SRC/KPMG: total Scottish retail sales decreased by 2.3% in January 2015 compared with January 2014

LONDON, 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — In January 2015, total Scottish sales decreased by 2.3% compared with January 2014, when they had increased by 4.3%. Like-for-like sales decreased by 3.1% on last January, when they had increased by 2.5%. Adjusted for deflation measured by the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, total Scottish sales decreased by 1.0%.

Total Food sales were 1.4% down on January 2014, when they had increased 1.0%. This is the best Food performance since June 2014.Total Non-Food sales were 3.0% down on the previous year when they had increased 7.0%. Adjusted for the estimated effect of online sales in Scotland, total Non-Food sales decreased by 1.1%.

Three-month average total Non-Food sales declined 0.2% (online adjusted) in Scotland against a 2.7% rise in the UK. The gap between Scotland and the UK three-month average total growth was -2.9 in January.

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “The total value of Scottish retail sales slipped back last month, however this needs to be seen in the context of a bumper performance in the corresponding period last year.

“While sales of food edged down, it was nonetheless the best performing category – for the first time in four months – and recorded its best performance since last June. Non-food related sales eased back after a stellar performance in the same period in 2014, making for a pretty flat past quarter in the category once inflation is taken into account.

“Looking forward, retailers will be heartened by the Bank of England’s predictions of continued low inflation being outstripped by average pay rises. The Chancellor should seek to bolster this in his Budget next month with policies which stimulate retailers to invest and which boost disposable incomes such as reducing income taxes on low earners.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “2015 got off to a difficult start for Scottish retailers ‎as sales shrank by more than two per cent against last year. Whilst the decline may be partly explained by more inclement weather this year and January being a strong month for sales last year, it is clear that the considerable saving felt by consumers in petrol and fuel bills is not finding its way to the High Street’s tills.

“‎The grocery sector was the best performer in Scotland: while sales are still declining there is evidence that the rate of decline has reversed. It may be some time till we herald growth again in this competitive market, which is also buffeted by price deflation, but the grocers will take heart that the worst may be in the past.

“With the gap widening ‎between the non-food sales decline when compared with the growth for the whole of the UK, Scottish retailers will be hoping for wage rate inflation to drive North before too long. With three more months of electoral campaigns ahead, retailers will wish to see some resolution to political uncertainty feed into consumer confidence.”

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

JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings Inc. notified Delhaize Group that the total shareholding of certain of its subsidiaries crossed the threshold of 3% of Delhaize Group SA shares

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Pursuant to the Belgian Law of May 2, 2007 relating to the publication of major shareholdings in listed companies, JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings Inc. notified Delhaize Group that the total shareholding of certain of its subsidiaries crossed the threshold of 3% of the shares issued by Delhaize Group SA downwardson February 9, 2015 and upwards on February 10, 2015.

On February 13, 2015, JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings Inc. notified Delhaize Group that as of February 9, 2015 JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings Inc. owned through its various subsidiaries less than 3% of Delhaize Group’s voting rights.

On February 13, 2015, JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings Inc. notified Delhaize Group that as of February 10, 2015 JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings Inc. owned 3 128 660 Delhaize Group shares through its various subsidiaries as indicated in the table below, which represented 3.04% of Delhaize Group’s voting rights. The denominator is 102 819 053 shares.

Holders of voting rights Current number of voting rights Current percentage of voting rights
JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings Inc. 0 0,00%
J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc. 617 991 0,60%
JPMorgan Asset Management (Taiwan) Limited 37 430 0,04%
JPMorgan Asset Management (UK) Limited 2 432 541 2,37%
JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association 40 698 0,04%
TOTAL 3 128 660 3,04%

The entities listed in the table above are controlled via intermediate holding companies ultimately by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and are discretionary investment managers that hold and exercise the voting rights in the absence of specific instructions.

Notification as well as further information related to the relationship between JPMorgan Asset Management Holding Inc. and the entities having the holdings are available on our internet website under the section Corporate Governance.

