Gap announces partnership with Ellen DeGeneres’ new lifestyle brand ED

The iconic brand and America’s favorite talk show host are launching GapKids x ED; an apparel collection and social movement supporting the strength and power of girls

NEW YORK, 2015-5-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gap, the classic American clothing brand, today revealed a partnership with Ellen DeGeneres’ new lifestyle brand, ED. The ED brand, consisting of women’s apparel, accessories & decorative home, is inspired by the iconic style, values and personality of DeGeneres.  GapKids x ED is an apparel collection and social movement designed to help all girls realize they have the power to do extraordinary things. The collection will be available for purchase starting August 17, 2015 through, in all GapKids stores in the United States, and select stores in Canada, United Kingdom, China and Japan.

“We know our customers love Ellen as much as we do,” said Jeff Kirwan, Gap Global President.  “And we couldn’t be more pleased to be partnering with her on our GapKids x ED collection. We look forward to launching the collection in time for back to school as it enables us to champion girls in a way that continues to be true to our brand’s heritage, which has long stood for supporting youth in a way that unleashes their potential.”

“I am thrilled that my lifestyle brand, ED, is partnering with Gap to encourage young girls to pursue their passion, whether it’s math, science, sports, the arts,” said DeGeneres. “Following my passion allowed me to be exactly who I am today– a talk show host with a vibrant side business as a party mime.”

About Gap
Gap is one of the world’s most iconic apparel and accessories brands and the authority on American casual style.  Founded in San Francisco in 1969, Gap’s collections are designed to build the foundation of modern wardrobes – all things denim, classic white shirts, khakis and must-have trends.  Beginning with the first international store in London in 1987, Gap continues to connect with customers online and across the brand’s more than 1,700 company-operated and franchise retail locations around the world. Gap includes Women’s and Men’s apparel and accessories, GapKids, babyGap, GapMaternity, GapBody and GapFit collections.  The brand also serves value-conscious customers with exclusively-designed collections for Gap Outlet and Gap Factory Stores.  Gap is the namesake brand for leading global specialty retailer, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) which includes Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix. For more information, please visit

About ED
ED is an American lifestyle brand inspired by the iconic style, values and personality of founder, Ellen DeGeneres.  With a passion for interior design, architecture and fashion, Ellen brings her unique vision to this beautifully designed, high quality collection of women’s apparel, accessories and decorative home.  The lifestyle brand is real, accessible and every product feels like a personal connection between Ellen and consumers around the world.  ED will launch in June 2015 exclusively on

Wegmans Food Markets to hire 550 full- and part-time people for its new Westwood location set to open on October 11

WESTWOOD, MA, 2015-5-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wegmans Food Markets today announced it is now hiring and training for both part-time and full-time positions for its new Westwood location on University Ave near I95, set to open on October 11. A variety of positions in all departments are available. These include a significant number of culinary positions, such as cooks and front of house.

Wegmans Westwood store will employ a total of 550 full- and part-time people, the vast majority hired locally.

“Now is the time to apply. Although we won’t open for a few months, we will bring new employees on board quickly to start training,” said Marybeth Stewart, Wegmans Human Resources Manager for New England. “One of the reasons Wegmans is such a great place to work is that we promote from within. We are opening new stores every year, and more are planned for New England. This opens up so much opportunity for anyone interested in a career with our company.”

Open interviews will be conducted and part-time and full-time applicants may apply online at or call 1-877-WEGMANS (934-6267) for more information.

The Westwood Wegmans is a 122,000 square-foot supermarket and includes a Market Café with indoor and outdoor seating and a complete wine and beer shop.

“We’re right on track in terms of the construction schedule at the Westwood store. We have our sign up at University Station and newly hired full-time employees training at different locations,” said Westwood Store Manager Dave Orlovsky. “Wegmans is a great place to work and build a career. We have best-in-class training programs, competitive pay and benefits, including our scholarship program, and a family atmosphere in our stores. ”


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 eighteen consecutive years. In 2015, Wegmans ranked #7 on the list. 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, Wegmans vice president of media relations, 585-429-3627
Stacy Clougherty, RF|Binder for Wegmans, 781-559-0427

The American Red Cross recognized IKEA US for its support of Red Cross disaster response work through the Disaster Responder Program

Assistance Critical to Enabling Red Cross to Respond to Disasters in the United States

PHILADELPHIA, PA, 2015-5-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — The American Red Cross today recognized IKEA US, headquartered in Conshohocken, Pa., for its support of Red Cross disaster response work through the Disaster Responder Program.

