Three F Co.,Ltd. and Lawson, Inc. in discussions to form capital and business alliance

TOKYO, JAPAN, 2015-9-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Three F Co.,Ltd. and Lawson, Inc. have decided to begin discussing options for forming a capital and business alliance between their two firms.

  1. The two companies have already introduced various developments of their own to help stay abreast of rapidly changing conditions in the convenience store industry. However, they have decided to start discussing a potential capital and business alliance to further strengthen their respective business management.Three F and Lawson aim to form a strategic partnership to help boost their convenience store operations in an extremely competitive environment. While both parties will maintain independent management and protect their individual corporate brands and culture, they would conduct joint product development, procurement and promotional campaigns, and also share information that could boost management efficiency.
    Both companies are determined to discuss ideas frankly and openly, with the aim of creating a concrete, workable alliance agreement. Further developments will be announced once they are finalized.

    Overview of Three F Co.,Ltd. F and Lawson, Inc.
    ― Three F Co.,Ltd.
    (1)Company name: Three F Co.,Ltd.
    (2)Business location: 17 Nihon-odori, Naka-ku, Yokohama-city, Kanagawa
    (3)Name and title of representative director: Katsutoshi Nakai, President, Representative Director
    (4)Main areas of business operation:Operation and support for franchisees of convenience stores
    (5)Capital:1,396 million yen
    (6)Established: February 10, 1981

    ― Lawson, Inc.
    (1)Company name: Lawson, Inc.
    (2)Business location: East Tower, Gate City Osaki, 1-11-2 Osaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
    (3)Name and title of representative director: Genichi Tamatsuka, President and CEO, Representative Director
    (4)Main areas of business operation: Development of the Lawson convenience store franchise chain
    (5)Capital: 58,506 million yen
    (6)Established: April 15, 1975

  • Tentative upcoming schedule
    (1)By the end of September 2015 : Sign basic agreement for a capital and business alliance
    (2)By the end of October 2015 : Sign capital and business alliance contract
    (3)November 2015 : Start introducing joint projects

Décathlon’s Newfeel shoes built around the Propulse Walking Technology innovation attack the sport walking market

Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France, 2015-9-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Since the beginning of the year, our Newfeel brand has been represented in the sport walking market. Beginner and experienced walkers alike now have access to a colourful range of shoes built around the Propulse Walking Technology innovation. Our experts also provide some precious advice on the brand’s new website.

The benefits of an accessible sport

Something that the majority of us do every day, walking is the ultimate accessible activity. So why not try sport walking? Also known as fast or active walking, you can do it at your own rhythm – well-being or performance – always smoothly with low injury risk. In addition to the feeling of well-being provided by being outdoors, sport walking helps weight loss, strengthens muscles and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Technology tested in extreme conditions

Sport walking requires little equipment – but important equipment nevertheless. To meet the specific needs of this sport, Newfeel has invented Propulse Walking Technology: propulsion of the heel the moment it hits the ground, specific contact zone and flex groove, guided push-off and big-toe protection… the Propulse Walk range provides innovative comfort. You feel like you’re “wearing slippers” according to some customers.

Emmanuel Lassalle, Newfeel technical partner and long distance walker, really put the Propulse Walk 400s through their paces. He took on the 426 kilometres of the longest race in the world, Paris-Colmar. He also has very positive feedback: “I’d never walked so far in these shoes. They turned out to be extremely dynamic, whatever speed I was walking at. My stride always felt very natural, the cushioning is very soft and the shoes very comfortable. My feet didn’t suffer a single second!”

Welcome advice

New logo, new website and new column: you can now visit the brand’s expert advice section on newfeel.co.uk. Different training programmes are offered, as well as tips, recommended improvement goals and a guide on how to choose your equipment. Visitors also have the opportunity to share their experiences. Almost as much fun as sport walking itself!

Go behind the scenes of the Propulse Walk design:

SOURCE: Décathlon

Co-operative Group interim results for the 26 weeks ended 4 July 2015

MANCHESTER, England, 2015-9-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Interim results for Co-operative Group Limited for the 26 weeks ended 4 July 2015

  • Group revenue stable at £4.6bn (2014: £4.7bn)
    • Core Food convenience business delivered like-for-like sales increase of 3.3%, with like-for-like sales up 0.8% overall for the Food business
    • Funeral volumes increased by 12%, driven by the busiest start to a year since 2008
    • General Insurance (GI) revenue reduced in line with expectations, ahead of implementation of the new member-focused business strategy
  • Group underlying profit before tax* of £64m (2014: £1m loss), reflecting robust trading in Food and Funerals and improved General Insurance performance
  • Statutory profit before tax of £36m (2014: £9m loss)
  • Investment in the Rebuild is underway
    • Capital expenditure increased to £144m (2014: £97m) as we invest for growth, with 35 new convenience Food stores and 10 new funeral homes opened
    • Corporate costs increased by £11m to £73m, (2014: £62m) reflecting the investment in the Rebuild programme and rising pension costs
    • Net debt at half year reduced to £0.6bn (£1.4bn this time last year) ahead of increased revenue and capital investment planned for the second half. Rebuild target of maintaining net debt below £900m maintained
    • Our pay award of 8.5% for 47,000 front line store colleagues, which was announced prior to the Budget, ensures that we will achieve the Government’s National Living Wage threshold for the vast majority of Group employees well ahead of schedule
    • Increasing levels of investment in the second half of 2015, reflecting our confidence in the plan, will result in lower profitability and increased debt
  • Full-year outcome will reflect investment levels in the second half of 2015 and absence of one-off disposal profits as experienced in 2014
  • New Board in place and held first AGM following the governance reforms approved in 2014
  • New national charity campaign in partnership with the British Red Cross announced as the Group returns to its campaigning heritage

