Whole Foods Market to open its 43rd Northern California store on May 20 in Dublin

Local wine, outdoor café, éclairs, pho, house-smoked BBQ and 28 feet of pizza highlight the lineup

EMERYVILLE, Calif., 2015-5-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — When Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) opens its 43rd Northern California (NorCal) store on May 20 in Dublin, shoppers will find a 40,000-square-foot lifestyle emporium designed for food discovery and connection with family, friends and neighbors.

On opening day, from 7 to 10 a.m., he Allegro Coffee Roasters truck will offer free coffee. Opening festivities will start at 9:45 a.m., with a community welcome and a bread-breaking ceremony; the doors open at 10. Throughout the day various samples—including grilled meats, halibut and Juice Beauty skin care products—will be available. Shoppers can also sip wines presented by the Livermore Valley Wine Organization.

Unique to Whole Foods Market Dublin

The store will be home to one of Whole Foods Market NorCal’s largest prepared foods departments. At the center of the department is Dublin Vine, a wine tasting and tap room with three wines and 12 beers on tap, plus more than 50 wines by the glass. Many are Tri-Valley wines, including Steven Kent Winery, Retzlaff Estate Winery, Las Positas Vineyards and more. Dublin Vine’s local brews come from Ale Industries, Calicraft Brewing, Drake’s Brewing Company and Altamont Beer Works. The indoor bar area accommodates 64 guests, and outside there is space for 100. The outdoor patio has a fire pit and open space for performances. The store expects to host local live music, presentations and family activities.

Additionally, Dublin Vine offers a pub style menu with salads, smoked chicken wings, cheese and charcuterie plates, personal pizzas, and noodle bowls. Some of the newest “pub food” options at Whole Foods Market are dip sandwiches: a traditional French dip with au jus, and a Vietnamese banh mi with miso dipping sauce.

Within the prepared foods department, customers can get quick and easy meals:

·         A 28-foot pizza venue serves up classic round pizzas in signature flavors (Forest Fungi, Pesto Potato, Alpine Pig) and build-your-own, takeaway pizzas, as well as empanadas, pizza bagels, calzones, French bread pizzas and pigs-in-a-blanket. Vegan pizzas are also on the menu, and Health Starts Here flatbreads made without added oil, sugar or salt are available in vegan pad Thai and barbecue chicken flavors.

·         The Nona Lim noodle bar, stocked entirely with products made by Oakland’s own Lim, a Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan recipient, offers ramen and pho with premade and build-your-own options. Premade noodle dishes include beef pho, chicken shoyu ramen, miso ramen and Tonkatsu ramen. Build-your-own invites customers to select noodles, broth, protein, seasonings and garnishes, with everything from tofu to beef to pork belly.

·         A barbecue bar is filled with American-style brisket, ribs and smoked bacon macaroni and cheese, and Korean-style beef and kimchi mashed potatoes.

·         Whole Foods Market’s classic Prepared Foods lineup, including the chef’s case, sandwiches, burritos, salad bar, hot bar, soups, and grab-and-go meal kits.

New in the bakery: Move over, macarons. Éclairs are the dessert du jour in the bakery world. Long, delicate, slender shells are made locally, toasted in store and filled with one of 10 flavors: pistachio, coffee, blackberry, lemon merengue, strawberry, hazelnut chocolate, classic, coconut, vanilla, and caramel. Some fillings come from Rubicon Bakery, a Bay Area operation that trains and provides jobs for people who need a second chance – recently coming from life on the streets, out of prisons or with substance abuse problems.

Also new for the Dublin bakery will be freshly boiled and baked bagels and farm-to-mill-to-baker hearth breads, and a wide selection of gluten-free and vegan baked goods. Plus, small and large cakes are available with customized decorating. Seasonally, customers can find baked-from-scratch pies with all-butter crusts and locally sourced fruit, as well as fresh-baked brownies, cookies, cupcakes and gluten-free and vegan baked goods.

A regional- and store-based purchasing model means Whole Foods Market Dublin can curate a product mix specifically for Tri-Valley shoppers. The store will carry Livermore Valley wines, plus Olivina olive oils (Livermore Valley), JK Naturals soaps (Dublin) and Golnazar Ice Cream (San Ramon) and many more from the Bay Area and California.

Additional Innovations & Quality Standards by Department:

Meat – One of two in-house smokers will produce smoked pork and poultry. The large meat counter will include such special offerings as Non-GMO Project verified fresh pork, local Panorama organic grass-fed and grass-finished beef, and Country Natural grain-finished beef from cattle that have never been in a feedlot. Customers can choose grab-and-go seasoned and marinated meats, house-made sausages, Non-GMO-fed and organic chickens from Mary’s (Fresno), local Pozzi grass-fed lamb, and Diestel Ranch turkeys.

Whole Foods Market’s strict quality standards for meat mean all animals are raised on a vegetarian diet without being administered antibiotics or added growth hormones.* All beef, pork, chicken and turkey carried in the fresh and pre-packaged cases at all Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. comes from farms that are rated according to Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating program.

Seafood – The second in-house smoker is dedicated to salmon, trout and other seafood. At the Dublin seafood counter, shoppers will find an expanded shellfish shelf, featuring local options like Dungeness crab (in season) and “Responsibly Farmed” mollusks year-round. The department will offer the company’s classic selection of fresh and frozen fish, as well as marinades, sauces, seasonings and herbs.

All seafood is brought to the counter with sustainability in mind. Farmed seafood adheres to the company’s strict aquaculture standards. Wild-caught species come from fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council or are yellow- or green-rated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.

Produce – Dublin will be the first Whole Foods Market store in Northern California to exclusively carry made-in-house cold pressed juices. A wide selection of organic items will be available, with pre-cut fruit and vegetables “Made Right Here” (in store, including faux noodles made from zucchini and other veggies). Whole Foods Market carries the highest quality “Responsibly Grown” produce with more than half of all available products sourced annually from local growers like Perry Farms and Pinnacle Farms. The Responsibly Grown seal indicates the environmental commitment of the grower; visit WholeFoodsMarket.com for more information. Shoppers can also choose bananas, mangoes, peppers and pineapples with the Whole Trade seal, which indicates Whole Foods Market’s commitment to offering the highest quality fairly traded goods that ensure fair and ethical treatment for farm workers.

Whole Body – The store’s Whole Body section features an expanded makeup and nail care section. Whole Foods Market’s lifestyle and body care section always offers mineral makeup and premium quality facial care, organic apparel and sustainable accessories, books on nutrition and healthy eating, plus supplements and protein powders.

Grocery –Customers can choose from hundreds of 365 Everyday Value™ products, locally made packaged goods, frozen meals, a new line of natural Whole Paws pet food products, and home and cleaning products bearing the Eco-Scale label, indicating environmental impact. The bulk section offers dozens of grains, flours, nuts, spices and candies available by the pound.

Specialty – Cheesemongers can help shoppers navigate the store’s selection of hundreds of cheeses from Northern California and around the world, plus more than 40 olive and antipasti mixes, small-batch and gourmet chocolates, jams, spreads and local finds.

Juice and Coffee Bar – Caffeine and juice are available all day, with freshly brewed espresso and coffee daily from Allegro®, fresh juices and smoothies.

