Abigail Kroon from Starbucks coffee development team created her first Starbucks Reserve® blend with the new Starbucks Reserve® Paradeisi Blend No. 1

SEATTLE, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — When Starbucks opened its first store more than 40 years ago, it brought customers fresh-roasted coffee that showcased the unique qualities of different growing regions from around the world. Customers could explore the terroir, the story of the places where the coffee is grown, and learn about the people who grow it. Starbucks Reserve® coffees take customers on a similar journey of discovery with small batches of single-origin coffees.

For the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, the coffee team has created custom blends of some of these extraordinary Starbucks Reserve® single-origin coffees for customers to enjoy.

Abigail Kroon from Starbucks coffee development team created her first Starbucks Reserve® blend with the new Starbucks Reserve® Paradeisi Blend No. 1. It’s the third coffee blend that’s roasted, scooped and served exclusively at the Starbucks Roastery.

“We started with the name Paradeisi, which is a seaside town on the Island of Rhodes in Greece,” said Kroon. “We asked ourselves, ‘What is paradise and how is it translated into a cup of coffee?’”

The coffee development team began to try different combinations of Starbucks Reserve® single-origin coffees. They landed on a blend that combined the body of Nicaragua El Suyatal, the bright, lively acidity of Uganda Sipi Falls and the crisp citrus notes of Costa Rica La Candelilla.

“Individual coffees taste differently when you blend them together, just like in cooking,” Kroon said. “The Costa Rica coffee complements both the sweet round body of Nicaragua plus the bright acidity of the Uganda.”

The blend’s lighter roast brings out the coffee’s flavor, according to Casey Wolfe, who has been roasting Starbucks Reserve® coffees at the Seattle Roastery over the past year.

“When you think of the progression in our Starbucks Reserve® Roastery blends, we started with Pantheon, which was a complex, medium roast,” Wolfe said. “Then we moved to Gravitas, a more bold, rich, syrupy coffee. Now we have Paradeisi, which is more energetic, but still with a nice depth and complexity to it.”

To best experience Paradeisi Blend No. 1, first smell the coffee by inhaling deeply. Notice the sweet aroma with caramel undertones. Then take a sip, and detect a burst of acidity. Continue to drink as the coffee cools to taste the lingering caramel and citrus notes.

“One of my favorite things about this coffee is that it changes dramatically depending on the brewing method, which speaks to the uniqueness of the three components,” said Kroon. “Cold brew mellows it out and lowers the acidity, which interprets the blend differently than a coffee press. My favorite is as espresso, it adds to the creaminess of the milk.”

After watching her coffee roast and leading a tasting of the coffee at the Roastery, Kroon smiled as she described the feeling.

“This is a very exciting moment for me, to see this coffee come to life that I had a hand in developing. When you taste it, I think you can close your eyes and imagine drinking it in paradise.”

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


Abigail Kroon from Starbucks coffee development team created her first Starbucks Reserve® blend with the new Starbucks Reserve® Paradeisi Blend No. 1

Abigail Kroon from Starbucks coffee development team created her first Starbucks Reserve® blend with the new Starbucks Reserve® Paradeisi Blend No. 1

US Teavana stores to offer complimentary “flight” or samples of cider-inspired teas during weekends Sep 12 – Oct 18

SEATTLE, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Over the past several years, there has been a surge in the popularity of hard ciders. Teavana’s innovative take on this trend includes loose leaf teas inspired by cider and infused with spices and dried fruits.

“There has been a revival of the American tradition of producing hard ciders,” said Naoko Tsunoda, tea authority and director of tea development at Teavana. “With this in mind, we reinvented the flavors of ciders into brewed tea and created new epicurean blends with botanical ingredients.”

Every Saturday and Sunday from September 12 through October 18, Teavana stores in the U.S. will offer a complimentary “flight” or samples of the cider-inspired teas, for customers who wish to taste them side by side. Those who purchase one pound of any tea cider or cider combination, will receive a 20 percent discount from participating stores.

In addition to the complimentary tea cider flight, customers may try individual samples of Spiced Apple Cider throughout the week from September 12 through October 18, while supplies last.

“If you follow the wine industry, flights are a standard now,” said Tsunoda. “For the first time, we will provide tea flights, so customers can taste and compare our three tea ciders that are light, medium and full-bodied in flavor.”

Flights of Tea: 

Poached Pear Cider

The most subtle flavor of the tea cider collection, the new Poached Pear Cider is a nuanced blend of pear with citrus, lemongrass and soft spices.

“We wanted to create a tea with the taste of an epicurean dessert, similar to the poached pear that you find in French cuisine. White hibiscus adds a bright flavor to the medley of sweet apples, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves,” she said.

Spiced Apple Cider

A seasonal favorite at Teavana, Spiced Apple Cider is medium-bodied and starts with red rooibos tea, blended with sweet cinnamon spice, apple, chicory, plum and red hibiscus.

“Spiced Apple Cider is one of our most popular blends that we offer in the fall,” said Tsunoda. “It tastes wonderful as a brewed tea or you can take it an extra step and mull it with apple cider.”

Mulled Pomegranate Cider

A full-bodied blend, the Mulled Pomegranate Cider is new to the tea cider collection and is made with pomegranate, a juicy medley of red and black berries and spices.

“Pomegranate is beloved as a super fruit and has a rich culinary history in Persian cuisine,” said Tsunoda. “Mulled Pomegranate Cider makes a deliciously vibrant iced tea and is also amazing sparkled with seltzer or with a blush rosé.”

How to Make a Teavana Spiced Apple Cider Beverage at Home:

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


US Teavana stores to offer complimentary “flight” or samples of cider-inspired teas during weekends Sep 12 - Oct 18

US Teavana stores to offer complimentary “flight” or samples of cider-inspired teas during weekends Sep 12 – Oct 18

Tesco donated 2,256,471 bowls of cereal to children at Magic Breakfast clubs during 2014/15 school year

CHESHUNT, England, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Children at Magic Breakfast clubs enjoyed a whopping 2,256,471 bowls of Tesco cereal during the school year 2014/15, the first year of the supermarket’s charity partnership with Magic Breakfast.

Magic Breakfast provides free, healthy breakfasts to more than 22,000 children in the UK who arrive at school too hungry to learn. Eating a nutritious breakfast helps to improve a child’s concentration, behaviour, well-being and educational attainment.

The four types of cereal being donated by Tesco – Cornflakes, Rice Snaps, Wheat Biscuits and Malt Wheats – have been carefully selected by Magic Breakfast to comply with the Government’s School Food Standards and with the charity’s own guidelines for a healthy diet low in sugar and salt.

Carmel McConnell, Founder Director of Magic Breakfast, said: “The very generous cereal donation given by Tesco has really boosted our healthy food offer to hunger hit schools across the country. We want to eliminate child hunger as a barrier to learning in our classrooms and feel very grateful for Tesco support and for their desire to help us expand. With partnerships like this I believe we can solve this problem for good”.

Josh Hardie, Corporate Responsibility Director for Tesco said: “It’s great news that our donation of over two million bowls of cereal has made such a big difference to Magic Breakfast. Their fantastic work means children don’t start school on an empty stomach, which can make a real difference to a child’s academic achievement. Magic Breakfast also does fantastic work to promote a healthy diet to children, something we’re absolutely committed to at Tesco. We’re really proud to work closely with them and look forward to donating more cereal throughout this year.”

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.

Magic Breakfast is a registered charity that provides free, nutritious breakfasts to more than 460 schools in the UK where over 35% of pupils are eligible for free school meals. Headteachers at Magic Breakfast’s partner schools report that eating a healthy ‘magic’ breakfast helps to improve pupils’ concentration, behaviour, attendance, punctuality and educational attainment. In the Autumn term 2015, over 22,000 children will eat a ‘magic’ breakfast each school day, helping them to make the most of their core, morning lessons.

In the week commencing 7th September, Magic Breakfast partner schools will be receiving 2,726 boxes of Tesco cereal – that’s 57,246 bowls of cereal. [Our calculations are based on 21 servings per 750g box of cereal, and a 35g per portion size].

Carrefour becomes the first major retailer to offer its customers an online virtual fitting service

Boulogne-Billancourt, FRANCE, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — As September gets under way, Carrefour continues to break new ground and has just become the first major retailer to offer its customers an online virtual fitting service. A new technology recently developed by start-up company Fitle and adopted by Carrefour for the launch of its new TEX collection. A collection of 40 women’s items that they can try on without leaving their homes… and then have another look at in stores.

Fitle: a new shopping experience by Carrefour
Fitle is a virtual online fitting room service developed by the start-up company of the same name. The way it works is simple: users create an avatar using their measurements and then they can use Fitle to try on clothes.

Carrefour has now started using this technology, so starting on 3 September 2015, customers will be able to “virtually” try on any one of the 40 items that make up the new TEX brand women’s collection.

A straightforward shopping experience:
>Once they have opened up an account on their phone’s Fitle app (available from Apple’s App Store and from Google’s Play Store), then all they have to do is create an avatar. This is an accurate virtual 3D copy made from 4 photos of the user taken from various different angles together with information about their size.
>Once they have created their avatar, then they can visit the TEX website and start “virtually” trying on new items in the range,
>Then all they have to do is view the results and then actually visit a store in order to make their purchase!

Innovation – central to the Carrefour experience
This innovation is part of a strategy that the retailer has been implementing for some time. In 2014, Carrefour tested virtual fitting rooms in 6 shopping centres, allowing customers to try on clothing without actually having to change into it. And in Villeneuve La Garenne, Carrefour has a virtual mirror which gives customers a 360° view of themselves and the option to generate a photo or video which they can then send to their friends and family or share on social networks.

TEX, a new “well designed, well worn” collection
TEX is the leading clothing brand sold in hypermarkets and has been designed to combine quality and style at low prices. The range has been reinvented for 2015 with a new slogan: “Well designed, well worn”. A major development for this brand that spans generations and time to unveil its new autumn / winter collection, 40 items of which can now be tried on online with Fitle.

For more information, visit http://www.tex.carrefour.fr


Carrefour becomes the first major retailer to offer its customers an online virtual fitting service

Carrefour becomes the first major retailer to offer its customers an online virtual fitting service

The Carrefour group involved in a global initiative to reduce CO2 emissions

Boulogne-Billancourt, FRANCE, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Carrefour group is involved in a global initiative to reduce CO2 emissions, with the aim of contributing to keep global warming below 2°C. The Group has set a target of reducing emissions in its stores between now and 2025 by 40% compared with their 2010 levels. It has already reduced its emissions by 30% in its stores in Europe.

Carrefour – together with its 11,900 stores throughout the world, its 380,000 employees, its suppliers and customers – will be fully focused on helping to ensure the success of the 21st World Climate Conference (COP21), to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015.