» Delhaize Group
Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in seven countries on three continents. At the end of 2014, Delhaize Group’s sales network consisted of 3 468 stores. In 2014, Delhaize Group posted €21.4 billion ($28.4 billion) in revenues. In 2013, Delhaize Group posted €179 million ($237 million) in net profit (Group share). At the end of 2014, Delhaize Group employed approximatively 152 000 people. Delhaize Group’s stock is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG).

This press release is available in English, French and Dutch. You can also find it on the website http://www.delhaizegroup.com. Questions can be sent to investor@delhaizegroup.com.

» Contacts

Investor Relations: + 32 2 412 2151
Media Relations: + 32 2 412 8669

US Foods Food Fanatics chefs introduce the new Chef’s Line® Belly Burger at Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Food Fanatics Introduce First-of-its-Kind Burger at the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE

ROSEMONT, Ill., 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — This year at the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE, it’s all about the “belly.”  Pork belly, that is, as the US Foods Food Fanatics chefs introduce the new Chef’s Line® Belly Burger and showcase their culinary talents with the ultimate Beach Belly S’more creation.

The Food Fanatics kick off the Festival on Friday, February 20 at the Wine Spectator Trade Day presented by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida where they will share the new, signature Belly Burger with thousands of food industry insiders. The Chef’s Line® Belly Burger combines the rich, smoky flavors of pork belly with the richness of beef.  In South Beach, the Food Fanatics chefs are topping the rich and meaty burger with the colorful Cross Valley Farms Super Food Slaw which includes Brussels sprouts, broccoli slaw, kale, red cabbage and carrots and is sure to make it a delicious hit with festival goers.

“Pork belly use has grown 350 percent in the last four years and our new, first-of-its-kind Belly Burger showcases the rich and uniquely delicious reason why diners and chefs alike can’t get enough of this tasty treat,” said Pietro Satriano, chief merchandising officer at US Foods. “The Belly Burger packs in all of the right flavors and takes the traditional burger to the next level of indulgence.”

Festival attendees will continue their “belly binge” with the Food Fanatics on Saturday, February 21 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Meatopia: The Q Revolution presented by Creekstone Farms hosted by Guy Fieri curated by Josh Ozersky. Throughout the evening, Food Fanatics chefs will be serving up the ultimate campfire favorite – with a twist. Their own Beach Belly S’more recipe features Oaxacan Mole-rubbed pork belly and a toasted, maple Sriracha marshmallow layered between two chia-seeded graham crackers, delivering sweet and savory goodness with a hint of heat in every bite.

The 14th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE is a national is a star-studded, four-day destination event that features internationally renowned talent and leaders of the hospitality industry at uniquely crafted events showcasing world-class wine, spirits, food and fun. The Festival is one of the most popular and world-renowned hospitality events in the country, and has raised more than $20 million to date for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University.

To receive live updates of the Food Fanatics at the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE, follow @FoodFanatics or the hashtag #SOBEWFF.

About US Foods
As one of America’s great food companies and leading distributors, US Foods is Keeping Kitchens Cooking™ and making life easier for customers, including independent and multi-unit restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, government and educational institutions. With approximately $22 billion in annual revenue, the company offers more than 350,000 products, including high-quality, exclusive brands such as the innovative Chef’s Line®, a time-saving, chef-inspired line of scratch-quality products, and Rykoff Sexton®, a premium line of specialty ingredients sourced from around the world. The company proudly employs approximately 25,000 people in more than 60 locations nationwide. US Foods is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., and jointly owned by affiliates of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. Discover more at www.usfoods.com.

Contact

Lisa Lecas, Manager
Corporate Communications, US Foods
Office: 847-720-8243
Lisa.Lecas@usfoods.com

British designer Lulu Guinness collaborated with Sainsbury’s to create three, limited edition shoppers to celebrate Red Nose Day and raise money for Comic Relief

Internationally renowned British designer Lulu Guinness has collaborated exclusively with Sainsbury’s to create three, limited edition shoppers to celebrate Red Nose Day and raise money for Comic Relief. The Lulu Guinness bags will go on sale from 15th February 2015 exclusively at Sainsbury’s.

