BRC-NIELSEN SHOP PRICE INDEX MARCH 2015: Overall shop prices reported deflation for the 23rd consecutive month, accelerating to 2.1% in March, from 1.7% in February

LONDON, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Overall shop prices reported deflation for the 23rd consecutive month, accelerating to 2.1% in March, from 1.7% in February.

Food reported annual deflation of 0.9% in March from a 0.4% fall in February.

On a 12-month average basis, the Shop Price Index reported deflation of 1.7%.

Non-food deflation accelerated to 2.8% in March from 2.5% in February.

BRC Director General, Helen Dickinson, said: “Prices in Britain’s shops reached another new low, this month by -2.1 per cent. That’s the deepest deflation rate since our records began in December 2006.

“Food prices saw a further drop, largely as a result of promotions for fresh food, whilst non-food prices fell at a faster rate than last month, hitting a twenty-fourth consecutive month of deflation.

“Clothing and electricals continue to outshine by offering consumers eye-catching bargains. In fact, there’s evidence of plenty of promotions and price-cuts in non-food items which should help drive up sales at a time when retailers are turning their attention to the Summer ranges.

“Both retailers and consumers will cheer on a hat-trick of good economic news. The Consumer price index (CPI) has fallen to zero for the first time on record, boosting incomes in real terms and bringing the UK to the brink of a spell of deflation that is expected in the coming months. That fall is largely the result of a deep oil price slump (down 49 per cent on a year ago) and the continuing fierce competition among supermarkets who’ve dropped fuel and food prices over the year.

“Consumer confidence has also soared to a near 13-year high. Retailers will have been hoping that this translated into shoppers being prepared to splash their cash over the long Easter weekend.

“With strong consumer confidence and relatively benign macro-economic conditions we can expect the nation to respond with their feet or with a mouse click in the coming weeks.”

Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, Nielsen, said: “Prices continue to fall across the retail industry and deflation is likely to be with us for the near future, which means shoppers are going to be able to stretch their budgets further when shopping in store or online.

“The implication for food retailers is that this may help sustain the slowly improving sales volumes we have seen in recent weeks, and also encourage consumers to spend some of their savings on affordable indulgences. For many high street fashion, home and outdoor retailers, lower prices are being backed up by attractive promotions which comes at good time as momentum builds in selling late Spring and early Summer ranges.”

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

NRF and Hackett Associates monthly Global Port Tracker report: Import cargo volume expected to rise 8% this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports recover

WASHINGTON, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise 8 percent this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports continue to recover from a backlog of cargo that built up before a tentative new labor agreement was signed, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Progress is being made but there’s still a lot of cargo waiting to be loaded onto trucks and trains and moved across the country even after it’s unloaded from the ships,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “The situation is getting better but we’re still far from normal.”

The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union tentatively agreed on a five-year contract in February. While ILWU leadership has recommended that members vote for ratification, votes won’t be counted until May 22. The lack of a contract and operational issues led to crisis-level congestion at the ports after the previous agreement expired last July, and issues were not resolved until a federal mediator and Labor Secretary Tom Perez joined the talks.

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.2 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in February, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available and historically the slowest month of the year. That was down 10.3 percent from January and down 3.6 percent from February 2014. One TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

March was estimated at 1.48 million TEU, up 13.5 percent from 2014. April is forecast at 1.55 million TEU, up 8 percent from last year; May at 1.57 million TEU, up 5.6 percent; June at 1.54 million TEU, up 4.3 percent; July at 1.58 million TEU, up 5.6 percent, and August at 1.61 million TEU, up 5.7 percent.

The first half of 2015 is forecast at 8.6 million TEU, an increase of 3 percent over the same period last year.

“The disruption on the West Coast appears to be over and great measures are being taken to clear the backlog of ships sitting offshore,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said. “Of course, all those ships being discharged are causing landside issues as workers try to get containers out of the terminal gates and onto trucks and rail.”

Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the U.S. ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades and Miami on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast. The report is free to NRF retail members, and subscription information is available at www.nrf.com/PortTracker or by calling (202) 783-7971. Subscription information for non-members can be found at www.globalporttracker.com.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. NRF.com

Hackett Associates provides expert consulting, research and advisory services to the international maritime industry, government agencies and international institutions. www.hackettassociates.com

J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

The International Council of Shopping Centers Specialty Retail Report announces the winners of the 2015 Visual Victories Awards

18th Annual Competition Acknowledges Exceptional Cart, Kiosk, and Temporary In-line Retailers

NEW YORK, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Specialty Retail Report has announced the winners of the prestigious 2015 Visual Victories Awards, recognizing the specialty retail industry’s leading visual merchandisers, retailers, and specialty leasing agents.

The 18th annual awards competition, which garnered more than 500 entries, honors the top three nominees per the following seven categories: Cart Display, Kiosk Display, Promotional Cart, Store Design, Store Signage, Use of a Prop, and Retail Display.

Best Cart Display

First Place: Very Tiny Bling Little Things, Westfield Fashion Square, Los Angeles, Calif.
Second Place: Baby Cottons, Sawgrass Mills, Sunrise, Fla.
Third Place: Soap Stories, The Mall at University Town, Sarasota, Fla.

Best Kiosk Display

First Place: Mistura, Westfield Valley Fair, Santa Clara, Calif.
Second Place: Deja Vu Cosmetics, Westfield Annapolis and Montgomery, Annapolis/Bethesda, Md.
Third Place: Clonhadas; Clonhadas, Miami International Mall, Doral, Fla.

Best Promotional Display

First Place: Tourism Victoria, Coquitlam Centre, Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Second Place: Neutrogena Petit Salon, Place Rosemere, Québec, Canada
Third Place: Bell Fibe, Place Rosemere, Québec, Canada

Best Store Design

First Place: Rialto Jean Project, South Street Seaport, New York, N.Y.
Second Place: Christian Benner Custom, South Street Seaport, New York, N.Y.
Third Place: Muse by Lucca, Penn Square Mall, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Best Store Signage

First Place: Lemon Ice, Layton Hills Mall, Layton, Utah
Second Place: RAIN, Bonnie Doon Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Third Place: Urban Style, Southland Mall, Houma, La.

Best Use of a Prop

First Place: Seven Status, The Citadel, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Second Place: First Canadian, Londonderry Mall, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Third Place: Rocky Mountain Soap Company, Chinook Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Best Retail Display

First Place: Adore, Southgate Center, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Second Place: WIND Hellas, Athens, Greece
Third Place: Forest Lawn, Westfield Palm Desert, Palm Desert, Calif.

Winners will be recognized online at specialtyretail.com and the Spring 2015 issue of Specialty Retail Report.

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 68,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials.  For more information, visit www.icsc.org.

