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Toys“R”Us: The 30th Anniversary of Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Gala raised $4.6 million



Among the Largest Single-Night Fundraising Events in New York City, the Annual Benefit Draws Support from Toy and Baby Products Industry Leaders, Generating Nearly $115 Million Since its Inception; Special Evening Showcases the Work of the Fund’s Signature Partners, Including Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation™, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Operation Shower and Special Olympics, Among Others

WAYNE, NJ, 2015-5-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Last night, nearly 1,300 leaders from the toy and baby products industries came together at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City to celebrate the 2015 Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Gala. During this celebratory evening of entertainment and fundraising, $4.6 million was raised for the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys“R”Us, Inc., to aid in its mission to keep children safe and help them in times of need. The event was hosted by Emmy® and Tony Award®-winning comedian Martin Short and featured an unforgettable performance by four-time GRAMMY® winner Lenny Kravitz.

“Over the last 30 years, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Gala has allowed us to proudly showcase the Fund’s most significant efforts, while recognizing the charitable organizations we support,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman of the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund.“Toys“R”Us® founder Charles Lazarus had a simple goal of helping improve the well-being of children, which led to the Fund’s first Gala in 1985. As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of this very special evening, we are grateful for the continued support of the toy and baby products industries and delighted to have raised nearly $115 million to help kids in need.”

Below are highlights of some of the company’s key philanthropic initiatives from the past year:

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation™
In 2014, Toys“R”Us partnered for the fourth consecutive year with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), an organization dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer. What started as a front yard lemonade stand hosted by 4-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who was diagnosed with cancer just before her first birthday, has turned into a national effort continued today by children and families who host lemonade stands across the country each year. The company’s in-store and online fundraising campaign raised more than $2.2 million for the organization and brought awareness to the importance of supporting ALSF and finding a cure for pediatric cancer through the #Stir4ACure social media initiative. Since the partnership began in 2011, donations from customers, Toys“R”Us, Inc. and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund together have provided more than $8.3 million to the organization.

Disaster Response and Relief Through Save the Children
As part of an ongoing commitment to help children and families in times of crisis, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and Toys“R”Us, Inc. have provided Save the Children with nearly $5 million in monetary and product donations to aid in the organization’s efforts to help protect children, ensure their safety in shelters and support their emotional recovery during times of disaster. In 2014, to help the organization prepare for future events, Toys“R”Us stores began to offer a reusable bag showcasing Save the Children artwork, created by a young child, with one dollar from the purchase of each bag benefiting the organization’s Domestic Emergency Fund.

Make-A-Wish America®
For the past 17 years, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and Toys“R”Us, Inc. have partnered with Make-A-Wish America to help fulfill wishes for hundreds of “wish children” across the country. A visit to Toys“R”Us is a top request for many of these kids who are facing life-threatening medical conditions, and throughout the year, Toys“R”Us stores nationwide create celebratory shopping events. In addition to these very special outings, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and Toys“R”Us, Inc. have supported the mission of Make-A-Wish with more than $2.8 million in funding to help even more children experience the magic of a wish.

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and Toys“R”Us, Inc. once again teamed up with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to bring joy and smiles to America’s neediest children during the 2014 holiday season. NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal – and his alter-ego Shaq-A-Claus – joined Toys“R”Us to #PlayItForward in communities across the country, helping the company’s in-store and online fundraising campaign raise a record-breaking $6.4 million. Toys“R”Us has raised nearly $42 million and collected 4 million toys since the partnership began in 2004. In addition, grants totaling more than $5.4 million have been awarded to Toys for Tots by the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund.

Operation Shower
Since 2012, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and Babies“R”Us® have worked with Operation Shower to co-host joyful baby showers for military moms-to-be across the country. In addition to being separated from their spouses due to deployment, expectant military moms are often far away from friends and family. Together, Operation Shower and Babies“R”Us have showered nearly 500 moms during nine amazing events, ensuring military families receive some of the basic essentials they need for their newborns. To date, Toys“R”Us, Inc. and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund have provided more than $500,000 to the organization through grant funding and in-kind donations.

Special Olympics International
For more than 15 years, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund has directed grants to Special Olympics, primarily to support the organization’s Young Athletes™ Program, an inclusive, innovative play program for children, ages 2½ to 7 that develops critical early cognitive, social and motor skills, while introducing kids to the world of sports.

Building upon its commitment to help children of all abilities, Toys“R”Us, Inc. and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund recently announced a significant partnership expansion with Special Olympics centered around #MyFirstSportsMoment. With an overall grant of $1.75 million from the Fund, Toys“R”Us will serve as a sponsor of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, to be held in Los Angeles, CA from July 25 to August 2, and will support the organization’s ambitious five-year plan to strengthen and expand the Young Athletes Program in the U.S. and around the globe. As part of the partnership expansion, the company recently hosted a fundraising campaign, which raised more than $2 million so kids everywhere may experience the joy of sports while learning how to hit balls, run bases, take jump shots and more.

