Starbucks Coffee Malaysia earned top honors for its employment practices at the Aon Hewitt Best Employers of 2015 Awards

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, 2015-4-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks Coffee Malaysia has earned top honors for its employment practices at the Aon Hewitt Best Employers of 2015 Awards. The Best of the Best award was presented to Starbucks Malaysia at the recent Awards Presentation and Learning Conference in Kuala Lumpur.

The Aon Hewitt Best Employers Award is one of the most prestigious awards recognizing companies with strong employee engagement, high-performance culture, effective leadership and a compelling brand. Aon Hewitt’s research is conducted over nine months and is active in a dozen Asia Pacific markets, including China, Japan, Australia, and Malaysia. The Malaysian survey was completed in partnership with TalentCorp Malaysia.

Sydney Quays, managing director of Starbucks Malaysia and Brunei, called the honor “one of the most significant recognitions that a company could get in validation to its human resources practices and talent management initiatives.”

“We’re known for our coffee, but our people make us famous,” Quays added.

A substantial part of Starbucks recognition was related to the company’s efforts to retain, engage and motivate partners.

“Retention starts from hiring the right talent,” said June Beh, partner resources and compliance director for Starbucks Malaysia and Brunei. “We also highly invest in the training of every partner (employee) empowering them with the necessary skills and knowledge.”

Starbucks store manager Desmond Soon was given the opportunity last year to lead a district for the company. “This allowed me to create a lasting connection with the community, to be involved in company programs, and to share our amazing stories with customers,” Soon said.

About Starbucks Malaysia
Starbucks® in Malaysia is operated by Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company Sdn Bhd., a licensee of Starbucks Coffee International.  The first Malaysian Starbucks coffeehouse opened in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. Today there are more than 190 Starbucks stores in Malaysia. The company operates Starbucks retail locations throughout Malaysia and is committed to offering the world’s finest coffee while enriching Malaysians’ lives one cup at a time.  Visit the Starbucks Malaysia Facebook page, or and

For more information on this news release, contact us.


Starbucks Coffee Malaysia earned top honors for its employment practices at the Aon Hewitt Best Employers of 2015 Awards

Starbucks Coffee Malaysia earned top honors for its employment practices at the Aon Hewitt Best Employers of 2015 Awards

Ahold share buyback update: Ahold repurchased 1,179,305 Ahold common shares in the period from April 13, 2015 up to and including April 17, 2015

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2015-4-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold has repurchased 1,179,305 Ahold common shares in the period from April 13, 2015 up to and including April 17, 2015.

The shares were repurchased at an average price of € 18.6041 per share for a total consideration of € 21.94 million. These repurchases were made as part of the € 500 million share buyback program announced on February 26, 2015.

The total number of shares repurchased under this program to date is 3,310,249 common shares for a total consideration of € 60.64 million.

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

Morrisons to recruit 5,000 shop floor staff to further improve service, increase availability, and open more checkouts

Consultation begins to simplify Head Office

Bradford, England, 2015-4-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons is reshaping the way that its business is staffed, investing in new store jobs to deliver better customer service, while also proposing a reduction in Head Office jobs.

In its supermarkets, Morrisons has begun recruiting 5,000 shop floor staff to further improve service, increase availability, and open more checkouts.

At its Head Office, the company is beginning a consultation about a simplified management structure. The number of people employed there has increased by 50% since 2008.

David Potts, Morrisons Chief Executive, said: “We are focusing on the things that matter to our customers. That means having more of our staff in our stores, improving product availability and helping customers at our checkouts. We believe our customers and our staff will appreciate the improvements.

“To support this, we need a simpler, faster and cost-conscious Head Office and that requires some tough but necessary decisions.”

The proposals would lead to a reduction of up to 720 roles at Morrisons Head Office.

Staff members whose role is being made redundant will be offered a role in a Morrisons store and some will be redeployed in other parts of the business.

Morrisons employs more than 20,000 people in Yorkshire in its manufacturing, logistics depots and supermarkets and roles become vacant regularly.

Morrisons will also be offering opportunities for voluntary redundancy.

The consultation will last for at least 45 days.

Media contact

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Price Chopper’s Bags2Riches awards $25,000 Utica native Jacquie Pirnie

Five non-profits to receive share of Bags2Riches Charitable Gift

Schenectady, NY, 2015-4-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — In the largest and most extensive contest in the company’s history, Price Chopper’s Bags2Riches contest has defied skeptics and awarded more than 150,000 prizes and discounts. Today, the a $25,000 online prize was awarded to Utica native Jacquie Pirnie at a small reception at the Price Chopper in North Utica, where she does her shopping.

