DFS Group and the House of Rémy Martin to celebrate the arrival of limited-edition Rémy Martin XO Touzac

HONG KONG, 2015-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — In a rare collaboration, DFS Group and the House of Rémy Martin have come together to celebrate the arrival of Rémy Martin XO Touzac. This is the first retail partnership of its kind in the Cognac House’s 291-year history. The limited-edition collectible cognac is available now at DFS airport stores in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Okinawa, New York, San Francisco and Singapore. It will be introduced and sold exclusively at other select DFS airport stores in Bali, Jakarta, Medan, Mumbai and Saipan later this year.

As a tribute to the savoir-faire of the House’s revered Cellar Masters throughout the generations, the iconic design of the Rémy Martin XO Touzac’s gilt bottle is inspired by the copper stills in its Touzac distillery and the distinctively colored stone of its aging cellars.

Composed of over 400 eaux-de-vie that have each been aged for at least nine years, the Rémy Martin XO Touzac is the latest object of desire created exclusively for DFS, adding to a growing collection of distinctive items and experiences selected for the discerning world traveler.

“We are excited to offer the world traveler an exclusive taste of the Rémy Martin XO Touzac. The launch of this prestigious spirit celebrates the strong partnership we enjoy with Rémy Martin, and is the result of many months of collaboration. This is what positions DFS as the home of some of the world’s most loved brands,” said Brooke Supernaw, DFS Group’s Senior Vice President of Global Merchandising for Spirits, Wine and Tobacco.

As one of DFS’s longstanding brand partners, Rémy Martin has been driven by a constant quest for excellence. Since 1724, it has drawn its identity from the heart of the Cognac region, selecting only the finest grapes from the most sought-after vineyards in the Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne growth areas in France to craft its Fine Champagne cognacs.

“From harvest to bottle, the Rémy Martin XO Touzac is the embodiment of our finest eaux-de-vie,” said Baptiste Loiseau, Cellar Master for the House of Rémy Martin. “We are delighted to partner with DFS to share this exquisite spirit with a global audience of collectors and connoisseurs around the world.”




– end –

About DFS Group
DFS Group is the world’s leading luxury travel retailer. Established in Hong Kong in 1960, DFS Group continues to be a pioneer in global luxury travel retail, offering its travelling customers a carefully curated selection of exceptional products from over 700 of the most desired brands through 420 locations on three continents. Its network consists of duty free stores located in 18 major global airports, 14 downtown T Galleria stores, as well as affiliate and resort locations. The Group is privately held and majority owned by the world’s largest luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), alongside DFS co-founder and shareholder Robert Miller. DFS Group employs over 9,000 people focused on creating inspiring retail experiences for its customers. In 2014, over 200 million travelers visited DFS stores. DFS is headquartered in Hong Kong and has offices in Hawaii, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.

DFS Group was recently awarded the Grand Prize winner in VMSD Magazine’s 2014 International Visual Competition and Best Luxury Travel Retailer T Galleria by DFS in 2015. Discover more at www.dfs.com

About Rémy Cointreau
The Rémy Cointreau Group is a leading operator in the global Wines &Spirits market with sales of €1,031.6 million for the year ended 31 March 2014 and approximately 1,800 employees. The Rémy Cointreau Group, whose origins in the Charente region date back to 1724, is the result of the merger in 1990 of the holding companies of the Hériard Dubreuil and Cointreau families, which controlled E. Rémy Martin & Cie SA and Cointreau & Cie SA respectively. Rémy Cointreau has a portfolio of global, upmarket brands, including the Rémy Martin and Louis XIII cognacs, the Cointreau and Passoa liqueurs as well as the Metaxa, Mount Gay, St-Rémy, Bruichladdich and The Botanist spirits. Rémy Cointreau is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris.


DFS Group and the House of Rémy Martin to celebrate the arrival of limited-edition Rémy Martin XO Touzac

DFS Group and the House of Rémy Martin to celebrate the arrival of limited-edition Rémy Martin XO Touzac

CBRE Group to acquire the Global WorkPlace Solutions (GWS) business of Johnson Controls for $1.475 billion

Los Angeles, 2015-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Global WorkPlace Solutions (GWS) business of Johnson Controls, Inc. (NYSE:JCI).  GWS is a market-leading provider of Integrated Facilities Management solutions for major occupiers of commercial real estate and has significant operations around the world.  The purchase price is $1.475 billion, payable in cash, or $1.3 billion net of the present value of estimated tax benefits, and with customary post-closing adjustments for working capital and other items.

GWS will operate as part of CBRE’s Global Corporate Services (GCS) business, which has increased revenue at a double-digit compound annual growth rate over the last decade, as more major corporations and other institutions outsource their real estate services. When the transaction is completed, the full range of combined occupier services – notably including CBRE’s leasing expertise and GWS’s engineering expertise – will be available to the clients of both companies.

“The exceptionally talented GWS team will greatly enhance our service offering for occupiers around the world,” said Bob Sulentic, president and chief executive officer of CBRE.  “With GWS, we further our ability to create advantages for occupier clients by aligning every aspect of how they lease, own, use and operate real estate to enhance their competitive position.”

CBRE and Johnson Controls also announced a 10-year strategic relationship. CBRE will provide Johnson Controls with a full suite of integrated corporate real estate services (including facilities management, project management and transaction services) on more than 50 million sq. ft. and Johnson Controls will offer a factory-direct relationship on HVAC equipment, building automation systems and related services to CBRE for its managed properties.  In addition, the companies will jointly fund an innovation lab that will develop leading-edge energy management solutions to lower costs and enhance their clients’ work environments. The joint innovation lab will evaluate, connect and leverage products, services and energy data to create value for occupiers and investors of real estate.

“Clients are increasingly asking us for fully integrated real estate and facilities solutions, which includes self-performing building technical services across their global portfolios,” said Bill Concannon, chief executive officer, GCS for CBRE. “GWS will further improve our ability to serve clients in more than 50 countries with a market-leading capability in all services, industry sectors and property types. The GWS team is a great fit for our business. They bring leadership and expertise in many areas that are vital to our clients, including engineering excellence, global supply chain management, mission-critical facilities and energy management.”

GWS serves a blue-chip roster of global corporations, particularly in the industrial/manufacturing, life-sciences, and technology sectors. Clients typically purchase these services under five-year contracts, and the average tenure for GWS’s 50 largest clients is 12 years.

Upon closing, John Murphy, GWS’s president, will join CBRE as global chief operating officer, GCS. “This combination will create a global market leader in the provision of value-added occupier services that enable clients to derive maximum value from their workplaces.  Together, we will assure clients of high-quality, reliable, cost-efficient, comfortable and safe working environments no matter their core business mission,” said Mr. Murphy. “The fit between our two organizations – be it culture, values, a client-centered ethos, or our commitment to engaged and empowered employees – is outstanding. This fit will help accelerate our coming together to create new value for our clients and shareholders.  I am extremely excited about our future as part of the first-class team at CBRE. ”

Together, CBRE and GWS will manage nearly 5 billion sq. ft. of real estate and corporate facilities globally, including 2.3 billion sq. ft. in the Americas, 1.2 billion sq. ft. in Europe, the Middle East & Africa and 1.4 billion sq. ft. in Asia Pacific.

GWS, which has approximately 16,000 employees worldwide, generated approximately $3.4 billion of revenue for the 12 months ended December 31, 2014.

CBRE anticipates that GWS will be materially accretive to its adjusted earnings per share in 2016.  It expects to fund the acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and proceeds from the incurrence of debt.  The transaction is expected to close in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2015 and is subject to customary regulatory approvals.  Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as CBRE’s legal advisor.

CBRE will hold a conference call at 9 a.m. Eastern Time today (Tuesday, March 31, 2015) to discuss the transaction with the investment community.  A webcast will be accessible through the Investor Relations section of the company’s website at www.cbre.com/investorrelations.

The direct dial-in number for the conference call is 877-407-8037 for U.S. callers and 201-689-8037 for international callers.  A replay of the call will be available starting at 11 a.m. Eastern Time on March 31, 2015, and ending at midnight Eastern Time on April 7, 2015. The dial-in number for the replay is 877-660-6853 for U.S. callers and 201-612-7415 for international callers.  The access code for the replay is 13605214.  A transcript of the call will be available on the company’s Investor Relations website at www.cbre.com/investorrelations.

About Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions
Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions (GWS) is a leading provider of facilities, corporate real estate and energy management for many of the world’s largest companies.  The company creates business advantage for its customers through tailored solutions that optimize their real estate performance and employee productivity while reducing total occupancy costs. Its 16,000 employees have delivered over $3 billion in savings for its customers over the last 10 years and ensure the business continuity for the 1.2 billion square feet of real estate that the company manages in 55 countries.

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2014 revenue).  The Company has more than 52,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 370 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

“Safe Harbor” Statement Under the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Certain of the statements in this release regarding the acquisition of the Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) business of Johnson Controls, Inc. that do not concern purely historical data are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the ”safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the expected closing date of the acquisition, expected cost synergies and earnings accretion, expected tax benefits, expected financing sources for the transaction, and the ability of the parties to successfully integrate GWS with CBRE’s existing operations globally, as well as other risks and uncertainties discussed in CBRE’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release and, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws, CBRE expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any of them to reflect actual results, any changes in expectations or any change in events. If CBRE does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements. For additional information concerning factors that may cause actual results to differ from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements and risks to CBRE’s business in general, please refer to CBRE’s SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014. Such filings are available publicly and may be obtained off CBRE’s website at www.cbre.com or upon request from the CBRE Investor Relations Department at investorrelations@cbre.com.

For Further Information

Steve Iaco
T +1 212 9846535

Robert Mcgrath
T +1 212 9848267

Indonesia: PT. Matahari Putra Prima Tbk opens Foodmart Supermarket at Suncity Mall Madiun

Lippo Village, Tangerang, 2015-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — PT. Matahari Putra Prima Tbk (MPPA), a leading modern multi-format retailer in Indonesia, operator of Hypermart, Foodmart and Boston Health & Beauty, launched the new Foodmart Supermarket at Suncity Mall Madiun, a luxury shopping center located in the heart of Madiun.

Foodmart Suncity Mall Madiun is the third Foodmart outlet in East Java with a gross area of +/- 1,500 m². The opening ceremony was attended by the Director of Foodmart Operations, Dave Rao, Regional
Manager of Foodmart, Gembara Asnam, local authorities, supplier representatives, mall management, and invited guests.

Danny Kojongian, MPPA’s Director of Public Relations and Communications said “Madiun has a remarkable economic growth, especially in trade and services sector. We want to develop meaningful, long-term relationships with our customers by delivering convenience, informative and engaging in-store experience.”

Store Manager, Enjang Rahmat Fadilah and the entire staffs expressed their readiness to serve and reinvent the shopping experience in the store.

About PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk (MPPA)
PT Matahari Putra Prima (MPPA) operates Hypermart, Foodmart and Boston Health & Beauty. Total 2014 Sales amounted to Rp 13,59 Trillion (audited), a growth of 14.1% from 2013. Net Income 2014 amounted to Rp 554 Billion, which grew 24.5% from Rp 444,9 Billion in 2013. Hypermart has the widest store network among hypermarket operators in more than 60 cities ranging from Tanjung Balai (Medan) to Jayapura (Papua).

MPPA continues to receive both domestic and international acknowledgement with several awards such as:
2014 Customer Satisfaction by Roy Morgan, 2014 Excellence Experience by Bisnis Indonesia & Carre CCSL, 2014 Top 500 Bronze Award by Retail Asia, 2014 Charta Peduli Indonesia by Dompet Dhuafa, 2014 Superbrand Indonesia by Superbrand, 2014 Best Senior Management IR Support & Most Improved Investor Relations by Alpha Southeast Asia, 2014 Most Admired Companies by Fortune Indonesia, and 2014 Most Admired Company by Warta Ekonomi.

For further information, please contact :
PT. Matahari Putra Prima, Tbk
Danny Kojongian, Director Communications and Public Relations
Email: danny.kojongian@hypermart.co.id
Fernando Repi, Head of Public Relations
Mobile : 081511181187
Email: fernando.repi@hypermart.co.id


Fresh Section at Foodmart Madiun

Fresh Section at Foodmart Madiun

SM Investments Corporation marked its 10th year as publicly-listed company in the Philippine Stock Exchange

Pasay City, Philippines, 2015-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Investments Corporation (SM) today marked its 10th year as a publicly-listed company in the Philippine Stock Exchange.

SM listed on March 22, 2005 with an adjusted price of PHP 191 per share. As of March 26, SM closed at PHP888 apiece, representing a growth of 365%.

In his remarks during the anniversary ceremony, SM Chief Finance Officer Jose T. Sio said that the company’s growth has been tremendous over the last ten years.

“More compelling is how our operating companies in retail, property and banking have emerged to be market leaders in just ten years. Such leadership is backed by having one of the largest footprints in the country consisting of highly productive assets and delivering superior value, margins and returns. These assets have evolved to cater to more sophisticated lifestyles of our customers by providing a world-class look and feel, a sense of completeness and an exciting experience for every member of the family,” Mr. Sio said.

In 2005, SM had total assets of PHP153 billion and a market capitalization of PHP127 billion. Today, , SM’s assets are worth over PHP711 billion with a market capitalization of PHP732 billion. Its assets grew almost seven -fold, delivering an average annual growth of 21% over the last ten years. Market capitalization grew by 19% during the same period.

Revenues also accelerated in the last ten years for an average growth of 20.6% per annum with net income showing an average growth of 21.4 percent each year.

“Indeed, the story of SM has inspired and surprised many, ourselves included, as we witnessed its phenomenal growth from humble beginnings to what it has become today. SM is a story of leadership, innovation, commitment, focus and a collective effort to advance the great legacy that Mr. Henry Sy, Sr. built,” Mr. Sio further said.

# # #

About SM Investments Corporation
SM Investments Corporation (SM) is one of the leading conglomerates in the Philippines with highly synergistic businesses in retail, banking and property development. SM has evolved into one of the most highly respected companies in the country owing to its progressive approach in business and its comprehensive sustainability programs for its host communities through SM Foundation and SM Cares.

SM’s retail operations enjoy a strong brand franchise consisting of The SM Store and its food retail chains namely SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, Savemore , WalterMart and Alfamart stores. SM’s property arm, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., is among the largest integrated property developers in the Philippines with interests in mall, residential, commercial and tourism development. SM’s interests in banking are in BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO), the country’s largest and in China Banking Corporation (China Bank), the fifth largest. Combined, these two banks have a network of over 1,000 branches nationwide.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
E-mail: cora.guidote@sminvestments.com
Tel. No. (632) 857-0117



SM officials led by SM Executive Vice President and Chief Finance Officer Jose T. Sio (fifth from right) rang  the bell on the local bourse to mark the company’s 10th year of listing as well as the opening of trades for the day. From left to right: Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Director Alejandro T. Yu; SM Senior Vice President (SVP) for Investor Relations Corazon P. Guidote; SM SVP for Corporate Services Elizabeth Anne C. Uychaco; SM SVP for Finance Franklin C. Gomez; SM SVP for Investments Portfolio Frederic C. DyBuncio; SM Independent Director Vicente S. Perez, Jr.; SM EVP and CFO Jose T. Sio; PSE Directors Edgardo G. Lacson, Eddie T. Gobing, Emmanuel O. Bautista and PSE Chief Operating Officer Roel A. Refran.

SM officials led by SM Executive Vice President and Chief Finance Officer Jose T. Sio (fifth from right) rang the bell on the local bourse to mark the company’s 10th year of listing as well as the opening of trades for the day. From left to right: Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Director Alejandro T. Yu; SM Senior Vice President (SVP) for Investor Relations Corazon P. Guidote; SM SVP for Corporate Services Elizabeth Anne C. Uychaco; SM SVP for Finance Franklin C. Gomez; SM SVP for Investments Portfolio Frederic C. DyBuncio; SM Independent Director Vicente S. Perez, Jr.; SM EVP and CFO Jose T. Sio; PSE Directors Edgardo G. Lacson, Eddie T. Gobing, Emmanuel O. Bautista and PSE Chief Operating Officer Roel A. Refran.

Jonathan and Drew Scott to debut their outdoor furnishings and accessories collection Scott Living on QVC

Jonathan and Drew Scott to Debut Outdoor Décor Line

WEST CHESTER, Pa., 2015-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Best known as stars of four hit television series, Jonathan and Drew Scott are recognized worldwide for their real estate and design expertise. Now, they’re bringing their home renovation know-how and dynamic design vision to the world of backyard décor with Scott Living, an outdoor furnishings and accessories collection scheduled to debut on QVC Tuesday, March 31 at 10 PM (ET).

“Jonathan and Drew are famous for their ability to transform any living space into a dream dwelling,” said Ken O’Brien, senior vice president of merchandising for QVC. “We hope viewers will be inspired by the expert tips the brothers have to offer and seize the opportunity to update or refresh their outdoor spaces, just in time for spring.”

A combination of quality, style, versatility and affordability, the Scott Living collection has something to offer for design pros and novices alike. With products ranging from traditional to contemporary, the collection features an assortment of patio furniture, lanterns and lamps, decorative planters and more guaranteed to complement any style and space, with items perfect for all budgets.

“Helping fans turn their dream homes into reality is something we’re very passionate about,” said Jonathan Scott. “We are excited to unveil our collection on QVC and share our knowledge and experience with millions of viewers across the country,” added Drew Scott.

Tune in to the “Scott Living Outdoor Style with the Scott Brothers” broadcast Tuesday, March 31 at 10 PM (ET) as the brothers present their collection and demonstrate how to turn any space into an outdoor oasis. The Scott Livingcollection is scheduled to be available, while supplies last, beginning March 31 through QVC.com, QVC apps or by calling 800.345.1515.

# # #

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 Scott Brothers
Jonathan and Drew Scott host four HGTV hit series, “Property Brothers,” “Buying and Selling” and “Brother vs. Brother” as well as “Off Topic With The Scott Brothers,” a 60-minute lifestyle radio series on Canada’s Corus Radio produced in conjunction with a third brother, J.D. Scott. After founding the indie film company Dividian Production Group in 2004, Jonathan and Drew went on to launch Scott Brothers Entertainment in 2010, a multifaceted company that strives to develop cutting-edge original entertainment for television and other platforms and is dedicated to the craft of production and providing innovative content for U.S., Canadian and international markets.


Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Stuart M. Allison: The best way to use the commissary benefit is to be an informed shopper

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — What a commissary patrons know about their commissary benefit – how it works, its history and its features – can make all the difference in how they use it.

Just ask Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Stuart M. Allison, the Defense Commissary Agency’s senior enlisted advisor to the director.

“The best way to use the commissary benefit is to be an informed shopper,” Allison said. “By ‘informed,’ I mean being aware of what the benefit is and how it began. Do you know about our great savings in produce, meat and other grocery products? The more you know, the more the benefit works for you.”

So, to help commissary shoppers, here’s Allison’s quick guide of fact vs. fiction information:

The commissary is only authorized for married military members living in on-base housing:
Fiction. Where a person lives or their marital status does not determine commissary access. All that matters is their status as an authorized patron. Active duty military, reservists, retirees, 100 percent disabled military veterans, Medal of Honor recipients, and their authorized family members are all authorized to shop.

Case lot sales can save patrons upwards of 50 percent:
Fact. DeCA’s Commissary Customer Appreciation case lot sales offer savings of 50 percent or more on club pack and full-case items. Customers can go to the Case Lot Sales page to find out scheduled sales. They can also find this information on their store’s Web page.

The Defense Commissary Agency isn’t connected to its patrons in cyberspace:
Fiction. DeCA reaches hundreds of thousands of patrons online through social media platforms such as Facebook,Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Foursquare and Pinterest. Through social media, DeCA gets instant feedback from customers on promotions, store conditions and product preferences. The sites also draw patrons to www.commissaries.com for more information to maximize their benefit.

DeCA has a rewards card that gives its patrons access to digital coupons:
Fact. The Commissary Rewards Card is a convenient way for customers to save even more with about 160 digital coupons. Patrons can download those digital coupons to the Commissary Rewards Card from the commissary website or from Smart Source “direct to card.” iPhone and Android apps make it even easier for customers to review their coupon accounts, as well as locate commissaries and their contact information.

Patrons can only access commissary products in a commissary:
Fiction. DeCA’s Guard and Reserve On-Site sales extend the commissary benefit to Guard and Reserve members and their families who don’t live near a commissary. These sales are hosted by nearby commissaries in cooperation with Guard and Reserve units that have at least 150 members stationed in an area. Although designed for reservists, any authorized patron can shop during the sales. A listing of on-site sales can be found on the Guard/Reserve On-Site Sales page.

The 5-percent surcharge is a tax:
Fiction. The 5-percent surcharge, mandated by Congress, is returned to commissary patrons in the form of continually improved commissary facilities – new stores, as well as renovations of existing ones. The savings of 30 percent includes the 5-percent surcharge.

Military commissaries date back to the 1860s:
Fact. Although DeCA was formed in 1991, the modern era of sales commissaries actually began in 1867. It was then that enlisted men received the same at-cost purchasing privileges officers had already enjoyed for four decades. From the start, commissaries were meant to allow the Army to “care for its own.” The stores provided wholesome food beyond official rations, and the savings supplemented military pay.

Baggers are commissary employees:
Fiction. Baggers are not commissary employees, and are paid solely by tips from commissary patrons in exchange for bagging and carryout services. Baggers are self-employed and work under a license agreement with an installation commander.