Richard Pennycook, Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group, said:

“We’ve made a good start on the three year journey to Rebuild The Co-operative Group. These early days are about fixing the basics – putting in place new leadership teams and providing the investment to deliver the strategies for our businesses. Our customers and members are beginning to see the difference.

Our colleagues share a great belief in The Co-operative, and what we stand for. They are at the forefront of our Rebuild efforts as we focus on our purpose of ‘Championing a better way of doing business for you and your community’.”

Allan Leighton, Independent Non-Executive Chair of The Co-operative Group, said:

“The commercial improvements we’ve made in the first half of 2015 have gone hand in hand with the further strengthening of our Board, Council and senior management teams. Our members are now represented through a highly experienced Board who are already providing sage guidance, and through the Members’ Council, which has a new leadership team. I look forward to working with them as we revitalise the engagement of our broad membership in our business and community activities.”

Summary of business performance 

Our core businesses made good progress during the first half of the year, though their performances continue to reflect the different stage of each in the Rebuild process:

  • Our Food business achieved strong like-for-like sales increases in our core convenience stores (3.3%) and a solid performance across the total Food business (0.8%); whilst underlying profits increased by 21% to £120.4m (2014: £99.7m). We opened 35 new convenience stores and announced the recruitment of 1,000 new colleagues to provide stronger customer service at peak periods. A further 116 stores were refurbished in the period delivering an average 6% sales uplift. A key customer initiative was the next phase of our £125m price investment with a focus on the fresh fruit and vegetable range, delivering great quality produce locally at the best value on the high street. We were voted ‘Best Overall Convenience Retailer’ and ‘Best managed Retailer’ at the prestigious CTP awards (awarded by shoppers and store colleagues)
  • Funeralcare had the busiest start to a year since 2008, with business volumes increasing by nearly 12%, principally due to a high death rate. Underlying profit rose to £51.8m (2014: £34.6m) on sales up 16% at £216.4m (2014: £187.0m). Ten new funeral homes were opened, taking the total estate to 970 homes. We also announced the appointment of Richard Lancaster as Managing Director and look forward to him starting in September
  • General Insurance made an underlying profit of £0.5m (2014: £6.8m loss) on sales of £159.3m (2014: £188.7m). Gross Written Premium fell to £180.3m (2014 £188.8m), and the net loss ratio was 68.2% (2014 70.2%). These results are in line with expectations and reflect a lower volume of claims than in the same period last year. We defined our new member-focused strategy, setting a clear direction for the future. A programme to improve member and customer services is now underway, building on our brand, distribution, and data advantages. Having successfully raised £70.0m of new capital, the business entered into a 10-year deal with IBM to replace legacy IT systems and incurred £17.3m of transformation costs
  • Legal Services made a small underlying profit of £0.2m (2014: £5.1m loss) in the first half of 2015 following a year of structural changes in 2014. Working with our GI and Funeralcare businesses, we are developing a range of products and services to support the needs of members and customers
  • Our Electrical business made an underlying loss of £0.9m compared to a break even position in the first half of 2014. Whilst total sales fell our core online business performed well, with sales up 2.6% on last year

Membership, democracy and governance

  • Following our AGM in May, the transitional arrangements relating to the Group’s governance structure ceased, with new permanent structures taking effect
  • The Group Board, chaired by Allan Leighton, met for the first time in June 2015. Its composition fulfils the first principle voted for unanimously as part of the governance reform process in 2014 – “a Board individually and collectively qualified to govern an organisation of comparable scale and complexity”.The Board includes three Member Nominated Directors
  • Following the first open democratic elections, the Members’ Council met for the first time in May 2015 and elected its new leadership team in July. Of its 100 members, 58 have been elected through the new one-member-one vote (OMOV) arrangements, and a further 34 members hold continuity seats which will be subject to OMOV elections in 2016 and 2017.  The Council has also co-opted eight new members to ensure it is representative of the wider membership.
  • The fledgling nature of the new democratic structures was reflected in voter turnout at the AGM, with  3% of eligible members casting their votes. Our ambition is to see this number substantially increase as we implement our member engagement programme, which will launch in mid-2016. This aims to reverse many years of declining member participation
  • Over 78,000 members took part in a vote which saw the British Red Cross selected to campaign with us on tackling the issue of loneliness and social isolation
  • We relaunched our popular “swipe and win” scheme within our 2,800 food stores, which led to thousands of members receiving daily benefits and discounts on their shopping
  • Given the increased level of investment and capital expenditure, we still do not expect to declare dividends until 2018 at the earliest