LONDON, 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Embracing the spirit of the fundraising event and reflecting Lulu’s signature style, three bags have been specially designed for Red Nose Day with at least £1.50 going to Comic Relief. Known for her iconic bags and strikingly glamorous designs, Lulu’s inspiration for the bags came from her existing collection and the Red Nose itself. The Red Nose is of course the integral feature of each design and is complemented and emphasised by a nude and black stripe or animal print backdrop with eye, hear t and lips motifs giving a pop of colour.

Lulu Guinness said: “In aid of such an amazing cause I am delighted to be working with Sainsbury’s and Comic Relief to create a humorous Red Nose take on three of my favourite, most popular bag designs.”

The fun and stylish bags will be available in stores nationwide from 15th February 2015 exclusively through Sainsbury’s, retailing at £5 a bag with at least £1.50 going to Comic Relief.

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British designer Lulu Guinness collaborated with Sainsbury’s to create three, limited edition shoppers to celebrate Red Nose Day and raise money for Comic Relief

British designer Lulu Guinness collaborated with Sainsbury’s to create three, limited edition shoppers to celebrate Red Nose Day and raise money for Comic Relief

Sainsbury’s: Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu and world junior champion Dina Asher-Smith tested the “perfect meal for an athlete” in london

Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu and world junior champion Dina Asher-Smith today taste tested the “perfect meal for an athlete” according to performance nutrition experts.

LONDON, 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — The dish, an 8oz New York strip sirloin steak served with sweet potato mash, kale, samphire, mange tout and broccoli, was served by London chef and former Olympian Francis Agyepong at Christopher’s restaurant in Covent Garden.

Francis competed in the Triple Jump for Great Britain at the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics, and has since developed his career as a head chef in London’s West End.

He has worked with Sainsbury’s and British Athletics’ performance nutritionist Joseph Agu to create a perfect menu for Christine and Dina, as they prepare for the 2015 athletics season, which will see Christine bid to retain her world 400m title in Beijing, where she won Olympic gold in 2008.

Joseph Agu said: “This is the perfect meal for an athlete, with the right balance of protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals. Steak is high in protein, which is excellent for muscle recovery and also in iron stores which helps reduce fatigue. It’s an ideal meat for athletes to consume during their training programme.

“Sweet potato is an excellent carbohydrate source so it contributes to the recovery of normal muscle function after hard training. The green veg provides vitamins A & C which support the immune system to function normally, which is hampered with hard training.”

Dina Asher-Smith, who was crowned British 60m champion at the Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships last weekend and will compete at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday, said: “As a young athlete I’m always looking for ways to improve my performance, so good nutrition is key. Ahead of a big event like the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix it’s important to eat properly, and as the experts have identified, this dish is perfect for an athlete.”

Christine Ohuruogu said: “Nutrition is a very important part of athletics, and it’s great that Francis and Joseph have identified a dish which will help our training, but also taste great. Healthy eating is a big part of my life, so I’m really pleased to see Sainsbury’s using their sponsorship of athletics to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle.”

Francis Agyepong said: “At Christopher’s we are always trying to be at the fore front of culinary awareness in terms of ingredients, traceability, style and nutrition. If you peruse our menus you will see many elements of ‘superfoods’ incorporated into our dishes; from quinoa and seeds, to beets, kale and black rice.

“In creating this ultimate athlete menu, I have focused on nutrition first and foremost – the dish is ideal for energy, recovery and tissue rebuilding. The quality of ingredients used and the resulting taste also has a positive effect on the mind and general wellbeing.

“Food and nutrition is a big part of everyone’s lives but to an athlete it can mean the difference between having a short or long sustained career.  The body has the ability to self-repair if the food you are putting in it is of premium quality – that is why our menu at Christopher’s is very balanced.”

