K-rauta chain will open its first K-rauta Express store at the Forum shopping complex in Helsinki

HELSINKI, 2015-6-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — The K-rauta chain will open its first K-rauta Express store at the Forum shopping complex in Helsinki. The new concept will be located in city centres and shopping centres to provide easier and faster shopping – ”for shopping to be fun”.

With the new concept, K-rauta aims to attract urban customers by bringing the services of a building and home improvement store close to those who do not use cars.

The product and service selection of a K-rauta Express enables the renovation of, for example, a flat to be planned and ordered on a single visit. A special emphasis in products will be placed in home furnishing and decoration, paints and tools.

– We want to serve urban customers interested in home furnishing and decoration with a new type of concept. The concept is not a larger K-rauta in mini size. Instead, we will offer a store which inspires with a new kind of approach and has good transport links, says Virpi Viinikainen, Chain Director for the K-rauta chain.

The concept will first be tested with 1-3 stores in the Greater Helsinki area and the continuation will be decided based on the experiences from them. The K-rauta Express stores will be run by K-rauta retailers and operate as branches of actual K-rauta stores. The retailers of the first K-rauta Express store, K-rauta Express Forum Helsinki to open in Mannerheimintie, will be Minna and Jussi Perälä who currently run the K-rauta Oulunkylä store.

Information of the opening and possible media conference will be provided separately. The arrival of the new store concept can be followed on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #krautaexpress and on K-rauta’s Facebook pages at http://www.facebook.com/KrautaSuomi

Further information:
Virpi Viinikainen, Chain Director, K-rauta chain, tel. +358 50 527 2881
Jussi Perälä, K-retailer, K-rauta Express Forum Helsinki, K-rauta Oulunkylä, tel. +358 40 310 1307

K-rauta for one-stop shopping. Reliably. www.k-rauta.fi

The international K-rauta is the best partner in building, renovation, yard and garden, as well as home improvement and furnishing. K-rauta is the Dream Builder helping its customers develop new ideas and implement them. We serve our customers with comprehensive electronic services and locally at 43 K-rauta stores across Finland. K – For shopping to be fun.

Kespro received ISO 22000 food safety management certificate by DNV GL

HELSINKI, 2015-6-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — For Kespro, responsibility, quality and food safety are fundamental pillars that guide the daily operations in the best interest of customers. The latest proof of this is the ISO 22000 certificate awarded by the certification body DNV GL. ISO 22000 is a food safety management system that focuses on the evaluation of hazards related to food safety and ensuring preventive practices.

The food safety management system complements Kespro’s comprehensive set of certifications, which already includes the ISO 9001quality system. Keslog, responsible for Kespro’s transportation and warehousing, has the ISO 14001 environmental system.

– Kespro complies with Kesko Group’s responsibility principles, which have received also global recognition. All our operations are guided by certified systems. Both our customers and stakeholders can rely on the reliability, safety and good quality of operations and products. A system certified by an external auditor and undergoing continuous development ensures that our ability to produce quality is good and food safety is controlled, says Kespro’s Managing Director Mika Halmesmäki.

The comprehensive food safety management system will enable Kespro, for its part, to ensure that the safety and quality of products are maintained throughout the supply chain from producer to customer. HACCP risk assessment has been used in building an operating model including concrete instructions aimed to prevent possible hazards. The operating practices are improved continuously based on the requirements and feedback from customers.

– The ISO 22000 system is one example of taking customer needs into account. We bring added value to our customers by ensuring product safety through constant monitoring of quality and food safety. This means, for example, careful receipt inspection, hygienic operating practices and personnel trained in product safety. We also ensure that the food safety of suppliers cooperating with us is under control, says Mika Halmesmäki.

Further information is available from Managing Director Mika Halmesmäki, Kespro Ltd, tel. +358 105 324 146 and Quality Manager Mia Haavisto, Kespro Ltd, tel. +358 105 324 029.