Missions & Community Support

Community Giving

Led by store team leader Allen Culp and marketing team leader Paul Barron, the Dublin team kicked off its community support efforts in April with a donation to Dublin Partners in Education via a Facebook “Likes for Donations” campaign (Facebook: Whole Foods Market Dublin). The store will continue giving back to Tri-Valley nonprofits once open with a series of giving days, with 1 percent of each day’s sales benefiting a local charity. Recipients are Dublin United Soccer League, Valley Children’s Museum, Open Heart Kitchen, Dougherty Elementary School and Valley Humane Society. In addition, Whole Foods Market Dublin customers who bring their own grocery bags will have the opportunity to donate a 5-cent refund per bag to the School of Imagination or Tri-Valley YMCA as part of the company’s Nickels for Nonprofits program.

Green Building

In line with Whole Foods Market’s commitment to eco-friendly projects, this store was built with the environment in mind. HVAC systems are notorious for drawing significant amounts of energy from public grids; the Dublin store exceeds Title 24 requirements for efficiency and features an innovative indirect cooling system that will greatly reduce dependency on public energy sources. Ninety-nine percent of the store’s lights are high-efficiency LED, and the refrigeration system runs entirely on natural refrigerants. The store has a “modern farmhouse” look with reclaimed wood and tin, aged metals and colorful chalkboards.

Store Tours – Customers can visit the store Web page or follow Whole Foods Market Dublin on Facebook to find out about public value tours, guides to shopping for nutritional lifestyles (gluten-free, Paleo, vegan etc.). Private tours can be arranged by request.

Nuts & Bolts

Wi-Fi – free throughout store

Kids Club – children ages 2 through 8 are eligible to receive a free treat.

Electric Car Chargers – four total: two level three fast chargers and two level two chargers. These will be managed by eVgo, and vehicle owners will pay for use.

Catering – available for local businesses and events.

Store Information
Whole Foods Market Dublin
5200 Dublin Blvd., Dublin, CA 94568
Tel. 925-452-2226
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Store Team Leader: Allen Culp
Store Marketing and Community Team Leader: Paul Barron
Web: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/dublin-ca
Facebook: facebook.com/WholeFoodsMarketDublin
Instagram: @WholeFoodsMarketDublin

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork and poultry.

Rite Aid Corporation enhances its loyalty program wellness+ thanks to its participation in Plenti

As part of Plenti, the first U.S. Loyalty Coalition, Rite Aid will Partner with Leading Brands Including AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide Insurance, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Direct Energy and Hulu

Camp Hill, Pa., 2015-5-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) announced today that an enhanced version of its award-winning loyalty program, wellness+, is now available to consumers, thanks to the company’s participation in Plenti. Through Plenti, the first U.S.-based consumer loyalty coalition, Rite Aid will transition its existing loyalty program, of which there are nearly 25 million active members, towellness+ with Plenti. As part of the Plenti coalition, Rite Aid joins other major retailers including AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide Insurance, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Direct Energy and Hulu to offer consumers numerous ways to earn Plenti points and use them for savings.

“Joining Plenti is the next step in the continued evolution of our highly successful wellness+ loyalty program,” said Ken Martindale, Rite Aid’s president and chief operating officer. “Wellness+ with Plenti will provide current and new Rite Aid customers with even more ways to earn and enjoy savings, on top of all the existing wellness+ benefits they currently receive, truly offering more value than any other drugstore loyalty program.”

New and existing wellness+ members can now sign up for wellness+ with Plenti at any Rite Aid store nationwide or online at www.riteaid.com/plenti. Once enrolled, members of wellness+ with Plenti will earn Plenti points on featured items they buy every day at any participating Plenti partner. These points can be used for at least two years for savings at Rite Aid and certain Plenti partners including Exxon, Macy’s and Mobil.

Added Martindale, “We believe that joining Plenti is going to be the next great differentiator for our business and consumers, given the premiere brands participating in the program and the multiple ways for customers to earn and save. We are excited to be part of this first of its kind U.S. loyalty coalition program and to bring such an innovative and unique program to our customers across the country.”

wellness+ with Plenti
Through wellness+ with Plenti, customers can use one card and earn two kinds of points.

Members will continue to earn wellness+ points for every one dollar spent on eligible non-prescription purchases and up to 25 wellness+ points for every eligible prescription, good toward various benefits at Rite Aid including discounts of up to 20% off storewide, exclusive sale prices and 24/7 access to a pharmacist.

In addition, they’ll also be able to earn a new additional set of points, Plenti points, whenever they make qualifying purchases at Rite Aid and all other Plenti partners.

Through wellness+ with Plenti, +UP rewards are now Plenti points. Plenti points offer even more value because they can be used for savings at Rite Aid as well as certain other Plenti partners including Exxon, Macy’s and Mobil and can be used to at least two years.

One Plenti point earned at Rite Aid is worth at least one cent in savings, so 1,000 Plenti points are worth at least $10 in savings. Plenti points can be earned at Rite Aid in-store and online, through rotating product offers such as 400 points when you buy 2 bottles of vitamins or 800 points on oral care products.

For full details on how of the Plenti program will work across all partners, please visit www.plenti.com/partners.

Rite Aid’s wellness+ with Plenti program will be supported by a national television, radio, circular and digital advertising campaign, which launches later this month.

For more information on wellness+ with Plenti, www.riteaid.com/plenti.

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 www.riteaid.com.

Plenti is a U.S. coalition loyalty program comprised of widely known companies, which include: American Express, AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Direct Energy, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Hulu. Plenti is designed to offer consumers greater choice and savings potential through a multi-category rewards platform. For more information, please visit: www.plenti.com or connect with Plenti on Facebook.com/PlentiRewards, Twitter.com/PlentiRewards,Instagram.com/PlentiRewards and YouTube.com/PlentiRewards.

Plenti is run by US Loyalty, a division of American Express. In 2011, American Express acquired Loyalty Partner. The company operates three subsidiaries including Payback, which manages leading coalition loyalty programs in Germany, Italy, Poland, India and Mexico. For more information, visit www.loyaltypartner.com

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Contact:

Media: Ashley Flower 717-975-5718

7‑Eleven’s Operation: Take Command contest announces all three finalists as winners

DALLAS, 2015-5-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — 7‑Eleven, Inc. hit a triple in Operation: Take Command, the contest to award a U.S. military veteran a 7‑Eleven® store. Although one finalist was expected to emerge in the last round of the competition, all three finalists were selected as winners.

Active-duty Active Duty U.S. Army Captain Robert Kemna of Miami (currently stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C.), Army veteran Salil Gautam of Chesapeake, Va., and U.S. Navy veteran Mark Anthony Page of Granbury, Texas, will all become business-owners of their own 7‑Eleven franchise.

As the last step in the almost six-month long contest, the three finalists interviewed with7‑Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto, an Army veteran himself, last week at the company’s home office in Dallas. So impressed was he by the caliber of the three Operation: Take Command finalists that DePinto made an on-the-spot executive decision.

“How can you pick just one winner when you have three?” DePinto asked. “I was extremely impressed by each one of them – for overcoming adversity, serving their country selflessly, having a heart for service and demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities. These are the kind of folks we want in the 7‑Eleven system. They are all too deserving not to win.

“7‑Eleven is a franchise-centric company focused on how we can best support our franchisees,” DePinto added. “We are proud of our independent franchise business-owners who love Brand 7‑Eleven and tirelessly serve the customers in their communities every day. I look forward to welcoming these three new franchisees to the 7‑Eleven family.”

