General Growth Properties, Inc. and AustralianSuper partner to own and operate Ala Moana Center located in Honolulu, Hawaii

Chicago, Illinois, 2015-3-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP) and AustralianSuper announced today they have formed a partnership to own and operate Ala Moana Center located in Honolulu, Hawaii. Effective with the partnership formation, GGP will own a 75% equity interest and AustralianSuper will own a 25% equity interest in Ala Moana Center. The transaction values Ala Moana Center at approximately $5.5 billion.

Ala Moana Center is one of the largest and most productive shopping malls in the world with over $1,350 of tenant sales per square foot. The property is comprised of approximately 2.2 million square feet of retail and office space and is undergoing a major redevelopment. Upon completion, an additional 660,000 square feet of retail space will be anchored by Bloomingdale’s first store in Hawaii and Nordstrom.

The transaction will generate approximately $907 million of net proceeds. GGP received approximately $670 million of net proceeds at closing on February 27, 2015. The remaining $237 million of net proceeds will be paid in late 2016 after substantial completion of the redevelopment. GGP expects to use the net proceeds to repay approximately $670 million of debt within the next two months. The weighted average interest rate of the debt is approximately 4.6%.

GGP may sell an additional 12.5% equity interest in Ala Moana Center within the next 60 days on the same economic terms. GGP expects to use the net proceeds to fund a pending acquisition.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this press release may be deemed “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although the Company believes the expectations reflected in any forward-looking statement are based on reasonable assumption, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained, and it is possible that actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements due to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the Company’s ability to refinance, extend, restructure or repay near and intermediate term debt, its indebtedness, its ability to raise capital through equity issuances, asset sales or the incurrence of new debt, retail and credit market conditions, impairments, its liquidity demands, and economic conditions. The Company discusses these and other risks and uncertainties in its annual and quarterly periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company may update that discussion in its periodic reports, but otherwise takes no duty or obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise.

ABOUT GGP
General Growth Properties, Inc. is an S&P 500 company focused exclusively on owning, managing, leasing, and redeveloping high-quality retail properties throughout the United States. GGP is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol GGP.

ABOUT AUSTRALIAN SUPER
AustralianSuper is Australia’s largest industry super fund, with more than two million members and more than A$84 billion in funds under management. AustralianSuper’s Balanced Fund has delivered an average annual return of 10.04% over the past five financial years.

 

CONTACTS:

GGP
Kevin Berry
Phone: (312) 960-5529
Mobile: (708) 308-5999

AUSTRALIANSUPER
Stephen McMahon
Phone: +61 3 8648 3828
Mobile: +61 407 507 415

Rite Aid reports its February 2015 same store sales increased by 3.3 percent over the prior-year period

CAMP HILL, Pa., 2015-3-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) today announced sales results for February.

Monthly Sales

For the five weeks ended Feb. 28, 2015, same store sales increased 3.3 percent over the prior-year period. February front-end same store sales increased 1.6 percent. Pharmacy same store sales, which included an approximate 144 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions, increased 4.1 percent. Prescription count at comparable stores increased 2.2 percent over the prior-year period.

Total drugstore sales for the five-week period increased 1.7 percent to $2.557 billion compared to $2.513 billion for the same period last year. Prescription sales accounted for 69.2 percent of drugstore sales, and third party prescription sales represented 97.6 percent of pharmacy sales.

Quarterly Sales

Same store sales for the 13-week period ended Feb. 28, 2015 increased 4.5 percent over the prior-year period. Front-end same store sales increased 2.0 percent while pharmacy same store sales increased 5.7 percent. Prescription count at comparable stores increased 3.5 percent over the prior-year period.

Total drugstore sales for the 13 weeks ended Feb. 28, 2015 increased 3.5 percent with sales of $6.795 billion compared to $6.564 billion for the same period last year. Prescription sales represented 68.1 percent of total drugstore sales, and third party prescription sales represented 97.5 percent of pharmacy sales.