Carrefour’s international scale and its ability to innovate will favor the implementation of concrete solutions and encourage broad mobilization.

Carrefour is involved in initiatives to combat food wastage and the Group has donated the equivalent of 88 million meals to food aid charities throughout the world, recycled more than 50 billion tonnes of waste in 2014, and converted biowaste into biomethane. The Group has also implemented a series of initiatives to reduce energy wastage by installing refrigeration systems that consume less energy or installing units fitted with insulating doors. Already mobilised within the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), Carrefour will continue to develop and share its solutions to contribute to sustainable practices in retail and ensure the availability of high-quality products.


Macy’s raised $3.5 million through its annual “Shop For A Cause” campaign in support of charities nationwide

Macy’s helps March of Dimes® and thousands of local charities raise funds through annual shopping event

MIAMI, FL, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — In support of March of Dimes and more than 4,000 charities nationwide, Macy’s raised more than $3.5 million through its annual “Shop For A Cause” campaign, which took place onSaturday, August 29. Volunteers at Macy’s stores and those from participating organizations contributed to the program’s success and worked together to drive funds across the country.

“The Shop For A Cause program is one of our biggest fundraising events of the year and a great way for our stores to connect in our communities,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “Our associates and customers are making a difference locally and nationally through this campaign, which truly embodies the magic of Macy’s. It’s an honor to be able to raise funds and give back to so many worthy causes this year.”

Now in its 10th year, Shop For A Cause is a unique, one-day-only shopping event created to support local and national charities’ fundraising efforts. Macy’s designated March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization in support of pregnancy and baby health, as its national beneficiary of all proceeds of sales of Shop For A Cause savings passes in Macy’s stores and on macys.com.

“Thanks to Macy’s and their customers for giving every baby born in the United States a fighting chance by raising millions of dollars through Shop For A Cause,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “Over the past five years, nearly $15 million has been raised to help support local community-based programs that give moms the information they need to have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. We’re proud to report that last year with the help of Macy’s Shop For A Cause, March of Dimes chapters were able to award 554 grants totaling more than $5.1 million and reaching nearly 1 million women to help improve the health of their babies.”

In addition to the March of Dimes, more than 4,000 local charities signed up to participate in the event this year. By giving $5 to their favorite local cause, customers were able to support a cause meaningful to them and receive the savings pass to enjoy special discounts at Macy’s.

For more information about this year’s program, visit macys.com/shopforacause.

About Macy’s
Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), 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 asMacy’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. Macy’s flagship stores including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southernCalifornia are known internationally and leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers and employees, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $69 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.

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

About March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies®, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.

Source: Macy’s

Macy’s Media Relations
Melissa Goff, 305-577-2171

DHL Express to make 250-300 DHL service points at K-Group’s food stores and building and home improvement stores in Finland

DHL Express and the K-Group have signed a cooperation agreement which will make 250-300 DHL service points available at the K-Group’s food stores and building and home improvement stores in different parts of Finland.

HELSINKI, FINLAND, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — DHL Express and the K-Group have signed an agreement on large scale service point cooperation, covering both the establishment of parcel lockers at K-stores and a network of service points across Finland. With their cooperation, both Kesko and DHL want to meet the requirements of the booming e-commerce.

– We want to offer our customers a wide range of services and make shopping and daily life easier for them. Our partnering with the international DHL will bring the world closer to our customers. Starting already in a few weeks’ time, parcels transported by DHL can be conveniently picked up in connection with shopping with us, says Tommi Kasurinen, Vice President for finance, store sites and logistics of Kesko’s home improvement and speciality goods trade.

In the first stage, parcel lockers and service points will be set up at K-food stores and K-rauta stores in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Oulu, Tampere, Turku and Vaasa.

– For us, the growth of international e-commerce has meant that the number of shipments we transport has increased, as has the number of private customers. The share of business-to-consumer parcels has grown to more than 50 per cent of our total shipments. In addition to receiving, we now want to make sending parcels as simple as possible. The K-Group’s wide retail store network provides excellent opportunities to offer private customers new service options at locations where they shop anyway and make their transactions with us even more easier, says Peter Ervasalo, Managing Director of DHL Express Finland.

The first yellow parcel lockers will be set up in the K-Group stores during September-October and the first service points during the rest of the year. By the end of 2015, there will be some 30 lockers ready to receive parcels; at the service points, both receiving and sending is possible. It is planned that by the end of 2016, DHL Express services will be available at some 100 locations and in 2017, at approximately 250-300 locations. Kesko’s international operations enable corresponding cooperation to be launched also in other countries in the future.

At the initial stage, DHL parcel lockers will receive both international and domestic parcels shipped via DHL Express. In the next stage, it will be possible to send parcels through the parcel lockers, too. At DHL Service Points, both options will be available.

Further information:
Tommi Kasurinen, Vice President for finance, store sites and logistics of Kesko’s home improvement and speciality goods trade, tel. +358 105 320 125, tommi.kasurinen@kesko.fi
Mika Rautiainen, Vice President for marketing and concept services, Kesko’s grocery trade, tel. +358 105 322 090, mika.rautiainen@kesko.fi
Peter Ervasalo, Managing Director, DHL Express Finland, tel. +358 40 841 6120, peter.ervasalo@dhl.com

Kesko is the fifth most sustainable company in the world (The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World). We are a retail specialist whose chains have about 2,000 stores in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, and Belarus. Our stores offer quality to the daily lives of consumers. K – For shopping to be fun.

DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. DHL’s family of divisions offer an unrivalled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery, international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management. With more than 325,000 employees in over 220 countries and territories worldwide, they connect people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global trade flows. With specialized solutions for growth markets and industries including e-Commerce, technology, life science and healthcare, energy, automotive and retail, a proven commitment to corporate responsibility and an unrivalled presence in developing markets, DHL is decisively positioned as “The logistics company for the world”. DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated revenues of more than 56 billion euros in 2014.

Home Retail Group CEO on Q2 results: Argos improved sales; Homebase performed well across its peak trading season

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer, today updates on the trading of its second financial quarter, covering the 13 weeks to 29 August 2015.

John Walden, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, commented:

“Argos delivered an improved sales performance in the second quarter. It made good progress with new stores, opening more than 50 digital concessions within Homebase and Sainsbury’s, which have generated encouraging early results. Consistent with our previous guidance, Argos’ sales continued to be adversely impacted by the performance of a number of key electrical product categories as well as weaker overall market conditions in August.

“Homebase performed well across its peak trading season, delivering good like-for-like sales growth in both quarters of the first half, while continuing its progress on both its store closure programme and the Productivity Plan more broadly.

“The outcome for the Group’s full-year generally depends upon the important Christmas trading period at Argos which, this year, seems less predictable than usual due to a less certain promotional environment. Our teams have made solid progress preparing for this period, including substantially completing the technology and operational steps necessary to introduce new store collection and home delivery propositions to our customers. We will be making increased marketing and promotional investments to launch these propositions and we expect customers to increasingly embrace them over time.”


(13 weeks to
30 May
(13 weeks to
29 August
(26 weeks to
29 August
Sales £846m £897m £1,743m
Like-for-like sales change (3.9%) (2.8%) (3.4%)
Net space sales change 1.3% 2.4% 1.9%
Total sales change (2.6%) (0.4%) (1.5%)
Gross margin movement  Up c. 50bps Up c. 125bps Up c. 100bps
Sales £438m £378m £816m
Like-for-like sales change 5.4% 5.9% 5.6%
Net space sales change (7.0%) (8.7%) (7.8%)
Total sales change (1.6%) (2.8%) (2.2%)
Gross margin movement Down c. 175bps Down c. 75bps Down c. 125bps


Total sales at Argos declined by 0.4% to £897m. Net new space contributed 2.4% with the store portfolio increasing by 52 stores to 840. This increase comprised 44 digital concessions within Homebase and eight digital concessions within Sainsbury’s.

Like-for-like sales declined by 2.8% in the quarter. As anticipated, sales of electrical products continued to decline principally driven by TVs, tablets and white goods. These declines more than offset a good performance in toys.

Internet sales for the quarter represented 46% of total Argos sales, up from 44% for the same period last year. Within this, mobile commerce sales grew by 11% to represent 25% of total Argos sales, up from 22% in the prior year.

The approximate 125 basis point gross margin improvement was principally driven by the anticipated impact of favourable currency and shipping costs, together with the continued timing benefit of a small number of other positive items which are expected to reverse in the second half of the current financial year. These increases were partially offset by an increased level of promotional sales.


Total sales at Homebase declined by 2.8% to £378m as a result of the ongoing store closure programme, which resulted in eight store closures in the quarter and which reduced the store portfolio to 271. Closed space reduced sales by 8.7% in the quarter.

Like-for-like sales increased by 5.9% in the quarter with sales growth broadly across all product categories, but particularly in big ticket products. This growth continued to be partially supported by both the trade transfer and the stock clearance sales benefits attributable to the previously announced store closure programme and distribution centre closure.

The approximate 75 basis point gross margin decline was principally driven by the adverse impact of the previously announced stock clearance activity together with an adverse sales mix impact, mainly attributable to the growth in margin dilutive big ticket products. These declines were partially offset by a reduced level of promotional activity together with the anticipated impact of favourable currency and shipping costs.

There will be a conference call for analysts and investors to discuss this statement at 8.00am this morning. The call can be accessed as a live webcast on the Home Retail Group website  www.homeretailgroup.com. An indexed replay will also be available on the website later in the day.

Home Retail Group will announce its half-year results on Wednesday 21 October 2015. A Trading Statement covering the 18 weeks from 30 August 2015 to 2 January 2016 will be announced on Thursday 14 January 2016.

Information in this announcement is based upon unaudited management accounts. In addition, certain statements made are forward looking statements. Such statements are based on current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from any expected future events or results referred to in these forward looking statements.


