bol.com to start the construction of its own fulfillment center in Waalwijk, the Netherlands in 2016

In 2016, bol.com will start the construction of its own fulfillment center in Waalwijk, the Netherlands that will put it in a better position to keep growing and innovating. This expansion will enable customers to choose from an even broader assortment, while they will be able to count on the fastest delivery and the best possible service.

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — The new fulfillment center, which will have a floor space of some 50,000 square meters, will open its doors in 2017. It is expected to create around 1,000 new jobs in the Waalwijk area. Docdata, bol.com’s current fulfillment partner, will continue to support bol.com at the new location, and will be responsible for HR and day-to-day management, as well as innovation development.

Convenience and choice

“To make sure our customers and partners can keep relying on bol.com as the best online store, continuous growth and innovation are essential,” says Daniel Ropers, Managing Director of bol.com. “We’re always expanding our assortment, and our customers expect fast and reliable delivery. Our current fulfillment center’s capacity is limited. The new center will give us plenty of extra space to keep growing. We’ll also be able to develop even more innovative concepts that maximize convenience and choice for our customers.”

Innovative services

Examples of innovative services already introduced by bol.com are “Vandaag Ophalen” (“Pick up Today”), which allows customers to pick up orders they place before noon on the same day at Albert Heijn stores, and “Logistiek via bol.com” (“Logistics via bol.com”). The latter service makes it possible for bol.com’s selling partners to outsource their stock management and distribution. “Our own fulfillment center enables us to keep expanding innovative services like this,” says Daniel.

Sustainable solutions

The construction of the new fulfillment center will be characterized by sustainable and environmentally friendly choices and solutions, with a focus on energy efficiency and an optimized work climate. For example, the building will make use of recycled water and renewable energy.

 

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bol.com to start the construction of its own fulfillment center in Waalwijk, the Netherlands in 2016

bol.com to start the construction of its own fulfillment center in Waalwijk, the Netherlands in 2016

US Foods names Pietro Satriano its next President and Chief Executive Officer

Rosemont, Ill., 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — US Foods today named Pietro Satriano its next President and Chief Executive Officer, effective Monday, July 13, 2015. Satriano previously held the role of Chief Merchandising Officer. John Lederer, the company’s current President and CEO, will continue as an advisor to US Foods and its Board of Directors.

“Pietro is a proven leader whose business experience and strategic vision will be perfect for this next phase of US Foods’ evolution,” commented Ed Liddy, chairman of the US Foods Board of Directors. “We want to thank John for guiding the company through its incredible transformation over the past five years. His passion and dedication have been the driving force in setting the company on its path of becoming a truly great American food company that is perfectly positioned for growth.”

“It has been a remarkable ride at US Foods and I’m grateful to have led such a talented group of employees,” said John Lederer, president and CEO, US Foods. “I can say without a doubt that Pietro is absolutely the right person to take this company forward.”

“I am not aware of a company that is more enthusiastic and passionate about serving its customers across America, and I’m honored to be chosen as its new leader,” Satriano said.  “Our focus on bringing innovation and differentiation to the foodservice marketplace has given us tremendous momentum. I look forward to working with the senior leadership and all of our employees across the organization to fully realize the potential of our Food. Food People. Easy. strategy.”

Prior to joining US Foods in 2011, Satriano was president of LoyaltyOne Canada, the company behind AirMiles, Canada’s largest consumer loyalty reward program in which two thirds of households are active. Previously, he was executive vice president of Loblaw Brands at Loblaw Companies where he was responsible for its complete range of private brands.

Discover innovative US Foods products and business solutions at www.usfoods.com. Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch our chefs in action on YouTube.

About US Foods
As one of America’s great food companies and leading distributors, US Foods is Keeping Kitchens Cooking™ and making life easier for customers, including independent and multi-unit restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, government and educational institutions. With approximately $22 billion in annual revenue, the company offers more than 350,000 products, including high-quality, exclusive brands such as the innovative Chef’s Line®, a time-saving, chef-inspired line of scratch-quality products, and Rykoff Sexton®, a premium line of specialty ingredients sourced from around the world. The company proudly employs approximately 25,000 people in more than 60 locations nationwide. US Foods is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., and jointly owned by affiliates of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. Discover more at www.usfoods.com.

