IKEA US to again raise its minimum hourly wage in existing stores effective January 1, 2016

Conshohocken, PA, 2015-6-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA US announced today that it will again raise its minimum hourly wage in existing stores. Effective January 1, 2016, the average minimum hourly wage paid in IKEA US stores will increase from $10.76 to $11.87, a $1.11 or 10.3% increase. This is $4.62 above the current federal minimum wage.

In June 2014, IKEA US announced its new minimum wage structure, which bases minimum hourly wages on local living costs for co-workers. The basis for the local living costs is the MIT Living Wage Calculator, which takes into consideration housing, food, medical and transportation costs plus annual taxes.* This is a departure from determining wages based on the local competitive situation and is centered on the needs of the IKEA co-worker.

“IKEA not only seeks to understand life at home in order to offer our customers a great home furnishings offer, we also seek to understand our co-workers lives and needs in order to make IKEA a great place to work,” commented Lars Petersson, IKEA US President. “This latest wage increase is just the most recent in a series of investments grounded in our commitment to have a positive impact on our co-workers lives.”

Petersson continues, “This is not only the right thing to do for our co-workers, it’s also good for business. One year ago when we announced our new minimum wage structure based on local living conditions, we hoped it would contribute to reducing co-worker turnover. Now six months after the implementation, I am pleased to see that we are pacing to reduce co-worker turnover by 5 points in FY15.”

As a result of today’s announcement, 42 of 43 IKEA US retail locations will have an increase in their minimum wage and approximately 32% of IKEA US hourly retail co-workers will benefit from the change. As of January 2016, all five US distribution centers and all non-retail locations will also have minimum wages above the local living wage, and no co-worker will have a minimum hourly wage below $10.00.

In addition to investing in co-worker compensation, IKEA US is addressing co-workers’ feedback and needs by considering ways to deliver more full-time schedules and increased schedule predictability. Although IKEA US currently provides co-workers with their schedules three weeks in advance, the company is seeking ways to make scheduling even more predictable.

IKEA currently employs 15,000 co-workers in its 40 US stores, five distributions centers and three non-store locations. The company has announced new locations in St. Louis, Memphis, Columbus and Las Vegas.

* The rate used is a single person with no children. Based on the MIT Living Wage calculator http://livingwage.mit.edu. Rate applies no matter what the hours per week a co-worker works. ** According to an independent evaluation (Towers Watson BENEVAL)

Contact: Mona A. Liss, IKEA Corporate PR Director ~ Mona.Liss@IKEA.com, 610.834.0180, ext.5852

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

Amcal again voted as the leading service provider in the pharmacy sector winning the 2015 Readers Digest Quality Service Award

Victoria, Australia, 2015-6-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amcal has again been recognised by the Australian public as the leading service provider in the pharmacy sector, winning the 2015 Readers Digest Quality Service Award.

Amcal recorded a combined consumer Quality Service Index score of 78 in the extensive national online survey and grabbed by far the highest consumer score for those who said they would ‘enthusiastically’ continue to shop at the store or recommend it to a friend or family member.

Sigma Chief Operating Officer Mr Gary Dunne said winning the award was great recognition for the thousands of team members in Amcal stores around Australia.

“The Amcal brand is synonymous with providing expert advice for all Australians. Our Amcal pharmacists pride themselves on consistently taking the time to deliver the care and service that their customers need, so it is really pleasing for Amcal to again be recognised as leading the way,” he said.

Independent research analyst Catalyst conducted the online research involving more than 1500 interviews around Australia covering every demographic group on behalf of Readers Digest. Pharmacies were given a Service Quality Index rating based on consumer feedback on the following criteria:

  • Personalisation – providing a tailored customer experience;
  • Understanding – demonstrating empathy for the customer’s needs;
  • Simplicity – making the process quick and easy for the customer;
  • Reliability – consistently delivering high quality customer service;
  • Satisfaction – delivering, and exceeding, customer expectations.

“Sigma continues to introduce programs into our Amcal network to assist the pharmacist help care for customers and better manage their health. This includes continuing to expand our Professional Service programs, such as coeliac testing and kidney check, to bring real and sustainable health management benefits to the community”, said Mr Dunne,

This award follows consistent recognition for Amcal, having previously been awarded the Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers award for 2014 and 2013, and the International Customer Service Professionals (ICSP) outstanding Customer Service award for 2014. Another one of Sigma’s pharmacy brands, Guardian, has also won the past three Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction awards.

Mr Dunne concluded, “Pharmacists continue to be some of the most accessible health care professionals in Australia. So it is a credit to everyone that our Amcal and Guardian pharmacies are universally recognised as consistently providing outstanding customer service standards that are clearly valued by the community.”

For more information please contact:
Gary Woodford
Corporate Affairs Manager
Mob: 0417 399 204

Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited announces 5-year wholesale supply and services agreement with Reform Management

VICTORIA, Australia, 2015-6-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited (Sigma) is pleased to confirm a new 5-year wholesale supply and services agreement with Reform Management (Reform).

With over 1,900 independent community pharmacy customers nationally, Reform has one of the largest independent networks and is committed to partnering with suppliers to support their servicing and buying requirements.