“Doing your homework can pay off at the cash register,” Allison said. “If you want to save more, boost your commissary knowledge. Tune in to DeCA’s social media sites, and check the commissary website for the current sales flyer, ongoing promotions, the lineup of Commissary Value Brands, and available digital coupons for your Commissary Rewards Card.

“It’s your benefit,” he added. “Take the time to understand it and use it.”

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773

Hy-Vee to sponsor fundraising events in five Midwestern cities to help children with cancer

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, 2015-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (March 30, 2015), Hy-Vee, Inc. officials announced a new partnership with the Pinky Swear Foundation, a national charitable organization that supports children with cancer and their families through fundraising kids triathlons and other community activities. This unique partnership will bring the Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons to Des Moines, Minneapolis, Omaha, the Quad Cities and Kansas City this summer. In addition, 5K Family Runs will be held in all the cities except Minneapolis.

The new Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons and 5K Family Runs will be fun, accessible and engaging for children at all fitness levels and will focus on participation rather than competition. The primary purpose of the swim, bike and run events is the fundraising aspect, in which kids raise money to help kids with cancer and their families. The money raised goes directly toward easing the financial and emotional impacts experienced by children with cancer and their families. In many cases, the money provides basic needs, such as mortgage and rent, transportation, utilities, gas cards and food. According to Pinky Swear, a child is diagnosed with cancer every 45 minutes in the United States, and 1 out of 11 families given that news will file for bankruptcy.

“We are extremely pleased to collaborate with the Pinky Swear Foundation and their commendable efforts in raising funds and awareness for children with cancer,” said Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee. “Being involved in our communities is a top priority at Hy-Vee. In working with the foundation and local hospitals, we hope to engage families in fitness, raise funds for those in need and have a little fun in the process.”

With the new Hy-Vee Pinky Swear events, Pinky Swear now hosts 12 kids triathlons and four 5K family runs in 12 markets across the country.

“We are thrilled with the partnership with Hy-Vee and are excited about the tremendous impact it will have on our organization and the families we serve,” said Brian Nelson, executive director of the Pinky Swear Foundation. “The foundation began as a pinky swear promise between a son and his father and has grown into a nationwide organization. I am proud of the work we have done and look forward to the Hy-Vee partnership because of the additional triathlons in these new markets and the hundreds of additional patient families we will be able to serve.”

Hy-Vee is committed to fitness-friendly events that engage customers and benefit the communities it serves. Pinky Swear shares that commitment. Through this collaboration, Pinky Swear’s message and mission will reach a broader audience while allowing Hy-Vee to continue its long-term focus and dedication to the sport of triathlon. The Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Triathlons and 5K Family Runs will take the place of the Hy-Vee Triathlon, which was discontinued for 2015.

2015 Event Schedule

Des Moines Kids Triathlon
Date: July 11, 2015
Location: Raccoon River Park
Quad Cities Kids Triathlon
Date: Aug. 15, 2015
Location: Bettendorf YMCA
Des Moines 5K Family Run
Date: July 12, 2015
Location: Principal Park
Quad Cities 5K Family Run
Date: Aug. 16, 2015
Location: TBD
Minneapolis Kids Triathlon
Date: Aug. 1, 2015
Location: Lake Nokomis
Kansas City Kids Triathlon
Date: TBD
Location: TBD
Omaha Kids Triathlon
Date: Aug. 7, 2015
Location: Cunningham Lake
Kansas City 5K Family Run
Date: TBD
Location: TBD
Omaha 5K Family Run
Date: Aug. 8, 2015
Location: TBD

Register now to participate in one of the Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlon or 5K Family Run events at www.pinkyswear.org.


Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 235 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $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.

The Pinky Swear Foundation was founded on a pinky swear promise as a dying wish between a nine-year old boy and his father to help children with cancer and their families by providing immediate basic needs support and unique family programs. That pinky swear, the most solemn of oaths between two people, lives on today in the Pinky Swear Foundation. The Pinky Swear Foundation is passionately committed to helping children with cancer and their families by being fanatically responsive to the immediate crisis facing families with a childhood cancer diagnosis. Pinky Swear Foundation activities include the world’s largest kids fundraising triathlon series, National Pinky Swear Day, and other community engagement opportunities. Visit us at PinkySwear.org or follow us at @PinkySwearFndtn.

Media Contacts

Tara Deering-Hansen
Assistant Vice President, Communications
Hy-Vee, Inc.
Office: 515-559-5770
Mobile: 515-778-7865
Amy Mauzy
Marketing Director
Pinky Swear Foundation
Office: 952-974-9603
Mobile: 612-812-4439

Hy-Vee partners with Pinky Swear Foundation to sponsor several Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons and 5K Family Runs in cities across the Midwest

racing for a cause

West Des Moines, IA, 2015-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Hy-Vee is pleased to partner with the Pinky Swear Foundation to sponsor several Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons and 5K Family Runs in cities across the Midwest. We are excited to help with the foundation’s efforts to raise funds and awareness for the families of children who are suffering from cancer.

Hy-Vee is collaborating with the foundation to bring youth triathlons and family-friendly 5K runs to several of the communities it serves. In summer 2015, races will be held in Des Moines, Minneapolis, Omaha, the Quad Cities and Kansas City. The new Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons will be fun, fitness-friendly and accessible to youth of all skill levels. At most event locations, parents and family members will be able to join the fun the next day by participating with the children in a 5K run. These events reinforce our commitment to health and wellness while providing exciting opportunities to engage children in fundraising and giving back to their communities.

the story behind pinky swear

What began as a promise between a father and son has turned into a nationwide triathlon series and fundraiser for children fighting cancer.

Before 9-year-old Mitch Chepokas died of cancer, his dad, Steve, made a pinky swear promise with him to continue to help children with the disease. Today, Pinky Swear provides immediate needs support and unique family programs to families with children who have cancer. To accomplish this, the foundation holds youth triathlons in a dozen states across the country and encourages kids to fundraise and build support for other children in need.

Visit pinkyswear.org to learn more about Pinky Swear and ways you can get involved.

partnering for success

Pinky Swear embodies two core focuses that are also central to Hy-Vee — health and wellness and community support. We are proud to partner with the foundation and our customers to raise money for families in need while engaging families in events that promote a healthy lifestyle.

Through this partnership, we hope to raise awareness for the foundation, place a spotlight on its mission and provide more fundraising opportunities through additional kids triathlon and 5K family events. We look forward to our customers joining us in working to make a difference in the lives of families in the communities we call home.

2015 Event Schedule

Des Moines Kids Triathlon

July 11, 2015
Location: Raccoon River Park
Omaha Kids Triathlon

Aug. 7, 2015
Location: Cunningham Lake
Quad Cities Kids Triathlon

Aug. 15, 2015
Location: Bettendorf YMCA
Des Moines 5K Family Run

July 12, 2015
Location: Principal Park
Omaha 5K Family Run

Aug. 8, 2015
Location: TBD
Kansas City Kids Triathlon

Location: TBD
Minneapolis Kids Triathlon

Aug. 1, 2015
Location: Lake Nokomis
Quad Cities Kids Triathlon

Aug. 15, 2015
Location: Bettendorf YMCA
Kansas City 5K Family Run

Location: TBD


Hy-Vee partners with Pinky Swear Foundation to sponsor several Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons and 5K Family Runs in cities across the Midwest

Hy-Vee partners with Pinky Swear Foundation to sponsor several Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons and 5K Family Runs in cities across the Midwest

Kingfisher preliminary results for the year ended 31 January 2015: Sales up 2.9%; UK & Ireland +5.5%

LONDON, 2015-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sales up 2.9%, adjusted pre-tax profit of £675m, down 7.5%. New CEO outlines plans to organise Kingfisher very differently and announces her first ‘sharp’ decisions on the journey to ‘ONE’ Kingfisher

2014/15 Financial overview:

% Total Change % Total Change % LFL* Change
2014/15 2013/14 Reported Constant currency Constant currency
Sales* £10,966m £11,125m (1.4)% +2.9% +0.5%
Retail profit* £733m £779m (5.9)% (1.6)%
Adjusted* pre-tax profit £675m £730m (7.5)%
Adjusted basic EPS 20.9p 22.8p (8.3)%
Full year dividend 10.0p 9.9p +1.0%
Net cash* £329m £238m n/a

* Throughout this release ‘*’ indicates the first instance of terms defined in Section 5 ‘Glossary’ of this announcement.

2014/15 highlights

  • Total sales in constant currencies up 2.9% (France -1.0%, UK & Ireland +5.5%, Other International +5.0%)
  • Adjusted pre-tax profit of £675m impacted by a slower market in France since summer 2014, £34m adverse foreign exchange movements on the translation of non-sterling profits and £22m charges for new country development activity
  • Year end net cash of £329m is after £275m capital investment and £434m of cash returned to shareholders
  • Appointed new Chief Executive Officer in December 2014, new initiatives underway on the journey for ‘ONE’ Kingfisher

Commenting on the strategic update:

Véronique Laury, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Home improvement is a great market with huge potential and Kingfisher has a strong position within it with further scope to grow in a sustainable way. However, it is clear to me that we need to organise ourselves very differently to unlock our potential. This will involve taking what is essentially a locally managed set of businesses and creating instead a single, unified company where customer needs come first. The first step in developing this new organisation is the creation of a new, international leadership team with more focused cross-company roles.

“We have a lot to do and we are announcing today a set of first ‘sharp’ decisions which are already underway including the closure of around 15% surplus B&Q space (c.60 stores) and our few loss making stores in Europe, the development of unified garden and bathroom businesses and the start of a Big Box revitalisation programme across Europe.

“In addition, we will be developing our detailed plans for the wider reorganisation of the company as we progress on this exciting journey towards becoming ‘ONE’ Kingfisher.”

Karen Witts, Chief Financial Officer, said:

“We believe our plans will drive an increase in the value of our business for shareholders, with improved financial metrics through higher sales and lower costs, whilst at the same time optimising the generation and use of cash. Besides the growth in full year dividend, we are also pleased to be announcing today a further £200 million capital return during FY 2015/16 reflecting our confidence in our medium term prospects. In the short term, whilst we remain encouraged by the improving economic backdrop in the UK, we remain cautious on the outlook for France, our biggest market.”


Related links

Statutory reporting

2014/15 2013/14 % Change Reported
Statutory pre-tax profit £644m £759m (15.2)%
Statutory post-tax profit £573m £710m (19.3)%
Basic EPS 24.3p 30.0p (19.0)%


Sarah Levy, Group Investor Relations Director
+44 (0) 20 7644 1032

Christian Cowley, Head of Investor Relations
+44 (0) 20 7644 1126

Nigel Cope, Head of Media Relations
+44 (0) 20 7644 1030

Giles Hartley, Investor Relations Manager
+44 (0) 20 7644 1082

+44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Further copies of this announcement can be downloaded from www.kingfisher.com or viewed on the Kingfisher IR iPad App available for free at the Apple App store. We can be followed on Twitter @kingfisherplc.

