Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle now offers coffee from Eastern Congo

SEATTLE, 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — In the late 1970s, the Democratic Republic of Congo was one of Africa’s leading exporters of coffee. Subsequent decades of violence, poverty and disease claimed the lives of millions in the region and destroyed much of the country’s coffee market. In recent years, despite the odds, Congolese farmers have quietly produced some of the world’s greatest Arabica coffee beans.

Starbucks partnered with the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) to develop sustainable agricultural production and help restore Congo as a key source of high quality coffee. Founded by actor and director Ben Affleck, the ECI is a US-based advocacy and grant-making initiative focused on working with and  for the people of Eastern Congo to help rejuvenate their coffee industry.

Toward the end of 2014, Starbucks made its first purchase of coffee from farmers in Eastern Congo. After months of fine-tuning and experimentation, Starbucks is now offering an exclusive blend crafted only for the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle using this coffee from the Congo.

Every Coffee Tells a Story

Starbucks Reserve®  coffees are curated to tell the story of its origin. Serving only Starbucks Reserve®  coffees, Starbucks uses its Roastery as a platform to showcase some of the world’s rarest coffees, expanding the company’s small-lot sourcing program to pay homage to the rich, important history surrounding the specialty coffee industry.

Gravitas Blend No.1 is an alchemy of small-lot beans from Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia and East Congo. With deep and layered flavors of roasted plum, tamarind and milk chocolate, Gravitas weaves together three different origins, yet allows the flavors of each origin to shine on its own.

“Not only is Gravitas a testament to the skill of our master blenders,” said Craig Russell, executive vice president global coffee at Starbucks. “Gravitas speaks to the remarkable progress made through the Eastern Congo Initiative to put the coffee of East Congo back on the map, giving the region the recognition it deserves as a key source of high quality coffee.”

Starbucks Roastery blends build on the heritage and artistry of blending. Roasted fresh, served and scooped daily, Gravitas Blend No.1 will replace Pantheon – the Roastery’s first blend – and is available for a limited time.

“We are excited to bring Gravitas to our customers,” said Russell. “Gravitas speaks to our past, present and future as roasters in one extraordinary cup.”

Giving Back to Communities

As part of the Starbucks Reserve® commitment, the company collaborates with coffee growing communities. Starbucks works with farmers, producers and suppliers to give back to communities. From helping to build schools or working to improve the living conditions of farming families, it’s always been a core Starbucks value to help change lives for the better.

For more information on this news release, contact us.



Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle now offers coffee from Eastern Congo

Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle now offers coffee from Eastern Congo

Retail Industry Leaders Association awarded $750,000 grant by Department of Energy to support its Retail Energy Management Program

Arlington , VA, 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of the Department of Energy’s ongoing efforts to increase energy efficiency in buildings across the country, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) was recently awarded a three-year $750,000 grant to support its Retail Energy Management Program. RILA was one of eight recipients of the DOE’s total $6 million investment.

RILA’s Retail Energy Management Program project with DOE aims to drive energy and carbon reduction in the retail sector by improving retail energy managers’ ability to secure financing for efficiency projects. This is a foundational step toward realizing the $3 billion in potential energy savings estimated to be available to the industry.

“Ensuring that retail energy managers have the resources they need to implement energy projects is a crucial step in the journey towards operational efficiency and bringing value to the business,” said Erin Hiatt, senior manager of sustainability & compliance at RILA. “Ultimately, the work under the grant will increase retailer energy savings through the adoption of improved energy financial management strategies.”

RILA’s project will generate at least six financial management implementation models to illustrate how retailers can establish dedicated energy efficiency budgets, improve project proposal processes, improve finance team awareness of energy project value, improve project piloting processes, establish energy innovation funds, and leverage external financing where necessary.

“We are thrilled that the Administration has made this commitment and are ready to act on the investment,” said Hiatt. “That the DOE saw value in our program to contribute to their long-term energy goals is an honor.”

The project proposal was developed in partnership with The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), Deloitte, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), MIT, and Schneider Electric.​

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.


Brian Dodge
Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Phone: 703-600-2017

Dunkin’ Brands, The J.M. Smucker Company and Keurig Green Mountain announce that Dunkin’ K-Cup®* pods now available for sale at retailers nationwide

  • Dunkin’ Brands, The J.M. Smucker Company and Keurig Green Mountain partner to bring Dunkin’ K-Cup® pods to retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada

CANTON, MA, ORRVILLE, OH, and WATERBURY, VT, 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc., (NASDAQ: DNKN), The J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE: SJM) and Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (Keurig) (NASDAQ: GMCR) today announced that Dunkin’ K-Cup®* pods are now available for sale at thousands of retailers nationwide for the first time. As part of an agreement between the three companies first announced in February, Smucker will distribute and market Dunkin’ K-Cup® pods exclusively to grocery chains, mass merchandisers, club stores, drug stores, dollar stores and home improvement stores. Keurig will distribute and market Dunkin’ K-Cup® pods exclusively to specialty stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s and Macy’s, as well as office supply retailers such as Staples and Office Depot beginning this summer.

Dunkin’ K-Cup® pods are also now available for sale online at and, as well as The Dunkin’ K-Cup® varieties available online and in grocery, mass merchandise, club, drug and other retailers nationwide include Original Blend, Decaf, Hazelnut, French Vanilla and Chocolate Glazed Donut.

A coupon for $1.50 off the purchase of any two packages of Dunkin’ K-Cup® pods or packaged coffee at grocery stores and other retailers nationwide will be available in select Sunday newspapers on June 14, 2015.

In February, Dunkin’ Brands, The J.M. Smucker Company and Keurig signed agreements for the manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of Dunkin’ K-Cup® pods at retailers nationwide in the U.S. and Canada, and online. Keurig remains the exclusive producer of Dunkin’ K-Cup® pods. The J.M. Smucker Company currently manufactures and distributes Dunkin’ Donuts® brand premium bagged coffee where groceries are sold, under license from Dunkin’ Donuts.

“Earlier this year we announced our new agreement with our two long-standing partners to offer new and existing customers throughout the U.S. and Canada more options for purchasing Dunkin’ K-Cup pods. Today, we mark a key moment in our brand’s history of coffee leadership as Dunkin’ K-Cup pods are now available at thousands of retail outlets nationwide and online,” said John Fassak, Vice President, Dunkin’ Brands New Business Development. “This is an exciting milestone for our company, and we very much look forward to continuing our partnership with The J.M. Smucker Company and Keurig to bring our famous coffee to more customers, and meet growing consumer demand for single-serve, at home coffee.”

“This is exciting for the growth of both The J.M. Smucker Company and the entire coffee category,” said Steve Oakland, President, Coffee and Foodservice of The J.M. Smucker Company. “Our company has had a long and successful relationship with Dunkin’ Brands to bring the legendary taste of Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee to grocery stores all across the country. We are thrilled to further our partnership and expand the Smucker coffee portfolio by now bringing Dunkin’ K-Cup pods into retail channels, including wherever groceries are sold.”

“Our existing consumers and retail partners told us they wanted broader availability of Dunkin’ K-Cup pods and we are excited to expand the distribution for Keurig consumers who know and love Dunkin’ Donuts’ signature coffee,” said Dan Cignarella, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Keurig. “The expanded distribution of Dunkin’ Donuts pods also offers a unique opportunity to attract new consumers who have affinity for Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee but who haven’t yet tried the quality and convenience of single serve with a Keurig brewing system.”


About Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.
With more than 18,800 points of distribution in nearly 60 countries worldwide, Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) is one of the world’s leading franchisors of quick service restaurants (QSR) serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard-serve ice cream. At the end of fiscal 2014,Dunkin’ Brands’ nearly 100 percent franchised business model included more than 11,300 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and more than 7,500 Baskin-Robbins restaurants. Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. is headquartered in Canton, Mass.

About The J.M. Smucker Company
For more than 115 years, The J.M. Smucker Company has been committed to offering consumers quality products that bring families together to share memorable meals and moments. Today, Smucker is a leading marketer and manufacturer of consumer food and beverage products and pet food and pet snacks in North America with annual net sales of approximately $8 billion. The Company remains rooted in the Basic Beliefs of Quality, People, Ethics, Growth, and Independence established by its founder and namesake more than a century ago. For more information about the Company, visit

About Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.
As a leader in specialty coffee, coffee makers, teas and other beverages, Keurig Green Mountain (Keurig) (NASDAQ: GMCR), is recognized for its award-winning beverages, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. The company has inspired consumer passion for its products by revolutionizing beverage preparation at home and in the workplace. Keurig supports local and global communities by investing in sustainably-grown coffee and by its active involvement in a variety of social and environmental projects. By helping consumers drink for themselves, we believe we can brew a better world. For more information visit: To purchase Keurig® products visit: or


*K-Cup® is a trademark of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., used with permission. K-Cup® pods are for use in Keurig® K-Cup® brewing systems, including Keurig® 2.0


K-Cup Pods

K-Cup Pods

Toys“R”Us launches its fifth consecutive fundraising campaign to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation™, May 30 – July 31

Company Hosts Nationwide In-Store Fundraising and Social Media Awareness Program to Help Find a Cure for Pediatric Cancer

Wayne, NJ, 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us, Inc. today announced the launch of its fifth consecutive fundraising campaign to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation™(ALSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Beginning this Saturday, May 30 through Friday, July 31, monetary donations will be collected at all Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores nationwide and online at Throughout the eight-week program, Toys“R”Us will once again invite social media users to show support for the cause and for Alexandra “Alex” Scott, the inspiration behind ALSF whose motto was “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” by joining the conversation online using #Stir4ACure. To kick off the 2015 campaign, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys“R”Us, Inc., has provided a $100,000 grant to ALSF. Since the partnership began in 2011, Toys“R”Us and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, along with donations from customers, together have provided more than $8.5 million to the organization.