Contact
Lisa Lecas, Manager
Corporate Communications, US Foods
Office: 847-720-8243
Lisa.Lecas@usfoods.com

Haggen selects award winning omni-commerce provider Unata to help launch its new customer loyalty program and eCommerce experience

TORONTO & BELLINGHAM, Wash., 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Unata, the award winning omni-commerce provider, and West Coast regional grocer Haggen Food and Pharmacy today announced that Haggen has selected Unata to help launch its new customer loyalty program and eCommerce experience. The implementation will allow for more personalized marketing across Haggen’s channels including online, mobile and in-store.

Haggen’s new eCommerce platform will increase its customer experience offerings and digital presence. Advanced machine-learning will automate personalized recommendations based on data curated from Haggen’s loyalty program. The technology will enable 1-to-1 recommendations across the online experience, including personalized eCommerce homepages and searches, individualized product recommendations and personalized circulars to drive in-store purchases. Further, Haggen’s customers will be able to easily organize items as they shop online based on attributes such as organic, gluten-free or vegetarian.

Unata is leading the charge for personalization, a major industry trend, and is staged to provide clients like Haggen significant business value from its efforts. According to Forrester Research INC.’s Delivering New Levels of Personalization in Consumer Engagement, real-time decision engines will drive the context-focused strategy that is marketers’ key to 2015 success: driving revenue through increased transaction size, extended customer lifetime and improved conversion rates.

The announcement comes following Haggen’s successful store expansion and also at a time when Unata is expected to achieve a 500% year-over-year growth, supported by four new implementations and pilots within the past 60 days.

“We are thrilled to offer customers a personalized experience through our new customer loyalty program,” said Beth Walsh, Vice President of Consumer Insights at Haggen. “Unata is a leader in the omni-commerce space, and we’re excited to leverage their technology to drive sales and improve our customers’ shopping experience.”

“We are proud to announce our partnership with Haggen, a grocer that is building on its success in the Pacific Northwest to expand throughout the West Coast,” said Chris Bryson, Unata CEO. “Haggen’s focus on a rich customer experience driven by loyalty will help pave the future of the grocery experience.”

The loyalty program will begin rolling out in Whatcom County, Washington, at the end of the year and expand to all 164 Haggen locations in early 2016.

About Unata
Unata powers the future of 1-to-1 omni-commerce, interconnecting all digital retail touchpoints including circulars, eCommerce, loyalty programs and beacons through an omni-channel experience that links web, mobile, email and more. Unata’s award-winning platform leverages recommendation technology to ensure true 1-to-1 shopper omni-channel experiences. With an expected growth of over 500% YoY, Unata is expanding rapidly as a leading omni-commerce solutions and services provider. Unata currently works with leading regional grocers throughout Canada and the U.S. like Longo’s, Grocery Gateway, Lowes and Lunds & Byerlys. Learn more at www.unata.com.

Contacts
Ketner Group PR + Marketing (For Unata)
Kathleen See, 512-794-8876
UnataPR@ketnergroup.com
or
Weinstein PR for Haggen
Amy Hunter, 503-927-5872
amy@weinsteinpr.com

Kate Hudson’s Fashion Athletic Wear Brand Fabletics to open its first brick-and-mortar stores at five GGP locations this fall

Kate Hudson’s Fashion Athletic Wear Brand Takes Next Step in Brand Evolution

CHICAGO, 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP) today announced Fabletics, the online activewear and accessories line co-founded by award-winning actress Kate Hudson, will open its first brick-and-mortar stores at five GGP locations this fall to build off the success of its e-commerce platform. Launched in 2013, Fabletics offers premium fashion-forward activewear for women, and recently launched a versatile and high-performance athletic wear line for men, FL2.

“Adding Fabletics stores to our mall portfolio will give shoppers more access to an innovative activewear brand that is already making waves online,” said Alan Barocas, Sr. EVP of Leasing, GGP. “More and more, we are seeing pure-play retailers like Fabletics see the value of adding physical locations to enhance sales and brand visibility. In fact, 90 percent of all U.S. retail sales occur at physical stores, and when a pure-play retailer opens a physical store, they see online sales increase three to five times in the same trade area.”

GGP Fabletics locations opening this fall include: Bridgewater Commons (Bridgewater, N.J.); Christiana Mall (Wilmington, Del.); Kenwood Towne Centre (Cincinnati); The Mall in Columbia (Columbia, Md.) and Saint Louis Galleria (St. Louis). The stores will feature an assortment of amenities to provide an elevated experience for shoppers, including mobile points of sale, free shipping from warehouses for out-of-stock items, in-store fitting appointments, buy online and pick-up in store (BOPUS), as well as a virtual shopping cart to help customers complete their shopping online after their in-store visit.

