METRO GROUP and Groupe Auchan extend the scope of their innovative purchasing cooperation in France

The new cooperation agreement implies the negotiation of manufactured brands on a local level, combining the strengths of the retailer Groupe Auchan and METRO Cash & Carry, the wholesale division of METRO GROUP.

CROIX, France, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — After having started their cooperation at the international level in November 2014, the two partners, facing a deflationary context and the recent moves in the European retail landscape, with the development of alliances and cooperation between actors, both at global and local level, have decided to extend the scope of their innovative cooperation, based on two complementary business models, in one of their key countries, from September 2015.

In accordance with the local legislation applicable, METRO GROUP entrusts to Auchan country organization, via a mandating system, on selective and representative product categories and suppliers, the negotiations of the buying terms applicable in 2016, covering major brands in France.

Each party will continue to be independently responsible for its own commercial strategies and sales policies, which include building product ranges, defining pricing and promotional activities.

Army Specialist Daquana Brown won free groceries for a year at the commissary sponsored by Eckrich

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — When Army Specialist Daquana Brown showed up at the Fort Lee, Virginia, Commissary on Sept. 11, she expected to pick up VIP passes to a NASCAR race she had won for the following night at the Richmond International Raceway. Maybe she even expected to pick up a few items at the store’s customer appreciation case lot sales event.

But she got a lot more.

Waiting for Brown was a ceremony, with representatives from Smithfield Foods’ Eckrich brand, the national non-profit organization Operation Homefront, Richard Petty Motorsports and the Defense Commissary Agency.

In addition to the race passes, she received Richard Petty Motorsports team shirts and ball caps for her and her children, 4-year-old Angelina, and 3-year-old Noah. The children sat in NASCAR driver Aric Almirola’s No. 43 Ford, stood back and held their ears as a Richard Petty team rep fired it up and unleashed the roar of 750 un-muffled horses stampeding under the car’s hood.

For Brown, the ceremony went from good to crazy as Eckrich representative Jeff Dennison stepped up with a giant placard announcing she had also won free groceries for a year at the commissary, worth up to $7,800, sponsored by Eckrich.

“I’m just really shocked,” Brown said. “I didn’t expect this, and I am thankful to Eckrich and Operation Homefront for everything they did today.”

The day’s events were part of a year-long effort to recognize service members and their families, said Chuck Gitkin, senior vice president of marketing for Smithfield Foods.

“Richard Petty Motorsports has joined Eckrich for the third consecutive year to honor our military families,” Gitkin said. “We are proud to give back to the Brown family, and we hope they enjoy their year of free groceries and their time at the race.”

Eckrich is also in the fourth year of its partnership with Operation Homefront, an organization that provides emergency and other financial assistance to military families. Together, they’ve passed $1 million in donations to the military since 2012.

Commissary Agency officials praised the groups’ efforts on behalf of military families, and thanked them for giving back to the military community.

“The support that our industry partners provide is outstanding and our customers truly benefit from this additional support,” said Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Stuart M. Allison, the senior enlisted advisor to the DeCA director.

According to Charlie Dowlen, DeCA promotions manager, the grocery giveaway is just another reason shopping at the commissary is “worth the trip.”

“This was a great event that fostered goodwill with this individual and her two children as well as the whole post,” Dowlen said. Between the case lot sale and the Eckrich event, the parking lot was completely full.

“The Fort Lee Commissary, like any of our stores worldwide, takes care of its customers and is ‘the place’ for them to come and shop for their groceries.”

Note: Access the following link for a video that accompanies this news release. For a photo, please visit our Flickr page.

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

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773

Lund Food Holdings purchased a 25,000-square-foot grocery store Glen Lake’s Market in Minnetonka

EDINA, Minn., 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Lund Food Holdings, Inc., parent company of Lunds & Byerlys, announced its purchase of Glen Lake’s Market, a 25,000-square-foot grocery store located at 14400 Excelsior Boulevard in Minnetonka.

“We look forward to the opportunity to bring our brand of extraordinary food, exceptional service and passionate expertise to those in and around the Glen Lake area in Minnetonka,” said Tres Lund, president and CEO of Lund Food Holdings, Inc.

The store will be temporarily closed beginning October 1 so it can be reset and rebranded. When it reopens in early November as a Lunds & Byerlys, the store hours will be 6 a.m. to midnight seven days a week.

Glen Lake’s Market employs approximately 50 people, and all of them will have the opportunity to interview for positions with Lunds & Byerlys with the goal of retaining as many of the store’s current employees as possible.

