Walgreens: Get a Shot. Give a Shot kicks off its third and most comprehensive campaign

Third year of program enables Walgreens customers to help protect millions of children in developing countries from polio and measles

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Over the last two years, Walgreens has helped to provide 7 million life-saving vaccines to children in developing countries through the Get a Shot. Give a Shot® campaign, and its growing collaboration with the United Nations Foundation. Today, Get a Shot. Give a Shot kicks off its third and most comprehensive campaign, with Walgreens pledging to help provide a life-saving vaccine for every immunization administered at a Walgreens pharmacy, Healthcare Clinic or Duane Reade pharmacy between now and Aug. 31, 20161.

Donations will be made through the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign, a movement to protect children worldwide by providing life-saving vaccines where they are most needed through the UN and other partners.

“Get a Shot. Give a Shot demonstrates the important role our customers can play, and how a flu shot or other immunization can truly make a world of difference,” said Alex Gourlay, Walgreens president. “We’re extremely proud of the global impact the program has made. And as we expand our relationship with the UN Foundation, our objective is to also increase our donation over last season to help provide more life-saving vaccines to children who need them most.”

Statistics show 1 in 5 children worldwide lack access to life-saving immunizations, and a child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease2. Coordinated worldwide vaccination efforts have made significant progress, particularly reducing cases of measles and polio.

“Vaccines protect and improve the lives of millions of children in developing countries each year,” said Kathy Calvin, president and chief executive officer of the UN Foundation. “The prevention of measles deaths has been the single largest contributor to reducing childhood deaths over the last decade and we are now so close to ending polio. By expanding our partnership with Walgreens, we can support UN efforts to help children access these life-saving vaccines around the globe.”

#giveashot Social Campaign

Customers and patients getting their flu shot at any of Walgreens points of care are being encouraged to share the moment through their social networks to help spread the word about the Get a Shot. Give a Shot campaign. People are asked to take and share “selfies” displaying their red bandage, using the hashtag #giveashot through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. On Fridays through mid-November, Walgreens will select the best images to appear in a share-back video, which will be posted via the company’s social channels on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information on Get a Shot. Give a Shot visit www.walgreens.com/getashot.

Walgreens locations in most states offer a wide range of 17 CDC-recommended vaccines, including those to protect against shingles, pneumonia, pertussis (whooping cough), meningitis, hepatitis and other diseases, although vaccine regulations vary by state. Vaccinations are available during all pharmacy and clinic hours, including nights, overnights at 24-hour pharmacy locations, weekends and holidays*, with no appointment necessary.

Age restrictions vary by state at Walgreens pharmacies, while Healthcare Clinics can provide immunizations for patients age 2 and older.

The UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign partners with many organizations and corporations to broaden American support for childhood immunizations in developing countries against diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and polio. Together, these partners are working with Shot@Life to benefit UNICEF, the World Health Organization and other implementing partners to save lives and improve the health of millions of children around the world through life-saving vaccines.

About United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.

About Walgreens
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com), the nation’s largest drugstore chain, constitutes the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,232 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes Walgreens.com, drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and VisionDirect.com. Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations around the country.

* While immunizing health professional is on duty. Subject to availability. State, age and health-related restrictions apply. See pharmacy for details.

1 From July 1, 2015 to Aug. 31, 2016 for every immunization administered, Walgreens will donate $0.18 to the United Nations Foundation, up to a maximum donation of $2,000,000.

2 UN Foundation Shot@Life

Contact(s)

Walgreens
Jim Cohn, (847) 315-2950
http://news.walgreens.com
or
United Nations Foundation
Andrea Sok, (202) 864-5140

METRO GROUP launches its official flagship store exclusively on Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global platform

  • The two companies establish strategic partnership to expand their e-commerce endeavors  in China
  • METRO GROUP opens cross-border e-shop on Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global platform offering German goods to Chinese consumers
  • METRO GROUP and Alibaba Group to explore further collaboration opportunities in sourcing, supply chain and big data

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO GROUP today announced a strategic partnership with the leading Chinese online and mobile commerce company Alibaba Group to promote business in China’s rapidly growing e-commerce market. According to the agreement signed by both firms today, the German retailing company METRO GROUP is launching its official flagship store (https://metro.tmall.hk) exclusively on Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global platform offering a range of German products to the Chinese consumer.

Operating over 80 wholesale markets in China under the banner METRO Cash & Carry, METRO GROUP is now expanding its channels by opening on Tmall Global innovative cross-border e-shop platform to further tap the great potential of the Chinese consumer market. The online storefront will sell products of METRO GROUP’s sales divisions’ private labels as well as supplier brands from Germany. In the first phase, over 100 products in the categories of dairy, canned foods, coffee, and chocolate from METRO Cash & Carry Germany as well as cosmetics goods from Real are to be offered online. The product assortment is planned to be expanded with more food items from METRO Cash & Carry and non-food from Real on the e-shop.

“We are pleased to enter into this remarkable partnership with Alibaba Group. E-commerce is one of our strategic growth drivers in China. Opening the flagship store on Tmall Global again shows our clear confidence in the Chinese market, where we possess a solid commercial position and proven track record for high quality and broad assortment,” said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. “This latest innovative platform enables us to deliver more quality imported goods and German brands to the Chinese customers through our competence in global sourcing and supply chain.”

The international shipping from Europe to China is performed in advance to ensure sufficient stock is stored in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone warehouses. Chinese customers are thus able to benefit from cross-border delivery directly from the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and fast customs clearance fulfilled by Alibaba Group’s specialized service team.

Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, said: “This partnership will encompass collaboration in areas including cross-border e-commerce, logistics, rural e-commerce, online supermarket and online-offline initiatives.  Insights provided by Alibaba Group’s Big Data will help METRO GROUP effectively capture the demand for quality imported products among Chinese consumers. Additionally, Alibaba Group and METRO GROUP will work together to help more European consumer brands establish fast-track solutions for expanding into the Chinese market.”

In addition to the cross-border e-shop, both companies also agree to explore omni-channel and comprehensive collaboration opportunities in areas including global sourcing of quality products in different categories, supply chain optimization and market insights leveraging on big data. For example, METRO GROUP will support the establishment of the Germany Pavilion on Tmall by introducing high-quality German products from small to medium-sized brands to Chinese consumers.

 

About METRO GROUP
METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. In the financial year 2013/14 it generated sales of around €63 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 30 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing – Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

About METRO China
Having entered the Chinese market in 1996, METRO currently runs 82 wholesale markets in 57 cities in China with over 12,000 employees, serving about 4 million professional customers. Over the past nearly 20 years, METRO China has successfully developed its competence in food safety and quality assurance, freshness and wide assortment. E-commerce is one of the strategic growth drivers for METRO China.

About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses.

Corporate Communications
Metro-Straße 1
40235 Düsseldorf

Telephone +49 (0) 211 68 86-42 52
Fax +49 (0) 211 68 86-20 01

www.metrogroup.de
presse@metro.de

New Starbucks reusable cups designed by baristas available now in participating US and Canada Starbucks® stores

SEATTLE, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Monarch butterflies spread their wings. Stars dance on a midnight sky. Fall flowers reach for the last rays of sunshine.

These three distinct images on Starbucks reusable cups were designed by baristas who won the first White Cup Contest for partners (employees). The new cups are available now, while supplies last, in participating U.S. and Canada Starbucks® stores.

Meet the designers and find out how purchasing one of the cups helps Starbucks partners support each other:

Ben Cowley

Ben Cowley

 

Drawing, space and science fiction are three things Ben Cowley has been interested in from an early age. Growing up in England, he spent hours drawing space ships, the solar system and galaxies with his brother.

“I’m super interested in everything NASA does and often spend time looking through images from the Hubble Space Telescope,” said Cowley, who has a degree in photography. “I’ve always loved the night sky as well.”

Cowley has also always loved coffee, which he admits defies the cliché of “an Englishman who needs his tea.” He met his wife, who’s from Texas, while studying in England. They moved to the U.S. years ago and he “jumped at the chance” to work for Starbucks in Austin.

“It combines my love of talking with people and being a part of the coffee experience. I couldn’t be happier to be with Starbucks.”

For his design, Cowley covered an iconic Starbucks cup with a dark sky, allowing a comet, tree, plant and moon to appear in white. He hopes anyone who purchases his design will think about the environment when they use the reusable cup.

“We are obligated to take care of the resources we have around us, and I think we have a responsibility to keep the beauty of our planet intact,” Cowley said. “Maybe the cup will inspire someone to just take a look upwards the next time it’s a beautiful, clear night. That would be nice.”

Brynn James

Brynn James

 

Scandinavian immigrants brought their Nordic traditions with them when they arrived in Poulsbo, Washington in the late 1800s. Those included a style of art that Brynn James learned as a child and incorporated into her design.

