CBRE Group’s senior secured bank credit facility and senior unsecured ratings raised to Investment Grade (Baa3) by Moody’s Investors Service

Los Angeles, CA, 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) today announced that Moody’s Investors Service has raised the Company’s senior secured bank credit facility and senior unsecured ratings to Investment Grade (Baa3), with a stable outlook.

In making the upgrade, the Moody’s analysis cited CBRE’s conservative capital structure, sound financial policy and increased contractual and recurring revenue sources.

“The Moody’s upgrade is a strong endorsement of our strategy of thoughtfully managing our balance sheet while investing in our people, platform and service offering to create real advantage for our clients and to enhance the competitive position of CBRE,” said Jim Groch, CBRE’s chief financial officer and global director of corporate development.

In December 2014, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) raised CBRE’s corporate rating to Investment Grade (BBB-).

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​

For Further Information

Steve Iaco
T +1 212 9846535
email

​​

CBRE Group, Inc. ranks on top for global commercial real estate investment sales in 2014 according to Real Capital Analytics

Los Angeles, 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) was the top-ranked firm for commercial real estate investment sales throughout the world during 2014, according to Real Capital Analytics (RCA).  CBRE has achieved the number one position in each of the four years that RCA has published global rankings.

RCA credited CBRE with a 19.1% market share* across all property types in 2014 on a global basis. CBRE held the top spot in RCA’s global rankings for industrial, apartment and development sites.

RCA, which tracks global commercial real estate sales of $10 million and greater, estimates that approximately $1.2 trillion of commercial real estate was sold throughout the world in 2014 – the same amount as in 2013.

“By aligning our deep experience across all asset types with unrivaled access to global capital sources, we have been able to deliver real competitive advantage and superior results for our clients in 2014,” said Chris Ludeman, Global President, CBRE Capital Markets.

Highlights from RCA’s 2014 rankings include:

  • CBRE was the top firm in industrial sales, with $16.1 billion in transactions and a market share of 30.0%.
  • CBRE executed $24.3 billion in apartment sales, for an industry-leading market share of 27.4%.
  • ​CBRE’s development site sales totaled $3.8 billion, for a market share of 21.2%.

* Market share has been calculated based on the dollar volume of transactions where CBRE represented the seller, divided by the total volume of seller-brokered transactions.

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

For Further Information

Aaron Richardson
Director, Communication-Media
T +1 212 9847126
email

CBRE Research: lower oil prices will have effects across Houston commercial real estate market, but fears of broad-based decline are overblown

CBRE report shows impact will vary by property type, with the retail sector most insulated and the office market most exposed

​Los Angeles, 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Lower oil prices will have effects across the Houston commercial real estate market, but fears of broad-based decline are overblown, according to a new report from CBRE Research. The report finds that the degree of impact will vary based on the magnitude of change in employment, and by property type, with expected impact to the retail sector being negligible and the office sector, modestly negative.

“The outlook for Houston commercial real estate is less positive than a year ago, and certain submarkets and property sectors can expect to see at least temporary shortfalls in demand,” said Spencer Levy, Americas Head of Research, CBRE. “However, we expect oil prices to slowly drift up over the next two or three years. That, plus strong growth in the U.S. economy will limit the impact of the recent drop in prices on the market.”

Much has been written in the popular, economic and real estate press about the challenges the Houston economy may face due to low oil prices. However, in commercial real estate the story is more nuanced, with a number of considerations, including:

  • The U.S. economy will benefit on net from lower oil prices, with the positive impact to consumer spending potentially boosting real GDP growth by up to 0.7 percent in 2015, according to Moody’s Analytics.
  • Houston’s economy is entering this period from a position of strength, having gained four new jobs since 2009 for each one lost during the recession while experiencing income growth about the national average.
  • While energy is a key industry in the Houston economy, the sector has also diversified across the energy industry’s three segments – upstream, midstream and downstream – and each is impacted by lower oil prices in different ways. Most notably, the negative impacts to exploration and production (upstream) will be partially offset by positive impacts on petrochemical manufacturing (downstream).
  • Retail is best positioned among the property types because the spending of Houstonians will benefit from lower gasoline prices, the occupancy rate is historically high and construction of new shops has been uniquely constrained in this cycle.
  • The office market is most exposed due to the Houston’s concentration of upstream energy headquarters and major operations as well as the amount of new supply coming on line through 2017.
  • Impacts to industrial and multifamily will likely be limited to slower rent growth. Both sectors enter this period with strong occupancy and face offsets to weakness in the upstream segment from downstream expansion and, for multifamily, support for continued demand from a tight single-family market.