Click here to tweet: Host an official @AlexsLemonade stand or visit any @Toysrus store to donate and help #Stir4ACure!

Diagnosed just before her first birthday, Alex Scott began hosting lemonade stands at only 4 years old with a mission to find a cure for pediatric cancer. Before she died at the age of 8 in 2004, Alex raised $1 million through stands hosted in her name. Her parents, Liz and Jay Scott, established ALSF in 2005 to continue her dream of finding a cure for all children battling cancer. Alex’s mission has evolved into a national movement, with thousands of kids continuing to host lemonade stands in her honor and “stirring” the most important ingredients of all into their lemonade – hope for the 263,000 new children affected by cancer worldwide each year. Through research projects, supporting families and encouraging kids to help other kids in need by hosting lemonade stands, the organization hopes to aid these children and their loved ones, and – ultimately – find a cure. To date, Alex’s legacy has helped raise more than $100 million.

“We are extremely thankful to Toys“R”Us for their commitment to ALSF and providing us the ability to fund pediatric cancer research projects over the last five years, which has made an enormous impact on the lives of children and families fighting cancer in the U.S.,” said Liz Scott, Alex’s mom and Co-Executive Director for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. “As we kick off another year of partnership together, we look forward to continuing Alex’s mission and giving people across the country an opportunity to help ‘Stir for a Cure.’”

“Since first partnering with ALSF in 2011, all of us at Toys“R”Us have been continually inspired by the mission that Alex set in motion, and how her story has motivated our customers, employees and local communities, to help raise more than $8.5 million for the organization,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund. “We are committed to the fight against pediatric cancer and determined to not only raise more funds that will be vital to ALSF in advancing its efforts, but also to inspire others to join the cause.”

Toys“R”Us Engages Kids and Families to #Stir4ACure

To commemorate this year’s partnership, Toys“R”Us will once again encourage its customers and local communities to show support for ALSF through the company’s #Stir4ACure initiative. Beginning today, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users can share who or what they stir for – whether it’s a cure, a family member or all children fighting cancer – using #Stir4ACure.

Throughout the campaign, the Toys“R”Us Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages will highlight ALSF heroes, their own inspirational stories and personal connections to the cause. The company’s official social media channels will also provide ongoing fundraising updates and opportunities to get involved.

Toys“R”Us is also inviting customers to participate in an upcoming Twitter Party to learn more about ALSF. Those who follow @ToysRUs on Twitter can join the conversation on Tuesday, July 14 at 2pm EST, during a chat led by@AlexsLemonade, using the hashtag #Stir4ACure. Participants can ask questions, receive advice on hosting their own lemonade stand and more.

To download high-resolution images related to the Toys“R”Us campaign benefitting ALSF, please visit:

Charitable Giving at Toys“R”Us
The philanthropic mission of Toys“R”Us, Inc. and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund is to keep children safe and help them in times of need. The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund contributes millions of dollars annually to various children’s organizations, including those providing disaster relief to victims of large-scale crises, as well as those supporting America’s military families. The Fund also provides grants to leading special needs organizations, furthering the company’s commitment to children of all abilities. In addition to financial and product donations, Toys“R”Us, Inc. hosts in-store and online fundraising campaigns annually that raise millions of dollars for the company’s signature philanthropic partners.

About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $100 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 475 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit

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Media Contacts:
Toys”R”Us, U.S.
Samantha Xenis

Cheryl O’Brien

Wegmans Food Markets to host “Fire Up the Grill” event on Saturday May 30 and Sunday May 31, 2015

WHAT:Fire Up the Grill” at all Wegmans Food Markets. Tasting samples and fresh ideas for the grill at stations around the store.

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday May 30 and Sunday May 31, 2015

WHERE: All Wegmans Food Markets

Rochester, NY, 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Calling all backyard grill chefs: Hots and hamburgers, steaks, and chicken are just the beginning of what you can do. If you’re ready to take your skill and grill to the next level, then drop by the “Fire Up the Grill” event at your nearest Wegmans Food Market. In addition to grilled dishes, there will be tasting samples of other foods that turn a summer cookout into something really special.

Highlights of what you’ll see and taste:

Wonder Water: The pure refreshment of water with a hint of flavor. No calories, nothing artificial, just smart hydration in eight natural flavors. Have a sip as you come into the store, and be sure to enter a drawing to win a bag of favorite grilling items.

Squash Boats: Grilled zucchini filled with hummus and topped with feta cheese, pesto and roasted tomatoes. Featured in the summer issue of Wegmans Menu magazine, pick up a recipe card to make them at home. Find them in Produce.

Salmon Burger: Sample this great alternative to beef with salmon’s Omega-3 health benefits. In Seafood.

Bourbon-Marinated Chicken Breast: Made with Wegmans’ new smoky, sweet Food You Feel Good About Bourbon BBQ sauce. In the Meat department.

Artisan Cheeses: Award-winning cheeses made near Wegmans stores, plus decadent cheeses ripened in the Wegmans Cheese Caves. Try the cave-ripened Cremeux de Bourgogne, the Old Chatham Camembert, or the Vermont Creamery Duets. In the Cheese department.

Roasted Veggie Oshi-Zushi: All-veggie sushi combinations that are pressed, not rolled. They combine traditional Japanese with American flavors! At the Sushi counter.

Grilled Zucchini with Garlic Cheese Butter: See how a bit of finishing butter transforms a simple vegetable dish like grilled zucchini into something that will ravish your taste buds! In the Dairy department.

Summer Corn & Bean Salad: A super-simple, toss-together salad featured in Wegmans Menu magazine. In the Frozen Foods department.

Lemon Cheesecake and Celebration Cake: Perfect light bites of lemony sweetness to top off a great summer meal. In the Bakery.

Broccoli, Artichoke and Roasted Red Pepper Naan Pizza: You can pop these ready-to-go Naan pizzas on the grill and they’re ready in 8-10 minutes. In the Pizza department.


Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 85-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 18 consecutive years, ranking #7 in 2015. The company also ranked #1 for Corporate Reputation, among the 100 ‘most-visible companies’ nationwide in the 2014 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient ® study.

Contact Information:  
Jo Natale, vice president of media relations, 585-429-3627

The Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft expands its menu of free interactive and on-site activities to engage young golf fans

Junior golfers invited to participate in free weeklong activities

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft seeks to engage young golf fans by expanding its menu of free interactive and on-site activities.

“The Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft is working diligently to engage families throughout the community,” Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. “By offering a variety of youth programs, we feel that we are able to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for parents and youth alike.”

The Meijer LPGA Junior Clinic presented by Johnson & Johnson will take place at 1 p.m. July 22-24 at Boulder Creek Golf Course, 5750 Brewer Ave. NE, in Belmont, Mich. Youth, ages 17 years and under, are invited to participate in the free, two-hour clinics that will feature group instruction, activities, and games by LPGA professionals and local golf pros.

That age group will also receive free admission to the tournament, held July 23-26 at Blythefield Country Club with a ticketed adult.

Once at the tournament, youth will have access to the Meijer LPGA Kids Center presented by Dove when it’s open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 22-26. The tent, located between holes 11 and 16, will features arts and crafts, golf activities, and LPGA player autograph sessions throughout the week.

Similar to last year, proceeds from the tournament – and each of the week’s festivities– will benefit the Simply Giveprogram. The inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft raised $600,000 for the Simply Give program to feed those in need.

The Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft will host a full field of 144 players playing 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition July 21-26 at Blythefield Country Club.

Reserve a spot for the Meijer LPGA Junior Clinic by registering online at

For more information on the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft or to volunteer, please visit

To view a video recapping the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft, please visit

To view a video on the Meijer hunger relief efforts, including Simply Give, please visit

About Meijer Simply Give:
Meijer is a family-owned retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich. with a fundamental philosophy aimed at strengthening the communities it serves. Meijer operates more than 200 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, and proudly donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives. For additional information on Meijer philanthropy, please visit Follow Meijer on Twitter and or become a fan at

About Blythefield Country Club:
Located just north of Grand Rapids, Blythefield has been providing families the best golf and social experience in West Michigan since 1928. With the Rogue River flowing through, Blythefield boasts one of the most beautiful championship layouts in Michigan. Previously, Blythefield has hosted the 1953 Western Amateur, the 1961 Western Open, won by Arnold Palmer, and the 2005 Western Junior won by Rickie Fowler. In 2014, Blythefield hosted the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft. Learn more about Blythefield Country Club at

About the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association):
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via:,,, and

About Octagon Global Events:
Octagon Global Events is a division of Octagon, the world’s largest sports and entertainment representation and marketing agency. Octagon Global Events focuses on premium event/property management, providing strategic corporate solutions. The division currently manages two ChampionsTour events, two LPGA Tour events and the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. For more information, visit

Contact: Lesley Baker, Tournament Director, Octagon, 616-426-6225 or Christina Fecher, Public Relations Manager, Meijer, 616-735-7968,

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Best Buy’s five-year-long drive to reduce its carbon footprint recognized at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) White House ceremonies

SEATTLE, 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Best Buy’s five-year-long drive to reduce its carbon footprint by at least 20 percent by 2020 was recognized as an unparalleled retailer achievement at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) White House ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night.

The reduction is part of the company’s effort to address climate change.

Thanks to a combination of an industry-leading energy management system, store lighting retrofit and improved fleet and distribution practices, Best Buy was commended for exceeding its goal and reducing emissions by 26 percent since 2010.  The award was given at this week’s DOE Better Buildings Challenge Summit.

