Meijer opens its first two Wisconsin supercenters in Grafton and Kenosha

Grafton and Kenosha supercenters are the first of estimated $750 million investment in state

MILWAUKEE, Wis., 2015-6-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Meijer moved into its sixth state, opening its first two Wisconsin supercenters to local customers today, Co-Chairman Hank Meijer announced. The 192,000-square-foot stores in Grafton and Kenosha have created nearly 600 jobs, and are the first in the state to carry the retailer’s unique offerings that include fresh, high-quality produce and groceries, general merchandise and full-service pharmacies.

“We are proud to open our doors on this first historic day in Wisconsin,” Hank Meijer said. “Since announcing our intention more than two years ago, we’ve done our best to understand the Wisconsin market and truly become a part of the community. We think our neighbors in southeastern Wisconsin will be really pleased with the fresh options they can experience beginning today.”

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer is the pioneer of the one-stop shopping concept and committed to offering easy, affordable solutions to shoppers. The new stores are built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and will be open 24 hours a day. Meijer now operates 219 stores in six states and employs more than 65,000 team members throughout the Midwest.

In addition to the retailer’s traditional grocery, merchandise and garden center at each store, the new pharmacies offer drive-thru pick up and the Meijer free prescription program. Since its inception in 2006, the program has filled nearly 26 million free prescriptions, saving Meijer customers more than $376 million.

Opening celebrations began with a ribbon-cutting event at each store, followed by remarks from Meijer leadership and local officials. The stores demonstrated their commitment to the community by making donations to two local organizations.

In Kenosha, Meijer donated $25,000 to Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha to revamp and reopen its “Kids in the Kitchen” program, which teaches youth members about healthy eating habits, as well as how to prepare and cook fresh meals and snacks for their families. In Grafton, Meijer donated $25,000 to the Village of Grafton to install five new informational kiosks and new pavilion as part of the community’s Riverwalk.

As part of its ongoing community support, Meijer donates more than 6 percent of its net profit to charitable organizations annually, and each of its stores works with local food pantries and banks to help fight hunger at the local level. Since 2008, the retailer’s Simply Give program has generated more than $15.5 million for its food pantry partners throughout the Midwest.

In August, Meijer will open two additional stores in Wauwatosa and Oak Creek. The retailer has plans for continued growth in Wisconsin.

“It’s been nearly 20 years since we’ve chosen to enter a new state, so we are grateful for the enthusiastic response we’ve received as we’ve built these first stores,”  Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. “We are serious about our commitment to Wisconsin and plan to add two to three new stores per year through 2019.”

About Meijer:
Meijer is a family-owned and privately-held company committed to meeting the needs of families in the communities of each of its 219 stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, garden centers and electronics offerings. Additional information on Meijer and the ability to shop for more can be found at Please follow Meijer on Twitter and or become a fan at

Contact: Frank Guglielmi, 616-791-3814,


Meijer opens its first two Wisconsin supercenters in Grafton and Kenosha

Meijer opens its first two Wisconsin supercenters in Grafton and Kenosha

Whole Foods Market celebrates active, fit lifestyles with its inaugural “Ready for Action Week,” June 24 through 30

From June 24 to 30, stores kick off summer adventures with events, limited edition bags and protein powder sale

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-6-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market’s inaugural “Ready for Action Week,” June 24 through 30, will celebrate active, fit lifestyles. During this week, the store’s Whole Body departments will host events, classes, demonstrations and promotions* to showcase Whole Foods Market’s large selection of active living products—from protein powders and superfoods to sun-care and reusable water bottles.

“Our shoppers live incredibly active lives— from professional athletes to new moms,” said Maren Giuliano, executive global Whole Body coordinator. “This week we’ll be highlighting products that support healthy lifestyles for various kinds of shoppers, whether it’s a person looking for supplements that support hydration and energy or a family who just wants to stay safe in the sun.”