Year-to-Date

Same store sales for the 52-week period ended Feb. 28, 2015 increased 4.3 percent over the prior-year period. Front-end same store sales increased 1.2 percent while pharmacy same store sales increased 5.8 percent. Prescription count at comparable stores increased 3.5 percent over the prior-year period.

Total drugstore sales for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 28, 2015 increased 3.7 percent with sales of $26.345 billion compared to $25.408 billion for the same period last year. Prescription sales represented 68.8 percent of total drugstore sales, and third party prescription sales represented 97.5 percent of pharmacy sales.

Rite Aid is one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains. On Feb. 28, 2015, the company operated 4,570 stores compared to 4,587 stores in the like period a year ago. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at http://www.riteaid.com. Note that all sales data in this release is preliminary, unaudited and subject to revision.

Statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties that are described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other documents that we file or furnish with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which you are encouraged to read. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Rite Aid expressly disclaims any current intention to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the distribution of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptionsor otherwise.

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Contact:

Investors: Matt Schroeder 717-214-8867 or investor@riteaid.com

Media: Susan Henderson 717-730-7766

Rite Aid’s 2015 Miracle Balloon campaign will be underway for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals beginning March 8

Rite Aid Raises $6.3 Million in 2014

Camp Hill, Pa., 2015-3-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Beginning March 8, Rite Aid’s 2015 Miracle Balloon campaign will be underway for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a leading nonprofit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals to provide pediatric equipment, treatments, research, therapy programs and charitable care benefiting local sick and injured kids. Since becoming a sponsor in 1994, Rite Aid has raised nearly $70 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including $6.3 million in 2014. Rite Aid is the organization’s sixth largest corporate partner.

Beginning March 8 through April 25, Rite Aid associates and customers can give the gift of a miracle by purchasing $1 paper Miracle Balloons, which will be proudly displayed in stores throughout the campaign. To show appreciation, supporters will receive $7 in coupon offers for a variety of items sold at Rite Aid.

“Rite Aid’s annual campaign for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is just one of the many ways our associates bring our core value of being a caring neighbor to life,” said Ken Martindale, Rite Aid president, chief operating officer and president of The Rite Aid Foundation. “Our associates have such a passion for supporting their local children’s hospitals and I know through their efforts this year, they will make even more miracles happen.”

Throughout the seven-week campaign, Rite Aid associates plan and host fundraisers to help raise additional funds including countless golf tournaments, car washes, bake sales and other special events throughout their communities. Members of Rite Aid’s management team also dedicate a day each summer to washing cars and participating in carnival-themed games outside the company’s headquarters in Camp Hill, Pa.

“We are excited to be celebrating the start of another campaign with our long-time partner, Rite Aid,” said John Lauck, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals president and CEO. “We are so grateful for the support we receive each year, including $6.3 million in 2014, the 20th anniversary of our partnership. Each dollar Rite Aid customers, associates and supplier partners raise truly goes a long way in helping create miracles for sick and injured children.”

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2014 annual revenues of $25.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.

About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals:
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity’s Miracle Balloon icon. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children’s hospitals need community support, and learn about your member hospital, at CMNHospitals.org and facebook.com/CMNHospitals.

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Contact:

Media: Kristin Kellum 717-975-5713

Meijer now offers pharmacy services 24/7 to customers in Toledo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2015-3-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Meijer now offers pharmacy services around-the-clock to customers in Toledo. The new 24/7 pharmacy service at the Sylvania Township location features immunizations, health screenings and medication therapy management, said Nat Love, vice president of Drug Store for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer.

“We’re pleased to announce that our neighbors in Toledo can now get their prescriptions and receive pharmacy services whenever it’s most convenient for them,” Love said. “Our customers now have the comfort and assurance that no matter when they need assistance, we’re here for them and ready to help.”