Outlook

  • Overall Group trading in the first eight weeks of H2 2015 has been in line with expectations
  • In Food we expect to overcome deflation in the marketplace to generate further like-for-like sales growth and we will continue to progress our convenience-led strategy by opening another 60 new stores, refreshing our ranges to reflect local customer needs and completing a further 150 store refurbishments
  • In our General Insurance business we expect very modest increases in premium rates within the motor area but a continuation of the aggressive market pricing within home insurance. Against this backdrop we will continue to underwrite cautiously, albeit we see some opportunity to grow our business as we deliver the benefits from our recent investment in pricing capability. Our main focus for the second half of the year, however, is our major transformation programme which is moving into the delivery phase and which will see significant benefits for our members and customers beginning in 2016
  • Funeralcare’s positive performance in the first half of the year reflected a higher than usual number of deaths. As seen in previous years, this is expected to normalise during the remainder of 2015. Nevertheless, we expect Funeralcare to have a successful second half to the year through our commitment to providing high quality care to our clients and our continued investment in the business and our people
  • Whilst we expect the trading performance across our core businesses to be in line with expectations, we expect full-year profitability to reduce year on year, given the planned and increased levels of investment we are making in the second half of the year to support our rebuild strategy

Media Enquiries

The Co-operative Group

  • Jon Church – Tel: 07545 210812
  • Russ Brady – Tel: 07880 784442

Tulchan Communications

  • Jonathan Sibun or Giles Kernick – Tel: 020 7353 4200

Notes to editors

* Underlying profit before tax is profit before tax but stripping out the effects of property disposal profits, changes in the valuation of investment property, one-off items, fair value movements on loans and borrowings, and pension interest.  This is consistent with other retail plc underlying profit measures.

Download the full RNS

A copy of Co-operative Group Limited Interim Report 2015 is available at: www.co-operative.coop/interim-results-2015

Stop & Shop New York Metro Division brings back pumpkin Limited Time Originals private label items

Back by popular demand with new items for limited time only

Purchase, NY, 2015-9-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Due to customer demand and just in time for September, Stop & Shop New York Metro Division is bringing back pumpkin Limited Time Originals private label items. More than 50 seasonal pumpkin-packed products in both the non-perishable and fresh departments can be found in all stores beginning August 28. However, these pumpkin products are only available for a short time, so grab them before they’re gone.

With a limited launch last fall, Stop & Shop is introducing some new and unique pumpkin products while bringing back some customer favorites. Items range from pumpkin-infused everyday products like pasta sauce, ice cream, waffles and hummus to specialty meal solutions like pumpkin fully cooked organic chicken, pumpkin & sage ravioli and pumpkin bisque. Or pick up pumpkin cheesecake cookies, pumpkin cinnamon rolls or pumpkin gelato for your next autumn celebration!

“Last year, Stop & Shop’s Own Brands Pumpkin items were a hit with customers and we are excited to usher in this season with an expanded offering of pumpkin-inspired items for them, said Arlene Putterman, Manager of Public and Community Relations at Stop & Shop New York Metro Division. “The Own Brands Pumpkin collection is another example of Stop & Shop’s commitment to providing both exciting gourmet options and affordability for our shoppers.”

For more fall recipes, including pumpkin-related recipes, visit Savory, Fast, Fresh & Easy™ on Stop & Shop’s website www.stopandshop.com.

About Stop & Shop
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs over 59,000 associates and operates 395 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. The company helps support local communities fight hunger, combat childhood cancer and promote general health and wellness – with emphasis on children’s educational and support programs. In its commitment to be a sustainable company, Stop & Shop is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA’s Smart Way program and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores. Stop & Shop is an Ahold company. To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit Stop & Shop

Contact:
Arlene Putterman
(914) 251-2834
arlene.putterman@stopandshop.com

Albert Heijn: Bloggers Favoriet: Bananabread Uit Pauline’s Keuken bij AH to go

Zaandam, Nederland, 2015-9-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Deze week introduceert Albert Heijn to go de tweede Bloggers Favoriet in de reeks: de Bananabread van Pauline Weuring van UitPaulineskeuken.nl. Een heerlijke bananabread die gezoet is door banaan, dadels en rozijnen. Daarnaast start volgende week de campagne ‘#favotogo’ waarin klanten gevraagd wordt hun persoonlijke favoriet van Albert Heijn to go te delen via social media.