The Ultimate Athletes Lunch Recipe – Christopher’s, Covent Garden

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1x 230g sirloin steak
  • Mixed greens: Samphire, Kale, tender stem broccoli, calvolo nero, peas
  • 1 x medium size sweet potato
  • 90ml agave syrup (or maple syrup)
  • Coconut Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C (fan oven)
  • Place sweet potato in oven for approximately 25 mins
  • While potato is cooking season the steak with salt and cracked black pepper, drizzle a little olive or sunflower to coat the steak
  • Once potato is cooked, cut out the flesh and mash until smooth, adding 90ml agave syrup, then cover
  • Place steak on a hot grill or into a hot frying pan and cook for 3mins on each side (remove from the heat and allow to rest for 4-mins)
  • Meanwhile drop your vegetables into medium size pot of salted boiling water for approx. 40 seconds, drain the vegetables off before pouring into moderate hot pan with 10 ml of coconut oil toss two or three times before finishing with some chopped tarragon, mint and parsley
  • Serve immediately

Credit

Francis Agyepong, Christopher’s, Covent Garden.

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Sainsbury’s: Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu and world junior champion Dina Asher-Smith  tested the "perfect meal for an athlete" in london

Sainsbury’s: Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu and world junior champion Dina Asher-Smith tested the “perfect meal for an athlete” in london

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. to broadcast its Q4 2014 earnings conference call live over internet on February 25, 2015

MOORESVILLE, N.C., 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — In conjunction with the Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) fourth quarter 2014 earnings press release, you are invited to listen to its conference call to be broadcast live over the internet on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time with: Robert A. Niblock, chairman, president and chief executive officer; Rick D. Damron, chief operating officer; and Robert F. Hull, Jr., chief financial officer.  Supplemental slides will be available fifteen minutes prior to the start of the conference call.

What: Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call Webcast
When: 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Where: Visit Lowe’s Investor Relations website at http://www.Lowes.com/investor

Click on Webcasts and then on Lowe’s Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call

How: Listen live online and view the supplemental slides by following the directions above

A webcast replay of the call can be accessed from 12:00 p.m. ET on February 25, 2015 through May 19, 2015 by visiting http://www.Lowes.com/investor and clicking on Webcasts and then on Lowe’s Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call.

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 100 home improvement company serving approximately 15 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico.  With fiscal year 2013 sales of $53.4 billion, Lowe’s has more than 1,835 home improvement and hardware stores and 260,000 employees.  Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

Contact

If you’re a journalist working on a story about Lowe’s:704-758-2917

PublicRelations@lowes.com

For customer inquiries:1-800-445-6937

Kesko will employ approximately 5,000 employees this summer

HELSINKI, Finland, 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — This summer, K-retailers and Kesko will employ approximately 5,000 summer employees. The number is about the same as last year. The K-Group is one of the biggest summer employers in Finland.

Most of the summer jobs to young people and students in the K-Group are offered by K-food stores. Summer is the high season for building and home improvement stores, which also hire seasonal employees for yard and garden departments. Kesko, for its part, employs summer staff for warehouses for example.

“The total number is divided so that K-retailers hire slightly less than 4,000 people and Kesko Group with its subsidiaries more than 1,000 summer employees,” says Anu Haapoja, Kesko Corporation’s Recruitment Specialist.

In retail stores, the duties of young people mainly consist of shelving, keeping the store neat and tidy, and customer service. Particularly in small stores duties get more varied and involve more responsibility is given as the summer goes on and the employee learns more.

“We K-Group people share enthusiasm in retailing and a retailer approach, which is reflected in the positive attitude of getting things done, readiness to take responsibility and opportunities to influence on how work is done,” Haapoja says, listing some important features of applicants.

Most of the summer employees start in June. The summer job season starts in May and continues until the last weeks of August.

Many paths to employment

Kesko and K-stores employ young people through many different channels. The ‘Learn and earn’ summer training programme gives experience in the trading sector to the very youngest. Many retailers also recruit students to perform on-the-job learning periods included in their studies. A training period well completed may continue as a job in the store. Kesko and K-stores also participate in the Youth Guarantee. Between August 2013 and December 2014, the K-Group employed nearly 2,000 people in the target group of the Youth Guarantee.

“Annually, Kesko and K-stores employ around 10,000 people aged under 30 in Finland”, Haapoja says.