Analysts and investors (Home Retail Group)
Richard Ashton, Finance Director 01908 600 291
Mark Willis, Director of Investor Relations

Media (RLM Finsbury)
Rollo Head, 020 7251 3801

John Lewis Partnership plc 1H-2015 Interim results: Solid first half for the Partnership in a difficult market

LONDON, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Unaudited condensed Interim Financial Statements for the half year ended 1 August 2015

Solid first half for the Partnership in a difficult market

Financial Summary

Waitrose John Lewis Partnership
£m YoY
£m YoY
£m YoY
Gross sales 3,180.8 1.1% 1,935.8 3.8% 5,116.6 2.1%
LFL sales(1) (1.3)% 3.0%
Revenue 2,998.7 1.1% 1,548.5 3.6% 4,547.2 1.9%
Operating profit before exceptional item(2)(3) 135.5 (6.7)% 47.1 (16.3)% 144.9 (17.7)%
Operating profit(3) 272.9 55.0%
PBT(4)before exceptional item(2)(3) 96.0 (26.0)%
PBT(3)(4) 224.0 72.6%

(1) Waitrose like-for-like sales excludes petrol
(2)  Exceptional income of £128.0m (2014/15: £nil) following the sale of the Clearings building
(3) Includes property profits of £nil (2014/15: £10.5m in Waitrose and £0.5m in Group). Excluding property profits, Waitrose operating profit is up 0.6%
(4)  Profit before Partnership Bonus and tax

Operating highlights

  • Robust sales performance and increased market share(5) in both Waitrose and John Lewis
  • Continued growth in customer numbers, up 7% in Waitrose and 6% in John Lewis
  • 18% increase in number of active myWaitrose card holders and strong take-up of ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ scheme with 700,000 customers now taking part
  • 5 new Waitrose branches and a new .com distribution centre in Coulsdon; first John Lewis full line department store in 4 years set to open in Birmingham following £35m investment
  • Waitrose national distribution centre (NDC) opened and announcement of third John Lewis NDC, both in Milton Keynes
  • International expansion with new John Lewis shop-in-shops in Singapore and the Philippines

Financial Highlights

  • Operating profit before property profits up £0.8m (0.6%) in Waitrose and down £9.2m (16.3%) in John Lewis; both impacted by incremental holiday pay costs(6) and a higher share of central costs as well as restructuring costs in John Lewis
  • Waitrose total volume growth of 1.8%; LFL sales decline of 1.3% reflecting tough grocery market conditions, with price deflation, and strong prior year comparative through promotion-driven online performance last year
  • Johnlewis.com gross sales(7) up 17.1% to £647m. Sales transacted in shops decreased 1.8%, partly due to comparison to 150 Year anniversary celebrations last year, but were up 1.7% over a two year period
  • PBT before exceptional items down 26.0%, predominantly due to higher pension charges, arising from volatility in the market driven assumptions, and last year’s property profits
  • As pension charges for the full year will be approximately £60m higher than the comparable figure for last year, and given the tough trading environment, PBT before exceptional items for the year ending 30 January 2016 expected to be between £270m and £320m versus £342.7m last year
  • Strong cash generation driven by lower capital investment and the sale of the Clearings building
  • Net debt(8) of £664.6m, £30.2m (4.3%) lower than July 2014 despite the issue of a £300m bond in December 2014, with net proceeds contributed to the pension scheme
  • Pension deficit of £1,156.4m, £92.9m (7.4%) lower than January 2015

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, commented:
‘This has been a solid first half for the Partnership in a difficult market. Both Waitrose and John Lewis are growing sales and increasing market share. Profit before tax and exceptionals was down by £33.8m to £96.0m, predominantly driven by higher pension charges arising from volatility in the market driven assumptions and last year’s property profits. Excluding these, at a trading level our profits were broadly level with last year, despite the turmoil in the grocery market. That reflects tight management of costs and the steps we have taken to strengthen the appeal of our trading brands, where we have seen an encouraging increase in the number of customers shopping with us.

Outlook 2015/16
Conditions in the market will remain difficult, especially in grocery where there is little sign of any price inflation. However, I expect sales in both Waitrose and John Lewis to perform comparatively well against the market, helped by promising new ranges and online capability.

For the full year, pension charges will be approximately £60m higher than the comparable figure last year, predominantly arising from volatility in the market driven assumptions. In the current market, even a strong trading performance is unlikely to offset this fully and therefore we expect to see Profit before Partnership Bonus, tax and exceptionals of between £270m and £320m, versus £342.7m last year. Despite this, through tight cash management, we expect to achieve a further reduction in our net debt.’

Financial Results
In the first six months of the year, the Partnership delivered robust sales growth. Both Waitrose and John Lewis grew sales ahead of their respective markets, increasing their market shares. Partnership gross sales (inc VAT) were £5.12bn, an increase of £105.2m, or 2.1%, on last year. Revenue, which is adjusted for sale or return sales and excludes VAT, was £4.55bn, up by £86.0m or 1.9%.

Partnership operating profit was £272.9m, up £96.8m, or 55.0% on last year. This includes exceptional income of £128.0m following the sale of the Clearings building. Excluding the exceptional item, operating profit was £144.9m, down £31.2m or 17.7% on last year.

Profit before tax was £224.0m, up by £94.2m, or 72.6% on last year. Excluding the exceptional item it was £96.0m, down by £33.8m or 26.0%.

Despite exceptionally tough conditions in the UK grocery market caused by falling prices and changing customer shopping patterns, our plans to create Modern Waitrose progressed well as we continued to outperform the industry on sales and increased our market share and volumes. Gross sales for the first half grew by 1.1% to £3.18bn, with like-for-like sales down 1.3%. We had on average 280,000 more customer transactions each week compared to the same period last year, total volume growth of 1.8% and our market share(9) grew to 5.1%.

Operating profit before property profits was up 0.6% to £135.5m, despite incremental costs for holiday pay and absorbing a greater share of centrally incurred functional costs. Effective management of our costs and capital expenditure, together with a focus on efficiency throughout the business, helped our profit position.

Because we are confident in our value, quality, provenance and service we have not joined the industry in across-the-board price cutting aimed at driving volume in the short-term. Our approach is to achieve sustainable sales growth through the targeted price investment of our ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ scheme which launched in June. This gives myWaitrose members the power to choose the ten products (from a list of nearly a thousand) on which they can save 20% every time they shop, whether in branch or online.

The scheme has had a strong take-up with 700,000 customers now taking part and is a clear example of how myWaitrose is enabling us to deepen our relationships with our customers. There has been a year-on-year 18% uplift in the number of active myWaitrose card holders.

Building our online business is also a key strategic driver. Although online grocery gross sales were down 13.0%, these were impacted by a strong promotion-driven performance last year. Average order value was up by 8.2%. We closed our Acton.com fulfilment centre in the half and our first purpose-built .com distribution centre opened in March on a seven acre site in Coulsdon, increasing our capacity to handle online orders in London by a third.

We opened five new branches in the first half, including one acquisition, two relocations and one convenience store, and announced the planned closure of two convenience stores. In August we opened a branch in Bagshot and there are five more core branches, two major redevelopments and one convenience store planned for the rest of this year.

Creating additional reasons for customers to visit branches in the online era is a key part of Modern Waitrose and the newly-opened core shops all have hospitality offers. Our hospitality business successfully taps into the growing trend for casual dining and showed increases of 23.5% in the first half.

We now have 114 cafes in our branches and 35 bakery grazing areas, with grazing planned for 26 more branches in the second half. In addition we now have outdoor seating in 82 branches.

Offering services is another way we attract customers into our branches. The popularity of Click & Collect continues to grow, with orders up nearly 50%, and we have introduced foreign exchange Click & Collect in 94 branches. Dry cleaning is now offered in 128 shops.

We continued to invest in transforming our IT capability, which is the enabler for strategic developments such as Pick Your Own and the growth of our online business. We are also using technology to improve customer service and to drive efficiency. Our customers were some of the first to use Apple Pay when it launched in the UK in July.

We also maintained investment in our supply chain and our first National Distribution Centre opened in Milton Keynes at the end of July and will handle 25,000 longer-life ambient products.

John Lewis
John Lewis saw solid sales growth in the first half, with gross sales of £1.94bn and like-for-like sales up 3.0%. Operating profit fell by 16.3% to £47.1m, impacted by restructuring costs, incremental costs for holiday pay and absorbing a greater share of centrally incurred functional costs. It also reflects the costs associated with the ongoing shift in both channel and fulfilment mix, a consequence of operating in an omni-channel world.

We continued to outperform both the BRC and IMRG- a good performance in the context of lower consumer confidence at the beginning of the year. The results are also achieved against a strong Spring / Summer season last year, with 2014 boosted by our 150 Year anniversary promotions and exceptional demand for Electricals and Home Technology (EHT) products in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup.

Gross sales in our fashion and home directorates accelerated during the period whilst EHT experienced a slower market.

  • Fashion was the standout performance, up 7.5%, with our strategy of combining an ambitious John Lewis own-brand offer with the best of other brands continuing to pay dividends. Menswear was particularly strong, up 10.5%, with John Lewis Kin tailoring up 23.9%. A new womenswear collaboration with the designer Bruce Oldfield started in September.
  • Sales in Home were up 4.9% – a good performance against the impact of the General Election and a late start to summer sales. Outdoor living was up 33.5%. Own-brand continues to be our star performer with our newest range, Croft, achieving an increase of 87.5%.
  • In EHT, sales fell by 0.7% against strong figures from the same period last year and impacted by a lack of new product launches in the home technology market. In the first half we launched sim-free mobile phones and announced a partnership with Vodafone to sell John Lewis mobile contracts. We have also announced that Apple Watch will be available in our shops, which will give us more momentum in technology sales for the second half.

Johnlewis.com gross sales(10) grew by 17.1% to £647m. Online returns to shops are currently deducted from shops sales, but from 2016/17 onwards we intend to change our reporting so that online returns to shops are deducted from online sales. After four years of consecutive growth, sales transacted in our shops were down by 1.8%, partly due to comparison to our 150 Year anniversary celebrations last year, but up 1.7% over a two year period. Our main focus continues to be on investing in both our shops and online to maintain and develop our omnichannel proposition.

John Lewis Birmingham, opening in September, will be our first full line department store to open in four years and represents a £35m investment in the heart of the UK’s second city. It will be the first to feature new concepts including an &Beauty spa. September also saw the reopening of our home department at Oxford Street after a £14m investment, which will showcase London’s largest single selection of home products and services, and underline our leadership in this key market. The first half saw the opening of a new at home shop in Horsham, which will be followed by a further at home shop in Basingstoke in October.

Our range of in-store services and experiences continued to expand during the half with the opening of three foreign exchange bureaus and the announcement of ten further Joe & the Juice or Rossopomodoro restaurants, and another in-store Opticians. We have expanded our international footprint, with shop-in-shops in Singapore and the Philippines joining our existing Korean sites.

Alongside our shop investment we continue to focus on the strength of our distribution model, with the announcement of a third national distribution centre in Milton Keynes. We are determined to build a sustainable model so that we deliver on our customer promises at Christmas. In addition, the introduction of a £30 threshold for free Click & Collect has gone smoothly.

Looking forward, Black Friday and Christmas will again be defined by the importance of logistics and operational excellence, coupled with ensuring our shops remain the ‘must visit’ destination on the high street. We go into the second half with confidence in both our ability to deliver outstanding customer service and in our strongest-ever product assortment.