The Operation: Take Command winners and soon-to-be 7‑Eleven franchisees are:

Salil Gautam of Chesapeake, Va. – Gautam joined the Army just a year after he moved to the United States and served for 4.5 years, with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. “I wanted to give back to the country that had done so much for me.”

Before enlisting, the Nepal native’s first job was with a 7‑Eleven store in northern California. After leaving the Army in 2011, he used the leadership skills and work ethic learned in the military to establish a small corporation and turn a failing gas station and convenience store into profitable businesses. As a franchisee, his goals will include mentoring and telling other veterans about the business opportunities 7‑Eleven offers.

“I couldn’t believe that I had won,” Gautam said. “7‑Eleven already does so much for military veterans. Then they decided to give all three finalists a store, which is way above and beyond what I expected from the contest. Everyone in 7‑Eleven’s franchising group has helped so much in the process; it almost feels like family.”

Mentioning the devastation in his native Nepal from the recent earthquake, Gautam said, “Words can’t express my feelings. It is so very sad. I just pray to God that there will be no more casualties or damage.”

Gautam and his wife, Radhika, have a 5-year-old son, Shrish. Salil holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Favorite 7‑Eleven product: 7‑Eleven coffee

Mark Anthony Page of Granbury, Texas – After a tough start in life that included two years in foster care, Page moved in with his grandmother who had 16 children of her own. Page said he enlisted just days after graduating from high school, seeing it both as a way out and a way up. He served in active and reserve duty with the Navy. While in the reserves, Page attended college, earning a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in kinesiology. He taught and coached in secondary schools before taking a position that required him to be away from his home and family. Believing a 7‑Eleven franchise could be the ticket to be closer to home, Page heard about the Operation: Take Command contest and entered.

Saying winning was “unbelievable,” Page added, “This is life-changing. It’s very rare that you know someone who wins something big; you mainly see that on TV. As I moved through the levels of the contest, I started thinking maybe I had a chance. Seeing people from here and even other countries who didn’t know me, but voted for my video on Facebook was very humbling. My wife was my biggest cheerleader. I couldn’t have done it without her.”

Mark Anthony and his wife, Diona, live in Granbury while Page has been commuting to West Texas. Their family includes a son, Dominic Dean, 16; 4-year-old daughter Zaniyah and infant twins, E’lyn and Mark-Anthony. With three small children, they hope to franchise a store that is minutes away from their home, in place of a job that is hours away.

Favorite 7‑Eleven product: Slurpee® drink

Robert Kemna of Miami, Fla. – Born in Iowa, with military assignments around the world, Capt. Kemna said he is ready to settle down in Miami when he transitions from active duty this fall. After all, that’s where his wife, Liliana, lives. The newlyweds, who were married in January, have lived apart since their wedding, with Kemna currently serving at Fort Bragg, N.C.  Kemna has 15 years of service in the Army Reserve, 10 of those on active duty, including one tour in Afghanistan.

When he began looking for civilian jobs to pursue after completing his service, the decorated captain found that his officer status and management skills did not guarantee him the same level position in the private sector.

“I knew I didn’t want to start over with an entry-level job,” Kemna said. “I Googled military-friendly franchisers and 7‑Eleven was at the top of every list. I found out about theOperation: Take Command contest right before the deadline to enter and barely got my paperwork in after my wedding and honeymoon.”

That wasn’t Kemna’s last challenge during the contest period. He was on active duty when he was selected as a top-10 finalist, requiring him to make a short video and campaign for Facebook votes.

“Your success can depend on the people you surround yourself with. In the contest, I needed help and found it amazing that so many people were supportive,” he said. “My wife edited my video from a hotel room while on a trip to Italy, and my entire family took the lead in campaigning for votes.”

Kemna has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in environmental management.

Favorite 7‑Eleven product: 7-Select cookie dough ice cream

The veterans will be reporting for duty soon – at their own 7‑Eleven® stores. Their first assignment, however, is to select their stores. Gautam, Kemna and Page are looking for stores near their homes – in Chesapeake, South Florida and North Texas, respectively.

As contest winners, each veteran will receive a waiver of the franchise fee, valued at up to $190,000, to franchise any of the company’s 7‑Eleven convenience stores available in the continental U.S.

The three finalists were flown to Dallas for one-on-one interviews with DePinto as the final step in the competition. To reach the ultimate showdown, the three received the most votes in a Facebook video competition between 10 Operation: Take Command semi-finalists.

“I can think of no one more deserving of this extraordinary opportunity to win a 7‑Eleven franchise than our military veterans who have given so much for our country,” DePinto said. “7‑Eleven is a winner, too, because veterans bring top-notch leadership skills, a can-do attitude and a mission-oriented focus to their business. Our experience has shown that U.S. veterans have the desire, ambition and core values needed to be successful 7‑Eleven franchisees.”

More than 1,700 veterans and soon-to-be vets from all branches of military service applied for the competition that ran from Veterans Day last November through Jan. 25. Some 300 were qualified and from those, 10 were selected for the video competition whereby the public could vote for their favorite, resulting in the three finalists chosen.

“Some of the veterans who entered but didn’t win were so enthusiastic about starting their own 7‑Eleven business that they already are going through the franchising process to select and acquire a store,” said Greg Franks 7‑Eleven franchise system vice president.

Since 2009, the world’s largest convenience retailer has offered a 10 percent franchise fee discount to all military veterans who meet the company’s franchise qualifications. Last year, they increased this to a 20 percent discount on franchise fees to retired veterans who have left the service in the last five years. The company instituted the incentives for qualified retired and separated veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces to help them achieve the American dream of owning one’s own business.

The Operation: Take Command franchise giveaway was a multi-phased competition that included meeting 7‑Eleven’s franchising qualifications, interviews, a Facebook video contest among the 10 preliminary finalists and the final interview with DePinto for the three finalists.

To qualify for the contest, entrants had to be 21 years of age or older, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, an honorably discharged veteran, have excellent credit and at least three years of leadership, retail or restaurant experience. Contestants went through the same qualification process as all 7‑Eleven franchise applicants including interviews, credit evaluation, a leadership test and preparation of a business plan and budget.

7‑Eleven has been recognized by veterans’ organizations and publications for its military-friendly business opportunities, hiring practices and philanthropic support for military families. Military veterans serve in every level of the company from store sales associates to headquarters personnel.

The retailer also has supported numerous military assistance organizations including Hire Heroes USA, the USO, Operation Homefront, Warrior Gateway, Reserve Aid, and the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund offering college scholarships and grants. 7‑Eleven is also a founding and sustaining partner of the Military Service Initiative at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

For more information about the winners, go to www.VeteransFranchiseGiveaway.com

About 7‑Eleven, Inc.
7‑Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7‑Eleven operates, franchises or licenses nearly 10,500 7‑Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, there are more than 55,800 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‑Eleven.com.

Contact:
Kristin Welsh,
Allyn Media
On behalf of 7‑Eleven, Inc.
214-871-7723
Kristin@allynmedia.com

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Winners in Triplicate – Instead of selecting just one winner in its Operation: Take Command franchise giveaway contest for veterans, 7‑Eleven is awarding a 7‑Eleven store to each of the three finalists. From left, U.S. Navy veteran Mark Anthony Page, Active-duty U.S. Army Captain Robert Kemna and U.S. Army veteran Salil Gautam.

