The National Retail Federation comments on votes in the House jeopardizing final congressional approval of Trade Promotion Authority legislation

7 million restaurant and retail jobs in the U.S supported by trade

WASHINGTON, 2015-6-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French on today’s votes in the House, jeopardizing final congressional approval of Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which provides a legislative framework for consideration of international trade agreements:

“The vote in the House of Representatives that puts final congressional passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in jeopardy is a victory for those with a narrow agenda that puts petty politics ahead of people, while jeopardizing the futures of millions of men and women in America, both those with jobs striving to grow the middle class and those seeking jobs that can only come with a robust economy.

“It is nothing short of astounding that in the 21st-century anyone would think it is in our country’s best interest to sit back and let foreign governments dictate our role in a global marketplace.

“We are not just disappointed that isolationist fear mongering and political threats carried the day, we are genuinely concerned for the seven million restaurant and retail jobs that are supported by trade as well as the continued viability of the businesses that employ them. As this debate moves forward, make no mistake, the world is watching.”

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.


Stephen E. Schatz
(855) NRF-Press

ALDI to launch its first stores in Southern California in March 2016; expecting to open 25 stores before July 2016

ALDI to Open Approximately 45 Stores and Create More Than 1,100 Quality Jobs by End of 2016

Batavia, Ill., 2015-6-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — ALDI, the nation’s low-price grocery leader*, today announced it will launch its first stores in Southern California in March 2016, expecting to open approximately 25 stores before July 2016. Additionally, by the end of 2016, ALDI will employ more than 1,100 people to work in its Southern California stores, as well as at the company’s regional headquarters and warehouse in Moreno Valley, Calif.

ALDI has a long track record of being an employer of choice, offering generous wages and benefits that are higher than the national average for the retail industry. In Southern California, ALDI will offer starting wages of $13 per hour for store associates, with an opportunity for longstanding associates to earn up to $21 per hour. For Moreno Valley warehouse associates, ALDI will offer a starting wage of $19 per hour, with an opportunity for long-standing warehouse associates to earn up to $26 per hour.

Store and warehouse employees will average 33-40 hours each week and will be eligible for full benefits, including health insurance, dental coverage and the opportunity to participate in the company’s 401(k) program with matching contributions.

Since opening its first store in 1976, ALDI has achieved measured, but steady, growth and today, ALDI operates nearly 1,400 stores across 32 states and employs more than 19,000 people.

Coast-to-Coast Expansion
The ALDI expansion to California is an integral part of a five-year strategic plan to open 650 new stores across the nation. By the end of 2018, ALDI expects to operate nearly 2,000 stores, enabling ALDI to offer its fresh, high quality groceries at everyday low prices to more than 45 million customers each month. To support its expansion plan, ALDI will invest more than $3 billion to pay for land, facilities and equipment.

“At ALDI, we firmly believe that amazing quality can be affordable, and we are excited to bring our small-format, convenient grocery shopping experience to Southern California,” said Jason Hart, CEO, ALDI. “We back up that belief by offering our shoppers great-tasting foods – from fresh produce, meats, dairy and breads to cereals, pastas and wines – at a significant savings compared to the national brands.”

To reach its aggressive expansion goals, ALDI will create more than 10,000 new jobs at its stores, warehouses and division offices from coast to coast.

“We recognize and value the excellent customer experience that our employees at every level deliver each day, and we know that we would not be growing at this accelerated pace without them,” said Hart. “Our approach to attracting and, equally as important, retaining the best employees is two-fold. First, we offer our associates generous compensation, including benefits, which is well above the industry standard. Second, we operate within a culture that is based on respect, honesty, responsibility and open communication. Together, this is an unbeatable combination.”

Growth is accelerating at ALDI due to the appeal of its unique business model that lets smart shoppers save up to 50 percent** on more than 1,300 of the most commonly purchased grocery items – offering on-trend products such as a variety of organic foods, including fruits, vegetables, and several products under its exclusive SimplyNature line, as well as its liveGfree™ exclusive brand of gluten-free foods – without the hassle of clipping coupons or buying in bulk.