The ISO 22000 logo can be downloaded from the Logos folder of Kesko’s material bank at: http://aineistopankki.kesko.fi/

Kespro is the leading wholesaler in the Finnish hotel, restaurant and catering (HoReCa) business and acts as a partner for its customer companies and municipalities in Finland. Kespro provides its customers with diverse sourcing solutions as well as delivery and cash&carry services. www.kespro.com

Home and garden retailer Homebase introduced a bright and colourful trailing petunia mix to its garden centres across the UK in collaboration with Greenfingers

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-6-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Leading home and garden retailer Homebase has introduced a bright and colourful trailing petunia mix to its garden centres across the UK in collaboration with Greenfingers– the small charity dedicated to creating inspiring gardens for children who spend time in hospices around the UK.

The new ‘Trailing Petunia Parade Mix’ has been specifically created for Greenfingers with each pack containing six plants, with contrasting shades of flame, rich lavender and yellow providing colourful summer display for baskets and containers. Each pack costs £7.50, with 50p from every Greenfingers promotional pack sold going directly to the charity.

Amy Whidburn, Head of Corporate Responsibility for Homebase comments: “We’re delighted to introduce these special trailing petunias in conjunction with Greenfingers. Not only are the packs great for offering vibrant colour in the garden, people across the country can enjoy them knowing their purchase has gone to help children in hospices around the UK.”

This is the first retail based collaboration between the two organisations, following the announcement earlier in the year that Homebase and Greenfingers have established an ongoing partnership. The three-year long partnership will see them joining forces on a number of joint initiatives.

Greenfingers is dedicated to supporting the children who spend time in hospices around the UK, along with their families, by creating inspiring gardens for them to relax in and enjoy. To date Greenfingers has created 45 inspiring gardens in children’s hospices around the country, and always has a list of further hospices needing their help.

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For further information please contact:

Greenfingers – Jane Wilson on 07899 895489 or email janewilson16@googlemail.com

Follow @Greenfingerscha

Homebase Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email media.relations@homebase.co.uk

Follow @Homebase_PR.

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

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

www.homebase.co.uk

Greenfingers is a small national charity dedicated to creating magical gardens for children’s hospices around the UK.  The gardens are built to provide a space for relaxation for children with life limiting conditions, together with their families. The charity is dedicated to creating beautiful and inspiring outdoors spaces for children, both sick and well, to play and have fun.  Greenfingers has to date created 45 special gardens in hospices around the country, and has a further waiting list of hospices that need help.

www.greenfingerscharity.org.uk

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Baskin-Robbins secured space in a high-traffic area in the popular Westfield Mall in Escondido, Calif.

WORLD’S LARGEST CHAIN OF ICE CREAM SPECIALTY SHOPS SEEKS FRANCHISEES FOR PRIME LOCATION IN NORTH COUNTY WESTFIELD MALL AND OTHER SAN DIEGO PRE-SELECTED SITES

CANTON, MA, 2015-6-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, today announced it is coming to the North County Westfield Mall in Escondido, Calif. as part of its latest expansion efforts in the San Diego area. The company has secured space in a high-traffic area in the popular Westfield Mall located at 272 E. Via Rancho Parkway. Baskin-Robbins is seeking franchise candidates who are looking for a sweet opportunity in a prime location and would like to take advantage of the many perks that Baskin-Robbins offers with this turn-key non-traditional development opportunity.