“Ultimately, the fall in oil prices results in winners as well as losers. The winners are broadly spread, the losers are usually in specific locations” added Mr. Levy. “Investors are acknowledging the changing global industry dynamics, including the U.S. push for energy independence, the decline in OPEC’s power and growing political support for the international trade of domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil – all of which could potentially have positive implications for Houston and the U.S. energy sector.”

CBRE Research’s global perspective is that most of the oil-producing economies face a tough 18 months or so. “Russia, for instance, is expected to see its GDP decline in 2015 by 5 to 8 percent. However, led by the U.S., overall growth in the world economy is expected to pick up in 2015 and 2016. This will provide some support for oil prices, which we expect to drift up slowly from this point onwards as some production capacity comes out of the market,” said Richard Barkham, Global Chief Economist, CBRE.

“It was always clear that the beneficial effect, on consumer spending for instance, would only show through in the medium term. The pain would be near term and localized in energy-centric markets, such as Houston and Calgary. Houston can at least look forward to some offset for falling energy-related investment from revived domestic demand growth across the whole of the U.S. The same cannot be said for Russia, Venezuela and Nigeria,” added Mr. Barkham.

Note to editors/journalists: To speak with a CBRE expert or obtain a copy of the report, please email robert.mcgrath@cbre.com or corey.mirman@cbre.com.

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.

For Further Information

Robert Mcgrath
Director, Sr
T +1 212 9848267
email

Corey Mirman
Specialist, Sr Communication
T +1 212 9846542
email

Ethisphere Institute recognized CBRE Group, Inc. as a 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company® for second year in a row

Ethisphere Institute Recognizes Leadership in Responsible Business Practices, Ethical Conduct and Community Service

Los Angeles, 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) has been recognized as a 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere Institute, an independent center of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance. This is the second year in a row CBRE has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute.

CBRE was recognized for its strong corporate culture focused on commitments ethics and compliance as well as responsible business practices.

“CBRE’s selection as a World’s Most Ethical Company is a powerful statement about our corporate culture,” said Bob Sulentic, president and chief executive officer of CBRE. “Our people have a rigorous focus on adhering to the highest standards of professional conduct while creating advantage for our clients. They are also highly dedicated to serving the communities where they live and work.”

The World’s Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient™ (EQ) framework developed over years of research to provide a means to assess an organization’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), culture of ethics (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%).

“The World’s Most Ethical Companies embrace the correlation between ethical business practice and improved company performance. These companies use ethics as a means to further define their industry leadership and understand that creating an ethical culture and earning the World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition involves more than just an outward facing message or a handful of senior executives saying the right thing,” said Timothy Erblich, Ethisphere’s chief executive officer. “Earning this recognition involves the collective action of a global workforce from the top down. We congratulate everyone at CBRE for this extraordinary achievement.”

About Ethisphere Institute
The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program, provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) and showcases trends and best practices in ethics with the publication of Ethisphere Magazine and The World’s Most Ethical Companies Executive Briefing. Ethisphere is also the leading provider of independent verification of corporate ethics and compliance programs. More information about Ethisphere can be found at: http://ethisphere.com.

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.

For Further Information:

Steve Iaco
Director, Sr. Managing
T +1 212 9846535
email

Robert Mcgrath
Director, Sr
T +1 212 9848267
email

The Morrisons supermarket in Leeds’ Merrion Centre to undergo complete transformation and expansion into the former Peacocks site

The Morrisons supermarket in Leeds’ Merrion Centre is set to undergo a complete transformation and expansion into the former Peacocks site as part of a multi-million pound investment.