Beginning Saturday, June 27, at 10 a.m. local time, all Whole Foods Market stores in the United States will offer a limited edition “Ready for Action” bag for $12 (valued at $50.) Packed with great products for summer adventures, these 100 percent jute bags with organic cotton lining are made by RIJI Green, a business committed to ending human trafficking. Each bag includes a Boiron Arnicare Gel, Goddess Garden Organics Everyday Natural or Kids Sunscreen SPF 30, Aubrey Pure Aloe Vera, Amazing Grass Amazing Meal in Vanilla Chai, Garden of Life Perfect Food Raw Organic Green Super Food in Chocolate Cacao, Spectrum Essentials Seed Blends, Nuun Active Natural Electrolyte Enhanced Drink Tabs, Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant, a Spectrum Essential recipe book and three coupons.**

From June 26 to 28, shoppers will also save 25 percent on all protein powders at all Whole Foods Market locations in the United States and Canada. All protein powders sold at Whole Foods Market are free of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. For more on Whole Foods Market’s standards, please visit

*Please check with your local store to see which events, classes and promotions are happening in your area.
**All items in this promotion are supported by our participating suppliers.


Argos unveils list of the most anticipated toys for 2015 dominated by characters from the big and small screen

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-6-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — The most hotly anticipated toys for 2015 have been unveiled today in a list dominated by characters from the big and small screen. From Sing-A-Long Elsa, star of the mega hit Frozen, to an interactive Tracy Island from the newly re-mastered Thunderbirds, and Tumbling Stuart toy inspired by blockbuster movie Minions – the list, released by one of Ireland’s top toy retailers Argos, is set to keep the whole family entertained.

Linzi Walker, Chief Toy Buyer at Argos, said: “This year, the list is more star studded than ever, driven by highly anticipated movie releases and kid’s favourite TV shows. Toys like the Tracy Island, Barbie and Lego are all stellar examples of how this year’s list crosses the generations, bringing the whole family together on Christmas Day.

“With the growing buzz around the new Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens movie out later this year, we are expecting even more toys to launch in the next few months which will be in huge demand by kids and parents alike. So watch this space!”

As well as the toys that are influenced by the big and small screen, the Top Toys list 2015 also includes a selection of toys that will be exclusive to Argos this Christmas. This includes the Chad Valley Three Storey Summer Winter Dolls House, the VTech Toot Drivers Super RC Raceway and the Barbie Style Your Way House.

Argos’ Top Toys Predictions for 2015:

Product RRP (Recommended Retail Price) where available
My Friend Freddy 58.99 euros
VTech Toot Drivers Super RC Raceway 73.99 euros – indicative launch price
Thunderbirds Interactive Tracy Island 117.99 euros
Lego City Deep Sea Exploration Vessel 117.99 euros
Nerf Modulus 88.49 euros
Pie Face[1] 29.99 euros
Chad Valley 3 Storey Summer Winter Dolls House 147.49 euros – indicative launch price
Shopkins Scoops Ice Cream Truck Playset 29.49 euros
Barbie Style Your Way House[2] 139.99 euros – indicative launch price
Frozen Sing-A-Long Elsa 58.99 euros
Little Live Pets Birds Clever Keet 88.49 euros
Minions Tumbling Stuart 73.99 euros
Real Fx 147.49 euros


All toys can be reserved for free on for instant collection in store from July 2015 onwards unless indicated.


[1] Pie Face will be available to purchase from October 2015

[2] Barbie Style Your Way House will be available to purchase from September 2015

For more information, please contact Aoife Sweeney, PR Manager, Argos Republic of Ireland on 087 6670534. Alternatively, tweet us @ArgosIreland_PR.using #ArgosSSrange

Notes to Editors:

For more information or high res images, please contact Aoife Sweeney, PR Manager, Argos Republic of Ireland on 087 6670534 or email:

Follow us on Twitter @ArgosIreland_PR

About Argos
Argos is Ireland’s leading general merchandise retailer and provides a unique offer of choice and convenience. It sells general merchandise and products for the home from 40 stores in the Republic of Ireland and around 700 stores in the UK.

Argos opened its first stores in the Republic in January 1996 in Limerick and Dublin; there is now an Argos catalogue in approximately three quarters of all Irish homes.  Argos is already one of the largest retail employers in the country with around 1,100 employees. In 2005, Argos launched its Irish website,, which now has over 40,000 products online.

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


H&M and Gap Inc. issue joint statement at the conclusion of the ILO Labor Capacity Building Forum in Myanmar

SAN FRANCISCO, 2015-6-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Government of Myanmar together with the ILO and the Governments of the United States of America, Japan, Denmark and the European Union are jointly implementing the Initiative on Labour Law Reform and Institutional Capacity Building to improve labor rights and practices in Myanmar. The ILO held a Stakeholders Forum on May 18 and 19 to bring together domestic and international stakeholders to discuss labor issues in Myanmar, identify priority challenges, share global experiences and support efforts to address the gaps.