Non-traditional development opportunities, such as kiosks, have a lower development cost, shorter franchise term and less cash requirement than a traditional, standalone ice cream shop. Ideal for San Diego entrepreneurs, the North County Westfield Mall location is currently in the process of being designed and built and will include a 10-year franchise term and discounted royalty rates for the first three years. The asking price for the new Baskin-Robbins kiosk is $100,000 and is projected to open prior to the busy holiday season this year.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone who has ever thought about owning his or her own ice cream shop. As our brand continues to expand in San Diego, we’re looking for entrepreneurs throughout the area with a passion for their local communities to join our team,” said Grant Benson, CFE, vice president of global franchising and business development, Dunkin’ Brands. “Baskin-Robbins has seen tremendous success with its 24 ice cream shops in the San Diego area, and we’re eager to continue to explore and expand in a city that is consistently named one of the best places to live.“

On the heels of the Westfield Mall opportunity, this summer, Baskin-Robbins will begin developing one to two other shops in the San Diego market for which franchisees can assume ownership. These sites present unique opportunities to own and operate locations that are delivered as a ready to operate shops.

Baskin-Robbins combines delicious treats with a simple operating model. Franchisees enjoy convenient hours of operation, minimal equipment and little product waste. They also benefit from award-winning training programs and comprehensive operating systems designed to help build business. For additional information, contact the Baskin-Robbins Franchising Team at 781-737-5530 or franchiseinfo@baskinrobbins.com or visit the Baskin-Robbins franchising website.

In 1945, Baskin-Robbins was founded in Glendale, Calif., by two ice cream enthusiasts who shared a dream to create an innovative ice cream shop that would be a neighborhood gathering place for families. Today, over 300 million people visit Baskin-Robbins each year to sample from the more than 1,300 flavor creations available in its ice cream library. Baskin-Robbins offers guests its wide range of hard scoop ice cream flavors, along with custom ice cream cakes, delicious frozen beverages, premium soft serve and take home frozen treats.

* For complete terms and conditions, please see the Baskin-Robbins Franchise Disclosure Document.

About Baskin-Robbins
Named the top ice cream and frozen dessert franchise in the United States by Entrepreneur magazine’s 36th annual Franchise 500® ranking in 2014, Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops. Baskin-Robbins creates and markets innovative, premium hard scoop ice cream and soft serve, custom ice cream cakes and a full range of beverages, providing quality and value to consumers at more than 7,500 retail shops in nearly 50 countries. Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 by two ice cream enthusiasts whose passion led to the creation of more than 1,300 ice cream flavors and a wide variety of delicious treats. In 2013, more than 13 million ice cream cakes were sold in Baskin-Robbins shops worldwide. Headquartered in Canton, Mass., Baskin-Robbins is part of the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) family of companies. For further information, visit www.BaskinRobbins.com.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Name: Claibourne Smith
Phone: 954-893-9150
Email: csmith@fish-consulting.com

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Sawmill Hollow Family Farm expands its aronia berry business with micro-loan from Whole Foods Market

Sawmill Hollow Family Farm Latest Recipient of Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-6-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sawmill Hollow Family Farm expands its aronia berry business with a micro-loan from Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program. The organic family farm, recognized as the first aronia berry farm in the United States, will use the funds to purchase a walk-in freezer to store and preserve hand-picked aronia berries.

“Sawmill Hollow Family Farm shares our Core Values to serve and support local communities, and to practice and advance environmental stewardship,” says Stefanie Garcia, Local Forager, Whole Foods Market Midwest region. “We are thrilled to continue to support them through our Local Producer Loan Program and help them grow their business.”

The Local Producer Loan Program allows small, local, independent producers to expand their business with a small, low interest loan. In 2006, Whole Foods Market set aside $10 million for the Local Producer Loan Program to help small business farmers, growers and artisans with low-interest loans for capital expenditures and has since increased the amount available to up to $25 million. The program minimizes fees, interest rates and paperwork. Loans generally range from $10,000 to $100,000 with a 5 percent interest rate. Funds are typically used for expansion and capital expenditures such as buying more animals, investing in new equipment and infrastructure, or expanding crops.