Bradford, England, 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Opened in 1972, the Merrion store was one of Morrisons first supermarkets More than 50,000 customers a week pass through its doors making it one of Morrisons busiest stores. The transformation plan involves absorbing the former Peacocks store next door which will increase the size by 10,000sqft and allow the grocer to change the layout and add a number of brand new features.

The new-look store will include a large ‘Fresh-To-Go’ section featuring a range of hot and cold food for shoppers on the move – particularly students and office workers.

Those looking for a quick bite to eat can take advantage of a ‘Make Your Own Wrap’ bar or purchase pizza slices, hot soup, baked potatoes and takeaway coffee. The popular Morrisons salad bar will also be a new addition to the space created at the front of the store.

The current self-service checkouts will be replaced and will be spread out around the store in several locations making it simpler and quicker for shoppers to get in and out.

The Beers, Wines and Spirits section will be moved from its current separate location to be incorporated into the main store. For the first time, the range will include chilled beers and wines. The Morrisons Nutmeg clothing range of baby and childrenswear will also feature for the first time.

Andy Newton, Morrisons Director of Format said: “We’ll be totally transforming the store – every aspect is being updated and improved. We’ll be making the format, layout and range much more relevant to shoppers who use it. It will be quicker and easier to shop whether you’re popping in for lunch or buying your weekly groceries.”

The current Market Street counters – fishmonger, butcher, delicatessen, oven fresh and bakery – will all be updated and a ‘Make Your Own Pizza’ station will be added.

Andy Newton continued: “We are going to phase the work to avoid having to close the store and most importantly to minimise any disruption for our customers. We’re looking forward to unveiling the changes and we think customers will like what they find.”

Edward Ziff, chairman and chief executive at Town Centre Securities PLC, owners of The Merrion Centre said: “TCS have worked closely with Morrisons on the agreement and expansions plans and we are delighted that they have chosen to invest in its store at the Merrion Centre.

“The lengthy lease renewal shows a real commitment to the Merrion Centre and Leeds city centre. The store has long been an integral part of Merrion and provides a vital facility to people living in the city centre. This move will be a benefit for our shoppers and will complement the investments plans we have in place to improve the Merrion Centre.”

Work to transform the site will begin in March and be completed by late summer.

The investment in the Merrion Centre store comes just two months after Morrisons also opened two of its convenience stores, Morrisons M local, in the centre of Leeds on Infirmary Street and The Headrow.

MEDIA CONTACT

For all media enquiries call
0845 611 5111
Available 24 hours

Wincor Nixdorf to operate all of Indonesian Bank Tabungan Negara’s self-service systems as part of new two-year agreement

The Indonesian Bank Tabungan Negara has signed a two-year agreement with Wincor Nixdorf to operate its 370 ATMs from a variety of manufacturers.

Paderborn, Germany, 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Under the agreement, Wincor Nixdorf will be responsible for cash logistics and cash optimization of the systems in addition to services for self-service system operation. “We are convinced that in Wincor Nixdorf we have found an expert IT service provider who will support us in achieving higher system availability and reducing the costs of our cash logistics,” says Mr. Dopo Lastiyomo from Bank Tabungan Negara, Department Head for Network Electronic & Banking Division.

Wincor Nixdorf will be monitoring all of Bank Tabungan Negara’s self-service systems remotely around the clock. In the interim period, monitoring will be done via the bank’s current system. If any problems are detected, specific remote measures will be initiated immediately to solve them. An ‘Integrated Service Management’ methodology ensures seamless delivery of First and Second Line Maintenance, supplemented by pre-determined consumables and spare parts. This approach enables a reduction in the need for technician call-outs, shorter self-service system downtimes, and thus lower costs for the bank. Proactive service management that includes ongoing business analytics of all service tickets enables the implementation of preventive measures to avoid system downtimes and thus achieve higher availability. In addition, Wincor Nixdorf assumes the Single-Point-of-Contact (SPOC) responsibility for Incident and Service Management for all 3rd Party Service Providers to manage the Bank’s Self-Service network and eco-system. Having a SPOC for end-to-end service delivery and performance management ensures a high degree of Service-Level transparency for the bank.