“I was born and raised in Utica, so I’ve been shopping at Price Chopper since before it was called Price Chopper! I really love their promotions. I’ve never won anything in my life, so when I first received notification that I had won, I was psyched to win a $50 gift card or maybe one of the food prizes. I had no idea,” said Pirnie. “What makes winning even more special is that toward the end of my Mom’s life as her health was declining, I would take her to her doctor’s appointments. But the highlight for her was that before or after the appointment, we would come to Price Chopper to make it a big day out. She would scour the ads and look for coupons. She would get in one of the putt-putt carts and we’d be off. I think she was looking out for me.”

When asked about her plans for the winnings, Pirnie said that her big Victorian house could use a facelift and she is looking forward to making it into “a jewel in the neighborhood.” She is also planning a celebration feast after today’s presentation for family and friends that will feature some tasty indulgences, including crab legs.

We’re thrilled that winning this prize will help Jacquie to enhance her home and celebrate with loved ones while evoking good memories of her Mom,” said Mona Golub, vice president of public relations and consumer services. “Some people are doubtful that contests of this sort yield winners, but we’ve given away significant prizes in each of the six states in which we operate. Bags2Riches was definitively a win-win. Our loyal customers enjoyed the thrill of winning individual prizes and discounts and a handful of our non-profit community partners gleaned some extra visibility and a contribution to their efforts.”

In addition to the thousands of individual winners, there was a charitable aspect to the Bags2Riches contest. When shoppers entered PIN numbers from the game pieces, they were eligible to cast a vote for one of five non-profit organizations that all serve communities within Price Chopper’s six state service footprint. With close to 650,000 vote entries tallied, the five organizations will each receive a portion of the $25,000 donation based on the percentage of votes received.

• Make-A-Wish received more than 180,000 votes, and will receive a donation of $7,055.
• Feeding America, will receive $6785.
• The VFW Foundation will receive $4882.
• The American Heart Association will receive $3684.
• The Boys & Girls Clubs of America will receive $2592.

The Bags2Riches Giveaway ran for six weeks, ending March 14, 2015. For every $25 spent using an AdvantEdge card at any of the 135 Price Chopper’s located throughout the northeast, shoppers received one game ticket. There were three ways to win — the first, one in every three tickets was an instant winner and revealed a free food prize or discount; the second, some tickets revealed a special PIN that could be registered online to win Price Chopper gift cards, free groceries for a year, free gas for a year, cash prizes and more; and the third way to win was to collect related stickers within a specific category.

More than 780,000 Instant Win game tickets were redeemed by customers and more than two million PINs were entered online. Prizes that were awarded included a $250,000 grand prize, a $20,000 Ultimate Home Makeover, dream family vacations, a 2015 Ford Escape, FREE groceries for a year, FREE gas for a year, hundreds of $50 Price Chopper gift cards and dozens of Kitchen Aid mixers, Xbox Ones and Kindles.


About The Golub Corporation: Based in Schenectady, NY, the Golub Corporation owns and operates 135 Price Chopper and Market 32 grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The American owned, family-managed company prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, leadership in community service, and cooperative employee relations. Golub’s 22,000 teammates collectively own more than 47% of the company’s privately held stock, making it one of the nation’s largest privately held corporations that is predominantly employee-owned. For additional information, visit


Contact: Mona Golub
Price Chopper

Jon Pierce, APR
Pierce Communications

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC announces the groundbreaking of its first anaerobic digester at its Distribution Center in Freetown, MA

State-of-the-Art “Digester” is Part of Company’s Goal to Reach “Zero” Waste by 2020

Quincy, MA, 2015-4-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — As Earth Day approaches, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC announces the groundbreaking of the company’s first anaerobic digester at its Distribution Center in Freetown, MA. The state-of-the-art digester is part of the company’s long-term goal to divert 90% of waste going to landfills. As part of these sustainability efforts, Stop & Shop aims to donate and divert as much unsold food as possible, while helping those in the communities in which they serve.

The anaerobic digester, which breaks ground on April 17th, uses innovative technology to turn organic material into clean, sustainable power. Food from stores that goes unsold, or is unable to be donated to regional food banks or local farms, is transported to the distribution center. Then, by recreating the natural process of anaerobic digestion (an organically occurring water purification system found in wetlands) carbon in the organic material is cleanly and efficiently converted into a biogas and used as a power source.

“We are excited to begin the groundbreaking of this facility, as it’s a clear proof point of our commitment to reducing waste across our supply chain,” said Jihad Rizkallah vice president of responsible retailing for Ahold USA. “Once operational, the anaerobic digester will create approximately 1.25 megawatts of clean, based load electricity, which would offset up to 40% of the Freetown facility’s energy use. This is just one of the ways we strive to be a better neighbor, and a responsible retailer in the communities we serve.”

Stop & Shop continues its efforts to reduce waste in stores and divert safe, consumable food to area food banks through its Meat The Needs Program. Through this program, Stop & Shop safely freezes, and then donates protein rich meat that is pulled from sale before its sell-by date to food banks.