“We know that our customers and employees care about the environment, and they care about companies that do too,” said Laura Bishop, vice president of Public Affairs who oversees the company’s corporate responsibility and sustainability team.  “Our commitment to carbon reduction is part of a larger effort that focuses on everything we can do as a company, along with all we can do to help our customers live more sustainably by managing their own energy use.”

Beginning in 2010, Best Buy sought to address its carbon footprint throughout its complex network of retail locations, distribution and data centers, and transportation infrastructure.  These efforts included:

  • Installing energy management systems at “big box” stores to centrally control temperature and lighting by synchronizing all systems.
  • Retrofitting more than 840 stores with lower-wattage fluorescent ceiling fixtures, reducing lighting energy usage by nearly half and brightening the interiors.
  • Upgrading thousands of Geek Squad cars and trucks to more efficient models and strategically routing to reduce gas consumption.
  • Requiring EPA SmartWay® certification for all transportation partners, and optimizing store shipments and the transfer of recycled products to partner facilities, led to further reductions.

The broader Best Buy sustainability program extends beyond reducing the company’s own carbon footprint to consumer solutions, such as energy-efficient products. More than 1 billion pounds of electronics and appliances have been recycled through convenient services such as trade-in and free recycling. Named an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2014 and 2015, Best Buy helped customers realize $70 million in utility bill savings* and prevented 900 million pounds of carbon emissions with ENERGY STAR certified products sold in 2014 alone.  Best Buy also was appointed to the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index from 2012 through 2014, and to the Carbon Performance Leadership Index in 2012 and 2013.

Best Buy’s innovative approaches to energy efficiency, as well as its achievements, are profiled in the Better Buildings Solution Center at center.

For more information about the Best Buy sustainability program visit


* Utility savings calculated over the product lifetime.



Best Buy’s five-year-long drive to reduce its carbon footprint recognized at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) White House ceremonies

Best Buy’s five-year-long drive to reduce its carbon footprint recognized at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) White House ceremonies

New Zealand: New World helps fund a modern nerve monitor for patients at Starship Children’s Hospital

New World has helped fund a leading-edge nerve monitor, which will improve surgical outcomes for patients at Starship Children’s Hospital.

NEW ZEALAND, 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starship Children’s Hospital received $51,000 of funding with help from the New Zealand-owned and operated supermarket for the NIM – NEURO 3.0 nerve monitor which enables Starship surgeons to perform surgery more accurately and safely, preventing long-term nerve damage and paralysis.

Starship surgeon Mr Michel Neeff performed an operation to fit seven-year-old patient James Marquardt with a cochlear implant in April, using the nerve monitor to ensure that he did not damage any facial nerves in the process.

“It’s very important to know where the facial nerves are and stop when you get too close because if you go on to injure one of the facial nerves then the patient might end up with a weak looking face.  We are very grateful to New World for funding this equipment and we now have the ability to use it on a lot of children,” says Mr Neeff.

James was diagnosed with Hunter Syndrome at four years of age and is believed to be one of only two children in New Zealand with the disease, which affects the body’s ability to break down sugar molecules, causing impaired organ and nerve function.

The family relocated from Christchurch to Auckland in 2013 to be closer to Starship as James will need further treatment in the coming years.

James’ mother Fiona Marquardt says, “James recently had the appointment to switch on the cochlear implant.  It was a good day in our journey with Hunter Syndrome, as we took another step forward in helping James have a normal life living with this disease. James has already had a bone marrow transplant and enzyme replacement therapy. This was the next thing on the list and we hope it will help him communicate better at school. For James he’s just excited to be able to hear his friends.”

New World became a Five Star Partner of the Starship Foundation in 2014 and its support has already made a big impact on Starship’s young patients and their families. As well as contributing to the funding of new equipment New World has funded the Hunger Provocation Programme trial which has successfully weaned three children off tube feeding and a Sonosite Ultrasound used for administering anaesthetic in paediatric patients.

Steve Anderson, Managing Director of Foodstuffs New Zealand, says he is thrilled to already see some tangible outcomes from the supermarkets partnership with the Starship Foundations.

“As a proud Kiwi business we are committed to being a positive active participant in the communities in which we operate and we are pleased that our sponsorship is able to make a real difference to so many New Zealand families.”

Chief Executive of the Starship Foundation, Brad Clark, says, “The support New World provides for our vulnerable Starship patients and their families is crucial to ensuring the best possible experience and outcomes.  We want to acknowledge and thank New World for their passionate support of our national children’s hospital.  We simply could not do what we do, without them”.

Indonesia: MPPA reopens newly remodeled 3 Hypermart stores in Jakarta and Surabaya to the latest Generation 7 concept

Lippo Village, Tangerang, 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — PT. Matahari Putra Prima Tbk (MPPA), a multi-format modern retailer in Indonesia, which operates Hypermart, Foodmart and Boston Health & Beauty, has successfully remodeled 3 of its existing Hypermart stores to the latest Generation 7 (G7) concept. The Hypermart Pejaten Mall in South Jakarta was reopened on May, 16 2015, while the Hypermart Cibubur Junction in Jakarta and Hypermart Supermall Pakuwon in Surabaya were successfully reopened on May, 23 2015.

These stores were temporarily closed about 2-3 months and undergone extensive remodeling to adapt the G7 concept by featuring a new color scheme and better signage design, which resembles the first modern, unparalled hypermarket approach in Indonesia since the last decade.

Hypermart G7 uses LED lighting and environmentally friendly cooling on fresh products to save the electricity costs. To offer a better shopping experience and comfort, these outlets provide a layout of products by category, such as RTE (Ready to Eat), Bakery, Beauty and Health, Meat and Seafood, Home Electronics, Cooking, Home Living, Home Lifestyle, Household, with related products placed close to a variety of similar products in the stores. Hypermart G7 also places products with a modern look at competitive prices to bring the ultimate shopping experience for the Indonesian consumers.

MPPA’s Corporate Secretary, Director of Public Relations and Communications, Danny Kojongian stated, “In line with the Company’s renovation plan this year, we are delighted that 3 Hypermart outlets were successfully re-modeled to the newest G7 concept. In the second half this year the Company will be more aggressive with its store openings and renovations across Indonesia to deliver the best value to our stakeholders.”

About PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk (MPPA)
PT Matahari Putra Prima (MPPA) operates Hypermart, Foodmart and Boston Health & Beauty. Total 2014 Sales amounted to Rp 13,59 Trillion (audited), a growth of 14.1% from 2013. Net Income 2014 amounted to Rp 554,0 Billion, which grew 24.5% from Rp 444,9 Billion in 2013. Hypermart has the widest store network among hypermarket operators in more than 60 cities ranging from Tanjung Balai (Medan) to Jayapura (Papua).

MPPA continues to receive both domestic and international acknowledgement with several awards such as: 2014 Customer Satisfaction by Roy Morgan, 2014 Excellence Experience by Bisnis Indonesia & Carre CCSL, 2014 Top 500 Bronze Award by Retail Asia, 2014 Charta Peduli Indonesia by Dompet Dhuafa, 2014 Superbrand Indonesia by Superbrand, 2014 Best Senior Management IR Support & Most Improved Investor Relations by Alpha Southeast Asia, 2014 Most Admired Companies by Fortune Indonesia, and 2014 Most Admired Company by Warta Ekonomi.

For further information, please contact :
PT. Matahari Putra Prima, Tbk

Danny Kojongian,
Director Communications and Public Relations

Phoa Marchea Trenggono,
Investor Relations & Communications Officer


Hector Granado named new DeCA East Area director effective May 31

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Hector Granado is the new DeCA East Area director, taking the reins of DeCA’s top area in terms of sales effective May 31.

“With his wealth of experience and personal accomplishments both in the field and at headquarters, Hector brings a level of expertise and leadership qualities that will ensure the continued success of the East Area,” said Keith Hagenbuch, executive director of DeCA’s Store Operations Group.

Granado fills the vacancy created when Herb Winchester took over as DeCA’s Zone 1 manager earlier this month. As East Area director, Granado has oversight of 49 commissaries divided into six zones in 14 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The area’s annual sales exceed $1.4 billion.

Granado recently returned to DeCA Headquarters to be a category manager in the Sales and Policy Group’s sales division. He had spent two and a half years as DeCA’s Zone 6 manager, overseeing the operations and business processes of 10 commissaries in central Texas with combined annual sales exceeding $215 million.

Previous headquarters assignments include chief of DeCA store operations, chief of management and administration for DeCA store operations and chief of standardization and chief of workforce of the future. His career is highlighted by more than 18 years of store director experience at commissaries at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; Vogelweh, Germany, and Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.

An Air Force veteran, Granado had held assignments in the Air Force Commissary Service during his military service, and began his civilian career in 1987 as a management intern with the AFCOMS.

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

7‑Eleven introduces limited-edition Slurpee straws based on four popular spirit animals

DALLAS,  2015-5-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starting today, a cool Slurpee® can soothe a beast of a thirst (no kitten!). 7‑Eleven, Inc. introduces limited-edition Slurpee straws with muzzles, snouts and beaks based on four popular spirit animals – the eagle, fox, wolf and cat. The straws retail for $1.49 at participating stores.

Accompanying the collectible straws are new novelty Slurpee cups reminiscent of vintage glass milk bottles. Suggested retail price for the refillable, plastic cup is $2.99 and that includes the first Slurpee fill. Both the initial refillable cup purchase and all refills count toward 7Rewards’ Buy 6-Get 7 free drink program available exclusively through the 7Eleven mobile app.

“This summer, we want our customers to join the fun and select their own spirit animal with our new Slurpee straws,” said Laura Gordon, vice president of marketing and brand innovation. “With four options, Slurpee fans can change it up every visit. We had a lot of fun with mustache straws last summer, and we think people will be just as wild over our animal straws and Slurpee cups.”