Rosemaling is a decorative form of folk painting that began in eastern Norway around the 1700s. People who rosemaled for their livelihoods back then were generally poor. They traveled from county to county to paint for the wealthy, and much of their work was done in churches.

“The art is a big part of my life and heritage,” said James, who recently left the company to spend more time with her family. “The style is reflective of Nordic folklore and fairytales, and more than anything it’s whimsical. There are a lot of dark, gloomy days back there, so the art is a reminder that it’s not going to be winter forever.”

On the cup James designed, spring flowers and delicate sprigs of greenery surround the Starbucks logo.

James is excited to see her cup design in her Starbucks store and she plans to put a few away for her daughter – in a treasure box for the time being because the 10-month-old would just chew on them now. And one day, James will tell her little girl about how she “stepped out of her comfort zone” to create a design that won a nationwide contest.

“My husband was very encouraging, and my takeaway from this experience is to make sure that I’m as supportive of my daughter and the things that she wants to try when she gets older.”

Brandon Fragua

Brandon Fragua

 

Holding a white Starbucks cup with its green Siren logo in the center, Brandon Fragua didn’t have much doubt about what he’d draw.

“Butterfly” was the Native American name given to his grandmother on her wedding day when she married Brandon’s grandfather, a member of the Jemez Pueblo Tribe. A symbol of transformation, his grandfather had a butterfly tattoo and Fragua has a similar one on his forearm. Inspired by its meaning, Fragua drew monarch butterflies around the cup, fluttering from the bottom to the top.

The recognizable orange and black wing pattern of the monarch is “both simple and complex,” said Fragua. “It’s beautiful. I’m inspired by nature.”

After the Starbucks dress code changed allowing visible tattoos, Fragua began receiving compliments on his butterfly tattoo. He expects his customers will be thrilled to see the pattern on reusable cups when they become available. Fragua’s said his family is excited for him and they realize Grandfather Paul, who passed away a few years ago, would be proud.

“He was a big part of my life,” said Fragua. “I grew up close to my grandparents and felt lucky to have them be such a strong influence on my childhood. He would be proud of me today no matter what, but I know that he’d be more than happy with me that I designed a cup that was so personal for our family.”

Caring Unites Partners

The partner-designed images on Starbucks reusable cups are available for purchase in participating Starbucks® stores beginning today. Stores in the U.S. will feature one design out of the three, depending on the region. In Canada, Cowley’s night sky reusable cup is available in participating stores.

For each partner-designed reusable cup purchased, $0.50 will be donated to the Starbucks Caring Unites Partners (CUP) Fund – a financial assistance program started by partners in 1998 to help each other in times of need. The fund acts as a safety net for partners by providing monetary help following family emergencies, natural disasters or unexpected expenses.

To date, the CUP Fund has provided about $16 million in grants to more than 15,000 partners.

Lisa Price, Rene Suruda, Dixie McCullough and Joan Moffat created the fund, not knowing it would impact thousands of partners.

“We started small. We initially started that as a test in the Pacific Northwest region, but it quickly grew,” said Lisa Price, Starbucks vice-president, Partner Resources. “The CUP Fund is about demonstrating respect, dignity, empathy, care and compassion for each of us as human beings.”

Sign up for Starbucks news alerts here, and follow @StarbucksNews on Twitter

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

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Starbucks Food team’s director Ellie Halevy: fall is one of the top seasons for bakery items at Starbucks

SEATTLE, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — What makes fall food and beverages taste so good?

Nancy Kershner, the renowned pastry chef behind the creation of Starbucks® fall bakery favorites, says it’s all about comfort.

“In fall, we think of ingredients such as pumpkin, cream cheese, cinnamon, crunchy pecans, brown sugar, honey and butter. These flavors are the perfect complement to Starbucks coffee any season, but particularly in the fall,” said Kershner. “Our fall food really speaks to the harvest season.”

Kershner, author of the book, “I Love Pies and Tarts,” joined Starbucks three years ago to lead product development for Starbucks bakery brand, La Boulange. At Starbucks, Kershner and her team have re-imagined longtime fall favorites Pumpkin Scone and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin and created new ones with the decorated Pumpkin Sugar Cookie and Washington Apple Pound Cake.

Ellie Halevy, director of the Starbucks Food team, said that fall is one of the top seasons for bakery items at Starbucks.

“While fall is a nostalgic time of year, there’s also a sense of newness – be it in fashion or in menus,” said Ellie Halevy, director of Starbucks Food team. “Whether it’s back to work and school or back to eating inside with shorter days, fall marks a transition point for our customers.”

Fall Favorites

Pumpkin Scone: Made with the flavors of the season – pumpkin pie spices and cinnamon – and topped with delicious icing. Pairs with the bold, spicy flavor notes in Komodo Dragon Blend®.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin: Richly spiced pumpkin muffin topped with a sprinkling of chopped caramelized pumpkin seeds and cream cheese filling. Pairs with the full-bodied, cinnamon notes of Sumatra.

Washington Apple Pound Cake: A traditional pound cake with roasted apples from Washington state with sugar and a hint a cinnamon. Pairs with the refined acidity and soft spice flavor of Guatemala Antigua.

Decorated Pumpkin Sugar Cookie: This buttery sugar cookie pairs with coffees featuring distinct citrus notes, like Kenya.

New at Starbucks 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bistro Box: Starbucks newest Bistro Box features old-fashioned PB&J made with wheat bread, peanut butter and strawberry jam. Also includes mozzarella string cheese, vegetables, Greek yogurt ranch dip, apples and milk chocolate-covered raisins.

Sriracha: Whether punching up the heat on breakfast sandwich or adding an extra layer of zing to the classic egg salad sandwich, sriracha hot chili sauce adds a spicy kick to savory foods. Starbucks is offering its first-ever siracha sauce at participating Starbucks® stores in the United States, complimentary with the purchase of any food item.

Starbucks Fall Beverage Trio

Pumpkin Spice Latte: PSL is a perfectly handcrafted signature espresso beverage infused with pumpkin, creamy steamed milk, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove. The beverage is finished with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice. Available hot, iced or as a Frappuccino® blended beverage.

Salted Caramel Mocha: This customer favorite features espresso and steamed milk, blended with mocha sauce and toffee nut flavored syrup. Topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel drizzle and a mixture of turbinado sugar and sea salt, this beverage pairs well with a crisp fall morning or cozy afternoon. Available hot or iced.

Teavana® Oprah Cinnamon Chai Tea Latte: A bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos. Slightly sweetened and finished with steamed milk or cold milk poured over iced.

At-Home Coffee & Merchandise

Starbucks Card: Fall gift cards return to neighborhood Starbucks® stores in seasonal hues, including a Starbucks Card shaped like an autumn leaf.

Starbucks® Anniversary Blend Coffee: Originally created in 1996 as a special coffee to celebrate Starbucks 25th anniversary, this blend is so popular with customers that it has become an annual tradition ever since. Available in whole bean, K-Cup® Packs and Verismo® pods.

Coffee Artisans Mugs: Each of four abstract designs represents an element in the creation of coffee – from the harvesting of red coffee cherries to the moment it is brewed and served.

Starbucks VIA® Instant Pumpkin Spice Latte: A blend of Starbucks® coffee, pumpkin spice flavors, cane sugar and natural dairy to enjoy anytime.

Sign up for Starbucks news alerts here, and follow @StarbucksNews on Twitter

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

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Starbucks Food team's director Ellie Halevy: fall is one of the top seasons for bakery items at Starbucks

Starbucks Food team’s director Ellie Halevy: fall is one of the top seasons for bakery items at Starbucks

Starbucks and the Seattle Seahawks to offer a limited-edition gift card

SEATTLE, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ —  For the third season, Starbucks and the Seattle Seahawks are teaming up to offer a limited-edition gift card.

This year’s design features the sleek outline of the Seahawks logo on a navy blue card, accented by the familiar number 12 and Starbucks siren on a neon green background that surrounds the edge of the card. The co-branded card will be available beginning September 8 in participating Starbucks® stores throughout Washington state. Previous editions of the cards have become collector’s items.

New this year, participating Starbucks stores in Western Washington are featuring co-branded cup sleeves, while supplies last. The hot-beverage sleeves include details on how to access exclusive team news through the Seahawks Snapchat channel.

Starbucks and the Seahawks are committed to building safer, stronger neighborhoods in the Seattle area through initiatives like A Better Seattle (ABS). Founded by Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll in partnership with the YMCA’s Alive & Free program, ABS helps young people become engaged members of their communities with support from outreach workers. Over the past two years, Starbucks and its customers have contributed more than $125,000 to ABS.

To raise awareness of the work A Better Seattle does in the region, a select group of Seahawks players will be “guest baristas” at Seattle-area Starbucks stores. (The event date and locations will be announced later this month). They’ll serve customers and fans and share their commitment to helping local youth succeed.