“We are excited to be opening our first retail locations with GGP,” said Gregg Throgmartin, president of retail, Fabletics. “As an e-commerce leader that is expanding into brick-and-mortar retail, it was key that we partner with an innovative shopping center owner that has introduced cutting-edge retail concepts to fashion-forward and stylish customers.”

Fabletics features fashion-infused activewear that takes you way beyond the workout, from performance-enhancing pieces to high-fashion pieces to ultra-cozy loungewear. Every style is designed for working out and going out. Fabletics locations will also feature FL2, which offers a range of elite workout gear and versatile lifestyle essentials for men to work out, play, and live in. With outfits starting at $49.95 for a top and a bottom, Fabletics and FL2 offer premium activewear without the high cost.

About Fabletics and FL2 
Fabletics is an innovative, high-quality activewear and accessories line for today’s active woman, co-founded by actress Kate Hudson and the team behind JustFab. Whether it’s your sport or your passion, FL2 is designed for the athlete, the friend, the father, the weekend referee, the little league coach. FL2 was made for all men, for every lifestyle.

About GGP
Follow GGP on Facebook and Twitter and read about industry news on the Thriving Malls blog.

General Growth Properties, Inc. is an S&P 500 company focused exclusively on owning, managing, leasing and redeveloping high-quality retail properties throughout the United States. GGP is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol GGP.

CONTACTS:

GGP
Lesley Cheers
(312) 960-5529

Zeno Group
Danika Kmetz
(312) 396-9767

Fabletics
Alice Chung
(310) 683-0940

Toys“R”Us, Inc. to bring its U.S. e-commerce operations in-house and build new platform for Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com and FAO.com

Transformed Websites for Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com and FAO.com Expected to Launch by the End of Summer 2016

WAYNE, NJ, 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us, Inc. today announced plans to bring its U.S. e-commerce operations in-house, including building and managing a new platform for Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com and FAO.com. The company expects to launch its own online platform by the end of Summer 2016.

“As part of our ‘TRU Transformation’ strategy, one of our most important priorities is to optimize our e-commerce business and significantly improve the customer experience online. To accomplish this, we believe it is in our best interest to manage and control all aspects of our e-commerce platform as we move forward,” said Fred Argir, Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “We expect this will provide us with the flexibility needed to grow and expand in an omnichannel world, while allowing us to rapidly respond to changing customer dynamics and an ever competitive marketplace.”

Toys“R”Us, Inc. has worked with its current e-commerce platform provider since 2006. The companies will continue to work together to ensure optimal operations for the existing websites, while facilitating a seamless transition to the new platform over the course of the next year.

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 865 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam, and in 735 international stores and 245 licensed stores in 37 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys at FAO.com. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com and FAO.com, 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 Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys“R”Us, Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus, Facebook.com/Babiesrus and Facebook.com/FAO and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus, Twitter.com/Babiesrus and Twitter.com/FAOSchwarz.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements that are not historical facts in this press release, including statements about our beliefs or expectations, are forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, among others, the seasonality of our business, competition in the retail industry, changes in our product distribution mix and distribution channels, general economic factors in the United States and other countries in which we conduct our business, consumer spending patterns, birth rates, our ability to implement our strategy including implementing initiatives for season, our ability to recognize cost savings, marketing strategies, the operation of our e-commerce platform, the availability of adequate financing, access to trade credit, changes in consumer preferences, changes in employment legislation, our dependence on key vendors for our merchandise, political and other developments associated with our international operations, costs of goods that we sell, labor costs, transportation costs, domestic and international events affecting the delivery of toys and other products to our stores, product safety issues including product recalls, the existence of adverse litigation, changes in laws that impact our business, our substantial level of indebtedness and related debt-service obligations, restrictions imposed by covenants in our debt agreements and other risks, uncertainties and factors set forth in our reports and documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (which reports and documents should be read in conjunction with this press release). In addition, we typically earn a disproportionate part of our annual operating earnings in the fourth quarter as a result of seasonal buying patterns and these buying patterns are difficult to forecast with certainty. We believe that all forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions when made; however, we caution that it is impossible to predict actual results or outcomes or the effects of risks, uncertainties or other factors on anticipated results or outcomes and that, accordingly, one should not place undue reliance on these statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they were made, and we undertake no obligation to update these statements in light of subsequent events or developments unless required by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules and regulations. Actual results and outcomes may differ materially from anticipated results or outcomes discussed in any forward-looking statement.