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The International Council of Shopping Centers Specialty Retail Report announces the winners of the 2015 Visual Victories Awards

The International Council of Shopping Centers Specialty Retail Report announces the winners of the 2015 Visual Victories Awards

X5 Retail Group: Pyaterochka and the Moscow Regional Union of Consumer Societies to open co-branded stores under the Pyaterochka.MSPK brand

Moscow, 2015-4-9 — /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 cooperation agreement (the ‘Agreement’) between Pyaterochka, the Company’s proximity store chain, and the Moscow Regional Union of Consumer Societies (‘MSPK’). According to the Agreement, Pyaterochka and MSPK will open co-branded stores under the Pyaterochka.MSPK brand at MSPK’s retail facilities using a reverse franchise model in at least 21 of MSPK’s Moscow Region district consumer societies.

The Agreement is aimed at meeting the needs of Moscow Region residents, particularly those living in rural areas, by providing a wide range of products and services at affordable prices. This will be achieved by leveraging MSPK’s facilities and resources, in conjunction with Pyaterochka’s food retail experience, to develop wholesale and retail trade. The process will be supported by modern retail technologies, efficient marketing and logistics models, a unified pricing policy and the procurement capabilities of one of Russia’s largest retailers.

Pyaterochka’s presence in the Moscow Region is currently comprised of approximately 800 stores while MSPK operates approximately 600 stores. In accordance with the Agreement, about 20 stores under the Pyaterochka.MSPK brand are expected to open at MSPK retail facilities in the Moscow Region before the end of 2015, with some 150 more in the pipeline.

In addition, up to 70 MSPK outlets may be launched in Pyaterochka stores during 2015 under the shop-in-shop model, which will help expand the Pyaterochka product range with goods from local farmers and producers.

The Agreement also specifies that MSPK will also have the right to extend the product range of stores not participating in the project with goods from Pyaterochka’s range, which will provide customers from smaller towns and villages access to lower priced products. Also, members of the Moscow Regional Consumer Society will receive special discount cards for store purchases.

When needed, Pyaterochka will also gain access to MSPK’s educational facilities (technical schools) to train and develop its staff, both as part of the Agreement and for Pyaterochka specific personnel needs.

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 convenience stores. The Company operates 34 DCs and 1,438 Company-owned trucks across the Russian Federation.

For the full year 2014, revenue totaled RUB 633,873 mln (USD 16,498 mln), EBITDA reached RUB 45,860 mln (USD 1,194 mln), and profit for the period amounted to RUB 12,691 mln (USD 330 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%.

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 partners with Austin-based BeeSweet Lemonade as the newest recipient of its Local Producer Loan Program

Young entrepreneur and recent ‘Shark Tank’ contestant receives low-interest loan from national grocer

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market is partnering with Austin-based BeeSweet Lemonade, founded by 10-year-old Mikaila Ulmer, as the newest recipient of a low-interest loan through the company’s Local Producer Loan Program. Ulmer’s high-quality lemonade, made with mint, honey and flaxseed, is currently sold in 32 Whole Foods Market stores, with plans to expand into new regions in 2015.

“We began with just one BeeSweet Lemonade flavor, but now with a loan from Whole Foods Market, we can add a new flavor, share it with more shoppers and help grow my business!” Ulmer said. “I also love that the company shares my vision to protect pollinators and offer products with wholesome ingredients. I think we make a great team.”

Beyond capital for growth, Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loans come with a wealth of support from the company’s loan administrators, regional buyers and local foragers. The Whole Foods Market team often helps improve the business plan, shares market trends or connects recipients with new partners.

Similarly, Ulmer earned another investor and mentor in March from the television show “Shark Tank.” FUBU CEO and Shark investor Daymond John invested in BeeSweet Lemonade and gained a stake in the company. John’s partnership includes serving as a mentor to Ulmer and sharing business connections that could benefit the BeeSweet Lemonade brand.

“There is tremendous opportunity for Mikaila Ulmer and BeeSweet Lemonade, especially with partners like Whole Foods Market on her side,” John said. “I love to see young entrepreneurs create thriving businesses and am committed to helping her realize the potential for BeeSweet.”

Ulmer’s lemonade and social entrepreneurship caught the eye of Lynda Berrios, Whole Foods Market’s Texas local forager, in 2014, when Ulmer began partnering with the grocer by hosting pollinator events to educate shoppers on the importance of bees. Still a vital part of BeeSweet Lemonade’s mission, the company donates 10 percent of profits from sales to local and international organizations fighting to protect bees.

“We’ve loved sharing BeeSweet Lemonade’s products and mission with our guests,” Berrios said. “Whole Foods Market is thrilled to play a role in the growth and development of this amazing product through the Local Producer Loan Program. We can’t wait to see what Mikaila does next!”

To apply for a loan through Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program, producers must meet Whole Foods Market’s strict Quality Standards, use the funds for expansion and have a viable business plan. Loans range from $1,000 to $100,000.

Whole Foods Market has pledged to grant up to $25 million in low-interest loans to small, local producers. To date, the program has funded more than $15 million for more than 200 suppliers. To learn more about the Local Producer Loan Program, visit wholefoodsmarket.com/loans.

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Whole Foods Market partners with Austin-based BeeSweet Lemonade as the newest recipient of its Local Producer Loan Program

Whole Foods Market partners with Austin-based BeeSweet Lemonade as the newest recipient of its Local Producer Loan Program

Rite Aid Corporation reports its operating results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended February 28, 2015

•   Fourth Quarter Net Income of $1.835 Billion and Net Income per Diluted Share of $1.79, Compared to the Prior Year’s Fourth Quarter Net Income of $55.4 Million and Net Income per Diluted Share of $0.06

•   Full Year Net Income of $2.109 Billion and Net Income per Diluted Share of $2.08, Compared to the Prior Year Net Income of $249.4 Million and Net Income per Diluted Share of $0.23

•   Current Year Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results Includes an Income Tax Benefit of $1.716 Billion and $1.682 Billion, Respectively, Primarily as a Result of a Reduction of Deferred Tax Asset Valuation Allowance

•   Fourth Quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $343.3 Million Compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $356.3 Million   in the Prior Year’s Fourth Quarter

•   Full Year Adjusted EBITDA of $1,322.8 Million Compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $1,325.0 Million in the Prior Year

•   Rite Aid Provides Outlook for Fiscal 2016

CAMP HILL, Pa., 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) today reported operating results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended February 28, 2015.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported revenues of $6.8 billion and net income of $1.835 billion, or $1.79 per diluted share. For the full year, the company reported revenues of $26.5 billion and net income of $2.109 billion, or $2.08 per diluted share. Current year results for both the fourth quarter and the full year were favorably impacted by a reduction of the deferred tax asset valuation allowance and a full year provision of income tax expense at a statutory tax rate, the net effect of which resulted in an income tax benefit of $1.716 billion, or $1.67 per diluted share and $1.682 billion, or $1.65 per diluted share in the fourth quarter and full year, respectively. The company reported Adjusted EBITDA of $343.3 million or 5.0 percent of revenues in the fourth quarter and $1,322.8 million or 5.0 percent of revenues for the full year.