Small Differences, Big Savings
ALDI has been recognized for having high customer satisfaction that leads its customers to recommend ALDI to friends and family. In fact, in a recent Market Force Information consumer survey, ALDI was chosen as one of the top three favorite grocery store chains in America, as well as named the leading low-price grocery store for the fourth consecutive year.*

ALDI generates savings for its customers through a low-overhead, focused approach that includes:

  • Volume purchasing: By concentrating its full buying power on 1,300 of the most commonly purchased grocery items in the most common size, ALDI secures sizable discounts.
  • Exclusive brand products: More than 90 percent of products at ALDI are their own exclusive brands rather than national brands.
    • In the ALDI Test Kitchen, ALDI ensures that its products meet or exceed the quality and taste of national name brands.
    • All ALDI food products are backed by the Double Guarantee. If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product AND refund the purchase price.
  • Special Buys: Each week, ALDI offers 20-30 food and non-food products at a great value that include everything from small kitchen appliances and seasonal items to outdoor furniture and gardening tools.
  • No hidden costs: ALDI has a streamlined approach that avoids non-essential services such as banking, pharmacies and check cashing. Those savings result in lower prices for consumers.

“From the moment new customers walk through our doors, they know that, at ALDI, they are about to embark on a new shopping experience. When shoppers taste the fresh, quality foods at ALDI, and learn how our small differences directly impact their big savings at the register, they quickly become loyal shoppers. And, they tell their friends and family, which is the best endorsement we could receive,” added Hart.

About ALDI Inc. A leader in the grocery retailing industry, ALDI operates nearly 1,400 US stores in 32 states, primarily from Kansas to the East Coast. More than 30 million customers each month save up to 50 percent** on their grocery bills, benefiting from the ALDI simple and streamlined approach to retailing. ALDI sells more than 1,300 of the most frequently purchased grocery and household items, primarily under its exclusive brands, which must meet or exceed the national name brands on taste and quality. ALDI is so confident in the quality of its products, the company offers a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the purchase price. ALDI was named the 2014 Retailer of the Year by Store Brands Magazine for its strong commitment to value and innovation-focused private brand product development. For more information about ALDI, visit


*According to a survey of more than 6,000 consumers conducted in March 2014 by Market Force Information.
**Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.

Julie Ketay
(312) 988-2294

Eniko Bolivar
(310) 854-8292

John Lewis to expand partnerships with Joe & The Juice and Rossopomodoro

LONDON, 2015-6-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — John Lewis has announced it will be expanding its in-store food experiences by developing further partnerships with Joe & The Juice and Rossopomodoro, to introduce ten further restaurants across its shops within the next year.

As well as the permanent sites, the two brands will have pop-up outlets at John Lewis’s  Summer Retreat on the rooftop of its flagship Oxford Street shop, in a perfect setting to take in the panoramic view across London from the rooftop of the capital’s iconic shopping destination.

The new outlets follow the successful introduction of Joe & The Juice in John Lewis Solihull and the opening of Ham Holy Burger and Rossopomodoro restaurants in John Lewis Oxford Street.

Newcastle will be the first shop to open one of the new sites for both Joe & The Juice and Rossopomodoro. Further Joe & The Juice outlets are scheduled to open in Bluewater and Watford as well as in John Lewis’s new shop in Birmingham, with a further Rossopomodoro restaurant scheduled to open in Kingston, with further sites to be announced.

Alison Smith, head of food service at John Lewis, said ‘We’re delighted that we have been able to expand on our successful relationships with both Rossopomodoro and Joe & The Juice. Customers have welcomed the introduction of new and exciting places for them to refresh and refuel, and continuing our partnership with them will allow us to offer another compelling reason for customers to shop with us.’

Joe & The Juice focuses on health and lifestyle food, serving freshly squeezed juice, coffee and sandwiches. The brand was founded in Copenhagen, and opened its first UK outlet in 2009 and now has five cafes in London, as well as John Lewis Solihull.