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For more information, please contact:

Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Kathleen Waugh
973-617-5888 or 646-366-8823
waughk@toysrus.com

Alyssa Peera
973-617-5634
alyssa.peera@toysrus.com

Toys“R”Us® celebrates the fifth anniversary of private label Journey Girls® brand with an updated collection of crafted fashions and detailed accessories

On-Trend and Stylish Fashions Tailored to an All-New Italian Adventure Coming Soon to Company’s Successful Private Label Doll Line

Wayne, NJ, 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us® today announced that it is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its award-winning*, private label Journey Girls® brand with an updated collection of artfully crafted fashions and highly detailed accessories. Beginning this September, customers will find their favorite dolls outfitted in styles perfect for their nextJourney Girls adventure, an Italian excursion, in stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com/JourneyGirls. The company designed this quality 18-inch doll line in 2010 as an affordable option – at $39.99 – for doll enthusiasts and collectors of all ages. What began as a collection of four dolls and complementary fashions, has expanded to a selection of seven dolls, hundreds of mix-and-match clothing options and dozens of must-have accessories. In the five years since the brand’s inception, Journey Girls characters have gone on worldwide adventures spanning 20,000 miles around the globe, from London to Paris and now Italy, adding to their individual and collective backstory.

Click to Tweet: .@ToysRUs celebrates #JourneyGirls 5th anniversary w/ new Italy-inspired collection, on trend fashions & more www.Toysrus.com/JourneyGirls

“What was born out of a team brainstorm more than five years ago has evolved into a brand truly beloved by children the world over, and become one of the company’s most successful private label businesses to date,” said Richard Barry, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “Since 2010, we’ve significantly expanded the space dedicated to this line in our stores, added new girls to the collection and increased the number of accessories and fashions offered. The Journey Girls brand has proven its staying power at Toys“R”Us, while continuing to inspire kids to explore their world and live out adventures.”

Featuring fresh faces, trendy fashions and delightful accessories, the Journey Girls collection is comprised of seven 18-inch dolls that offer children the opportunity to take imaginative, adventurous journeys with characters they can identify with. Little ones can select the doll that most inspires them, choosing from Chavonne, the multitalented performer; Callie, an aspiring dancer; Dana, the animal lover; Kelsey, who loves to seek out exciting new adventures or participate in extreme sports; Kyla, an amazing artist; Meredith, the energetic team athlete; and Mikaella, the latest addition to the Journey Girls who loves cooking and baking.

In preparation for the 2015 holiday season, Toys“R”Us is stocking its inventory with new, adorable fashions and accessories that help extend imaginative play. From furniture and pets, to stylish clothing and hair salon sets, all fashions and accessories are quality made, realistically detailed and scaled to fit 18-inch dolls. The brand also offers a wheelchair and crutch accessories set, providing children with disabilities the opportunity to reflect themselves during playtime. To coincide with the launch of the latest dolls, new Journey Girls accessories will debut in Toys“R”Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com this September, including a Best in Class School Set, Birthday Celebration Set and Pet Grooming Set.

The Journey Girls brand is currently available for purchase at all Toys“R”Us stores across the U.S., and select stores in international markets across the world, including Australia, Canada, France, Spain and the U.K., among many others.

Additionally, to celebrate the gal-pals’ fifth anniversary trip to Italy, the company is encouraging parents and kids to share their Journey Girls experiences with @ToysRUs on Instagram and Twitter, as well as Facebook.com/Toysrus. Fans are invited to post photos of themselves and their dolls traveling the country – or even the globe – as well as engage with one another and Toys“R”Us using #JourneyGirls. For enthusiasts looking for Journey Girls inspiration online, the Toys“R”Us Pinterest page, Pinterest.com/Toysrus, will feature the dolls’ different fashion looks, delicious Italian treat ideas, do-it-yourself arts and crafts and more.

The following Journey Girls dolls will be available for $39.99 each, exclusively at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com/JourneyGirls for ages 6 years and up, beginning this September:

Journey Girl® Chavonne from Toys“R”Us®
Chavonne, a multi-talented performer, will guide the girls through Milan, the City of Theatres, in a black-and-white striped top under a vibrant pink petite coat and trendy floral pants that match her navy slip-on shoes. No batteries required.

Journey Girl® Callie from Toys“R”Us®
Callie will seek out the best shops to show her friends the latest fashion trends, while wearing a black-and-white mini dress paired with an embroidered, blush colored jacket and elegant pink shoes and headband to complement her entire look. No batteries required.