The reduction of the tax valuation allowance represents a non-cash benefit to earnings in fiscal 2015. While the company will record charges for income taxes in future periods, it does not expect to pay significant cash taxes for the foreseeable future.

“In the fourth quarter, our strong growth in same-store sales and prescription count as well as strong cost control helped drive continued profitability,” said Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley.

“These positive results contributed to a successful year in which we took significant steps to further position Rite Aid as a retail healthcare company,” added Standley. “We look forward to building upon our success by leveraging our recent strategic investments to grow our business. We will also continue to implement our initiatives that deliver value to our customers and help us provide greater access to convenient, affordable and high quality healthcare. I thank our dedicated team of nearly 90,000 Rite Aid associates for the great work they did throughout the year to continue our recent momentum.”

Fourth Quarter Summary

Revenues for the quarter were $6.8 billion versus revenues of $6.6 billion in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Revenues increased 3.8 percent primarily as a result of an increase in same store sales.

Same store sales for the quarter increased 4.5 percent over the prior year, consisting of a 5.7 percent increase in pharmacy sales and a 2.0 percent increase in front-end sales. Pharmacy sales included a negative impact of approximately 128 basis points from new generic introductions. The number of prescriptions filled in same stores increased 3.5 percent over the prior year period. Prescription sales accounted for 68.1 percent of total drugstore sales, and third party prescription revenue was 97.5 percent of pharmacy sales.

Net income was $1.835 billion or $1.79 per diluted share compared to last year’s fourth quarter net income of $55.4 million or $0.06 per diluted share. Current year net income included the favorable impact of a reduction of a deferred tax asset valuation allowance of $1.841 billion and income tax expense of $125.3 million compared to last year’s income tax benefit of $6.0 million.

Pre-tax income for the fourth quarter was $119.1 million or $0.12 per diluted share versus $49.4 million or $0.05 per diluted share in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Pre-tax income was favorably impacted by a LIFO credit in the current year of $23.5 million compared to last year’s LIFO charge of $44.1 million.

Adjusted EBITDA (which is reconciled to net income on the attached table) was $343.3 million or 5.0 percent of revenues for the fourth quarter compared to $356.3 million or 5.4 percent of revenues for the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA in last year’s fourth quarter was favorably impacted by a $28 million reimbursement rate adjustment related to Medi-Cal.

In the fourth quarter, the company relocated 3 stores, remodeled 115 stores and expanded 2 stores, bringing the total number of wellness stores chainwide to 1,634. The company also opened 1 store, acquired 2 stores and closed 5 stores, resulting in a total store count of 4,570 at the end of the fourth quarter.

Full Year Results

For the fiscal year ended February 28, 2015, Rite Aid had revenues of $26.5 billion compared to $25.5 billion for the prior year. Revenues increased 3.9 percent primarily as a result of an increase in same store sales.

Same store sales for the year increased 4.3 percent consisting of a 5.8 percent increase in pharmacy sales and a    1.2 percent increase in front end sales. Pharmacy sales included a negative impact of approximately175 basis points from new generic introductions. The number of prescriptions filled in same stores increased 3.5 percent over the prior year period. Prescription sales accounted for 68.8 percent of total drugstore sales, and third party prescription revenue was 97.5 percent of pharmacy sales.

Net income for fiscal 2015 was $2.109 billion or $2.08 per diluted share compared to last year’s net income of $249.4 million or $0.23 per diluted share. Current year results were favorably impacted by the reduction of a deferred tax asset valuation allowance of $1.841 billion, partially offset by income tax expense of $159.0 million compared to $0.8 million in the prior year.

Pre-tax income was $426.8 million or $0.42 per diluted share in fiscal 2015 compared to $250.2 million or $0.23 per diluted share in fiscal 2014. Current year results were favorably impacted by a LIFO credit of $18.9 million in the current year compared to a LIFO charge of $104.1 million in the prior year, a loss on debt retirement of $18.5 million compared to $62.4 million in the prior year, and lower interest expense.

Adjusted EBITDA was $1,322.8 million or 5.0 percent of revenues for the year compared to $1,325.0 million or 5.2 percent of revenues for last year.

For the year, the company relocated 14 stores, acquired 9 stores, remodeled 440 stores, expanded 5 stores, opened two stores, and closed 28 stores.

Outlook for Fiscal 2016

The company’s outlook for fiscal 2016 is based on the anticipated benefits of its wellness remodels, a full year of benefits from the pharmacy sourcing arrangement with McKesson and other initiatives to grow sales and drive operational efficiencies. The company’s outlook also considers planned wage and benefit increases, the introduction of certain new generics and a reimbursement rate environment that is expected to continue to be challenging. The outlook does not consider the impact of the EnvisionRx acquisition due to the uncertainty as to when the transaction will close. The company’s outlook also reflects an increase in income tax expense compared to fiscal 2015, which included an income tax benefit from the reduction of the deferred tax asset valuation allowance. The company expects cash tax payments to remain in a range of $10 million to $20 million for fiscal 2016 as it will continue to be able to utilize its tax net operating loss carryforward.

Rite Aid said it expects sales to be between $26.9 billion and $27.4 billion in fiscal 2016 with same store sales expected to range from an increase of 2.5 percent to an increase of 4.5 percent over fiscal 2015.

Adjusted EBITDA (which is reconciled to net income on the attached table) is expected to be between $1.250 billion and $1.350 billion.

Net income for fiscal 2016 is expected to be between $190 million and $275 million or income per diluted share of $0.19 to $0.27. This guidance is net of estimated income tax expense of between $130 million and $180 million, or $0.13 to $0.18 per diluted share, respectively.

Capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $650 million.

Conference Call Broadcast

Rite Aid will hold an analyst call at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time today with remarks by Rite Aid’s management team. The call will be simulcast via the internet and can be accessed through the websites www.riteaid.com in the conference call section of investor information and www.StreetEvents.com. Slides related to materials discussed on the call will be available on both sites. A playback of the call will be available on both sites starting at 12 p.m. Eastern Time today. A playback of the call will also be available by telephone beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern Time today until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Apr. 10, 2015. The playback number is 1-855-859-2056 from within the U.S. and Canada or 1-404-537-3406 from outside the U.S. and Canada with the eight-digit reservation number 11217760.