Rossopomodoro makes traditional Neapolitan pizza and pasta dishes with all ingredients coming from the Campania region. Founded over 20 years ago, they now have over 70 branches in Italy and have opened six restaurants in London, including a site in John Lewis Oxford Street.

Patrick Engbo, UK manager at Joe & The Juice, said: ‘We are very excited to be continuing our relationship with John Lewis, starting with our new outlet in Newcastle. We hope to continue to offer extraordinary experiences to all of our new customers.’

Mario Romano, marketing director at Rossopomodoro, said: ‘At Rossopomodoro we are very excited and proud to work with John Lewis to bring our authentic Neapolitan pizza and food to new customers in Newcastle. We share with John Lewis a passion for great products and outstanding customer service and look forward to working together to serve new communities.’

Notes to editors

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 43 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, ten John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership and all 30,000 John Lewis staff are Partners in the business. John Lewis, ‘Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2014’¹ , ‘Best Overall Retailer’² and ‘Best Retailer 2014’³, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

¹ Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014
² Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2014
³ Which? Awards 2014.

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:


For further information please contact:

Emma Cole
Communications Officer, John Lewis
Telephone: 0207 798 3829

Siân Grieve
Senior Communications Manager, John Lewis
Telephone: 0207 592 6887
Mobile: 07525 271 812

Sainsbury’s Brand Director Judith Batchelar awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours list

Director of Sainsbury’s Brand has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours list, published today

LONDON, 2015-6-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Judith has been Director of Sainsbury’s brand for 10 years and is responsible for all aspects of Sainsbury’s product offer – from policy formation on aspects such as Animal Welfare, Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing, through to Product Technology, Product Development, Product Safety, and Packaging.

Judith Batchelar OBE said: “I am absolutely delighted and feel truly honoured by this recognition. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved at Sainsbury’s so this is testament to the work of my team and everything we’re doing to drive innovation and quality for our customers. We’re committed to our values and sourcing, as well as supporting our farmers and always looking for new, sustainable ways of working.”

Judith has worked in the food and drink industry for over 30 years and is a Biochemist and Registered Nutritionist. She has a particular interest and expertise in building resilient and sustainable farming and food systems.

Prior to Sainsbury’s, Judith held a similar role at Safeway, spent twelve years in the Food Division at Marks & Spencer, most latterly driving their Health and Well-being strategy, and prior to this worked in manufacturing for Mars and Bass.

In addition to her work at Sainsbury’s, Judith sits on the Executive Board of the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, the Board of Trustees for Farm Africa and The Matt Hampson Foundation, is a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  She is also an ambassador for the Woodland Trust and Co Chairs the Governments Industrial Leadership Council working on the implementation of the UK’s first Agri-Tech Strategy.


Sainsbury’s Brand Director Judith Batchelar awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours list

Sainsbury’s Brand Director Judith Batchelar awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours list

Canada-based Hudson’s Bay Company to acquire Metro’s department store group GALERIA Kaufhof and its Belgian subsidiary Inno for €2.825 billion

  • Creates a Global Platform, Positioning HBC for Future Growth in Europe
  • Transaction Value of €2.825 Billion Agreed, Including the Assumption of Certain Liabilities
  • HBC Plans to Work with GALERIA Kaufhof’s Existing Management Team to Further Strengthen Offerings to Consumers
  • Agreement Includes Extensive Commitments to Maintain Employment Levels and Store Count, GALERIA Kaufhof to Remain Headquartered in Cologne
  • Transaction Expected to Deliver Immediate Value to HBC Shareholders
  • METRO GROUP Expects Positive EBIT Effect of Around €0.7 Billion from the Transaction
  • Transaction Should be Completed by the End of the Third Quarter of 2015
  • Joint Press Conference on Monday in Cologne at 11:15 AM

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2015-6-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Canada-based Hudson’s Bay Company, one of the foremost retail operators in North America and its longest continually operated company, and Düsseldorf-based METRO GROUP today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which HBC will acquire Metro’s department store group GALERIA Kaufhof and its Belgian subsidiary Inno for a transaction value of €2.825 billion, including the assumption of certain liabilities. The transaction has been approved by the Board of Directors of HBC as well as the Supervisory Board of METRO AG. It is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2015.

