground and mezzanine floor levels within the DC. Orders are picked into collapsible tote’s for distribution to stores across the South Island.

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Foodstuffs South Island opens new ambient distribution centre in Hornby, Christchurch

Foodstuffs South Island opens new ambient distribution centre in Hornby, Christchurch