Rite Aid is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with 4,570 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through Rite Aid’s website at www.riteaid.com.

Statements, including guidance, 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. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” and “will” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, our high level of indebtedness and our ability to make interest and principal payments on our debt and satisfy the other covenants contained in our debt agreements, general economic, market and competitive conditions, our ability to improve the operating performance of our stores in accordance with our long term strategy, the impact of private and public third-party payers continued reduction in prescription drug reimbursements and efforts to encourage mail order, our ability to manage expenses and our investments in working capital, outcomes of legal and regulatory matters and changes in legislation or regulations, including healthcare reform. These and other risks, assumptions and uncertainties 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 assumptions or otherwise.

See the attached table for a reconciliation of a non-GAAP financial measure, Adjusted EBITDA to net income, the most comparable GAAP financial measure. We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income excluding the impact of income taxes (and any corresponding adjustments to tax indemnification asset), interest expense, depreciation and amortization, LIFO adjustments, charges or credits for facility closing and impairment, inventory write-downs related to store closings, debt retirements and other items (including stock-based compensation expense, sale of assets and investments and revenue deferrals related to our customer loyalty program).

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Click Here for 4th Quarter Results Detail

Contact:

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

Media: Susan Henderson 717-730-7766

JCPenney now with 75 home products with the Good Housekeeping Seal, more than any other retailer

Company boasts more products with the Seal than any other retailer

PLANO, TX, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Since 2014, more than 75 JCPenney home products have earned the prestigious Good Housekeeping Seal, the most of any other retailer. From curtains to bedding to cookware and small electrics, the Seal can be found in over a dozen home categories on private brand products including Royal Velvet®, Cooks™, JCPenney Home™ and Liz Claiborne® Home. The most recent JCPenney recipients of the Seal include the newly launched Royal Velvet Signature Soft bath rug collection and solid bath towels along with the Cooks power blender, toaster oven, griddle and more.

“JCPenney has a rich history of product development and design dating back to 1914. Combined with our global sourcing and quality assurance expertise, we are able to create lasting products, which is why many have earned the Good Housekeeping Seal,” said Ken Mangone, executive vice president for product development, design and sourcing at JCPenney.

In order to receive the Good Housekeeping Seal, a trusted emblem from the foremost consumer product testing organization in America, a product must be reviewed by the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute. The Good Housekeeping Seal is a two-year limited warranty, promising a replacement or refund up to $2,000, if a product proves defective. “Consumers recognize and trust the Good Housekeeping Seal because of the financial assurance it provides,” Mangone added. “This instills confidence in the customer’s purchasing decision and ultimately, helps JCPenney drive loyalty through the quality products we offer.”

“For decades, the Good Housekeeping Seal has provided much-needed trustworthy guidance for consumers as well as industry professionals seeking quality products,” said Miriam Arond, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute. “We’re pleased that so many JCPenney products performed well in our testing and proud that they will be carrying the Seal.”

In addition to the comprehensive product evaluation conducted by the Good Housekeeping Institute, customer reviews are an important part in the development and design of a JCPenney private brand product with the majority of feedback coming from reviews and ratings on jcpenney.com. Customers are invited to rate each product based on a five star rating system. The majority of private brand products have received five stars, demonstrating customers’ satisfaction related to quality, design, durability and value. JCPenney product integrity teams review regular reports of product ratings to make adjustments based on specific customer feedback.

Many of the products granted the Good Housekeeping Seal are featured in the JCPenney spring/summer home catalog, which was recently delivered to select customers and is also available on jcpenney.com.

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

Good Housekeeping PR
Carrie Carlson
212-649-2617 or carriecarlson@hearst.com

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.

About Good Housekeeping
Founded in 1885, Good Housekeeping magazine reaches nearly 25 million readers each month, plus another 10+ million online at goodhousekeeping.com. The Good Housekeeping Institute, a state-of-the-art consumer product testing facility launched in 1900 and staffed by engineers and scientists who evaluate thousands of products each year in its six labs, is key to the unrivaled trust that readers and consumers have in the Good Housekeeping brand and the Good Housekeeping Seal. The Seal, introduced in 1909, and the Green Good Housekeeping Seal, created in 2009, are among the most recognized consumer icons and are backed by a limited warranty that provides a replacement or refund for up to $2,000 if a product proves defective within two years of purchase. In addition to its U.S. flagship, Good Housekeeping publishes 10 editions around the world. Hearst Magazines is a unit of Hearst Corporation, one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies. With 21 titles in the U.S., Hearst is the leading publisher of monthly magazines in terms of total paid circulation (AAM 2H 2014) and reaching nearly 81 million adults (Fall 2014 MRI gfk) and nearly 44 million site visitors each month. Follow Good Housekeepingon Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and on the Inside the Institute blog. Follow Jane Francisco on Twitter and Pinterest.

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JCPenney now with 75 home products with the Good Housekeeping Seal, more than any other retailer

JCPenney now with 75 home products with the Good Housekeeping Seal, more than any other retailer

Mobile developers will get together to create new apps for Wincor Nixdorf’s “Albert” at the “Hackfest” Apps World Germany

Paderborn, Germany, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — At Apps World Germany, mobile developers will get together at the so-called Hackfest to create new apps for Wincor Nixdorf’s “Albert”, the world’s first portable, multifunctional and interactive touchscreen payment device. The Hackfest premieres on April 22-23 at the CityCube, Berlin to challenge teams of mobile developers and designers to collaborate, innovate and create using the latest tools and technologies on a variety of cutting edge platforms.

Based on the Android operating system, Albert supports the deployment of third-party apps, providing a platform for the development of revolutionary retail or business-focused applications and solutions. Participants of the Hackathon will be given just two days to develop an app or an app prototype that utilizes the Aevi Software Development Kit (SDK) to impress the judges and take home the cash prize.

Marc Birkner, General Manager of Sales & Operations for Cashless Payment Solutions at Wincor Nixdorf, comments: “Choosing Apps World Germany as the leading event for developers worldwide to host the Wincor Nixdorf Hackfest offers us the perfect platform to enrich Albert’s personality by inspiring developers to create exciting new apps.”

Ian Johnson, founder of Apps World, shares: “We are thrilled that Wincor Nixdorf has chosen Apps World Germany to host the Wincor Nixdorf Hackfest Challenge. Albert is at the cutting edge of retail and mobile payments and I’m excited to see what the talented developer community will create and showcase at the event.”

The Commonwealth Bank just launched “Albert” in the Australian market a week ago. Wincor Nixdorf is now starting further marketing of the solution in other markets.