As a result of the acquisition, HBC will have:

  • 464 Locations Worldwide, 8 Leading Banners
  • C$13 (€9.0) Billion in Revenue(1)
  • Pro Forma Sales by Market: 44% US; 31% Germany 23% Canada, 2% Belgium
  • Strong Management Teams in North America and Europe

The transaction is a further extension of HBC’s proven strategy of growing through mergers and acquisitions, with GALERIA Kaufhof further diversifying HBC’s portfolio and positioning the Company as a premier international retailer. Specifically, HBC is taking over 103 GALERIA Kaufhof stores in Germany from METRO GROUP, including 59 properties in prime inner-city locations that are part of the GALERIA Real Estate portfolio. As part of the transaction, HBC is also acquiring 16 Sportarena stores, 16 GALERIA Inno department stores located in Belgium, as well as various logistics centres, warehouses and other properties, and the long-standing GALERIA Kaufhof head office in Cologne.

Richard Baker, HBC’s Governor and Executive Chairman, said, “This is an exciting transaction that demonstrates our proven growth formula in action, and it is the right investment and the right time. We have been carefully surveying the European retail landscape for many years for a potential expansion opportunity and have watched GALERIA Kaufhof build on its exceptional real estate to become the #1 department store in Germany. We are excited to work with the GALERIA Kaufhof management team to leverage our expertise, and we welcome GALERIA Kaufhof to our portfolio of dynamic brands.”

Olaf Koch, Chairman of METRO’S Management Board, said, “With Hudson’s Bay Company, we have found the ideal partner for a successful future of GALERIA Kaufhof. HBC pursues a strategy of international growth and GALERIA Kaufhof plays a central role in this expansion. Beyond the attractive financial and transactional aspects, a key factor for us was the fact that HBC has made binding guarantees to take on the approximately 21,500 GALERIA Kaufhof employees in Germany and Belgium. We also would like to thank all employees of GALERIA Kaufhof and its management for their outstanding contribution to the business and their great work. Without their dedication, the company would not have achieved, and maintained, its No 1 position.”

With this transaction METRO GROUP will achieve a positive cash inflow of around €1.6 billion and significantly reduce its rating-relevant net debt by around €2.7 billion. Moreover METRO GROUP expects a positive EBIT effect of around €0.7 billion from the transaction.

As part of the Agreement, HBC will continue to operate GALERIA Kaufhof, Inno and Sportarena under their current brand banners. No significant changes, beyond those already announced by GALERIA Kaufhof, are currently anticipated with respect to the store footprints or staffing levels at any of the brand banners, and GALERIA Kaufhof will remain headquartered in Cologne. When combined with HBC’s current portfolio of iconic store banners, including Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks OFF 5TH and Home Outfitters, HBC will operate 464 stores under 8 banners, with 44% of sales generated in the United States, 31% in Germany, 23% in Canada and 2% in Belgium.

GALERIA Kaufhof’s existing management team is expected to remain in place following the close of the transaction, and will work closely with HBC’s leadership to explore opportunities to further strengthen GALERIA Kaufhof’s offerings to consumers. These are expected to include: expanding the GALERIA Kaufhof brand matrix; aggressively growing GALERIA Kaufhof’s eCommerce; optimizing key merchandise categories; and pursuing the opportunity to introduce the Saks Fifth Avenue and the Saks OFF 5TH banners in Germany and Belgium, and the potential to build within the existing store network to improve productivity and optimize floor space.

Kaufhof Acquisition Strengthens HBC’s Position as a Premier International Retailer

Jerry Storch, CEO of HBC, said, “This transaction is a significant step forward in our plans to become a premier global retailer. We look forward to working with GALERIA Kaufhof’s management team as we bring together two geographically complementary businesses, diversifying HBC’s revenue base with leading banners in Canada, the United States, Germany and Belgium. This is a strong foundation to explore additional opportunities for growth throughout the Continent.”