Journey Girl® Dana from Toys“R”Us®
Dana, an animal lover, will be sure to stop by her favorite parco nazionale and protected reserves which are home to a variety of wildlife, all while dressed in a silver knit sweater and brown faux-fur vest with jeans, along with a leopard-print tote bag and chic brown boots. No batteries required.

Journey Girl® Kelsey from Toys“R”Us®
Adventure seeker Kelsey will challenge herself by taking on the best hiking trails and exploring marine life within Italy’s 4,000-plus miles of coastline! While out on the town, Kelsey will sport a grey and blue embroidered shift dress with navy headband, as well as a navy and emerald faux-leather shoulder handbag and navy flat shoes. No batteries required.

Journey Girl® Kyla from Toys“R”Us®
Kyla is ready to find the best spots rich with art and culture, dressed to explore the Italian art scene in a ‘Ciao!’ printed top with striped sleeves, pink wrap skirt, a black and white clutch and floral and classic pink flats. No batteries required.

Journey Girl® Meredith from Toys“R”Us®
Meredith’s athletic charm will help inspire all her friends to partake in awesome quests in Italy, and her sense of style will shine bright, as she dons a blue sparkle t-shirt, white striped circle skirt, pink handbag and trendy pink shoes. No batteries required.

Journey Girl® Mikaella from Toys“R”Us®
Mikaella, outfitted in a purple knit sweater with silver embroidery detail, metallic silver brocade pants, black flats and an elegant silver and pink envelope clutch handbag, will lead her friends to the finest cafes and pasticcerias in town. No batteries required. Available now in Toys“R”Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com.

To download high-res images of the new Toys“R”Us Journey Girls collection, please click here.

*Journey Girls is a three-time Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award winner (2011, 2012 and 2014).

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 includingToysrus.com, Babiesrus.com and FAO.com, 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 Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys“R”Us, Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus, Facebook.com/Babiesrus and Facebook.com/FAO and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus and Twitter.com/Babiesrus.

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Media Contacts:
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Nicole Hayes
973-617-4371/646-366-8862
Nicole.Hayes@toysrus.com

Jessica Offerjost
973-617-4766/646-366-8854
Jessica.Offerjost@toysrus.com

PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market teamed up for new line of back-to-school products available exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores this July and August

Proceeds from school supplies like backpacks and notebooks to support children’s learning, nutrition and healthy development

ARLINGTON, Va., 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) have teamed up to offer a new line of back-to-school products, available exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores this July and August. The two mission-driven brands announced today a broad offering of school supplies, from notebooks made from recycled paper to organic cotton backpacks and reusable lunch totes.

One-hundred percent of PBS KIDS’ net proceeds from the line will support PBS KIDS educational programming, dedicated to helping all children succeed in school and in life, while Whole Foods Market will donate a percentage of total sales, up to $25,000, to Whole Kids Foundation™, an organization dedicated to improving children’s nutrition and wellness. In addition, for every Esperos backpack, pencil case and lunch tote purchased, Esperos will donate 10 percent of proceeds to help fund education for children in need through the Esperos Carry Hope™ initiative.

“PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market share a commitment to the healthy development of children and families,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Media, PBS. “Proceeds from the new PBS KIDS back-to-school line will help support PBS KIDS’ mission: to open worlds of possibilities for all children through engaging media content.”

In addition to Esperos’ line of PBS KIDS organic cotton canvas items, Whole Foods Market will debut a line of PBS KIDS reusable food keepers from Lunchskins—perfect for sandwiches, snacks, or fruit. Lunchskins is committed to reducing the amount of plastic waste produced every year, as each one of the brand’s reusable bags can replace 500 plastic bags. The grocer will also carry PBS KIDS notebooks and folders for school and play from Mudpuppy, which supports children’s education throughout the year, including a multi-year partnership to support PBS KIDS, as well as other school programs.

“Whole Foods Market’s partnership with PBS KIDS continues to raise the bar for quality children’s products and offers alternatives to what’s commonly found in the marketplace,” said Jeanne Tamayo, global lifestyle buyer at Whole Foods Market. “By working with suppliers like Esperos, Lunchskins and Mudpuppy, kids can get school supplies that truly do more—proceeds from every product support children’s education through PBS KIDS and healthy-eating education through Whole Kids Foundation—plus, each product is either reusable or made with recycled or organic materials.”

To further prepare young children for back to school season, exclusive Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood content, including clips from the TV series, printable learning activities and family-friendly recipes, will be available for free at wholefoodsmarket.com.