Located at 7240 W. Central Ave., the Sylvania Township Meijer was chosen to offer expanded in-store and drive-thru services based on the current need for a 24-hour pharmacy in the area, and close proximity to urgent care centers and local hospitals. While it is the fourth store in the Meijer chain to offer 24/7 pharmacy services, the retailer will continue to consider other locations based on customer reaction and feedback.

The pharmacy accepts all major insurance plans and offers the company’s free prescription program as well as clinical services and immunizations designed to promote family health. The free prescription program includes select generic oral antibiotics, prenatal vitamins, metformin immediate release for diabetics and atorvastatin calcium for high cholesterol. Since its inception in 2006, the Meijer free prescription program has filled more than 24 million free prescriptions, saving Meijer customers nearly $360 million.

Immunizations offered at the pharmacy include flu, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, HPV, and shingles, as well as free health tests for blood pressure, BMI and diabetes risk assessment.

Customers can also enroll in the mPerks Pharmacy Rewards program to earn rewards for filling prescriptions at Meijer. For every five eligible prescriptions filled, customers can earn one of the following: $10 off their total shopping purchase, 5 percent off total grocery and health and beauty purchases, or 50 cents off per gallon of Meijer gas. They can also hang onto rewards and keep filling prescriptions to earn double rewards, saving as much as $1 per gallon on gas or $20 off their next shopping visit. To start earning rewards, customers just go to http://mperks.com and sign up in the “rewards” section.

About Meijer
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates more than 200 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, garden centers and electronics offerings. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

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

 

JCPenney showcases spring style in both new and beloved brands

Spring trends influence collection of shoes, handbags and fashion jewelry as part of center core revitalization

PLANO, Texas, 2015-3-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — With spring just around the corner, JCPenney is replacing cozy winter wear with a fresh arrangement of spring fashion, sandals and accessories that epitomize the season’s most coveted looks. The Company is showcasing spring style in both new and beloved brands, while revealing an updated assortment of shoes, handbags and accessories that will entice weather weary shoppers on the hunt for this season’s most wearable trends.

“This spring is about bold, colorful and compelling designs that inspire our customers. JCPenney merchant teams partner with our in-house design and trend teams to determine how these looks will come to life in our portfolio of private and exclusive brands,” said Siiri Dougherty, senior vice president of women’s apparel at JCPenney. “The result is an impressive display of women’s apparel, shoes, handbags and fashion jewelry that work together to create a cohesive collection for spring.”

One brand that will soon be making a pivotal style statement for women is a new private brand called Stylus™. Formerly known as jcp™, Stylus will continue basic essentials that customers love, but with a renewed emphasis on details, colors and patterns. Stylus, along with other brands found only at JCPenney, such as Liz Claiborne®, a.n.a®, Worthington®, Arizona®, St. John’s Bay® and Decree®, will feature an all-new spring set that’s inspired by the following style trends:

• Femme & Floral – Lace, drape detailing, illusion sheers and floral prints are infused with soft yellows, minty greens and rose-hued pinks to create a romantic feminine statement. Examples include the Liz Claiborne sleeveless belted floral dress,Bisou Bisou’s lace-sleeve tees and floral print soft pants.

• Sporty & Chic –Athleisure takes a more sophisticated turn this season with modern athletic wear that incorporates clean lines, sport- inspired knits, soft blazers and contrasting stripes. This popular look is reflected in Stylus sweaters, a.n.a jogger pants and Liz Claiborne Weekend, a new line that offers casual separates for the classic woman.

• Bold & Graphic –Daring uses of rich citrus hues and traditional black and white are classic examples of art influencing fashion. Prominent stripes and retro-inspired prints paired with classic silhouettes are essential to making this trend relevant.Worthington’s color block tee, black and white peplum top and matching cropped pants provide an updated rendition of this nod to artistic flare.

• Retro Boho –Characterized by the free-spirited Bohemian style, this trend offers fashion that is flowy, yet functional, with earthy tones such as indigo and bronze accented by tribal-inspired patterns.
Examples of this look include Arizona roll-cuff jean shorts, St. John’s Bay vertical lace skirt, and the Decree long-sleeve envelope-back peasant top.