“While it was a very difficult decision for us to close this store, we couldn’t be more pleased that Lunds & Byerlys was willing to purchase it to provide the best long-term benefit for our employees, customers and the community,” said Alan Commins, General Manager of Glen Lake’s Market. “Lunds & Byerlys has a demonstrated commitment to providing a sensational working and shopping experience.”


7‑Eleven introduces new single-serve brew cups

DALLAS, TX, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Over fifty years after 7‑Eleven® pioneered the introduction of on-the-go-coffee in the U.S., the retailer is taking coffee home again with the launch of 7‑Eleven-branded coffee for single-serve brewing systems. With the new single-serve brew cups, coffee-lovers who want a fresh-brewed cup of 7‑Eleven coffee can get one whether they’re on the go or at home.

Sold exclusively at participating 7‑Eleven stores, the single-serve brew cups are available in two package sizes – an eight-pack for $3.99 and a two-pack for 99 cents. The larger packs are available in three of 7‑Eleven’s most popular blends – Exclusive Blend, 100% Colombian and seasonal Pumpkin Spice, while the two-pack varieties are Exclusive Blend and Pumpkin Spice. The 50-cent per cup cost is well below the average single-serve brew cup price of 65 cents, with some national brand brew cups costing as much as $1 each.

All varieties of 7‑Eleven’s single-serve coffee are made from the same high-quality 100 percent Arabica beans as the coffee available in its stores, sourced and roasted to ensure the same great flavor customers enjoy in stores.

“Brew cups are the ultimate in convenience for home-brewed coffee, and convenience is the core of 7‑Eleven,” said Dennis Phelps, VP, Fresh Foods & Proprietary Beverages, “Convenience wasn’t the only goal when we developed our new brew cups. We wanted to make sure we offered the same delicious coffee available in our stores at a great value.”

According to a 2015 survey by the National Coffee Association, one in five adults who drank a cup of coffee at home the previous day made it in a single-serve brewer. Just five years ago, that number was one in 14. Single-serve is driving coffee growth, and anticipated to surpass retail roasted coffee in 2017. Retail sales of brew cups grew from $132 million in 2008 to more than $3.1 billion just five years later, and single-serve remains the fastest-growing segment of the coffee category.

“7‑Eleven is the fourth largest coffee retailer in the U.S., said Dennis Phelps, VP, Fresh Food & Proprietary Beverages, “and the only one to offer a trial size two-pack of our single-serve brew cups. We want people to try this new at-home version of the fresh-brewed coffee served at our stores.”

For on-the-go customers who still grab their cups on the go, primarily while on their way to work, 7‑Eleven is introducing a new “Stay Hot” cup that keeps coffee hot longer. The new cup keeps coffee hot without requiring a sleeve. And while the new Stay Hot cup looks, feels and performs like foam, it is actually plastic and recyclable. Made from polypropylene, the Stay Hot cups launched nationally with a new bright white design and well-known skylines of cities across America.

For a limited time, the extra-large Stay Hot cup will be sold at a value price between the cost of a medium and large cup.

About 7‑Eleven, Inc.
7‑Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7‑Eleven operates, franchises or licenses nearly 10,500 7‑Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, there are more than 56,200 7‑Eleven stores in 16 countries. 7‑Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include:  #1 on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2014 Top Global Franchise list; #2 on Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies for 2013; #10 spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list for 2015, and #3 in Forbes magazine’s Top 20 Franchises to Start. 7‑Eleven is No. 3 on Fast Company magazine’s 2013 list of the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail.” 7‑Eleven places among Top Veteran-Friendly Companies for 2014 by U.S. Veterans Magazine and is among GI Jobs magazine’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers for 2014. Hispanic Magazine named 7‑Eleven among its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7‑Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S. and expanding through organic growth, acquisitions and its Business Conversion Program. Find out more online at www.7‑

Stephanie Shaw 
7‑Eleven, Inc.


7‑Eleven introduces new single-serve brew cups for coffee at home and a "Stay Hot" cup that keeps coffee hot longer.

7‑Eleven introduces new single-serve brew cups for coffee at home and a “Stay Hot” cup that keeps coffee hot longer.