For the bank’s cash management activities, Wincor Nixdorf will be managing the Cash Forecasting, Optimization and Reconciliation for all Wincor’s and non-Wincor’s SST. It includes close collaboration with the Bank and CIT services, thus ensuring high Cash Availability and reduced cash operation cost.

About Bank Tabungan Negara
Bank Tabungan Negara was founded in 1897 and is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia. Based on its balance sheet total and customer deposits, the bank is among the ten largest financial institutions in Indonesia, with over 6,000 employees. More information on Bank Tabungan Negara is available at: www.btn.co.id.

X5 Retail Group’s proximity format Pyaterochka to enhance the effective use of real estate currently owned by Rostelecom

Moscow, 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — X5 Retail Group N.V. (‘X5’ or the ‘Company’), a leading Russian food retailer (LSE ticker: ‘FIVE’), announced today the signing of a letter of intent (the ‘Letter’) between Pyaterochka, the Company’s proximity format, and Rostelecom.

Under the terms of the Letter, the parties will form a long-term partnership to enhance the effective use of real estate currently owned by Rostelecom. During the period from 2015 to 2017, Pyaterochka will be able to purchase or lease (under long-term contracts) real estate from Rostelecom to open approximately 300 new proximity stores with an average selling space of more than 350 square meters.

The redevelopment program will be rolled out across most of Rostelecom’s footprint in Russia, which spans 57 regions.

The first Pyaterochka store at a Rostelecom facility opened in Novocheboksarsk on 6 March 2014. The second store is slated for opening in April 2014 in the town of Semenov (Nizhny Novgorod Region).

Rostelecom is currently in the process of upgrading its technologies, which is increasingly reducing the space required to host equipment. Rostelecom’s real estate facilities are located all across Russia and consist mostly of production buildings in existing and established neighbourhoods of towns and cities.

One of the ways to optimize the under-utilized space is through redevelopment – property upgrade and renewal contributing to more effective use.

Vice-President for Administrative Issues OJSC Rostelecom Alexandr Abramkov:

“One of the options for optimization of under-utilized space is redevelopment. In this case the interests of Rostelecom and X5 coincide”.

General Director of Pyaterochka Olga Naumova:

“Pyaterochka is interested in additional opportunities for opening stores. This will create new jobs and offer consumers in different regions quality products at affordable prices. I am sure that our cooperation with Rostelecom on the redevelopment project will be mutually beneficial and positive for the customer”.

Note to Editors:
X5 Retail Group N.V. (LSE: FIVE, Fitch – ‘BB’, Moody’s – ‘B2’, S&P – ‘B+’) is a leading Russian food retailer. The Company operates several retail formats: the chain of proximity stores under the Pyaterochka brand, the supermarket chain under the Perekrestok brand, the hypermarket chain under the Karusel brand and Express convenience stores under various brands.

At 31 December 2014, X5 had 5,483 Company-operated stores. It has the leading market position in both Moscow and St. Petersburg and a significant presence in the European part of Russia. Its store base includes 4,789 Pyaterochka proximity stores, 403 Perekrestok supermarkets, 82 Karusel hypermarkets and 209 Express stores. The Company operates 34 DCs and 1,438 Company-owned trucks across the Russian Federation.

For the full year 2013, revenue totaled RUB 534,560 mln, EBITDA reached RUB 38,350 mln, and net income amounted to RUB 10,984 mln. In 9M 2014, revenue totaled RUB 452,285 mln, EBITDA reached RUB 32,365 mln, and net income amounted to RUB 9,869 mln.

X5’s Shareholder structure is as follows: Alfa Group – 47.86%, founders of Pyaterochka – 14.43%, X5 Directors – 0.04%, treasury shares – 0.04%, free float – 37.63%.

OJSC Rostelecom (www.rostelecom.ru) is one of the biggest national telecommunications companies in Russia and Europe, with a presence in every segment of the telecommunications services market and coverage of more than 34 million households in Russia.

The Company holds a leading position on the Russian broadband and pay TV markets, with over 11 million fixed-line broadband subscribers and more than 7.8 million pay TV customers, of which more than 2.5 million use the unique nationwide ‘Interactive TV’ product.

The Group’s consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2014 was RUB 75.5 billion and its OIBDA reached RUB 26.1 billion (34.6% of revenue), with a net profit of RUB 24.5 billion.