De favoriet van UitPaulineskeuken.nl

Albert Heijn to go is samen met Pauline Weuring van UitPaulineskeuken.nl aan de slag gegaan met haar favoriete recept: Bananabread. Bijzonder aan deze Bananabread is dat hij licht gezoet is door banaan, dadels en rozijnen. Ideaal voor iedereen die zin heeft in een lekker tussendoortje.Met haar persoonlijke motto Live, Love, Eat! startte Pauline in 2010 haar eigen blog: UitPaulineskeuken.nl. Op haar blog deelt ze al haar keukengeheimen. Inmiddels mag ze zich één van de grootste foodbloggers van Nederland noemen. De meeste recepten op haar blog bedenkt ze helemaal zelf.”Wat ben ik trots dat mijn absolute favoriet vanaf deze week bij alle Albert Heijn to go winkels verkrijgbaar is. M’n recept is ruim 450.000 keer gedownload, dus onder de bezoekers van mijn blog is de Bananabread al heel erg populair. Maar ik vind het zo spannend dat hij nu ook in de winkel komt te liggen en dat klanten hem kunnen kopen. Ik hoop dat zij er net zo van zullen genieten als ik!”

Favoriete AH to go product

7 september start bij Albert Heijn to go de ‘#favotogo’ campagne. Tijdens deze campagne wordt aan de klanten gevraagd wat hun favoriete AH to go product is. Iedereen die zijn of haar favoriet op Facebook of Instagram deelt, maakt kans om een jaar lang gratis van dit product te genieten.

Pauline’s Bananabread ligt vanaf deze week in alle Albert Heijn to go winkels en kost €2,- per stuk.

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Albert Heijn Bloggers Favoriet Bananabread Uit Pauline's Keuken bij AH to go

Albert Heijn: Bloggers Favoriet: Bananabread Uit Pauline’s Keuken bij AH to go

BILLA Onlineshop: BILLA beliefert jede Postleitzahl vom Burgenland bis nach Tirol

Wiener Neudorf, Österreich, 2015-9-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dieser Tage erweitert BILLA einmal mehr das Liefergebiet seines Onlineshops und beliefert ab sofort acht Bundesländer flächendeckend. BILLA setzt so weiterhin Standards im heimischen Lebensmittel-Onlinehandel. Schließlich bietet Österreichs Supermarkt Nummer 1 aktuell als einziger Lebensmittelhändler des Landes einen Lieferservice mit täglicher Zustellung, Produkten quer durch das gesamte Sortiment und höchsten Service durch persönliche Zustellung.

„Wir haben in den vergangenen Jahren unser Zustellungsgebiet Schritt für Schritt erweitert. Die sukzessive Ausweitung hat vor allem mit dem hohen Anspruch zu tun, den wir an unsere Mitarbeiter und Partner setzen“, erklärt BILLA Vorstandssprecher Volker Hornsteiner. Bis jetzt waren es knapp 500 Ortschaften in ganz Österreich, die den BILLA Onlineshop nutzen konnten. Ab sofort wird dieser Service für BILLA Kunden flächendeckend in dem Gebiet von Tirol bis ins Burgenland zur Verfügung stehen. „Wir beliefern in acht Bundesländern jede Postleitzahl persönlich und setzen neue Maßstäbe im heimischen Lebensmittel-Onlinehandel“, so Hornsteiner weiter.

Lebensmittel sind keine Packerl
Die größte Herausforderung der landesweiten Belieferung ist der Serviceaufwand. „Wer mit dem Lebensmittelhandel im Internet die Nase vorne haben und langfristig erfolgreich sein will, muss den besten Service bieten“, erläutert BILLA Vorstand Josef Siess. Daher setzt BILLA einerseits intern auf eigens geschultes Personal, das die sorgfältige Kommissionierung der Ware übernimmt. „Unsere Kunden müssen sich darauf verlassen können, dass ihr Online-Einkauf nur die besten und schönsten Produkte beinhaltet, die per Hand von uns selektiert werden“, betont Siess.

Lebensmittekompetenz von der Bestellung bis zur Lieferung
Andererseits punktet BILLA auch bei der Belieferung durch Service und stellt die Ware mit eigenen Fahrzeugen zu. „Wir sind seit mehr als sechs Jahrzehnten Innovationsführer im österreichischen Lebensmittelhandel. Daher müssen wir auch im Onlinegeschäft höchste Standards setzen“, meint Hornsteiner. Ein Serviceanspruch, der vorrangig durch die persönliche Zustellung von eigens geschulten Mitarbeitern erfolgt. Schließlich gilt es, Kühlketten und umfassende Hygienevorschriften einzuhalten.

Zustellung des gesamten Sortiments
Eben deshalb ist bei BILLA die Bestellung quer durch das gesamte Sortiment möglich. Mittlerweile stehen den Kunden auf www.billashop.at mehr als 6.000 Produkte quer durch das gesamte Sortiment – von frischen Produkten wie Wurst und Fleisch über Tiefkühlprodukte bis hin zu Flaschen, Kosmetika und Reinigungsmittel zur Auswahl.

