H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB to present the first quarterly results for 2015 at a press conference on 24 March

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2015-3-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB presents the first quarterly results for 2015 at a press conference on Tuesday 24 March at 9.30 CET. There will also be a telephone conference in English at 14.00 CET the same day.

The first quartely results for the period 1 December 2014 to 28 February 2015 is released at approximately at 8.00 CET on 24 March and thereafter published on hm.com.

The press conference starts at 9.30 CET in “Ljusgården” in H&M’s premises on Mäster Samuelsgatan 49, 3rd floor, in Stockholm. H&M’s CEO Karl-Johan Persson and Head of Investor Relations Nils Vinge will present the first quarterly results followed by an open Q&A session.The press conference is held in Swedish.

Participants in the telephone conference can choose to pre-register at
https://eventreg1.conferencing.com/webportal3/reg.html?Acc=056083&Conf=192339 and receive log in details for the telephone conference.

Participants who choose to dial in on the telephone numbers below are kindly asked to call in at least ten minutes prior to the start of the conference in order to avoid a queue.
Please quote ref 951962.

Sweden  +46 8 5052 0110
UK  +44 20 7162 0077
US  +1 334 323 6201

Presentation material will be available at hm.com under Investor Relations at approximately 10.30 CET on 24 March and a recordingfrom the telephone conference as of 25 March.

Welcome!

GLOBAL MEDIA INQUIRIES

Only for media representatives
Phone: +46 8 796 53 00
Email: mediarelations@hm.com

Head of Communications
Kristina Stenvinkel
+46 8 796 39 08

Head of Media Relations
Camilla Emilsson Falk
+46 8 796 39 95

Please note the contact details above are only for media representatives. For other enquiries contact H&M’s switchboard on +46 8 796 55 00.

42 charities across U.S. to receive IKEA makeover and product donations as a result of winning this year’s IKEA Life Improvement Challenge

Conshohocken, PA, 2015-3-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA US is pleased to announce today that 42 charities across the U.S. will be receiving IKEA makeover and product donations as a result of winning this year’s IKEA Life Improvement Challenge. Additionally 60 other charities, who were first and second runner ups, will win IKEA gift cards.IKEA wants to play a part in creating a better life for the many people, as well as communities touched by IKEA business. While IKEA works on a global level to improve the lives of people in developing countries, IKEA also wants to be a good neighbor in its local communities. The IKEA Life Improvement Co-worker challenge is one way to make a difference closer to home.

How the IKEA Life Improvement Challenge Works:
Each year, IKEA receives many inspiring proposals from IKEA co-workers as candidates for the campaign. Then the IKEA steering committee – at each store – selects up to three organizations for co-workers and customers to vote online (this year’s voting period was February 16 – March 2). The charitable organization, from each store market, with the highest number of online votes becomes the winner, and the 2nd and 3rd place winners receive IKEA gift cards.

Two of this year’s 42 winners are listed below as good examples of just how meaningful these charities are as well as the impact of these makeovers:

The Center for Habilitation (TCH), Tempe, Arizona
TCH provides services that support, care for, and empower children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities. Their classrooms are used for participant dining, arts and crafts, and leisure time. TCH needs new furnishings in these spaces that are more comfortable, inviting, and functional. A makeover of these spaces will provide a better visual representation of TCH’s mission, as well as improving the common space for the participants and staff.

Burbank Community Day School, Burbank, California
Burbank Community Day School provides a supportive atmosphere for students grades 7-12 who are having difficulties with behavior, attendance, and/or grades; with the goal of students returning to comprehensive school. They also have a garden that students maintain with a senior artist colony. A makeover of the kitchen will give students a better space to cook what they grow. These changes would include a prep area and storage for the cooked food and vegetables.

IKEA US started the IKEA Life Improvement Challenge in 2011, and since then over 120 local charities have received over $1 million in IKEA products, design expertise, and manpower.

Read here for more information on the winners.