The following is a joint statement by H&M and Gap Inc. at the conclusion of the Forum.

“As leading international apparel companies who are among the first sourcing in Myanmar, and as founding members of the BSR Myanmar Responsible Sourcing Working Group, H&M and Gap Inc. welcome Myanmar’s commitment to the labor law reform process and encourage its implementation based on the four core elements outlined by the ILO:

  • Comprehensive in that it covers all workers and leaves no “gaps”
  • Accessible in that the law needs to be understood by all stakeholders, who need to be part of labor law drafting through a more inclusive process
  • Appropriate to the Myanmar context
  • Consistent with international human rights and ILO conventions, and with the removal of all remaining inconsistencies among existing laws

We are pleased to have participated in the Stakeholder Forum, as we seek collaboration with other stakeholders to support labor capacity building, worker rights and the advancement of the rule of law. We are committed to working with our suppliers and other stakeholders in Myanmar to secure continued progress towards the widespread implementation of global best practices so that the garment sector can play a meaningful and helpful role in Myanmar’s continued economic, social and democratic development.”

Helena Helmerson, Global Head of Production, H&M

Debbie Mesloh, VP, Global Government and Public Affairs, Gap Inc.

Gap Inc. in Myanmar
In June 2014, Gap Inc. became the first American retailer to source from Myanmar.  The company entered the country after rigorous due diligence, which included discussions with international and local NGOs, trade union leaders and local officials on the ground, industry representatives and Western government officials. Gap Inc. is a member of BSR and together with other brands, has committed to Principles for Responsible Sourcing for Myanmar’s garment sector. Underscoring its commitment to capacity building, the company launched a public private partnership with USAID to extend the reach of its award-winning women’s empowerment program, P. A. C. E., and has been working in partnership with the International Labor Organization on labor capacity building in the garment industry. Gap Inc. voluntarily reported its activities in Myanmar to the United States State Department, see the report here.

H&M in Myanmar
H&M placed test orders in Myanmar in 2013, started sourcing from a small number of units in 2014 and opened a production office in Yangon in early 2015. Before entering Myanmar, the company conducted a thorough risk analysis with external stakeholders, both locally and globally. H&M works with BSR to mitigate current and future risks and to build the capacity of local suppliers. The company believes that transparency is the key to industry change and has published its complete supplier list on, including all Myanmar units. H&M has completed a human rights assessment questionnaire published in full on the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB)

Starbucks Coffee Company to commit additional $30 million as part of its Global Farmer Fund program

SEATTLE, 2015-6-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) today announced an additional commitment of $30 million as part of its Global Farmer Fund program, one aspect of the company’s comprehensive ethical sourcing initiatives that help ensure the sustainability of the specialty coffee industry.  This investment is the continuation of an initial $20 million commitment made in 2008, and distributed in collaboration with leading lending organizations such as Root Capital and the Fairtrade Access Fund. To date, this financing has impacted more than 62 cooperatives in 8 countries benefitting more than 40,000 farmers.

“In 2015, we have achieved a number of milestones across our ethical sourcing initiatives but we know that the work isn’t done. This new investment demonstrates how we remain steadfast in our support of farmers around the world,” said Craig Russell, executive vice president of Global Coffee for Starbucks. “By providing access to capital, farmers have the ability to make strategic investments in their infrastructure, offering the stability they need to manage ongoing complexities so that there is a future for them and the industry.”

Starbucks first farmer loan investment was in 2000 with Root Capital (formerly known as Ecologic Enterprise Venture) for a project in the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve in Chiapas, Mexico. This work helped establish a revolving line of credit focused largely on short-term financing for farmer cooperatives. Today, farmer financing has evolved to include medium and long term investments in order to help provide the necessary stability to manage climate variables by supporting agronomy, restoration and infrastructure improvements. This work directly influences coffee quality, sustainability and overall profitability for the entire specialty coffee industry.

The $50 million Global Farmer Fund aligns to Starbucks global sourcing strategy which includes purchasing coffee from more than 30 countries worldwide and offered to customers in single origin, blend and small-lot programs and beverages. Later this week, the first allocation from the Global Farmer Fund will be announced as part of a collaborative effort led by the IFC and other organizations.