Find further information concerning the Hackfest and register online at:
http://www.the-hackfest.com/events/wincor-nixdorf-hackfest/

Press Contact

Press/Financial Press

Andreas Bruck
Head of Corporate Communications
Phone: +49 5251 693 5200
E-Mail: andreas.bruck@wincor-nixdorf.com

Press/Trade Press

Dr. Thomas Daubenbüchel
Head of Press and Editorial Office
Phone: +49 5251 693 5212
E-Mail: thomas.daubenbuechel@wincor-nixdorf.com
Ulrich Nolte
Phone: +49 5251 693 5211
E-Mail: ulrich.nolte@wincor-nixdorf.com

Trade Press

Claudia Wendorff-Goerge
Phone: +49 5251 693 5203
E-Mail: claudia.wendorff-goerge@wincor-nixdorf.com

###

Klépierre successfully issued 8-year EUR 750 million bond maturing April 17, 2023

PARIS, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Klépierre announces that it successfully issued today a 8-year, 750 million euro bond maturing April 17, 2023. The bond was priced at a 65 bps margin above the swap rate which translates into a coupon of 1.0%. Oversubscribed 4.5 times, the notes were quickly placed after launch with long term, high-quality pan-European investors. Interest was strong from fund managers, insurers, banks and pension funds. On a geographical basis, investors from France, UK and Germany represented two-third of the allocated book.

Meanwhile, the same day, Klépierre launched a tender offer for cash on a 500 million euro bond issued by Corio N.V. maturing in January 2018 (XS0550979842). The tender offer period is expected to end on April 16, 2015.

Following the merger completed on March 31, 2015 with Corio, these transactions aim at optimizing the debt profile of the Group while reducing its cost of funding.

ABOUT KLEPIERRE
A leading shopping center property company in Europe, Klépierre combines development, rental, property, and asset management skills. Its portfolio is valued at 21 billion euros on 31 December 2014, on a proforma basis including the merger with Corio on March 31, 2015. It comprises large shopping centers in 16 countries of Continental Europe. Klépierre holds a controlling stake in Steen & Strøm (56.1%), Scandinavia’s number one shopping center owner and manager.

Klépierre’s largest shareholders are Simon Property Group (18.3%), world leader in the shopping center industry, BNP Paribas (13.5%) and APG (13.5%).

Klépierre is a French REIT (SIIC) listed on Euronext ParisTM and Euronext Amsterdam and is included in the CAC Next20 and CAC Large 60 indexes, the SBF 80, the EPRA Euro Zone, and the GPR 250 indexes. Klépierre is also included in several ethical indexes – DJSI World and Europe, FTSE4Good, STOXX® Global ESG Leaders, Euronext Vigeo France 20 and Eurozone 120 – and is a member of both Ethibel Excellence and Ethibel Pioneer investment registers. Klépierre is also ranked as a Green Star by GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark). These distinctions mark the Group’s commitment to a voluntary sustainable development policy.

For more information, visit our website: www.klepierre.com

INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACTS

Vanessa FRICANO – + 33 1 40 67 52 24 – vanessa.fricano@klepierre.com

Julien ROUCH – +33 1 40 67 53 08 – julien.rouch@klepierre.com

MEDIA CONTACTS

Aurélia de LAPEYROUSE – + 33 1 53 96 83 83 – klepierre@brunswickgroup.com

Nathalie BAUDON – + 33 1 53 96 83 83 – klepierre@brunswickgroup.com

*** This press release is available on Klépierre’s website: www.klepierre.com

7‑Eleven kicks off Slurpee season on April 11 with BYO (bring their own) Cup Day

DALLAS, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Bring your carafes … beakers … goblets … jars … or anything else that could even remotely be considered a cup to a 7‑Eleven® store this Saturday. Then fill it up with … Slurpee® deliciousness.

7‑Eleven is kicking off Slurpee season on April 11 with BYO Cup Day. Slurpee-lovers are invited to bring their own cups – or containers that can be used as cups – to their participating neighborhood 7‑Eleven store between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., and fill it with their favorite Slurpee flavor.

The cost to fill the Slurpee “cup” of choice, regardless of size, is $1.49, the average cost of a medium Slurpee drink. The cup, though, must fit upright through an in-store display with a 10-inch-diameter hole. Sorry, trash cans and inflatable swimming pools are not eligible.

“Slurpee is all about having fun, and what better way to celebrate warmer weather than by filling your favorite cup with your favorite beverage?” said Laura Gordon, 7‑Eleven vice president of marketing and brand innovation. “From sand buckets to trophies, customers can unleash their creativity by bringing in their choice of a unique, fun Slurpee cup.”

This is the first time BYO Cup Day has been held in the United States, although 7‑Eleven stores in Australia, Canada, the Philippines and Malaysia have held BYO Cup Days in the past.

Slurpee drinks purchased during BYO Cup Day will count as a punch on 7Rewards, an expanded customer loyalty platform that rewards customers with a free beverage for every six cups purchased through the 7‑Eleven mobile app. The program includes 7‑Eleven coffee and its other hot beverages, plus Big Gulp®, Slurpee® and Chillers® drinks. If a customer already has six digital punches on their rewards card, they can redeem their free 7th drink at BYO Cup Day.

News & Online Media: Go to www.slurpee.com/byoc/press for images and b-roll assets.

About 7‑Eleven, Inc.
7‑Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7‑Eleven operates, franchises or licenses nearly 10,500 7‑Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, there are more than 55,400 7‑Eleven stores in 16 countries. During 2013, 7‑Eleven stores generated total worldwide sales close to $84.5 billion. 7‑Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #2 on Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies for 2013, #1 on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2014 Top Global Franchise list, #10 spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list for 2015 and #3 in Forbes magazine’s Top 20 Franchises to Start. 7‑Eleven is # 3 on Fast Company magazine’s 2013 list of the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail.” 7‑Eleven places among Top Veteran-Friendly Companies for 2014 by U.S. Veterans Magazine and is among GI Jobs magazine’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers for 2014. Hispanic Magazine named 7‑Eleven among its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7‑Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S. and expanding through organic growth, acquisitions and its Business Conversion Program. Find out more online at www.7‑Eleven.com.

Contact:
Margaret Chabris
7‑Eleven, Inc.
972-828-7285
margaret.chabris@7-11.com

###

Slurpee fans are invited to bring their own, sanitary and no-larger-than-10- inches- in-diameter container to fill with their favorite Slurpee flavors this Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm at a participating 7‑Eleven store.  7‑Eleven hails the Bring Your Own Cup Day event as its kick off of the warm-weather Slurpee season.

Slurpee fans are invited to bring their own, sanitary and no-larger-than-10- inches- in-diameter container to fill with their favorite Slurpee flavors this Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm at a participating 7‑Eleven store. 7‑Eleven hails the Bring Your Own Cup Day event as its kick off of the warm-weather Slurpee season.