Contact:
Mona Astra Liss. IKEA US Corporate PR Director. Mona.Liss@IKEA.com
610.834.0180/ext. 5852

About IKEA Group
The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 315 IKEA Group stores in 28 countries. Additionally, there are 40 IKEA stores run by franchises. There are 40 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 14, IKEA Group had 716 million visitors to the stores and 1.5 billion visitors to IKEA.com. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, please visit www.IKEA.com, facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA, http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/, www.youtube.com/IKEAUSA, www.theshare-space.com, www.theshare-space.com/en/Blog

Carrefour: notable increase in the numbers of women managers – nearly 37% in 2014

Boulogne-Billancourt, France, 2015-3-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Since it was first set up in 2011, all of the countries in which the Group operates have been following the Women Leaders programme. Each country has committed to it and introduced Best Practices. The resulting synergy has had tangible effects on turnover. There has been a notable increase in the numbers of women managers – nearly 37% in 2014, a 8,9% increase since 2009. However, the “Glass ceiling” effect is still a reality when it comes to Managerial and Senior Managerial posts. The countries are therefore stepping up their initiatives to promote a better gender balance.

Globally, Asia has seen the biggest increase in the numbers of women. Women currently account for nearly 39% of all Carrefour managers in Asia. That’s the highest percentage across the whole group! In 2014, China appointed nine women to Managerial or Senior managerial posts! And Taiwan has optimum gender equality among its Managers: 50% men and 50% women.

In Europe, there has been a significant increase since 2011 in the numbers of women in Senior Managerial posts – they accounted for 12% in 2014. France saw the highest number of women being appointed to managerial or senior managerial posts in 2014: a total of 19!It should be pointed out that women now account for 40% of Romania’s Executive Committee – that’s the highest percentage of all countries in which the Group operates.

A few best practices…

In a bid to involve as many of its employees as possible, Argentina staged the Women Leaders Convention last June. The purpose of this event which brought together 140 managers and directors was to raise managers’ awareness of the Women Leaders programme and get them involved. One of the outcomes was the signing of a meeting charter which defines – among other things – working hours so that family life can be preserved.

France and its Executive Committee are also involved: they signed up to 15 commitments designed to promote a better work-life balance last July as part of a charter proposed by the Ministry for Women’s Rights. Carrefour Market has introduced a number of initiatives designed to promote gender equality in recruitment, training, remuneration and promotion, and has been awarded the Professional Equality label in recognition of its efforts.

Italy has launched a mentoring programme whereby 22 women senior managers are invited to mentor female employees with career opportunities. These women are mentored and coached so as to help them with their professional development. France, Argentina and Carrefour Management have also introduced this programme.

Four countries / Business Units have received the GEEIS (Gender Equality European – International Standard) award this year: Argentina, Romania France Hypermarkets and France Supermarkets. This award has also been presented to the Group in recognition of the relevance of its best practices and of its global Women Leaders initiative.

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Carrefour: notable increase in the numbers of women managers - nearly 37% in 2014

Carrefour: notable increase in the numbers of women managers – nearly 37% in 2014

For the ninth year in a row, Starbucks is one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® according to the Ethisphere Institute

SEATTLE, 2015-3-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the ninth year in a row, Starbucks is one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® according to the Ethisphere Institute.

Companies are evaluated in several categories: Reputation, Leadership and Innovation; Ethics and Compliance Program; Governance; Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility; Culture of Ethics.

“This recognition is a result of our commitment to integrity and the importance we place on doing the right thing and acting ethically in all situations. We have been honored because of the diligent work of our partners around the globe who strive to uphold our culture and values every day,” said Matthew Swaya, Starbucks senior vice president, deputy general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer.

Only 132 companies were chosen from thousands of nominations worldwide.

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

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For the ninth year in a row, Starbucks is one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® according to the Ethisphere Institute

For the ninth year in a row, Starbucks is one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® according to the Ethisphere Institute

Starbucks announces finalists in the Starbucks Partner Cup Contest

SEATTLE, 2015-3-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Playful butterflies, swirling coffee beans, delicate flowers, colorful continents, an iconic Starbucks apron, and a detailed night scene all adorn cups that were selected as finalists in the Starbucks Partner Cup Contest.

Inspired by the success of its White Cup Contest for customers, Starbucks gave its store partners (employees) an opportunity to express their creativity through their own design contest last month.