Sawmill Hollow Family Farm reintroduced the native but then regionally endangered aronia berry (Aronia melanocarpa) nearly two decades ago. The bushes grow easily without harsh fertilizers such as nitrogen and without pesticides and herbicides. Nestled in the scenic Loess Hills, the family farm hand picks the aronia berries, a small, purple fruit with a tart and dry taste when eaten raw. The aronia berry contains more antioxidants than the açaí berry, goji berry and pomegranates. Sawmill Hollow Family Farms has found creative ways to feature the aronia berries in powders, concentrates and other food products for those looking for the benefits of the superfood without the tart taste.

“I love driving store-to-store, connecting with customers, offering aronia berry product samples, and sharing our farm-to-market story,” says sixth generation family farmer and Sawmill Hollow Farmer-in-Chief, Andrew Pittz. “When my grandfather’s grandfather came to Iowa, no family had the resources to go-it-alone. Neighbors worked together to grow together, letting shared values and an eye to the future lead the way. Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program represents the work together to grow together support small farms need to grow and be successful.”

“The Local Producer Loan Program is another way we can help small local businesses like Sawmill Hollow Family Farm develop and grow,” adds Garcia.

Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan recipients have a unique partnership with Whole Foods Market. Garcia and her team work with local producers to share their products with Whole Foods Market customers, help them support the communities and reinforce the value of environmental sustainability.

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Reputation Institute ranked Whole Foods Market No. 3 on the list of America’s most reputable retailers

Reputation Institute reveals top 50 most reputable companies in the retail industry on products and services, workplace and more

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-6-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) has been named among America’s most reputable companies in the retail industry, according to a list released today by Reputation Institute. The list of America’s top 50 most reputable retail companies is derived from data collected for the 2015 U.S. RepTrak® 100 study.

“Companies with excellent and strong reputations in the retail industry recognize that their reputations are dependent not only on the products and services they provide,” says Brad Hecht, chief research officer at Reputation Institute (RI). “What drives nearly a third of reputation for retail companies is how the U.S. public perceives a company’s workplace, and whether it is a responsibly run company that is fair and transparent.”

In addition to Whole Foods Market ranking third on the list of top 50 most reputable retailers, Reputation Institute also ranked Whole Foods Market as the third-strongest retail brand in America. Whole Foods Market was recognized for its high quality and animal welfare standards, commitment to sustainability, and GMO labeling transparency.

“Our business is based upon a non-negotiable set of core values designed to engender trust and transparency with all of our key stakeholders,” said A.C. Gallo, president and chief operating officer of Whole Foods Market. “Our quality standards, along with an enduring commitment to transparency and sustainability, have fostered a decades-long relationship of trust with our team members, customers, supplier partners and investors, which has helped our business become the success it is today.”

The 2015 list of America’s 50 most reputable companies in the retail industry is compiled annually by Reputation Institute, the world’s foremost research and advisory firm focused solely on corporate reputations.

The 2015 U.S. RepTrak® 100 examines perceptions of companies by the U.S. general public based on more than 50,000 interviews. Reputation Institute’s RepTrak® model is the gold standard for reputation measurement, providing a one-of-a-kind measurement of how the public views the world’s best-known companies. The RepTrak® database is normative, examining 15 stakeholder groups in more than 25 industries and more than 50 countries for more than 7,000 companies.

“The overall reputation of America’s top retail companies has steadily improved over the last three years, signaling that these companies are being proactive and making a conscious decision to manage their reputations,” says RI’s chief research officer, Brad Hecht.

The full list of America’s top 50 most reputable companies in the retail industry can be found online at www.reputationinstitute.com/US-Retail-RepTrak.

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Reputation Institute ranked Whole Foods Market No. 3 on the list of America’s most reputable retailers

Reputation Institute ranked Whole Foods Market No. 3 on the list of America’s most reputable retailers

The 2015 edition of the Meijer State Games of Michigan – Summer Games will offer 43 sports and will host more than 7,500 athletes

Grand Rapids, Mich., 2015-6-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — The 2015 edition of the Meijer State Games of Michigan – Summer Games will offer 43 sports and will host more than 7,500 athletes. This year, there are 44 different venues that will host a Meijer State Games event. The Meijer State Games of Michigan continues to add sports and events to its lineup, which allows individual of all ages and ability levels the opportunity to compete.