Winners in Triplicate – Instead of selecting just one winner in its Operation: Take Command franchise giveaway contest for veterans, 7‑Eleven is awarding a 7‑Eleven store to each of the three finalists. From left, U.S. Navy veteran Mark Anthony Page, Active-duty U.S. Army Captain Robert Kemna and U.S. Army veteran Salil Gautam.

Ahold: Giant Carlisle named 2015 Chain Retailer of the Year by U.S. monthly business publication Grocery Headquarters

Giant Carlisle has been named 2015 Chain Retailer of the Year by Grocery Headquarters, a national U.S. monthly business publication with a circulation of more than 33,000. The recognition was given for the company’s deep commitment to community, its dedicated associates, its emphasis on buying local, and its focus on nutrition.

Carlisle, PA, 2015-5-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — “On behalf of all of our associates, I want to thank Grocery Headquarters for recognizing our efforts by naming us Chain Retailer of the Year,” said Division President Tom Lenkevich. “Our associates are driven to engaging our customers, connecting to the many communities we serve, and bringing our stores to life. Our store teams are the foundation of our growth and success, and we are just thrilled by this honor.”

As part of this distinction, Giant is the cover story for Grocery Headquarters’ May issue, which can be found here. Richard Turcsik, executive editor of Grocery Headquarters, said that despite Giant Carlisle’s phenomenal growth, its stores remain deeply rooted in their local communities, supporting numerous local charities as well as local farmers and manufacturers. He said the division “does not rest on its laurels, continually offering competitive prices to make it a market leader, along with services and amenities, including in-store dietitians, healthcare clinics, Peapod home delivery and hand-held scanners to help shoppers expedite their visit,” all of which made it an easy choice for 2015 Chain Retailer of the Year.

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Ahold: Giant Carlisle named 2015 Chain Retailer of the Year by U.S. monthly business publication Grocery Headquarters

Ahold: Giant Carlisle named 2015 Chain Retailer of the Year by U.S. monthly business publication Grocery Headquarters

IKEA officially plugged-in Kansas’ largest rooftop solar array, atop the recently opened IKEA Merriam

MERRIAM, KS, 2015-5-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced it had officially plugged-in Kansas’ largest rooftop solar array, atop the recently opened IKEA Merriam. The 92,000-square-foot solar array consists of a 730.17-kW DC system, comprised of 2,394 panels, and will produce approximately 986,800 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 680 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 143 cars or providing electricity for 94 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).

For the development, design and installation of the Kansas City-area store’s customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with Chicago-based SoCore Energy a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortune 500 company Edison International. With hundreds of designed and installed solar projects, SoCore is one of the largest commercial solar developers in the U.S.

“Plugging-in this solar array is an exciting milestone to follow-up on our successful opening last fall,” said Rob Parsons, IKEA Merriam store manager. “IKEA strives to create a sustainable life for communities where we operate, so we are proud IKEA Merriam now has solar power for our electricity besides geothermal technology to heat and cool the building.”

This installation will represent the 41st solar project for IKEA in the U.S, contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, and a total generation goal of 40 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. This investment reinforces the long-term commitment IKEA has to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 700,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns approximately 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada, with 104 others being built in the U.S.

Drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, IKEA strives to minimize its operations’ carbon emissions because reducing its environmental impact makes good business sense. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms. Operationally, IKEA eliminated plastic bags from the check-out process, phased-out the sale of incandescent bulbs, facilitates recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 will sell only L.E.D. IKEA also has installed EV charging stations at 13 stores, with plans for more locations.

The 359,000 square-foot IKEA Merriam, with 1,200 parking spaces, opened September 10, 2014 on 19 acres along the eastern side of Interstate-35 and Johnson Drive, in the city of Merriam, eight miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri. IKEA Merriam represents the second U.S. store for IKEA with a geothermal component to its heating and cooling system. (Denver-area IKEA Centennial opened with geothermal in 2011.) Incorporating geothermal and solar significantly reduces the energy IKEA Merriam will draw from the power grid.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 360 IKEA stores in 47 countries, including 40 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, or IKEAUSA on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Contact: Annie Crandall, IKEA Merriam
(913) 831-3374, ext. 1336

Carrefour Argentina president Daniel Fernández awarded the Executive of the Year prize at the Entrepreneur of the Year Award Ceremony organized by Ernst & Young

Argentina, 2015-5-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — Daniel Fernández, President of Carrefour Argentina, has been awarded the Executive of the Year prize at the Entrepreneur of the Year Award Ceremony organized for the fifth consecutive year by consultancy and auditing firm, Ernst & Young (E&Y).

The EY Entrepreneur Of the Year programme was created 29 years ago in the USA and is the first and only event of its type at international level that recognizes and awards successful entrepreneurs both in the business and social worlds. EY Argentina joined the programme with a view to contributing to the development and promotion of entrepreneurs and social references at local level.

The jury is made up of long-standing and renowned businessmen, journalists, academics.

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Carrefour Argentina president Daniel Fernández awarded the Executive of the Year prize at the Entrepreneur of the Year Award Ceremony organized by Ernst & Young

Carrefour Argentina president Daniel Fernández awarded the Executive of the Year prize at the Entrepreneur of the Year Award Ceremony organized by Ernst & Young

Carrefour China launches its first fleet of electric shuttle bus at Caoying Store, Shanghai

SHANGHAI, CHINA, 2015-5-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — On 23 April, Carrefour China launched its first fleet of electric shuttle bus at Caoying Store, Shanghai. This marks Carrefour the first chained retailer in China to drive the “green consumption, green transportation” into the local communities.

Mr. Eric Deliers, The Carrefour East Territory President & Carrefour China Vice President attended the ceremony, and cut ribbon with  local government representative as well as the bus supplier. All participants and Carrefour customers were invited to visit the E-bus and made trial ride.

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Carrefour China launches its first fleet of electric shuttle bus at Caoying Store, Shanghai

Carrefour China launches its first fleet of electric shuttle bus at Caoying Store, Shanghai

Starbucks introduces caffeine-free Teavana® Oprah Chai Herbal Blend

Introducing Teavana Oprah Chai Herbal Blend – a new, naturally caffeine-free blend with chai spices and citrusy effervescence

SEATTLE, 2015-5-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — The new caffeine-free Teavana® Oprah Chai Herbal Blend is now available in U.S. and Canada Starbucks stores as a hot brewed tea and packaged loose-leaf tea. The blend offers a naturally caffeine-free option to complement existing Teavana Oprah Chai products like the Teavana Oprah Cinnamon Chai Tea Latte and original Teavana Oprah Chai brewed tea. Teavana Oprah Chai Herbal Blend is also available in Teavana stores as a loose leaf tea and in gift sets, and online at Starbucksstore.com and Teavana.com.

Created in partnership with Oprah Winfrey, Teavana® Oprah Chai Herbal Blend offers light body, subtle spice, and layers of herbal flavors – the classic chai spices like cinnamon and ginger present but softened by lemongrass, citrus, and apple. It also offers a hint of basil, which is Oprah’s favorite herb.

“This is a very versatile tea. It’s naturally sweet and you can drink it hot or iced. Also, because it is caffeine-free it’s a great way to enjoy chai all day long,” said Naoko Tsunoda, Teavana teaologist, who worked with Oprah Winfrey on both Chai blends.