Earlier this year, Starbucks announced its own commitment to hire Opportunity Youth – those between the ages of 16 and 24 who aren’t in school and aren’t employed. In addition to Starbucks pledge to hire 10,000 opportunity youth within five years, the company is part of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative which has a collective goal of hiring 100,000 opportunity youth by 2018. Starbucks also provides pathways to opportunity through its Starbucks College Achievement Plan and its commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018.

This year’s limited-edition card requires a minimum $15 load which can be used toward purchase in any Starbucks store.

About Starbucks Hometown

For more than 44 years, Starbucks has called Seattle home. Starbucks continues to celebrate the community at its SoDo headquarters, roasting plant in Kent, Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, and in stores throughout Washington. Starbucks is proud to support local initiatives through partnerships with like-minded local organizations including the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders FC, University of Washington, Seattle Theatre Group, Seafair, Bumbershoot, and the Seattle International Film Festival. Learn more at starbucks.com/seattle.

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

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Starbucks and the Seattle Seahawks to offer a limited-edition gift card

Starbucks and the Seattle Seahawks to offer a limited-edition gift card

 

Tesco sees record sales of UK cherries compared with what it sold in 2014

CHESHUNT, England, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — British cherry growers are on course for their most productive season for over 30 years, latest industry figures can reveal.

Since the start of the British cherry season in May growers have produced 2682 tonnes – an uplift of 80 per cent on the 1488 tonnes produced in 2014 (British Summer Fruit data 24  August 2015).

Even better news for growers is that UK cherries are also in high demand with Tesco seeing record sales of nearly 80 per cent compared with what it sold in 2014.

The greater availability has led to Tesco more than doubling the amount of cherries it buys from British growers this summer.

Last year the supermarket bought more than 335 tonnes of British grown cherries while this year it took more than 750 tonnes – a rise of 125 per cent.

Tesco cherry buyer Tom Emmett said: “Shoppers prefer British cherries as they’re considered to be amongst the best in the world – not only the richness of their taste but also the juiciness of their flesh and overall texture. Nothing beats a British cherry.

“It’s all about availability – if we can get British grown cherries then we know our shoppers will buy them. They are extremely popular and one of the absolute joys of summer.”

English cherries were once one of Britain’s most popular fruits but poor weather, high labour costs and old-fashioned picking methods saw volumes of home grown cherries greatly diminish over the last 50 years.

The importation of cheaper cherries from Turkey, Spain and America also contributed to the decline in UK production.

Production hit rock bottom in the year 2000 when the entire British cherry industry produced just 400 tonnes. But since then things have slowly started looking up again.

More and more British growers are now seeing higher yields by using dwarf root stock, grafted onto new tree varieties. These produce much smaller trees which can be grown in plastic tunnels, creating a micro climate with temperatures similar to the Mediterranean.

And these new smaller cherry trees can now be picked by workers on foot rather than ladders, cutting costs still further and enabling English cherries to compete with foreign rivals for the first time in many decades.

Tom Emmett added: “At the moment demand for British cherries exceeds supply. The good news is that by the end of the decade we should be able to completely meet that demand for the whole for the whole British season. That’s an amazing turnaround from just ten years ago.”

One of the UK’s biggest cherry producers is Haygrove Growing, whose 100 acre orchards are based near Kington in Herefordshire.

Their Managing Director James Waltham said: “Thanks to a combination of great varieties which are better suited to the UK climate, year-on-year performance of cherry orchards in general is far more consistent than it used to be, bringing greater yield and superior quality fruit.

“The British cherry season is also growing. Where it once lasted barely two months, the season now extends from early June until early September; thanks both to new varieties and modern growing systems, particularly the use of polytunnels.

“We’ve also had a good growing season. After a mild autumn in 2014, followed by a winter that was sufficiently cold, we had good weather for pollination at spring. Weather through the summer has also been relatively good with no periods of excessive heat”.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01992 644645

We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.

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Tesco sees record sales of UK cherries compared with what it sold in 2014

Tesco sees record sales of UK cherries compared with what it sold in 2014

Carrefour’s Ooshop.com partnering the 19th Parisienne race

Boulogne-Billancourt, FRANCE, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ooshop.com, Carrefour’s online home delivery online sales website, is partnering the 19th Parisienne race and is helping to organise this famous women-only athletics event. Ooshop.com will therefore be welcoming all the runners at its stand in Paris on 11, 12 and 13 September.

For more than 16 years now, Ooshop.com has been making life easier for consumers and helping them to save time. So for this year’s Parisienne – a race held to raise money for breast cancer research – the retailer will be welcoming runners to a stand that is all about the home delivery services that can be accessed online.

Partnering the race for the second year in a row, Ooshop.com is keen to remind customers of its commitment to sport, fun and well-being. Values in which the retailer believes strongly and which naturally led Ooshop.com to getting involved in the event in the first place.

Ooshop teams involved

For the event, 600 female Carrefour employees will be at the race start, alongside all the enthusiastic runners. A special moment for these teams that is all about communicating and sharing.

Ooshop.com will be helping runners to refuel during the race. They’ll also get a goodie bag at the finish to congratulate them on having taken part and help them recover.

Runners will all also be able to win gifts at a special themed event at the ooshop.com stand during the race!

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Carrefour’s Ooshop.com partnering the 19th Parisienne race

Carrefour’s Ooshop.com partnering the 19th Parisienne race

Carrefour sponsored the sixth edition of one the largest cycling events in Latin America

BRAZIL, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour was a sponsor of the sixth edition of one the largest cycling events in Latin America as part of its program, launched this year, to encourage the sport, in line with Carrefour’s support of cycling events elsewhere.

The event took place in the cities of Angra dos Reis, Valença, Teresópolis and Rio de Janeiro between 26th and 30th of August. The Carrefour store in Rio de Janeiro was the departure point for the race.

Besides the event, Carrefour is also – since April this year – the official sponsor of the “Cycling team Carrefour SJC” in the city of São José dos Campos, in the state of São Paulo. The team is considered the best in the country in its category and is the current leader in the Brazilian ranking (2014) by teams.

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Carrefour sponsored the sixth edition of one the largest cycling events in Latin America

Carrefour sponsored the sixth edition of one the largest cycling events in Latin America

Carrefour China opens new store in the city of Lixin

LIXIN, China, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — On August 28th, Carrefour China inaugurated a new store in the city of Lixin in the province of Anhui in the West of the Country.

The Carrefour Lixin Renmin Road hypermarket extends over a sales area of 6,240 sqm. The store has 25 cashiers as well as a car park of 320 places.

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Carrefour China opens new store in the city of Lixin

Carrefour China opens new store in the city of Lixin

Amazon.com’s Prime Now customers in Seattle can now enjoy delivery from local restaurants

  • Amazon’s Prime Now service in Seattle will deliver food from local restaurants, including Cactus, Wild Ginger, Skillet, Marination Station, Re:public, Café Yumm!, Ten Mercer, Mamnoon and many more
  • Free delivery for a limited time on all restaurant orders

SEATTLE, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that Prime Now customers in Seattlecan now enjoy delivery from local restaurants including Cactus, Wild Ginger, Skillet, Marination Station, Re:public, Café Yumm!, Ten Mercer, Mamnoon and many more. Using the Prime Now mobile app, Seattle customers can view participating restaurants, browse menus, place orders and track the status of their delivery in real time. Once an order is placed, Amazon delivery drivers pick up and deliver the food within an hour or less.

“Prime members can now enjoy food from the Seattle restaurants they love without having to drive all over the city,” said Gus Lopez, general manager, Amazon Restaurants. “For many of these restaurants, this is the first time they are offering delivery, and we are delighted they have chosen to work with us.”

Starting today, restaurant delivery on Prime Now is available in select Seattle zip codes and will expand in the coming days. Prime members can download the Prime Now app and enter their zip code to see if Prime Now is available in their area. In zip codes where restaurant delivery is available, customers will see Restaurants on the home page.

“By offering restaurant delivery through Prime Now, we are able to reach customers who are craving our Skillet deliciousness, but don’t have time to swing by,” said Jon Severson, president, Skillet. “Now, with just a few taps on their phone, Seattle customers can get their favorite Skillet menu items delivered directly to their door in less than an hour.”

“We are excited to team up with Amazon’s Prime Now service to offer customers a convenient and fast delivery option for lunch and dinner,” said Scott Campbell, director of operations, Wild Ginger. “Working with Amazon allows us to align our product quality and customer service standards with a brand that our customers know and trust.”

Restaurant delivery on Prime Now offers customers transparent pricing—there are no menu markups or hidden service fees, and delivery on all orders is free for a limited time. Customers pay using the information already stored in their Amazon account and orders are backed by Amazon’s award-winning customer service.