Lovro Mandac, Chairman and CEO of Galeria Holding, said: “GALERIA Kaufhof has worked in the past years to achieve a good position in the German retailing market through a continual willingness to change and a high customer orientation. That is thanks to the performance of the Associates and the leadership team. As a result, our company is now well-armed for the future with Hudson’s Bay as our new owner. It is good and important for the company that there is now clarity about the ownership question. We thank METRO GROUP for their support in the past years and look forward to cooperating with Hudson’s Bay on the future positioning of the company.”

Building on GALERIA Kaufhof’s Leadership Position in the German Retail Marketplace

Don Watros, President of HBC International, commented, “With GALERIA Kaufhof, we gain a best-in-market, successful retailer with a network of very well-maintained stores, a beloved heritage and a brand that resonates strongly with German consumers. Based on our extensive experience in building outstanding department stores, we intend to leverage our expertise and proven strategies to further build GALERIA Kaufhof for a strong, all-channel future. We are looking forward to working with the 21,500 highly skilled and motivated employees and in close cooperation with GALERIA Kaufhof’s works councils and unions.”

HBC is structuring the transaction and financing similar to previous transactions in Canada and the United States. BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as exclusive financial advisor to HBC on the transaction. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is acting as M&A legal counsel, and Stikeman Elliott LLP is acting as company legal counsel. METRO is being advised by JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank and Clifford Chance is serving as legal counsel.

METRO GROUP had decided to sell its department store subsidiary because the Düsseldorf-based group wishes to focus more strongly on its wholesale business METRO Cash & Carry, its consumer electronics division Media-Saturn and its hypermarket chain Real in the future. “Not only has HBC submitted the best offer in terms of a secure future for GALERIA Kaufhof, it has also made a valuable bid for our shareholders,” said Olaf Koch. “We will also use the proceeds from the sale of GALERIA Holding GmbH for greater investment in our other sales channels, thus ensuring the group’s future growth. In this way, we are strengthening METRO GROUP for our customers and in the interests of all our employees and shareholders.”

Both companies will hold a Press Conference this Monday at 11:15 h German time at the Cologne Marriott Hotel which will be broadcasted online. A dedicated invitation to the media will be sent out soon.

METRO GROUP will also invite to an analysts call, details will be sent out soon.

Prior to an HBC conference call for its investors and analysts later this morning, HBC intends to issue an additional press release providing further financial detail with respect to the transaction, structure and expected impact of the addition of GALERIA Kaufhof to HBC.

Note: Assumes € 1 = C$1.387
(1) 52 weeks ended May 2, 2015 for HBC and 12 months ended March 31, 2015 for Galeria.

About Galeria Kaufhof
GALERIA Holding GmbH is a group of companies with sales of EUR 3.1bn and 21,500 employees (2013/14 business year). It comprises the operating department store business of GALERIA Kaufhof GmbH in Germany (103 stores), Sportarena GmbH (16 stores) and GALERIA Inno in Belgium (16 stores). Galeria KAUFHOF and GALERIA Inno are market leaders in their respective countries and they interlink their online shops and their bricks-and-mortar business through a successful multi-channel strategy. GALERIA Real Estate Holding GmbH, as a subsidiary of GALERIA Holding GmbH, is responsible for the strategic development of the 59 inner-city retail properties under its management in Germany. GALERIA Real Estate Group contributes to maintaining and increasing the value of the real estate portfolio. GALERIA Immobilienservice GmbH is the subsidiary of GALERIA Holding GmbH that performs various services related to the department store properties.