“We are so fortunate to partner with Stop & Shop on this program as protein is a much needed staple for our network of food pantries and the individuals and families they help,” said Jean McMurray, executive director of the Worcester County Food Bank. Since the implementation of the program Stop & Shop has donated 716,624 pounds of meat.”

With “Meat the Needs,” Ahold USA and its retail divisions donated more than $30 million in 2014 to regional food bank partners, 85% of which would otherwise been thrown away.

The digester is anticipated to begin full operation by the first quarter of 2016.

About Stop & Shop
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs approximately 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 or

Contact: Annmarie Seldon
Stop & Shop New England Division
(617) 276-7756

Giant to support the Anacostia Watershed Society’s Annual Earth Day Celebration by cleaning up the Quincy Run area in Bladensburg, Maryland on April 25, 2015

Giant Supports Environment through Recycling and Food Waste Reduction Initiatives

Landover, MD, 2015-4-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — In celebration of Earth Day, Giant Food of Landover, Md. is teaming up with the Anacostia Watershed Society and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to help protect and restore local lands and water. On April 25, 2015, Giant will support the Anacostia Watershed Society’s Annual Earth Day Celebration by cleaning up the Quincy Run area adjacent to the Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Bladensburg, Maryland. In addition, Giant will donate food and beverages to support the Earth Day Celebration and pass out free, reusable bags to more than 500 attendees to encourage them to reduce their ecological footprint. Working with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, volunteers from Giant will also help plant and restore wetland grasses at the former Naval Academy dairy farm, the largest organic farm in the state of Maryland, on May 30, 2015.

“Giant is committed to reducing our environmental impact and helping to preserve the natural environment in our surrounding communities,” said Jamie Miller, public and community relations manager, Giant Food of Landover, Md. “Earth Day reminds us that we all play a role in taking care of the environment, and we’re honored to support The Anacostia Watershed Society and Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which work to protect our parks, rivers, lakes, and streams every day.”

As part of its promise to be a responsible retailer, Giant is continuously working to expand its green efforts, from reducing the impact of its own operations to encouraging shoppers to make environmentally-friendly decisions. Giant has set a goal of getting to “zero waste” by 2020, defined as diverting 90 percent of waste going into landfills and incineration through the expansion of its organic recycling program and the creation of new opportunities for recycling cardboard and plastic. Giant stores and distribution centers recycled approximately 39,488 tons of cardboard in 2014. Part of Giant’s efforts to reduce waste in its operations is ensuring that safe and consumable foods, such as bakery items and frozen meat, are donated to food banks. Through Giant’s Meat the Needs program, the grocer freezes meat that is close to expiration and would otherwise go unsold and donates it to regional food bank partners. Last year, a total of 354,902 pounds of meat was provided to community members in need. Food that cannot be donated is reused as livestock feed or for compost.

Newer Giant stores continue to be built with innovative green building technologies that reduce energy consumption, conserve water and reduce the environmental impact of operations. These stores will be certified under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. Four of Giant’s stores utilize solar panels which generate around 8 percent of the store’s electricity needs. Giant also continues to makes its existing stores more energy efficient by improving the efficiency of the refrigerated and frozen food cases and installing LED lighting.

About Giant Food of Landover, Md.
Giant Food LLC, headquartered in Landover, Md., operates 170 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, and employs approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 170 stores are 156 full-service pharmacies. Giant opened the first supermarket in the nation’s capital on February 6, 1936. Giving back to the community is a cornerstone that was instilled by the founders more than 78 years ago. The company’s core areas of giving include hunger, education, health and wellness, and supporting service members and military families. In 2013, Giant’s monetary and in-kind contributions exceeded $13 million, and the nation’s capital grocer helped partners provide 64.6 million meals. For more information on Giant, visit

(301) 341-8776

SM Investments Corporation and its subsidiaries honored at Asia’s 5th Asian Excellence Recognition Awards 2015

Pasay City, Philippines, 2015-4-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Philippine conglomerate SM Investments Corporation (SM) and its subsidiaries recently received awards from Hong Kong-based publication Corporate Governance Asia’s 5th Asian Excellence Recognition Awards 2015.

Under the CG Asian Excellence Awards, SM and its subsidiaries, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime), BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO) and China Banking Corporation (Chinabank) were chosen as awardees from the Philippines. The awards recognize excellence in financial performance, investor relations and communications, business ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental practices.

The awards highlighted the outstanding achievements of Chief Executive Officers or CEOs and Chief Finance Officers or CFOs in investor relations in both publicly-listed companies and in privately-owned entities, including state-owned and government-controlled enterprises in Asia.