Mr Mark Hooper, Sigma Chief Executive Officer commented “Reform is providing critical services to their community pharmacy members to support their customers to pro-actively manage their health. It is really pleasing that Reform has chosen Sigma as their partner of choice and we look forward to this partnership further developing over the long term.”

Reform have been a long term wholesale customer of Sigma, and the relationship further consolidates with this arrangement now extended and expanded.

Reform Managing Director Peter Nelson commented “Reform is committed to providing the solutions our independent community pharmacies need to thrive in this challenging market. Entering into a longer term and more strategic partnership with Sigma was a natural choice to provide us with the supply, products and service solutions required for our community pharmacy members. This strengthening partnership with Sigma will allow our pharmacy members to better succeed both now and into the future.”

For more information please contact:
Gary Woodford
Corporate Affairs Manager
Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited
Mobile: 0417 399 204


BRC supports awareness campaign targeting identity crime in our communities

LONDON, 2015-6-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — An awareness campaign encouraging people to protect their personal information has been launched today. The ‘Not With My Name’ campaign, produced in partnership with the City of London Police (National Policing Lead for Fraud) is targeting identity crime in our communities.

The campaign will be highlighting advice focused on helping people protect their personal information. This will include pointers on creating safe passwords, protecting internet devices, dealing with unsolicited phone calls and emails, and safely storing and disposing of mail.

These messages will be shared across the country, with the campaign being supported by 35 local police forces and organisations that include Get Safe Online, Cifas, FFA UK, Age UK and Experian.

Identity fraud is an offence that one in four UK adults – 12.275 million people – is believed to have fallen victim to losing on average £1200 each. Total losses to the UK adult population are estimated to be £3.3 billion.*
In the first quarter of 2015 there was a 27% increase in identity fraud. The average age of a victim was 46, with men being 1.7 times more likely than women to have their identity stolen.**

The knock-on effects range from the inconvenient to the highly distressing, with issues taking on average on average 200 hours of a person or businesses time to resolve. Victims often find that money has been removed from their bank or their account has been taken over, a fraudulent passport or driving license has been created in their name, or loans, mortgages and mobile phone contracts have been set-up using their identity.

The wider effects for society are also concerning with the proceeds of identity crime often being used to fund further criminal activity. City of London Police Commander Steve Head, who is the Police National Coordinator for Economic Crime, said:

“Identity crime – the creation of a false identity or the misuse of a genuine identity – is a key facilitator to committing further criminality, evading detection from law enforcement and laundering criminal profits. What many of us do not appreciate is the sheer scale of the problem, with one in four adults believed to have been a victim.

“To really get to grips with identity crime requires us all to come together and share advice on how to protect our personal information at home, in the workplace and while out in public places. Following the top tips provided by the ‘Not With My Name’ campaign will help people better understand the nature and scale of the threat they face which in turn will hopefully make them much less likely to fall victim to this type of offence.”

*National Fraud Authority Annual Fraud Indicator 2013
**According 2015 Cifas report: 2015 Cifas Report: ID Fraud First Quarter

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.


Wesfarmers Limited enters into an agreement to acquire a 13.7 per cent interest in Quadrant Energy Holdings Pty Ltd

PERTH, Australia, 2015-6-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wesfarmers Limited (Wesfarmers) has entered into an agreement to acquire a 13.7 per cent interest in Quadrant Energy Holdings Pty Ltd (Quadrant Energy).

Brookfield Asset Management Inc and Macquarie Capital (a division of Macquarie Group Limited) announced on 9 April 2015 an agreement to acquire Apache Corporation’s (Apache) domestic oil and gas assets in Western Australia for US$2.1 billion, with each holding an initial 50 per cent interest in Quadrant Energy. This transaction completed on 5 June 2015.

Wesfarmers will invest US$100 million to acquire a 27.4 per cent interest in the special purpose vehicle in which Macquarie Capital holds its interest, representing a 13.7 per cent interest in Quadrant Energy. As part of this investment, Wesfarmers will have a right to appoint a director to the Board of Quadrant Energy.

Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder said the investment in Quadrant Energy is complementary to Wesfarmers’ Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers division’s existing businesses and is expected to generate a satisfactory return to shareholders.

Completion of the transaction is expected today.

For more information:

Investors Media
Mark Scatena
General Manager, Investor Relations & Planning
+61 8 9327 4416 or +61 439 979 398

Cathy Bolt
Media and External Affairs Manager
+61 8 9327 4423 or +61 417 813 804

About Quadrant Energy
Quadrant Energy’s portfolio of assets includes interests formerly held by Apache in the following projects:

• three operating gas fields – Reindeer, John Brookes, and Halyard-Spar, and in the BHP Billiton-operated Macedon;
• three operating oil fields – Coniston-Novara, Van Gogh and Stag, and in BHP Billiton-operated Pyrenees Area;
• gas processing facilities and associated infrastructure at Devil Creek, Varanus Island and Macedon; and
• upstream acreage in the Carnarvon, Exmouth and Canning Basins.

All of Quadrant Energy’s gas production is supplied to the Western Australian domestic gas market, and currently represents approximately 40 per cent of Western Australia’s domestic gas supply.