About Hudson’s Bay Company
Hudson’s Bay Company, founded in 1670, is North America’s oldest company. Today, HBC offers customers a range of retailing categories and shopping experiences primarily in the United States and Canada. Our leading banners – Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH – offer a compelling assortment of apparel, accessories, shoes, beauty and home merchandise. Hudson’s Bay is Canada’s most prominent department store with 90 full-line locations, two outlet stores and Lord & Taylor operates 50 full-line locations primarily in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic U.S., four Lord & Taylor outlet locations and Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the world’s pre-eminent luxury specialty retailers, comprises 39 U.S. stores, five international licensed stores and OFF 5TH offers value-oriented merchandise through 83 U.S. stores and The Company also operates Home Outfitters, Canada’s largest kitchen, bed and bath specialty superstore with 67 locations. Hudson’s Bay Company trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “HBC”.

METRO GROUP is one of the most important international trading companies. In the financial year 2013/14, it generated sales of about €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.

Starbucks scored 100 out of 100 on a new Disability Equality Index survey

SEATTLE, 2015-6-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks scored 100 out of 100 on a new Disability Equality Index survey, a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities and the U.S. Business Leadership Network.

The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a national, transparent benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective assessment of their overall disability inclusion policies and practices. It is an aspirational, educational, recognition tool that goes far beyond legal compliance. It helps companies identify opportunities for continued improvement, while building their reputations as organizations that value diversity and inclusion.

“I am extremely pleased with the results of this ground-breaking collaboration between members of the business and disability communities,” said Helena Beger, Acting President and CEO of AADP. “It’s a real testament to what can happen when people work together toward shared goals.”

The 2014 DEI was completed by 80 Fortune 1000-size companies, representing a broad range of workplace, supply chain and marketplace activities.  Points are awarded in four major categories:  Culture & Leadership, Enterprise-wide Access, Employment Practices, and Community Engagement & Support Services.

Companies receive points in any given category by demonstrating that they embrace a significant portion of the numerous best practices outlined in each section. Starbucks is one of only 19 companies that received a score of 100.

By scoring 100 points, DEI said Starbucks “demonstrated significant business leadership, driving their business success through leading disability inclusion policies and practices.”

The company’s leadership will be celebrated at an awards reception on Capitol Hill (July 30, 2015) in conjunction with the Washington D.C. celebration of the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at and through the Starbucks Newsroom.

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation’s largest disability rights organization. AAPD promotes equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. AAPD’s members, including people with disabilities and family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site:

About the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®)
The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) is a national non-profit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The USBLN serves as the collective voice of nearly 50 Business Leadership Network affiliates across the United States, representing over 5,000 businesses. Additionally, the USBLN Disability Supplier Diversity Program® (DSDP) is the nation’s leading third party certification program for disability-owned businesses, including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

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

Starbucks scored 100 out of 100 on a new Disability Equality Index survey

Toys“R”Us Q1 2015 Lenders and Note Investors Conference Call scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

WAYNE, NJ, 2015-6-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us, Inc. is pleased to announce that its first quarter 2015 Lenders and Note Investors Conference Call to discuss the financial results of Toys“R”Us, Inc., Toys“R”Us – Delaware, Inc., and Toys“R”Us Property Company II, LLC has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Participation in this call is limited to lenders under Toys“R”Us – Delaware, Inc.’s term loan credit agreement dated August 24, 2010 (as amended or supplemented, including by the joinder agreements dated May 25, 2011, April 10, 2012, and October 24, 2014), and to investors and prospective investors in Toys“R”Us Property Company II, LLC’s 8.50% Senior Secured Notes due 2017 and Toys“R”Us, Inc.’s 10.375% Senior Notes due 2017, 7.375% Senior Notes due 2018 and 8.75% Debentures due 2021.

Lenders, investors and prospective investors in the loans and notes set forth above who would like to request participation in this conference call should visit the following link to register and request dial-in information.

All requests to participate in the call must be submitted via the link above by 5:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Dial-in information will be subsequently provided.