Kingfisher American Depository Receipts are traded in the US on the OTCQX platform: (OTCQX: KGFHY) http://www.otcmarkets.com/stock/KGFHY/quote

Kingfisher acquisition of Mr Bricolage will not proceed further

LONDON, 2015-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — On 23 July 2014 Kingfisher entered into a binding agreement with the principal shareholders of Mr Bricolage to acquire their shareholdings subject to satisfactory anti-trust clearance. This agreement made provision that it would lapse if the anti-trust clearance was not obtained by 31 March 2015 although an extension could be agreed by all parties. Kingfisher notes the statement of the ANPF (an organisation controlled by Mr Bricolage’s franchisees holding 41.9% of the share capital of Mr Bricolage) dated 27 March 2015 which cites their decision to refuse any extension of the 31 March 2015 deadline.

Therefore, notwithstanding Kingfisher’s efforts to pursue the completion of the transaction, and in light of the positions expressed to date by the ANPF and Mr Bricolage, the anti-trust clearance will not be obtained by 31 March 2015 and therefore the July 2014 agreement will lapse on that date.

Consequently the transaction will not proceed. Kingfisher is considering all of its options.


+(44) 20 7644 1032

+(44) 20 7644 1030

French media
+(33) 6 09 24 42 42

Kingfisher executive director Kevin O’Byrne to step down from the Board on 15 May 2015

LONDON, 2015-3-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — In accordance with Listing rule 9.6.14(2), Kingfisher plc today announces that Kevin O’Byrne, an executive director of the Company, is to step down from the Board and leave the business on 15 May 2015. Mr O’Byrne will remain in his current role as CEO for B&Q UK & Ireland until this time allowing a smooth handover of his responsibilities, further details of which will be announced in due course.

Mr O’Byrne joined the Board in September 2008 as Group Finance Director where he played a key role in transforming the Group’s cash position during the financial crisis. In 2012 he became Divisional CEO of the Group’s interests in Turkey, China, Germany and the UK & Ireland. In 2013 he took full responsibility for running B&Q UK & Ireland.

Véronique Laury, Kingfisher’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“I would like to thank Kevin for his contribution to Kingfisher over the last six years. He has played an important part in the development of the company over that time and I wish him well in the future.”

Kevin O’Byrne, CEO B&Q UK & Ireland said:

“I want to thank all the team at Kingfisher and in particular B&Q. It has been a privilege to work with so many passionate and talented people at Kingfisher and B&Q. The team at B&Q have created a stronger business over the last few years and I wish them, and all of Kingfisher, great success in the coming years.”

3 Sheldon Square
W2 6PX

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7372 8008

Restaurant review resource The Infatuation teamed up with Whole Foods Market to host its first-ever social media-sourced bake sale in New York City on April 11th

Amateur bakers compete April 11th for the opportunity to make their bakery dreams a reality

New York, NY, 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Infatuation, the popular restaurant review resource and creators of the #EEEEEATS hashtag, has teamed up with Whole Foods Market to host its first-ever social media-sourced bake sale in New York City on April 11th. The Infatuation Bake Sale has called on amateur bakers and avid social media followers via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and email, to submit photos of their homemade creations for a chance to be chosen to showcase their goods to the more than 500 dessert and pastry obsessed attendees.

Tickets are available for purchase beginning today.

Through the Bake Sale, The Infatuation and Whole Foods Market are attempting to create an opportunity for aspiring bakers to take the chance at turning their dreams into reality. One lucky winner of the approximately 25 featured amateur bakers, who were chosen out of more than 1,500 social media and email entries using #InfatuationBakeSale, will vie for the chance to meet with Whole Foods Market about what it takes to bring a product to market with Whole Foods Market’s Local Forager, Elly Truesdell—who is responsible for bringing in local producers into stores. In addition, the winner will also win a baking class in the professional kitchens of the International Culinary Center, and a host of additional prizes from event sponsors KitchenAid, OXO, King Arthur Flour, Greyston Bakery, SoulCycle, and Everlane. All participating bakers will have a chance to be featured in The Infatuation Bake Book, a digital cookbook to be released following the event.

“We’ve had the Bake Sale idea for over two years now. It was all about finding the right partner to help bring it to life;” explains Infatuation Co-Founder Chris Stang. “For obvious reasons, Whole Foods Market was our dream partner for this thing,” adds Infatuation Co-Founder Andrew Steinthal. “Needless to say, we were psyched Whole Foods liked the idea and wanted to get involved. Hopefully it turns into something we collaborate on together annually.”

In keeping with true “bake sale” tradition, a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national non-profit committed to raising funds for research to develop new, improved and less toxic treatments for pediatric cancer, the #1 disease killer of children in the U.S. The organization inspires individuals, businesses, and organizations to raise funds by hosting grassroots bake sales and other fundraising events.

“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to partner with The Infatuation and help provide a stage for the amateur bakers who proudly share with us their passion for food everyday through our social media channels,” said Michael Sinatra, Public Relations Manager for Whole Foods Market’s Northeast Region.  “Whole Foods Market is always seeking opportunities to identify new, up-and-coming local food businesses. What better way to do that than encourage our shoppers and The Infatuation’s community to take a chance to do what they’ve always dreamed of, all while experiencing the fun, passion and determination of the incredible local bakeries we currently feature in our stores.”

While a panel of judges will ultimately determine the event’s winner, attendees will enjoy the creations of bake sale finalists and have their say in the “People’s Choice Award,” while sipping on cocktails and beverages from Deep Eddy Vodka, Brooklyn Brewery, Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, Balance Water, and Organic Valley. In addition, Allegro Coffee, Whole Foods Market’s exclusive and celebrated coffee bar partner, will be on-hand pouring sustainably sourced coffee and tea varieties from around the world.

To learn more about the Bake Sale, visit The Infatuation or Whole Foods Market on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Whole Foods Market acquires and plans to improve the empty lot just north of the Whole Foods Market Sauganash location in Chicago

Whole Foods Market purchases and paves empty lot near Sauganash store

Chicago, IL, 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market announced today that it has purchased and plans to improve the empty lot just north of the Whole Foods Market Sauganash location at 6020 N. Cicero Avenue in Chicago. This newly paved lot will allow Whole Foods Market to better serve its customers and the greater Sauganash community.

“While we’re excited about being able to offer more convenient parking for our customers from the Sauganash community, what we’re most excited about are all of the other uses for this space,” said Lisa Staiger, Store Team Leader, Whole Foods Market Sauganash. “We’re discussing a lot of community focused ideas including hosting family movie nights, local vendor fairs, and outdoor barbeques.  This will help us celebrate the people that make Sauganash so amazing and support the incredible food artisans from our neighborhood and beyond.”

Whole Foods Market expects enhanced benefits to the greater Sauganash community in this newly paved lot. Landscaping is planned for the space keeping in character with the surrounding neighborhood. Whole Foods Market expects to be able to offer the space for community-based activities including outdoor local vendor fairs and other events intended to bring members of the neighborhood together.

The new parking lot will improve traffic flow at the entrance of the store along with improved ingress and egress from Cicero Avenue. Whole Foods Market customers will enjoy faster access to the store for their weekly grocery shopping or the last minute trip for a forgotten item. The enhanced LED lighting will add to increased visibility and security at the site.

The paving is expected to be complete by fall of 2015.


Whole Foods Market acquires and plans to improve the empty lot just north of the Whole Foods Market Sauganash location in Chicago

Whole Foods Market acquires and plans to improve the empty lot just north of the Whole Foods Market Sauganash location in Chicago

Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft opens volunteer registration earlier to attract even more volunteers for this year’s tournament

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — After a successful inaugural tournament that boasted more than 700 volunteers, the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft opened volunteer registration one month earlier than last year in hopes of attracting even more volunteers for this year’s tournament.

The retailer also worked with its tournament sponsors to increase last year’s $1.5 million purse to $2 million.

“We are dedicated to making the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft a notable stop on the LPGA tour,” Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. “The community really embraced the tournament last year, and we look forward to partnering with the LPGA to make every aspect even better.”

The Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft will host a full field of 144 players playing 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition July 20-26 at Blythefield Country Club. With Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer as title sponsor, the driving mission of the tournament is focused on feeding the hungry and improving the quality of life within the region. The tournament will coincide with the retailer’s Simply Give program, which has generated nearly $14 million for food pantries in the communities it serves.

“Hosting the top women golfers in the world would not be possible without the help of the hundreds of volunteers needed to make every aspect of the tournament run seamlessly,” said Lesley Baker, tournament director of the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft. “We were overwhelmed by the positive support we received from the community last year, and this year we need even more.”

The event will need an estimated 800 volunteers, ranging in responsibilities from marshals and standard bearers to transportation and assisting the media. Volunteers can indicate their first, second and third choices, and will be assigned to a committee on a first-come, first-served basis.

The volunteer fee is $55 and includes two official tournament golf shirts, one tournament hat, a volunteer badge valid for weeklong tournament access and parking, four weekly grounds tickets for guests of the volunteer’s choice, an invitation to the annual volunteer appreciation party, and meals and beverages during assigned shifts.

For volunteer registration, please visit meijerlpgaclassic.com/volunteers to register.

To view a video recapping the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft, please visit http://newsroom.meijer.com/meijer-lpga-simply-give-video.

About Meijer Simply Give
Meijer is a family-owned retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich. with a fundamental philosophy aimed at strengthening the communities it serves. Meijer operates 213 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, and proudly donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives. For additional information on Meijer philanthropy, please visit meijercommunity.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

About Blythefield Country Club
Located just north of Grand Rapids, Blythefield has been providing families the best golf and social experience in West Michigan since 1928. With the Rogue River flowing through, Blythefield boasts one of the most beautiful championship layouts in Michigan. Previously, Blythefield has hosted the 1953 Western Amateur, the 1961 Western Open, won by Arnold Palmer, and the 2005 Western Junior won by Rickie Fowler. In 2014, Blythefield hosted the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft. Learn more about Blythefield Country Club at www.blythefieldcc.org.

About the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association)
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via: www.LPGA.com, www.facebook.com/lpga.official,www.twitter.com/lpga, and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo.

About Octagon Global Events
Octagon Global Events is a division of Octagon, the world’s largest sports and entertainment representation and marketing agency. Octagon Global Events focuses on premium event/property management, providing strategic corporate solutions. The division currently manages two Champions Tour events, two LPGA Tour events and the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. For more information, visit http://www.octagonglobalevents.com.