Further information: Head of HRM Mikko Myyryläinen puh.+358 10 53 22872

Further information about the employment of young people in Kesko and K-stores at http://www.kesko.fi/en/Careers/vacancies/summer-jobs/

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

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Starbucks stores help celebrate Lunar New Year with new card designs, mugs, tumblers and other merchandise in Asian markets

SEATTLE, 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — With a history that dates back more than 4,000 years, Lunar New Year is one of the world’s grandest and most significant cultural celebrations. It’s a time to sweep out the old and bring in the new with family gatherings, celebrations and the exchanging of gifts.

Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, originated in China during the Shang Dynasty to honor deities and ancestors. It’s now celebrated around the world for 15 days from late January to mid-February with spectacular fireworks displays, parades and events. This year’s celebration marks the Year of the Sheep (or Goat) in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Those born under the sign are believed to be calm, gentle and creative.

Starbucks stores are helping celebrate Lunar New Year with new card designs, mugs, tumblers and other merchandise in Asian markets:

Lunar New Year Starbucks Card (U.S. and Asia)

Starbucks senior designer Victor Melendez created the design for the 2015 Starbucks Lunar New Year Card, available in dozens of countries around the world. His design, crafted using a linoleum block printing technique, features the seasonal colors of red and gold.

Starbucks® New Year Gift Voucher Set (Hong Kong)

Complete set includes 12 Hong Kong $20 gift vouches and a complimentary tall handcrafted beverage voucher and 16 delicate packets in red and gold.

Year of the Sheep Gift Set (China, Taiwan)

Includes a “sheepish” Year of the Sheep Bearista® Bear and mini My Starbucks Rewards Card.

Starbucks Coffee Wafer Rolls (China, Singapore, Taiwan)

Customers can enjoy this new crisp and buttery cookie infused with coffee in a decorative tin for easy gift-giving.

Spicy Mocha (China)

Customers can add some excitement to their New Year festivities with a Spicy Mocha. The beverage features the flavor chili flavor of Chinese red pepper infused into Starbucks signature espresso and sweet chocolate sauce, topped with whipped cream and sweet and spicy red sprinkle.

Peach Blossom Tea Latte (China)

A delicate treat of aromatic peach blossom and Earl Grey tea with freshly steamed milk, topped off with whipped cream and peach blossom sugar sprinkle.

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

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Starbucks stores help celebrate Lunar New Year with new card designs, mugs, tumblers and other merchandise in Asian markets

Starbucks stores help celebrate Lunar New Year with new card designs, mugs, tumblers and other merchandise in Asian markets

John Allan to become Tesco Chairman on 1 March 2015

Cheshunt, England, 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Following Richard Broadbent’s decision to step down as Chairman, Tesco today announces that John Allan will join the Board and be appointed Chairman on 1 March 2015. Richard Broadbent will step down from the Board on the same date.

Richard Broadbent, Chairman, said:

“I am delighted that John has agreed to join us and take on the role of Chairman of the Board. I am sure that his wide expertise, his experience and his personal qualities will contribute greatly to the future of the Group.”

Patrick Cescau, Senior Independent Director, said:

“Following a deep and thorough process run by a committee of independent non-executive directors, the Board unanimously agreed that John Allan was the right candidate to chair Tesco at this important time. On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Richard for his work as Chairman. He has served the business with unflinching commitment through a period of unprecedented change, and put in place a new senior leadership team for the next stage of Tesco’s development.”

John Allan said:

“I’m very pleased to be taking on this role at such a critical moment for the business and look forward to working with the new executive team and the Board.”

Biographical note

John Allan’s early career was with Lever Bros and Bristol-Myers in a variety of marketing roles. He then spent eight years at Fine Fare, a subsidiary of ABF where he was the Retail Director for Marketing, Buying and Retail Operations. He was a Divisional CEO at BET for nine years.  He became CEO of Ocean Group plc in 1994 and then of Exel when Ocean Group merged with NFC in 2000 to become Exel plc, the global leader in Logistics, operating in 60 countries and  ultimately with 115,000 employees.  Exel was acquired by Deutsche Post in  2005 for a share price five times that of 1994, and John joined the board of Deutsche Post to manage the integration, and subsequently the new Logistics Division with 150,000 employees and a turnover of over 27 bn Euros. In 2007 he was invited to become CFO of Deutsche Post – a post he held until his retirement and return to the UK in 2009.