While spirit animal straws are a fun way to sip any Slurpee flavor, the current featured Slurpee flavor is exclusive to 7‑Eleven stores – Mtn Dew® Solar Flare™. The bright red-orange drink has the bold citrus flavor of Mountain Dew® with a blast of tropical punch. Mtn Dew Solar Flare was introduced last summer as an exclusive – and very popular – Big Gulp® flavor, and is making its debut in Slurpee-form this year.

Slurpee fans sporting their favorite animal straw are encouraged to take a summer selfie and tag it @7Eleven or @Slurpee on Instagram and Twitter and share on 7‑Eleven’s Facebook page.

For those wanting some help choosing a spirit animal, here are some guidelines:

Cat – Independent, curious, unpredictable, selective, most likely to taste all Slurpee flavors before filling cup

Wolf – Sharp, intelligent, instinctive, most likely to concoct their own Slurpee creation

Fox – Nocturnal, cunning, adaptable, aware, most likely to slurp at night

Eagle – Swift, powerful, focused, dominant, most likely to slurp too fast and get a brainfreeze™

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 55,800 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 No. 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‑

Stephanie Shaw
7‑Eleven, Inc.


7‑Eleven introduces limited-edition Slurpee straws based on four popular spirit animals

7‑Eleven introduces limited-edition Slurpee straws based on four popular spirit animals

Morrisons: significant drop in the number of the whole chickens showing high levels of campylobacter

Bradford, England, 2015-5-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons has announced a significant drop in the number of its whole chickens showing high levels of campylobacter. Testing results since the start of 2015 (Jan – April) show a level of just 2.3 per cent compared to 11.3 per cent during the same period last year. The new figure is significantly lower than the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) industry target of 10.0 per cent (7.0 per cent in store).

The supermarket has been undertaking its own testing for more than a year and the results of those tests have been shared with and verified by the FSA.

Morrisons said: “We take food safety extremely seriously and are committed to reducing any risk to customers. We have looked at what really helps reduce campylobacter and we have made some significant changes including bringing in a new supplier.

“The results of our reduction programme are extremely encouraging but we are not complacent. There is still work to do. We will continue to work closely with the FSA and our suppliers to reduce the presence of campylobacter even further.”

Steve Wearne, FSA Director of Policy said: “This is very welcome news from Morrisons and goes to show that campylobacter levels on chicken can be significantly reduced by targeted interventions across the production process. People can be rightly pleased because the simple fact is that the less campylobacter there is on chicken the fewer people will get ill. I’m also pleased that Morrisons have indicated they are in this for the long term and we at the FSA will of course continue to work closely with Morrisons to ensure the levels of campylobacter on chicken reduce further.”

Morrisons has made the following changes:

  • A review of its whole bird business based on campylobacter reduction performance resulting in a new supplier being brought in
  • The development of a set of standards on chicken slaughter and preparation. Suppliers are regularly checked to ensure they meet that standard
  • The introduction of clearer consumer messaging on packaging for the handling and preparation of chickens, including a strong ‘Do not wash’ instruction
  • The introduction of roast in the bag whole chickens
  • One chicken supplier has introduced a scheme that incentivises farmers if their flocks are free from campylobacter
  • Investigating the use of new technologies with suppliers including rapid chilling and ultrasound

Morrisons is also represented on the board of ACT (Acting on Campylobacter Together), a collaboration across the industry designed to share initiatives and developments in tackling campylobacter.


CBL announces the opening of the redevelopment at CoolSprings Galleria in Nashville (Franklin), TN

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., 2015-5-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (NYSE: CBL) today announced the opening of the redevelopment at CoolSprings Galleria in Nashville (Franklin), TN. Designed to significantly enhance the offerings at the shopping center, the redevelopment of the former Sears location includes adding a mix of new fashion stores and fine dining options as well as a new mall entrance to improve mall circulation.

Retailers now open as part of the redevelopment include, exclusive to the market stores, American Girl, H&M and A’Gaci. These new stores join Belk Men’s & Kid’s store, which opened in March, and The Cheesecake Factory, which opened in November 2014. Additional planned openings this year include fine dining restaurants Connors Steak & Seafood and Kona Grill (spring 2016) and King’s, a boutique bowling and entertainment venue. All are exclusive to the Nashville market. Additionally, ULTA and newly renovated Belk’s Women’s & Home store will open in the fall.

In late summer, CoolSprings Galleria will also welcome Zumiez, Tilly’s and Windsor Fashions as they open new stores on the interior of the mall. Sephora recently opened in May.

“The redevelopment of the former Sears location at CoolSprings Galleria takes one of the region’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destinations to even greater heights,” said Michael Lebovitz, executive vice president – development and administration. “From the market’s first American Girl, Kona Grill and Connors Steak & Seafood to in-demand stores such as ULTA, A’Gaci and H&M, customers can continue to expect the best at CoolSprings Galleria.”

Businesses interested in obtaining leasing information about CoolSprings Galleria should contact Laura Farren, Sr. Leasing Manager, by telephone at 423.490.8620 or by email:

About CoolSprings Galleria
CoolSprings Galleria is a more than 1.1 million square-foot super-regional shopping destination featuring more than 150 stores including Ann Taylor, American Girl, Brighton Collectibles, The Cheesecake Factory, J.Crew, H&M, Pottery Barn, Pandora, The Apple Store, The Art of Shaving, White House | Black Market, Williams-Sonoma and many more. CoolSprings Galleria is anchored by Belk, Dillard’s, JCPenney, and Macy’s and is conveniently located off I-65 at exits 68 and 69, just fifteen miles south of Nashville. For additional information, find us on Facebook at, or visit

About CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.
CBL is one of the largest and most active owners and developers of malls and shopping centers in the United States. CBL owns, holds interests in or manages 148 properties, including 89 regional malls/open-air centers. The properties are located in 30 states and total 83.6 million square feet including 6.5 million square feet of non-owned shopping centers managed for third parties. Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN, CBL has regional offices in Boston (Waltham), MA, Dallas (Irving), TX, and St. Louis, MO. Additional information can be found at

CBL contact: Dan Summerlin, Director of Corporate Relations, 423.490.8315,
CoolSprings Galleria contact: Dana Katterjohn, Marketing Director, 615.771.2050 x230,

Whole Foods Market offers zero-interest loans to neighboring businesses damaged in Austin’s Memorial Day 2015 flood

Company allocates $1 million for emergency loans to neighboring Austin establishments

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-5-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market is offering zero-interest loans to neighboring businesses damaged in Austin’s Memorial Day 2015 flood. The company is allocating $1 million for loans, which will be available to businesses in the Shoal Creek flood zone.

Additionally, all Austin Whole Foods Markets are collecting donations at the registers; funds will go to the American Red Cross of Central Texas.

“Whole Foods Market understands the tragedy of floods. And we also understand the power and positive impact of love in business,” said John Mackey, the company’s co-founder and co-CEO. “We ONLY survived in 1981 because of the outpouring of love and support from local businesses, customers, neighbors, supplier partners and dedicated team members. Now, 34 years and 419 stores later, we are able to return the favor to Austin and pay it forward to help the current generation of local businesses hurt by recent flooding.”

On Memorial Day 1981, floodwaters ravaged Whole Foods Market’s original store, damaging equipment and wiping out inventory. The store had no insurance, savings or warehoused inventory. Customers and neighbors joined staff members to clean up and repair the damage, and creditors, vendors and investors provided breathing room for Whole Foods Market to reopen 28 days later.

Businesses in need can apply for a zero-interest loan via Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program by emailing with the following information:
•             Name and address of business
•             Organizational document – articles of incorporation
•             Loan request amount
•             What it will be used for


Whole Foods Market after the 1981 Memorial Day flood in Austin

Whole Foods Market after the 1981 Memorial Day flood in Austin

Whole Planet Foundation now with 1 million microloans funded worldwide

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-5-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Planet Foundation has now funded 1 million microloans worldwide, empowering impoverished individuals in 65 countries to start or expand a home-based business.

Launched in 2005 by Whole Foods Market, Whole Planet Foundation alleviates poverty in communities where the grocer sources products. Less than a decade later, the foundation has granted more than $64 million to microfinance partners across four continents, serving a total of more than 5 million people.

“With no collateral, credit history or a contract required, microloans offer many people something they’ve never had before – a chance to take their future into their own hands and gain financial independence,” said Philip Sansone, president and executive director for Whole Planet Foundation. “That impact extends far beyond the individuals receiving loans. It improves the quality of life for their family and most important, it can break the cycle of poverty for future generations.”

Microloans have helped low-income entrepreneurs, mostly women, start or expand a variety of businesses, including artisan goods, prepared foods and food carts, small shareholder agriculture, livestock, at-home bakeries and flower stands. For more information about Whole Planet Foundation, or to make a donation, visit


The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program donates $1.3 million to Folds of Honor to provide educational scholarships to children of fallen or disabled veterans

Donation Will Help Folds of Honor Provide Educational Scholarships to Children of Fallen and Disabled Veterans 

Camp Hill, Pa., 2015-5-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program will donate $1.3 million to Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization based in Owasso, Okla., dedicated to providing educational scholarships to children of fallen or disabled veterans. The donation was announced in Owasso over Memorial Day weekend during Folds of Honor’s annual Patriot Cup Invitational, a golf tournament and gala celebrating our nation’s heroes and raising funds for Folds of Honor.

“It is truly an honor for The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program to join forces with an outstanding organization such as Folds of Honor,” said Ken Martindale, Rite Aid president and chief operating officer who also serves as president of The Rite Aid Foundation. “The Foundation’s donation to Folds of Honor not only brings the mission of The Rite Aid Foundation to life, but most importantly, it will also help the organization continue to make a lasting difference in the lives of children whose parents have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.”