Partnership Services and Group
Partnership Services and Group includes the operating costs for our Group offices and shared services, as well as the costs for transformation programmes and certain pension operating costs. Partnership Services and Group net operating costs decreased by £14.6m or 47.2% reflecting lower costs for transformation programmes and an increase in the share of functional costs charged to Waitrose and John Lewis. However, overall costs increased by £12.3m to £37.7m predominantly due to the increase in pension operating costs resulting from changes in financial assumptions.

Investment in the future
Capital investment in the first half of the year was £237.9m, a decrease of £94.2m (28.4%) on the previous year. However, we have continued to increase our investment in IT and distribution, which now represents 48% of our total capital investment.Investment in Waitrose was £114.8m, down £105.4m (47.9%) on the previous year, and in John Lewis investment was £109.2m, up £17.9m (19.6%).

The pension operating cost was £122.4m, an increase of £30.3m or 32.9% on the prior year costs, predominantly reflecting the substantial decline in the real discount rate used to determine the cost to 0.35% at the beginning of the year from 1.10% at the beginning of the previous year. Pension finance costs were £18.5m, a decrease of £1.3m or 6.6% on the prior year, reflecting a reduction due to the lower discount rate partly offset by a higher accounting pension deficit at the beginning of the year than at the beginning of the previous year. As a result, total pension costs were £140.9m, an increase of £29.0m or 25.9% on the prior year.

Following the conclusion of the triennial actuarial valuation of our defined benefit pension scheme as at 31 March 2013, we agreed to increase the ongoing contribution rate to 16.4% of members’ gross taxable pay and put in place a plan to eliminate the deficit over a 10 year period through a one-off contribution and annual deficit reduction contributions. However, to secure long term debt at low interest rates, we issued a £300m bond in December 2014 and used the net proceeds of the issue to prepay almost 7 years of the previously-agreed deficit reduction contributions to the pension scheme. As a result, in the first half of the year total cash contributions to the pension scheme totalled £82.8m, a decrease of £17.8m or 17.7% on the prior year. Our next triennial actuarial valuation will take place as at 31 March 2016.

The total accounting pension deficit at 1 August 2015 was £1,156.4m, a decrease of £92.9m (7.4%) since 31 January 2015, mainly reflecting a marginal increase in the real discount rate used to value the liabilities. Net of deferred tax, the deficit was £944.1m. The accounting valuation of pension fund liabilities decreased by £11.0m (0.2%) to £5,290.0m, while pension fund assets increased by £81.9m (2.0%) to £4,133.6m.

The pension continues to be one of the most important benefits offered to Partners, but it also accounts for the greatest single investment made each year by the Partnership. The move to a hybrid pension scheme combining defined benefit and defined contribution pensions, where future pension risk is shared between Partners and the Partnership, was approved earlier this year. However, the changes will only start impacting our pension operating costs during 2016/17 and will take a number of years to be fully effected.

At 1 August 2015, net debt(11) was £664.6m, a decrease of £57.1m (7.9%) in the half year and £30.2m (4.3%) lower than 26 July 2014. Net debt decreased year-on-year, despite the issue of a £300m 4.25% bond in December 2014 with net proceeds contributed to the pension scheme. The reduction reflects our focus on cash generation, the reduction in capital investment and the completion of the sale of our Clearings building. We expect our net debt at the end of the year will be materially lower than at January 2015.

Net finance costs on borrowings and investments increased by £6.1m (24.4%) to £31.1m, reflecting the additional finance costs on the £300m bond issued in December 2014. After including the financing elements of pensions and long service leave and non-cash fair value adjustments, net finance costs increased by £2.6m (5.6%) to £48.9m.

Our sustainability strategy is bringing together the outcomes of our recent materiality assessment. We have prioritised the issues in our supply chains, our operations and our communities which are of greatest importance to our Partners, our stakeholders and the long-term commercial health of the business. Further details on our strategy and performance are included in our Annual Report & Accounts.

(5) Kantar
(6) Incremental costs to take paid overtime into account when calculating holiday pay for Partners
(7) Online returns to shops deducted from shop sales
(8) Net debt has been restated for 2014/15. See note 2 of the interim statement on page 12 for further details
(9) Kantar
(10) Online returns to shops deducted from shop sales
(11) Net debt has been restated for 2014/15. See note 2 of the interim statement on page 12 for further details

For more information view the unaudited condensed interim financial statements for the Half-year ended 1 August 2015(PDF 906KB).

Notes to editors
The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 44 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 340 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £10bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 88,700 staff are Partners in the business.

Waitrose – the Nation’s Favourite Supermarket¹ and winner of the Best Supermarket² and Best Food and Grocery Retailer³ awards – currently has 340 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 28 shops at Welcome Break locations.  It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. Waitrose also exports its products to 53 countries worldwide and has seven shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service,Waitrose.com, as well as direct services websites including a specialist wine website (waitrosecellar.com).

¹ Conlumino Awards, 2014
² Good Housekeeping Best Supermarket 2014, Which? Best Supermarket 2014, 2015
³ Verdict Best Food and Grocery Retailer 2015

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. John Lewis, ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2015’ , ‘Best Electricals Retailer 2015’ and ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2015’4, 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.4 Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2015

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:

Where this interim report contains forward-looking statement these are made by the Directors in good faith based on the information available to them up to the time of their approval of this report. These statements should be treated with caution due to inherent uncertainties underlying any such forward-looking information.

For further information please contact:

John Lewis Partnership
Andrew Moys, Director of Communications
Telephone: 07525 272377

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby
Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

John Lewis
Peter Cross, Director, Communications
Telephone: 07764 697674
Ann Bryon, Head of External Communications
Telephone: 07767 304853

Christine Watts, Communications Director
Telephone: 07764 676414
Gill Smith, Senior Manager, Corporate PR
Telephone: 07887 898133

Waitrose’s Pick Your Own Offers initiative proved a success with 700,000 customers signing up in just three months

Waitrose boosts scheme with hundreds of extra products

LONDON, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — ‘Pick Your Own Offers’, the game-changing initiative from Waitrose, has proved a success with 700,000 customers signing up to the scheme in just three months, with more products now being added to the offer.

The ground-breaking scheme gives customers the chance to control their own savings. Every myWaitrose member has the power to choose which ten products they’d like to save 20 per cent on every time they shop – online or in a branch.

From today, customers will have even more products to choose from as the supermarket is adding over 250 extra items to ‘Pick Your Own Offers’, including babycare, free from (including gluten free), health and beauty and additional grocery items.

Customers will also have the option to change their picks from this week sothey can make the most of the new products and change their choices for thenew season. Customers can make ten changes which will remain in place until 10 November, and from 11 November they will be able to make ten more changes, in time for the Christmas period.

Rupert Thomas, Marketing Director, Waitrose, ‘We know our customers like straightforward offers they can trust and that are relevant to them – and their incredibly positive response to Pick Your Own Offers demonstrates exactly that’.

Rupert Thomas, Marketing Director, Waitrose, continues: ‘The idea of saving regularly really appeals to shoppers, with many selecting items that they usually buy to generate on-going savings. In combination with Brand Price Match and our other promotions, ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ shows that we offer exceptional value for great quality products.’

Top Ten Picks Since Launch

(June 2015)

Price Price With Pick Your Own Offers
essential Waitrose bathroom tissue, white £3.50 £2.80
Waitrose Blacktail free range eggs, large £1.99 £1.59
Waitrose cherry vine tomatoes £2.20 £1.76
essential Waitrose British chicken breast fillets £7.19 £5.75
Waitrose Scottish Salmon fillets £6.99 £5.59
Lurpak spreadable slightly salted £3.25 £2.60
essential Waitrose British small whole chicken £4.39 £3.51
Waitrose Hereford Beef Mince Lean 10% fat £4.29 £3.43
essential Waitrose mini chicken breast fillets £4.29 £3.43
Waitrose Blacktail free range eggs £2.05  £1.64
Total £40.14 £32.11

Total saving £8.03

The list of products for ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ has been selected from the most popular items Waitrose customers usually put in their shopping baskets and offers a combination of branded and own brand groceries.  The ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ website has also been updated to help customers find the right items easier and quicker. The ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ promotion is part of the range of benefits Waitrose offers through the myWaitrose scheme which now has over 5 million members, with 70% of Waitrose sales made using a myWaitrose card.

Waitrose already offers a high number of promotions giving customers value through quality and price. This includes its Price Match Scheme where Waitrose prices on more than 8000 branded grocery products are identical to Tesco’s, excluding promotions. Waitrose has also lowered the price on hundreds of own label lines and increased promotional participation and depth of promotions offered.

Notes to editors
How does ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ work?

  • Customers can sign up to Waitrose.com or log on to their Waitrose.com account  to make their selection online, choosing ten  products from hundreds available for a 20 per cent discount.
  • Once confirmed, the customer’s selection then remains fixed for a set period.
  • Each time the customer buys their selected products in store or online, the 20 per cent discount will be automatically applied.
  • For this to happen, the customer’s myWaitrose card must be swiped in store, and linked to their Waitrose.com account online.

Waitrose – the Nation’s Favourite Supermarket¹ and winner of the Best Supermarket² and Best Food and Grocery Retailer³ awards – currently has 338 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 60 convenience branches, and another 28 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 50 countries worldwide and has seven shops in the Middle East. (www.waitrose.com)

¹ Conlumino Awards, 2014
² Good Housekeeping Best Supermarket 2014, Which? Best Supermarket 2014
³ Verdict Best Food and Grocery Retailer 2014


For further information please contact:

Hannah Chance, Corporate Communications Manager
Email: hannah.chance@waitrose.co.uk
Telephone: 01344 826804

LVMH: Le Bon Marché’s annual autumn cultural theme features Brooklyn and its “Makers”

PARIS, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Following last year’s spotlight on Japan, Le Bon Marché’s annual autumn cultural theme features Brooklyn and its “Makers”. The Makers are a new generation of designer-entrepreneurs who have redefined the entire New York scene over the last decade. Now their inventive energy is being exported to the Left Bank department store for an exhibition in their honor.

Ardent promoters of the “Do-It-Yourself” philosophy, The Makers have little by little been reinventing New York chic. They embrace an art of living that promotes a circular economy, local work and controlled production. Over a hundred Brooklyn Makers, including fashion designers, ceramicists, chefs, florists, chocolate makers, carpenters and upholsterers, will be at Le Bon Marché from September 3 – October 17. The selection of products, for the most part on exclusive display for the first time in France, includes recycled bags by Brooklyn Industries, vintage-inspired menswear by Knickerbocker, and hand-made colored knit hats and sweatshirts by All Knitwear.

In addition to displaying the Makers’ wares, Le Bon Marché has prepared an eclectic and original program for the month of September, inspired by the constant stream of events taking place around the city. Celebrity tattoo artist Scott Campbell is opening a pop-up tattoo studio in the heart of the department store. The Brooklyn Amusement Park, a monumental installation inspired by Coney Island, has been built on the upper level. Foodies can explore the Brooklyn Rive Gauche delicatessen at the Grande Epicerie, where they can buy crispy kale by New York Naturals, jarred pickles by Brooklyn Brine and honey infused with chilies from Mike’s Hot Honey.