Adds Tsunoda, “We started with a handful of blends and then narrowed it down to three  – one with mango, one with pomegranate, and one with a hint of basil, and the moment Oprah tried the chai with basil, she loved it.’ ”

Since Teavana first collaborated with Oprah to create Teavana® Oprah Chai in spring 2014, sales of Teavana Oprah Chai beverages, loose leaf tea, and gift sets have raised more than $5 million to support youth education in the U.S. and Canada. For more information on these efforts, visit Starbucks.com/oprahchai.

About Teavana Oprah Chai Tea
With each purchase of a Teavana Oprah Chai Tea product, Starbucks makes a donation to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, which supports educational opportunities for young people. For every Teavana Oprah Chai beverage sold, $0.25 is donated, for every two ounces of loose leaf tea sold, $1 is donated, and for every gift set purchased (including the new Oprah-designed Steep Good Thoughts tea for one set), $4 is donated to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.

Since Teavana first collaborated with Winfrey to create Teavana® Oprah Cinnamon Chai in spring 2014, sales have raised more than $5 million for youth organizations in the U.S. and Canada. For more information on these efforts, visit Starbucks.com/oprahchai.

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

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Starbucks introduces caffeine-free Teavana® Oprah Chai Herbal Blend

Starbucks introduces caffeine-free Teavana® Oprah Chai Herbal Blend

Starbucks announces Starbucks Partner Cup Contest winners

SEATTLE, 2015-5-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — The three winners of Starbucks Partner Cup Contest drew inspiration from their childhoods to create stunning designs that will be produced on Starbucks reusable cups and available for purchase later this year.

The winners are: Ben Cowley, a barista in Texas who’s been with Starbucks for almost a year; Brynn James, a 10-month partner and barista in Washington; Brandon Fragua, a shift supervisor in New Mexico and partner for four years.

“I’m amazed by the talent and creativity shown by our store partners (employees),” said Dan Jensen, a manger on the Partner Communications and Engagement team and a former store manager in Baltimore. “With over 1,800 entries, this is another example of what makes me proud to be a partner.”

Inspired by the success of Starbucks White Cup Contest for customers, the PC&E team launched its first cup design contest for partners in February. After narrowing down the entries to seven finalists, a committee comprised of judges throughout the company picked the winning designs expressing a range of styles.

“This is a uniquely Starbucks opportunity for partners to show their creativity. The results speak to our partners’ passion and diverse talents,” said Cliff Burrows, Starbucks group president, U.S., Americas, and Teavana.

Meet the baristas who will each have their artistry translated to Starbucks 16 fluid ounce reusable cups.

Ben Cowley
Drawing, space and science fiction are three things Ben Cowley has been interested in from an early age. Growing up in England, he spent hours drawing space ships, the solar system and galaxies with his brother.

“I’m super interested in everything NASA does and often spend time looking through images from the Hubble Space Telescope,” said Cowley, who has a degree in photography. “I’ve always loved the night sky as well.”

Cowley has also always loved coffee, which he admits defies the cliché of “an Englishman who needs his tea.” He met his wife, who’s from Texas, while studying in England. They moved to the U.S. years ago and he “jumped at the chance” to work for Starbucks in Austin.

“It combines my love of talking with people and being a part of the coffee experience. I couldn’t be happier to be with Starbucks.”

When Cowley first heard about the Starbucks Partner Cup Contest, he checked out some of the submissions through social media and was inspired by his fellow partners’ talent. Then he decided to “try my hand at it,” utilizing his favorite themes of the night sky and space.

Pen in hand, he covered an iconic Starbucks cup with a dark sky, allowing a comet, tree, plant and moon to appear in white. He hopes anyone who purchases his design will think about the environment when they use the reusable cup.

“We are obligated to take care of the resources we have around us, and I think we have a responsibility to keep the beauty of our planet intact,” Cowley said. “Maybe the cup will inspire someone to just take a look upwards the next time it’s a beautiful, clear night. That would be nice.”

Brynn James
Scandinavian immigrants brought their Nordic traditions with them when they arrived in Poulsbo, Washington in the late 1800s. Those included a style of art that Brynn James learned as a child and incorporated into her winning Partner Cup Contest design.

Rosemaling is a decorative form of folk painting that began in eastern Norway around the 1700s. People who rosemaled for their livelihoods back then were generally poor. They traveled from county to county to paint for the wealthy, and much of their work was done in churches.

“The art is a big part of my life and heritage,” said James. “The style is reflective of Nordic folklore and fairytales, and more than anything it’s whimsical. There are a lot of dark, gloomy days back there, so the art is a reminder that it’s not going to be winter forever.”

On the cup James designed, spring flowers and delicate sprigs of greenery surround the Starbucks logo.

James said her husband encouraged her to enter the cup design contest. She’s generally introverted, noting that “being a barista is the most outgoing thing I do.” James has only been a barista for about nine months, joining the company after her daughter was born because she needed health care benefits. Today, her reason for being a partner goes beyond benefits.

“I love being at Starbucks and being a part of this community. Our customers are amazing. It’s like having a second family.”

James is excited to see her cup design in her Starbucks store and she plans to put a few away for her daughter – in a treasure box for the time being because the 10-month-old would just chew on them now. And one day, James will tell her little girl about how she “stepped out of her comfort zone” to create a design that won a nationwide contest.

“My husband was very encouraging, and my takeaway from this experience is to make sure that I’m as supportive of my daughter and the things that she wants to try when she gets older.”

Brandon Fragua
Staring at a white Starbucks cup with its green Siren logo in the center, Brandon Fragua didn’t have much doubt about what he’d draw.

“Butterfly” was the Native American name given to his grandmother on her wedding day when she married Brandon’s grandfather, a member of the Jemez Pueblo Tribe. A symbol of transformation, his grandfather had a butterfly tattoo and Fragua has a similar one on his forearm. Inspired by its meaning, Fragua drew monarch butterflies around the cup, fluttering from the bottom to the top.

The recognizable orange and black wing pattern of the monarch is “both simple and complex,” said Fragua. “It’s beautiful. I’m inspired by nature.”

After the Starbucks dress code changed allowing visible tattoos, Fragua began receiving compliments on his butterfly tattoo. He expects his customers will be thrilled to see the pattern on reusable cups when they become available. Fragua’s said his family is excited for him and they realize Grandfather Paul, who passed away a few years ago, would be proud.

“He was a big part of my life,” said Fragua. “I grew up close to my grandparents and felt lucky to have them be such a strong influence on my childhood. He would be proud of me today no matter what, but I know that he’d be more than happy with me that I designed a cup that was so personal for our family.”

Fragua also grew up surrounded by artistic talent. Many in his family are well known for their Native American art. His cousin Jaque Fragua is an acclaimed multi-media artist from New Mexico. Another distant relative, Cliff Fragua is the only Native American sculptor to have work installed in Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol.

“A lot of who I am today comes from having a good upbringing,” he said.

“Our partners are remarkable. From the handcrafted beverages they created every day to this handcrafted art, which is an extension of their personalities,” added Amy Alcala, Starbucks vice president of PC&E. “We are excited to see these cups on our store shelves.”