In just one week, more than 1,500 entries were submitted for the first cup design contest for Starbucks baristas.

“Our expectations were blown away, both in the number of entries and the quality of the submissions,” said Dan Jensen, a manager on the Partner Communications and Engagement Team. “We have talented partners at Starbucks.”

Baristas decorated iconic Starbucks white cups with hand-drawn art, took a photo of the cup design, and shared it through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #PartnerCupContest as a hashtag. From those entries, more than a dozen were chosen for judging. Partners throughout the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle voted to narrow the selections to seven finalists.

The finalists’ designs will be considered carefully, and three Partner Cup Contest winners will be announced in mid-April. The winning partner designs will be produced on Starbucks 16 fluid ounce reusable cup and will be available for purchase later this year.

“It was difficult to narrow down the choices and it will be challenging to select the final three winners,” Jensen said. “All the designs are reflections of the way our partners bring their work to life in our stores every day – creatively, thoughtfully and individually.”

Meet the finalists:

Lauren, District of Columbia

I wanted to express the way Starbucks goes out of its way to recognize the individuality of all partners while keeping it simple and design-oriented, focusing on the way the positive and negative spaces interact to keep your eye moving through the green apron image.

Starbucks Partner Cup Contest DC

 


Kerry, Illinois

I came up with the design from my cup from my love of nature. I wanted to incorporate flowers and bring some spring season to frigid Chicago right now. I’ve always been super in to art and I draw all the time I’m actually graduating with my undergrad in Art Therapy in May.

Starbucks Partner Cup Contest IL

 


Shelby, Michigan

My grandma taught me how to watercolor when I was young. She has taught me everything I know about art. Painting flowers or nature was always my favorite, and I wanted to capture a natural spring theme, roses make me happy. I came up with the continents design because my husband and I love to travel, and our world is so fun and colorful.

Starbucks Partner Cup Contest MI

 

 


Benjamin, Texas

My love of space and science fiction inspired the design. I love the idea of our natural world and life being connected to a much larger cosmos. Things like the Aurora Borealis, comets and stargazing make me happy. I’m also a fan of black and white images, which comes from me being a trained photographer.

Starbucks Partner Cup Contest TX

 


Jeremiah, California

I wanted something that would be exciting for the eyes to look at and that would trigger a lively emotion from the viewer, so I knew I had to go with something that had a strong emphasis on movement. Coffee beans! From there, I moved on to composition with line direction, color, rhythm, balance, and contrast. I made something that would sum up everything Starbucks is and that would tell a passionate story to customers in a single image.

Starbucks Partner Cup Contest CA

 


Brynn, Washington

My mom taught me how to draw when I was little so I have been doodling for most of my life. I have always been drawn towards a Scandinavian style of floral designs because of my family’s heritage. My quaint hometown of Poulsbo, WA has a very strong Nordic presence, so I think stuff like that will always remind me of home. For the Partner Cup Contest, I tried to draw something especially springy because I’m excited for my daughter’s first spring.

Starbucks Partner Cup Contest WA

 


Brandon, New Mexico

I’ve always liked monarch butterflies and designed a tattoo of the same image that’s on my forearm. When the Starbucks dress code policy changed allowing visible tattoos I received a lot of compliments on my monarch tattoo. When I designed the cup I wanted to use that design but play a little more with negative space and decided not to fill it with too many butterflies.

Starbucks Partner Cup Contest NM

 


Good luck to all the finalists!

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

Equity One, Inc. to release its 2015 first quarter earnings on April 29, 2015 after the market close

New York, NY, 2015-3-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Equity One, Inc. (NYSE: EQY), an owner, developer, and operator of shopping centers, announced today that it will release its 2015 first quarter earnings on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 after the market close. On Thursday, April 30, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Equity One’s senior officers will conduct a conference call to review the 2015 first quarter earnings and operating results.

Stockholders, analysts and other interested parties can access the earnings call by dialing (888) 317-6003 (U.S.), (866) 284-3684 (Canada) or (412) 317-6061 (international) using pass code 4560583. The call will also be webcast and can be accessed in a listen-only mode on Equity One’s web site at http://www.equityone.com.