LVMH: Le Bon Marché’s annual autumn cultural theme features Brooklyn and its “Makers”

LVMH: Le Bon Marché’s annual autumn cultural theme features Brooklyn and its “Makers”

LVMH: Chaumet’s new high jewelry collection pays tribute to Empress Joséphine

PARIS, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chaumet’s new high jewelry collection pays tribute to Empress Joséphine, for whom the House designed some of its most exquisite pieces after her marriage to Napoléon in 1796.  A graceful collection inspired by Joséphine’s love of nature.

Born and raised amidst the lush landscapes of Martinique, Joséphine acquired a love for nature, leisure and fantasy, a sense of finesse and unparalleled taste. A delicate counterpoint to the rigorous masculine imperial style, she preferred poetic, sensual arabesques and floral motifs to the Emperor’s trappings of power. She imagined her finery laden with precious treasures, set with rare and colorful gemstones.

Chaumet’s new collection celebrates Joséphine’s esthetic audacity with 45 exceptional pieces, inspired by Belle Epoque drawings made by the House between 1900 and 1915 in her memory. The collection includes four motifs with a pared-down, geometrical style, highlighting Chaumet’s contrasts.Rondes de Nuit plays with shimmering diamonds to recreate the luminosity of a starlit night; Aigrette Impériale evokes the glistening morning dew. Eclat Floral is like a bouquet of diamonds built around a colored precious stone, while the more timid Aube Printanière evokes delicate flower buds that are barely beginning to bloom. In necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings these motifs reinvent Joséphine’s esthetic world.


LVMH: Chaumet’s new high jewelry collection pays tribute to Empress Joséphine

Motif Aigrette Impériale

EROSKI arranca una campaña para recaudar fondos para proyectos de UNICEF ante la crisis de Siria

  • Los clientes podrán sumar su donación a los fondos aportados por la Fundación EROSKI con un objetivo de donación en torno a los 75.000 euros
  • Los fondos recaudados irán destinados a proteger los derechos de los niños y niñas afectadas por el conflicto de Siria, proporcionando suministros de emergencia, agua potable, servicios de salud, educación y protección


Elorrio, España, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — EROSKI pone en marcha hoy en todos sus supermercados, hipermercados y gasolineras una campaña para recaudar fondos para proyectos desarrollados por UNICEF ante la crisis de Siria. En sus establecimientos los clientes podrán realizar un donativo voluntario para ayudar a cubrir las necesidades básicas de la población infantil afectada que necesita ayuda urgente.

Las tiendas EROSKI exhiben desde hoy carteles de la campaña que apelan a la solidaridad de los consumidores para que realicen una donación voluntaria a su paso por cajas. Asimismo, se pueden realizar aportaciones a través de la plataforma online de donaciones: “Refugiados: necesitan tu ayuda”.

“Desde EROSKI siempre hemos respondido ante los casos de emergencia lanzados desde las agencias de Naciones Unidas (ONU) como UNICEF. Estamos seguros de que, una vez más, los consumidores responderán comprometidamente ante este llamamiento”, ha declarado Alejandro Martínez Berriochoa, director de Responsabilidad Social de EROSKI.

La campaña espera lograr una donación en torno a 75.000 euros que irán destinados íntegramente a UNICEF. “EROSKI es un aliado clave de UNICEF en emergencias y crisis humanitarias. Acciones como esta campaña son muy importantes para llegar a donde hace más falta, y de la manera más rápida posible. Nuestra misión es proteger los derechos de la infancia más vulnerable por encima de todo, y solos no podemos” ha señalado Carlos Epalza, Patrono UNICEF Comité Español y Presidente del Comité País Vasco.

Desde sus orígenes, EROSKI desarrolla múltiples iniciativas de acción social, principalmente relacionadas con la promoción de los hábitos de vida saludables, la formación al consumidor, la defensa del medio ambiente y la solidaridad. Fruto de su constante compromiso social, EROSKI lleva 13 años apoyando a UNICEF para que miles de niños y niñas tengan derecho a una vida mejor en todo el mundo.

EROSKI y Fundación EROSKI, junto a sus clientes, han realizado donaciones en torno al medio millón de euros durante las últimas campañas solidarias activadas para causas humanitarias en destinos como Haití (2010), Lorca – Murcia (2011), Filipinas (2013), Nepal (2015) y en esta ocasión, la crisis de Siria.


EROSKI arranca una campaña para recaudar fondos para proyectos de UNICEF ante la crisis de Siria

EROSKI arranca una campaña para recaudar fondos para proyectos de UNICEF ante la crisis de Siria

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. to sell approximately $1.7 billion notes

MOORESVILLE, N.C., 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) announced today it has agreed to sell $250 million of Floating Rate Notes due 2018, $750 million of 3.375% Notes due 2025 and $750 million of 4.375% Notes due 2045. Estimated net proceeds from this offering will be approximately $1.7 billion, after deducting offering expenses and underwriters’ discounts. Lowe’s intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the Notes for the repayment of $500 million aggregate principal amount at maturity of its 5.000% Notes due October 15, 2015 and for other general corporate purposes. Closing is expected to occur on September 16, 2015.

J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey are acting as joint book-running managers for the notes offering. This offering was made under an effective registration statement on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This press release is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy these securities. Any offers to sell, or solicitations to buy, will be made solely by means of a prospectus and related prospectus supplement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A copy of the prospectus and related prospectus supplement for this offering may be obtained from J.P. Morgan,  Attention: Investment Grade Syndicate Desk, 383 Madison Ave., New York, NY10179, Telephone: (212) 834-4533; BofA Merrill Lynch, Attention: Prospectus Department, 222 Broadway, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038, Telephone: (800) 294-1322, Email: dg.prospectus_requests@baml.com; or SunTrust Robinson Humphrey,  Attention: Prospectus Department, 303 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30308, Telephone: (800) 685-4786.

Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Included herein are forward-looking statements, including statements with respect to an anticipated financing. There are many factors that affect management’s views about future events and trends of the business and operations of the company, including changes to the economy and the market for the offering, all as more thoroughly described in the prospectus and related prospectus supplement and the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking information included in this release or any of its public filings.

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving approximately 16 million customers a week in the United States, Canada andMexico through its stores and online at Lowes.com, Lowes.ca and Lowes.com.mx. With fiscal year 2014 sales of $56.2 billion, Lowe’s has more than 1,845 home improvement and hardware stores and 265,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

SOURCE Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Michaels Companies recognized 14 recipients of its Vendor and Supply Chain Partner of the Year Awards

Top Partners Recognized at Annual Partner Conference

IRVING, Texas, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Michaels Companies, Inc. (Nasdaq:MIK), the world’s largest arts and crafts specialty retailer, recognized 14 recipients of its Vendor and Supply Chain Partner of the Year Awards at the company’s annual partner conference in Dallas on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

“These awards honor the dedicated vendors and suppliers who have demonstrated a commitment to surpassing expectations and continually providing excellence in service, quality and innovation,” said The Michaels Companies, Inc., Chairman and CEO Chuck Rubin. “Michaels’ success is due in large part to our collaboration with our outstanding partners, and we would like to thank each and every one of them for their dedication to the brand and for helping us provide our customers with quality products that inspire creativity every day.”

This year, Executive Vice President of Merchandising Philo Pappas recognized ColArt as Michaels’ overall Partner of the Year for product innovation, customer inspiration, quality products and efficiency in supply chain. Aaron Brothers General Manager Michelle Ruocco awarded Pinnacle as the Aaron Brothers Partner of the Year for its contribution to the growth of Aaron Brothers’ frame department. Mike Cairnes, president of Artistree, the frame and moulding manufacturing operation for Michaels and Aaron Brothers stores, named Nielsen Bainbridge Group as theArtistree Partner of the Year, recognizing its continuous contribution to the company’s custom framing assortment.

Michaels also recognized the following vendors for their dedicated partnership and contributions:

  • Private Brand Partner of the Year
    • United Chinese Group
    • Unique Treasures
    • Deco Art
  • New Product of the Year
    • Fujifilm
    • Spin Master
  • Exclusive Product Line of the Year
    • Premier Yarns
    • Lion Brand Yarns
    • American Crafts
  • Real Estate and Facilities Partner of the Year
    • Facility Maintenance

As the need for speed-to-market remains critical, Michaels continues to focus on strengthening and improving the efficiency of its supply chain. As a result of this continued focus, the company recognized the supply chain partners who have demonstrated hard work to become a natural extension of Michaels’ business by offering innovative solutions. This year, Michaels Executive Vice President of Supply Chain Tom DeCaro honored the following supply chain partners for their contribution to supply chain efficiency.

  • Supply Chain Partners of the Year
    • Con-way Truckload – Domestic Transportation
    • Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. – International Transportation

About The Michaels Companies, Inc.
The Michaels Companies, Inc., is North America’s largest specialty retailer of arts and crafts. As of August 1, 2015, the Company owns and operates 1,186 Michaels stores in 49 states and Canada and 118 Aaron Brothers stores, and produces 12 exclusive private brands including Recollections®, Studio Decor®, Bead Landing®, Creatology®, Ashland®, Celebrate It®, ArtMinds®, Artist’s Loft®, Craft Smart®, Loops & Threads®, Imagin8® and Make Market™.

Media Contact: Megan Duran or Loren Rutledge


Source: The Michaels Companies, Inc.News Provided by Acquire Media

H&M included to Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index for the first time

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — H&M has been included to the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index for the first time and the World Index for the fourth consecutive year.

The Dow Jones Sustainability indices list the most sustainable companies based on an extensive annual assessment conducted by independent asset managers from the investment specialist RobecoSAM.

We are proud to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the fourth year in a row. And the inclusion in the Europe Index proves our strong ambitions and progress. It is a great recognition of H&M’s sustainability engagement and the hard work we do every day,” says Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability at H&M.

Launched in 1999, the DJSI World is the first global index to track the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies based on  financially material economic, environmental, and social factors. The index serves as benchmark for investors who integrate sustainability considerations into their portfolios, and provide an effective engagement platform for companies who want to adopt sustainable best practices.

For more information: Dow Jones Sustainability Indices

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

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB to present 9-month results for 2015 at press conference on Thursday 24 September

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB presents the nine-month results for 2015 at a press conference on Thursday 24 September at 9.30 CET. There will also be a telephone conference in English at 14.00 CET the same day.

The nine-month results for the period 1 December 2014 to 31 August 2015 is released at approximately at 8.00 CET on 24 September and thereafter published on hm.com.