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

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Starbucks announces Starbucks Partner Cup Contest winners

Starbucks announces Starbucks Partner Cup Contest winners

METRO Cash & Carry appoints Pieter Boone as its new CEO

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2015-5-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — Following the successful first phase of METRO Cash & Carry’s repositioning, the international wholesale group is now getting a new CEO: Olaf Koch, currently CEO of METRO Cash & Carry as well as Chairman of the Management Board ofMETRO AG, will focus solely on his role as head of the whole group in the future. Following Koch’s recommendation, the Supervisory Board of METRO AG has now appointed the current Managing Director of METRO Cash & Carry Russia,Pieter Boone, as his successor. Dutch-born Pieter Boone will also join the Management Board of METRO AG, becoming the fifth member alongside Olaf Koch (CEO), Mark Frese (CFO), Pieter Haas (Media-Saturn) and Heiko Hutmacher(Human Resources). Boone will start in his new position as Member of the Management Board of METRO AG on July 1st and will lead METRO Cash & Carry together with Olaf Koch as Co-CEO until the end of the business year. New Managing Director of METRO Cash & Carry Russia will be the current Offer Management Director, Boris Minialai.

“Over the last two years we have introduced numerous measures to get METRO Cash & Carry ready for future growth”, said Olaf Koch. “Now, after seven quarters of successive like-for-like growth, we are seeing the fruits of our labours. It is therefore the right moment to hand over responsibility for METRO Cash & Carry to someone who can dedicate themselves entirely to our crucial wholesale business, and who also brings valuable experience at the company.” Around two years ago Olaf Koch took on the position as CEO of the wholesale subsidiary METRO Cash & Carry on an interims base alongside his role as CEO of METRO AG. Since then, numerous strategic initiatives and structural changes have been introduced at the leading international wholesaler. For instance, the delivery business has undergone major expansion, the country portfolio has been streamlined by exiting unprofitable markets, and the brand profile has been sharpened.

“Pieter Boone has achieved great things at METRO in recent years, proving that he has a wealth of operating experience and strategic foresight. His work is highly focused on objectives and customers; he cultivates close relationships with both the market and his shareholders; and above all he is someone who lives our leadership principles”, Koch added. “I have taken a great deal of pleasure from my position at METRO Cash & Carry, but a double role can only be performed on an interim basis, and Pieter Boone will now be able to dedicate himself entirely to the task. I know that with him the job is in the best hands. The Management Board and Supervisory Board of METRO AG wish him all the best in his new role.”

Pieter Boone began his management career at SHV MAKRO Cash & Carry in 1992 and has since performed various roles in MAKRO’s Asian and South American business, including Managing Director of MAKRO in Peru, the Philippines and Malaysia or Operations Director in Indonesia and Thailand. In 2011, the Dutch-born manager joined METRO GROUP and was assigned as Operations Director at METRO Cash & Carry Russia, where he took over the role of Managing Director in March 2012.

“I am grateful for the trust and confidence shown in me and thankful for the opportunity given to work as CEO ofMETRO Cash & Carry and Member of the Board of METRO AG,” said Boone. “The position as CEO brings many challenges and a great deal of responsibility. I am looking forward to continue the journey started by Olaf Koch and the colleagues as well as to new challenges. I am excited to work with the excellent team of METRO Cash & Carry and the Operating Board – our business is people business.”

Pieter Boone’s successor as Managing Director of METRO Cash & Carry Russia will be Boris Minialai, currently Offer Management Director at the Russian subsidiary. French-born Boris Minialai has been a member of theMETRO Cash & Carry Management Board since December 2014 and was previously Operations Director for the wholesale business in Turkey and Morocco. Minialai came to METRO from the French retailer Carrefour in 2008. His successor as Offer Management Director at METRO Cash & Carry Russia will be Ewa Jankowiak, who currently is in the position of the Deputy Offer Management Director Food.

The METRO GROUP is a leading international retail and wholesale company. In the 2013/14 business year it generated sales of around EUR 63bn. The company is active at roughly 2,200 locations in 30 countries and has around 250,000 employees. The performance of the METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands, which carry out their market activities independently: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – international leaders in the cash & carry business; Media Markt and Saturn – European market leaders in electrical retail; Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

METRO GROUP continues positive trend in its operating business during the second quarter of the financial year 2014/15

  • Like-for-like sales of METRO GROUP again with substantial increase: + 2.5% in Q2 2014/15 and +2.2% in H1 2014/15
  • Online and delivery sales continue to show strong momentum
  • EBIT before special items on previous year’s level in Q2 at €-40 million, reaches €984 million in H1 2014/15 (H1 2013/14: €1,033 million)
  •  Negative impact on EBIT in Q2 2014/15 particularly from goodwill impairment (about €450 million) at Real
  • Net debt reduced by around €800 million as of 31 March 2015 compared with the previous year
  • Sales and earnings guidance confirmed for the financial year 2014/15

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2015-5-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — With like-for-like sales growth of 2.5%, METRO GROUP continued the positive trend in its operating business during the second quarter of the financial year 2014/15. In spite of very negative currency effects, reported group sales also increased by 0.3%. At €-40 million, EBIT before special items was unchanged from previous years’s. Adjusted for currency effects, EBIT before special items rose significantly compared with the previous year. With like-for-like sales growth of 2.2%, the group’s business also developed favourably during the first half of 2014/15, supported by the earlier Easter business compared with the previous year. “The rigorous realignment of our sales lines and our successful efforts to tap new retail channels and formats are increasingly paying off, particularly at METRO Cash & Carry and Media-Saturn. Both sales divisions are now experiencing sustained positive like-for-like sales growth,” said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. “Real Germany also enjoyed a positive like-for-like sales trend. This shows that we are on the right track with our investments in the modernisation of the company and new concepts”.

METRO GROUP’s online retail and delivery businesses continued to gain momentum during the first half of 2014/15: Delivery sales grew by 10.5% to €1.4 billion (H1 2013/14: €1.3 billion). In Q2 2014/15, delivery sales also rose sharply by 10.2% to €0.7 billion. During the first half of 2014/15, METRO GROUP’s online sales totalled €1.0 billion, an increase of about 27% compared with the previous year’s period. Online sales also grew substantially during the second quarter of 2014/15, rising by 23% to €0.5 billion.

Adjusted for currency effects and portfolio changes, METRO GROUP posted sales growth of 2.8% during the first half of 2014/15 (1 October 2014 to 31 March 2015) compared with the previous year’s period. With €32,7 billion reported sales came in slightly below previous year’s level. This is due mostly to the disposal of Real in Eastern Europe as well as to significant negative currency effects in large parts of Eastern Europe, particularly Russia and Ukraine. On a like-for-like basis, sales increased markedly by 2.2%. In the second quarter (1 January to 31 March 2015), sales adjusted for currency effects and portfolio changes grew by 3.2%. Despite high negative currency effects, reported sales increased by 0.3% to €14.4 billion. Like-for-like sales in-creased by 2.5%, the strongest gain in 7 years. This positive development was supported by the earlier Easter business compared with the previous year.

In Germany, sales increased by 0.9% to €13.6 billion during the first half of 2014/15. During the second quarter, the strong development at Media-Saturn had a particularly positive effect on sales, which increased by 1.8%. The earlier Easter business also contributed to this development. International sales fell by 2.5% to €19.1 billion in H1 2014/15, due mostly to exchange rate developments. In spite of negative portfolio effects, currency-adjusted sales increased by 1.2%. Sales declined slightly by 0.8% in the second quarter, but increased by 2.0% in local currency.