To learn more about Prime Now, and to download the mobile app, visit amazon.com/primenow. For restaurants interested in working with Prime Now, please contact restaurant-inquiries@amazon.com

More to Prime
Amazon Prime is an annual membership program for $99 a year that offers customers unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on more than 20 million items across all categories, unlimited Free Same-Day Delivery on more than a million items in 14 metro areas, unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, more than one million songs, more than one thousand playlists and hundreds of stations with Prime Music, early access to select Lightning Deals all year long, free secure, unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive with Prime Photos and access to more than 800,000 books to borrow with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. In addition, Prime members in 10 cities receive one and two hour delivery on a selection of tens of thousands of everyday essentials with the dedicated Prime Now mobile app. Not a member? Start a free trial of Amazon Prime at amazon.com/prime.

About Amazon
Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

Amazon.com, Inc.
Media Hotline, 206-266-7180
Amazon-pr@amazon.com
www.amazon.com/pr

Sears Holdings entered into a binding term sheet for a five-year agreement with Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sears Holdings Corporation (the “Company”) (NASDAQ: SHLD) today announced that it has been in discussions with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) with respect to the Company’s rights offering and sale-leaseback transaction with Seritage Growth Properties, a recently formed, independent publicly traded real estate investment trust, which closed on July 7, 2015, and the Company has entered into a binding term sheet for a five-year agreement (the “Agreement”) with PBGC, subject to entry into definitive documentation in the next 60 days.  Pursuant to the Agreement, the Company will continue (as it has since at least 2006) to protect, or “ring-fence,” pursuant to customary covenants, the assets of certain special purpose subsidiaries (the “Relevant Subsidiaries”) holding real estate and/or intellectual property assets.

Under the definitive documentation, the Relevant Subsidiaries will grant PBGC a springing lien on the ring-fenced assets, which lien would be triggered only by (a) failure to make required contributions to the Company’s pension plan (the “Plan”), (b) prohibited transfers of ownership interests in the Relevant Subsidiaries, (c) termination events with respect to the Plan, and (d) bankruptcy events with respect to the Company or certain of its material subsidiaries.

The Company will continue to make required contributions to the Plan, the scheduled amounts of which are not affected by the Agreement.  The Company has consistently managed its business such that it is able to meet its obligations to the Plan despite the historically unprecedented low interest rate environment.  Although the Company believes that no basis exists under ERISA for an involuntary or distress termination of the Plan, PBGC has further agreed to forbear from initiating an involuntary termination of the Plan, except upon the occurrence of specified conditions.

“This agreement results from good faith discussions between the PBGC and the Company and is another positive step forward for the Company; it provides meaningful protections to the PBGC while preserving the Company’s financial and operational ability to continue implementing the transformation,” said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including about our transformation through our integrated retail strategy, our plans to redeploy and reconfigure our assets, our liquidity and our ability to exercise financial flexibility as we meet our obligations and possible strategic transactions. Forward-looking statements, including these, are based on the current beliefs and expectations of our management and are subject to significant risks, assumptions and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.  The following additional factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: our ability to offer merchandise and services that our customers want, including our proprietary brand products; our ability to successfully implement our integrated retail strategy to transform our business; our ability to successfully manage our inventory levels; our ability to successfully implement initiatives to improve our liquidity through inventory management and other actions; competitive conditions in the retail and related services industries; worldwide economic conditions and business uncertainty, including the availability of consumer and commercial credit, changes in consumer confidence and spending, the impact of rising fuel prices, and changes in vendor relationships; vendors’ lack of willingness to provide acceptable payment terms or otherwise restricting financing to purchase inventory or services; possible limits on our access to our domestic credit facility, which is subject to a borrowing base limitation and a springing fixed charge coverage ratio covenant, capital markets and other financing sources, including additional second lien financings, with respect to which we do not have commitments from lenders; our ability to successfully achieve our plans to generate liquidity through potential transactions or otherwise; potential liabilities in connection with the separation of Lands’ End, Inc. and disposition of a portion of our ownership interest in Sears Canada, Inc.; our extensive reliance on computer systems, including legacy systems, to implement our integrated retail strategy, process transactions, summarize results, maintain customer, member, associate and Company data, and otherwise manage our business, which may be subject to disruptions or security breaches; the impact of seasonal buying patterns, including seasonal fluctuations due to weather conditions, which are difficult to forecast with certainty; our dependence on sources outside the United States for significant amounts of our merchandise; our reliance on third parties to provide us with services in connection with the administration of certain aspects of our business and the transfer of significant internal historical knowledge to such parties; impairment charges for goodwill and intangible assets or fixed-asset impairment for long-lived assets; our ability to attract, motivate and retain key executives and other associates; our ability to protect or preserve the image of our brands; the outcome of pending and/or future legal proceedings, including shareholder litigation, product liability and qui tam claims and proceedings with respect to which the parties have reached a preliminary settlement; the timing and amount of required pension plan funding; and other risks, uncertainties and factors discussed in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While we believe that our forecasts and assumptions are reasonable, we caution that actual results may differ materially. We intend the forward-looking statements to speak only as of the time made and do not undertake to update or revise them as more information becomes available, except as required by law.

About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) is a leading integrated retailer focused on seamlessly connecting the digital and physical shopping experiences to serve our members – wherever, whenever and however they want to shop. Sears Holdings is home to Shop Your Way®, a social shopping platform offering members rewards for shopping at Sears and Kmart as well as with other retail partners across categories important to them. The Company operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation, with full-line and specialty retail stores across the United States. For more information, visit www.searsholdings.com.

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

Sears Holdings Public Relations
(847) 286-8371

SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation

Macy’s New Off-Price Pilot Stores Debut in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island

New Off-Price Pilot Stores Debut in Three New York City Metro Area Locations

NEW YORK, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Macy’s (NYSE:M) debuts its new off-price retail brand, Macy’s Backstage, today, raising the curtain simultaneously on three New York City metro area stores opening in Brooklyn,Queens and Long Island, with three more slated to open in 2015 for a total of six stores. The fourth location will be unveiled in New Hyde Park, Long Island on Sept. 19, with the remaining two in Fordham, Bronx, and West Orange, New Jersey, opening in late fall. With the spotlight cast on stylish savings, fabulous finds and designer deals, Macy’s Backstage will bring the best of the Macy’s department store brand mixed with the fun of bargain shopping at an outlet.

Premiering first in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn; Elmhurst, Queens; and Melville, Long Island; Macy’s Backstagemakes a grand entrance into the retail outlet arena with an entertaining store concept that caters to shoppers’ fashion whims as it fuels their thrill of the treasure hunt. A cross between a department store and an outlet, Macy’s Backstage elevates the neighborhood off-price experience with its creative take on shopping, delivering an all-access, VIP pass to fashion and savings. Staffed by the Backstage Crew, a stellar cast of sales associates and store management teams, Macy’s new discount destination will entertain, surprise and delight.

Macy’s Backstage sets the stage in dramatic fashion for the best bargain-hunting adventures and fashion finds in off-price shopping. Fashion, home, cosmetics, gifts, activewear and jewelry will have a starring role on the selling floor, and at great savings! Taking “Center Stage” on the red carpet is a special dedicated space in the store where the latest trends, themes and styles get top billing to inspire the shopper. Macy’s Backstage is designed to showcase new merchandise for the daily, weekly or monthly shopper, refreshing its offerings with speed and style.

“As a new business venture for Macy’s, we are ecstatic about our debut of Macy’s Backstage. It is exhilarating to create an exciting and entertaining destination for the customer who loves to shop, and loves a bargain even more,” says Vanessa LeFebvre, senior vice president/general merchandise manager of Macy’s Backstage stores. She adds, “Macy’s Backstage is for the shopper who is always on the hunt for a deal, where time, convenience and money are a commodity.”

As the newest member to the iconic Macy’s family of brands, Macy’s Backstage will offer the bargain shopper the opportunity to experience the full magic of Macy’s in a more intimate venue. Ranging in size from 25,000 to 35,000 square feet, the smaller format will allow shoppers to spot the latest trends and score the best deals in an easy-to-shop store environment.

Under the direction of its own team of buyers, planners and merchandisers, Macy’s Backstage will offer a wide selection of merchandise from the previous season, as well as fresh merchandise from new brands and internationally-recognized labels. Celebrity brands will make a special appearance and dressing like a superstar becomes a reality. Keeping an eye out for great finds and spotting trends, the Macy’s Backstage team will curate each store to the fashion styles of the community it serves. Savvy shoppers will have a second chance to buy the sweater, handbag, dress and shoes they missed from last year, as well as new merchandise from the most coveted, cutting-edge designers, all at 20 percent to 80 percent off original or comparable merchandise.

In addition to a wide range of men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, shoes and accessories, housewares and home textiles, Macy’s Backstage will feature an expanded assortment of home decor, bath and beauty products, including nail and hair care, as well as toys, tech, gadgets and more. The Backstage beauty shopper will be able to sample, experiment and play with cosmetics and fragrances in the open-sell Beauty section featuring premium beauty brands. Whatever shoppers are on the hunt for, they are sure to find it and more, for less.