The revenue for 2013 was RUB 325.7 billion, its OIBDA reached RUB 113.3 billion (34.8)% of revenue, with a net profit of RUB 24.1 billion.

Rostelecom is an absolute market leader in providing the telecommunications services to Russian government departments and corporate users at every level.

It is also a recognized technological leader in innovative solutions in the fields of Egovernment, cloud computing, healthcare, education, security and housing & utility services.

Its stable financial status is confirmed by credit ratings of BBB- from Fitch Ratings and BB+ from Standard & Poor’s.

Contacts:

Gregory Madick
Executive IR Director
Tel.: +7 (495) 502-9783
e-mail: Gregory.Madick@x5.ru

Anastasiya Kvon
IR Director
Tel.: +7 (495) 792-3511
e-mail: Anastasiya.Kvon@x5.ru

Whole Foods Market’s “Beauty in All Beings” event to support the foundation’s micro-lending programs in 62 countries

ANAHEIM, Calif., 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — More than 520 women will have a chance to lift themselves out of poverty through microcredit, thanks to Whole Foods Market’s “Beauty in All Beings” event,held Friday, March 6, at Expo West in Anaheim, Calif.

Whole Foods Market hosted the benefit event in partnership with thinkThin and 22 other natural and organic brands to raise awareness and funds for Whole Planet Foundation, whose mission is to alleviate global poverty through microcredit. One hundred percent of the $100,000 raised will go to support the foundation’s micro-lending programs in 62 countries, including the U.S. The dollars raised are enough to fund 523 new loans to help an estimated 2,615 people worldwide.

“We are proud to feature Whole Foods Market’s apparel suppliers in this fashion show that directly benefits Whole Planet Foundation,” said Maren Giuliano, executive global Whole Body coordinator at Whole Foods Market. “One of our company’s core values is to create win-win partnerships with our suppliers, and this event is the perfect example of how our suppliers go above and beyond to support our foundation’s mission.”

Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb opened the event, followed by Whole Planet Foundation advisory board member Magatte Wade and Whole Planet Foundation’s executive director, Philip Sansone.

The show featured several brands, including Blessing Basket Project, Gaiam, Maggie’s Organics, PACT Apparel, prAna, Satva, Synergy Organic Clothing and Threads for Thought, with makeup and beauty support provided by Acure, Trilogy, Pacifica and Mineral Fusion. The show also featured a handful of items made with textiles from microcredit clients supported by Whole Planet Foundation and partners in Ghana, Guatemala, Thailand and Uganda. Some of the textiles were sourced by Whole Planet Foundation field team members, who dedicate their time to visiting microfinance partners and connecting with microcredit clients in their homes and businesses.

“By having skilled team members living and working in the communities where we support microcredit, we’re not only able to meet with microcredit clients face-to-face, but also bring their success stories home to share with all who support our cause,” Sansone said. “Showcasing the beautiful fabrics and tapestries created by women entrepreneurs we support through our microfinance partners was the highlight of Friday’s event. Whole Foods Market partners transformed these textiles into one-of-a-kind garments that really stole the show.”

The event was produced with support from thinkThin. Gold sponsors that donated $20,000 each included Hain Celestial (featured brands Alba Botanica, Avalon Organics and JÄSON), New Chapter and So Delicious. Silver sponsors that donated $10,000 each included Nordic Naturals and Nubian Heritage. Bronze sponsors that donated $5,000 each included ACURE, Burt’s Bees Baby, Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods, Gaiam, Golden Door, Gustus Vitae Salts & Spices, Lifefactory, Neocell, Paddywax, Papyrus-Recycled Greetings, SeaSnax, Seventh Generation, Threads for Thought, Wholesome Sweeteners and Zorbitz.

EXPERTS

Philip Sansone

President and Executive Director, Whole Planet Foundation

Philip is the President and Executive Director of Whole Planet Foundation, overseeing operations, programmatic direction and financial management.