Since 1999, donations from Toys“R”Us, Inc., the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and customers have provided $5.3 million to Special Olympics.

Supporting the Special Needs Community
In addition to its support of Special Olympics, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund has provided annual grants totaling over $20 million to numerous other organizations that advocate for children of all abilities including Autism Speaks, Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Down Syndrome Society and the Pujols Family Foundation, among others.

Toys“R”Us, Inc. and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund have a long history of supporting the special needs community through the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, a valuable resource released annually, providing qualified toy recommendations to help aid in the skill development of children who have physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities. Now in its 20th edition, this year’s Guide cover features Albert Pujols, father of five, philanthropist and baseball World Champion along with Cameron Withers, age five.

About the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund
For 30 years, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund has provided financial support and partnership to countless children’s charities that share the Fund’s mission to keep kids safe and help them in times of need. Together with Toys“R”Us, Inc., the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund continues to work with organizations to bring awareness to causes and further programs that positively impact the lives of children and families nationwide.

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

Media Contact:    
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Samantha Xenis
(973) 617-5306/(646) 366-8826


Casper expands virtual food hall model with Franklin Junction’s Host Kitchen® technology



GHENT, 14-Mar-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Franklin Junction partners with Casper, a modern day food hall offering 100% virtual orders for takeout and delivery, to expand iconic American restaurant brands to Benelux and France. Franklin Junction founder, Rishi Nigam, and Casper founder, Matthias Laga, presented their expansion plans at the recent International Ghost Kitchen Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Franklin Junction has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2023 as they continue to deliver innovative technology solutions for restaurants in the US and now abroad. Leading the way with their proprietary Host Kitchen® model, Franklin Junction has grown into a full suite of solution services to empower restaurant success in the digital age. In 2022, Franklin Junction introduced its AI-powered digital food hall that allows consumers to order food and earn loyalty from multiple concepts in a single transaction and delivery.

“As industry leaders driving the growth of American restaurant brands in new markets, we have received a tremendous amount of interest to expand to the European market for a few years now,” shares Franklin Junction CEO Rishi Nigam. “After getting to know Matthias and the entire Casper team over the past year, we have full confidence that they are a trusted partner to expand globally with and we’re thrilled to bring iconic American fare to new diners across Europe.”

Casper launched in Ghent, Belgium and raised €5 million for their Series A in 2022 with the objective of creating a hybrid restaurant and food hall model where customers can walk-in to place orders for takeout or order through digital channels for delivery. In just a short time, Casper has expanded to over 10 locations in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, with an expansion goal of 50 kitchens by 2024.

“We’re very excited to partner with Franklin Junction and begin by introducing Nathan’s Famous’ authentic New York flavors to our European customers in the coming weeks,” states Matthias Laga, Co-founder and CEO of Casper. “Franklin Junction uniquely understands restaurants, multi-concept food halls, and restaurant eCommerce and their proprietary processes are extremely virtuous for all stakeholders.”

SOURCE: EuropaWire

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coop & spree launches a retail, business, and sports podcast called coop convos



The Retailer will interview CEOs, influencers, and professional athletes on a weekly basis

New York, New York, USA, 2022-Dec-23 — /EPR Network/ — coop & spree, the New York City based contemporary retailer, has launched a podcast called coop convos, which is all things business, retail, sports and wellness. Coop convos is hosted by coop & spree CEO and founder, Brooke S. Richman, who will interview various business leaders, tastemakers, and influencers in their aforementioned industries. Since Richman is an avid New York Knicks Fan (the Spree in coop & spree comes from her childhood pup’s name which paid homage to former Knick, Latrell Sprewell), she’s even interviewed and secured some former NBA stars.

The Podcast is available on over 10 platforms, and the first episode will likely air February 1st, 202 depending on the rifting process. To date, Richman has secured over 35 prestigious guests and has already recorded episodes with Stephanie Gottlieb, founder of Stephanie Gottlieb Fine Jewelry, Dale Stabler, wellness entrepreneur and co-founder of Sweats + The City, co-founder of the Orro + Theheard apps, and Allan Houston, the 2x NBA All-Star for the New York Knicks, Olympic Gold Medalist, and founder of FISLL,

Notable confirmed guests include Emily Faith Strauss, founder and designer of EF Collection, Helen Hall-Leland, CEO of Blender Bombs and Hustle Smoothie Bar, Alexa Leigh Meyer Mufson, founder and designer of Alexa Leigh, and John Wallace, former NBA star, current investor, philanthropist and New York Knick radio host.