The IKEA partnership with the Red Cross enables the organization to provide safety and comfort to families in communities after a disaster strikes. IKEA is supporting the Red Cross by delivering 4,300 IKEA comfort and care packages annually to IKEA U.S. local communities to help people impacted by disaster. These comfort care packages consist of everyday home items, such as: sheets, pillows, towels and toys to help families get back on their feet.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of IKEA and other companies and foundations, which ensures that the Red Cross can immediately respond to the needs of people impacted by disaster in the United States,” said Judge Renee Hughes (ret.), Eastern Pennsylvania Region chief executive officer, “Members of this program generously help create a reliable funding base for disaster relief services, providing food, shelter, emotional support and other essential assistance to disaster victims.”

“IKEA is committed to creating a better life for its communities. We are proud to partner with the Red Cross to support efforts that focus on assisting disaster survivors during and after an emergency. We’re happy to know that IKEA products will help make their daily life easier and more comfortable,” said Evamay Lawson, IKEA US sustainability manager.

“The generous donations from Disaster Responder Program members help the Red Cross assist disaster survivors and support volunteers who work tirelessly at the disaster scene,” said Neal Litvack, American Red Cross chief development officer. “All money donated by the program members and by the general public is essential to our ability to fulfil the mission of the Red Cross.”

Other members of the Disaster Responder Program include major leading companies such as 1-800-BOARDUP; Alcoa; Astellas USA Foundation; AstraZeneca; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; AXA; Ball Foundation; Bi-Lo Holdings parent company of BI-LO, Harveys and Winn-Dixie: Carlson Rezidor Hotels; The Clorox Company; Delta Air Lines; Farmers Insurance; General Motors Foundation; H&M; Hewlett Packard Company Foundation; IKEA; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Marsh & McLennan Companies; MetLife Foundation; Morgan Stanley; New Balance Foundation; Northrup Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Procter & Gamble Company; PSEG Foundation; PuroClean; Residence Inn by Marriott; Ryder; San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E); Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc.; State Street; Swiss Re Foundation; T O Y O T A and U.S. Bank.

People can join the Disaster Responder Program members in supporting Red Cross Disaster Relief and help provide food, shelter, emotional support and other assistance to the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make a donation.

Contact: Mona Astra Liss, IKEA US Corporate Public Relations Director,~ 610.834.0180/ext. 5852

American Red Cross- Anthony Tornetta, Communications Director, @atornetta @ARC_EasternPA (267)-246-4375

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About IKEA Group
The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 315 IKEA Group stores in 27 countries. Additionally, there are 40 IKEA stores run by franchises. There are 40 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 14, IKEA Group had 716 million visitors to the stores and 1.5 billion visitors to IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, please visit,, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA,,,,

Kesko names Karoliina Partanen grocery trade division’s VP Communications

HELSINKI, Finland, 2015-5-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Karoliina Partanen, 38, M.Sc. (Soc.), has been appointed Kesko’s grocery trade division’s (Kesko Food Ltd) Vice President, Communications and a member of the Management Board as of 11 May 2015.

She has previously worked for nearly 10 years for Metso Corporation in various executive positions in global communications, marketing and brand management, most recently as Vice President, Global Marketing & Brand.

Before Metso, Karoliina Partanen worked for management consultancy Pohjoisranta Burson-Marsteller as Senior Advisor.

The position of the Vice President, Communications is a new one in Kesko’s grocery trade division.

Ari Svensk appointed grocery trade division’s Vice President, Human Resources

Ari Svensk, 51, M.Sc. (Econ.), has been appointed Kesko grocery trade division’s (Kesko Food Ltd) Vice President responsible for human resources and a member of the Management Board as of 1 June 2015. He has previously held various executive positions in Kesko Food’s business; most recently Svensk has been Kesko’s Vice President, Human Resources and Managing Director of K-instituutti Oy.

The grocery trade division is Kesko’s largest division. In 2014, its net sales totalled €4.7 billion.

Both Karoliina Partanen and Ari Svensk will report to Senior Vice President Jorma Rauhala.

Further information:

Jorma Rauhala, Senior Vice President, grocery trade division, tel. +358 105 322 211

Lauri Peltola, Senior Vice President, corporate responsibility, communications and stakeholder relations, tel. +358 105 322 400

Kesko ( is a retail specialist whose stores offer quality to the daily lives of consumers. Kesko has about 2,000 stores engaged in chain operations in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, and Belarus.


Carrefour’s robot Nao tours hypermarkets in Spain to teach children the secrets to a healthy life

MADRID, SPAIN, 2015-5-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour has organised a tour of various hypermarkets in Spain, sharing the secrets to a healthy life with very young children. Fifty children were at the programme’s launch at a Carrefour centre in Madrid.