BILLA liefert an allen Öffnungstagen
Ein weiterer Vorteil, den aktuell nur BILLA seinen Kunden bietet, ist die tägliche Belieferung von Montag bis Samstag. Darüber hinaus können Bestellungen, die bis 10.00 Uhr vormittags aufgegeben werden, durch den „Same Day Delivery“ Service noch am selben Tag entgegengenommen werden. Insgesamt bietet BILLA seinen Kunden zwei Lieferzonen in denen unterschiedliche Lieferfenster geboten werden. Zu diesen Zeiten wird den Kunden die bestellte Ware direkt nach Hause zugestellt. Neben dem Lieferservice können BILLA Kunden ihre OnlineBestellung auch direkt in der Click & Collect Filiale, für nur einen Euro Servicegebühren, abholen. Wird bis 12.00 Uhr mittags bestellt, steht die kompakte Abholkiste zwischen 17.00 und 20.00 Uhr in ausgewählten Filialen für die Kunden zur Abholung bereit.

Lebensmittel einkaufen – jederzeit, bequem und überall
Darüber hinaus punktet BILLA mit einem Onlineshop per Mausklick am PC sowie mobil am Handy, damit die Bestellungen auch via Smartphone erledigt werden können. So kann der Lebensmittel-Einkauf bequem, überall und jederzeit erledigt werden – egal ob vom Büro, der Bushaltestelle oder entspannt vom Sofa aus.

Über BILLA
BILLA und Österreich verbindet seit mehr als 60 Jahren eine einzigartige Erfolgsgeschichte: Als Pionier im heimischen Lebensmittelhandel sorgt BILLA dafür, dass in ganz Österreich täglich Lebensmittel und Produkte zu einem fairen Preis verfügbar sind. BILLA deckt damit als Nahversorger mit Hausverstand die ganze Range an Produkten ab: Das Angebot reicht von einer breiten Palette an Markenartikeln bis zu den erfolgreichen Eigenmarken, darunter die Ja! Natürlich Bio-Produkte, qualitativ hochwertige Produkte der BILLA Eigenmarke, bis hin zur Diskontlinie clever®. BILLA arbeitet ständig am Produktsortiment und Serviceangebot, um so den Bedürfnissen der Menschen in Österreich gerecht zu werden und diesen tagtäglich ein kulinarisches Erlebnis zu bieten.

BILLA gehört zur REWE International AG und ist Teil von einem der größten Lebensmittelhändler Europas. Nachhaltigkeit hat BILLA in seiner Unternehmensstrategie umfassend verankert: Heute sind rund 350 der mehr als 1.000 BILLA-Filialen in Österreich energieeffizient. Weitere zentrale Themen der BILLA-Unternehmensstrategie sind Gesundheit und die Förderung von verstärktem Ernährungsbewusstsein der Österreicherinnen und Österreicher. Der Verantwortung gegenüber seinen treuen Kunden, rund 18.400 Mitarbeitern und langjährigen Partnern wird BILLA auf vielfache Art und Weise gerecht.

»Wer nicht von gestern sein will, beschäftigt sich mit morgen«, sagt der Hausverstand

Mehr Infos unter: www.billa.at oder www.billashop.at Besuchen Sie uns auch auf Facebook unter https://www.facebook.com/billa.at

Rückfragehinweis:
Team Media Relations REWE International AG
REWE International AG, Industriezentrum NÖ-Süd, Straße 3, Objekt 16, A-2355 Wiener Neudorf
Tel.: +43 2236 600 5261, E-Mail: i.schurin@rewe-group.at

 

Philippines: SM Group to bring the Disney brand of stories closer to Filipinos through mall, retail, entertainment and amusement opportunities

Pasay City, Philippines, 2015-9-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (September 1, 2015), the SM Group announced a collaboration with The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia to bring the Disney brand of stories closer to Filipinos through mall, retail, entertainment and amusement opportunities. The two companies aim to bring Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars brands to life through unique Disney experiences at SM’s many leisure and entertainment properties. Fans can look forward to a host of innovative offerings including Disney branded events, promotions and other unique experiences themed around fan-favorite Disney brands and characters.

“We are thrilled to be associated with the iconic Walt Disney Company. Mr. Henry Sy Sr. envisioned and purposed a second home for Filipinos across the nation where they can create memorable bonding activities with their families through amusement facilities, retail centers, and food establishments, all found in one mall,” says Edgar Tejerero, president of SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. “65 years later, and with 52 malls across the Philippines, it had just been high time that SM forged an official collaboration with the best family entertainment company in the world.”

“Every day, we make millions of Filipinos laugh and smile with our stories and characters from Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars. We have worked with the various arms of SM group over the years and today we are delighted to announce our collaboration on a comprehensive plan to create magical moments and memories that will last a lifetime for fans across the Philippines,” said Rob Gilby, Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia.

Both SM and Disney have given, and continue to give, customers happy lifetime memories across all generations. Both brands offer a legacy, a tradition, a way of life—a world that customers identify with and find attachment to. Through this partnership, SM will continue to create these experiences and bring the Disney magic closer to Filipinos.

SM has synergized the efforts of all its subsidiaries — including SM Supermalls, SM Markets, The SM Store, Toy Kingdom, and its lifestyle and entertainment arm, SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. – to produce a complete and one-of-a-kind Disney experience for its patrons: from the moment they enter the mall to watch a movie, to the time they purchase their favourite snack and Disney merchandise. Patrons can also take their SM Cinema and Disney experience with them home, or wherever they go, through the newly launched Blink app.