Contact: Lesley Baker, lesley.baker@octagon.com, 616-426-6225 or Christina Fecher, christina.fecher@meijer.com, 616-735-7968


Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft opens volunteer registration earlier to attract even more volunteers for this year’s tournament

Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft opens volunteer registration earlier to attract even more volunteers for this year’s tournament

Ahold share buyback update: Ahold repurchased 728,000 Ahold common shares in the period from March 23, 2015 up to and including March 27, 2015

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold has repurchased 728,000 Ahold common shares in the period from March 23, 2015 up to and including March 27, 2015.

The shares were repurchased at an average price of € 18.0444 per share for a total consideration of € 13.14 million. These repurchases were made as part of the € 500 million share buyback program announced on February 26, 2015.

The total number of shares repurchased under this program to date is 1,875,944 common shares for a total consideration of € 33.91 million.

During the share buyback program, Ahold publishes a press release every Monday with a weekly update. Click here to view all the relevant information of these these weekly updates. Separate weekly press releases are available upon request. Please send an email to communications@ahold.com if you would like to receive one or more of these weekly releases.


British Land’s wholly owned subsidiary Broadgate Estates will move its headquarters to 2 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central in July 2015

LONDON, 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — British Land announces that Broadgate Estates, its wholly owned subsidiary, will move its headquarters to 2 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central in July 2015. Broadgate Estates will occupy 26,150 sq ft on the second floor.

Broadgate Estates is one of the UK’s leading property management companies.  It is active across retail, offices and residential and its client portfolio includes some of the most prestigious properties in the UK.

Broadgate Estates manages British Land’s office portfolio, including the 30 acre Broadgate Campus in the City of London.  It has a broad client base and manages the More London and Kings Cross developments in London, amongst others. It has developed retail expertise within these larger, mixed use schemes and in addition provides property management services at Liverpool ONE, a major UK retail destination covering over 42 acres.  Building on this experience, Broadgate Estates has recently assumed the property management of Drake Circus, British Land’s 425,000 sq ft shopping centre in Plymouth. On the residential side, Broadgate Estates provides a range of residential management services to clients including East Village, the former Olympic Athletes Village.

Steve Whyman, CEO of Broadgate Estates, said: “The relocation of Broadgate Estates’ headquarters to a larger space at Paddington Central reflects the very strong growth of our company’s business. British Land has ambitious plans for Paddington Central, and we are pleased to be joining the campus at this stage of its development.”

Investor Relations
Sally Jones, British Land 020 7467 2942
Pip Wood, British Land 020 7467 2838
Jackie Whitaker, British Land 020 7467 3449
Gordon Simpson, Finsbury Group 020 7251 3801

Notes to Editors

About British Land
We are one of Europe’s largest publicly listed real estate companies. We own, manage, develop and finance a portfolio of high quality commercial property, focused on retail locations around the UK and London Offices & Residential. We have total assets in the UK, owned or managed of £19.0 billion (British Land share of which is £12.8 billion), as valued at 30 September 2014. Our properties are home to over 1,000 different organisations and receive over 340 million visits each year. Our objective is to deliver long-term and sustainable total returns to our shareholders and we do this by focusing on Places People Prefer. People have a choice where they work, shop and live and we aim to create outstanding places which make a positive difference to people’s everyday lives. Our customer orientation enables us to develop a deep understanding of the people who use our places. We employ a lean team of experts, who have the skills to translate this understanding into creating the right places, and we have an efficient capital structure which is able to effectively finance these places.

UK Retail assets account for 54% of our portfolio. As the UK’s largest listed owner and manager of retail space, our portfolio is well matched to the different ways people shop today, from major regional shopping centres to single occupier locations. We are focused on being the destination of choice for retailers and their customers by being the best provider of spaces and services. Comprising around 25 million sq ft of retail space across retail parks, superstores, shopping centres, department stores and leisure assets, the retail portfolio is modern, flexible and adaptable to a wide range of formats.

Our Office and Residential portfolio, which accounts for 46% of our portfolio is focused on London. We have an attractive mix of high quality buildings in well managed environments and a pipeline of development projects which will add significantly to our portfolio. Increasingly, our offices are in mixed-use environments which include retail and residential elements. Our 7.9 million sq ft of high quality office space includes Regent’s Place and Paddington Central in the West End and Broadgate, the premier city office campus (50% share).

Our size and substance demands a responsible approach to business. We believe leadership on issues such as sustainability helps drive our performance and is core to the delivery of our overall objective of driving shareholder value and creating Places People Prefer.

Further details can be found on the British Land website at www.britishland.com


British Land's wholly owned subsidiary Broadgate Estates will move its headquarters to 2 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central in July 2015

British Land’s wholly owned subsidiary Broadgate Estates will move its headquarters to 2 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central in July 2015

ALDI completed its purchase of 66 real estate assets from the Delhaize Group

ALDI Grows Footprint in Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey with plans to open ALDI stores at 30 former Bottom Dollar Food Locations

Batavia, Ill., 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — ALDI, the nation’s low price grocery leader*, today announced it has completed its purchase of 66 real estate assets from the Delhaize Group. The transaction includes the land, buildings and leasehold improvements associated with Delhaize’s recently retired Bottom Dollar Food operation.

“ALDI has been offering fresh, affordable groceries in Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey communities for 20 years. With the completion of this real estate transaction, we are able to ramp up our expansion plans in the region to meet the growing demand for the ALDI difference: highquality groceries at everyday low prices in an easy-to-shop store,” said Jason Hart, CEO, ALDI. “While we are excited to pursue opening ALDI stores at 30 of these locations, we will continue working with those communities where we will not be using the sites to ensure a smooth transition.”

In December 2013, ALDI embarked on an accelerated growth plan to open 650 new stores by the end of 2018, with the goal of operating nearly 2,000 stores across the country. ALDI also is planning to invest more than $3 billion to pay for land, facilities and equipment. When the expansion is complete, ALDI will have stores coast-to-coast and anticipates serving more than 45 million customers per month. The expansion is expected to create more than 10,000 new jobs at ALDI stores, warehouses and division offices.

“At ALDI, we are committed to being an employer of choice as we know the significant contributions that our people add to the business by providing excellent service day after day,” said Hart. “To attract and retain the best talent, we are proud to offer our employees generous compensation that is higher than those of other grocery retailers in the market. In addition, associates working at least 25 hours per week receive full health benefits, and all ALDI employees are invited to participate in our 401(k) program.”

Growth is accelerating at ALDI due to the appeal of its unique business model that lets smart shoppers save up to 50 percent** on more than 1,300 of the most commonly purchased grocery items, including more than 70 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, including organic produce. In fact, ALDI has been recognized as the nation’s low-price grocery leader for four consecutive years, as well as one of the top three favorite grocery store chains in America, according to consumer surveys* conducted by Market Force Information, Inc., the world’s leading customer intelligence solutions company.

“Not only are we growing our geographic footprint, but we’re expanding our product offerings as well. We continue to increase our healthy food and on-trend options, including fresh produce, USDA choice meats, dairy products and baked goods, along with our new SimplyNature line that includes several organic items, and our liveGfree line of gluten-free products,” added Hart. “With everything ALDI has to offer, it’s no surprise to us that more and more people are discovering that they don’t have to sacrifice quality and taste to save money by shopping at ALDI.”

ALDI generates savings for its customers through a low-overhead approach that focuses on offering high quality, premium products and includes cost-saving measures such as:

  • Volume purchasing: By concentrating its full buying power on 1,300 of the most commonly purchased grocery items in the most common size, ALDI secures sizable discounts.
  • Exclusive brand products: More than 90 percent of products at ALDI are their own exclusive brands rather than national brands.
    • In the ALDI Test Kitchen, ALDI ensures that its products meet or exceed the quality and taste of national name brands.
    • All ALDI food products are backed by the Double Guarantee. If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product AND refund the purchase price.
  • Special Buys: Each week, ALDI offers 20-30 food and non-food products at a great value that include everything from small kitchen appliances and seasonal items to outdoor furniture and gardening tools.
  • No hidden costs: ALDI has a streamlined approach that avoids non-essential services such as banking, pharmacies, check cashing and bagging clerks. Those savings result in lower prices for consumers.

A list of the company’s intentions for each of the 66 real estate locations follows.

About ALDI Inc.
A leader in the grocery retailing industry, ALDI operates nearly 1,400 US stores in 32 states, primarily from Kansas to the East Coast. More than 30 million customers each month save up to 50 percent** on their grocery bills, benefiting from the ALDI simple and streamlined approach to retailing. ALDI sells more than 1,300 of the most frequently purchased grocery and household items, primarily under its exclusive brands, which must meet or exceed the national name brands on taste and quality. ALDI is so confident in the quality of its products, the company offers a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the purchase price. ALDI was named the 2014 Retailer of the Year by Store Brands Magazine for its strong commitment to value and innovation-focused private brand product development. For more information about ALDI, visit www.aldi.us.



*According to a survey of more than 6,000 consumers conducted in March 2014 by Market Force Information. **Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.

Contacts: Julie Ketay
(312) 988-2294

Kathleen Gilgunn
(312) 988-2038

Carrefour Belgium to provide its customers with a facility for scanning items in their homes so they can then order them online

BELGIUM, 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour Belgium will soon provide its customers with a facility for scanning items in their homes so they can then order them online. The device will also recognize products marketed by competitors, and scanning them will generate spontaneous suggestions from Carrefour.

Customers will use the device to scan their products and then add them to their virtual shopping lists. For example, they will be able to scan an empty biscuit packet and add a new one to the list. The device will feature a database of 1.3 million barcodes and will also recognize competitor products. The scanner will also be voice-enabled.

Customers will then be able to check their online orders, make any changes to them and then pick up their shopping from one of the collection points. Carrefour Belgium is shaking things up and is using new technologies to steal a march over its competitors!


Tesco to pay 30.93ppl to its British dairy farmers for milk from 1 May

Cheshunt, England, 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tesco has today confirmed the new price it will pay its British dairy farmers for milk. Following the regular 6-monthly review of production costs, the new price Tesco will pay for milk from 1 May, will be 30.93ppl*.

Set up in 2007, the TSDG comprises around 600 farmers who supply Tesco directly with own-brand fresh and filtered milk products and share Tesco’s aim to deliver the best quality milk possible for customers. The TSDG pricing mechanism ensures that Tesco pays a price for the milk that is buys that reflects the cost of production to dairy farmers, helping them to invest and plan for the future.

The new price has been set using the independent consultancy-Promar- to make sure that price paid by Tesco reflects average cost of production of the TSDG group. That price is agreed in collaboration with farmers, then set for six months and is completely independent from the retail price for milk.  Customers can be assured that every pint of own-brand milk they buy from Tesco supports a TSDG farmer, helping to deliver a sustainable future for the British dairy industry.

Tom Hind, Tesco’s Director of Agriculture said:

‘The TSDG remains a cornerstone of our plans to build ever stronger relationships with our producers. Over the past eight years we have worked in partnership with our dairy farmers to provide the best quality milk possible for our customers, whilst still paying a fair price for the milk we buy.