If you are unable to participate during the live call, a replay will be available on Equity One’s website for future review. You may also access the telephone replay by dialing (877) 344-7529 (U.S.), (855) 669-9658 (Canada) or (412) 317-0088 (international) using pass code 10062009 through May 14, 2015.

ABOUT EQUITY ONE, INC.
As of December 31, 2014, our consolidated shopping center portfolio comprised 122 properties, including 102 retail properties and five non-retail properties totaling approximately 13.5 million square feet of gross leasable area, or GLA, nine development or redevelopment properties with approximately 1.6 million square feet of GLA upon completion, and six land parcels. As of December 31, 2014, our consolidated shopping center occupancy was 95.0% and included national, regional and local tenants. Additionally, the company had joint venture interests in 18 retail properties and two office buildings totaling approximately 3.2 million square feet of GLA. For more information, please access the Equity One website at www.equityone.com.

For additional information:

Mark Langer, EVP and Chief Financial Officer

Equity One, Inc.
410 Park Avenue, Suite 1220
New York, NY 10022
212-796-1760

John Lewis launched driver apprenticeship scheme which will recruit 41 new apprentices throughout 2015

LONDON, 2015-3-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — John Lewis has launched a driver apprenticeship scheme which will recruit 41 new apprentices throughout 2015.

The scheme, in partnership with The Real Apprenticeship Company, complements John Lewis’s retail apprenticeships and reflects the changing roles of front-line driver Partners (staff) who interact with customers on a regular basis.

Two types of apprenticeships are available, with recruitment for the roles continuing throughout the year; six for the John Lewis Primary Transport fleet and 35 for John Lewis Customer Delivery fleet. All roles will be based at various hubs across England.

All apprentices will receive full training to drive heavy goods vehicles and develop their geographical knowledge. There will also be an emphasis on delivering outstanding customer service with all Customer Delivery apprentices taking part in John Lewis’s Much More Than A Driver (MMTAD) training scheme, giving drivers the skills and training they need to meet customer expectations.

Suzy Welby, Education Design Lead at John Lewis, said: ‘We are looking for young people who are passionate about what they do and the service they provide. Our drivers are ambassadors of our brand and their actions are a direct reflection on the business in the same way as any of our other Partners in a selling environment, so we are looking for people who are willing to take on that responsibility.

‘We build relationships with our Partners for the long term and offer career opportunities across a diverse business. We are looking for individuals who are excited by the prospect of sharing in our success and are passionate about being part of a co-owned business.’

For more information about the John Lewis driver apprenticeship scheme, please visit www.jlpjobs.com or www.therealacademy.co.uk.

Notes to editors
John Lewis – John Lewis operates 43 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, ten John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership and all 30,000 John Lewis staff are Partners in the business. John Lewis, ‘Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2014’¹ , ‘Best Overall Retailer’² and ‘Best Retailer 2014’³, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

¹ Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014
² Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2014
³ Which? Awards 2014.

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

The Real Apprenticeship Company – The organisation is a specialist training provider offering market-leading and innovative training and apprenticeship solutions across the UK.

The Real Apprenticeship specialises in Brewery Proficiency and Food Manufacturing, Business to Business, Creative, Digital Media and Digital Marketing, Engineering, Residential Property Sales and Lettings, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Retail, Transport and Logistics, Engineering, Warehousing and service sectors including Business Administration, Customer Service, Team Leading and Management, and ICT and Sales.  The organisation also works with public, private and not-for-profit employers.

For more information visit www.therealacademy.co.uk.