As a precursor to an already successful association, Disney and SM have worked hand in hand to bring multiple experiential events to the Filipino families such as the recent Avengers Experience in SM North Edsa, wherein guests were treated to life-size characters, avenger-themed games, and a meet and greet with Captain America, Thor, and Black Widow.

To officially jumpstart its formal bond as allies, SM and Disney will be launching a “Star Wars Galactic Christmas” to welcome the latest instalment of the movie, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The exhibit will include life-size figurines of characters from the movie, interactive games, and official merchandise from the SM Store and Toy Kingdom.

Watch out for the “Star Wars Galactic Christmas” event in Select SM Supermalls near you.

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About SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.
SM Lifestyle Entertainment Incorporated or SMLEI is the lifestyle and entertainment solutions company of SM Prime Holdings Inc. that offers the best in movies, events, and leisure. Starting with SM Cinema, the largest cinema exhibitor in the country, as its sole marque, the company grew into fourteen major brands. Currently tucked under its belt are: SM Cinema, Director’s Club Cinema, IMAX Theatre, XD: 4D Theatre, WM Cinemas, SM Skating Rink, SM Bowling and Leisure Center, Exploreum, Galeon, Snack Time, e-PLUS Tap to Pay, Mall of Asia Arena, SM Tickets, and Blink.   SMLEI aims to promote bonding activities among Filipino families and friends, through entertainment and leisure facilities, while advocating the ease of use and personalized service created to complement the Filipino lifestyle.

About The Walt Disney Company in Southeast Asia (NYSE:DIS)
The Walt Disney Company has been active in Southeast Asia since 1995 when Disney Channel first launched in Malaysia and has grown to five offices in the region (Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines) with the headquarters in Singapore, employing over 300 permanent staff. Disney is one of the most active and largest global entertainment companies in the region with diversified businesses in film, consumer products, publishing, mobile content, television and family entertainment overseeing content from six key brands: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, ESPN, ABC and Lucasfilm.

Television is a key driver in growing the Disney brand in the region. The three Disney-branded channels available across the region are: Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD. The company also distributes Disney owned programs and channels to television, mobile, broadband and on-demand platforms to over 25 Southeast Asian providers including terrestrial broadcasters, pay-TV and channels as well as digital platforms.

Studio Entertainment reached new box office heights with several titles in 2015. Big Hero 6 was a phenomenal animation success for SEA, and set new records as the biggest animation release of all time in several markets. Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron achieved the Biggest Opening Weekend in Philippines and was the 2nd Biggest Opening Weekend in Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

As one of the world’s largest creators of high-quality digital experiences, Disney Interactive produces interactive entertainment for the whole family including multi-platform video games, online short form video, mobile and social games and digital destinations across all current and emerging media platforms. Entertaining guests of all ages, Disney Interactive’s key products include the video game platform Disney Infinity, top virtual world for kids Club Penguin, popular mobile franchises like Frozen Free Fall and Disney Tsum Tsum, top online destinations for kids, parents and fans including Disney.com, Oh My Disney, and Babble.com and the Disney social network reaching more than 1 billion guests on Facebook.

From apparel and toys to food and stationery, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the world’s leading licensor and works with over 400 licensees across all product categories in Southeast Asia for all ages and lifestyles. Disney Publishing is active in 6 countries in 6 different languages in Southeast Asia, publishing a diverse range of products in the region including story, activity and e-books, magazines and comics that reach a wide demographic from pre-schoolers to pre-teens and adults. For more information, please visit www.Disney.ph.

For more information, kindly contact:
Stephanie Henares
Public Relations Manager
SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.
Stephanie.henares@smsupermalls.com

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Philippines: SM Group to bring the Disney brand of stories closer to Filipinos through mall, retail, entertainment and amusement opportunities

A magical world awaits. From left: SM Lifestyle Entertainment President Edgar Tejerero; SM Prime Holdings President Hans Sy; The Walt Disney Company, Asia President Paul Candland; and The Walt Disney Company, Southeast Asia, Managing Director Rob Gilby. They are joined by Disney’s most loved characters Donald and Daisy Duck, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Goofy.

Philippines: SM Investments Corporation with five awards from international magazine Alpha Southeast Asia

Pasay City, Philippines, 2015-9-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Investments Corporation (SM) bagged five awards from international magazine Alpha Southeast Asia.

SM topped in three categories under the 5th Annual Southeast Asia’s Institutional Investor Awards for Corporates. These are Most Organised Investor Relations for the fifth year in a row; Best Senior Management Investor Relations Support; and Best Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility. SM was also named among the companies with the Most Consistent Dividend Policy.

SM’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mr. Jose T. Sio was likewise named Best Chief Finance Officer (CFO) in the Philippines for the fourth time in a row. Mr. Sio is known for his financial prudence while strongly supporting the phenomenal growth of the SM group of companies.

The awards presentation for the Philippine winners was held last September 1, 2015 at the Makati Shangri-La.