Amenities will be the headliners at Macy’s newest production. A suite of dressing rooms for a shopper’s inner star to be born will feature three-way mirrors for a full fashion review. Convenient mobile check-out stations will be positioned outside the dressing suites for the customer on the go. Customers will be inspired to “Pin, Snap and Share” their looks on #macysbackstage. Other amenities include free Wi-Fi, “Juice Bars” ─ designated charging stations ─ and accessible parking.

Each location will be outfitted with a Sunglass Hut outpost, and each store will have something different and signature to offer. Both the New Hyde Park and Sheepshead Bay locations will house a Fur Salon, and shoppers inBrooklyn will enjoy the first-ever Macy’s Taste Bar Café in New York. The eatery will feature a Macy’s menu of signature salads, soups and sandwiches complementing Starbucks “We Proudly Brew” program of coffees and treats. The Café will open in the coming weeks with additions to the menu including beer and wine.

Shoppers will be able to use their Macy’s credit card and earn Plenti points at all locations. Each store will continue the My Macy’s momentum with a community charity partner that will benefit from Macy’s fundraising initiatives. Debuting for the first time will be Give Backstage that will raise funds at check-out for local charities adopted by the new stores.

The Give Backstage program will enlist customers to donate $1 or more at the register with 100 percent of the donations going to the store’s selected charity until Nov. 1. Macy’s Backstage at Sheepshead Bay charity of choice is Brooklyn Public Library’s Sheepshead Bay branch with Macy’s Backstage at Queens Place supporting the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens, Inc. Macy’s Backstage at Melville Mall will support Big Brothers and Big Sisters ofLong Island, while its Nassau County counterpart Macy’s Backstage at Lake Success Shopping Center will benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.

About Macy’s
Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 775 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at macys.com. Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy’s offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks®and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. In fall 2015, Macy’s launched Macy’s Backstage, its newest retail brand for discount shopping with six stores in the New York metro area.

For Macy’s media materials, including images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at macys.com/pressroom.

Macy’s
Elina Kazan, 646-429-7448
elina.kazan@macys.com
or
Deanna Williams, 646-429-7458
deanna.williams@macys.com
or
Alyssa Bendetson, 646-429-7447
alyssa.bendetson@macys.com

S Group: SOK begin statutory labour negotiations to enhance the efficiency of its Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management organisation

HELSINKI, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — SOK is beginning statutory labour negotiations to enhance the efficiency of its Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management organisation. The negotiations may lead to a maximum of 25 employees being made redundant.

In accordance with the competition strategy determined for S Group’s consumer goods trade in 2014, department store and speciality store trade within S Group is focusing on fashion, beauty and interior design.

“S Group is strongly committed to the department store and speciality store trade, now and in the future. The goal is for our department store and speciality store trade to be profitable, competitive and attractive to customers,” says Arttu Laine, Executive Vice President at SOK.

Over the past two years, S Group and SOK have worked to develop their department store and speciality store trade in line with their competition strategy, and they have resumed an upward trend despite the difficult overall economic situation.

“However, we need to implement further measures at SOK to achieve our targets. We need to improve our cost-efficiency and synergies between operations, for example. We are seeking to minimise the effects of these measures on our employees. Unfortunately, such effects cannot be entirely avoided,” says Laine.

The statutory labour negotiations concern all employees in SOK Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management.  The negotiations do not concern other operations of SOK or SOK Corporation, such as SOK Marks & Spencer Chain Management or SOK Food and Consumer Goods Chain Management.

The statutory labour negotiations will not affect the employees of the regional cooperatives or the services provided for co-op members.

The goal is to finalise the plans for enhancing the efficiency of the SOK Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management organisation by the beginning of November.

Additional information: Executive Vice President Arttu Laine, S-Group Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics, tel. +358 10 76 81011.

###

S Group: SOK begin statutory labour negotiations to enhance the efficiency of its Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management organisation

S Group: SOK begin statutory labour negotiations to enhance the efficiency of its Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management organisation

Kesko: biogas from biowaste collected from stores will be used as energy to manufacture new Pirkka products

Kesko’s grocery trade, Gasum, Myllyn Paras and Wursti have entered into cooperation where biogas produced from biowaste collected from retail stores will be utilised as energy in the manufacture of new Pirkka products.

HELSINKI, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — In the initial stage, two manufacturers of Kesko’s own-brand Pirkka products – Myllyn Paras and Wursti – have joined the initiative. Biowaste from almost 100 K-food stores in the Uusimaa region as well as the Keslog warehouses in Hakkila, Vantaa, will be taken to the Labio biogas plant in Lahti, and the biogas produced will be transmitted via the Gasum gas network to Myllyn Paras and Wursti production facilities.

Kesko aims to continuously find new ways of reducing wastage and the volume of waste that ends up in landfill sites.

– K-food stores’ unsold products are primarily diverted to food aid. This new cooperation will help utilise any food wastage that is unsuitable for human consumption in a smart new way as energy used to make Pirkka products, says Timo Jäske, Kesko’s Sustainability Manager for grocery trade.

Biogas produced from waste is 100% Finnish renewable energy. Recycling waste into biogas and utilising this energy in the manufacturing of Pirkka products will help cut annual carbon dioxide emissions by 380 tonnes. This corresponds to emissions generated by driving a car for more than three million kilometres.

– We’re happy to be able to provide retailers with a new way of utilising wastage and to participate in action to turn Finland into a forerunner in bioeconomy and clean solutions, says Jani Arala, Gasum’s Business Development Manager for Biogas.

Myllyn Paras will use biogas energy to make frozen semi-baked mini meat-rice and egg-rice pasties for Pirkka. Wursti manufactures around ten different types of Pirkka sausages and cold cuts.

Consumers will now have the opportunity make purchase decisions to influence the manufacture of products with renewable Finnish energy. Products made with biogas will be easy to spot on the basis of the biogas label.

– Pirkka products made with biogas are an easy consumer choice for the benefit of the environment, says Jäske.

Further information:
Timo Jäske, Sustainability Manager for Kesko’s grocery trade, tel. +358 105 328 222, timo.jaske@kesko.fi
Jani Arala, Business Development Manager for Biogas, Gasum, tel. +358 44 054 8583 jani.arala@gasum.fi

K-food retailers, with whom Kesko grocery trade applies the chain business model, are responsible for customer satisfaction at more than 900 K-food stores. K-food store chains are K-citymarket, K-supermarket, K-market and K-extra. K-food stores are the most responsible in the world in their sector. Their strengths also include superior fresh food departments, competent service, the widest selections, Finnish products and Pirkka. K-food stores provide both high quality and favourable prices. K – for shopping to be fun. www.kesko.fi

Gasum is a Finnish expert in natural energy gases (natural gas and biogas). It imports natural gas to Finland, upgrades biogas, and transmits and delivers these for a broad range of uses in energy production, industry, homes, and land and maritime transport. Gasum develops the Finnish and Nordic energy infrastructure by investing in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) business, biogas business and transport services. Gasum is the leading supplier of biogas in Finland. It injects biogas into the gas network from Espoo, Kouvola and Lahti. Cleanly with natural energy gases.
www.gasum.com

John Lewis seeks 3,000 temporary Partners ahead of the busiest shopping period of the year

LONDON, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — John Lewis is searching for over 3,000 temporary Partners (staff) to fill roles across the retail and distribution arms of the business, ahead of the busiest shopping period of the year.

The retailer is recruiting new Partners to assist customers in its 44 branches as they get ready for the festive season. Positions are available across a number of departments including the John Lewis Christmas Shop, electrical and home technology, gift food and catering.

In addition to branch roles, John Lewis also has temporary vacancies available across its distribution network to support both shops and johnlewis.com.

Katharina Butler-Tjepkema, resourcing manager at John Lewis said:  ‘Christmas is a really exciting time to be a Partner at John Lewis, and we are looking for enthusiastic people who understand the importance of delivering exceptional customer service. Whether you’re helping a customer find the perfect gift for a loved one or ensuring a click and collect order is ready on time, we are seeking additional support to help make sure we meet shoppers’ expectations at this busy time.

‘Our distribution network is key to our omnichannel business, and we also are also on the look-out for distribution Partners to ensure that customers using our online and click and collect facilities receive the same levels of service as those who visit our shops.’

The John Lewis recruitment team is committed to training all Christmas temporary staff to achieve the highest level of customer service, in order to ensure our customers receive excellent customer service with every shopping experience.

Those interested in applying should visit www.jlpjobs.com, where batches of vacancies will be advertised this month.