The press conference starts at 9.30 CET in “Ljusgården” in H&M’s premises on Mäster Samuelsgatan 49, 3rd floor, in Stockholm. H&M’s CEO Karl-Johan Persson and Head of Investor Relations Nils Vinge will present the nine-month results followed by an open Q&A session. The press conference is held in Swedish.

Participants in the telephone conference are kindly asked to register at
to receive log in details for the telephone conference.
Registration can be made from 10 September until the telephone conference is complete 24 September.

Presentation material will be available at hm.com under Investor Relations at approximately 10.30 CET on 24 September and arecording from the telephone conference as of 25 September.


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

British Land won 2015 Gold Award for reporting in line with EPRA Sustainability Best Practices Recommendations sBPR

LONDON, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Sep 10, 2015), British Land is delighted to announce that it has won a 2015 Gold Award for reporting in line with the EPRA Sustainability Best Practices Recommendations sBPR.

This is the fourth year in a row that British Land has achieved Gold in these awards which are based on a review of public disclosure of sustainability performance of the 86 publicly listed real estate companies in the FTSE EPRA/NARIET Developed EMEA Index as of March 31 2015.

The EPRA sBPR are intended to raise the standards and consistency of sustainability reporting for listed real estate companies across Europe. As with the EPRA Financial BPR awards, those companies judged to have the best compliance with the sBPR have been given gold, silver and bronze awards.

Justin Snoxall, Head of Sustainability, British Land said, ‘This award underpins our commitment to ensure that our sustainability reporting and disclosure is accessible and transparent and has been so since we started reporting in 2002. Our reporting is also independently assured so that stakeholders can be confident that we are reporting accurately on the most material issues to our business’

Helen Lo, British Land 07912 572619


About British Land

We are one of Europe’s largest publicly listed real estate companies. We own, manage, develop and finance a portfolio of high quality commercial property, focused on retail locations around the UK and London Offices & Residential. We have total assets in the UK, owned or managed of £18.9 billion (British Land share of which is £13.6 billion), as valued at 31 March 2015. Our properties are home to over 1,200 different organisations ranging from international brands to local start ups. Our objective is to deliver long-term and sustainable total returns to our shareholders and we do this by focusing on Places People Prefer. People have a choice where they work, shop and live and we aim to create outstanding places which make a positive difference to people’s everyday lives. Our customer orientation enables us to develop a deep understanding of the people who use our places. We employ a lean team of experts, who have the skills to translate this understanding into creating the right places, and we have an efficient capital structure which is able to effectively finance these places.

UK Retail assets account for 55% of our portfolio. As the UK’s largest listed owner and manager of retail space, our portfolio is well matched to the different ways people shop today, from major regional shopping centres to single occupier locations. We are focused on being the destination of choice for retailers and their customers by being the best provider of spaces and services. Comprising around 22 million sq ft of retail space across shopping parks, superstores, shopping centres, department stores and leisure assets, the retail portfolio is modern, flexible and adaptable to a wide range of formats.

Our Office and Residential portfolio, which accounts for 45% of our portfolio is focused on London, We have an attractive mix of high‑quality buildings in well‑managed environments and a pipeline of development projects, which will add significantly to our portfolio. Increasingly, our offices are in mixed-use environments which include retail and residential elements. Our 6.7 million sq ft of high quality office space includes Regent’s Place and Paddington Central in the West End and Broadgate, the premier City office campus (50% share).

Our size and substance demands a responsible approach to business. We believe leadership on issues such as sustainability helps drive our performance and is core to the delivery of our overall objective of driving shareholder value and creating Places People Prefer.

Further details can be found on the British Land website at www.britishland.com

The Home Depot® to launch its 5th-annual Celebration of Service focused on improving the homes and lives of US military veterans

Customers Invited to Join in the Service Campaign through Social Media – The Home Depot Foundation to Donate $1 to Veterans’ Causes for Each Tweet, Instagram and Facebook Share, Up to $1 Million

ATLANTA, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, The Home Depot® activates its army of associate volunteers to launch the company’s fifth-annual Celebration of Service, a two-month-long campaign focused on improving the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families. Team Depot, the company’s associate-led volunteer force, will focus on projects related to two themes: senior veterans, who need modifications to their homes to safely age in place, and veterans with service-connected disabilities. To kick off Celebration of Service, 1,000 Team Depot volunteers will be deployed in more than 30 cities including Anchorage, Atlanta, Dallas, Grand Rapids, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Staten Island, today through Sunday, Sept. 13, to help improve the safety and accessibility of the homes of more than 100 veterans.

More than 8.4 million veterans will be 65 or older by 2020 and more than four million veterans are living with service-related disabilities. That’s why since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $105 million in veteran-related efforts and, together with Team Depot, has transformed more than 22,000 veteran homes.

“Safety and accessibility challenges can make it difficult for seniors and people living with disabilities to move around their homes,” said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president of The Home Depot. “During Celebration of Service, our associates will roll up their sleeves to restore veterans’ independence – something they very much deserve after the service they have provided to our country.”

“The Home Depot is a tremendous partner in creating housing solutions for disabled American Veterans of all generations,” said Dale Beatty, retired Staff Sergeant, Purple Heart recipient and co-founder of Purple Heart Homes. “As a combat-wounded Veteran myself, I can attest to the impact that regaining independence can have on a person. It restores your dignity and spirit. Team Depot’s passion for serving veterans gives us confidence that we truly can help to restore independence for Veterans nationwide.”

New Social Media Challenge To Raise $1 Million
Throughout Celebration of Service, Team Depot is inviting customers to ‘celebrate service’ on social media, helping to raise awareness for veterans causes. The Home Depot Foundation will donate up to $1 million, with each social media action equaling $1 toward that goal, to organizations that help senior veterans and veterans with service-connected disabilities including: Gary Sinise Foundation, Housing Assistance Council, Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors, Meals on Wheels America, Operation Finally Home, Operation Homefront, Purple Heart Homes, Semper Fi Fund and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Here is how to make a difference:

On Twitter and Instagram
People can celebrate service by sharing a photo giving back in their community or honoring a service member on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ServiceSelfie. For each #ServiceSelfie shared during Celebration of Service, The Home Depot Foundation will donate $1 toward the $1 million goal.

On Facebook
The Team Depot Facebook page will highlight one of its nonprofit partners each Monday during Celebration of Service. Likes, comments and shares of these spotlight posts will also equal $1 toward the $1 million goal.

Stories of Restoring Independence
From Sept. 10 through Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Team Depot will partner with hundreds of nonprofits across the country to restore independence for veterans in every state.

The projects completed throughout the two-month period will address safety and accessibility needs for veterans including:

  • David, a U.S. Army veteran who served during the first Gulf War. He earned a Triple Bronze Star and a S.W. Asiamedal for his service. While overseas, he was caught in a grenade explosion and was exposed to various poisonous gases. Today, he lives with his wife and service dog Caleb. He volunteers for organizations that help other veterans living with injury and PTSD including Soldier’s Best Friend, Healing Memories and The Mission Continues. Team Depot volunteers will make accessibility modifications to his bathroom and flooring, making it easier for him to maneuver the home with his scooter, and will make several other minor repairs to their home to give David and his wife peace of mind.
  • Paul, a 92-year-old WWII veteran who served in the U.S. Army and fought on D-Day in Normandy, helped to liberateParis and was in Berlin when Germany surrendered. He has struggled to care for himself, and the home he and his wife purchased right before he went overseas, since she passed away three years ago. Team Depot volunteers will work to make his bathroom accessible, among other modifications, to restore his independence.

About Giving Back at The Home Depot
Since the first Home Depot store opened in 1979, giving back has been a core value for the company and a passion for its associates. Today, The Home Depot, in partnership with The Home Depot Foundation, focuses its philanthropic efforts on improving the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families and aiding communities affected by natural disasters. Through Team Depot, the company’s associate-led volunteer force, thousands of associates dedicate their time and talents to these efforts in the communities where they live and work.

Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $105 million to provide safe housing to veterans, and along with the help of Team Depot volunteers, has transformed more than 22,000 homes for veterans. To learn more and see Team Depot in action, visit www.homedepot.com/teamdepot.

To learn more about the #ServiceSelfie campaign visit: thd.co/selfie.

SOURCE The Home Depot

For more information, contact: Lisa Walsh, The Home Depot Foundation, 678.294.5293, lisa_walsh@homedepot.com; Nicole Janok, MSLGROUP on behalf of The Home Depot, 404.460.2232, nicole.janok@mslgroup.com

Unibail-Rodamco to develop alternative project on the site of the Phare Tower in La Défense district (Paris region)

Paris, Amsterdam, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Unibail-Rodamco announces it has signed an agreement with the EPADESA (The Public Development Authority La Défense Seine Arche) for the development of an alternative project on the site of the Phare Tower in La Défense district (Paris region). A partnership has been entered into between the Group and the EPADESA for the design of an ambitious 95,000 sqm mixed program, with approximately 75,000 sqm of offices and 20,000 sqm dedicated to a hotel offer, including services accessible to the public.

This new project, culminating at 200 meters, represents a total investment cost of circa €630 Mn.

The partnership aims to file a building permit application in H-1 2016. The Phare project is maintained until this new program has obtained all final authorizations.

For more information, please contact
Investor Relations
Julie Coulot
+33 1 76 77 57 22

Media Relations
Pauline Duclos-Lenoir
+33 1 76 77 57 94

About Unibail-Rodamco Created in 1968, Unibail-Rodamco SE is Europe’s largest listed commercial property company, with a presence in 12 EU countries, and a portfolio of assets valued at €35.7 billion as of June 30, 2015. As an integrated operator, investor and developer, the Group aims to cover the whole of the real estate value creation chain. With the support of its 2,085 professionals, Unibail-Rodamco applies those skills to highly specialised market segments such as large shopping centres in major European cities and large offices and convention & exhibition centres in the Paris region. The Group distinguishes itself through its focus on the highest architectural, city planning and environmental standards. Its long term approach and sustainable vision focuses on the development or redevelopment of outstanding places to shop, work and relax. Its commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability has been recognised by inclusion in the DJSI (World and Europe), FTSE4Good and STOXX Global ESG Leaders indexes. The Group is a member of the CAC 40, AEX 25 and EuroSTOXX 50 indices. It benefits from an A rating from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

For more information, please visit our website: www.unibail-rodamco.com

NRF called on Congress to pass legislation to reverse NLRB ruling on joint employer definition

WASHINGTON, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today called on Congress to pass legislation introduced this week that would reverse a recent National Labor Relations Board ruling that significantly broadens the definition of a joint employer, saying the move would unfairly make companies that work with franchise locations or subcontractors responsible for actions they do not control.