These brands and trends are spotlighted on jcplookbook.com and in the JCPenney spring mailer that depicts this season’s must-have items and provides tips on how to mix and match various pieces with unique prints and colors to create a personal statement. The Spring Style Sale runs now through March 15.

Finishing the Look
JCPenney will be testing center core updates in select stores this spring to promote greater cross shopping between fashion jewelry, shoes and handbags. Fashion jewelry will boast a new accessories presentation organized by brand, color and trend. Merchandise will be displayed on modern white fixtures, complete with dedicated forms and stylized black lacquer mannequins to create a dazzling display of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and scarves.

“Every woman knows accessories make the outfit. To help our customers complete their overall look, we’ve selected a wide array of beautiful accent pieces, from architectural jewelry to graphic kimono scarves, that will complement her wardrobe,” said Pam Mortensen, senior vice president of fine jewelry and accessories. “We are excited to bring our jewelry and accessories to life in a bright, new in-store presentation, where we know she will be inspired and feel confident in creating a look that’s uniquely hers.”

In addition to an accessories revamp, handbags will also receive a similar update in test stores, with all-new fixtures and tables, graphic displays and a wider product selection that includes totes, crossbody and small leather bags. The handbags area delivers distinct brand presentations, giving Liz Claiborne greater prominence and space to showcase a spring line that reflects an extended color palette, along with enhanced quality and details that elevate the brand.

Women’s shoes have stepped up in style and function this season, while providing a robust assortment of fashion, comfort and athletic footwear options in all her favorite brands. St. John’s Bay and Liz Claiborne shoes are making a comeback this spring with more styles and the addition of performance features such as memory foam and stretch fabrics that are consistent with the sporty and chic trend.

JCPenney will be highlighting its spring accessories through a specialty mailer promoting a unique shoe and handbag event planned March 12-21. Each page showcases a selection of top statement pieces curated by the Company’s leading design teams.

“Our spring floor takes the guesswork out of shopping by closely aligning our shoes and handbags with this season’s apparel trends. Whether she is looking for metallic city sandals, a hobo bag in a trendy hue or a fresh neutral, we have the styles and colors she needs to finish the look.” said Jodie Johnson, senior vice president of footwear and handbags at JCPenney. “We’re taking a holistic approach to how our merchandise fits together to create a style statement that sets JCPenney apart from the competition.”

For b-roll and images related to spring merchandise, please visit jcpnewsroom.com/Spring2015.

JCPenney Media Relations
972-431-3400 or jcpnews@jcp.com
@jcpnews

About JCPenney
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP), one of the nation’s largest apparel and home furnishing retailers, is dedicated to fitting the diversity of America with unparalleled style, quality and value. Across approximately 1,060 stores and at jcpenney.com, customers will discover a broad assortment of national, private and exclusive brands to fit all shapes, sizes, colors and wallets. For more information, please visit jcpenney.com.

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Liz Claiborne belted floral dress

Liz Claiborne belted floral dress

Price Chopper Supermarkets to host Kosher Open House to highlight over 1,000 Kosher for Passover products

Colonie, NY, 2015-3-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Just in time for Passover, Price Chopper Supermarkets will be hosting a Kosher Open House to highlight the more than 1,000 Kosher for Passover products available, provide samples from a wide variety of Kosher for Passover products and to get cooking tips from kosher catering experts. Passover begins the evening of Friday, April 3 this year.

The open house will be held on Sunday, March 8 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at Price Chopper’s Kosher Store in Colonie (1892 Central Avenue), the region’s premier kosher market.

Representatives from Kosher food purveyors Empire Foods, Osem, Streit’s, Kedem Food, Manischewitz, Joyva, Dr. Brown’s, Tabatchnick, Montreal Kosher and Gabila’s will be in attendance to provide samples and meet with attendees. In addition, the authors of the award-winning Divine Kosher Cooking cookbook will be on hand with Passover recipes and cooking tips.