Folds of Honor was founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard who served three tours of duty in Iraq. Since its inception, Folds of Honor has raised more than $70 million and awarded nearly 8,000 scholarships to the family members of fallen or disabled veterans.

“With support from partners like The Rite Aid Foundation, our organization is able to honor the sacrifice of our service men and women by ensuring that no child or family is left behind when they lose a parent while serving our country,” said Major Dan Rooney. “We are proud and humbled to be welcomed into the Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents’ family and look forward to working with Rite Aid, its associates and customers to help those we serve achieve their educational goals.”

KidCents was developed by The Rite Aid Foundation to provide Rite Aid customers an opportunity to do even more to help the kids in the communities Rite Aid serves. Through KidCents, members of Rite Aid’s wellness+ with Plenti program can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and give their change to one of more than 300 nonprofit organizations focused on improving the health and wellbeing of children.

In addition to the donation, Folds of Honor is also able to receive round-up donations from Rite Aid customers through the KidCents program. To learn how to designate your change to Folds of Honor, visit

Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded nearly $20 million to non-profit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $65 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2015 annual revenues of $26.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at

Folds of Honor is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to families of military men and women who have fallen or been disabled in combat while serving in the United States armed forces. For more information, visit



Media: Ashley Flower 717-975-5718

Produce for Kids® campaign with Meijer launches May 31 and will raise funds to bring the nutrition education program Jump with Jill to schools

GRAND RAPIDS, MI, 2015-5-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The healthy eating-focused Produce for Kids® campaign with Meijer launches May 31 and will raise funds to bring the nutrition education program, Jump with Jill, to local schools in the Meijer area. The Produce for Kids campaign offers Meijer shoppers in-store and online meal solutions, recipes and tips for families looking to embrace healthier eating habits.

The Meijer and Produce for Kids campaign, which will run through June 27, is supported by 11 participating fresh fruit and vegetable companies. Meijer grocery shoppers are encouraged to support these brands by eating more nutritious fruits and vegetables. Shoppers can also sample simple, healthy Produce for Kids recipes at select stores on June 13.

“At Meijer, our mission is not only to provide our customers with a fresh and healthy experience every time they enter our stores, but to also create strong local communities through school programs like Jump with Jill,” said Shari Steinbach, registered dietitian and Meijer healthy living manager. “We are proud to partner with Produce for Kids on an effort that encourages our shoppers to introduce fresh fruits and vegetables to their families.”

In-store displays and signage, featuring characters from the popular family movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, will be displayed in Meijer produce departments and will list all participating companies. The signage will direct shoppers to, which features more than 200 registered dietitian-approved and family-tested recipes, meal planning tools, grocery store specific campaign details, and healthy tips from real parents. Additionally, shoppers will be encouraged to share their own healthy recipes and ideas during the campaign using the hashtag #produceforkids.

“We are proud of our partnership with Meijer to educate families about the benefits of eating nutritious produce as part of a healthy lifestyle,” said John Shuman, president of Produce for Kids. “We are extremely proud of the $5 million we have raised thus far to support local children’s charities, and we are excited to partner with Jump with Jill this year to further teach nutrition to kids in a fun and engaging way.”

Through partnerships with Produce for Kids, Meijer and select fruit and vegetable companies have raised more than $1 million to benefit children’s charities.  Produce for Kids and Meijer raised more than $60,000 during its fall campaign, which allowed the Jump with Jill program to take place in 27 schools in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

A familiar initiative to families in the Midwest, Jump with Jill is armed with catchy songs, upbeat dance moves, and a hip wardrobe to engage kids on the subject of health and leave them empowered to eat better.

Meijer offers a diverse selection of fruits and vegetables to make it easier for families to live out what they learned from Jump with Jill in the produce department of their local grocery store.

Suppliers participating in the Meijer and Produce for Kids campaign include: Bolthouse® Farms – Carrots & Premium Juices; Dole Food Company; Earthbound Farm® – Organic Packaged Greens; Grower Direct® California Cherries; HMC Farms & SunWest Fruit Company – California Peaches, Plums, & Nectarines; Marzetti® Company – Marzetti® Refrigerated Salad Dressings; Mastronardi Produce – SUNSET® Tomatoes on the Vine; NatureSweet® Cherubs® Heavenly Salad Tomatoes & NatureSweet® SunBursts™ Sweet Golden Snacking Tomatoes; Potandon Produce – Green Giant™ Fresh Klondike Rose® & Red Potatoes; Shuman Produce – RealSweet® Vidalia® Onions; and Well-Pict Berries® Strawberries.

For more information about the Meijer and Produce for Kids campaign, visit


# # #

About Produce for Kids®:
Produce for Kids® is a philanthropically based organization that brings the produce industry together to educate consumers about healthy eating with fresh produce and raises funds for local children’s non-profit organizations. Since its creation in 2002 by Shuman Produce Inc., Produce for Kids has raised more than $5 million to benefit kids. To learn more about Produce for Kids and healthy eating, visit, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

About Meijer:
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 207 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer and the ability to shop for more can be found at Follow Meijer on Twitter and or become a fan at

About Jump with Jill:
The world’s only rock & roll nutrition show Jump with Jill uses music and dance to celebrate healthy habits by transforming nutrition education into a live concert. Created by a Registered Dietitian and professional musician, the show uses singable anthems guaranteed to get students moving and learning about healthy habits. Find this press release and high resolution images at

Contact: Amanda Keefer, 407-697-1779,

Produce for Kids® campaign with Meijer launches May 31 and will raise funds to bring the nutrition education program Jump with Jill to schools

Produce for Kids® campaign with Meijer launches May 31 and will raise funds to bring the nutrition education program Jump with Jill to schools

General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani to present at Bernstein 31st Annual Strategic Decisions Conference in New York

Chicago, Illinois, 2015-5-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP, the “Company”) today announced that Sandeep Mathrani, Chief Executive Officer, will present at the Bernstein 31st Annual Strategic Decisions Conference in New York on Thursday, May 28, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

The live audio webcast will be available online in the Investors section of the Company’s website and at An online replay will be available for approximately six months after the event.

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


Kevin Berry
(312) 960-5529


RILA: retailers outlined how tax collection obligations applied disparately to businesses substantially disadvantage local business and communities in DMA v. Brohl brief

Issue Currently Before The Tenth Circuit Court Of Appeals

Arlington, VA, 2015-5-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — ​​​In an amicus brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in the case Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl, retailers outlined how tax collection obligations applied disparately to businesses substantially disadvantage local business and communities. The brief was filed jointly by the Retail Litigation Center, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Colorado Retail Council.

The case relates to a market distortion reinforced by the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Quill v. North Dakota. The resulting loophole allows out of state retailers to avoid the obligation to collect and remit the sales tax due on every purchase. By absolving remote sellers of an obligation required of local retailers, the loophole creates the perception of a price advantage, which ultimately costs local retailers business.

For years retailers have pressed Congress to address this issue. In the 1992 Quill decision, the Court said “… that the underlying issue is not only one that Congress may be better qualified to resolve, but also one that Congress has the ultimate power to resolve.”

While federal legislation remains under consideration, states, which have grown frustrated by a lack of action at the federal level, have passed laws aimed at addressing the inequity. However, each law is limited or faces constitutional challenges because of the precedent reiterated in Quill. In DMA v Brohl, DMA is challenging the constitutionality of a Colorado law that requires retailers that do not collect sales or use taxes to notify any Colorado customer of the state’s use tax requirement and to report tax-related information to those customers and the Colorado Department of Revenue. As a matter of policy, RILAhas not supported statutes like the Colorado law, which could surprise consumers with unexpected tax bills while failing to resolve the disparity at the point of sale. However, as a matter of constitutional law, RILAunequivocally supports the power of the states to enact reasonable measures that promote evenhanded compliance with valid tax laws.

“In the absence of final congressional action, it’s no surprise that states are moving independently to ensure fair competition for local businesses and to collect taxes rightfully owed,” said RILA General Counsel and President of the Retail Litigation Center Deborah White. “Until a complete resolution is achieved either by a comprehensive federal solution or a clarification of Supreme Court doctrine, we believe that lower courts should narrowly interpret outdated Supreme Court decisions in order to uphold state remedies.”

According to the brief:

“Because use-tax non-compliance is so quotidian, local retailers effectively operate at a massive disadvantage to their out-of-state competitors—most of whom are currently online retailers rather than the mail-order catalogs the Supreme Court considered in Quill and Bellas Hess.” As the state and local amici explain, after the recent explosion in out-of-state, online retail, the best current estimate is that the uncollected use taxes nationwide exceed $23 billion per year. This is essentially a $23 billion subsidy from state governments to online retailers, allowing them to charge their consumers less money at the point of sale than a local retailer for the exact same goods.”

“Like water finding the lowest point, online sales seem to readily flow to whatever tax-free sources are available. Accordingly, every legal barrier that prevents Colorado from effectively enforcing its complementary use tax almost certainly harms local retailers who should be able to compete for that flow of sales on level ground.

“Not only is this system plainly unfair to local retailers, it is also a rather senseless way to organize a national economy.”

The brief concludes:

“Ultimately, as Colorado has demonstrated, applying the basic principles of dormant Commerce Clause jurisprudence to this case is simple: Even with the new notice and reporting regime in place, the only disadvantaged entities remain the local retailers, who face a tax collection obligation that their out-of-state counterparts do not. For that reason, it is impossible to conclude that interstate commerce has been the object of “discrimination” or placed under an “undue burden.”’