“The board’s decision has significant negative implications for essentially any and every type of business-to-business relationship and will undermine job creation and small business growth across America,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “These harmful and unnecessary changes are out of sync with reality and are certain to create immense instability in business relationships.”

French’s comments came in a letter to House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

Kline and Alexander this week introduced the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act. Under guidelines followed for more than 30 years, the NLRB held that a company had to have direct control over the actions of a franchisee or subcontractor’s employees in order to be considered a joint employer. Under its August ruling in a case involving the waste management company Browning Ferris Industries, the board said a company could be considered a joint employer even if it had only indirect or potential control.

The Kline-Alexander bill would require that the earlier standard of direct control be used.

“This long-held standard has enabled small businesses to flourish,” French said. “It has also ensured that larger companies … are protected from unnecessary involvement in labor negotiations or disputes in workplaces they do not control.”

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. nrf.com

Treacy Reynolds
(855) NRF-Press


NRF, University of Phoenix named the 20 Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2015

WASHINGTON, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation and University of Phoenix have named the 20 Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2015 whose dreams to further their education will now become a reality. The recipients – all current retail employees – were selected out of hundreds of applicants from more than 75 retailers across the country. The deserving retail employees will soon be able to pursue a master’s or undergraduate degree at University of Phoenix thanks to the University’s collaboration with NRF to provide each recipient with a full-tuition scholarship.

“These recipients weren’t chosen by mistake; each of them has proven that they believe in their dreams and that anything is possible in this industry,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Through hard work and determination anyone can succeed in retail, and these 20 individuals are already well on their way to the top. Year after year we recognize similar qualities within our Dream BIG ‘class’; these employees make their workplaces, their communities and our industry better through passion, ambition and determination.”

“Opportunities in retail continue to grow as technology and consumer demands drive change within the industry,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean for University of Phoenix School of Business. “Education is critical to career advancement and leadership in this field filled with diverse career paths. University of Phoenix is proud to team up with the National Retail Federation to develop the next generation of leaders in retail by providing an industry-aligned education designed to help them succeed.”

The recipients of the 2015 Dream BIG Scholarship are: 

Julie Brandenburg-Horn
The Kroger Co.
Loss Prevention POS Analyst

Tim Hall
Zone Asset Protection Manager

Kasey Harris
Store Operations Manager

Victoria Hersey
Store Manager

Heather Jacobsen
Stein Mart
Assistant Store Manager

Delia Kurland
Crate and Barrel
East Coast Regional Operations Manager

Derek LaHair
Mattress Firm
Interim Community Relations Manager

Amie Lane
The Container Store
Training Manager

Cara Leone
L.L.Bean Outlet Store
Assistant Manager

Victor Letky
Goodwill of Southern Nevada
Training and Development Partner

Timberey Meeks
The Container Store
Operations Analyst

Stephanie Mekhjian
David’s Bridal
Store Manager

Sally Moore
At Home
Store Director

Tammy Nguyen
Social Media and Video Project Manager

James Ostag
Macy’s Inc.
Supply Chain Asset Protection Manager

Chrissy Raymond
Boscov’s Department Store
Vendor Services Assistant

Mark Robinson
Saks Fifth Ave OFF 5TH
Store Director

Carol Rosenauer
Bealls Inc.
Director of Supply Services

Andrew Schreiber
Mattress Firm
Area Manager

Joel Smith
Gap Inc.
Transportation Manager

NRF and University of Phoenix surprised 10 of the Dream BIG scholarship recipients while they were at work to give them the big news. Watch the video of each surprise.

Retail executives from some of the industry’s most well-known companies such as HSNi, West Elm and Alex and Ani served as members of the executive judging committee that chose the recipients.

The Dream BIG Scholarship program is made possible through a collaboration between NRF’s nonprofit arm, the NRF Foundation, and University of Phoenix. This is the third year the NRF Foundation and University of Phoenix have offered the Dream BIG Scholarship for current retail employees. The scholarship will be offered for a fourth year in 2016, with applications expected to open in January 2016. View profiles of the 2015 recipients and learn moreabout the Dream BIG Scholarship.

About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.

About the National Retail Federation
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. nrf.com.

Treacy Reynolds
Kathy Grannis Allen
(855) NRF-Press


NRF, University of Phoenix named the 20 Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2015

NRF, University of Phoenix named the 20 Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2015

NRF: Import cargo volume expected to increase 1.2 percent this month as retailers head toward the holiday season

WASHINGTON, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 1.2 percent this month over the same time last year as retailers head toward the holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“After supply chain worries earlier this year, inventories are plentiful this fall,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Shoppers should have no worries about finding what they’re looking for as they begin their holiday shopping.”

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.62 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in July, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 2.9 percent from June and 8.1 percent from July 2014. One TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

August was estimated at 1.6 million TEU, up 5.5 percent from 2014. September is forecast at 1.61 million TEU, up 1.2 percent from last year; October at 1.62 million TEU, up 3.8 percent; November at 1.5 million TEU, up 7.9 percent, and December at 1.44 million TEU, down 0.2 percent.

Those numbers would bring 2015 to a total of 18.2 million TEU, up 5.4 percent from last year. The first half of 2015 totaled 8.9 million TEU, up 6.5 percent over the same period last year.

January 2016 is forecast at 1.44 million TEU, up 16.9 percent from weak numbers seen a year earlier just before West Coast dockworkers agreed on a new contract that ended a months-long labor dispute.

Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said economists have been watching a “stubbornly high” inventory-to-sales ratio this summer. But he said the cause appears to be the flood of cargo that came after the new West Coast dockworkers’ contract was signed rather than weakness in demand.

Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the U.S. ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades and Miami on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast. The report is free to NRF retail members, and subscription information is available at www.nrf.com/PortTracker or by calling (202) 783-7971. Subscription information for non-members can be found at www.globalporttracker.com.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. NRF.com

Hackett Associates provides expert consulting, research and advisory services to the international maritime industry, government agencies and international institutions. www.hackettassociates.com

J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
(855) NRF-Press

Delhaize Group one of only three retailers in Europe included in DJSI for the Food and Staples Retailing sector

Inclusion in the DJSI confirms Delhaize Group’s leadership in the Food and Staples Retailing Sector.

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Delhaize Group is proud to announce its inclusion in the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), a leading benchmark for investors who integrate sustainability considerations into their portfolios.

The Belgian international supermarket operator is one of only four retailers in the world and one of only three retailers in Europe to be included in the DJSI for the Food and Staples Retailing sector. The Group received a total score of 73, well above the industry median score of 43.  Performance of Delhaize Group was well-balanced between the three dimensions: economic, environmental and social.

“This is an outstanding achievement that reflects our ongoing commitment to be a sustainability leader in all of our markets,” said Frans Muller, Delhaize Group President and CEO. “We are particularly proud that we achieved strong results in all categories, especially related to our strategic focus areas of sustainable private brand sourcing and zero waste. Our score reflects the significant efforts and investments made by the Group and our 150 000 associates worldwide.”

Frans Muller noted that the Group’s 2020 “Supergood” Ambition is a key lever of the Strategic Framework, the overarching guiding principles that the company introduced last year.

“Our progress over the last year has clearly been recognized by the DJSI assessment. We moved closer to our 2020 goals, and further embedded sustainable business practices by establishing more specific and more measurable targets that help us improve and build on our sustainability performance,” he said. “We thank all of our associates and business partners for their dedication and support.”

For more information about Delhaize Group’s sustainability performance, please visit http://sustainabilityreport.delhaizegroup.com/.

» Delhaize Group
 Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in seven countries on three continents. At the end of the second quarter of 2015, Delhaize Group’s sales network consisted of 3 445 stores. In 2014, Delhaize Group recorded €21.4 billion ($28.4 billion) in revenues and €89 million ($118 million) in net profit (Group share). At the end of 2014, Delhaize Group employed approximately 150 000 people. Delhaize Group’s stock is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG).

This press release is available in English, French and Dutch. You can also find it on the website http://www.delhaizegroup.com. Questions can be sent to sustainability@delhaizegroup.com.


» Contacts

Media Relations: + 32 2 412 8669
Investor Relations: + 32 2 412 2151
» Dow Jones Sustainability World Index
The Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) tracks the performance of the top 10% per industry of the 2500 largest companies in the S&P Global Broad Market Index that lead the field in terms of sustainability. These 2500 companies represent the eligible universe for the DJSI World and are assessed using the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) on an annual basis.

The DJSI press release on the 2015 results can be found here:


Ahold included in Food & Staples Retailing industry group in Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI)

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold was included in the Food & Staples Retailing industry group in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) for the 7th consecutive year today. This demonstrates its commitment to responsible retailing.

Ahold received a top score in supply chain management and raw materials sourcing, and also performed particularly well on environmental and social criteria, which are key elements in its sustainability strategy.

Ahold CEO Dick Boer said: “This recognition makes me proud of Ahold and all of our 227,000 associates. Responsible retailing is a fundamental ingredient of our Reshaping Retail strategy, and this proves that we are on the right track. Our place in this influential ranking only drives our ambition to be a responsible retailer.”

The ranking demonstrates the progress that Ahold has made in recent years. Ahold scored 76 (out of 100), compared to the industry average of 47. The Food & Staples Retailing sector lead scored 77.

The DJSI World started in 1999 as the first global sustainability benchmark, tracking the performance of the world’s leading companies on economic, environmental and social criteria.

Through its Responsible Retailing program, Ahold promises customers healthy choices and products that are made with respect for people, animals and the environment. The strategy focuses on five priority areas: healthy living, community well-being, our people, responsible products and care for the environment. Responsible Retailing is one of the six strategic pillars supporting Ahold’s ambition to grow as part of its Reshaping Retail framework.

More information on Ahold’s commitment to responsible retailing is available at www.ahold.com/Media/Responsible-retailing.htm.

Cautionary notice

This press release includes forward-looking statements, which do not refer to historical facts but refer to expectations based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those included in such statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements as to the ambition to be a responsible retailer. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Ahold’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as factors discussed in Ahold’s public filings and other disclosures. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Ahold does not assume any obligation to update any public information or forward-looking statements in this press release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as may be required by applicable laws.


BRC Helen Dickinson on BRC-NIELSEN AUGUST 2015 SHOP PRICE INDEX: Shop prices fell by 1.4 as a result of intense competition and falling commodity prices

  • Overall shop prices reported deflation of 1.4% in August unchanged from July.
  • Food reported annual inflation of 0.2%, up marginally from the 0.1% rise in July 2015.
  • On a 12-month average basis, the Shop Price Index reported deflation of 1.7%.
  • Non-food deflation accelerated further to 2.4% from 2.3% in July.

LONDON, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — BRC Director General, Helen Dickinson, said:”Shop prices fell by 1.4 this month as a result of intense competition and falling commodity prices, which is good news for consumers who have seen 28 consecutive months of prices drops.