During the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Richman moved temporarily from her NYC apartment to her childhood home in Greenwich, CT, where she learned how to code and created her e-comm website, Since her Elizabeth Street store in NYC was closed due to the pandemic, she had all her vendors ship her orders to her CT home where she fulfilled them. When she wasn’t opening new merchandise or packaging her clients’ orders, she would use Instagram live as a way to engage with her coop & spree audience, since she no longer could interact with them in person. She decided to start interviewing different designers and influencers, many of whom she knew and many of whom she had never met, and she absolutely loved it. So did her audience. It turned into a weekly tradition and the rest, as they say, is history. Not only did these weekly IG TV “interviews” create much needed connection at a time of unprecedented isolation, but also, they provided Richman, and coop & spree, with a new way of engaging with both customers and vendors.

Coop convos has the same format as Richman’s IG lives, where Richman focuses on each guest’s career path and personal story, in a relaxed format, that seems less like an interview and more like two old friends catching up. While the Podcast’s main goal is to provide valuable and informative insights and resources to those specifically interested in entrepreneurship, retail, sports, and wellness, Richman promises it’s also filled with lighthearted banter and just the right number of laughs.



coop & spree, the brainchild of founder and CEO Brooke S. Richman, first opened in August 2014 in downtown New York City’s Nolita neighborhood as a multi-brand contemporary women’s apparel, accessory, and jewelry boutique. While it was solely brick-and-mortar by design when it opened, coop & spree had to pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now a full-fledged omni-channel retailer with over 70 brands. It operates both a physical store in New York City’s NoHoc neighborhood, via appointment only, and has an e-commerce shopping site. In addition to selling women’s contemporary apparel, accessories, and jewelry, coop & spree has expanded its product offering to include an extensive assortment of children’s apparel and accessories, health and wellness products, paper goods, novelty items and more. coop & spree was just listed this month as a winner on the Inc. Magazine’s Best of Business 2022 list in the “Lean and Mean” category due to its unwavering commitment to philanthropy, specifically to NYC based non-profits which help underprivileged youths in NYC. It’s been featured in publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Times, US Weekly, Huffington Post, Business Insider and more.

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ContactPigeon expands in Cyprus and sponsors the 14th e-Commerce Conference



NICOSIA, Cyprus, 2022-Sep-28 — /EPR Network/ — ContactPigeon, one of the leading omnichannel customer engagement platforms for retailers in Europe and the USA, expands its operations in Cyprus. By building up a special team of professionals that will be based in the neighboring country, ContactPigeon will be providing its customer engagement services to its cross-industry clients that are operating there. With this expansion, the Greek startup aims to consolidate its reach to the thriving Cyprus market. 

Furthermore, ContactPigeon becomes an official sponsor for the 14th e-Commerce Conference that took place in Nicosia, Cyprus on the 20th of September 2022.

“After attending a very successful conference in Bulgaria, our Pigeons are kicking off autumn with some new adventures. Having several clients in the fast-developing market of Cyprus, we have first-hand knowledge about the impact of eCommerce in the neighboring country, but we have also seen the challenges that retailers face daily. Therefore, by investing in the development of the Cypriot market, we wish to effectively assist businesses that want to evolve and exceed from the competition. We are very excited about this new journey!,” said George Mirotsos, CEO and co-founder of ContactPigeon.

The E-Commerce Conference by IMH is a benchmark for the e-commerce industry in Cyprus. With industry experts as keynote speakers and leading businesses as sponsors and participants, the conference presents the upcoming, international trends in the e-commerce sector as well as case studies that provide attendees with valuable knowledge and insights. The 14th E-Commerce Conference is addressed to entrepreneurs, Commercial Managers, Marketing & Communication and advertising professionals, Digital Managers, and also those who are interested to start operating in the e-Commerce sector.

This year, the participants had the opportunity to meet with ContactPigeon members at its booth and learn about the company’s activities and the benefits of its omnichannel customer engagement platform.

About ContactPigeon

ContactPigeon empowers marketing leaders and business owners with the only omnichannel customer engagement platform built for retailers. The platform is designed to deliver perfectly timed and personalized messages for each customer, regardless of whether the point of contact is offline or online. The company has been awarded numerous industry awards and distinctions since 2015 and is also a member of the Pledge 1% corporate philanthropy movement. Its client base consists of hundreds of retailers in Europe and the USA such as Fujitsu, Tommy Hilfiger, GAP, and L’OREAL.


Anna Fotopoulou
Content Marketing Coordinator
+30 211 8006178

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