“The Meijer State Games of Michigan evokes such a strong sense of community and state pride in its participants, as well as the thousands of spectators who attend,” said Doug Meijer, co-chairman of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. “Meijer is strongly committed to helping the community become a better place to live, work and play, and we believe the State Games achieves that goal.”

This year, the Summer Games will have three weekends of competition with the first weekend taking place on June 19-21, followed by the main weekend on June 25-28, and will conclude on August 8-9 with the soccer tournament. The opening ceremony will take place on June 26 at Fifth Third Ball Park, 4500 West River Drive Northeast, Plainfield Township, Mich. The opening ceremony festivities will include athlete village, parade of athletes, national anthem performed by contest winner Mikaela Koelzer, and the lighting of the cauldron.

New sports to the 2015 lineup are baseball, quad rugby, soccer, tennis and the ultrafit challenge. There are also new divisions at this year’s Meijer State Games with women’s indoor volleyball, girl’s fastpitch softball, sporting clays, mountain biking – short track, and girl’s high school basketball.

The 43 sports that will appear at this year’s Summer Games include: 5k, Archery, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, BMX, Bocce Ball, Bowling, Boxing, Cricket, UltraFit Challenge, Cycling, Disc Golf, Field Hockey, Figure Skating, Football 7-on-7, Golf, Hockey, Horseshoes, Judo, Karate, Lacrosse, Mountain Biking, Pickleball, Quad Rugby, Racquetball, Rowing, Rugby, Shooting Sports, Skateboarding, Softball, Soccer, Swimming, Synchronized Swimming, Table Tennis, Tae-Kwon-Do, Tennis, Track & Field, Urban Downhill Longboard, Volleyball, Wakeboarding, Waterskiing, and Wrestling.

All the events in the 2015 Meijer State Games of Michigan sports lineup will take place in the greater Grand Rapids area as there are 44 venues that will be hosting events in multisport event. For more information on the 2015 sports lineup and confirmed locations, please visit http://stategamesofmichigan.com/sports. The venue map for the 2015 Meijer State Games of Michigan can be viewed here: http://stategamesofmichigan.com/venue.

Sponsor of the 2015 Meijer State Games of Michigan are: Meijer, Subway, Metro Health, Myway Mobile Storage, Fox Motors, MC Sports, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Neurocore. Sponsorship opportunities are always available for any budget, email stategames@westmisports.com for sponsorship information.

The Meijer State Games of Michigan offers 40+ sports and there are over 7,500 athletes that will compete in this year’s event. For more information about the Meijer State Games of Michigan, please visit our website: www.stategamesofmichigan.com.

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About the Meijer State Games of Michigan:
Modeled after the Olympics, the Meijer State Games of Michigan welcomes athletes regardless of age or ability, and embodies the values of participation, sportsmanship and healthy living among residents of Michigan. In August 2017, the Meijer State Games of Michigan will play host to the State Games of America.

A signature event of the West Michigan Sports Commission, the Meijer State Games of Michigan is truly a grassroots organization that relies on the dedication of thousands of volunteers and the support of corporate partners.

About the West Michigan Sports Commission:
The West Michigan Sports Commission, a non-profit 501 (c) (3), works to identify, secure and host a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events to positively impact the economy and quality of life in the region. Since its inception in 2007, the WMSC has booked nearly 400 sporting events and tournaments that attracted 550,000 athletes and visitors, generating more than $145 million in direct visitor spending. Visit www.westmisports.com for more information.