“Annual food prices rose for a second month but once again the rise was marginal, by just 0.2% year-on-year, and is likely to be a temporary fluctuation in a longer term downward trend driven by ongoing competition.

“August marked the 29th month of falling non-food prices. Clothing retailers discounted heavily in an attempt to shift stock with prices falling on average by 5.4 per cent. Furniture and Flooring saw a sharp deceleration in deflation to 1.2%. Great deals could be found in Books, Stationery and Home Entertainment. Prices throughout this category fell on average by 5.2 per cent.

“The latest CPI rate turned positive, after hovering around zero for the last six months. Although this inflation rate – which includes services, utilities, leisure and petrol – could fall back again, partly due to the drop in the price of oil, which has slumped by nearly a quarter in the past two months.”

“A relatively benign economic environment and a fiercely competitive market will see retailers continue to respond to their customers with prices and promotions to maintain market share.”

Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, Nielsen, said: “Consumer confidence continues to increase but many shoppers are still unable or unwilling to spend freely, so retailers are continuing to offer high levels of promotions and price cuts. The underlying trend is for price deflation across both food and non-food retail and with shoppers now back from summer holidays we can expect some good deals and attractive pricing for shoppers over the next few weeks.”

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


US Foods kicks off its first annual Food Fanatics Awards to recognize the heart and soul of the $709 billion restaurant industry

New Contest Recognizes Most Dedicated and Passionate People in the Restaurant Industry

Rosemont, Ill., 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Sep 09, 2015), US Foods kicks off its first annual Food Fanatics Awards, a one-of-a-kind program that recognizes the heart and soul of the $709 billion restaurant industry.  The Awards program launched this week with a national call for entries in six unique categories.

“This isn’t your average contest; we created the Food Fanatics Awards to recognize those at the heart of the foodservice industry who are doing amazing – even fanatical – things,” said Marshall Warkentin, vice president of marketing, US Foods. “We understand the dedication it takes to succeed in this industry and these awards give us the opportunity to celebrate accomplishments large and small and shine a spotlight on the passionate few that go above and beyond.”

The six creative categories that make up the Food Fanatics Awards are:

  • Best Bite: One bite is all you need to call this dish a blockbuster. Sometimes your gut tells you that it will floor everyone. Other times, it’s the unexpected runaway hit of the season. Nearly everyone orders it, whether they’re regulars or have come out of the way just for this dish. It’s worth standing in the long line or waiting months for a reservation just to be blown away by this one bite.
  • Culinary Genius: Who always has the Next Big Thing? A culinary genius, industry influencer or menu mastermind, of course. Often copied and revered, this individual always stirs up buzz before the restaurant ever opens. Best of all, the culinary genius knows what diners want before they do.
  • Big Heart: The food industry is all about passion, but for some, their love for the business turns into a powerful way of doing good for all. This person thinks large, whether it’s helping the staff in a big way or galvanizing an entire community to jump in. The award salutes the Food Fanatic who best exemplifies the culinary love that makes neighborhoods and our world better places to live.
  • Hero: Heroes are admired and idealized for their courage, outstanding achievements and noble qualities. And it’s Fanaticism at its finest. This person never lets you down. They’ll always take one for the team, working tirelessly without credit. Everyone thinks they must have superpowers, but it’s natural for them to go above and beyond without question.
  • Epic Turnaround: Just when it seems all hope is lost, there’s an epic turnaround in the business. That’s because when the going gets tough, the tough become Food Fanatics. The ability to conquer rough patches and evolve into something even better is truly the mark of success. Perseverance and smarts, along with an unwavering determination to beat the odds, make this the most epic story.
  • Top Crew: Restaurateurs, servers, bartenders, cooks and dishwashers. Each one needs the other and when everyone is at the top of their game, look out. This team believes no one is more important than the other because they’re in it together. Success requires both sides of the house to work in sync, especially when the wait is long, tables are filled and the kitchen is in the weeds. This team truly has each other’s backs.

Anyone in the industry can nominate themselves, or someone else, at the Food Fanatics Awards website, www.FoodFanatics.com/Awards, now through September 25.  Applicants must submit a short essay, nomination information and photo.

Winners will be selected from each category, six in total. Each of the national Category Finalists will receive a $5,000 credit for US Foods/Culinary Equipment and Supplies for a pantry or kitchen makeover.

We want to public to get involved in the voting so we also have the Ultimate Food Fanatic award, the people’s choice.  When the nominations are in and judges determine the winners of each category, the public will have a chance to vote on who will be crowned the Ultimate Food Fanatic. The public voting period will be held from Oct. 19 – 30, 2015. The Ultimate Food Fanatic Award winner will receive an additional $5,000 prize credit.  All will be highlighted in an upcoming issue of Food Fanatics magazine.

Complete eligibility requirements and contest rules can be seen at the awards website.

“We started Food Fanatics in 2012, bringing together our Food Fanatics Chefs with other chefs and restaurateurs to help their businesses succeed,” Warkentin continued. “Now, we’re recognizing the efforts of others who are using their love for food to make businesses and our communities even better.”

With more than 150 years of experience, US Foods blends its expertise from working with more than 250,000 restaurants and foodservice operators with a passion for great food, making it easy for its customers every step of the way.  To learn more about US Foods and its Food Fanatic, visit www.usfoods.com or www.foodfanatics.com. You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch our chefs in action on YouTube.

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


Lisa Lecas, Manager
Corporate Communications, US Foods
Office: 847-720-8243

RILA: VISA acknowledged that a staggering number of magnetic “swipe” cards have not been replaced with new cards

Arlington, VA, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — As retailers spend billions to upgrade their point of sale terminals to accept new “chip” cards before the October 1st liability shift deadline, the nation’s largest card network acknowledged that a staggering number of magnetic “swipe” cards have not been replaced with new cards.

The most recent numbers announced by VISA indicate that less than one-fifth (18%) of their 720 million debit and credit cards as of July contain a new embedded chip and will be ready for the October 1st EMV shift.

“Large retailers have made tremendous progress installing, testing and now operating new payment terminals to accept chip cards,” said Brian Dodge, executive vice president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).  “But while consumers can now spot these new point of sale terminals at many large retailers nationwide, a quick check of the wallet will confirm that many continue to carry cards secured with the outdated and vulnerable magnetic stripe.”

With the October 1 deadline quickly approaching, it is more apparent than ever that most card issuers are not ready for the shift.

Throughout 2015, retailers have expressed frustration with banks and credit unions for issuing chip and signature cards, instead of the chip and PIN (personal identification number) cards issued everywhere else in the industrialized world. The PIN adds a second layer of security making lost and stolen cards impossible to use and counterfeit cards more difficult to create.  Two factor authentication has been the standard in the United Kingdom (UK) for almost a decade, reducing counterfeit card fraud by 56%.  Instead of issuing these cards to their American customers, banks and card networks in the US are only issuing chip and signature cards. Asked why, many bank and card network executives have suggested that Americans are not capable or remembering four-digit PINs, despite the fact that most Americans use PINs to unlock their cell phone on a daily basis.

“Simply put, consumers should be outraged that for banks and credit unions the solution to increased cyber-related fraud is to slowly issue substandard cards,” concluded Dodge.

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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Jason Brewer
Senior Vice President, Communications and Advocacy
Phone: 703-600-2050
Email: jason.brewer@rila.org

Zara’s online store opens in Hong Kong and Taiwan

Arteixo, Spain, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Zara’s online store opens today, September 9, in Hong Kong. The brand also offers online shopping in Taiwan since last week.

Zara’s online store opens today, September 9, in Hong Kong. The brand also offers online shopping in Taiwan since last week. Both websites, www.zara.com/hk and www.zara.com/tw offer online shoppers the same full range of ladies, men and kids wear as the brick and mortar stores, supplied twice a week with new merchandise.

In both markets, items sold online display the same price as they do in Zara’s brick and mortar stores. Customers of the online platform can choose between home delivery and the pick up at the ZARA store.

Zara launched its ecommerce service in 2010 in several European markets, following the footsteps of Zara Home, which began its online platform in 2007. Other major markets followed, such as the US, Japan, China or South Korea. Zara’s customers can currently shop online in 27 markets.


Zara's online store opens in Hong Kong and Taiwan

Zara’s online store opens in Hong Kong and Taiwan

Forever 21 debuts their Fall 2015 collection globally

LOS, ANGELES, CA, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Forever 21, one of the most recognized and largest independent fashion retailers in the world debuts their Fall 2015 collection globally and celebrates the uniqueness is us all through the tagline, ‘It’s All About You, Forever You.’

Photographed by Dan Jackson and styled by George Cortina, the new imagery is a continuation of the brand’s new, elevated point of view and direction with a large focus on menswear. “For the Forever 21 Forever You Fall campaign we paired industry veterans with exciting new faces to reflect the elevated aesthetic of the collection, while keeping the core brand DNA of on-trend attainable fashion that we have become known for.”  Says Linda Chang, Vice President of Merchandising.  The creative spirit of fashion and how individuality connects us all are the themes at the heart of the Fall 2015 Collection. This motif is mirrored through the models featured in the campaign, from Alana Zimmer, who is involved with numerous charitable organizations and volunteers in her spare time, her boyfriend Nick Rea, the self proclaimed outlier and adventure junky, Baylee and Kelsey Soles, the telepathic identical twins from South Carolina, to Yuri Pleskun, the Russian export with a punky personality. Though all have a different background and story, each are connected through one quality – they are all Forever unique.

Defined by unlimited style that is designed to amplify your fall street cred, the Forever You Collection focuses on four key trends including boho chic, luxe and layered, oversized, and textured essentials. Whether you love the poetic beauty of a genuine suede jacket styled back with a marled and double-faced knit sweater, prefer to make a fearless statement in a rebel glam shirt in burnout velvet and tapestry, like to be adventurous in a tonal plaid dress with a rainbow faux fur-lined parka, or are drawn to the originality of a camel coat paired back with luxe knits and cool denim, the Forever 21 Fall 2015 Collection celebrates and lets you explore your own uniqueness and what it means to be #ForeverYou.

The Forever 21 Fall 2015 Collection will launch in stores globally and on Forever21.com beginning Friday, September 11, 2015.

Forever 21, Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is a fashion retailer of women’s, men’s and kids clothing and accessories and is known for offering the hottest, most current fashion trends at a great value to consumers. This model operates by keeping the store exciting with new merchandise brought in daily. Founded in 1984, Forever 21 operates more than 730 stores in 48 countries with retailers in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Mexico, Philippines and United Kingdom. For more information please visit: www.newsroom.forever21.com

Forever 21 Public Relations


Forever 21 debuts their Fall 2015 collection globally

Forever 21 debuts their Fall 2015 collection globally