‘Through TSDG and our pioneering Dairy Centre of Excellence with Liverpool University, Tesco has invested £200 million into British dairy farming. By agreeing a clear price for a period of six months, we are able to offer our farmers valuable security in a volatile market.’

James Stephen, Aberdeenshire TSDG dairy farmer and Committee Chairman said:

‘The pricing structure of the TSDG goes some way to providing stability and peace of mind, which is often lacking in an increasingly volatile industry. Set for six months, all farmers in the group have real certainty over the milk price they’ll receive, which is of huge benefit when budgeting and planning for the future.’

The new price covers all Tesco own-brand fresh & filtered milk (1, 2, 4, 6 pint and 1 and 2 litre – excluding organic milk); single, double & extra thick double cream (150, 300, 600 ml) products and mature & extra mature cheddar.

Notes to editors

  • The new price is following an independent cost tracker review by agriculture research consultancy Promar. Tesco pays a price for milk that reflects the cost of production, calculated from costs submitted to Promar.
  • The new price, which is 1.08ppl lower than the previous 6 months’ price, takes into consideration a reduction in the cost of feed and rising milk volumes
  • *The price includes 0.5ppl for sharing cost data with Promar International

Key TSDG facts:

  • Investment – £200m invested directly into British dairy farming
  • Investing in the Future- Over 1000 children have visited the Tesco Dairy Centre of Excellence to improve their knowledge and understanding of Dairy production
  • Animal Welfare- Our dairy farmers must adhere to the nationally recognised Red Tractor assurance scheme, as well as additional Tesco welfare standards, which are used to drive continuous improvement of cow health and welfare.
  • Proud to be members of the TSDG-96% of our farmers believe that they have benefitted from being a member of the TSDG.
  • Building for the Next Generation -55% of TSDG Members are planning to expand their business within the next five Years
  • Productivity- The average Tesco dairy farmer has grown milk output by 26% since 2007
  • Growing Confidence -92% of TSDG farmers are expecting their plans for milk production to increase or stay the same over the next five years.

Starbucks marks 20 years since Frappuccino was introduced

SEATTLE, 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — It’s hard to imagine summer at Starbucks without thinking of a cold Starbucks Frappuccino® blended beverage and the green straw. Take a trip back two decades to the birth of the iconic summer beverage.

In 1993, Starbucks had just a handful of stores in Los Angeles and fewer than 300 across the U.S. and Canada, mostly in concentrated in northern cities. Dina Campion, a 20-year partner (employee) who is now part of Starbucks Digital team, managed the district of Southern California’s 10 stores.

“It was the summer of 1993, and Los Angeles is very hot in the summer,” Campion said. “We noticed there were some smaller coffee shops that did some sort of blended coffee beverage. A couple of store managers and I felt there was a huge opportunity for Starbucks.”

Campion contacted one of her former California store managers, Dan Moore, who had recently moved up to Seattle to work on the operations team at Starbucks headquarters. They got the go-ahead to make their case with a test at a single store in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, and Moore got a blender shipped down to the Sherman Oaks store.

“A group of us from Seattle went down to California, and we quickly realized it was something we needed to pursue,” Moore said.  Later, the test moved to the busy store near the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, where they could get quick feedback from an ever-changing mix of customers.

“The Santa Monica manager and her assistant really started getting into it,” Campion said. “Concurrently, Seattle got involved and put some R&D skills behind it.”

By the summer of 1994, Campion’s entire district was serving blended coffee beverages to enthusiastic customers looking for refreshment. Meanwhile Starbucks acquired The Coffee Connection in Boston, along with one of their products called “frappuccino,” a cold, slushy drink made using a soft-serve machine. Starbucks applied the name to its new blended beverage.

Starbucks decided to quickly ramp up a company-wide launch for the following summer. Moore, who now leads marketing and category for Starbucks licensed stores, was on the team tasked with rolling out the blended beverage to the company’s stores.

“We had less than five months to execute our first major new product launch,” Moore said. “I remember sitting on the floor over the weekends with store design and blueprints for all of our more than 500 stores, mapping out blended stations for each one. Then I flew out to all 23 markets and did training in every city.”

The Birth of an Icon
In the summer of 1995, Starbucks brought Frappuccino across all of its stores in the United States and Canada. The only two flavors were Coffee and Mocha, made from ice double-strength brewed Italian Roast coffee brewed in stores. There was not even whipped cream.

“The first week of launch we were tracking sales, and it was something like 200,000 drinks the first week – when we were hoping for 100,000,” Moore said. “The next week it was 400,000 and the next it was 800,000. We had figured it would do well in Southern California – but it sold just as well in Chicago, Vancouver B.C. and Boston. It was huge.”

Frappuccino changed the trajectory of the company by bringing in new customers who were not normally coffee drinkers, and filling its stores in afternoons and during warm weather when coffee business was typically slow. Frappuccino accounted for 11 percent of its summer sales, and helped push Starbucks stock to an all-time high.

“When you think about it, 20 years ago, the business, Starbucks hadn’t launched into a whole host of warm weather markets. We were reliant on the holiday season,” Campion said. “With Frappuccino, we were able to level out the dips in store traffic in the summer.”

Evolution of Frappuccino
After the resounding success of Frappuccino blended beverages, Starbucks chairman and chief executive officer Howard Schultz suggested the idea of a bottled Frappuccino in a meeting with Pepsi executives. By summer of 1996, Starbucks® bottled Frappuccino® chilled coffee drinks were arriving in grocery stores.

“We were so confident of our product that we didn’t even test-market it,” said Schultz in his book, Pour Your Heart Into It. “Pepsi ramped up production as quickly as possible, but even then we could supply only West Coast supermarkets for the summer of 1996. We couldn’t make it fast enough.”

Starbucks continued to innovate with new flavors to meet growing demand. In 1999, Starbucks introduced Caramel Frappuccino® blended beverage with whipped cream and caramel drizzle – served with a green straw and domed lid for the first time.

“At the time, domed lids were radical thinking, so was the idea of adding whipped cream,” Campion said. “But for our customers it represented a momentary break – an escape in their day.”

In 2002, Starbucks launched its first Frappuccino blended beverage without coffee or tea, called Frappuccino® Blended Crème beverage, followed by Frappuccino® Light blended beverage in 2004. By 2008, Frappuccino had a digital presence with its own website, and later joined social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In 2010, Starbucks launched the However-You-Want-It Frappuccino blended beverage to allow customers to customize their options for milk or soy, coffee type, syrups and toppings.

Celebrating 20 Years
Today, Starbucks serves Frappuccino blended beverages in all of its 66 countries and offers more than 36,000 different drink combinations. Around the world there are unique Frappuccino flavors that reflect the diverse palates of global customers, such as Coffee Jelly Frappuccino and Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino in Asia, Algarrobina Frappuccino with syrup from the Black Carob tree in Peru and the chocolate Brigadeiro Frappuccino in Brazil.

In his book, Schultz underscored the impact Frappuccino has made in Starbucks history. “Its story epitomizes the enterprising spirit we still have at Starbucks. It’s experimental. It’s adventurous. It fires people up and engages their imagination.”

Birthday Cake Frappuccino
To commemorate Frappuccino’s 20th anniversary, Starbucks is offering a limited-time Birthday Cake Frappuccino® blended beverage – a vanilla bean and hazelnut, topped with raspberry-infused whipped cream – at Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada from March 26-30.

Fun Facts about Frappuccino

  • Top 5 flavors in the United States: Caramel, Mocha, Vanilla Bean, Java Chip, Double Chocolatey Chip
  • U.S. social media stats: 10.9 million fans on Facebook, 67,000 followers on Twitter, 219,000 followers on Instagram.
  • Starbucks store #8944 in Moreno Valley, California sells more Frappuccino blended beverages than any other store in the United States and Canada.
  • Saturday is the busiest day of the week for Frappuccino blended beverage sales.
  • The record for the most Frappuccino blended beverages sold on a single day in the United States and Canada occurred on May 10, 2014.
  • Japan was the first country outside of the United States and Canada to offer the handcrafted beverage in 1996.

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


Starbucks marks 20 years since Frappuccino was introduced

Starbucks marks 20 years since Frappuccino was introduced

Starbucks opens news store at a Los Angeles Historical Cultural Monument

Los Angeles, CA, 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Nearly two years ago, Starbucks senior store design manager Jonathan Alpert and his team learned of a potential new Starbucks site in Los Angeles. It was an unusual location – an empty old gas station on a fenced-off corner of Highland and Willoughby.

“At the very beginning we knew this was something special,” said Alpert. “The building was in such a dilapidated state, but we could see it had potential. We wanted to restore the building in a way that allowed us to serve the community while celebrating its history.”

The curvilinear art deco structure was built in 1935 during the early days of California’s automobile age and the Golden Era of filmmaking in Hollywood. Gilmore Oil, which was then the largest independent oil company on the West Coast, purchased the parcel from film star Wallace Beery and opened one of its “Red Lion” service stations on the site. It operated as a gas station for several decades, later as a Mobil and Texaco station, until it was vacated in the 1990s.

In its heyday, it was a colorful backdrop for movies and commercials, including a scene between Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours and a fuel stop with Steve Martin in L.A. Story. It was registered as a Los Angeles Historical Cultural Monument in 1992.

Alpert and his team drove back to Starbucks store design studio in Orange County and went to work, collaborating with the city of Los Angeles and hiring a historical consultant to make sure that its historic integrity was preserved during the restoration process.

The team created a design ideal for a store with both a drive-through for cars and walk-up window with outdoor seating area. They restored the main existing structure – the original “Y” shaped service station—as well as the canopy structure from an added car wash. They preserved and restored existing glass and metal elements wherever possible.

“The most interesting architectural features of the building are its sweeping cantilevered canopies that extend out like arms from either side of the building,” Alpert said. “When we came in, these were falling down. We made them structurally sound and now they look much like they did in their original state, 80 years ago.”

The team also made some updates, adding energy efficient LED rope lights to replicate the old tubes of neon lighting. Non-historic contemporary service bay roll-up doors were replaced with aluminum frame garage doors in the style of the period to form an exterior wall.

“We didn’t try to over-brand the building,” he said. “We tried to keep it true to the original, placing only limited signage.”

While the drive-through evokes the same automotive spirit and speedy service of the classic gas station, designers also created inviting outdoor spaces for customers to stop and stay a while. Green Starbucks patio umbrellas shade an open seating area for up to 24 customers, who can gather around a concrete community table or small patio tables. Because the property was primarily paved historically, Starbucks designers limited extensive plantings, but incorporated native grasses, silver carpet ground cover, and loquat trees.

“Starbucks real estate and design teams are always looking for unique locations that connect us to the past,” he said. “Sometimes we stumble on a gem like this one, and are honored to get the chance to bring it back to life.”