In April, with support from the Fundacion Espanola Nutricion, Carrefour launched an initiative to teach children about healthy diets.

NAO will visit the provinces of Seville, Malaga, Córdoba, Cáceres, Almería, Cádiz, Murcia, Alicante and Grenade. The idea will be to teach children about what exactly eating a healthy and balanced diet involves – i.e. eating proper food, drinking plenty of water, getting enough physical exercise, washing hands, etc.

The initiative is being supported by Spain’s Nutrition Foundation – which is very proud of the way in which it is breaking new ground. “Using a robot to reach out to very young children is a step forward as far as education in the broadest sense is concerned, as well – more specifically – regarding diet”, said Gregorio Varela Moreiras, professor of nutrition at CEU San Pablo University and president of the Foundation.

The programme is in line with Carrefour’s strategic programme for innovation and new technologies. “NAO gets young people’s attention – the robot works alongside us in getting information across to them in a way that is straightforward and appealing”, said Agustin Ramos, Corporate Director of Carrefour Spain.


Carrefour’s robot Nao tours hypermarkets in Spain to teach children the secrets to a healthy life

Carrefour’s robot Nao tours hypermarkets in Spain to teach children the secrets to a healthy life

Starbucks moves Ethos Water sourcing and manufacturing out of California due to serious drought conditions and necessary water conservation efforts in the state

SEATTLE, 2015-5-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Due to the serious drought conditions and necessary water conservation efforts in California, Starbucks is moving the sourcing and manufacturing of Ethos Water out of state.

Beginning the first week of May and over the next six months, Starbucks plans to move production to its Pennsylvania supplier, while simultaneously exploring alternatives to transition to a new source and supplier to serve the company’s West Coast distribution.

Starbucks has been actively engaged in the local efforts to conserve water and has decreased usage by 26 percent in the State of California through green building and water conservations practices.

“We are committed to our mission to be a globally responsible company and to support the people of the state of California as they face this unprecedented drought,” said John Kelly, Starbucks senior vice president of Global Responsibility and Public Policy. “The decision to move our Ethos water sourcing from California and reduce our in-store water usage by more than 25 percent are steps we are taking in partnership with state and local governments to accelerate water conservation.”

Ethos Water serves the needs of some of the billion people around the world who lack access to clean water.  Starbucks acquired Ethos Water in 2005 in an effort to help address the global humanitarian water crisis.  Since then Starbucks has invested over $12 million in water, sanitation and hygiene education in coffee growing countries in Africa, Indonesia and Latin America.

For more information on this news release, contact us.

Starbucks® mobile app nominated for GeekWire’s “App of the Year” award

SEATTLE, 2015-5-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Celebrating Northwest technology and innovation, the annual GeekWire Awards are a bit of a cross between the Oscars and a geek prom. Tonight (5/7/15)  members of Starbucks digital production team were there among fellow tech all-stars because Starbucks® mobile app is nominated for GeekWire’s “App of the Year” award. The winner was a dating app called Siren (no relation to the Starbucks Siren).

GeekWire, based in Seattle, is a national tech news site offering breaking news, expert analysis and industry insights. Each year, GeekWire rolls out a red carpet to honor the Northwest’s top tech innovators and companies through 13 award categories including: Geekiest Office Space, Gadget of the Year, and Next Tech Titan.

While it was “an honor to be nominated,” as the saying goes, for Starbucks mobile app team the greater reward is working on a digital tool that customers find useful.

“What motivates me to get to work every day is helping create the technology that makes life a little easier for both our customers and store partners (employees),” said Caroline Maxwell, a Starbucks graphic designer who works on the Android development team.

Maxwell started with Starbucks as a barista in a busy 24-hour drive-thru location, and worked in the store environment for three years. Her in-store experience influences her design perspective today, as she “always has barista usability in mind.”

When Maxwell joined Starbucks, in 2011, the company had just launched mobile payment in all U.S. company-operated stores, allowing customers to pay for in-store purchases using a mobile device. Justin Shorney, an iOS developer, began working for Starbucks about a year later as the team began “building a new app from scratch,” taking advantage of new operating system capabilities.

“Having an in-house team like ours helps Starbucks create an app that is exactly what our customers want and yet we’re able to breathe Starbucks culture into the product too,” Shorney said.

The app features digital tipping, giving customers the option of adding a barista tip to their order. “Shake to pay” allows customers to simply shake their phones while inside the app to immediately bring up their Starbucks Card barcode. And the mobile app seamlessly integrates the My Starbucks Rewards® loyalty program.