John became Chairman of Dixons Retail in Sept 2009. Dixons conducted a comprehensive turnaround programme during which the share price more than quadrupled, culminating in a friendly merger of equals with Carphone Warehouse in August 2014 to form Dixons Carphone. He is currently a Deputy Chairman and SID of the new company, which was the best performer in the FTSE 100 in 2014. He is also Chairman of Barratt Developments and Chairman of Worldpay.

Notes

Following his appointment to the Tesco Board, John Allan will step down from the Boards of Dixons Carphone and Royal Mail. He will be resigning with immediate effect from his role as a senior advisor to Alix Partners and he will step down as Chair of the DHL UK Foundation as soon as a successor is found, which is anticipated to be within three months. He is expected to continue in his other roles as Chairman of Barratt Developments and WorldPay.

John Allan will be paid a fee of £650,000 per annum, fixed for three years, inclusive of all Board fees, in respect of his role as Chairman of Tesco PLC.

John was a non-executive director of National Grid plc and 3i plc within the last five years.

There are no additional matters that would require disclosure under LR 9.6.13 R (1) to (6) in relation to this appointment.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.

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Walgreens reveals the top ten DMAs with flu activity for the week of Feb. 16, 2015

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Walgreens Flu Index™ is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranking of those experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country. With the ability to generate hyper-local data that’s as specific as a single zip code, the Index aims to drive consumer awareness and prevention within communities, while also serving as a valuable resource for health departments, media and others at the local level.

Top Ten DMAs with Flu Activity
Week beginning 2/16/2015

  1. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  2. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, NM)
  3. Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.
  4. Tulsa, Okla.
  5. Little Rock – Pine Bluff, Ark.
  6. Jackson, Miss.
  7. San Antonio, Texas
  8. Huntsville – Decatur (Florence), Ala.
  9. Knoxville, Tenn.
  10. Austin, Texas

Top Ten States with Flu Activity
Week beginning 2/16/2015

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Arkansas
  3. Mississippi
  4. Texas
  5. Alabama
  6. Louisiana
  7. Tennessee
  8. Kansas
  9. South Carolina
  10. Nebraska

Top Ten DMAs Flu Activity Gains
From week beginning 2/9/2015 to 2/16/2015

  1. Columbia, SC
  2. Birmingham (Anniston and Tuscaloosa), Ala
  3. Baton Rouge, La.
  4. Chattanooga, Tenn.
  5. Orlando – Daytona Beach – Melbourne, Fla.
  6. Greenville – Spartanburg – Anderson, SC; Asheville, NC
  7. Colorado Springs – Pueblo, Colo.
  8. Atlanta, Ga.
  9. Rockford, Ill.
  10. Indianapolis, Ind.

Top Ten State Flu Activity Gains
From week beginning 2/9/2015 to 2/16/2015

  1. South Carolina
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Florida
  5. Indiana
  6. Colorado
  7. Connecticut
  8. Illinois
  9. Ohio
  10. Minnesota

Methodology

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

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

© Copyright Walgreen Co. 2015. All rights reserved

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

Contact(s)

Walgreens
Jim Cohn, (847) 315-2950
Kelli Hartsock, (312) 981-8553
http://news.walgreens.com
@WalgreensNews
facebook.com/Walgreens

7‑Eleven, Inc. will waive the franchise fee on a select number of its U.S. stores through June 30

DALLAS, 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Between now and June 30, 7‑Eleven, Inc. will waive the franchise fee on a select number of its U.S. stores available for franchise, a savings of up to $80,000. The Zero Franchise Fee Initiative was announced by 7‑Eleven® President and CEO Joe DePinto at last week’s 7‑Eleven Experience in Las Vegas, the company’s annual franchisee convention.

While the more than 200 available stores are located in cities across the country, many of the Zero Franchising Fee opportunities are in markets like Charlotte, N. C., where 7‑Eleven has acquired a significant number of stores.

Over the last 4 years 7‑Eleven has grown its store base by more than 1,300 units. Now that a 7‑Eleven customer base has been established at these locations, the company is looking to transition these stores to franchise operations.