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Whole Foods Market’s “Beauty in All Beings” event to support the foundation’s micro-lending programs in 62 countries

Whole Foods Market’s “Beauty in All Beings” event to support the foundation’s micro-lending programs in 62 countries

 

Whole Foods Market will host a preview party for its new Voss location in Houston on April 6

Preview party set for April 6; store opens April 8

HOUSTON, 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — On April 6, Whole Foods Market will host a preview party for its new Voss location in Houston. The store, a relocation of the company’s Woodway store, will open April 8, at 1407 South Voss Road.

The sneak peek event will feature sips and samples of local and exclusive products, as well as live music. Proceeds will benefit the Houston Blues Society. Limited tickets are available for a $10 donation and can be purchased in advance at https://wfmvoss.eventbrite.com.

At 45,000 square feet, the Voss store is twice the size of the Woodway location. It will offer an array of unique features and a full range of high quality natural and organic products, including more than 400 organic items throughout the store, 75 varieties of freshly cut fruit and vegetables and 20 freshly squeezed juice options. All produce sold at the store will meet the company’s Responsibly Grown rating system, supporting the store’s commitment to quality, human health and the environment.

In keeping with Whole Foods Market tradition, the store will include several innovative features:

• Beer and wine bar featuring 24 taps – including four wines on tap
• Ramen station featuring “Texas Ramen” – traditional Japanese ramen with a Texas barbecue twist, offering pulled chicken, pork, beef brisket and vegan or vegetarian options
• Made-to-order taco station
• Wood-burning pizza oven with pizza by the slice
• Grab-and-go and made-to-order sushi station
• In-store barbecue smokehouse with brisket, pork butt, sausage, ribs and more
Global Animal Partnership-rated local dog jerky and treats sold in bulk, exclusive to the new Voss store
• Full service Allegro coffee, smoothie and juice bar
• Expansive wine selection with more than 1,300 wines from all over the world
• Community seating, both indoors and outdoors
• Electric vehicle charging station

The store will feature multiple grab-and-go eateries, including a first for Houston area Whole Foods Markets—a ramen station featuring “Texas Ramen.” The new store will also include two large salad and prepared food bars and 12 fresh soup options, making mealtime decisions quick and convenient for shoppers.

Guests can enjoy expanded seafood offerings, with whole fish available daily. Fishmongers will steam, fillet, season, and debone fish for free.

The meat department will feature an in-store barbecue smokehouse with brisket, pork butt, sausage, ribs, and a dry-aged-beef cooler.

Additionally, concierge services will include personal shopping, special orders and catering. The first personal shop fee is waived for all guests. Concierge will offer delivery or free curbside pick-up.

Whole Foods Market Voss was constructed to be environmentally friendly, with features such as reclaimed brick, tile, and wood throughout the store. All wood was sourced within 500 miles of the store.

More information is available at
wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/voss
Facebook – Whole Foods Market Houston
Twitter & Instagram – @WholefoodsHOU

Store address:
1407 South Voss Road
Houston, TX 77057
Store hours: 7:00 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily
Phone: 713-789-4477

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Rite Aid Corporation opens its first net-new store built from the ground up since 2010 in Harrisburg, Pa.

  • New Store is the Company’s First Net-New Store Built from the Ground Up Since 2010
  • Congressman Lou Barletta, Rite Aid Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Standley and Rite Aid President and Chief Operating Officer Ken Martindale to Host Ribbon-Cutting Today at 10:30 a.m.
  • Rite Aid Foundation to Donate $5,000 to the Foundation for the Central Dauphin Schools

Camp Hill, Pa., 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) announced today the grand opening of a new store in Harrisburg, Pa. Located at 4999 Jonestown Road, this is the first net-new store built by the Company since 2010. U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) will join John Standley, Rite Aid chairman and CEO and Ken Martindale, Rite Aid president and chief operating officer and president of The Rite Aid Foundation, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the store, today at 10:30 a.m.

“Today is truly a day of celebration for Rite Aid as we celebrate the grand opening of our first net-new store to be built since 2010, right here in Harrisburg, just miles from our corporate headquarters,” said Standley. “As we begin to build up our development pipeline through new and relocated stores, we are laying the foundation for future growth and continuing our transformation into a retail healthcare company, bringing our unique brand of health and wellness services to even more customers in both existing and new markets.”