Notes to editors

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 44 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, 11 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership and all 30,000 John Lewis staff are Partners in the business. John Lewis, ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2015’ , ‘Best Electricals Retailer 2015’ and ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2015’¹, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

¹ Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2015

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

Emma Cole
Communications Officer
Email: emma.l.cole@johnlewis.co.uk
Telephone: 0207 592 5459

Candidates can now apply for John Lewis Partnership’s 2016/17 industrial placement schemes

LONDON, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership has announced the details of five industrial placement schemes for 2016/17, with candidates able to apply from 1 September 2015.

The five schemes are for students taking a year out from university to gain workplace skills and experience, and offer a unique insight and invaluable experience at one of the UK’s top retailers. The placements are carefully designed to give talented students more involvement, more opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities and more responsibility.

Placement students have the opportunity to work in a variety of exciting areas at John Lewis, Waitrose and Partnership Services, the shared-services division of the John Lewis Partnership. As well as retail management in branches, there is the opportunity to work in areas such as agriculture, e-commerce, IT, supply chain, commercial, procurement, insight and marketing.

The five available schemes are:
·   John Lewis Retail Management industrial placement scheme
·   Waitrose Retail Management industrial placement scheme
·   Waitrose Head Office industrial placement scheme
·   Waitrose Supply Chain industrial placement scheme
·   Partnership Services Procurement industrial placement scheme

​​Michael Bratt, a 2014/15 industrial placement student, working within the Waitrose e-Commerce marketing team, spoke of his experience. ‘I’m doing a management and marketing degree and was keen to see whether I enjoyed marketing in practice. It’s been a great twelve months and I’ve learnt lots about the roles available as well as my own interests. Much of the placement experience is down to you and what you make of it. I made a point of getting to know the different departments, had the opportunity to understand what I want to do in the future and had a fantastic experience. It’s really helped for my final year dissertation and I’m looking forward to applying to the Graduate Leadership Scheme next year.’

Additionally, retail placements at both John Lewis and Waitrose offer students the opportunity to develop the skills that will form the basis of a career in retail management. Students could be managing their own section within a department after six months, and will gain skills and experiences that will help them apply to our Retail Management graduate schemes after completing their university course.

Applications for all industrial placement roles will open at the start of September and will close on 31 October. In the event of an exceptionally high response rate, applications will close early and further submissions will not be accepted. Candidates are therefore encouraged to apply early to avoid disappointment.

For more information on the schemes, the selection process, to read our graduate blog and other useful information from graduates themselves and our recruitment team, as well as to apply for the schemes,  candidates should visit: http://jlpjobs.com/graduates/industrial-placements/.

Recruitment for the Graduate schemes at John Lewis and Waitrose is set to begin in October 2015, with more information available later this month.

Notes to editors

All placements are 12 months long and are for students in the penultimate year of their degree. After successfully completing the scheme and finishing university we hope our Placement students will re-join the business through one of our graduate schemes or an advertised role.

For more information please visit: http://jlpjobs.com/graduates/industrial-placements/

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

Rob Cadwell
Senior Press Officer, Corporate, Waitrose
Email: rob.cadwell@waitrose.co.uk
Telephone: 01344 826182

Emma Cole
Communications Officer, Corporate and Brand, John Lewis
Email: emma.l.cole@johnlewis.co.uk
Telephone: 0207 798 3829

Bill Wolff named executive producer of Chelsea Handler’s new series premiering in all Netflix territories in 2016

Beverly Hills, Calif., 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Bill Wolff has been named executive producer of Chelsea Handler’s radical refresh of the talk show for the global on-demand generation, premiering in all Netflix territories in 2016 for all members to enjoy however and whenever they like. It was also announced today that the show will be produced in Los Angeles.

The new talk show will feature an updated format that encompasses Chelsea’s unfiltered opinions on topical entertainment and cultural issues, as well as her signature guest interviews.

“Bill is the visionary we have been looking for to create a dynamic new format that’s global, informative and entertaining,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “He brings new creativity and fresh conversations to the talk show format that the on-demand generation and Chelsea’s audience will care about.”

“I could not be more thrilled to join Netflix and Chelsea Handler in transforming what we know to be the talk show,” said Wolff. “Viewers love Chelsea and her ability to go to a place and ask the questions no one else will. I can’t wait to work with these pioneers in the business to entertain and educate audiences around the world.”

Wolff most recently served as executive producer of season 18 of ABC Television’s The View. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Primetime Programming at MSNBC from 2005–2014 where he created and executive produced The Rachel Maddow Show from 2008 to 2014. He began his career at ESPN and won two Emmy Awards for Best Sports Journalism (1990 and 1996) for the network’s Outside the Lines program. Following ESPN, Wolff embarked on a successful career as a screenwriter whose entrée to the field was the sale of Total Sports, a thriller about sports television and game fixing, to Scott Rudin at Paramount Pictures. He went on to write several studio scripts, including the 2005 Fox release Rebound.

In 2002, Wolff returned to television to create and produce ESPN’s longstanding daily talk show Around the Horn. Wolff is an honors graduate of Harvard University, where he studied American history.

Chelsea Handler is one of the most exciting and successful figures in the entertainment industry. Handler was honored as one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2011 and was also featured in TIME magazine’s annual TIME 100. Both publications recognized Chelsea for her multiplatform success as a bestselling author, talk show host, stand–up comedian and actress.

As the host of E!’s Chelsea Lately, Handler was the only female to break into the otherwise male–dominated late night arena. She built Chelsea Lately into one of the highest rated shows on E! and ended her successful run on August 26th, 2014.

Handler is one of the leading nonfiction authors with five bestselling books currently in print and was named “one of the clear winners of 2010” by Publisher’s Weekly. She recently released her fifth book Uganda Be Kidding Me about her travels, which was her fourth book to debut at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. In support of the release, Handler embarked on the “Uganda Be Kidding Me Live” tour, which included 35 cities in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The culmination of her aforementioned wildly popular international stand–up tour is now streaming as a Netflix original comedy special titled, Uganda Be Kidding Me, Live.

Uganda Be Kidding Me is the third book published by her Grand Central imprint “Borderline Amazing/A Chelsea Handler Book,” the first was Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me, and the second was Ross Mathew’s book Man Up: Tales of My Delusional Self–Confidence which released in May 2013. On March 28th, 2010, Handler had three books ranked at #1, #2, and #3 on the Bestseller Lists simultaneously — a remarkable feat for any author.

She will next be seen starring in Chelsea Does, a Netflix documentary film series featuring Chelsea exploring four topics of personal and universal fascination: marriage, racism, technology, and drugs.

About Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 65 million members in over 50 countries enjoying more than 100 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet–connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

Media Contact:
Lindsay Colker
(310) 734–2914
lcolker@netflix.com

Sainsbury’s opens applications for its horticultural and agricultural apprenticeship

LONDON, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s is calling on young adults to consider a career in farming as it opens applications for its horticultural and agricultural apprenticeship programme this September.

  • Research reveals that over a third of 16-24 year olds match the criteria for a modern day career in farming
  • The industry will need 60,000 new employees by 2020 just to replace retiring farmers
  • Sainsbury’s is the first retailer to launch an apprenticeship scheme for horticulture and agriculture

Through research carried out by YouGov over three quarters [80%] of young adults still have outdated perceptions of what careers in the industry actually involve.  Promisingly, however, the study further uncovered that over a third of young adults selected criteria that match modern day careers in farming when they were asked to describe their ideal job – access to the latest technology (selected by 28%), flexible working hours (56%) and variety in their day to day work.

With 39% of respondents to the new YouGov poll saying they would like more information about careers in farming, Sainsbury’s hopes it will be able invigorate increased interest in farming as a career when today it opens applications for the first apprenticeship for horticulture and agriculture to be launched by a retailer.

The Sainsbury’s apprenticeship programme, which is run in partnership with Staffline, gives young people aged 16 and above the chance to work with some of the retailer’s most progressive food suppliers, many of whom use the latest innovations and technology in the sector – from learning the digital infrastructure of glasshouse computer systems to managing crop growth through the use of drones and smart phone apps.

Every 12 weeks the apprentices visit other growers in Sainsbury’s supply chain which means they get access to 44 days of off-the-job training. In between these visits the apprentices will be back at work learning the practical aspects of their chosen career from harvesting; identifying and dealing with pests, diseases and disorders; planting; monitoring moisture and nutrients; pruning and use of state-of-the art equipment and digital tools.

Robert Honeysett, Sainsbury’s Horticultural Manager, said: “Our research reveals there’s a significant gap between what young people think of farming, and some of the jobs that are available today. We’re passionate in playing our part to support the future of British farming, and help attract young people into the industry.

“A third of those surveyed [31%] assume they need a family connection to break into the sector, which isn’t the case. We hope our apprenticeship programme will help show that there are a number of alternative routes into farming, and we’d encourage school leavers and young professionals to consider it.  It’s one of the most dynamic industries in the UK to work in.”