In December of 2014, Starbucks piloted Mobile Order & Pay in Portland, Oregon. A new feature of the Starbucks® app, Mobile Order & Pay allows iPhone users (Android to follow later this year) to place and pay for their orders in advance of their visit and pick them up at their chosen Starbucks® store. Since its introduction in Portland, Starbucks has expanded the feature to over 600 stores in the Pacific Northwest and is on track for a national rollout of Mobile Order & Pay this year.

“From a development perspective it is awe-inspiring to be able to work on something that millions of people use every day, and it’s fun to work for a company that is as serious about technology as it is about coffee,” Shorney said. “This is a perfect place for me. I love both coffee and tech.”

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


Starbucks® mobile app nominated for GeekWire’s "App of the Year" award

Starbucks® mobile app nominated for GeekWire’s “App of the Year” award

METRO Cash & Carry to grant its national subsidiaries more entrepreneurial freedom and will implement new organisational structure starting on 1 July 2015

  • New Operating Model strengthens the responsibility of national subsidiaries and replaces METRO Cash & Carry Board with team of Operating Partners
  • Decentralisation of operational functions
  • Olaf Koch: “Value is created with the customer, and the new model will make us quicker, more streamlined and more dynamic”

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2015-5-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO Cash & Carry will grant its 26 national subsidiaries more entrepreneurial freedom in the future and has adapted its organisational structure for this purpose. While the national management will be given greater responsibility for operational functions, the headquarters is changing its management structure: in place of the currently nine-person METRO Cash & Carry Board – the so-called Extended Management Board, soon a team of ten Operating Partners will be overseeing two to three countries each, so their day-to-day activities will be focused much more sharply on the respective customers and the local demand. The new organisational structure will be gradually implemented starting on 1 July 2015.

“Value is created locally, in the markets and with the customers, which is why we are now giving a further boost to local responsibility and entrepreneurial freedom,” said Olaf Koch, CEO of METRO AG. “We have already decentralised decision-making in recent years, strengthening the role of the national managers. As a next step, we want to achieve an even more powerful structure, with faster decision-making channels and, above all, with national managers who think and act as entrepreneurs, and who will hold considerably more sway in running their business.”

An Operating Board will replace the current Extended Management Board of METRO Cash & Carry with the goal of supporting the development of the national markets with a much more operational focus. Heading up this management group as CEO from 1 October 2015 will be Pieter Boone, who has been managing one of the most successful national subsidiaries, METRO Cash & Carry Russia. As reported earlier this week, Olaf Koch, who has acted as CEO of METRO Cash & Carry as well as CEO of the METRO GROUP since 2013, will pass on the ad interim role of METRO Cash & Carry CEO to Pieter Boone in order to focus fully on managing the parent company as CEO of METRO AG.

Olaf Koch said: “We are on the right track. Thanks to the direction we have set and initiatives we have introduced over the last two years, we have now recorded like-for-like growth at METRO Cash & Carry for seven successive quarters. The new Operating Model should accelerate this positive trend. With the new Operating Model, we take a logical step in giving the national Managing Directors greater entrepreneurial freedom. While we still want support from the headquarters, ‘one-size-fits-all’ central directives are not effective in the local markets. In the future, we will be able to respond to local demand and special customer requirements much more quickly and therefore increase our growth potential.”

Essentially, the newly developed Operating Model, which will be implemented within the next 18 months, consists of the following elements:

  • The Managing Directors of the national subsidiaries will be granted considerably more entrepreneurial freedom, for example, in marketing or store operations and will work according to a Value Creation Plan. Their performance-related bonus payment will depend solely on the performance of their respective markets.
  • An Operating Partner with a small team of experts will support each national Managing Director and their top-level management in the operation and continued development of the local METRO Cash & Carry business.
  • Some country divisions will take over the responsibility for certain operational disciplines and will support all other countries in this function (“Federation Model”); for instance, the operational competency for the hotel, restaurant and catering business (“HoReCa”) will be given to France; the respective function will thus be moved from the Düsseldorf headquarters to Paris.
  • The functions HR, IT / IM and finance will be further managed in Düsseldorf; the responsible Officers are called “Functional Partners”; together with the Operational Partners and the CEO, they represent the highest leadership body of METRO Cash & Carry.
  • Strict METRO AG governance functions such as Accounting, Audit, Compliance, Controlling, Legal or Tax will also remain as they are.

Due to the new organisational model, there also will be a reduction in the headcount of the Düsseldorf headquarters as responsibilities will be moved to the countries. This process will be done in close collaboration with the Works Council. However, from an organisation-wide perspective, there will be no job losses.

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.