The brief, drafted by Goldstein & Russell, P.C. attorneys, Tom Goldstein and Eric Citron, can be read here.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

The Retail Litigation Center is a public policy organization that identifies and engages in legal proceedings which affect the retail industry.  The RLC, whose members include some of the country’s largest retailers, was formed to provide courts with retail industry perspectives on significant legal issues, and highlight the potential industry-wide consequences of legal principles that may be determined in pending cases.

Founded in 1966, the Colorado Retail Council is a not-for-profit professional trade organization that represents the retail industry throughout Colorado. CRC is comprised of a variety of retail establishments who wish to have a stronger voice in regulatory and legislative affairs.CRC’s mission is to encourage and protect a business-friendly atmosphere throughout Colorado through experienced and professional advocacy at the state legislature. CRC represents over 1500 retail locations throughout Colorado and includes six of the top-ten private employers in the state.


Jason Brewer
Vice President, Communications and Advocacy
Phone: 703-600-2050

Homebase Garden Academy student Nicola Oakey to build her first RHS Show garden at BBC Gardener’s World Live

Milton Keynes, 2015-5-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Homebase Garden Academy student, Nicola Oakey, is about to build her first RHS Show garden at BBC Gardener’s World Live (11 – 14 June).

Nicola, who started the Academy in September 2014, successfully submitted a design for the ‘Beautiful Borders’ category of the show. The design had to be inspired by the ‘Industrial Heritage of the West Midlands’, so Nicola took this opportunity to celebrate the amazing pottery industry that has flourished in the area, notably Spode and Wedgewood.

“I can’t wait to bring my design to life”, said Nicola. “The Garden Academy visits Barnsdale Gardens every month to receive RHS training. It is really inspiring to spend so much time there and really fitting that it is where Geoff Hamilton filmed Gardener’s World.”

The border, although just 3x3m in size, will be packed full of exciting planting and many pottery-inspired features. An eye-catching focal point will be three Salix that have been woven into bold living columns. Their shape is reminiscent of the chimneys of bottle-oven kilns, which would have dominated the industrial skyline. Standing like living monuments to the pottery industry and the world-famous willow pattern.

If the commitment of organising a Show garden was not enough, Nicola is also going to make three bespoke stepping-stones that will cross the border. Made out of broken blue and white ceramics, the stepping stones will act as a beautiful, but poignant reminder of the factories where men, women and children tirelessly worked.

Nicola’s planting scheme is simple and elegant with hints of an English cottage garden. Her border has a blue and white colour scheme; timeless colours associated with well-known potteries and will contain bold drifts of herbaceous planting interspersed with a lush carpet of creeping groundcover.

Homebase’s Garden Academy scheme is now in its second year and is growing from strength to strength. It offers young people the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of horticulture and receive all the relevant training and support they need to pursue a career in it. The students spend a year working full time in their local Homebase Garden Centre and have monthly training from Chelsea gold medallist Adam Frost. Students also visit a wide variety of horticultural suppliers and study toward a RHS Level 1 Award qualification.

“Designing and building a Beautiful Border is a great way to learn about what it takes to build a show garden, without being overwhelmed by the size of the space,” said Nicola. “The Garden Academy is lucky enough to be helping Adam Frost build his RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden this year; an invaluable experience, which should really help me during Gardener’s World Live.”

Adam Frost, who founded the Academy alongside Homebase said: “What an amazing achievement! Nicola should be proud that her design has been selected to be displayed at BBC Gardener’s World Live, I have no doubt this is the first of many accolades she will go on to achieve.”

Gardener’s World Live attracts over 100,000 visitors and takes place at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham from the 11 – 14 June.


Note to Editors:
For more information, please contact the Homebase Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email .

Follow us @Homebase_PR.

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 58 million transactions a year, selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 296 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at In the financial year to February 2015, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 17,000 people across the business.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.


Homebase Garden Academy student Nicola Oakey to build her first RHS Show garden at BBC Gardener’s World Live

Homebase Garden Academy student Nicola Oakey to build her first RHS Show garden at BBC Gardener’s World Live

Argos digital stores open in Sainsbury’s supermarkets

LONDON, 2015-5-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — The first two Argos digital stores are opening today (Wednesday 27th May) in Sainsbury’s supermarkets in North Cheam in Surrey and Nantwich in Cheshire, bringing extra choice and convenience to customers in the local communities.

This follows the announcement in January about the retailers teaming up to open 10 new Argos digital stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets this summer.

The smaller, new format Argos digital stores offer all the most popular products that customers want for immediate pick up with 20,000 products available for pick up within a few hours at the store*, ranging from tables to tablets to toys.

The new stores will be around 1,000 square feet with other stores opening over the summer ranging in size up to 5,000 square feet. All 10 locations are now confirmed to open over summer 2015.

Sainsbury’s Retail & Operations Director, Roger Burnley, said: “This partnership with Argos is one of a series of steps we are taking to ensure we continue to offer our customers a wide range of products at great value and to make their shopping more convenient. We are looking forward to working with Argos to ensure the best availability and shopping experience for our customers.”

Argos Director of Retail and Customer Operations, Steve Carson, said: “Working with Sainsbury’s will help us to bring the convenience of the Argos offer to more customers. This is the first time we have had stores in these specific locations. I’m delighted to bring our very latest digital stores to customers inside their local Sainsbury’s. I am particularly pleased with how our teams have worked together to make sure customers have the best experience of this very new partnership.”

The new stores are equipped for shopping in the digital age, with tablets that mirror the online shopping experience and staff on hand to help. Around half of Argos’ total sales now start online, but 90% of customers will visit one of 755 stores to pick up their goods.

The ten locations are:

  • Nantwich
  • North Cheam
  • West Hove
  • Crayford
  • Calcot
  • Bognor Regis
  • Durham
  • Rustington
  • Drumchapel
  • Keighley

*Order by 1pm for collection the same day from 4pm.

1Home Retail Group Annual Report 2015


Argos digital stores open in Sainsbury’s supermarkets

Argos digital stores open in Sainsbury’s supermarkets

Starbucks baristas in China and Japan celebrated coffee artistry through competitions in pour-over brewing and latte art

Coffee is at the core of everything Starbucks does.

SEATTLE, 2015-5-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — From sourcing and roasting to crafting and innovating, Starbucks partners (employees) are passionate about brewing and handcrafting the world’s best coffee beverages. Starbucks baristas in China and Japan recently celebrated coffee artistry through competitions in pour-over brewing and latte art.

The Starbucks coffee journey began in Asia nearly 20 years ago, with the company’s first store outside of North America opening in Tokyo in 1996, followed later in 1999 with the first store at the Beijing World Trade Centre. It started with the introduction of a cup of fresh-brewed coffee, followed by educating customers on the joy and indulgence of enjoying a handcrafted cup of espresso beverage, such as the Café Latte and Café Mocha.

Today, customers in Japan and China have even more ways to enjoy their favorite cup of Starbucks coffee – through pour-over brewing or latte art – at more than 1,000 stores and more than 1,600 stores in Japan and China, respectively.

Craftsmanship and Artistry in Each Cup of Starbucks Coffee

“Every cup of Starbucks coffee, whether it’s our fresh brew or an espresso beverage, starts with sourcing the finest coffees from around the world. By extending our offerings to include the pour-over and latte art, we are showcasing these quality ingredients in a full-flavored coffee beverage,” said Belinda Wong, president, Starbucks China.  “More significantly, the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into each cup of Starbucks pour-over or latte art is highlighted in an exceptional way. We are excited to share this experience with our customers in China.”

Most recently, Starbucks wrapped up the final event of its Starbuck China Third Annual Latte Art Throwdown Tour and Second Annual Pour-Over Competition, which covered six cities, including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xian, Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. A total of 79 Starbucks China baristas competed in the competitions.

The idea of the tour and competitions began about three years ago as a way to build excitement and momentum around the launch of latte art as a standard offering in China.  Today, the tour and the competition leading up to these events has become a celebration of partners’ coffee artistry and genuine passion for coffee.

“It was especially symbolic that while a group of our China partners were in Sumatra experiencing the ‘first 10 feet’ of the coffee bean journey, this competition was celebrating the work that our partners do every day to deliver the ‘last 10 feet’,” said Jeff Miller, vice president, retail and operations, Starbucks China. “I am certain that if the farmers could see how our baristas honor their work through the care they put into brewing these coffees, whether in a latte or a cup of pour-over, they would be as proud as we are.”

The top four winners from each Starbucks China region will travel later this year to Chengdu to attend the Starbucks China National Latte Art and Pour-Over competitions.  These events will coincide with the China Coffee Ambassador Cup, where the winner will be crowned Starbucks China Coffee Ambassador, representing the pinnacle of coffee expertise.

“As the leading coffee company in China, I am so excited to represent my North China region partners at this national competition. This is a dream come true for me and a firm demonstration of our dedication to only deliver the perfect Starbucks coffee beverage to our customers every time they visit our stores,” added Kevin Zhang from the Starbucks Beijing Kerry Center flagship store.

Coffee Has Become an Important Part of ‘the Japanese way of life’

In Japan, Starbucks partners also challenged each other and showcased their coffee passion and talent with the best baristas at the Starbucks Coffee Japan Annual Leadership Conference. As part of this gathering, Starbucks hosted the second “We Connect Cup” – a competition to demonstrate and highlight how Starbucks partners exercise the best services, operation, and connections with customers.

“Since the opening of our first store in Ginza, coffee has become such an important part of the Japanese way of life,” said Jun Sekine, ceo, Starbucks Coffee Japan. “Over the past 19 years, our baristas have been pulling perfect espresso beverages for our customers, sharing our passion for the world’s most premium Starbucks Reserve coffee, and building individual moments of connections with customers. We want to continue to elevate their coffee experience whenever they come to a Starbucks store.”

At the second We Connect Cup competition, Starbucks Coffee Japan partners from 13 regions pit their coffee skills and expertise in three categories – operational excellence, beverage routine and service basics.