Elizabeth Truss, Environment Secretary, said: “Food and farming is vital to Britain’s future, already contributing £100bn a year to the economy. The people who give this industry its extraordinary energy are some of the most innovative in the world and we want more young people to see food and farming as an attractive career.

“Over the next few years we will open up more opportunities for young people by trebling the number of apprenticeships across the sector. We hope to see more leading businesses, like Sainsbury’s, providing our next generation of farmers with the skills, confidence and opportunities to grow our industry.”

Liam Walker, Apprentice at one of Sainsbury’s tomato suppliers, Cornerways Nursery said: “I’d never previously considered growing tomatoes as a potential career path but I’ve been very surprised about what this role actually involves. From needing to know how to run a business and market a product, I’ve also been using my digital skills much more than I expected, for example to control the glasshouse through a modern computer system. I think a lot of people my age don’t realise just how varied roles in this sector really are.”

If you are interested in joining the scheme, or you would like to discuss further, please visit the Sainsbury’s webpage or email: farm.apprenticeships@sainsburys.co.uk

 

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Sainsbury’s opens applications for its horticultural and agricultural apprenticeship

Sainsbury’s opens applications for its horticultural and agricultural apprenticeship

IKEA and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall VYSSA SPELEVINK crib mattress

IKEA urges customers who have a VYSSA SPELEVINK crib mattress to immediately stop using it and return it to any IKEA store for a full refund.

Conshohocken, PA, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — This recall is launched in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

After testing, the VYSSA SPELEVINK mattress has shown non-compliance with the federal open flame standard for mattresses. Proof of purchase (receipt) is not required to receive a full refund.

Recalled mattresses are 52 inches long and 27 ½ inches wide. They are white with a blue edge and have an identification label attached to the mattress cover with the name VYSSA SPELEVINK. The federal tag is located near the foot of the mattress.

VYSSA SPELEVINK has been sold since 2010.

Proof of purchase (receipt) is not required for a full refund. For more information, please contact IKEA toll-free at (888) 966-4532.

IKEA apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

Press Contact Information

USA CORPORATE PUBLIC RELATIONS
Mona Astra Liss
1-610-834-0180 x 5852

USA PRODUCT PUBLIC RELATIONS
Janice Simonsen
1-610-834-0180 x 6349

USA EXPANSION
Joseph Roth
1-610-834-0180 x 6500

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IKEA and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall VYSSA SPELEVINK crib mattress

IKEA and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall VYSSA SPELEVINK crib mattress

H&M partners with Humane Society International to improve animal welfare in the fashion and beauty industry

Animal welfare is important to H&M and our ambition is to improve animal welfare in our supply chain and in our industry. To help us succeed with this bold ambition we have decided to also partner with the well-known animal welfare organization, Humane Society International.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — An essential part of our sustainability work is collaborating with stakeholders to push the industry forward and through a collective approach we can achieve a lot more within animal welfare as well. That is why we have decided to team up with one of the largest animal welfare organisations in the world, Humane Society International (HSI), with the shared aim to improve animal welfare in the fashion and beauty industry on a more holistic and strategic term.

HSI is one of the largest global animal welfare organizations globally, and they have the skills and knowledge we need to meet our vision and we have the size and global reach to help them in their work to promote the humane treatment of animals.

“It is always exciting to partner with a company that shares our passion for animal protection. Working with H&M to end cosmetics animal testing, and improve the lives of animals on farms, will set a high standard for others to follow. It will show that it not only makes good ethical sense to treat animals with kindness and compassion, but it makes good business sense too” says HSI’s CEO Andrew Rowan.

This collaboration creates a great opportunity for H&M to contribute to positive animal welfare development within our industry. It aims both to improve the welfare of animals on farms connected to our animal derived fibres, as well as to achieve a global ban on animal testing.

Read more about our work on Animal welfare.

GLOBAL MEDIA ENQUIRIES
Only press enquiries
Phone: +46 8 796 53 00
Email: mediarelations@hm.com

All other enquiries
H&M switchboard +46 8 796 55 00
Email info@hm.com

Head of Communications
Kristina Stenvinkel
+46 8 796 39 08

Head of Media Relations
Camilla Emilsson Falk
+46 8 796 39 95

Andris Vilcmeieris succeeds Jelena Kondrašova as CEO MAXIMA

Vilnius, Lithuania, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — MAXIMA GRUPĖ, controlling retail stores in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and Bulgaria, announced today that, after having headed MAXIMA Latvia for almost two years, Jelena Kondrašova takes leave to further pursue her career in Akropolis LV. In her new position as Member of the Board she will work with the team developing the Akropolis mall in Riga. Taking her place as of today is Andris Vilcmeieris.

“The past couple of years have not been easy for MAXIMA Latvia. I am grateful to Jelena for having taken on the responsibility and succeeding in, together with MAXIMA management in Latvia, stabilizing the Company‘s activity at this difficult time. Currently MAXIMA Latvia embarks on a new development phase. Its new Management objectives consist of ensuring Company activity continuity and further realization of MAXIMA Latvia’s strategic directions to achieve balanced Company growth in a competitive environment, as well as preserving an effective supply chain and strengthening its staff“, – says Neringa Janavičiūtė, General Director of MAXIMA GRUPĖ.

“Maxima Latvia has been moving towards strategic change during these past two years. It is one of Latvia‘s largest companies and private sector employers, and many people‘s principal choice for grocery shopping. Our team aims to operate responsibly, ensuring a more convenient daily shopping process for our clients. I am bringing my experience and hope to successfully apply it in attaining the Company‘s goals”, – says Andris Vilcmeieris, the new Head of Maxima Latvia.

Prior to joining MAXIMA Latvia, Andris Vilcmeieris was Member of the Board of Putnu fabrika Ķekava, a poultry farming and production company, and headed the agricultural corporation Lielzeltiņi. He also has experience in the sphere of logistics and transportation – Andris held leading positions in companies such as Venstpils nafta, Latvijas kuģniecība, Ventspils naftas termināls, and Lat Ros Trans. He has also worked in investment management. Andris Valcmeieris has a degree in Management and Finance, and began his career in Price Waterhouse Coopers Latvia.

MAXIMA GRUPĖ is a company, established in 2007, that controls retail stores in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and Bulgaria. It has 528 “MAXIMA X”, “MAXIMA XX”, “MAXIMA XXX”, “ALDIK”, and “T-MARKET” stores: 232 in Lithuania, 147 in Latvia, 75 in Estonia, 47 in Bulgaria, and 27 in Poland.

For more information:
Giedrius Juozapavičius,
Head of Corporate Affairs
MAXIMA GRUPĖ, UAB
Tel.: +370 659 15118
El. p. giedrius.juozapavicius@maximagrupe.eu
www.maximagrupe.eu

BRC-KPMG: Non-Food online sales in UK grew 6.5% in August vs a year earlier

– Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 6.5% in August versus a year earlier, when it had risen by 19.8% over the previous year, the strongest growth of 2014. This represents the slowest online growth since April 2013.

– In August 2015, online sales represented 17.2% of total Non-Food sales, against 16.3% in August 2014.

– All categories continued to show online growth despite experiencing a slowdown, with Household Appliances recording its slowest online growth since our records began in November.

– Online sales contributed 1.4 percentage points to the year-on-year change of Non-Food total sales in August. Without online, the August Non-Food decline would have been more severe.

LONDON, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “August was always going to be tough in comparison to last year which had seen the fastest growth since our online monitor started in November 2012, driven by very strong fashion sales. To make things worse, the summer bank holiday fell outside this month’s coverage, when a lot of people would have bought back-to-school clothes and back to university furnishings. Combined, those factors led to the slowest online growth for non-food since April 2013.

“Retailers continue to invest to offer a fast and good value online service and are now focusing even more on optimising delivery efficiency. For example, they are grouping multiple orders, offering next day delivery for a limited period or free delivery only above a certain basket size. This is being managed in what remains an extremely competitive environment where margins are under pressure from deflation in shop prices and rising operating costs. Consumers therefore are continuing to get great value.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “With the summer bank holiday delaying purchases and many consumers jetting off out of the UK in search of warmer climates, August saw a slowdown in e-commerce growth across almost all categories with non-food online sales up just 6.5 per cent versus 2014.
“Despite this, online penetration rates remain stable at 17.2 per cent and retailers will be hoping for cooler autumn weather to entice consumers back to the virtual aisles ahead of the Christmas rush.”

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

British Retail Consortium: better news for food sales this August with a clear improvement compared with July

  • UK retail sales decreased 1.0% on a like-for-like basis from August 2014, when they had increased 1.3% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 0.1%, against a 2.7% rise in August 2014.
  • In the three months to August, total Food sales were up 0.3%. The twelve-month average total Food growth turned positive for the first time since August 2014. Non-Food sales declined in August, for the first time since August 2014.
  • The fall of the Bank Holiday into the September period this year distorted the figures of the back-to-school-sensitive categories. Clothing, Footwear, Stationery, Furniture, Household Appliances experienced declines.
  • Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 6.5% in August versus a year earlier, when they had grown 19.8% and established the 2014 best performance. This was the slowest growth registered since April 2013. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 17.2%, up from 16.3% in August 2014.