The new Highland & Willoughby store is one of Starbucks newest historic restorations of historic buildings, which includeNew Orleans Canal Street store and the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room.

“We have reinvigorated the corner of this community and its art deco past,” he said. “Now it’s electric.”

About Starbucks Design
With more than 18 in-house design studios around the world, Starbucks is driven by its commitment to environmental sustainability, local relevancy, and bringing bold and innovative design to customers.

For more information on this news release, contact us.


Starbucks opens news store at a Los Angeles Historical Cultural Monument

Starbucks opens news store at a Los Angeles Historical Cultural Monument

Starbucks the first major company to support Pike Place MarketFront Expansion Project

SEATTLE, 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Lillian Hochstein leaves the bustle of Seattle’s historic Park Place Market behind her and steps outside. She surveys Elliott Bay in the distance, raising her voice to be heard above traffic racing north and south on the double-deck Alaskan Way Viaduct that impedes the view of the waterfront.

The executive director of the Pike Place Market Foundation describes a strikingly different vista to come with a $73 million expansion that will add nearly 50 new stalls for farmers and artists, 12,000-square-feet of retail space, 40 new low-income senior housing units, 300 underground parking spaces and a 30,000-square-foot plaza with a viewing deck.  The new MarketFront is also the first step in the City’s vision to create a dynamic connection between downtown and the waterfront.

“Right now, we have visitors who want to get to the water and don’t go because it’s difficult to figure out how to get there,” Hochstein said. “So they don’t do it. We get 10 million visitors a year and we want more of them to visit the waterfront.”

On Monday, March 23, the Seattle City Council approved a $34 million investment toward expanding the Market. The State of Washington will contribute $6 million, and the rest will come from loans and private donations.

The Market Foundation’s $9 million capital campaign dubbed Pike Up! will provide vital funds for the Pike Place Market expansion with Starbucks becoming the first major company to announce its support, pledging $500,000 toward the effort.

“The Pike Place Market is where it all began for Starbucks, and our customers from around the world visit this iconic store because it is where our values, our spirit for community and connection come from,” said John Kelly, Starbucks senior vice president of Global Responsibility and Public Policy. “The MarketFront project will allow more people to come together in appreciation of everything that Seattle has to offer, and we are proud to be part of the Pike Place Market’s history and future.”

Starbucks support of the Pike Place Market Foundation

Over the years Starbucks partners (employees) have volunteered with the Foundation’s charitable causes, and they will lead community service projects during Starbucks Global Month of Service in April.

In addition to service, every year the Starbucks Chorus raises money for the Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition fundraiser, which benefits the Pike Place Market Senior Center and Food Bank. To date, the chorus has raised nearly $400,000. Starbucks has also donated approximately three million servings of coffee to the food bank and supports the Pike Place Market Foundation’s annual Sunset Supper event.

Hochstein, who joined the Market Foundation three years ago,  appreciates the strong link between Pike Place Market and Starbucks.

“We grew up together. Starbucks got a lot bigger than we did,” she said with a laugh. “We love the fact that Starbucks is so integrated into Pike Place Market history. When we go out to ask the public to participate, they always ask if Starbucks is involved. We’re inextricably linked in their minds.”

The roots of Pike Place Market reach back to the early 20th century when money from the Klondike gold rush helped pay construction costs. The market hit hard times in the 1960s and came close to being demolished. Voters came to the rescue and passed a “Save the Market” initiative in 1971, seven months after the first Starbucks became a neighborhood hub.

The City of Seattle created the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority in 1973 with a wide-ranging charter encompassing preservation, supporting farmers, incubating small businesses and providing housing and services to low-income people.

Creating a ‘dynamic’ new public space in Seattle

Ben Franz-Knight is the executive director of the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority. “With the MarketFront, we are reclaiming and completing the last piece of the historic district, and fulfilling a 40-year vision of those who fought to save the Market.  The removal of the Viaduct gives us the unique opportunity to complete an important chapter in the market’s past, and create a new one, with dynamic public space and a pedestrian connection to the waterfront.”

Franz-Knight said that attempts to get the current project off the ground date back to the ‘70s, but “because of the costs to build over the BNSF train tunnel below the site, it has never penciled out.”  The pending removal of the elevated Alaskan Way Viaduct, however, created an opening to finally make the expansion a reality.

The first phase of construction could begin as early as May and is expected to last about 18 months. The public is also invited to participate in this transformation and to be a part of Market history. Find out how by visiting  http://pikeup.org.

For more information on this news release, contact us.


Starbucks the first major company to support Pike Place MarketFront Expansion Project

Starbucks the first major company to support Pike Place MarketFront Expansion Project

Starbucks introduces Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wrap and Edamame Hummus Wrap beginning March 31

SEATTLE, 2015-3-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks customers want wholesome and convenient food choices for their busy lifestyles. Beginning March 31, they’ll have two new options – a Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wrap and an Edamame Hummus Wrap – available at participating U.S. company-operated and licensed stores nationwide.

The two new wraps are a medley of ingredients comprised of protein, vegetables and fruit offering balanced nutrition in a grab-and-go format with each wrap under 500 calories.

“The addition of the new Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wrap and the Edamame Hummus wrap is a significant and exciting milestone as we continue to provide customers a complete food experience anytime they visit Starbucks,” said Clarice Turner, Starbucks senior vice president of food. “Dreaming up all types of amazing food for our customers is what we love to do. It’s also a tremendous opportunity that we’ll continue to expand on in the months ahead.”

New Edamame Hummus Wrap –  a crunchy, fresh spinach, zucchini, and bell peppers layered in a creamy herb spread. The wrap is cut into pinwheels so it is portable and easy to eat while on-the-go. The Edamame Hummus Wrap is paired with a creamy roasted tomato sauce and sesame flax crackers.

New Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wrap – a globally-inspired wrap with layers of grilled chicken, veggies, ginger cream cheese and chile lime spread with a medley of Thai-inspired flavors in every bite.

For more information on this news release, contact us.


Starbucks introduces Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wrap and Edamame Hummus Wrap beginning March 31

Starbucks introduces Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wrap and Edamame Hummus Wrap beginning March 31

Macmillan Cancer Support announces new partnership with Home Retail Group to raise £3M by March 2017 through fundraising activities and events

Partnership aims to raise £3million for people affected by cancer over two years

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Macmillan Cancer Support has today announced a brand new partnership with the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer, Home Retail Group, owner of Argos, Homebase and Habitat. The partnership will engage Home Retail Group colleagues and customers across the UK through a range of fundraising activities and events aiming to raise a total of £3million for Macmillan by March 2017.

Macmillan was selected by Home Retail Group colleagues to be their new UK charity partner following a staff vote, with the money raised in the first year of partnership funding vital hours of Macmillan nursing care. The partnership has launched today [Friday 27 March] with a ‘Go Mad Go Green’ fundraising day in offices and branches of Argos, Homebase and Habitat across the country.

Further plans include support of Macmillan’s national fundraising events Night In and World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, as well as bespoke fundraising activity linked to key trading periods for the business such as the Argos Catalogue Launch. Homebase will also involve Macmillan in the launch of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden in May this year as part of the partnership.

Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support says: “We are all absolutely delighted to be launching a new partnership with Home Retail Group today. Our year one fundraising target of £1.5million could pay for over 55,500 Macmillan nursing hours, enabling us to provide a phenomenal amount of dedicated and specialised cancer care. The opportunity presented by our new partnership with Home Retail Group to raise £3million to help the 2.5million people living with cancer in the UK today is one I know will make a great deal of difference to Macmillan’s ambition which is to ensure that no one has to face cancer alone.”

Amy Whidburn, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Home Retail Group says: “I’m thrilled that Home Retail Group colleagues have voted Macmillan Cancer Support as our charity of choice over the next two years. Cancer affects so many people so we are determined to raise a substantial amount of money to fund Macmillan nursing hours and to make a real difference to Macmillan’s ambition to ensure that no one has to face cancer alone. I look forward to getting involved and supporting the business and our 47,000 colleagues over the next two years to help us reach our ambitious target for Macmillan.”

To complement the ambitious fundraising programme, Macmillan will also utilise Home Retail Group internal and customer facing communications channels, with a particular focus on the growing number of Argos digital stores, to share vital cancer awareness messages and to signpost those in Argos, Homebase or Habitat stores to Macmillan support services.

Colleagues and stores in the Republic of Ireland will raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.


For more information please contact:

Melissa Shelley, PR Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support on: 0207 091 2319 / mshelley@macmillan.org.uk

Judith Ineson at Home Retail Group on 0845 120 4365/ media.relations@homeretailgroup.com

Notes to editors

About Macmillan Cancer Support

When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. Whether it’s concerns about who you can talk to, planning for the extra costs or what to do about work, at Macmillan we understand how a cancer diagnosis can take over everything.

That’s why we’re here. We provide support that helps people take back control of their lives. But right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us. We need your help to make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need to face the toughest fight of their life. No one should face cancer alone, and with your support no one will.

To get involved, call 0300 1000 200 today. And please remember, we’re here for you too. If you’d like support, information or just to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk

About Home Retail Group

Home Retail Group is the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer with sales of around £5.7 billion in the financial year to February 2014. We sell products under three distinct and complementary retail brands – Argos, Homebase and Habitat. The Group employs some 47,000 people across the business. For more information visit www.homeretailgroup.com

About the Macmillan Cancer Support & Home Retail Group partnership

Cancer is often the toughest fight many people will face. Home Retail Group and Macmillan Cancer Support are working together to improve access to vital Macmillan nursing hours for everyone affected by cancer, to help ensure that no one faces cancer alone.

The partnership will engage Home Retail Group colleagues and customers across the UK through a range of fundraising activities and events aiming to raise a total of £3million for Macmillan by March 2017.

Through this partnership, Home Retail Group colleagues and customers will enable Macmillan to deliver the best quality and experience of cancer care, from the point of diagnosis.


Macmillan Cancer Support announces new partnership with Home Retail Group to raise £3M by March 2017 through fundraising activities and events

Macmillan Cancer Support announces new partnership with Home Retail Group to raise £3M by March 2017 through fundraising activities and events

CHI&Partners unveils ”Ballooniverse” – the fifth TV spot in the GET SET GO ARGOS campaign

New ‘Ballooniverse’ campaign spotlights home brands & products available from Argos

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — CHI&Partners will today (27th March 2015) unveil ‘Ballooniverse’ – the fifth TV spot in the GET SET GO ARGOS campaign, which launched in October 2014.

Set in the white ‘third space’ which provides the backdrop for all the GET SET GO ads, ‘Ballooniverse’ heroes key products from Argos’ modern and stylish homewares and furniture range, in a powerfully energetic 30 seconds bursting with life and colour.