The awards is based on tallied votes among 520 investors and analysts across the region as well as the US and Europe. These included fund managers with investment interests in Southeast Asia, large institutional investors, insurance companies, pension funds, funds of hedge funds, private banks, equity and fixed income brokers as well as buy and sell-side analysts.

Alpha Southeast Asia is a monthly magazine primarily written for institutional investors, asset and fund management companies in Hong Kong, Singapore, other parts of Asia, US, Europe and the Middle East. The magazine also has a strong following among the region’s largest local corporates.

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For further information, please contact:
Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
E-mail: cora.guidote@sminvestments.com
Tel. No. (632) 857-0117
www.sminvestments.com

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SM’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mr. Jose T. Sio (left) was named Best Chief Finance Officer (CFO) in the Philippines for the fourth time in a row by Alpha Southeast Asia magazine. Mr. Sio is known for his financial prudence while strongly supporting the phenomenal growth of the SM group of companies. With Mr. Sio is Siddiq Bazarwala, CEO and Publisher, Alpha Southeast Asia.

SM’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mr. Jose T. Sio (left) was named Best Chief Finance Officer (CFO) in the Philippines for the fourth time in a row by Alpha Southeast Asia magazine. Mr. Sio is known for his financial prudence while strongly supporting the phenomenal growth of the SM group of companies. With Mr. Sio is Siddiq Bazarwala, CEO and Publisher, Alpha Southeast Asia.

PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekend, Sept. 11-13

PetSmart CharitiesTM National Adoption Weekend, Sept. 11-13, Held in PetSmart Stores Expected to Save 15,000 Lives in Just One Weekend

PHOENIX, 2015-9-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the first time, PetSmart will throw a “Happy Gotcha Day” celebration to help find homes for about 15,000 homeless pets during the next PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekend, Sept. 11-13, when more than 1,400 PetSmart stores will host the event in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The thousands of pets with unknown birthdays that are expected to be adopted will now have a day to call their own.

“For adopted pets, confirming a birthday is tough, so we wanted to call out to these new pet parents that special day – ‘Gotcha Day’ – to celebrate the moment they brought home their newest family member,” said Eran Cohen, executive vice president of customer experience, PetSmart, Inc.

How to Adopt & Celebrate Gotcha Day

Where: PetSmart Charities Adoption Centers or designated adoption areas in all PetSmart stores

When: Fri., Sept. 11 and Sat., Sept. 12, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sun., Sept. 13, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Find the PetSmart store nearest you at http://pets.petsmart.com/adoptions/ or call 1-877-473-8762.

Share: Use #gotchaday to share the news!

Pet parents are invited to post photos of their newly adopted pets using #gotchaday and tag @PetSmart on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share their news and to support this lifesaving event.

People adopting pets – at PetSmart or elsewhere — can also receive PetSmart’s free Adoption Starter Kit, offered every day at stores and featuring tips for caring for a new cat or dog, and a range of coupons valued at $400 in savings. The coupons cover everything a new pet parent needs including beds, bowls, collars, leashes, free one-time services such as veterinarian, grooming, boarding, training and Doggie Day Camp, as well as a free bag of dog or cat food under the brands Simply Nourish™, Authority® and Good Natured™ — all of which are proud sponsors of PetSmart Charities™ Adoptions and National Adoption Weekends. These food brands also give back by donating more than 200 tons of food every year to help pets in need.

PetSmart partners with thousands of local shelters and animal welfare organizations and supporting the pet food and supply needs of these partners is a top priority. Sept. 7-13 all PetSmart stores are also running a food drive whereby customers can purchase food (or other pet supplies) in local stores and drop the items into a bin to be donated to these local partners.

Partnering to Save Lives

“When you adopt a pet, you save two lives – that of the pet you bring home and another who takes his or her place at the adoption event,” said Julie White, senior director of programs, PetSmart Charities, the nonprofit leader in pet adoptions and the largest funder of animal welfare in North America.

Pet adoption is fun, enriching and most importantly, lifesaving. Each year about 7 million pets enter shelters across North America and some 3 million healthy, adoptable pets are euthanized. To help, PetSmart teams up with PetSmart Charities to run National Adoption Weekends four times a year. On average, some 15,000 pets find families during these weekend events.

PetSmart Charities adoption events and adoption centers in PetSmart stores have proven to be one of the most effective ways to save pets’ lives. In fact, 6 million pets have found homes through the program since 1994 and now PetSmart and PetSmart Charities help save more than 1,000 pets a day with one pet adopted every minute a PetSmart store is open.

Join the Conversation

You can follow PetSmart Charities and PetSmart on Facebook throughout National Adoption Weekend at www.facebook.com/PetSmartCharities and www.facebook.com/PetSmart. Or, talk with us on Twitter at @PetSmartChariTs and @PetSmart and on Instagram by following the hashtags #adoptlove and #gotchaday.