About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 866 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam, and in more than 730 international stores and over 240 licensed stores in 37 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites, and, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys“R”Us, Inc. employs approximately 66,000 associates annually worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys“R”Us, Inc. can be found on Follow Toys“R”Us, Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook, and and on Twitter at

Lenders and Note Investors:

Chetan Bhandari, Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance & Treasurer at 973-617-5841


Kathleen Waugh, Vice President, Corporate Communications at 973-617-5888, 646-366-8823 or

Seattle Seahawks players try out corporate jobs at Starbucks as part of the Seahawks job shadow program

SEATTLE, 2015-6-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Trailing the Green Bay Packers 16-0 late in the third quarter of last season’s NFC Championship Game, the Seattle Seahawks pulled out a do-or-die trick play that hinged on a little-known rookie named Garry Gilliam.

As the two teams lined up for a field goal attempt, capping yet another stalled Seahawk drive, the behemoth lineman was positioned to take on the outside rush. Though technically an eligible receiver, the Seahawks presented a standard formation and Gilliam fit the rather substantial profile of a blocker whose sole role was to protect the edge. At the snap of the ball, however, the 6-5, 306 pound Gilliam slipped through a napping special-teams unit and caught a pass as he crossed the goal line, putting the first Seahawks points on the board in a 28-22 comeback victory that propelled Seattle to the Super Bowl.

As a deafening roar rose up through Century Link Stadium, the Packers had to be pondering, “That guy did that?” But they were just learning what many already know: Garry Gilliam’s talents extend far beyond protecting quarterbacks and opening holes for runners.

Players and Partners Team Up

Touring Starbucks headquarters in Seattle as part of the Seahawks job shadow program, Gilliam comes across as a man whose interests are as broad as his shoulders. For the 24-year-old Pennsylvanian and Seahawks teammates Kevin Pierre-Louis, Marcus Burley, Mike Morgan and Julius Warmsley, the program aims to bolster post-gridiron prospects by providing guidance, education and support on the job front as well as a chance interact with Starbucks partners (employees) and the community.

Gilliam spent time this week with members of the Starbucks Global Communications, Global Digital Marketing and Partner Communications & Engagement teams.  Gilliam has always been adept at learning new things, having overcome an underprivileged background to flourish as a student and athlete.

A native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, his mother enrolled him in the Milton Hershey School when he was 7 years old. The school offers top-notch education to students from income-eligible families. While only a short drive from home, Milton Hershey School students live on campus in student housing during the school year. The bright second-grader was catching a break academically at the private school, but it meant living away from his mother and siblings.

“No one had graduated from school from my family at that point,” Gilliam recalled. “It was unchartered territory, so why not? It was tough, obviously, being away from home at such a young age. I remember crying a lot – like every night.”

Over time he found one way to fend off the blues was to keep busy. “The more I was involved the less I thought about not being at home,” said Gilliam. “I got involved in choir and band and acting and dance and a bunch of sports. I was always intelligent and always had a yearning to learn.”

By the time he’d received his high school diploma from Milton Hershey, Gilliam had accumulated a slew of honors on the field and in the classroom. He was recruited by Penn State University, making his mark initially as a tight end before switching to offensive tackle. He received degrees in advertising, business and psychology and earned a spot on the Academic All-Big Ten team.

His progress as a player, however, was marred by injuries, so when he finished his career as a Nittany Lion after the 2012 season, teams passed on him through the seven rounds of the NFL draft. His potential, as well as his diligence and background, caught the attention of the Seahawks, who signed him as a free agent in the spring of 2014. Against long odds, he made the 53-man roster and was on the field when the Hawks fell just short in defending their Super Bowl title.

Embracing Opportunity

Despite his unexpected moment of NFL glory, Gilliam is the pragmatic sort. Asked what he sees in his future, he replied “Play football.” Laughing he added: “In a perfect world, obviously, you want to play football long enough so you have enough money so you don’t have to work again. I can see myself being a serial entrepreneur.  Set up a few businesses and see how far I can take them.”

Gilliam believes that too few players put enough thought into what comes after their athletic careers end. “You can see it in the numbers,” he said. “About 90 percent of NFL players are bankrupt within two years of being out of football. They’re trying to live a lifestyle they no longer can support.”