CBRE Group, Inc. rated one of “America’s Best Employers” by Forbes magazine

Los Angeles, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) today announced that it has been rated one of “America’s Best Employers” by Forbes magazine. CBRE was the top rated real estate firm and ranked 71st overall on the list of 500 employers.

Forbes, in partnership with Statista.com, surveyed 20,000 American employees working for companies and institutions that employ more than 2,500 people. Respondents were asked to rate their employer – as well as other companies in their industry – on the quality of the work environment and whether they would recommend their company to potential employees. CBRE’s employees scored the company 8.9 on a scale of 1 to 10.

“The Forbes ranking speaks volumes about our strategy at CBRE,” said Bob Sulentic, the company’s president and chief executive officer. “Our people are integral to that strategy and we are highly focused on maintaining a work environment that helps them to build successful careers. In turn, this supports them in producing exceptional outcomes for our clients.”

Earlier this year CBRE was included in Fortune’s Most Admired Companies for the third consecutive year. CBRE is the only commercial real estate services and investment firm to be ranked among Fortune’s Most Admired Companies for three consecutive years.

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
T +1 212 9848267
email

Corey Mirman
T +1 212 9846542
email

CBRE Cares partners with national housing nonprofit Rebuilding Together to provide renovations to the General Robert E. Wood Boys & Girls Club in Chicago

Los Angeles, CA, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc., through its corporate philanthropy program, CBRE Cares, will partner with national housing nonprofit Rebuilding Together to provide renovations to the General Robert E. Wood Boys & Girls Club in Chicago during its annual Women’s Networking Forum.

On Monday, April 20, 2015, 250 CBRE Women’s Network members and Chicago-area CBRE employees will work alongside the local Rebuilding Together affiliate, Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago, to provide much-needed upgrades to the neighborhood youth recreation and education facility.

The General Wood Club is located in the South Lawndale community, where it is attended by 400 to 500 neighborhood children daily. It offers a wide array of educational, social and sports programming. The Club also serves the acclaimed Community Links High School, which has an 87 percent graduation rate and a better than 75 percent success rate of college placement for its graduates.

The volunteer projects at the facility will include patching and painting walls inside and outside the building, refinishing wood benches in the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, renovating the fitness area, updating the audio-visual system and replacing furniture in the computer lab and teen center, and creating new, well-organized storage areas throughout the Club. The group will also be making significant improvements to the playground area, including constructing wood benches and planters, landscaping, and installing a climbing wall.

“CBRE Shelter Program projects are an important part of the programing at our annual Women’s Networking Forum,” said Lisa Konieczka, Women’s Network Chairperson and Executive Vice President in CBRE’s Chicago office. “This is our sixth project in Chicago, and each year our members look forward to working alongside Rebuilding Together, and using their professional and leadership skills to make a difference in the community and deliver meaningful contributions that benefit individuals in need.”

”Rebuilding Together is excited to partner with CBRE and its Women’s Network again this year,” said Sandra Henriquez, Interim President and CEO, “It is partnerships like this that give volunteers the opportunity to transform communities and provide much needed critical repairs to community spaces.”

To find out more about CBRE’s Shelter Program and partnership with Rebuilding Together, visit www.cbre.com/shelterprogram.

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 atwww.cbre.com.

About Rebuilding Together
Rebuilding Together strengthens the lives of people in our most vulnerable communities by providing low-income homeowners with critical home repairs, accessibility modifications and energy-efficient upgrades. Rebuilding Together’s local affiliates and nearly 100,000 volunteers complete about 10,000 rebuild projects each year. As we rebuild homes, community spaces and nonprofit facilities, our lasting impact helps to stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods across the country. We believe that everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy home. Learn more and get involved at www.RebuildingTogether.org​.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago
Serving Chicago families since 1902, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago (BGCC) uses a comprehensive blend of mentoring and programming to provide youth ages 6 to 18 the tools they need to become well-rounded and successful adults. Filling the after-school hours, which can be the most dangerous for young people, BGCC offers academic, social, and leadership activities for students in some of Chicago’s most challenged neighborhoods. We match youth with professional adult mentors, giving kids a safe place to learn, grow, and succeed. Learn more at: www.bgcc.org. Follow Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago on Twitter: @BGCCorg. Connect with Boys & Girls Club on Facebook: Facebook.com/BGCChicago.

For Further Information

Robert Mcgrath
T +1 212 9848267
email

Corey Mirman
T +1 212 9846542
email

Victoria O’Banion
T +1 202 6032160
email

Co-operative Group results for the 52 weeks ended 3 January 2015: robust performances in Food and Funerals, offset by losses in General Insurance

MANCHESTER, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Final results for Co-operative Group Limited for the 52 weeks ended 3 January 2015

Financial Highlights*:

  • Group revenue of £9.4bn (2013: £9.7bn)
    • Core Food convenience business delivers like-for-like sales increase of 3.2%, with like-for-like sales up 0.4% overall for the Food business
  • Group underlying operating profit** £172m (2013: £177m), reflecting robust performances in Food and Funerals, offset by losses in General Insurance
  • Group returns to profit before member payments (equivalent to pre-tax profit in a PLC) of £124m (2013: loss of £255m)
  • Net profit of £216m benefited from profit on disposal of Pharmacy and Farms businesses, compared with 2013 loss of £2.3bn following part disposal of Bank and write-down of Somerfield goodwill
  • Central corporate costs reduced by £30m (2014: £146m, 2013: £176m)
  • Previously committed capital obligation to Bank honoured, with final instalments of £313m paid in year
  • Net debt significantly reduced to £808m (2013: £1.4bn)
  • No dividend; Board anticipates dividend payments resuming after three-year Rebuild programme completes at the end of 2017
  • First phase of a three-phase turnaround (Rescue, Rebuild, Renew) completed successfully

Richard Pennycook, Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group, said:

“We made solid progress in 2014 as we successfully concluded the Rescue phase of our turnaround. The hard work of Rebuilding The Co-operative Group for the next generation, and restoring it to its rightful place at the heart of communities up and down the UK, is now underway.

“We significantly reduced net debt, even after meeting our outstanding contributions to The Co-operative Bank. This followed the successful sales of our Farms and Pharmacy businesses and detailed work to ensure we have the right cost base in place. Our core businesses continued to deliver for customers, with their financial performances reflecting challenging trading conditions across all of our markets and the different stages they are each at in terms of Rebuild.