Year-round, the Kosher Store in the Colonie Price Chopper, under the strict supervision of the Vaad Hakashrut of the Capital District, includes a larger Kosher meat and deli department as well as the area’s only full service Kosher bakery. The expanded department is the largest Kosher section in Northeast New York (between Monsey and Montreal). In addition, the Kosher meat shop, deli and seafood departments will be koshered or prepared for Passover (under the strict supervision of the Vaad Hakashruth of the Capital District) in order to provide customers with the most popular fresh cuts of meat – brisket, Top of the Rib, French Roast, Veal Roast and Turkeys. Kosher for Passover deli salads, meat provisions and cuts of salmon will also be available.

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About The Golub Corporation: Based in Schenectady, NY, the Golub Corporation owns and operates 134 Price Chopper and Market 32 grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The American owned, family-managed company prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, leadership in community service, and cooperative employee relations. Golub’s 22,000 teammates collectively own more than 47% of the company’s privately held stock, making it one of the nation’s largest privately held corporations that is predominantly employee-owned. For additional information, visit www.pricechopper.com

Contact:
Mona Golub
Price Chopper
518.379.1480
Or
Jonathan Pierce, APR
Pierce Communications
518.427.1186

JACK & JONES TECH partners with Danish national goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel

  • JACK & JONES TECH IS PROUD TO PRESENT A COLLABORATION WITH DANISH NATIONAL GOALKEEPER KASPER SCHMEICHEL.
  • THIS WILL RESULT IN TWO SCHMEICHEL X JACK & JONES TECH COLLECTIONS A YEAR, THE FIRST ONE HITTING SELECTED STORES IN AUTUMN 2015.
  • KASPER SCHMEICHEL WILL ACT AS BOTH CO-DESIGNER AND AMBASSADOR.

Brande, Denmark, 2015-3-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — As a goalkeeper on the Danish national team and in the Premier League club Leicester City F.C, Kasper Schmeichel has shown how a determined mindset can take you to the top of your game. The experience and knowhow that Kasper Schmeichel has gathered through an entire life as a professional athlete will be the foundation of his role as a co-designer on the SCHMEICHEL X JACK & JONES TECH collections.

Co-designer
“I’m very much looking forward to working with JACK & JONES TECH. I think we share a lot of the same values; I like to work hard, play hard, train hard,” says Kasper Schmeichel and explains, “I’m looking forward to being a part of and creating clothes that match my way of being.”

JACK & JONES TECH is also excited about the collaboration.

“We appreciate Kasper’s humble approach to his talent and dedicated nature – and we think that JACK & JONES TECH and Kasper Schmeichel is an obvious match,” says Martin Scherning Jørgensen, Buying and Design Manager, JACK & JONES TECH and further explains Kasper’s role as a co-designer, “He has his hands on the products from beginning to end, contributing to the design and functionality as part of the design team at the JACK & JONES head office in Brande, Denmark.”

Multifunctional training
The SCHMEICHEL X JACK & JONES TECH collection will focus on multifunctional training wear. Kasper Schmeichel doesn’t only spend time on the football field; functional training is also a large part of his training routine.

“Here at JACK & JONES TECH I’ve got a chance to work with people who are passionate about training and sportswear just like me. I can have an influence and produce some clothes that I think are really, really good,” Kasper Schmeichel finishes.

For further information from JACK & JONES, please contact:
Daniel Müller-James, Activity Developer JACK & JONES
+45 8238 8811
daniel.muller-james@bestseller.com

For inquiries regarding Kasper Schmeichel, please contact:
Mads H. Frederiksen, Managing Director f.reklame
+45 2834 0724
MHF@f-reklame.dk

About JACK & JONES
JACK & JONES is quality fashion for young men. The brand is sold in over a thousand JACK & JONES stores across 38 countries and thousands of wholesale partners around the world.