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

Siobhan Flynn
Communications Officer, John Lewis
Telephone: 020 7798 3186
Email: siobhan.flynn@johnlewis.co.uk

Vikki Speed
Senior Communications Officer, Corporate & Brand, John Lewis
Telephone: 020 7931 4921
Email: vikki.speed@johnlewis.co.uk

Digital High Street Advisory Board formed by industry leaders unveiled five-year strategy to reinvigorate the UK’s traditional High Streets

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-3-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Industry leaders*, organised as the Digital High Street Advisory Board, today announced a five-year strategy to reinvigorate the UK’s traditional High Streets and proposed the adoption of four major inter-dependent digital initiatives by 2020:

  • Targets for town centre infrastructure and connectivity for 2020 and beyond, including broadband, mobile and WiFi.
  • Goal to eliminate the gap in basic digital skills by 2020 for individuals, small businesses and charities via regionally coordinated programmes.
  • Centralised High Street Digital Lab to provide the UK’s 1,200 towns and their High Street businesses with ready-to-use digital capabilities and dedicated town-by-town digital skills training, leveraging a network of digital apprenticeships for every UK town centre in the UK.
  • The first UK High Street Digital Health Index, an interactive benchmark for towns and local authorities to drive assessment and change across the key measures of digital health – infrastructure, basic digital skills, High Street attraction and digital engagement.

The Digital High Street 2020 Report addresses how stakeholders in town centre communities, including small businesses, public service providers and charities, can benefit from integrating traditional High Streets with digital technologies, and compete more favourably to serve customers as they embrace proliferating digital alternatives.  It observes that although a “digital divide” is growing between those national and international firms investing aggressively in digital capabilities, and the many small, independent High Street proprietors, the groups are interdependent and success of those across the divide is critical to the success of our communities.

The Report also reinforces the importance of the digital economy to driving the economic and social vibrancy of High Streets, which stand to generate billions of pounds of additional revenue from digital interactions with the public.  The Report suggests a framework to accelerate their capabilities through private, public and third-sector collaborations and leadership from local authorities.

John Walden, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group**, and Chairman of The Digital High Street Advisory Board, said: “The digital revolution is arguably the most disruptive factor affecting our communities, but its effects are not often considered central to high street revitalisation.  Many members of UK town centres are struggling to keep up with consumers in terms of their digital capabilities, and given the pace of digital growth many towns lack sufficient infrastructure and basic digital skills.  I believe that the business-oriented Board has provided recommendations that, taken together, can restore our High Streets to vibrancy in a digital future, into 2020 and beyond.”

High Street needs to change to remain viable.  24/7 “always on” internet ‘window shopping’ has changed shopping forever.  The range of goods, pricing comparisons and home delivery can appear more attractive to consumers, while ease of parking and lack of congestion can make out of town retail parks appear attractive when compared to what could be the intrinsic benefits of many High Streets.   New solutions in retailing, logistics and traffic management are required to enable towns and cities to regenerate their High Streets to cope, take advantage of technological changes and provide solutions that mix virtual and physical in new ways, offering genuinely new and attractive shopping experiences.

With 60% of adults using a mobile phone or tablet to access the internet on the go, digital transformation of high streets would generate significant social and economic value for our communities around the country.   High streets are worth investing in with more than £150bn of retail sales influenced by digital, but retailers with services that fail to meet customers’ expectations risk losing over £12bn sales a year.  Only half of small businesses (SMEs) and charities have a website and just 33% of SMEs currently transact online, as 31% of all such organisations lack basic online skills.  Recent estimates show that digital technology could unlock £18.8 billion of revenue for SMEs, while reducing their costs by up to 20% and increasing customer satisfaction and retention.   The estimated annual social and economic value of digital inclusion for a new users going online is £1,064, rising to £3,568 for a more advanced individual or small business user.

Digital High Street Advisory Board 2020, recommendations:

Town centres need to significantly raise infrastructure and connectivity standards for 2020, by developing sufficient digital access through infrastructure beyond existing Government targets for 2017, including; i) universal fixed connectivity of not less than 24 Mbps, with 75% of the UK’s residences and businesses having access to fixed broadband speeds of 100 Mbps, ii) high speed mobile data coverage with 4G available, from multiple operators, to 98% of the population across both indoor and outdoor geographies, and iii) clear public access WiFi standards, for consumer experiences to ensure non-disruptive handoffs as consumers move among venues and providers and to encourage broader deployment.

Basic Digital Skills programme to be developed to eliminate the current gap in digital skills in our communities by 2020, to ensure that all digitally capable residents of our communities – individuals, SMEs and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors have basic digital skills.  Go ON UK*** to coordinate the management, funding and implementation of digital skills priorities as a holistic programme, with a range of public and private delivery partners.