The ad shows a huge white warehouse filled with white balloons of varying sizes. The camera tracks the balloons as they burst one by one in a sequence of mesmerising choreography to reveal brightly coloured, stylish Argos Home products from top brands such as Habitat and Heart of House – in time to the upbeat electronic track ‘Tiger Toy’ by Electrocute.

The colourful products are juxtaposed with the white space and configured in abstract installations, in the style of previous adverts – underlining the retailer’s transformation strategy to become a digital retail leader and build interest and appeal amongst a broad demographic of online and in-store shoppers.

‘Ballooniverse’ will target people looking to update their home with a few key stylish pieces, or seeking inspiration for a spring refresh – aiming to surprise viewers with the most modern, stylish home and garden products Argos has to offer.

The campaign, which will span TV, online and social, is part of the Argos Home Event – promoting a UK-wide sale on homewares, furniture and lighting.  An accompanying Twitter competition from AllTogetherNow and tech company Visual Voice gives players the opportunity to win Argos vouchers and daily grand prizes from the range displayed in the ad, encouraging them to discover the rest of the range online.

Jim Bolton, Deputy Executive Creative Director at CHI&Partners, said: “‘Ballooniverse’ is just as thrilling and mesmerising to watch as the rest of the GET SET GO ARGOS campaign, and has been just as much fun to work on. It’s bursting with energy, excitement and colour, boldly showcasing what the new Argos has to offer.”

Carl Nield, Head of Brand Marketing at Argos said: “‘Ballooniverse’ is the very latest phase of our highly popular GET SET GO ARGOS campaign, and continues to show us in a fresh, new light.  We’re confident this campaign will prompt valued customers to shop with us more often across our wide-ranging, stylish and great value homewares and furniture offer.”


For further information, please contact:

Rose Wilkinson, The&Partnership


Brand: Argos
Client: Carl Nield, Head of Brand Marketing
Agency: CHI&Partners
CEO: Sarah Golding
ECD: Jon Burley
CD: Jim Bolton
Creatives: Colin Smith, Angus Vine
Planners: Sarah Clark, Josh Roth
Producer: Emma Hovell
Business Director: Gary Simmons
Account Director: Charmaine Murray
Production Company: Partizan
Director: Chris Cairns
Director of Photography: Ben Todd
Post Production: The Moving Picture Company
Post Production Producer: Jamie Loudon
VFX supervisors: Jonathan Box
Audio: String & Tins
Music Company: Platinum Rye
Artist: Electrocute
Track: Tiger Toy
Media Agency: Mindshare
Media Planners: Laura Flewitt, Mark Baschonga
Social Content Agency: AllTogetherNow
Tech Company: Visual Voice

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 merchandise retailer.

CHI&Partners is a UK-based advertising agency. Founded in 2001, the agency was listed last year in the Sunday Times’ Top Track 250 and International Track 200 as the UK’s fastest-growing advertising agency both within the UK and internationally. CHI&Partners has offices spanning New York, Canada and Asia as well as Europe – working with large domestic and international clients including Argos, British Gas, Britvic, Carphone Warehouse, Diageo, GSK, Lexus, Royal Bank of Scotland, Samsung, TalkTalk and Travelodge. CHI&Partners is a partner in The&Partnership.

The&Partnership is an independent agency holding company where the majority owners are the founders and partners of the individual businesses, sharing one bottom line. The&Partnership comprises ten different communication businesses across four continents, with over 1,500 people, spanning ten disciplines from advertising to design, CRM, media, data, analytics, PR and social – with digital at the core of all its businesses. The&Partnership is backed by WPP, the world’s largest communications agency network, which is both a partner and a significant minority shareholder.

Kesko opens a new K-ruoka store in St. Petersburg, Russia

HELSINKI, Finland, 2015-3-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko today (26.03.2015) opened a new K-ruoka store in St. Petersburg. The store is located in a property owned by Kesko at Shuvalovsky Prospekt 45.

The K-ruoka store is the chain’s sixth store. It is located in the fast growing northern part of the city, in the former K-rauta building, which became vacant when K-rauta moved to larger premises at Parashutanya Ulitsa 60.

According to Kari Heiskanen, Kesko Food’s Country Director for Russia, the K-ruoka stores in St. Petersburg have been excellently received.

– Customers have appreciated the concept that focuses on freshness, high quality and Finnish products. Based on the good experiences, Kesko will continue to make capital expenditures in Russia and carefully consider every new capital expenditure. The next two K-ruoka stores that are being built will open in May and June.

Further information is available from Kesko Food’s Country Director for Russia, Kari Heiskanen, tel. +7 812 331 7723.

Kesko (www.kesko.fi) is a highly valued listed trading sector company. It manages retail store chains that are valued by customers and efficiently produces services for retail store chains’ purchasing, logistics, network development and data management. Kesko operates in the grocery trade, the home improvement and speciality goods trade and the car and machine trade. Its division parent companies and chains act in close cooperation with retailer entrepreneurs and other partners. Kesko has about 2,000 stores engaged in chain operations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. Kesko and K-retailers form the K-Group, whose retail sales totalled around €11.3 billion (VAT 0%) in 2014. The K-Group employs around 45,000 people.

Besides Finland, Kesko seeks growth particularly in the Russian market. In addition to six K-ruoka stores, Kesko has 13 K-rauta stores and 19 Intersport stores in Russia. In addition, Konekesko exports Yamarin boats to Russia.


H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB releases its Annual Report for the financial year 2014

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN,  2015-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB’s Annual Report for the financial year 2014 is available starting today on the company’s website, www.hm.com and will be sent out by post to shareholders that have so requested and will also be available at the company’s head office.
Contact persons:

Nils Vinge, IR Manager +46 8 796 5250
Kristina Stenvinkel, Head of Communication +46 8 796 3908

The information in this press release is that which H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) is required to disclose under Sweden’s Securities Market Act. It was released for publication at 08.00 (CET) on 27 March 2015.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on Nasdaq Stockholm. The company’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. In addition to H&M, the Group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories as well as H&M Home. The H&M Group has more than 3,500 stores in 57 markets including franchise market. In 2014, sales including VAT amounted to more than SEK 176,6 billion and the number of employees was more than 132,000. For further information, visit www.hm.com

IKEA begins demolition on the site where it will construct new, larger store in Burbank, CA

BURBANK, CA, 2015-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today began demolishing 19 buildings totaling 455,000 square-feet on the site where it will construct a new, larger store in Burbank, CA, less than one mile away from the company’s oldest store in the Western United States. Razing the buildings will make room for construction of the planned new Burbank store. Until the new, roomier store opens on the new site, customers can continue to shop at the existing IKEA Burbank. (Other nearby IKEA stores are in: Carson, Costa Mesa and Covina.)

The current 242,000-square-foot IKEA Burbank, the first IKEA store in California and sixth in the U.S., opened November 1990 on 6.4 acres along I-5 at San Fernando Boulevard. The future 456,000-square-foot store and its more than 1,700 convenient parking spaces will be built on 22 acres west of San Fernando Boulevard and south of Providencia Avenue, providing customers with improved accessibility. IKEA has contracted with VCC Construction to build the store and plans reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide. Just as the existing Burbank store has a solar photovoltaic array atop its roof, IKEA hopes to install a similar solar energy system as part of the relocated store.

“We are thrilled by the progress represented by this demolition milestone as we prepare to construct our new version of IKEA Burbank,” said Rob Olson, IKEA US CFO. “With nearly 25 years operating in Burbank, we look forward to many more years at this new location where we can offer many of our Southern California customers an updated, spacious and enhanced IKEA shopping experience.”

Actual store construction likely will commence this fall after completion of the demolition and site preparation. Additionally, reflecting the company’s commitment to sustainability, IKEA is working to recycle, repurpose or salvage as much of the existing buildings’ equipment, materials, and parts as possible.

The new, more spacious IKEA Burbank will feature a larger quantity of the nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a larger restaurant for serving Swedish specialties. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the showroom, baby-care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store. IKEA also now offers a product picking and delivery service, and an IKEA Family loyalty program. In addition to the nearly 400 Burbank coworkers already part of the global IKEA family, IKEA will generate even more annual sales and property tax revenue for the City and local schools.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 360 IKEA stores in 47 countries, including 40 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, or IKEAUSA on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Contact: Joseph Roth, Expansion Public Affairs
(610) 834-0180, x 6500

IKEA to install fuel cell system manufactured by Bloom Energy at its location in Emeryville, CA

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA, 2015-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced plans to install a fuel cell system manufactured by Bloom Energy at its location in Emeryville, CA – one of two San Francisco-area stores for the Swedish company. Consistent with the IKEA focus on emerging energy technologies, this project represents the first IKEA endeavor globally to convert biogas into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process. The fuel cell system will be installed, commissioned and activated by this summer, 2015.

Slightly larger than the physical size of a commercial back-up generator, the 300-kW system will operate on biogas and produce approximately 2,497,651 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 1,304 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 249 cars or to providing electricity for 163 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html). Combined with the solar energy system installed atop the store in 2011, these fuel cells will help generate more than a majority of the store’s energy onsite.

For the design, development and installation of this fuel cell system, IKEA contracted with Sunnyvale-based Bloom Energy a provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology generating clean, highly-efficient on-site power.

“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with fuel cells at IKEA Emeryville,” said Pat Choa, store manager. “Similar to our rooftop solar array, this fuel cell system will reduce greatly our carbon footprint and the store’s reliance on the power grid as well as contribute to our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many.”

This investment in fuel cell technology reflects the company’s goal to be energy independent by 2020 and complements other IKEA renewable programs in the U.S., including solar presence at nearly 90% of its locations, a geothermal heating and cooling system at two stores, and two wind farms totaling 104 turbines.

Drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, IKEA strives to minimize its operations’ carbon emissions because reducing its environmental impact makes good business sense. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms. Operationally, IKEA eliminated plastic bags from the check-out process, phased-out the sale of incandescent bulbs, facilitates recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 will sell only L.E.D. IKEA also has installed EV charging stations at 13 stores, with plans for more locations.

Located on 15 acres at the confluence of I-80, I-580 and I-880, the 274,000-s.f. IKEA Emeryville opened in April 2000 and employs 300 coworkers. In addition to approximately 10,000 exclusively designed items, IKEA Emeryville presents 50 different room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 250-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a Children’s IKEA area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store, and preferred parking.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 360 IKEA stores in 47 countries, including 40 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, or IKEAUSA on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Contact: Joseph Roth, Property Public Affairs
(610) 834-0180, ext. 6500

Delhaize Group completes the sale of its Bottom Dollar Food store locations to ALDI Inc

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 2015-3-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Delhaize Group announces that it has completed the sale of its Bottom Dollar Food store locations to ALDI Inc.

» 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 3 402 stores. In 2014, Delhaize Group recorded €21.4 billion ($28.4 billion) in revenues and €89 million ($118 million) net profit (Group share). At the end of 2014, Delhaize Group employed approximately 150 000 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