In Western Europe (excluding Germany), sales rose by 1.0% to €10.0 billion in H1 2014/15. This is due to positive developments at Media-Saturn. In Q2 2014/15, sales climbed by 0.9%. In Eastern Europe, sales declined by 11.9% to €6.9 billion in H1 2014/15. The decrease primarily resulted from distinctly negative currency effects and the disposal of Real in Eastern Europe. Currency-adjusted sales increased by 0.6%. Sales fell by 11.3% in the second quarter of 2014/15, while sales in local currency increased by 2.7%. Sales in Asia/Africa grew markedly by 18.0% to €2.2 billion, supported by positive currency effects besides favourable operational developments. Measured in local currency, sales rose by 4.6%. On the back of stronger momentum, sales rose by 24.2% in Q2 2014/15 (in local currency: +6.0%).

 

METRO GROUP H1 2013/14
(€ M)
H1 2014/15
(€ M)
 Change
(in €)
Change
(in local currency)
Sales 33,047 32,677
-1.1% 1.1%
Germany 13,508 13,623
0.9% 0.9%
Western Europe
(Excl. Germany)
9,853 9,953
1.0% 0.9%
Eastern Europe 7,780 6,852
-11.9% 0.6%
Asia/Africa 1,906 2,248
18.0% 4.6%
METRO GROUP Q2 2013/14
(€ M)
Q2 2014/15
(€ M)
 Change
(in €)
Change
(in local currency)
Sales 14,326 14,366 0.3% 2.0%
Germany 5,799 5,905 1.8% 1.8%
Western Europe
(Excl. Germany)
4,322 4,361 0.9% 0.5%
Eastern Europe 3,170 2,813 -11.3% 2.7%
Asia/Africa 1,036 1,287 24.2% 6.0%

During the first half of 2014/15, EBIT at METRO GROUP stood at €418 million (H1 2013/14: €861 million). This figure includes positive special items totalling €566 million (H1 2013/14: €172 million). EBIT before special items amounted to €984 million (H1 2013/14: €1,033 million). This decline is due, in particular, to foreign exchange losses of €90 million, primarily in relation to Russian rouble. As a result, EBIT before special items adjusted for currency effects increased in the reporting quarter. In Q2 2014/15, EBIT totalled €-590 million (Q2 2013/14: €-233 million). Special items totalling €550 million (Q2 2013/14: €193 million) primarily relate to a goodwill impairment at Real. EBIT before special items came in at €-40 million (Q2 2013/14: €-40 million). Adjusted for negative currency effects of about €30 million, EBIT before special items thus improved significantly.

In the first half of 2014/15, Earnings before tax amounted to €243 million (H1 2013/14: €541 million). Before special items, earnings before taxes totalled €799 million (H1 2013/14: €749 million). Reported tax expenses of €181 million (H1 2013/14: €299 million) correspond to a group tax rate of 74.6% (H1 2013/14: 55.2%). The tax rate before special items stands at 45.2% (H1 2013/14: 45.2%). In the first half of 2014/15, net profit for the period amounted to €62 million (H1 2013/14: €242 million). Net profit for the period before special items improved to €438 million from €411 million. In the first half of 2014/15, earnings per share amounted to €0.03 (H1 2013/14: €0.56). Adjusted for special items, earnings per share amounted to €1.16, after €1.07 in the previous year’s period. In Q2 2014/15, earnings per share came to €-1.21 (Q2 2013/14: €0.82). Adjusted for special items, earnings per share in Q2 2014/15 stood at €-0.21 (Q2 2013/14: €-0.28).

Net debt of METRO GROUP amounted to €5.6 billion on 31 March 2015, a drop of around €800 million compared with the total on 31 March 2014.

 

Earnings of METRO GROUP
(€ million)
H1 2013/14 H1 2014/15
EBIT before special items 1,033 984
Earnings before tax (EBT) and special items 749 799
Net profit for the period before special items 411 438
Net profit for the period attributable to shareholders of METRO AG before special items 348 378
Earnings per share before special items in € 1.07 1.16
EBIT 861 418
EBT (earnings before taxes) 541 243
Net profit for the period 242 62
Net profit for the period attributable to shareholders of METRO AG 182 10
Earnings per share in € 0.56 0.03
Earnings of METRO GROUP
(€ million)
Q2 2013/14 Q2 2014/15
EBIT before special items -40 -40
Earnings before taxes (EBT) and special items -184 -110
Net profit for the period before special items -92 -63
Net profit for the period attributable to shareholders of METRO AG before special items -92 -67
Earnings per share before special items in € -0.28 -0.21
EBIT -233 -590
EBT (earnings before taxes) -403 -658
Net profit for the period -271 397
Net profit for the period attributable to shareholders of METRO AG -269 394
Earnings per share in € -0.82 1.21

Outlook

The forecast is based on the current group structure and refers to currency-adjusted figures. In addition, it is based on the assumption of an unchanged geopolitical situation from the quarterly report for Q1 2014/15.

For the financial year 2014/15, METRO GROUP expects to see a slight rise in overall sales, despite the persistently chal-lenging economic environment. In like-for-like sales, METRO GROUP foresees a slight in-crease that will follow the 0.1% gain in the previous year. In the financial year 2014/15, earnings development will also be shaped by the persistently challenging economic environment. Given the progress made so far, METRO GROUP will continue to realign its business models with a focus on efficient structures and strict cost control. For these reasons, METRO GROUP expects EBIT before special items adjusted for currency effects with a difference development in the individual sales lines to rise slightly above the €1,727 million produced in the financial year 2013/14, including typical levels of income from real estate sales.

METRO Cash & Carry

Overall, METRO Cash & Carry continued its very positive development, recording the seventh consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth at 1.1%. Due to exchange rate factors (primarily Russian rouble), however, sales in euro decreased by 3.1% to €14.9 billion in the first half of 2014/15. By contrast, sales in local currency declined by 0.6%. In Russia the sales line recorded double-digit like-for-like growth. Sales fell by 2.5% in the second quarter of 2014/15, while sales in local currency increased by 0.3%. Delivery sales continued their positive trend, rising by 10.5% to €1.4 billion in the first half of 2014/15. Delivery sales now account for 9.3% of METRO Cash & Carry sales. Sales from the delivery business continued their upward trend in Q2 2014/15, rising by 10.2% to €0.7 billion.

During the first half of 2014/15, EBIT amounted to €504 million (H1 2013/14: €451 million) and included special items of €15 million. These concern, in particular, a goodwill impairment at METRO Cash & Carry in Pakistan. EBIT before special items amounted to €519 million (H1 2013/14: €583 million). This decline is due mostly to very negative year-over-year currency effects of about €90 million in Russia. As a result, METRO Cash & Carry’s EBIT improved in local currency terms. In Q2 2014/15, EBIT before special items came to €37 million (Q2 2013/14: €43 million). This figure includes negative currency effects of about €30 million. As such, EBIT actually improved significantly in currency-adjusted terms.