Kohl’s unveils omnichannel and digital initiatives to support its commitment to delivering an easy shopping experience

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis., 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) today announced omnichannel and digital initiatives to support its commitment to delivering an easy shopping experience. Whether shopping in-store at Kohl’s stores nationwide, online at or at home or on the go on mobile devices, Kohl’s customers will discover new shopping tools including a store mode for Kohl’s mobile app, enhanced mobile payment options like Apple Pay, a seamless omnichannel shopping bag across platforms and Visa Checkout on and on mobile. Kohl’s will also pilot same-day delivery in select markets.

“Kohl’s is committed to providing our customers with an easy, convenient shopping experience in a way that is personalized and engaging – no matter how each customer prefers to shop,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, chief executive officer and president. “Our digital teams are continually testing new ideas and capabilities to create a world-class omnichannel experience that is seamless across devices. With each evolution, we aim to elevate our offerings for an easy, inspiring shopping experience.”

New digital enhancements that shoppers will see in store include:

  • Store Mode for Kohl’s Mobile App: A new store mode for Kohl’s mobile app will provide a more personalized experience and help customers take advantage of Kohl’s incredible savings every time they shop in-store. Customers can opt-in to store mode in the Kohl’s app to search store inventory and find in-store promotions that can be applied to their purchase, like Kohl’s Cash and percent off coupons.
  • Enhanced Mobile Payment Options: Beginning this fall, Kohl’s customers will have a new easy, secure and private way to pay in stores with the rollout of Apple Pay, as well as the ability to use Apple Pay within the Kohl’s app. Kohl’s customers will also be able to add their Kohl’s Charge card as a form of payment within Apple Pay. Kohl’s customers will be able to complete purchases easily, quickly and securely across all digital channels with Visa Checkout, which will be available on and mobile devices. Also new this fall, Kohl’s mobile app will feature enhancements to Kohl’s world-class mobile wallet including the option to scan and save Kohl’s gift cards and direct delivery of promotional codes. Customers can continue to browse and shop by category, easily manage and redeem their Yes2You Rewards points and conveniently scan their Kohl’s Cash and savings offers to their mobile wallet to be used in-store at checkout.

Customers will also experience an even more seamless experience between shopping online and shopping in Kohl’s stores, including:

  • Omnichannel Shopping Bag: Kohl’s has bridged its digital shopping carts into one virtual shopping bag that can be accessed via smart phone, tablet or desktop. When shopping across devices, customers’ shopping bags will be automatically updated when they log into their Kohl’s account.
  • Buy Online, Pick Up in Store Across All Channels: Beginning in late September, customers will be able use their smart phone or tablet to opt to buy items online and pick them up in a Kohl’s store that is convenient to them. The option to buy online and pick up in Kohl’s stores nationwide was previously available on desktop and laptop as part of a nationwide rollout earlier this spring.
  • Redesigned Mobile Site and Tablet App: For those who shop on their smart phone browser, Kohl’s will launch a redesigned mobile site that makes it even easier for users to find what they’re looking for, as well as an improved mobile checkout experience. The Kohl’s tablet app will also have an improved look and increased functionality including integration of the Yes2You Rewards loyalty program and access to Kohl’s mobile wallet. Product detail pages and collection pages will also have a new look, allowing customers easier access to the same amazing products and incredible savings from Kohl’s.

Kohl’s is also leveraging innovative technologies to explore new ways to shop Kohl’s, including:

  • Same-Day Delivery: Kohl’s is currently testing same-day delivery for online purchases in select markets. Customers in participating stores in the pilot areas can place orders on, or via their smart phone or tablet, select the same-day delivery option and the item will be delivered later that day.

These new tools and capabilities represent the latest offerings from Kohl’s to deliver an easy, omnichannel shopping experience and be world-class in mobile. Since the re-launch of Kohl’s mobile app in fall 2014, the app has seen more than eight million downloads and has gone from a half star rating to a four and a half star rating. Kohl’s also launched an app for Apple Watch earlier this spring, offering easy access to Kohl’s savings offers including Kohl’s coupons, Yes2You Rewards and Kohl’s Cash.