“A significant element of our 2014 profit relates to one-off disposal gains on the sale of our Farms and Pharmacy businesses and property disposals. Without these we would, at best, have broken even. Against that backdrop, and given the need to invest in all our businesses, the Board will not be recommending a dividend to members and believes that a resumption of dividend payments is unlikely until the Rebuild phase is complete and we have returned to sustainable profitable growth.”

Allan Leighton, Independent Non-Executive Chair of The Co-operative Group, said:

“I am putting together a Board which will be firmly focused on the tough job ahead of Rebuilding the Co-operative, underpinned by the far-reaching governance reforms introduced in 2014.

“This is not just another commercial turnaround. The Co-operative Group is different because we are owned by our members. They have a direct say in running the business, through electing Member representatives to the Board and the Council; and through having a say on key issues through the One Member One Vote democratic process. The communities we have traded in for generations have made us what we are today, so at the heart of our Rebuild plan is our purpose: “Championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities.” We are confident that with the help and support of our members, customers and colleagues we will be successful.”

Summary of business performance:

  • The performance of our businesses reflects how they are at different stages of the Rebuild process:
    • Our Food business continued the implementation of the True North strategy, focused on the convenience market. The business delivered a robust performance, with like-for-like sales up 0.4% overall, and 3.2% in the core convenience estate. Underlying profits increased 1.5% to £251m. We acquired 82 new convenience stores and refurbished more than 700 stores; prices were lowered across 40 categories and the investment in own-brand product continued with over 170 awards for quality won during the year
    • Funeralcare, where we are currently developing the next phase of our strategy, saw sales fall almost 2% by £7m in a year affected by a particularly low death rate. However, underlying profits rose by 6% to £66m after a clear focus on efficiencies
    • General Insurance is now pursuing a new strategy, with a focus on providing motor and home insurance products targeted at Co-operative Group members. The business experienced difficult trading conditions, in line with the industry as a whole, with market premiums dipping across Home and Motor. Revenue was also impacted by a conscious decision to exit low-profit areas. Revenue fell to £371m (2013: £476m), leading to an underlying loss of £7m, compared to a profit of £36m in 2013
    • Legal Services witnessed a year of significant change. Revenues declined by a third to £23m, due mainly to the decline of personal injury income following regulatory changes. However, decisive action taken on operating costs reduced prior year underlying losses from £9m to £5m in 2014, and in the second half of the year the business was trading profitably.

Governance reform:

  • The governance reforms overwhelmingly approved by members in August 2014 paved the way for:
    • The launch of the Group’s new Purpose – “Championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities”
    • The creation of a new Group Board, to be made up of professional, Independent Non-Executive Directors, up to two Executive Directors and three Member Nominated Directors, all of whom are subject to election by members,
    • Key Board appointments being made with Allan Leighton as the Group’s first Independent Non-Executive Chair and Sir Christopher Kelly as Senior Independent Director
    • The creation of a new national Members’ Council with the responsibility for holding the Group Board to account and promoting Co-operative values
  • Current transitional Board in place until the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting in May 2015, at which members will for the first time be able to shape the Society’s future under the new One Member One Vote system

Strategic update:

  • The Group is at the start of a three-year Rebuild process, focused on restoring the business to its rightful place at the heart of communities up and down the UK
    • We have confirmed our core businesses as being Food & Electrical, Funeralcare, General Insurance (GI) and Legal Services
    • We have developed a comprehensive plan for further improvement of the commercial performance of Food, our largest business, to ensure we better serve all our customers. We will continue to invest in price, product and our people by further improving our operational efficiency and cost base.
    • We have a new strategy in place for the GI business, completely focused on its desire to become ‘the go-to insurance provider for members of the Group’. We will leverage GI’s competitive advantages through this member-centric focus, building strong data and analytical capabilities and developing key distribution partnerships
    • We are developing similar plans for our Consumer Services businesses – Funerals and Legal
  • We have already made the Group more efficient, delivering a new target operating model; we are pushing further with efficiencies, making sure we have the appropriate cost base
  • We will continue to improve our balance sheet by prudently managing our businesses while still investing for growth
  • The key focus through 2015 will be creating a revitalised membership proposition
    • Membership is at the heart of all co-operative businesses and we must create a truly distinct and compelling membership offer for The Co-operative Group
    • To revitalise our membership proposition we will focus on the following:
      • Building on the introduction of ‘One Member One Vote’, by giving our members a real say in the business
      • Finding new and innovative ways to share our success with our members
      • Showing that we are caring and responsive to our members and the local lives they lead
      • Campaigning on issues that are relevant to our members’ lives and where we can show real leadership and make a tangible difference with local and national resonance
    • We now have a model of democratic ownership that keeps us firmly connected to our members while ensuring professional oversight of our business decision-making
    • At our AGM in May millions of members will be given the opportunity to join us, either in person or on-line, and they will be able to vote on key issues and question and challenge our new Board
  • By the end of 2017 we will have rebuilt the Group for long-term, sustainable success
  • We do not expect to declare dividends for the next three years as we continue to repair the damage done to our balance sheet and further increase investment in all of our businesses.

Outlook

  • Overall Group trading in the first 12 weeks of the current year has been positive and is either in line with, or ahead of, expectations in all of our businesses
  • In Food, we expect the market to remain competitive but will continue with the implementation of our True North strategy, aiming to acquire 100 new convenience stores and refit 255 stores
  • In General Insurance, market conditions will remain challenging over the next 12 to 18 months
  • 2015 is expected to be a less challenging year for our Funerals business, which expects to add a further 40 branches and to continue investing in upgrading its IT systems

Media Enquiries:

The Co-operative Group

  • Jon Church: 07545 210812
  • Russ Brady: 07880 784442

Tulchan Communications

  •  Susanna Voyle or Jonathan Sibun: 0207 353 4200

Notes to Editors:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned by more than eight million members. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer operating across the country with almost 2,800 local, convenience and medium-sized stores.

Amongst its other wholly-owned businesses are the UK’s number one funeral services provider, a major general insurer and a developing legal services business.

The Group also has a minority shareholding in The Co-operative Bank and a joint-venture travel business with Thomas Cook.

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group, which operates 3,500 outlets and employs approaching 70,000 people, is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes.

For the Group’s 2015 Annual General Meeting, 2.9 million members are eligible to vote having met the minimum level of qualifying purchases with Group businesses during the Group’s 2014 financial year. For further information see the Group’s Rules and Purchases Regulations.