Added Barletta, “For years, Rite Aid has provided critical healthcare services to people across Harrisburg, and through this new store, they will be able to continue do so,” said Barletta. “I thank Rite Aid for their commitment to the community and wish them continued success in the midstate and beyond.”

The new store, which is more than 14,500 sq. ft., features the Company’s highly popular wellness store format, of which there are currently more than 1,500 of nationwide. Rite Aid’s wellness store format, which first debuted in spring of 2011, is part of the company’s continued commitment to providing services, products and resources to help its customers and their families live healthy lives.

Upon entering the store, there is a direct wooden path leading to the pharmacy department, the core of Rite Aid’s business. Wellness Stores have pharmacists with special training in diabetes care, medication management and the ability to immunize against about a dozen diseases including flu, pneumonia, shingles and whooping cough. Also available to customers as a resource, a Wellness Ambassador, which serves as a bridge between the front end of the store and the pharmacy. Wellness Ambassadors work closely with Rite Aid pharmacists to provide customers with access to information on over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements and Rite Aid programs and services.

Other key design features include overhead departmental rings designating each section of the store such as beauty, food, home care and seasonal; a relaxing, warm color palette with soothing wood tones and softer lighting; hundreds of new health and wellness products including organic and gluten-free foods; a specially designed GNC vitamin department, including an interactive kiosk that helps customers make informed purchasing decisions. The store also features multiple drive-through pharmacy lanes and a private pharmacist consultation room adjacent to the pharmacy where Rite Aid pharmacists can have conversations with patients, administer immunizations and offer other clinical pharmacy services.

In honor of the grand opening, The Rite Aid Foundation will present a $5,000 donation to the Foundation for the Central Dauphin Schools. Serving over 10,000 students at 19 schools across Dauphin County, the Foundation’s mission is to enhance the academic, cultural, athletic and activity programs of the Central Dauphin School District by offering and supporting experiences that enrich the lives of its students.  The donation will support the organization’s PowerPack Program, which provides direct food distribution for elementary school students located in the Central Dauphin School District.

Rite Aid Corporation 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.

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Contact:

Media: Kristin Kellum 717-975-5713

Apple announced significant upgrades to its popular 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, 11-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Air

SAN FRANCISCO, 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Apple® today updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro® with Retina® display with the all-new Force Touch trackpad, fifth generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Graphics 6100, two times faster flash and longer battery life, bringing even more performance and capabilities to our pro customers.* Apple also today updated the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air® with fifth generation Intel Core processors, Intel HD Graphics 6000, and Thunderbolt 2, and added up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air, making the perfect everyday notebooks even better.

“Today the popular 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, 11-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Air all received significant upgrades,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest processors, more powerful graphics, faster flash, longer battery life and the all-new Force Touch trackpad. We’re also bringing the latest processors and graphics, and faster Thunderbolt 2 to the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air, as well as up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air.”

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features the all-new Force Touch trackpad that brings a new dimension of interactivity to the Mac®. The new trackpad features built-in force sensors that allow you to click anywhere and haptic feedback that provides a responsive and uniform feel. You can even customize the feel of the trackpad by changing the amount of pressure needed to register each click. The Force Touch trackpad also enables a new gesture called Force Click, a click followed by a deeper press, for tasks like pulling up the definition of a word, quickly seeing a map or glancing at a preview of a file.

The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display also features fifth generation Intel Core processors up to 3.1 GHz, with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 3.4 GHz, faster integrated Intel Iris Graphics 6100, and flash storage that is up to two times faster, with throughput up to 1.6GBps.* In addition, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now delivers up to 10 hours of battery life and up to 12 hours of iTunes® movie playback.**

The updated 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air now feature fifth generation Intel Core processors up to 2.2 GHz, with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz, integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000, and Thunderbolt 2, delivering up to 20Gbps, twice the bandwidth of the previous generation. The 13-inch MacBook Air also features faster flash storage that is up to two times faster than the previous generation.***

Every new Mac comes with OS X® Yosemite, a powerful new version of OS X, redesigned and refined with a fresh, modern look, powerful new apps and amazing Continuity features that make working across your Mac and iOS devices more fluid than ever.

iMovie®, GarageBand®, iPhoto®, and Pages®, Numbers® and Keynote® come free with every new Mac. iMovie lets you easily create beautiful movies, you can use GarageBand to make new music or learn to play piano or guitar and you can edit and share your best shots with iPhoto. Pages, Numbers and Keynote, make it easy to create, edit and share stunning documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iCloud® let you create a document on iPhone® or iPad®, edit it on your Mac and collaborate with friends, even if they are on a PC. The new Photos for OS X app keeps your growing photo and video collection automatically organized and easy to navigate and will be included in an OS X Yosemite update this spring.