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PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market teamed up for new line of back-to-school products available exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores this July and August

PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market teamed up for new line of back-to-school products available exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores this July and August

Cakabakery, Field & Fire and Sweetie-Licious pastry chefs will face off during the Meijer LPGA Classic Celebrity Chef Cookoff presented by Kraft on July 24

Three local pastry chefs face-off during event co-hosted by Mario Batali and Gail Simmons

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Local pastry chefs from three Grand Rapids bakeries – Cakabakery, Field & Fire and Sweetie-Licious – will face off during the Meijer LPGA Classic Celebrity Chef Cookoff presented by Kraft on July 24 at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

The first-ever competition between three local pastry chefs will feature their pastry creations that will be voted on by the guests, along with a panel of judges that includes nationally-acclaimed celebrity chef Mario Batali and culinary expert Gail Simmons.

“The local competition will add extra excitement to the Meijer LPGA Celebrity Chef Cookoff presented by Kraft, an already exciting and interactive cooking event,” Meijer President J.K Symancyk said. “We look forward to seeing the community support these local bakeries.”

Tickets to the event are $100 and available for purchase online at meijerLGPAclassic.com/chef-cookoff/. Proceeds benefit the Meijer Simply Give program that restocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest.

The local pastry competition will feature:

  • Cakabakery Owner Jason Kakabaker has been creating birthday cakes and specialty desserts for 20 years. Cakabakery opened in 2010, and is a boutique bakery specializing in custom desserts, gourmet cupcakes, cake pops and more. Kakabaker represented his bakery on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars in 2013.
  • Field & Fire Owner Shelby Kibler apprenticed under pastry chef Don Palmer, owner of Palmer’s Pastry Shop in Sterling Heights, Mich. In 2013, the University of Michigan graduate moved to Grand Rapids and opened Field & Fire that specializes in rustic European style breads and authentic French pastries.
  • Sweetie-Licious owner Linda Hundt is a 19-time national pie-baking champion and has been featured on the Food Network, the Steve Harvey show and is also the exclusive pie provider for Williams-Sonoma website and catalog. Her bakery opened in 2002 and offers homemade pies, baked goods and comfort foods.

The event will also feature Batali and Simmons, who will each prepare an appetizer and main course while interacting with guests throughout the evening.

The Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft will host a full field of 144 players in the 72 hole, four day competition being held July 21-26 at Blythefield Country Club.

For more information on the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft or to volunteer, please visitmeijerLPGAclassic.com

To view a video recapping the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft, please visit meijerLPGAclassic.com.

To view a video on the Meijer hunger relief efforts, including Simply Give, please visit http://newsroom.meijer.com/meijer-simply-give-video.

About Meijer Simply Give:
Meijer is a family-owned retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich. with a fundamental philosophy aimed at strengthening the communities it serves. Meijer operates more than 200 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, and proudly donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives. For additional information on Meijer philanthropy, please visit meijercommunity.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

About Blythefield Country Club:
Located just north of Grand Rapids, Blythefield has been providing families the best golf and social experience in West Michigan since 1928. With the Rogue River flowing through, Blythefield boasts one of the most beautiful championship layouts in Michigan. Previously, Blythefield has hosted the 1953 Western Amateur, the 1961 Western Open, won by Arnold Palmer, and the 2005 Western Junior won by Rickie Fowler. In 2014, Blythefield hosted the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft. Learn more about Blythefield Country Club at www.blythefieldcc.org/.

About the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association):

The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via: www.lpga.com, www.facebook.com/LPGA, www.twitter.com/lpga, and www.youtube.com/user/lpgavideo.

About Octagon Global Events:

Octagon Global Events is a division of Octagon, the world’s largest sports and entertainment representation and marketing agency. Octagon Global Events focuses on premium event/property management, providing strategic corporate solutions. The division currently manages two Champions Tour events, two LPGA Tour events and the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. For more information, visit http://www.octagonglobalevents.com/.

Contact: Lesley Baker, Tournament Director, Octagon, Lesley.Baker@octagon.com616-426-6225 or Christina Fecher, Public Relations Manager, Meijer, Christina.Fecher@meijer.com616-735-7968

SM Supermalls cited by Reader’s Digest as one of the most valued and preferred shopping mall brands in the Philippines for 4th year in a row

Pasay City, Philippines, 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Property conglomerate SM Prime Holdings’ mall brand, SM Supermalls was cited by Reader’s Digest as one of the most valued and preferred shopping mall brands in the Philippines for the fourth year in a row. To add to the distinction, SM Supermalls was the only awardee for the Philippine mall category this year.