Contact:
David Gerhart, 733-316-6344, dgerhart@westmisports.com or Eric Engelbarts, 616-233-3563, eengelbarts@westmisports.com

Batemans to supply The Co-operative Food with approaching 15,000 pints of ale

MANCHESTER, UK, 2015-6-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Bateman’s Victory Ale has won a new berth at The Co-operative Food with the Wainfleet-based brewery securing a contract to supply the community retailer with approaching 15,000 pints of ale.
The brewery’s award winning copper coloured ale is now playing a part in The Co-operative’s move to change the way it sells real ale by offering specially selected beers from breweries near to its local stores.

Nathan Wride, National Account Manager at Batemans, said:
“It is tremendous news, it opens up new markets for us and we have seen an overnight uplift in volumes. We are delighted that The Co-operative shares our passion for local real ales and is now stocking our award winning Victory Ale – we pride ourselves on taste and quality and we know this is an approach shared by The Co-operative.”
Research carried out by The Co-operative Food shows how Britain has become a nation of ‘real ale’ converts, with Brits now four times more likely to prefer the taste of real ale to mass-produced beers and, 71 per cent of drinkers saying it’s important to find locally brewed varieties.

Joe Turner, The Co-operative’s real ale buyer, said:
“The popularity of Batemans beers is impressive and, as a convenience retailer at the heart of the community, this is an important step in our commitment to offering more quality, locally sourced produce in our stores.

“It’s exciting to collaborate with breweries such as Batemans, and we hope our customers really enjoy the new selection of ales that we now have on offer – we are very pleased to add Batemans’ beers to the increasing range of locally produced ales that are now available in our food stores in communities across the UK.”

For further information:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Press Office
Tel: 07702 505551
Email: andrew.torr@co-operative.coop

Harris Teeter Store Director Tony Seidner presented Durant Road Elementary School with a $1,000 check

Store Director Presents Check to School

MATTHEWS, NC, 2015-6-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tuesday, June 2, 2015, Harris Teeter Store Director Tony Seidner presented Durant Road Elementary School with a $1,000 check to support the company’s commitment to educational programs. This donation is made possible by the North Carolina Education Lottery and is in addition to the dollars a school receives from Harris Teeter through its active participation in the company’s Together in Education program.

Harris Teeter Together in Education, similar to the North Carolina Education Lottery, raises money for education initiatives to boost returns for education throughout North Carolina.  The North Carolina Education Lottery provides incentive payments to retailers who sell big-winning tickets and to those who win specific retailer promotions. Harris Teeter has chosen to donate its incentive awards back to local schools.  This most recent $1,000 incentive award comes from the store winning a bonus after exhibiting a sales increase in the Week For Life suite of scratch-off games.

“Our school community is very appreciative to be the recipient of this $1,000 Together in Education donation from our local Harris Teeter,” said Teresa Winstead, principal of Durant Road Elementary.

“Harris Teeter has been one of our most supportive community partners in recent years and we greatly value this relationship.  This money will help provide funding for activities and resources that enhance the educational programming at our school.  We extend thanks to Store Director Tony Seidner and Harris Teeter for selecting Durant Road Elementary School for this generous gift,” Winstead added.

Harris Teeter rolled out lottery ticket sales in its North Carolina stores starting in fall 2010 after successful implementation at five initial locations.  In addition to the funds raised for education, the new technology provided by the North Carolina Education Lottery machines led the company to move forward and make the service available to its shoppers.  The machines will not accept money or dispense tickets until the buyer scans a driver’s license or state-issued identification card to verify appropriate age to purchase a lottery ticket.

Since March 2006, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $3.8 billion for education programs in the state. Harris Teeter received the $1,000 incentive payment for their participation in the Week For Life Retailer promotion. The cost of Week for Life scratch-off games range from $1 to $10.

To learn more about the North Carolina Education Lottery, visit www.nc-educationlottery.org.

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Harris Teeter Store Director Tony Seidner presented Durant Road Elementary School with a $1,000 check

Harris Teeter Store Director Tony Seidner presented Durant Road Elementary School with a $1,000 check