Pricing & Availability
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is available today through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers with a 2.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage starting at $1,299 (US); with a 2.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage starting at $1,499 (US); and with a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of memory and 512GB of flash storage starting at $1,799 (US). Configure-to-order options include a faster dual-core Intel Core i7 processor up to 3.1 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.4 GHz, up to 16GB of memory and flash storage up to 1TB. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/macbook-pro.

MacBook Air is available today through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. The 11-inch MacBook Air comes with a 1.6 GHz processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7 GHz, 4GB of memory and is available with 128GB of flash storage starting at $899 (US), and 256GB of flash storage starting at $1,099 (US). The 13-inch MacBook Air comes with a 1.6 GHz processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7 GHz, 4GB of memory and is available with 128GB of flash storage starting at $999 (US), and 256GB of flash storage starting at $1,199 (US). Configure-to-order options include a 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz, up to 8GB of memory and up to 512GB flash storage. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/macbook-air.

*Testing conducted by Apple in March 2015 using preproduction MacBook Pro with Retina display configurations. For more information visit www.apple.com/macbook-pro/features-retina/.
**The Wireless Web protocol testing was conducted by Apple in March 2015 using preproduction MacBook Pro with Retina display configurations. Battery life and charge cycles vary by use and settings. For more information visit www.apple.com/macbook-pro.
***Testing conducted by Apple in March 2015 using preproduction MacBook Air configurations. For more information visit www.apple.com/macbook-air/features.html.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Press Contacts:
Colin Smith
Apple
colins@apple.com
(408) 862-1171

Jennie Orphanopoulos
Apple
jennieo@apple.com
(408) 783-0203

Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, MacBook Pro, Retina, MacBook Air, iTunes, OS X, iMovie, GarageBand, iPhoto, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iCloud, iPhone and iPad are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Apple Media Helpline (408) 974-2042 media.help@apple.com

HBO NOW premieres next month, making HBO subscription available directly to Apple customers for the first time ever

SAN FRANCISCO, 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Apple® and HBO today announced HBO NOW is premiering next month, making an HBO subscription available directly to Apple customers for the first time ever. iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® and Apple TV® users can purchase HBO NOW directly in-app as a standalone service to watch every episode of every season of the best of HBO’s original programming, as well as the biggest and latest Hollywood hit movies, groundbreaking documentaries, sports and exclusive comedy specials—for just $14.99 a month.

“HBO NOW is the next phase of innovation at HBO,” said Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO, HBO. “With this new partnership, a natural evolution for the network, we have access to millions of Apple customers who are used to getting their favorite apps immediately. Now, they can do the same with an HBO subscription.”

“HBO NOW offers a new generation of HBO fans many of the best TV programs in the world without a cable or satellite subscription,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Now, with the same simplicity as buying an app, customers can subscribe to HBO NOW and instantly start viewing their favorite HBO programs as they air—this is huge.”

More hours of HBO video are streamed to Apple devices than all others combined and now customers can subscribe using the HBO NOW app on their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or directly on Apple TV for instant access to all the programming they want. For just $14.99 a month HBO fans can enjoy hit series ranging from Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley and VEEP to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and VICE. At launch HBO will offer a 30-day introductory free trial period to new HBO NOW customers who sign up through Apple.

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services—HBO and Cinemax—to approximately 127 million subscribers worldwide.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Press Contacts:
Tom Neumayr
Apple
tneumayr@apple.com
(408) 974-1972

Jeff Cusson
HBO
jeff.cusson@hbo.com
(212) 512-1343

Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Apple Media Helpline (408) 974-2042 media.help@apple.com