METRO Cash & Carry H1 2013/14
(€ M)
H1 2014/15
(€ M)
Change
(in €)
Change
(in local currency)
Like-for-like
(in local currency)
Sales 15,369 14,889 -3.1% 0.6% 1.2%
Germany 2,441 2,402 -1.6% -1.6% -1.6%
Western Europe
(Excl. Germany)
5,192 5,045 -2.8% -2.8% -1.4%
Eastern Europe 5,833 5,198 -10.9% 3.7% 4.4%
Asia/Africa 1,903 2,244 17.9% 4.5% 3.9%
EBIT before special items
583 519 € -64 million
METRO Cash & Carry Q2 2013/14
(€ M)
Q2 2014/15
(€ M)
 Change
(in €)
Change
(in local curreny)
Like-for-like
(local currency)
Sales 6,861 6,691 -2.5% 0.3% 1.1%
Germany 1,078 1,048 -2.8% -2.8% -2.9%
Western Europe
(Excl. Germany)
2,276 2,190 -3.8% -3.8% -1.6%
Eastern Europe 2,472 2,169 -12.3% 2.8% 4.7%
Asia/Africa 1,035 1,285 24.2% 6.0% 4.0%
EBIT before special items
43 37 € -6 million

Media-Saturn

Media-Saturn continued and accelerated its positive sales trend during the past quarter. In Q2 2014/15, like-for-like sales jumped by 5.2%. Overall, sales increased by 4.8% to €12.0 billion during the first half of 2014/15. Partly as a result of the expansion, sales in local currency even grew by 6.1%. Like-for-like sales in-creased by 4.4%. All regions contributed to the positive sales development. Sales grew by 5.7% in the second quarter and by as much as 6.9% in local currency. Like-for-like sales increased by 5.2%. In tandem with the positive sales development, Media-Saturn managed to expand its market share in several countries. In Germany, sales increased by 7.0% to €2.4 billion. Like-for-like sales increased by 5.9%. Several successful marketing activities contributed to this positive development. In addition, as market leader, Media-Saturn benefited from positive broad market developments. Following exceptionally strong growth in Russia resulting from strong pull-forward effects during the first quarter, business slowed somewhat during the second quarter. Business developments were particularly favourable in Hungary and Poland.

Media-Saturn continued to forge ahead with the rigorous expansion of its online business and the dovetailing of its sales channels during the first half of 2014/15. As a result, online sales rose markedly by about 25% to €0.9 billion, accounting for nearly 8% of Media-Saturn’s total sales. Online sales also grew during the second quarter, rising by more than 20% to €0.4 billion. In the meantime, the multi-channel offering established as an integral part of Media-Saturn’s business. The online product range was expanded once again. At the end of March 2015, it comprised more than 110,000 products at Mediamarkt.de and more than 100,000 at Saturn.de.

EBIT of Media-Saturn jumped sharply in the first half of 2014/15, rising to €332 million (H1 2013/14: €266 million). This figure includes positive special items totalling €38 million (H1 2013/14: €9 million), which mostly relate to store-related restructuring measures. EBIT before special items amounted to €369 million (H1 2013/14: €275 million), a significant improvement of 34.5%. The strong increase was largely due to good like-for-like sales growth. In Q2 2014/15, EBIT before special items improved markedly to €20 million from a negative result of €-14 million in the previous year’s quarter.

Media-Saturn H1 2013/14
(€ M)
H1 2014/15
(€ M)
 Change
(in €)
Change
(in local currency)
Like-for-like
(in local currency)
Sales 11,482 12,035 4.8% 6.1% 4.4%
Germany 5,388 5,588 3.7% 3.7% 2.7%
Western Europe
(Excl. Germany)
4,565 4,815 5.5% 5.1% 3.7%
Eastern Europe 1,529 1,632 6.7% 18.5% 13.2%
EBIT before special items 275 369 € +94 million
Media-Saturn Q2 2013/14
(€ M)
Q2 2014/15
(€ M)
 Change
(in €)
Change
(in local currency)
Like-for-like
(in local currency)
Sales 4,881 5,161 5.7% 6.9% 5.2%
Germany 2,242 2,399 7.0% 7.0% 5.9%
Western Europe
(Excl. Germany)
2,001 2,127 6.3% 5.4% 3.7%
Eastern Europe 638 634 -0.6% 11.7% 8.0%
EBIT before special items -14 20 €+34 million

Real

As a result of the disposal of Real Eastern Europe, sales at Real declined from €4.5 billion to €4.1 billion in the first half of 2014/15. The figure for the previous year’s period still included sales of Real in Poland and Turkey. Due to store closures, sales of Real Germany declined by 0.7% to €4.1 billion in the first half of 2014/15. In turn, like-for-like sales increased by 1.0%. In Q2 2014/15, sales decreased by 0.7%. Like-for-like sales increased by 1.1%, helped by the earlier Easter business. Deflationary developments, particularly in the ultra-fresh produce area, as well as a late start to the gardening season prevented an even better development. Sales of Real Online developed favourably. Online sales doubled to €10 million during the second quarter of 2014/15.

In H1 2014/15, EBIT of Real stood at €-432 million (H1 2013/14: €34 million). This figure includes special items totalling €480 million (H1 2013/14: €23 million). Against the backdrop of earnings developments, this relates to goodwill impairments, in particular. Following a sustainable repositioning, Real has carried out impairments for goodwill resulting from company acquisitions that were completed 17 years ago. EBIT before special items amounted to €48 million, compared with €56 million in the previous year’s period. The decline was driven by increased general cost, but also especially caused by activities for a sustainable improvement of customer perception and competitiveness. Thus, the marketing activities were intensified in H1 2014/15 and expenditures for store remodelling were increased in order to align more stores with the new concept. In Q2 2014/15, EBIT before special items came to €-36 million (Q2 2013/14: €-41 million). This result also includes the earlier Easter business.

Real H1 2013/14
(€ M)
H1 2014/15
(€ M)
 Change
(in €)
Change
(in local currency)
Like-for-like
(in local currency)
Total sales
4,507 4,059 -9.9% -9.9% 1.0%
Germany 4,089 4,059 -0.7% -0.7% 1.0%
EBIT before special items
56 48 € -8 million
Real Q2 2013/14
(€ M)
Q2 2014/15
(€ M)
Change
(in €)
Change
(in local currency)
Like-for-like
(in local currency)
Total sales
1,900 1,829 -3.8% -4.0% 1.1%
Germany 1,841 1,829 -0.7% -0.7% 1.1%
EBIT before special items
-41 36 € +5 million

Galeria Kaufhof

During the first half of 2014/15, sales at Galeria Kaufhof fell by 1.0% to €1.7 billion. Like-for-like sales decreased by 1.1%. This trend improved slightly during the second quarter of 2014/15, with like-for-like sales declining by 0.6%. As a result, Galeria Kaufhof outperformed the textile market in several segments, thereby expanding its market share.

In H1 2014/15, EBIT stood at €115 million (H1 2013/14: €157 million). Special items amounted to €11 million. This concerns primarily store-related restructuring expenses. EBIT before special items dropped to €126 million (H1 2013/14: €157 million). The decline is due mostly to the fact that winter items had to be sold at a discount as the seasonal business progressed. In Q2 2014/15, EBIT before special items came to €-13 million (Q2 2013/14: €-2 million). Discounts and diminishing like-for-like sales resulted in this decrease.

Galeria Kaufhof H1 2013/14
(€ M)
H1 2014/15
(€ M)
Change
(in €)
Like-for-like
Sales 1,684 1,667 -1.0% -1.1%
Germany 1,588 1,574 -0.9% -0.8%
Western Europe 96 93 -3.2% -5.9%
EBIT before special items 157 126 € -31 million
Galeria Kaufhof Q2 2013/14
(€ M)
Q2 2014/15
(€ M)
 Change
(in €)
Like-for-like
Sales 682 674 -1.1% -0.6%
Germany 637 630 -1.0% -0.3%
Western Europe 45 43 -2.9% -5.8%
EBIT before special items
-2 -13 €-11 million
METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. In the financial year 2013/14 it generated sales of around €63 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 30 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing – Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.