SM Supermalls was awarded the Platinum Trusted Brand in the Shopping Center category last June 30, 2015 under the annual Trusted Brands Survey conducted by Reader’s Digest.

“Being recognized by the people we serve is an honor we deeply value,” Annie Garcia, President of SM Supermalls said. “SM Supermalls is where it is because of our customers. They inspire us to keep improving and innovating in every location. Their trust is very valuable to us,” she added.

Reader’s Digest tapped leading global market research firm Ipsos to conduct the poll last year. They surveyed individuals across the Philippines and the results showed that SM Supermalls received exceptional rankings for trustworthiness, credibility, quality, value, understanding of customer needs, innovation, and social responsibility.

The recognition fortifies the SM Supermalls brand which connotes world class, accessible, diverse, and top-value shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences. It is also a testament to the goodwill that the brand has built as SM Prime continues to strengthen through community engagement and through its integrated, environmental, social and governance programs under SM Cares.

The Readers’ Digest Trusted Brands survey recognizes the best brands in the world every year. Awards are given in 42 categories, covering products and services across diverse industries. The Platinum award is given to brands whose scores are significantly higher than Gold awardees, while the Gold award is given to those that score significantly higher than their rivals.

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About SM Prime
SM Prime is one of the largest real estate conglomerates in the country and in Southeast Asia with interests in malls, residences, office buildings, resorts, hotels and convention centers and a world-class arena. It is the Philippines’ largest mall developer with 52 malls spanning a total gross floor area of 6.6 million square meters.

It is also a dominant player in the Philippine residential business,providing its customers with access to luxurious urban living through vertical villages integrated with a commercial retail environment that offers its residents a convenient and cosmopolitan lifestyle.

In commercial development, SM Prime has developed EcomCenters at the Mall of Asia Complex and various office developments within close range of its malls. These showcase the company’s ability to build world class structures, further enhanced by their strategic location or proximity to major business, retail and leisure facilities, and major transportation lines and ports, thus providing a prestigious office address.

SM Prime also has hotels in Metro Manila, Tagaytay, Cebu and Davao and very soon, Conrad Manila at the Mall of Asia Complex. SMX Convention Center which has branches in Pasay, Taguig, Davao and Bacolod has also developed a strong franchise for the conventions business. SM also owns and operates an integrated coastal resort in Nasugbu, Batangas known as Pico de Loro Cove.

SM Prime was recently named this year’s Best Developer at the Philippine Property Awards.

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SM Prime’s mall team receives the Reader’s Digest’s Most Trusted Brand Award 2015. Sheron White of Reader’s Digest is joined by the SM Supermalls Team (from left) Grace Magno, VP for Advertising; Annie Garcia, President and Christian Mathay, AVP for Operations.

SM Prime’s mall team receives the Reader’s Digest’s Most Trusted Brand Award 2015. Sheron White of Reader’s Digest is joined by the SM Supermalls Team (from left) Grace Magno, VP for Advertising; Annie Garcia, President and Christian Mathay, AVP for Operations.

Commissary Value Brands program now has nearly 500 products available at savings comparable to low-cost private label items in commercial stores

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Six months into the start of the Commissary Value Brands program, patrons now have nearly 500 products available at savings comparable to low-cost private label items in commercial stores.

Since the emergence of the Value Brands’ signature orange label in December, the Defense Commissary Agency has elevated the savings program from about 100 products in 33 categories to almost 500 items in 54 categories. This savings boost has patrons like Wayne Perry, a military spouse, even happier to use his commissary benefit.

“I love those value tags,” said Perry, who lives at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, with his wife, an Army sergeant, and their four children. “Value brands offer better pricing with often times the same quality and taste. And, it may even help train people to look for values wherever and whenever they shop. That really was a good move on the value tag. I like it. I like it a lot.”

On average, Commissary Value Brands save patrons about 20 percent when compared to the store brand and private label items found in commercial retail stores. Some products approach as much as 50 percent savings.

The Value Brands lineup includes beverages such as coffee, soft drinks and juices; dairy products like several cheeses, butter, canned and powdered milk; lunch meats, canned tuna and salmon; canned and frozen vegetables; canned fruit and soup; hot and cold cereals; bread; dry pasta and rice; pizza and entrees; peanut butter, jelly, honey and condiments; ice cream; cleaning supplies, disposable bags, laundry bleach and paper towels; pet foods; batteries; health and beauty care and more.