LONDON, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “There was better news for food sales this August with a clear improvement compared with July. This, coupled with a positive twelve month average for the first time since August of last year, suggests there may be cause for optimism for food sales following a prolonged period of stagnation.

“While non-food sales over the last three months are up three per cent overall, they were down in August. However the figures were likely distorted by the fact that they do not include the Bank Holiday which will be accounted for in the September period this year. At this time of the year parents are busily shopping for back-to-school essentials like clothes, footwear and stationery and those sales will peak later this year. Large ticket item categories like furniture and household appliances also experienced a decline in sales, again likely affected by the Bank Holiday distortion.

“Retailers will hope to recoup that sales deficit in September and to start feeling the effect of higher real wages.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “As the summer bank holiday fell a week later this year, sales were pushed into September meaning top-line trends for August were inevitably dampened (along with the weather) versus 2014.

“Overall, August sales were down 1% on a like-for-like basis with fashion and footwear hit particularly hard as families delayed back-to-school purchases and wet weather deferred the impetus to shop. Furniture spending also fell due to the timing of the bank holiday.

“The grocers however, fared slightly better, with total food sales showing a positive direction of travel over the three months from June.

“September sales will get a shot in the arm from the bank holiday and the comradery of the Rugby World Cup. However, the fashion world will be hoping that last year’s ‘Indian summer’ does not repeat itself, resulting in heavy discounting to move seasonal items.”

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

Federated Co-operatives Limited will provide $500,000 for the Edwards School of Business Co-operative Education Program

Saskatoon, Canada, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Thanks to generous support from Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL), business students at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) will have more opportunities to gain valuable work experience while completing their degree.

Over the next five years, FCL will provide $500,000 for the Edwards School of Business Co-operative Education Program, which integrates classroom instruction with real-life work situations. Those benefitting from this funding include third-year Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm.) and first-year Master of Business Administration (MBA) students.

The announcement was made Sept. 4 at Prairieland Park at the Edwards Co-op Networking Open House — a coming-together of Edwards faculty, staff and students with the local business community.

“FCL is very pleased to partner with the Edwards School of Business on this dynamic program,” said FCL CEO Scott Banda. “This partnership builds on our investments in programs at the University of Saskatchewan. From our past experience, we know the Co-op Education Program develops young people who have the potential to be business and community leaders, and we are proud to be a part of building that legacy.”

Since its inception in 2007, the Edwards Co-operative Education Program has secured paid work placements for over 400 students in the private, public and non-profit sectors. FCL has supported the program by hiring 46 students for eight-month, full-time placements. The work placements are often a student’s first exposure to a professional business environment. Besides providing practical experience, the students return to the classroom with a renewed sense of confidence and a wealth of real-life experiences, enhancing the overall student experience. It also improves employability upon graduation. The current employment rate for Edwards co-op alumni is 100 per cent, with 19 alumni becoming permanent FCL employees.

“The co-op program is the single most effective platform for matching students’ ambition with employers’ needs,” said Daphne Taras, dean of the Edwards School of Business. “Students gain maturity and become job-ready, while employers get the opportunity to work with prospective employees. With FCL’s support, we can expand our reach and connect even more students with paid work experience.”

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RILA objectes DOL’s proposal to change workforce classification regulations

Proposed Rule Undermines Important Employee Benefits And Creates Enormous Burdens For Employers

Arlington, VA, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — ​In comments submitted today to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) strenuously objected to the proposal to change workforce classification regulations. Specifically, the proposal would change the rules by which employees are designated eligible for overtime, more than doubling the current salary level threshold for non-exempt employees and leaving the door open to establishing a rigid test for evaluating the primary duties of an employee.

“The dramatic changes proposed by the Department of Labor could undermine many of the things that retail employees value about their work, including flexibility, training and upward-mobility,” said Jennifer Safavian, executive vice president for government affairs.“Further, by undercutting employees’ ability to always prioritize serving customers, the rule could negatively impact the shopping experience. We believe that the proposal fails to recognize the realities of the modern workplace and we urge the Secretary of Labor to carefully consider the input provided by the business community.”

RILA’s comments were submitted by outside counsel, Jason Schwartz of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

“RILA agrees with the President that certain aspects of the white collar exemptions “have not kept up with our modern economy” and should be “modernize[d] and streamline[d].” Nonetheless, RILA does not agree that, that the proposed rule will either “modernize” or “streamline” the application of the exemptions,” said RILA in its comments to DOL. 

“The proposed rule would set the threshold salary above that earned by many bona fide exempt retail managers and would set in motion a self-perpetuating ladder of increases that bear no reasonable connection to exempt status or prevailing market conditions.  In addition, the changes to the duties tests that the Secretary is considering—but has not yet proposed—would embed outdated and inflexible concepts in the rules and foster confusion for employers and employees alike, leading to increased cost, burden and litigation without any meaningful benefit.”

In the comments filed today, RILA raised six substantial issues of concern:

  1. A rigid duties test would run counter to the realities of the modern workplace.
  2. Any change to the primary duties test must require a public comment period.
  3. The more than doubling of the salary threshold unfairly impacts the retail industry and employers located outside of major urban areas, where a substantially lower cost of living affects compensation.
  4. The proposed process for annual updates to the salary threshold would create unreasonable burdens without adequate justifications.
  5. Non-discretionary bonuses are an important component of salary and should be included in the salary threshold calculation.
  6. Sufficient implementation time should be provided.

Important Excerpts from RILA’s Comments to DOL:

On Minimum Duties Test

“The current regulations further reflect the reality of the modern workplace by acknowledging that employees can and often do multitask.  Ignoring this basic truth will simply create a regulatory regime out of touch with what actually happens every day on the job.”

“The current regulations provide that flexibility, within reasonable parameters, and should be retained as is.  A more rigid approach would handcuff businesses and force them to manage their exempt personnel by using a stop watch, rather than empowering these employees to achieve objectives within their responsibility and use their time as they see necessary to meet the needs of their operations.”

“…if the Department does believe that changes to the primary duties test are warranted at the conclusion of the instant rulemaking, specific proposals would need to be released to the public for with adequate notice and a reasonable opportunity to comment before adoption or else, as a matter of law, the Final Rule would be vacated for failure to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) and other legal obligations.”

Salary Threshold

“RILA agrees with the Secretary that the current minimum salary level for exemption, $455 per week ($23,660 per year), may no longer serve as a reliable indicator of exempt status and needs to be updated.  RILA disagrees, however, that the proposed increase to $970 per week ($50,440 per year), is a well-reasoned, rational substitute.”

Annual Salary Threshold Updates

“…the Secretary states that salary threshold updating should occur annually but that it would be impractical for the Department to conduct rulemaking every year.  Just as annual rulemaking would unduly burden the Secretary, annual updates to the salary minimum would unduly burden employers.  Such frequent changes to the salary level required for exemption would occupy substantial employer time and resources simply to keep up.  Instead of focusing on the annual performance evaluation and compensation planning process, which often begins months in advance of implementation, employers would instead be engaged in a mad rush to catch the moving train of salary level increases each year.  This would distort the proper functioning of compensation systems, forcing them to focus on whatever pronouncement the Secretary makes instead of tying compensation to market factors and performance.  Compression of salaries between the first level of exempt employees and the next tier will further interfere with the proper functioning of merit-based compensation systems.”

Inclusion of Non-Discretionary Bonus in Salary Calculation

“RILA notes two issues, however, with the Secretary’s suggested approach.  First, in the retail sector, bonuses are usually paid on a quarterly, semi-annual, or even annual basis due to the need to calculate the financial performance, customer service metrics, or other factors on which they are based.  Allowing credit only for those bonuses paid on a monthly basis would prevent many in the retail sector (and possibly other industries) from utilizing non-discretionary bonuses to satisfy the threshold salary level.  Second, for exempt employees, these bonuses often range from 10% to 20% or more of base salary.  RILA therefore urges the Secretary to permit credit toward up to 20% of the salary threshold test.”

Implementation Period

“Significant changes to the white collar exemption criteria such as those proposed here require substantial advance planning to implement throughout a workforce.  Whether employers react to the salary level increase by raising salaries, reclassifying employees as non-exempt, or some combination of those approaches, substantial time will be required to assess current positions, determine appropriate steps, plan, budget, and implement them.  RILA suggests that the Secretary recognize this business reality by making the regulations effective six months from the publication of a Final Rule in the Federal Register, and including an additional six month enforcement grace period during which the Secretary would focus on compliance assistance efforts.”

A link to the full comment letter can be found here.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

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Brian Dodge
Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Phone: 703-600-2017
Email: brian.dodge@rila.org