“It’s by perfecting these three combinations that will make Starbucks world class customer service vision a reality in Japan,” added Masayo Mameta, partner at the Starbucks Fukuoka University Hospital store.

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


Starbucks baristas in China and Japan celebrated coffee artistry through competitions in pour-over brewing and latte art

Starbucks baristas in China and Japan celebrated coffee artistry through competitions in pour-over brewing and latte art

Saudi Automotive Services Co. announces completion of signing Bank facility agreement with the Saudi British Bank

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2015-5-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — Saudi Automotive Services Co. (SASCO) announces completion of signing Bank facility agreement (Shariah-compliant) with the Saudi British Bank (SABB) on May 25, 2015. To be utilized till 31/01/2016.The facility agreement amounting to SR 150 million, including SR 100 million as a long-term loan and SR 50 million as Letter of Guarantee, the collaterals of this facility is promissory note. The purpose of this facility agreement is to partially finance the Capital Expenditure and expansion plan of the company for buying new lands and construction of new stations.

Note that each transaction shall have a term not exceeding 6 years including one year gace period, from the date of purchase by bank and with minimum of 30 days for each transaction.

Saudi Automotive Services Co. (SASCO)
Riyadh- Al-Ahsa Street
B.O. Box: 51880 Riyadh 11553
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel : +966 11 206 8855  Ext: 1112
Fax: +966 11 206 8833


Giant Food to open its new store located at 8970 Burke Lake Road in Springfield on June 19

Landover, Md., 2015-5-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Giant Food today announced that the doors of its new store located at 8970 Burke Lake Road in Springfield will open on Friday, June 19 at 6:00 a.m. The store, located inside the Kings Park Shopping Center, was re-built from the ground up and is nearly twice as large as the previous store onsite, which closed last year. The Kings Park store will employ approximately 120 associates. The new store replaces the 9550 Burke Road store located 1.3 miles away in the Burke Village Center, which closes June 18.

“We are delighted to bring a brand new 50,000-square foot store to Kings Park, which offers an enhanced shopping experience to our customers in Burke,” said Gordon Reid, president, Giant Food of Landover, Md.

Customers will find an exciting shopping experience in the new Giant including a variety of new features and amenities throughout the store. The store will include a new, market-style produce section with a fresh-cut fruit and vegetable preparation center and an organic produce display. The store will also feature an expanded selection of natural and organic foods.

Customers will find all of their meat, bakery, grocery, and dairy needs in the new 50,000-square foot store. The new deli department includes sushi prepared by Giant’s in-house sushi chef, a sandwich service center, an assortment of hot foods, a salad bar, and a gourmet cheese island. The store will also provide an expansive selection of domestic and international wines for all tastes and budgets, as well as a wide assortment of beer, ranging from craft, domestic, and imported.

Giant at Kings Park will also feature in-store technologies including “SCAN IT!” hand-held devices, which allow customers to scan and bag their groceries while they shop to allow for speedier checkout. Peapod Pick-Up service will be available on site for time-starved customers who prefer assistance with their shopping. In addition, the store will include a café seating area with complementary Wi-Fi. A PNC Bank, will also be onsite.

The new Giant store is pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and has been constructed with innovative building technologies to reduce energy consumption and the environmental impact of operations. LED lighting will be used in many areas of the store, significantly reducing energy needs. Warm concrete floors have replaced the traditional tile, reducing the amount of cleaning solutions normally utilized.

About Giant Food
Giant Food LLC, headquartered in Landover, Md., operates 168 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, and employs approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 168 stores are 159 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 79 years ago. The company’s core areas of giving include hunger, education, health and wellness, and supporting service members and military families. In 2014, Giant’s monetary and in-kind contributions exceeded $14.9 million, and the nation’s capital grocer helped partners provide more than 88 million meals. For more information on Giant, visit

Jamie Miller
(301) 341-8776

The Co-operative voted the UK’s favourite convenience store by shoppers at the CTP Awards

The Co-operative been voted the UK’s favourite convenience store by shoppers.

MANCHESTER, 2015-5-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — The CTP (Convenience Tracking Programme) awards 2015* quizzed 20,000 convenience store shoppers and 2,000 store staff and managers, and the Co-op beat off competition from the likes of Marks & Spencer, Little Waitrose and Sainsbury’s to scoop  “Overall Best Convenience Retailer” of the year.

The award caps a successful few weeks for the Co-op, which also saw the business win five gold and eight silver awards at The Grocer Awards – including the coveted “Overall Product of the Year”** – as well as Sandwich Convenience Retailer of the Year at the British Sandwich Industry Awards.

Steve Murrells, CEO of The Co-operative Food said:

“To have been voted the number one convenience store by shoppers is a wonderful achievement, and particular thanks goes to all the colleagues that both work in our stores as well as those that create our award winning own brand products. Our challenge is to become the number one convenience retailer in the UK, and these awards show that we heading firmly in the right direction.”

Katie Littler, Communications Director at awards coordinators him!, said:

“Congratulations to The Co-op, who were voted for by those who’s opinion should really matter, the shoppers. The UK Convenience industry certainly has a lot to celebrate and there are so many fine examples of retailers and suppliers really listening and reacting to their shoppers needs, and of course, capitalising on sales. This award incorporates the attitudes of shoppers with regards to customer service, shopping experience, range of products, price and ultimately, would shoppers recommend the retailer – and The Co-op has come out on top!”* The CTP Awards are the premium event in the convenience calendar and the only awards that are decided by shoppers. him! research & consulting spoke to 20,000 shoppers face-to-face in convenience stores across the UK, covering 25+ convenience fascia. They have collated over 100,000 question responses in order to bring 16 awards that recognise the cream of the industry. The awards celebrate the outstanding contribution that everyone involved in the convenience channel makes to ensure it remains the vibrant, diverse and successful industry it is today** The Co-operative’s Truly Irresistible Kashmiri Butter Chicken, Red Onion and Spinach Pizza was awarded the ‘Grocer Gold Chairman’s Overall Product of the Year Award’ at the Grocer’s Own Label Food & Drink Awards 2015. Other award winners in The Grocer’s Own-Label Awards 2015 were:

  • Gold: The Co-operative Loved by us extra tasty whole chicken
  • Gold: The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Scottish Raspberry Prosecco Pannacotta Terrine
  • Gold: The Co-operative Loved by us four microwavable golden vegetable rice bags
  • Gold: The Co-operative red Leicester and pumpkin seed batard
  • Silver: The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Granola Squares
  • Silver: The Co-operative Truly Irresistible extra mature Gouda
  • Silver: The Co-operative Loved by Us Piri Piri Chicken ready to cook meal
  • Silver: The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Guatemalan Roast and ground coffee
  • Silver: The Co-operative Loved by us Achari chicken curry
  • Silver: The Co-operative Loved by us 6 British dessert apples
  • Silver: The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Madagascan vanilla ice cream
  • Silver: The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Ultimate Chocolates


Co-op employees receiving the CTP Award for "Overall Best Convenience Retailer” in 2015
Co-op employees receiving the CTP Award for “Overall Best Convenience Retailer” in 2015

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issues statement in response to the passage of Trade Promotion Authority in the US Senate

Arlington , VA, 2015-5-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to the passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in the United States Senate.

“Retailers applaud the Senate for passing this important trade legislation that will pave the way to reduced trade barriers for American businesses and save money for middle-class American families,” said Hun Quach, vice president for international trade. “TPA will spur economic growth and bolster America’s competitiveness by creating new opportunities for American workers and businesses around the world. We now urge the House of Representatives to move quickly to consider and pass TPA.”

TPA is critical to the successful implementation of trade priorities, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA).The TPA legislation approved by the Senate strengthens provisions to raise labor and environmental standards, creates a level playing field for businesses and workers around the world, and ensures that new issues, such as state-owned enterprises and digital trade, are addressed in future trade agreements. TPA also gives our negotiating partners certainty to make the difficult decisions required to reach a final agreement.

As part of the trade agenda, RILA supports a comprehensive, high-standard Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement with a membership and coverage that provides significant market access opportunities in all sectors. The most important issues for retailers in the TPP are the elimination of duties and creation of workable rules on high-tariff items, such as apparel and footwear. Further, retailers believe that the TPP should eliminate supply chain barriers. If these issues are addressed, the TPP could save American consumers hundreds of millions of dollars, while promoting trade and investment, thus enabling retailers to provide the latest products and technology to American families.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.


Brian Dodge
Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Phone: 703-600-2017

Rite Aid’s VP of pharmacy services Mike Podgurski named the 2015 Honorary President by the National Association of the Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)

CAMP HILL, PA, 2015-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) announced today that Mike Podgurski, Rite Aid’s vice president of pharmacy services, has been named the 2015 Honorary President by the National Association of the Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

The honor is awarded each year to an individual in recognition of their commitment to supporting the Association’s mission and goals including protecting public health and promoting the Association’s initiatives. Podgurski, a licensed pharmacist with more than 40 years’ experience, was formally recognized during NABP’s Annual Awards Dinner yesterday, the culminating event of the Association’s 111th Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

“Over the course of his career, Mike has made a profound and lasting impact here at Rite Aid and across the retail pharmacy industry,” said Robert Thompson, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy. “We are extremely proud of Mike and we are especially grateful for his many contributions to our company, which have helped us to deliver superior patient care to our pharmacy customers nationwide. Mike is a true servant leader and a champion of community pharmacy and is most-deserving of this honor.”