DeCA’s criteria for Value Brands is simple: DeCA’s prices are guaranteed to be consistently equal to or lower than comparable store brand and private label products downtown

“Many items will remain in the Value Brands program, and items that now meet the criteria have been added,” said Tracie Russ, DeCA’s sales director. “Our job is to ensure that products bearing that orange tag represent the best value – period.”

That’s welcome news for patrons like Amanda Gallagher, a military spouse at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. “For our family, the Value Brand program allows us to get really high-quality food at less cost than we would be able to at any of the stores off post or outside the gate.”

In addition to the orange signs on the shelves, special displays are used to showcase Commissary Value Brands. Shoppers can also cruise DeCA’s website, commissaries.com, or visit the agency’s social media outlets, especially Facebook and Twitter, to identify value deals before they hit the store.

Commissary patrons have many options for saving with Commissary Value Brands, biweekly promotions and other special sales offer targeted discounts.

“The orange sticker has changed the way our customers shop,” said Meralie Ervin, deputy store director at the Fort Belvoir Commissary, “because when they come in they’re expecting to see that orange sticker on our shelf with any item that’s allocated to the Best Value program.”

NOTE: For a video related to this news release, please go to the associated DIVDs page. For photos, please visit our Flickr page.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

More than 275 kids registered for the inaugural fundraising effort Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlon in West Des Moines

WEST DES MOINES, 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — It wasn’t a competition, but everyone was a winner today at the inaugural Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlon in West Des Moines. Hundreds of young athletes and their families braved the stormy weather conditions and showed up strong at Raccoon River Park today to participate in the first-ever Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlon — a fundraising effort that supports children with cancer and their families.

More than 275 kids registered for the triathlon, which included shorter distances — making it fun, accessible and engaging for children of all fitness levels. To ensure athletes’ safety, the event was modified and delayed about 90 minutes due to this morning’s thunderstorms. The swim portion was omitted and athletes completed only the bike and run legs of the course.

But the changes didn’t dampen the kids’ enthusiasm and support for the Pinky Swear Foundation.

“What a marvelous day for such a wonderful and worthy cause. These young people who participated today and raised money and awareness for children with cancer are my heroes,” said Ryan Grant, director of sports marketing at Hy-Vee, Inc. “The entire Hy-Vee family is thrilled to be part of Pinky Swear in helping those Iowa kids and their families touched by cancer.”

This spring, Hy-Vee announced its partnership with the Pinky Swear Foundation, which began as a pinky swear promise between a son and his father and has since grown into a national charitable organization to support children and families through triathlons and other community activities. The new Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons focus on participation rather than competition.

The primary purpose of the swim, bike and run events is the fundraising aspect, in which kids raise money to help kids with cancer and their families. In many cases, the money provides basic needs, such as mortgage and rent, transportation, utilities, gas cards and food. According to Pinky Swear, a child is diagnosed with cancer every 45 minutes in the United States, and 1 out of 11 families given that news will file for bankruptcy.

“It was apparent to everyone at Raccoon River Park this morning that Pinky Swear is all about the kids — hundreds of young triathletes racing and participating for those who can’t,” said Brian Nelson, executive director of the Pinky Swear Foundation. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the success of today’s event and look forward to the other Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons across the region.”

In addition to the Des Moines metro area, Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons will be held this summer in Minneapolis, Omaha, the Quad Cities and Kansas City. Hy-Vee is committed to fitness-friendly events that engage customers and benefit the communities it serves. Pinky Swear shares that commitment. Through this collaboration, Pinky Swear’s message and mission will reach a broader audience while allowing Hy-Vee to continue its long-term focus and dedication to the sport of triathlon.

To get involved and register for an upcoming Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlon, visit www.pinkyswear.org.

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Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 235 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $8.7 billion annually. Hy-Vee ranks among the top 25 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States. Supermarket News, the authoritative voice of the food industry, has honored the company with a Whole Health Enterprise Award for its leadership in providing services and programs that promote a healthy lifestyle. For more information, visit www.hy-vee.com.

The Pinky Swear Foundation was founded on a pinky swear promise as a dying wish between a nine-year-old boy and his father to help children with cancer and their families by providing immediate basic needs support and unique family programs. That pinky swear, the most solemn of oaths between two people, lives on today in the Pinky Swear Foundation. The Pinky Swear Foundation is passionately committed to helping children with cancer and their families by being fanatically responsive to the immediate crisis facing families with a childhood cancer diagnosis. Pinky Swear Foundation activities include the world’s largest kids fundraising triathlon series, National Pinky Swear Day, and other community engagement opportunities. Visit us at PinkySwear.org or follow us at @PinkySwearFndtn.