“On behalf of SM Investments, we would like to thank Corporate Governance Asia for these citations. It’s cause for us to strive harder to ensure we further meet the needs of our retail and institutional investors aligned with global corporate governance standards,” SM Senior Vice President for Investor Relations Corazon P. Guidote said.

Awarded Best Investor Relations Companies are SM, BDO, SM Prime and Chinabank. The awardees for Best CEO for Investor Relations are BDO Chairperson Teresita T. Sy-Coson and SM Prime President and CEO Hans T. Sy. Awards for Best CFO for Investor Relations were given to Jose T. Sio of SM, Jeffrey C. Lim of SM Prime and Pedro M. Florescio III of BDO. Cited as Best IR Professionals are Corazon P. Guidote of SM, Luis S. Reyes, Jr. of BDO and Alexander Escucha of Chinabank.

Investor relations play a crucial in today’s business environment. Practitioners are instrumental in providing timely updates of the latest information and business development to keep the shareholders and other stakeholders fully informed. They also represent minority investors to the company’s boards and senior management, becoming the minority’s voice.

SM and its subsidiaries have nurtured investor relations throughout the years by assembling a senior team of professionals with more mature and comprehensive perspectives that have the support of the principals and management. The awards gathered for these departments over the years are a testament to excellence in service, a pro-active relationship and a strategic and integrated approach to corporate governance through investor relations.

The multiple awards given were the following:

SM Investments Corporation
Best CSR
Best CFO (Investor Relations)-Jose T. Sio
Best IR Company (Philippines)
Best IR Professional (Philippines)-Corazon P. Guidote
Best Environmental Responsibility
Best Corporate Communications Team

BDO Unibank Inc
Best CEO (Investor Relations)-Teresita T. Sy-Coson
Best CSR
Best CFO (Investor Relations)-Pedro M. Florescio III
Best IR Company (Philippines)
Best IR Company Professional (Philippines)- Luis S. Reyes Jr
Best Environmental Responsibility
Best Corporate Communications Team

SM Prime Holdings
Best CEO (Investor Relations)-Hans T. Sy
Best CSR
Best CFO (Investor Relations)-Jeffrey C. Lim
Best IR Company (Philippines)
Best Environmental Responsibility

Best IR Company (Philippines)
Best IR Professional (Philippines)-Alexander Escucha

The accolades are based both on the scores from the data that was submitted by CG Asia’s readers and investors.

Corporate Governance Asia is now read by 14,000 of the most important companies in Asia and provides incisive editorial content with extensive coverage on the latest and current developments, legislation’s, case studies and various analyses relating to corporate governance practices in Asia.

For further information, please contact:
Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
Tel. No. (632) 857-0117


SM Investments Corporation and its subsidiaries honored at Asia’s 5th Asian Excellence Recognition Awards 2015

SM Senior Vice President for Investor Relations Corazon Guidote receives the award on behalf of SM from Corporate Governance Asia Director and Publisher Aldrin Monsod.

Commissary opened four new commissaries on Army, Navy and Air Force installations in 2014 thanks to surcharge funds

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-4-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — There’s a lot to learn about the commissary surcharge just by considering four new commissaries opened last year on Army, Navy and Air Force installations.

Thanks to the surcharge – the 5 percent added to every commissary customer’s receipt – the military communities at Naval Support Activity Annapolis, Md.; Fort Polk, La.; Maxwell Air Force Base Gunter Annex, Ala.; and Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn., had new stores opened in 2014, replacing well-worn facilities to the tune of $62 million. Surcharge funds paid the construction costs.

“New commissaries are a very visible example of what the surcharge does,” said Larry Bands, chief financial officer for the Defense Commissary Agency. “Less obvious but very important is the fact that the surcharge is the way commissary customers invest in their benefit – providing modern facilities, major facility repairs and store equipment.”

Here are some surcharge facts:

  • It is not a tax. Surcharge dollars go back into stores, paying for the construction of new and replacement stores, renovations, maintenance and repairs, store equipment, and store-level information technology systems, such as checkouts. In fiscal 2014, the surcharge budget was $290.4 million.
  • The overall commissary shopper savings of 30 percent or more takes into consideration the 5 percent surcharge.
  • The surcharge has been set at 5 percent since 1983, and cannot be changed without congressional approval.

DeCA historian, Dr. Peter Skirbunt, notes that the surcharge is not a recent innovation. Its history traces back to 1879 and features various applications and rates through the years leading up to 1983.

“Today, the surcharge is a uniform 5 percent at all DeCA stores, stateside and overseas,” Skirbunt said. “It’s the customers’ stake in their benefit. People paying the surcharge today may someday be stationed at an installation where surcharge dollars have modernized an old store or built a new one. In this way, patrons help improve the benefit for their fellow customers.”

Note: For photos related to this news release, please visit our Flickr page. For a video, please go to YouTube.

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

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