The label has evolved into five sub-brands: JACK & JONES VINTAGE CLOTHING, PREMIUM by JACK & JONES, ORIGINALS by JACK & JONES, CORE by JACK & JONES and JACK & JONES TECH.

Together, all work to cover the many aspects of a man’s wardrobe. Be that formal to casual – fast trends to classics – leisure to active. And all do just that with a focus on quality fabrics and treatments; while still remaining one of the most competitively priced labels on the high street.

JACK & JONES is quality men’s fashion for every young man.

About JACK & JONES TECH
JACK & JONES TECH exists where performance sportswear meets casual fashion. Out of that fusion comes multi-functional sportswear developed for the active man. It’s agile – always ready. Advanced fabrics and engineered features mean JACK & JONES TECH works hard in all situations.

JACK & JONES TECH is intelligent sports fashion made for every day.

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JACK & JONES TECH partners with Danish national goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel

JACK & JONES TECH partners with Danish national goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel

Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd. to launch new private label “SEPT PREMIÈRES” for the 2015 Aut umn/Winter season

TOKYO, Japan, 2015-3-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — A New Initiative Spanning the Dept. Store and General Merchandise Store Formats for the First Time! An Apparel Innovation in Collaboration with World-Renowned Designers!

2015 Autumn/Winter Season Launch in Line with the Full Scale Kickoff of

The Seven & i Holdings Group’s Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy!

Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd. will launch a new private label “SEPT PREMIÈRES” (French for “Seven Premium”) for the 2015 Autumn/Winter season to be sequentially rolled out at Ito-Yokado, Sogo & Seibu stores.

The refined fashion brand is to be positioned as the apparel arm of the Seven & i Holdings Group’s private label, “Seven Premium.” Developed jointly by Ito-Yokado and Sogo & Seibu, the brand offers a touch of superior quality and is ideal for daily use. It is dubbed as “A New Basic Style that Reflects the Trends of Today,” and offers products that are basic in style but pursue the latest trends in color, material, function and fit.

At the same time, to distinguish the brand even more, the Group will collaborate with world-renowned designers. The first guest designer will be Mr. Jean Paul Gaultier. Mr. Gaultier’s refined designs will seek to “make many women look beautiful,” and the line will be named “Jean Paul GAULTIER FOR SEPT PREMIÈRES.” Utilizing the Group’s procurement capabilities in fine materials, experience as a Specialty Store Retailer of Private Label Apparel (SPA), and production scale, Ito-Yokado and Sogo & Seibu will manage every process from development to retail sales.

“SEPT PREMIÈRES” will be launched in autumn to coincide with the full-scale rollout of the Group’s Omni-Channel Strategy, “Anytime, Anywhere.” After purchasing the products “Anytime, Anywhere,” customers will be able to pick them up at their local Seven -Eleven store.

SEPT PREMIÈRES Outline *Lady’s wear only
■Launch: 2015 autumn/winter (October launch)
*Also scheduled for online sales
■Stores: 135 Ito-Yokado stores, all 24 Sogo & Seibu stores
(Total 159 Stores) 50 to 66 m² per store
■Lineup: Outer (10%), tops (50%), bottoms (20%), dresses (20%)
( )=SKU shares
■Pricing: Approx. 100 items, 1,000 SKUs
¥2,900 to ¥19,000 (¥3,132 to ¥20,520 including tax)
■ Sales Target: Total approx. ¥5.0 billion (first year)

Jean Paul GAULTIER FOR SEPT PREMIÈRES Outline *Lady’s wear only
■Launch: 2015 autumn/winter (October launch)
*Also scheduled for online sales
■Stores: 45 Ito-Yokado stores, all 24 Sogo & Seibu stores
[Total 69 stores] Approx.17 to 50 m² per store
■Lineup: Outer (10%), tops (50%), bottoms (15%), dresses (5%), accessories (20%) ( )=SKU shares
■Pricing: Approx. 50 items, 500 SKUs ¥3,900 to ¥29,000
(¥4,212 to ¥31,320 including tax)
■Sales Target: Total approx. ¥2.5 billion (first year)
■Store Design: Design Office “nendo” headed by Oki Sato

SM Investments Corporation (SM) reports 14.4% increase in recurring net income

Pasay City, Philippines, 2015-3-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Investments Corporation (SM) reported a record net income in 2014 of PHP28.4 billion. Excluding extraordinary items, recurring net income grew 14.4%.