About PetSmart®
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we believe pets make us better people. That’s why we create more moments for people to be inspired by pets. This mission impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates, and how we give back to our communities. PetSmart employs about 53,000 associates, operates approximately 1,404 pet stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and approximately 202 in-store PetSmart®PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp day care services and pet adoption services in-store. The PetSmart portfolio of digital resources for pet parents – including PetSmart.com, Pet360.com and petMD.com – offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in the U.S. Through our in-store pet adoption partnership with independent nonprofit organizations, PetSmart Charities™ and PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, PetSmart helps to save the lives of more than 400,000 homeless pets each year. PetSmart is the largest supporter of PetSmart Charities and also supports organizations that make communities a better place to call home through its philanthropy program, PetSmart Gives Back™. By giving back to the communities where we live and work, PetSmart not only celebrates the power of pets to enrich people’s lives — we live it.

About PetSmart Charities™
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that saves the lives of homeless pets. More than 400,000 dogs and cats find homes each year through our adoption program in all PetSmart® stores and our sponsored adoption events. PetSmart Charities grants more money to directly help pets in need than any other animal welfare group in North America, with a focus on funding spay/neuter services that help communities solve pet overpopulation. PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization, independent from PetSmart, Inc.

Contacts:

Golin for PetSmart Inc.:

Danielle Bickelmann
dbickelmann@golin.com
972-341-2503

Golin for PetSmart Charities:

Jennifer Kepler
jkepler@golin.com
972-341-2552

PetSmart Media Line:
623-587-2177

Zalando among the first fashion e-tailers to accept Apple Pay in the UK

  • Zalando among first Apple Pay partners in Europe
  • Free usage of 60 minutes courier returns collections service
  • New partnerships with UK brands to strengthen the local offering
  • Improved customer experience: Faster delivery, easier returns and Customer Care chat function

BERLIN, 2015-9-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Just in time for the online retailer’s 4th birthday, Zalando.co.uk has surprised its customers with a range of new features and services. Zalando is among the first fashion e-tailers to accept Apple Pay in the UK, which is transforming mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay. The service is now available for Zalando app users with an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3. As creating a convenient shopping experience is Zalando’s main focus, Apple Pay is a useful addition to the e-tailer’s payment offer, consisting of twenty different payment options in fifteen different markets.

With the launch of My Returns, the returns process for Zalando customers becomes even more convenient: They can now return their Zalando order using the My Returns ‘On Demand’ 60 minute courier collection service the same day or the next day among a selected one-hour time slot. During the trial period, which is taking place in London until October 18th, Zalando customers can use My Returns for free.

Furthermore, the fashion e-tailer has been working on broadening its assortment, focusing on a local approach. “In addition to our wide range of UK brands that are in high demand internationally, we included local champions such as Whistles, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, and many more just recently”, states Dalbir Bains, VP Womenswear at Zalando. “We always strive for improving the shopping experience and creating the most relevant offer for our customers. Also, for the coming months we will further focus on building-up the brand assortment for our UK customers.”

In terms of a company-wide customer experience initiative, Zalando has also improved its services with new features such as a Customer Care chat function: Customers who are logged in to their account can place their questions live to Customer Care agents and get an answer straight away. Surveys show that almost all customer requests could be answered during the first point of contact without additional email or phone calls; customer satisfaction with this new function was 95 percent. Additionally customers in the UK will receive their parcels even faster in the future. After a number of improvements to transportation and logistics processes, Europe’s largest online fashion platform now delivers parcels in a time period of 2-4 days among the UK, instead of 3-6 days as before. To make the returns process as easy and convenient as possible, all customers now have the return label in the parcel and no longer need to print it out themselves. Thanks to this, returning an item bought on Zalando now takes less than one minute.

“We identified that 5 out of 10 customer satisfaction drivers are related to convenience. Our main goal is to create a best in class shopping experience when it comes to convenience. With our current improvements in terms of payment, delivery, customer service, returns and assortment we have made an important step in this direction”, says Dalbir Bains.

NOTES TO EDITORS

ABOUT ZALANDO
Zalando (https://corporate.zalando.com) is Europe’s leading online fashion platform for women, men and children. We offer our customers a one-stop, convenient shopping experience with an extensive selection of fashion articles including shoes, apparel and accessories, with free delivery and returns. Our assortment of over 1,500 international brands ranges from popular global brands, fast fashion and local brands, and is complemented by our private label products. Our localized offering addresses the distinct preferences of our customers in each of the 15 European markets we serve: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and the United Kingdom. Our logistics network with three centrally located fulfillment centers in Germany allows us to efficiently serve our customers throughout Europe. We believe that our integration of fashion, operations and online technology give us the capability to deliver a compelling value proposition to both our customers and fashion brand partners. Zalando’s shops attract over 135 million visits per month. In the second quarter of 2015, around 57 percent of traffic came from mobile devices, resulting in close to 16.4 million active customers by the end of the quarter.

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PHOTO

Dalbir Bains VP Womenswear Zalando

Dalbir Bains VP Womenswear Zalando

 

MEDIA

Katharina Heller
Katharina.heller@zalando.de
+49 176 127 595 14

SOURCE: Zalando