Other cities where specific Zero Franchise Fee stores are available include the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Manhattan, Baltimore, Richmond, Va.; Orlando, Fla.; Portland, Ore., and Jacksonville, Fla. These stores typically have lower sales volume compared to the national average.

The convenience retailer is offering these stores to qualified, prospective franchisees as well as existing 7‑Eleven franchisees who want to grow their retail business by adding 7‑Eleven stores. Prospective franchisees for these Zero Franchise Fee stores will undergo the standard 7‑Eleven franchise approval process. “These locations offer would-be entrepreneurs a chance to go into business for themselves without the expense of the one-time franchise fee,” said Greg Franks, vice president of franchising systems. “With the Zero Franchise Fee Initiative, we opted to waive the fee on these specific stores to allow the new owner a chance to build his or her customer base and business, while backed by our proprietary systems, processes and ongoing support.

“This limited-time offering presents a terrific opportunity for individuals to franchise their own business with a major franchise brand for no initial franchising fee,” Franks added.

Basic 7‑Eleven franchisee qualifications include being 21 years or older, a permanent U.S. resident, having excellent credit and $50,000 in liquid assets. Prospective franchise owners will still be responsible for the costs of licensing, permits and the initial down-payment on inventory, totaling approximately $30,000.

Recognized by numerous business publications as one of the best franchise opportunities in the U.S., 7‑Eleven offers its franchise-owners the strength of its world-renowned brand and a turnkey operation. After extensive training, 7‑Eleven franchisees open their doors with a fully-equipped and stocked store with intuitive retail technology, merchandising and advertising support, high-quality national and private-brand products, and some of the world’s most recognizable brands like Slurpee® and Big Gulp® drinks.

Because the stores qualifying as Zero Franchise Fee opportunities are considered low volume, they may qualify for additional, limited-time financial support.

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 10,500 7‑Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, there are some 55,000 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, organizations and publications. Recent accolades include: Entrepreneur magazine ranked 7‑Eleven as #1 on its Global Franchise Rankings list and #6 on its “Top 10 Franchises” for 2014, #2 on Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies for 2013; and #3 in Forbes magazine’s 2012 Top 20 Franchises to Start list. 7‑Eleven is No. 3 on Fast Company magazine’s 2013 list of the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail,” among the Top Veteran-Friendly Companies for 2013 by U.S. Veterans Magazine and on 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

HAWKE & CO SOARS BEYOND JACKETS – INTRODUCES MEN’S FOOTWEAR LINE FOR FALL 2015

New York, NY, 2015-2-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Hawke & Co introduced their first collection of men’s footwear today, extending the company’s offerings beyond outerwear. The design of the new collection is inspired by their outerwear, and will compliment Hawke & Co’s Pro, Outfitter and Black Collections.

“We are thrilled to be introducing these awesome shoes to our loyal Hawke & Co consumers,” said Michael Rosenberg, President of Hawke & Co. “We’ve had a lot of buyers and customers asking for Hawke footwear, and we listened. The interpretation of Hawke & Co’s DNA into this line of footwear was very well executed by Core Classics and we couldn’t be happier.” Core Classics marks the brand’s fist licensee.

The team paid careful attention to the designs of Hawke & Co outerwear and developed shoes that hint at the innovative designs of jackets such as the company’s flagship line of ultra lightweight packable down jackets. The collection features twelve designs ranging from casual sneakers, loafers, vintage boots and dress boots.

The collection is available to view at Project in Las Vegas from February 17-19th, and will become available this fall on the company’s website at www.hawkeandco.com. Other retail channels will be announced as they become available.

For More Information Contact:
Daniel Montelongo
Director of Marketing & Communications
T: (212) 461–4332
E: dan@hawkeco.com

About Hawke & Co
Founded in 1958, Hawke & Co designs apparel that is innovative, stylish and affordable for the modern explorer. Primarily known for their outerwear, Hawke & Co offers premium quality products that are enjoyed by customers around the world. Hawke & Co is a privately held company and is headquartered in New York, New York.

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Hawkes footwearline for Fall 2015-big