Wanting a solid future is a big reason why he decided to participate in the Seahawks job shadow at Starbucks. He also wants a better future for children at Milton Hershey School. Gilliam regularly finds time to go back to the school.  “Every chance I get, I go back and talk to kids about embracing opportunity.”

Just like he did when it was fourth and long against the Packers.

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


Seattle Seahawks players try out corporate jobs at Starbucks as part of the Seahawks job shadow program

Seattle Seahawks players try out corporate jobs at Starbucks as part of the Seahawks job shadow program

Scottish Retail Consortium responds to the Commission on Local Tax Reform

LONDON, 2015-6-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — The SRC has submitted a written response to the Commission on Local Tax Reform. The SRC is ‘open’ to council tax being replaced or reformed but wants to see any major changes or alternative system underpinned by support for consumer confidence and subject to a robust and convincing cost benefit analysis. The SRC submission also highlights how revenues from business rates have been picking up an ever large proportion of local authority budgets compared to receipts from council tax.

Please find the written response downloadable on the right.

For more information please contact David Lonsdale, Director of Scottish Retail Consortium, 07801629088.

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP.
020 7854 8900.

BRC/SPRINGBOARD FOOTFALL AND VACANCIES MONITOR: Footfall in May was 1.0% lower than a year ago, down from the 0.8% fall in April

– Footfall in May was 1.0% lower than a year ago, down from the 0.8% fall in April. This was below the three-month average of -0.5.

– Both High Streets and Shopping Centres reported a decline, falling 1.5% and 2.0% respectively.

– Footfall in out-of-town locations fared the best with a 1.4% increase year-on-year, an improvement on the 0.5% rise in April and a continuation of its positive trend.

– Three regions reported positive footfall growth, with the greatest rises seen in the East and Greater London.

– All three nations reported a decline in footfall in May, with Wales reporting the most notable fall (-4.3%), significantly below the UK average.

LONDON, 2015-6-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “The pace of change in the way we shop shows no sign of slowing. In fact, today’s figures show the rate of decline in shopper numbers on our high streets and in shopping centres has slightly increased. Local government, town centre managers and retailers will need to continue to work together to refine their high street offer and give customers practical, positive reasons to return.

It’s vital that central government plays its part too. Retail can have a crucial role in delivering the Chancellor’s ambitious northern powerhouse. But with shopper numbers in decline across the north, there is some distance to travel before our contribution will be realised. The BRC continues to ask the Chancellor to call time on the current business rates system which is stifling retailers ability to invest. If he takes bold action on rates in his upcoming Budget, a crucial barrier to retailers driving growth in the north and across the rest of the UK, will finally have been removed.

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, said: ‘’The 1.0 per cent drop in footfall in May – a slight dip from the 0.8 per cent decrease in April – was driven by a worsening of high street footfall performance from a 0.1 per cent decline in April to a 1.5 per cent decline in May. Shopping centre footfall improved from a 3.0 per cent decline in April to a 2.0 per cent decline in May, however, this still leaves shopping centres with a reduced footfall.

‘’The negative position of high streets and shopping centres is in sharp contrast with the positive footfall result of 1.4 per cent in retail parks. Recording an increase in footfall for the past 17 consecutive months which has averaged 2.2 per cent, retail parks are clearly the winners in the grab for consumers across bricks and mortar retail destinations. This brings into sharp contrast the long term downward trend in high streets and shopping centres, where out of the last 17 months footfall has fallen in all but one month in high streets and two months in shopping centres.

‘’The success of retail parks is undoubtedly a function of owner driven change that has led to the introduction of a family based leisure offer in many out of town locations that previously fulfilled a purely functional role. This, in combination with plentiful and free car parking has enhanced the attraction of retail parks and improved their efficiency as click and collect locations for the ever increasing number of omni-channel shoppers. The high cost of parking in high streets and shopping centres, together with elongated travel times due to congestion means that urban destinations are at an obvious and increasing disadvantage.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP.
020 7854 8900.