About Kohl’s
Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a leading specialty department store with 1,164 stores in 49 states. With a commitment to inspiring and empowering families to lead fulfilled lives, the company offers amazing national and exclusive brands, incredible savings and inspiring shopping experiences in-store, online at and via mobile devices. Committed to its communities, Kohl’s has raised more than $274 million for children’s initiatives nationwide through its Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise program, which operates under Kohl’s Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. For additional information about Kohl’s philanthropic and environmental initiatives, visit For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit

Connect with Kohl’s:

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Source: Kohl’s

Jen Johnson, 262-703-5241
Julia Fennelly, 262-703-1710

Smart & Final Stores marks one-year anniversary of its listing as a public company on NYSE

Project 100 Growth Plan Will Build on Company’s Accelerated “Extra!” Format ExpansionUnique Market Offering, Broad Range of Differentiated Products and Dedication to Strong Customer Relationships Resonate Powerfully with Consumers

NEW YORK, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Smart & Final Stores, Inc. (“Smart & Final” or the “Company”) (NYSE: SFS), a value and quality-oriented food and everyday staples retailer that serves household and business customers, today marks the one-year anniversary of its listing as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”). This one-year milestone celebrates “Project 100”, the continuation of the Company’s accelerated expansion plan focused on its “Extra!” and Cash & Carry format stores.   Project 100 is Smart & Final’s growth and community plan that calls for opening 100 new stores, investment in 100 new neighborhood projects and 100 teams of new store employees.

Chief Executive Officer Dave Hirz will be joined this morning by Smart & Final senior management and members of the board of directors to ring The Opening Bell® at the NYSE inNew York City.

“We have achieved strong financial growth during our first year as a public company, and have accelerated the expansion of our “Extra!” store format. Building upon our established “Extra!” and Cash & Carry footprint throughout the Western United States, we are now focused on executing our Project 100 plan, which includes opening over 100 “Extra!” and Cash & Carry format stores in the next four years,” said Hirz. “We believe our consistent focus on value, quality and convenience resonates powerfully with our business and household consumers, and gives us an edge in a competitive market.”

Currently, Smart & Final operates 266 stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona,Nevada, and Idaho. As part of Project 100, the Company plans to open 100 new stores, in-line with the Company’s 10% annual unit growth plan, and to hire at least 5,000 new employees to staff those stores over the next four years. Additionally, with every store Smart & Final opens, the Company will continue to give back to the communities in which it operates via philanthropic donations and partnerships, solidifying its commitment to being a good neighborhood partner.

For more than 140 years, the Company has delivered quality products with exceptional value and shopping convenience to both household and business customers.  Smart & Final’s roots can be traced back to 1871 when the “Hellman, Haas & Co.,” was founded in the city of Los Angeles. In 1915, J.S. Smart and H.D. Final purchased the store and changed the name to Smart & Final.  The Company represents one of the longest, continuously operated food retailers in the United States and has become a trusted, community brand in the markets it serves.

In its first year as a public company, Smart & Final has continued to launch several product and marketing initiatives to meet the ever-changing needs of its customers, from expanding its popular private label First Street and organic private label Sun Harvest to expanding natural produce selection in its stores and partnering with Instacart and Google Shopping for in-home and office delivery service.

Garvis Toler, NYSE’s Global Head of Capital Markets, added, “We are excited to welcome Smart & Final back to the New York Stock Exchange on the one-year anniversary of their initial public offering. Smart & Final is a valued member of the NYSE family of listed companies, and we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with the company.”

About Smart & Final
Smart & Final Stores, Inc. (NYSE: SFS), is a value and quality -oriented food and everyday staples retailer that serves household and business customers. The Company is headquartered in Commerce (near Los Angeles), California, where it was founded over 140 years ago. As of September 22, 2015, the Company operated 266 grocery and foodservice stores under the “Smart & Final”, “Smart & Final Extra!” and “Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice” banners in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho, with an additional 16 stores in northern Mexico operated through a joint venture.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this release that are not historical information contain forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and actual results may differ materially from those projected or implied. Further, certain forward-looking statements are based on assumptions of future events which may not prove to be accurate. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms “may,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or, in each case, their negative, or other variations or comparable terminology. The Company derives many of its forward-looking statements from its operating budgets and forecasts, which are based upon many detailed assumptions. While the Company believes that its assumptions are reasonable, it is difficult to predict the impact of known factors and, of course, it is impossible to anticipate all factors that could affect actual results. These factors are discussed in the “Risk Factors,” “Special Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Business” sections and elsewhere in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

You should keep in mind that any forward-looking statement made by the Company herein, or elsewhere, speaks only as of the date on which made. New risks and uncertainties come up from time to time, and it is impossible for the Company to predict these events or how they may affect it. The Company has no obligation to update any forward-looking statements after the date hereof, except as required by federal securities laws.

SOURCE Smart & Final Stores, Inc.