The first High Street Digital Lab will provide the UK’s 1,200 towns and their businesses with digital capabilities from a central not-for-profit organisation. This will include the aggregation of generally available technologies, digital applications, tools, methods and training programmes, in order to provide a platform for digital consumer services for each community across the UK on behalf of its local authority, high street businesses and charities. Services will be in the form of a separate marketplace, or portal, for each community, launched and operated by the Lab through a local team of digital apprentices, leveraging TheGreatBritishHighStreet.co.uk as an external consumer brand.

In a first for the UK, a Digital High Street Health Index will enable towns, national and local authorities to i) assess the competitiveness of a particular local high street community or high streets generally, ii) understand the key measures of economic value creation from digital developments, and iii) inspire local authorities, town teams and private enterprises to make positive change.

Peter Fitzgerald, Director, Google UK said:

“Today, the vast majority of UK shoppers research online before they buy from a store. This means that every business is a digital business because every consumer is a digital consumer. We hope that this report will be a first step towards improving digital access and expertise among small businesses and help them grow faster and reach more customers.”

Ben Dowd, Business Director at O2 said:

“Over the next five years, we will continue to see digital technology redefining how consumers, businesses and public services interact. The Digital High Street Health Index will be a unique and critically essential part of enabling towns and villages to understand how they can put technology at the heart of their community, so that local customers and citizens can truly benefit.  Crucially, they must work with retailers to ensure they understand how technology can complement – not replace – their physical presence, as those that fail to take an integrated approach risk being left behind.“

Baroness Lane-Fox, Chair Go ON UK said:

“Lloyds Business Digital Index research has shown that 31% of organisations in the UK are lacking Basic Digital Skills. This means they could be missing out on a range of benefits, such as taking payments or donations online, or having access to a wider range of services and suppliers. Lowering this figure represents huge value both socially and economically for the UK. The proposed digital apprentices will proactively help these organisations to realise the value of being digitally skilled, and potentially help them generate more revenue from customers and donors.”

Helen Dickinson, Director General of the British Retail Consortium said:

“British high streets have weathered sweeping changes in society, economic cycles, property development and retail expansion, and the seismic impact of digital technology on communications, entertainment and commerce. Our communities have survived these changes to varying degrees but while what makes a successful high street has not fundamentally changed, the ability to achieve wider future success is now absolutely dependent on embracing the impact of digital and the recommendations of this report provide a strategy to do just that.”

-ends-

NOTES TO EDITORS:

For a copy of the full report and the appendices please go to:  www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk

High Street video and photography also held at:  www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk

For media enquiries please ring:

Home Retail Group:        0845 120 4365

The Digital High Street Advisory Board was established in April 2014 to further the work of the Future High Street Forum, including representation from private business, public sector and trade bodies.*  Its aims were to establish a clear strategy for delivering and future-proofing a successful

combination of ongoing new digital technologies with legacy bricks and mortar high streets and to ensure solutions are commercially viable and consumer relevant.

Under the direction of the Government’s Department of Communities and Local Government, the Future High Street Forum was formed in 2013 to bring together leaders across retail, property and business to better understand the competition town centres across the country face and to drive forward new ideas and policies.

*Board members:

John Walden, Chief Executive, Home Retail Group and Chair of the Board.

BT, Facebook, Google, Hammersons, IBM, John Lewis, Lloyds Bank, M&S, Post Office, Sainsbury’s, Telefonica, Tesco, Westfield.

** 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

*** Go ON UK is an agile cross-sector digital skills charity established by Baroness Lane-Fox in 2012. Go ON UK is a partnership organisation and has the chief executives of nine major organisations around its boardroom table – Age UK, Argos, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, E.ON, EE, Lloyds Bank, Post Office and TalkTalk. Working with its partners, Go ON UK’s vision is to empower everyone in the UK to reach their digital potential.