SM’s underlying earnings growth was mainly driven by BDO Unibank, Inc., which posted a core income growth of 18%. Together with China Banking Corporation, banks accounted for 41% of SM’s consolidated net income in 2014. Property contributed 38% and retail 21%.

The record 2014 consolidated net income of PHP28.4 billion compares with PHP27.4 billion in 2013. These include exceptional items such as trading gains from the group’s banking businesses.

Consolidated revenues grew 9% to PHP275.7 billion in 2014 from PHP253.3 billion in 2013. This was the result of a good retail sales environment which also boosted rental revenues in SM’s property business.

The total assets of SM grew 12% in the past year to PHP711.9 billion. SM maintains a very healthy balance sheet with a conservative gearing ratio of 34% net debt to 66% equity.

SM raised PHP15 billion in May 2014 from a public offer of peso-denominated retail bonds with maturities of 7 and 10 years. The SM bonds were rated Aaa by Philippine Rating Services Corporation, the highest rating assigned by the credit rating firm.

In June 2014, SM issued a USD350 million 10-year senior unsecured bond at a fixed rate of 4.875% per annum, a landmark transaction marking the longest-dated USD bond issued by SM and the company’s fourth USD bond issuance since 2009. The issuance earned SM the Region’s Best Borrower Award from Hong Kong publication Finance Asia.

“The group’s strong underlying earnings growth of 14.4% in 2014 was the result of solid performance and ongoing expansion in all our three core businesses. During the year we raised additional capital and entered into several strong partnerships, accelerating our investments for growth and ensuring we expand in line with our continuing optimism about the economic prospects of the Philippines,” SM President Harley T. Sy said.

Banking
BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO) recorded net income attributable to equity holders of the parent of PHP22.8 billion compared with PHP22.6 billion in 2014. BDO’s recurring income grew 18%, excluding one-off trading gains in 2013.

Net interest income grew 19% to PHP51.2 billion in 2014, mainly due to 20% growth in the bank’s customer loan business to PHP1.1 trillion. Meanwhile, total deposits registered PHP1.5 trillion, 11% higher than the previous year.

BDO’s total capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 14.4% and common equity tier 1 (CET 1) ratio of 12.4% remain well above the Basel III regulatory minimums of 10% and 6% respectively.

BDO continues to be the largest bank in the Philippines in terms of total resources, loans and deposits and is the leader in investment and private banking.

Meanwhile, China Banking Corporation (China Bank) posted a full year consolidated net income of P5.11 billion in 2014 on the back of sustained growth in core business operations. This translates to a return on equity of 9.90% and return on assets of 1.12%.

China Bank’s net interest income grew 42% to P14.09 billion, largely due to earnings from loans and receivables. Total operating income reached P18.85 billion, up 25%.

Property
SM also drew strength from its property operations through SM Prime Holdings, Inc. which registered consolidated net income of PHP18.4 billion in 2014, up 13% on revenue growth of 11% to PHP66.2 billion.

SM Prime’s rental revenues rose 13% to PHP36.5 billion from PHP32.2 billion in 2013, mainly from new malls openings and expansions in 2013 and 2014, together with sustained same-store rental growth of 7%. SM Prime’s housing group recorded a 7% increase in real estate sales in 2014 to PHP22.2 billion, with reservation sales increasing 36.5% to PHP35.9 billion. Mall cinemas generated ticket sales of PHP4.3 billion, an increase of 14% during the period under review.