In presenting the award, the Association recognized Mike’s ongoing commitment to the Association through his participation on numerous NABP and industry committees and task forces including the NABP’s Task Force on Pharmacy Licensure Standards, its Community Pharmacy Accreditation Program Steering Committee and its Task Force on Pharmacy Automation; the American Pharmacists Association’s Work Group on the Future of Pharmacy, and the Food and Drug Administration’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee. He was also involved with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Roundtable on Health Information Technology and Prescription Drug Abuse and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Work Group.

Podgurski joined Rite Aid in 1987 through the Company’s acquisition of SupeRx. During his nearly 30 year tenure at Rite Aid, he has held a variety of positions covering several functional areas including pharmacy operations, pharmacy services, pharmacy development, government affairs and third party administration. Podgurski was named to his current role in June 2007.

A past member and officer of the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy, which he served for 15 years, Podgurski is a member of several professional organizations including the American Pharmacists Association; the National Community Pharmacy Association; the National Association of Chain Drug Stores; the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy and the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association.

Podgurski earned his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from West Virginia University.

Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2015 annual revenues of $26.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at



Media: Ashley Flower 717-975-5718

Meijer to acquire national specialty pharmacy and health services company Aureus Health Services

Addition of specialty pharmacy capability to enhance Meijer customer offerings

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2015-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Meijer announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire Aureus Health Services, a national specialty pharmacy and health services company based in Pittsburgh, Pa. and a portfolio company of BelHealth Investment Partners, to enhance its customer offerings, particularly to patients with complex chronic conditions.

“The ability to provide specialty pharmacy services to our customers supports our objective to provide total patient care,” Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. “Between Aureus Health Services’ national strength and the strong Midwest footprint of Meijer, this purchase combines two reputable industry leaders, and creates an opportunity for national growth by providing better service to customers.”

Specialty pharmacies distribute unique pharmaceuticals coupled with high-touch, patient-centered services. Aureus Health Services is a highly-regarded brand with a strong track record of innovation and expansion in the specialty pharmacy space.

“We are very pleased to join the Meijer organization,” Aureus Health Services Chief Executive Officer Michael Nameth said. “This acquisition will not only benefit customers and patients through a stronger organization, but it will also provide growth opportunities for our team.”

Nameth will remain in his role of CEO in the new Meijer business unit. The acquisition is expected to be finalized within the next few months. Meijer plans to maintain the company’s current patient services centers across the country.

Meijer currently operates 217 supercenters and grocery stores across the Midwest, all of which include a pharmacy. The Meijer pharmacy is growing as a customer destination through expanded clinical services, as well as a free medication program that includes antibiotics, pre-natal vitamins, and medications for individuals with Type 2 Diabetes and high cholesterol. In fact, the free prescription program has prescribed more than 26 million prescriptions, saving customers an estimated $376 million since its inception in 2006.

About Meijer:
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 217 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, garden centers and electronic offerings. For additional information on Meijer, please visit Follow Meijer on Twitter and or become a fan at

JMP Securities LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Meijer in connection with ‎the transaction. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey served as exclusive financial advisor to Aureus Health Services and BelHealth Investment Partners.

Contact: Frank Guglielmi, 616-791-3814,


Haggen Pacific Southwest to donate more than 1m pounds of food to local food banks from the 100 new store openings throughout California, Arizona and Nevada


Haggen Continues Tradition of Giving Back In Partnership with Feeding America To Support Communities Surrounding 100 New Pacific Southwest Stores

Irvine, Calif.,  2015-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Continuing a long history of giving back to the communities it serves, Haggen Pacific Southwest is donating more than one million pounds of food to local food banks from the 100 new stores the West Coast regional grocery chain is converting throughout California, Arizona and Nevada this spring. Haggen’s donation represents more than 833,333 meals to help feed the hungry. The donations began with the opening of the first Haggen store in California on March 11 in Carlsbad and will continue until June 20 when the final three stores open in Carpinteria, Long Beach and Santa Barbara.

Donated items from departments throughout each store include everything from fresh produce, baked goods, deli items and dairy, to meat, dry, canned and packaged goods. Initial recipients of Haggen food donations include, among others:

  • City of Refuge of San Diego
  • East County San Diego Transitional Living Center
  • Feeding America San Diego
  • Helping Hands of Orange County
  • Grateful Hearts of Orange County
  • San Diego Rescue Mission
  • David’s Episcopal San Diego
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County

“Our commitment to supporting local extends beyond sourcing and into the communities around our stores,” said Bill Shaner, Haggen Pacific Southwest CEO. “We are always looking for ways we can get involved and give back, providing hunger relief, educating our youth and promoting our core value of sustainability. We’re a grocery store and, above all else, we’re here to feed families, whether that’s through the great stores we run or partnering with Feeding America to help those in need.”

“The Feeding America network provides more than three billion meals each year to families facing hunger, thanks to the help of generous partners like Haggen,” said Bill Thomas, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Feeding America. “We are grateful to Haggen for providing meals for people in need and for raising awareness of hunger in the communities they serve.”

With each store opening, Haggen is also partnering with 100 local non-profits, donating a total of $100,000 across 100 stores opening in approximately 100 days.

Local store leadership is involved in guiding the process to help make a meaningful impact in their communities. Recipients to date include, among others: Antelope Valley Boys and Girls Club in Palmdale; Central School District in Rancho Cucamonga; Clear View Elementary School in Chula Vista; La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad; Lakeside Union School District and Granite Hills High School in El Cajon; Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach; Pacific Beach Elementary School in San Diego; Southern Ravens, The League of Dreams and Van Home Elementary School in Bakersfield; Therapeutic Living Centers for the Blind in Tujunga; and Travis Ranch School in Yorba Linda. Non-profits interested in learning more about Haggen’s community giving should visit to complete an online inquiry form and submit information about their organization.

Haggen is undergoing an unprecedented expansion from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies; from 2,000 employees to more than 10,000 employees; and from a Pacific Northwest company with locations in Oregon and Washington to a major regional grocery chain with locations in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. To date, Haggen Southwest has opened 66 new stores in California and will be opening an additional 34 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada in May and June.

Guests who visit their local Haggen, snap a photo of their filled grocery cart and post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with hashtags ‪#‎OneStopShop and ‪#‎HaggenSouthwestSweeps have the chance to win a $50 gift card now through June 15. See official rules for Haggen “What’s In Your Cart” and “Favorite Haggen Find” Sweepstakes @ Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, shoppers at new Haggen Southwest stores will also enjoy three-day sales with discounts on popular items across each department. Check in-store and online at Haggen social feeds every Friday to see what new Fresh Deals will be offered throughout each

About Haggen
Founded in 1933 in Bellingham, Washington, Haggen has built its business on providing guests the freshest and most local products with genuine service, while supporting the communities it serves. The company currently operates stores in Washington and Oregon, and is in the process of acquiring an additional 146 stores and establishing a second headquarters in Irvine, California. With this acquisition, Haggen will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies; from 2,000 employees to more than 10,000 employees; and from a Pacific Northwest company with locations in Oregon and Washington to a major regional grocery chain with locations in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. Throughout its eight decades in business, the company has supported regional farms, ranches, fisheries and other businesses, creating a lasting and sustainable local food economy. The company remains focused on building local, sustainable food economies as it expands. For more information about what’s happening at Haggen, visit, find us on Facebook or follow Haggen Southwest on Instagram and Twitter.

About Feeding America
Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.


Wegmans Food Markets to deliver 15,877 pounds of nonperishable food to the Capital Area Food Bank

LORTON, VA, 2015-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wegmans Food Markets will deliver a truckload of 15,877 pounds of nonperishable food to the Capital Area Food Bank, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, on Thursday, May 28 at 12 PM. The delivery will take place at the CAFB’s Northern Virginia location (6833 Hill Park Drive, Lorton, VA 22079) and is the first donation from Wegmans’ new Alexandria store, which opens June 14. The truck will carry 20 pallets of canned soups, vegetables and fruit, peanut butter, canned tuna, cereal and juice – all of which will help feed thousands of residents struggling to get enough food to eat.

“We are so excited to welcome Wegmans to our community. Each year we’re already sending over 6 million pounds of food into Northern Virginia. Partnering with Wegmans means that we can get more wholesome food to this area. We’re proud to work with such a strong community-minded company,” said Cecelia Vergaretti, Capital Area Food Bank’s Northern Virginia Director.

Wegmans Alexandria Store Manager Mike Dempsey and a team of employees will be on site to help unload the tractor trailer, sort the food and stock the shelves at the food bank’s Lorton, VA distribution center.

“We know that food banks build healthier communities and it’s a privilege to be able to deliver this food that will serve the needs of our new neighbors in Alexandria,” said Dempsey. “One of our values is to make a difference in every community we serve, and this partnership is one way we’re putting that value into action.”

Helping feed the hungry is a community giving priority for the Rochester, New York based supermarket chain.  Last year, Wegmans donated approximately 15 million pounds of food to area food banks in all of its market areas.


About the Capital Area Food Bank
The Capital Area Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in the Washington metro area serving over 530,000 people through direct food distribution programs and a network of 500 partner agencies. Last year, the Capital Area Food Bank distributed 42 million pounds of food – the equivalent of 35 million meals – one-third of which was fresh fruits and vegetables. The CAFB’s Lorton location last year distributed over 6 million pounds food – the equivalent of 5 million meals – of which 2 million pounds was fresh fruits and vegetables. To learn more, visit:, or find the Capital Area Food Bank on Facebook at CapitalAreaFoodBank, and Twitter at @foodbankmetrodc.

About Wegmans
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 85-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 18 consecutive years, ranking #7 in 2015. The company also ranked #1 for Corporate Reputation, among the 100 ‘most-visible companies’ nationwide in the 2014 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient ® study.

Contact Information:
Shamia Holloway, Capital Area Food Bank communications manager, 202-644-9830
Jo Natale, Wegmans vice president of media relations, 585-429-3627