In 2015 Starbucks verified 99% of its coffee as ethically sourced. For over 15 years, Starbucks has worked with Conservation International to design a rigorous set of methods to ensure environmental and social best practices are used in growing and processing coffee. To date, more than a million farmers and workers on four continents have benefited by participating in Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E) Practices. In addition, Starbucks ethical sourcing program includes a network of six farmer support centers around the world (Rwanda, Tanzania, Colombia, China, Costa Rica and Ethiopia) as well as the purchase of a farm in Costa Rica acting as a global agronomy center.

What others are saying about Starbucks commitment to coffee farmers

“Starbucks has always understood the importance of investing in coffee farmers offering access to credit and financial management training. Farmers who receive loans from Root Capital are able to increase their livelihoods and become more reliable and resilient suppliers by improving environmental protection, crop yields, and product quality; thereby becoming more reliable and resilient suppliers. Together, we will make an even greater difference in the lives of coffee farmers and their families across Africa, Asia and Latin America.” – William Fulbright Foote, Founder and CEO of Root Capital.

“Traditionally smallholder coffee farmers depend on a single payment at the end of the harvest season to cover their expenses for an entire year. They are most often viewed as too high risk or lack access to any conventional loan facilities, and are captive to a cycle of sustained poverty. In order to break this cycle, these producers need to be able to make investments in their farms, households and communities that will deliver long-term benefits. Such investments require credit, and buyers who are willing to extend credit and share risk with farmers are not only stabilizing their own supply chains but contributing to the resiliency of coffee production globally.” – Richard Rhinehart, Executive Director SCAA Specialty Coffee Association of America.

“Starbucks ability to achieve the milestone of ninety nine percent of its coffee being ethically sourced is a reflection of their ability to bring the right people and organizations together in support of a common goal of sustainability. Only through a collective approach that provides farmers with access to information, tools and financing will we be able to transition coffee – the most widely traded tropical agricultural commodity on Earth – to becoming the first sustainably produced commodity.”  – Dr. M. Sanjayan, Executive Vice President, Senior Scientist for Conservation International.

“Longer term investments are a necessary ingredient in the recipe for sustainability.When well-managed, such funding can make a difference in the resilience and effectiveness of farmers and their co-ops or organizations. Starbucks’ expanded investment demonstrates a commitment to shared value and a shared responsibility for sustainable coffee.” – Daniele Giovannucci President COSA Committee on Sustainability Assessment.

“Positive change in coffee communities takes time, persistence, and hard work. One of the greatest obstacles to change faced by most coffee farmers is access to financing, to support needed improvements on their farms and within their cooperatives. Farmers need financing to improve their productivity: from purchasing needed inputs to renovating their farms with high-quality rust-resistant coffee plants. Cooperatives need financing to protect and maximize coffee quality through proficient milling, and to support their trading operations. When available, most financing is often limited to short-term loans. Big changes with big impact demand mid- and longer-term investments that enable farmers and cooperatives to improve their coffee quality and earnings, so they can reinvest in their operations. Mid- and long-term financing is the key to support these investments that will ultimately improve coffee quality and the quality of life for coffee farming families now and well into the future. This commitment to insuring adequate financing is a cornerstone of Lutheran World Relief’s work with coffee growing communities around the world.” – Rick Peyser Senior Relationship Manager, Coffee & Cocoa. Lutheran World Relief.

“The lack of access to loans is one of the reasons many coffee farmers in low income countries are struggling to earn a basic living and feed their families. USAID, through the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, is proud to partner with companies like Starbucks to help ensure small-holder farmers are able to continue producing high quality coffee while reducing poverty in their households and communities.” – Pam Fessenden, Office Director for Markets, Partnerships and Innovation in USAID’s Bureau for Food Security.

“Given Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade’s (FAST) work linking coffee farmers with sources of finance, we are acutely aware that the biggest problem facing small coffee farmers today is the lack of available capital at the right scale, time frame, and terms. FAST commends Starbucks for recognizing the need for new approaches to this situation and establishing the Global Farmer Fund as a pragmatic solution to the mid- and long-term finance needs of its suppliers. We look forward to collaborating with Starbucks to make this a viable model that increases the socio-economic impacts of the coffee industry around the world.” – Noemi Perez, President and CEO Finance Alliance For Sustainable Trade.

Find stories about Starbucks coffee, farmers and suppliers here: Starbucks Global Responsibility

For more information on this news release, contact us.



Starbucks Coffee Company to commit additional $30 million as part of its Global Farmer Fund program

Starbucks Coffee Company to commit additional $30 million as part of its Global Farmer Fund program