2014 marked a significant milestone as SM Prime opened its 50th mall in Angono, Rizal province, bringing its total gross floor area to 6.5 million sqm. SM Megamall became the country’s largest mall with a gross floor area of 484,373 sqm after opening its 101,005 sqm Mega Fashion Hall.

SM Prime continued its successful development of malls in China and plans to open one mall per year going forward. SM Prime’s sixth mall in China will be in Zibo, Shandong Province and its largest mall, spanning 540,000 sqm, will open in the Tianjin Binhai New Area. Currently SM Prime operates five malls in China with a total gross floor area of almost 800,000 sqm.

Retail Operations
Its retail operations under SM Retail Inc. sustained its growth with net income increasing by 3.3% to PHP5.9 billion while total sales rose 9.0% to PHP197.1 billion.

SM’s food retail business continued to expand in both urban and rural communities, adding 28 new stores in various parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. SM Retail forged strong partnerships with local and foreign players to accelerate its expansion program, growing its community mall supermarket presence through relationships with CityMalls and WalterMart and developing small format mini-marts in conjunction with Alfamart.

In the department store business, the SM Store added new locations in Cauayan, Isabela and Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. The SM Store continued to innovate and enhance its store layout and design and to introduce new brands to its merchandise mix. In the last few years, SM has introduced fashion brands such as Forever 21, Uniqlo, Sfera, Suite Blanco, Josef and other lifestyle brands such as Uno de 50 and Crate and Barrel.

At end 2014, SM Retail had a total of 269 stores, comprising 50 SM Stores, 40 SM Supermarkets, 42 SM Hypermarkets, 113 Savemore stores and 24 WalterMart stores.

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 and WalterMart 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
www.sminvestments.com

Chick-fil-A updates on its No Antibiotics Ever Commitment program

Chick-fil-A converts 20 percent of its poultry supply for 2015.

ATLANTA, 2015-3-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chick-fil-A’s No Antibiotics Ever Commitment:

In 2014, we announced we would work with suppliers over the next several years to remove all antibiotics (including ionophores) from our chicken supply. Below are details of our program’s specifications:

No Antibiotics means No Antibiotics.

This means we don’t allow antibiotics to be added to the feed, water or any commercial vaccines used by our suppliers. We also don’t allow ionophores (which are commonly used to prevent intestinal illnesses in animals).

Every Customer, Everywhere, Everyday (except Sundays, of course!)

In partnership with our suppliers, we’re working to establish a stable, sustainable, supply chain that can deliver on our promise of no antibiotics ever. This means every customer, at every restaurant across the country will be served chicken without antibiotics everyday (except Sundays, of course!)

P.S. This is why it is taking us five years. We want all of our suppliers to be able to meet this customer expectation.

Verified. Certified.

Checks and balances are always a good thing – especially when you are making a promise as important as this. We’re working with the USDA to help establish a process to verify all of our suppliers are continuously meeting our commitment of no antibiotics ever.

To date, we have converted more than 20% of our supply to poultry raised without antibiotics. We will continue to provide updates on our progress going forward.

Even more details on our No Antibiotics Ever Commitment are below:

Chick-fil-A’s NAE claim means that suppliers are never to directly administer antibiotics, within their operation, during the entire  life cycle.

* Administration of antibiotics to the diet (feed/water) is prohibited.

* Ionophore use is prohibited.

* Administration of antibiotics to commercial vaccines is prohibited.

* If antibiotics, including ionophores, are administered for any reason, those flocks must be removed from the Chick-fil-A supply chain.

In addition to the standards put in place, Chick-fil-A has set up a very strict auditing process that is as follows:

* Each facility must be re-certified and maintain certification in order to be an approved supplier.

* Supplier must submit evidence of that certification to Chick-fil-A annually.

* If certification is lost due to non-compliance, that facility is no longer approved to produce product for Chick-fil-A. Supplier must regain Chick-fil-A’s NAE certification before producing again.

* Supplier must notify Chick-fil-A, Inc. immediately if certification is lost. Any future changes to the USDA’s NAE PVP program may require changes to this Specification.