Following overwhelming agreement from members at the SGM in August 2014, The Co-operative Group is implementing significant governance reform, the main components of which are:

  • The establishment of a Board composed of a majority of Independent Directors including; an Independent Chair, five Independent Non-Executive Directors, two Executive Directors, including the Group Chief Executive and three Member Nominated Directors All Board Directors will be expected to meet the high standards of competence commensurate with the needs of a business of the scale and complexity of the Group and a demonstrated commitment to Co-operative Values and Principles
  • The establishment of a Council to represent members and to act as guardian of the Group’s Purpose, Values and Principles and the Society’s Constitution, with the power to hold the Group Board to account. The Council will be composed of a maximum of 100 Members, included colleagues. The Council is led by a President, elected for a term of two years.
  • The creation of a Senate, elected by the Council, to help co-ordinate the activities of the Council and to act as a nexus for interactions between the Council, the Board, the Executive and members

Co-operative Group Limited announces that the 2014 Annual Report and Accounts have today been submitted to the National Storage Mechanism and will shortly be available for inspection at:www.hemscott.com/nsm.do

A copy of the Annual Report and Accounts are also available at: www.co-operative.coop/annual-results-2014

This announcement contains additional information for the purposes of compliance with the Disclosure and Transparency Rules. This information is extracted, in full unedited text, from the 2014 Annual Report and Accounts (the ‘Annual Report’). References to pages and page numbers refer to page numbers and notes to the annual accounts in the Annual Report.

Download full RNS

The Co-operative Food launches “Swipe and Win” loyalty promotion in which Co-operative members could share in almost two million prizes during April

MANCHESTER, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Co-operative Food has launched a “Swipe and Win” loyalty promotion in which Co-operative members could share in almost two million prizes during April.

Between 8 – 29 April customers of The Co-operative Food – which operates a store in every postal area – who present their Membership card at the checkout will be entered into a prize draw with the chance of winning a range of prizes.

Each week, ten prizes of £2,000 worth of Co-operative Group vouchers will be awarded by the community retailer which can be used to purchase items at its family of businesses including its online electrical shop and food stores. In addition, there are hundreds of thousands of instant win prizes and coupons.

Maria Sloan, Head of Membership Marketing, said:

“We hope our members will enjoy taking part in Swipe & Win. With approaching two million prizes up for grabs, by simply handing over their card at the checkout, members have a chance of winning £2,000 worth of Co-operative Group vouchers or receiving instant win in-store prizes and coupons.“Of course, there are many other facets to membership of The Co-operative which enables people to have a say in the running of the business, join campaigns and to take part in organised events with other members.”

Editor Notes:
The Co-operative Group, which is the UK’s largest co-operative business with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services, has a clear purpose of “championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities”. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-operative Group operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of approximately £11 billion.

 

For further information please contact:
Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 07702 505551
Email: andrew.torr@co-operative.coop

Stop & Shop Triple Winner® Game’s 25th anniversary: nearly $57 million raised for pediatric cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Stop & Shop has raised nearly $57 million for pediatric cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Quincy, MA, 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Stop & Shop continues its partnership with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Boston Red Sox with the 25th anniversary of its Triple Winner Game to help cure childhood cancer. The organizations are inviting Stop & Shop customers to participate in the Triple Winner Game at the cash registers. Beginning April 10 and while ticket supplies last, customers can help cure childhood cancer by making a $1 contribution* to the Jimmy Fund to receive a Triple Winner scratch ticket. The ticket could be an instant winner of a free product or a cash prize up to $10,000 or provide the customer with a product coupon.

Stop & Shop, in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, has raised $56.5 million through the Triple Winner Game since 1991. This year, the company aims to raise $2.5 million for The Jimmy Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its in-store campaign, “Help Cure Childhood Cancer”.

“We are grateful for the support we receive from our customers, associates and friends to help raise the funds needed to save lives and bring hope to families who are battling cancer,” said Don Sussman, president of Stop & Shop Divisions. “Together as a community we can raise even more money to support Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund in their efforts to fund pediatric cancer research and patient care.”

“The future is here,” said Mark Kieran, MD, PhD, director of the pediatric medical neuro-oncology program at Dana-Farber. “Thanks in part to the incredible support of the Stop & Shop family, we have reached our goal of identifying some of the underlying genetic pathways that give rise to pediatric brain tumors. We have opened the first clinical trials that will provide important research from which to base treatment. With clinical trials available in New England, across the country and around the world, the generosity of Stop & Shop will benefit children locally and globally as we learn more about tailoring treatment strategies that will improve outcomes for these special patients.”

About the Jimmy Fund
The Jimmy Fund (www.JimmyFund.org) solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. The Jimmy Fund is the official charity of the Boston Red Sox, Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide. Follow the Jimmy Fund on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thejimmyfund and on Twitter: @TheJimmyFund.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is world renowned for its leadership in adult and pediatric cancer treatment and research. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), it is one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of NCI and National Institutes of Health grant funding. For more information, go to www.dana-farber.org.

About Stop & Shop
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs over 59,000 associates and operates 395 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. The company helps support local communities fight hunger, combat childhood cancer and promote general health and wellness – with emphasis on children’s educational and support programs. In its commitment to be a sustainable company, Stop & Shop is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA’s Smart Way program and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores. Stop & Shop is an Ahold company. To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit www.stopandshop.com or www.facebook.com/stopandshop.

* No purchase/contribution necessary. Legal U. S. residents 18 or older are eligible. Valid from 4/10/15 to 7/9/15 (or when all tickets are distributed/termination announced). Odds of winning an instant prize are 1 in 8. Odds of winning 2nd Chance Sweepstakes depends on number of entries. Restrictions apply. See stores for details or go to www.stopandshop.com.

Triple Winner® is a registered trademark of The Hutton Company, Inc.

Contacts:
Annmarie Seldon
Stop & Shop New England Division
(617) 276-7756
aseldon@webershandwick.com

Cathleen Genova
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
(617) 632-5655
cathleen_genova@dfci.harvard.edu

Harris Teeter to close its four Nashville-area stores and sell three of them to Kroger Nashville Division

Matthews, N.C., 2015-4-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — After careful consideration and strategic market review, Harris Teeter announced today that it will close its four Nashville-area stores and sell three of them to Kroger Nashville Division.

The Harris Teeter stores included in the sale are:

  • Hillsboro Village located at 2201 21st Ave S in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Peartree Village located at 210 Franklin Road, Suite 100 in Brentwood, Tenn.
  • Westhaven Town Center located at 411 Whitman Rd. in Franklin, Tenn.

The Harris Teeter store which will close permanently is:

  • Harpeth Plaza located at 6002 Highway 100 in Nashville, Tenn.

Harris Teeter will close the stores on or around June 15, 2015.

The Company currently employs 335 associates at these locations and began informing associates of the store closings on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

In the coming weeks, the Company will work closely with its associates to assist them through the transition. All Harris Teeter associates will be given the opportunity to apply for a job in local Kroger stores.

The Company will post signs in each store informing customers of the decision and timeline for closings.

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