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Argos survey reveals that parents preferred the fun of baking their children’s cakes opposed to picking one up on the shop

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-3-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Move over Mary Berry, parents are now leading the way with cake baking. A survey¹ has found that 48 per cent of UK parents are boycotting shop-bought cakes in favour of home baking for kid’s birthday parties.

The survey by leading digital retailer Argos found that parents preferred the fun of baking their children’s cakes opposed to picking one up on the weekly shop.  The domestic nature of parents doesn’t stop at the cakes, it seems we are also a nation of party food chefs as 79 per cent of respondents love making everything from sausage rolls to jelly for guests.

With the introduction of a ‘cakeage’ charge by some leading restaurants and venues, it seems parents are taking measures to avoid the cost, with 60 per cent willing to pay for an exclusive hire of a party venue in a bid to avoid the new payment system, where guests can be charged per head if they bring their own cake.

Argos has a wide range of party supplies including party games, balloons and themed party kits starting from as little as £4.99. All items are available at Argos stores or online at www.argos.co.uk, where products can be reserved for free for pick up at Argos stores.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:

1Survey was completed by over 1,300 respondents and was conducted on Netmums website between 20th February and 3rd march 2014.

For more information, please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email: media.relations@argos.co.uk.

Follow us on Twitter at @argos_PR.

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.

We’re happy to help with journalists’ queries. For media enquiries, product samples and loans, please contact:

Argos:
t: 0845 120 4365
e: media.relations@argos.co.uk

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Habitat returns to the Irish high street at Argos

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-3-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Habitat is set to make a return to the Irish high street as Argos announces that it will be stocking the brand for the very first time both online and in-store, making it more accessible to Irish shoppers than ever before.

Customers can now access 200 seasonal and best-selling products from the Habitat collection of affordable furniture and homewares on www.argos.ie, in advance of the range being launched in the Argos Autumn/Winter 2015 catalogue this coming July. Products can be reserved online for free with instant pick up from 40 Argos stores throughout the Republic of Ireland.

Andy McClelland, Operations Manager, Argos Republic of Ireland, said “We’re delighted to be able to broaden our product ranges here in Argos and bring on board even more great brands – such as Habitat – which our customers know and want. Habitat is a well-established furniture and homewares brand and we are pleased to be able to offer our Irish customers convenient, nationwide access to a range of new, quality Habitat products later this year.”

“We’re delighted to be making the Habitat brand more accessible to Irish customers through our relationship with Argos,” comments Clare Askem, Managing Director of Habitat. “Now everyone who wants to own a piece of Habitat can easily and quickly find our products on the high street from our iconic designs to new season collections.”

Famous for its forward thinking approach to design, Habitat has been designing products in-house for over 50 years with a collection of cleverly crafted and affordably priced products that are anything but the norm. New Habitat products which are now available from argos.ie include:

About Habitat
For fifty years we’ve has been imaging life as it should be. Since our revolutionary beginnings in 1964 we’ve made outstanding design accessible to all by bringing enduring, inventive and affordable products to the high street. Today alongside our three flagships and habitat.co.uk, we have 35 new Mini Habitat stores within Homebase branches nationwide in the UK and will be rolling out more throughout 2015. You’ll also find our Habitat products are available in Argos stores, argos.co.uk and now argos.ie. Habitat was acquired by Home Retail Group in 2011 under the leadership of current Managing Director, Clare Askem, and the in-house design studio has been under the guidance of Creative Director, Polly Dickens, since 2012.

About Argos
Argos is Ireland’s leading general merchandise retailer and provides a unique offer of choice and convenience.  It sells general merchandise and products for the home from 40 stores in the Republic of Ireland.  Argos opened its first stores in the Republic in January 1996 in Limerick and Dublin; there is now an Argos catalogue in approximately three quarters of all Irish homes.  Argos is already one of the largest retail employers in the country with around 1,500 employees.  In 2005, Argos launched its Irish website, www.argos.ie, which now has over 20,000 products online.  Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

We’re happy to help with journalists’ queries. For media enquiries, product samples and loans, please contact:

Argos:
t: 0845 120 4365
e: media.relations@argos.co.uk

 

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Habitat returns to the Irish high street at Argos

Habitat returns to the Irish high street at Argos