Starbucks announces nationwide availability of Mobile Order & Pay on iOS and Android devices

Available In More Than 7,400 Stores and Customers Using the Starbucks® App on iOS or Android Devices; International Expansion Coming in October

SEATTLE, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) today announced the nationwide availability of Mobile Order & Pay on iOS and Android devices, a new feature of the popular Starbucks® mobile app that allows customers to place and pay for their order in advance of their visit and pick it up at a participating Starbucks® location.  Following successful launches in select U.S. cities, mobile ordering is emerging as the fastest and easiest way for Starbucks customers to order ahead, then pay and pick up their purchases – providing on-the-go customers a simple and quick alternative to get their favorite food or beverage item. Starbucks plans to introduce this feature in select company owned stores in the UK and Canada in October.

“Bringing Mobile Order and Pay to our customers is about meeting their needs of convenience and customization at any time of the day” said Adam Brotman, Starbucks chief digital officer. “The fact that it also represents the fastest technology application rollout we have ever done is indicative of the strength of our digital ecosystem, how well it has been received by both our customers and store partners and the impact we think it can have on the future of retail.”

Following the initial test of Mobile Order & Pay in Portland, Oregon in December 2014 and subsequent launch across the Pacific Northwest in March 2015, Starbucks expanded the program to 3,400 additional stores across 17 states in the U.S. earlier this summer. Today’s announcement marks the completion of the national rollout with the feature now available on both iOS and Android devices to use at Starbucks more than 7,400 company-owned stores across the country.

The Mobile Order & Pay feature allows customers to choose a store from a map view, browse, select and customize beverage and food items, view the estimated timeframe the order will be ready, and pre-pay for the order – all within the Starbucks® Mobile App.  Menu options highlight products available in specific geographic regions and stores, and orders are freshly prepared and ready for pick-up in the bar area.

Mobile Order & Pay is integrated into Starbucks world-class Mobile App and My Starbucks Rewards® loyalty program, providing a simple way for customers to sign up and earn coveted Stars.  It’s available for customers using a Starbucks® app for iPhone® or Starbucks® app for Android™.

Apple, the Apple logo, and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

Android™ is a trademark of Google Inc. Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.

Link to B-Roll

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at and the Starbucks Newsroom at

For more information on this news release, contact us.


Starbucks announces nationwide availability of Mobile Order & Pay on iOS and Android devices

Starbucks announces nationwide availability of Mobile Order & Pay on iOS and Android devices

Starbucks chief digital officer Brotman: Mobile Order & Pay expands to all company-owned U.S. stores ahead of schedule

SETTLE, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Adam Brotman loves a good success story. Ask him what he does when he’s not immersed in Starbucks core digital businesses and Brotman will tick off a list of biographies of entrepreneurs he’s recently polished off and then point to a stack of nonfiction hardcovers that are up next.

Reading about groundbreaking business leaders ranging from Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to his current boss, Howard Schultz, and his uncle, Costco co-founder Jeffrey Brotman, is nothing new for Starbucks chief digital officer, who recalls consuming similar fare alongside comic books when he was a boy.

The Northwest native has written a new chapter in his own success story with Starbucks recent expansion of Mobile Order & Pay. The service, which allows customers to buy customized food and beverages from their phone before they arrive at a Starbucks® store, was introduced in Portland in late 2014. In June of 2015, Starbucks expanded the program to 3,400 additional stores across 17 states. Today the service expands to all company-owned U.S. stores ahead of schedule.

Brotman, who also oversees all of mobile, web, card, digital loyalty experiences, Wi-Fi and much of the in-store digital products used by partners (employees), joined Starbucks in 2009 as senior vice president and general manager of Digital Ventures. He’d previously served as CEO of Barefoot Yoga Company and Senior Vice President for Corbis. He founded the in-store service PlayNetwork in 1996 after completing his studies at the University of Washington School of Law the previous year.

Brotman discusses his career, and the challenges ahead, in this Starbucks Newsroom Q&A:

You’re a Seattle native. Do you recall the first time you encountered Starbucks?

The first time I encountered Starbucks, ironically, wasn’t in Seattle. I went to college in Los Angeles at UCLA. I was familiar with Starbucks from before I left for college in 1987, probably from the original Starbucks and perhaps from some of what had happened after Howard merged Il Giornale with Starbucks. My uncle was one of the early investors and board members too, but really my awareness was just out of the corner of my eye. During the time I was in college, the company began to open some stores in L.A. I remember feeling hometown pride – this is that cool Seattle coffee shop. It had been around for a while in terms of the original concept, but it was relatively new in the mid- to late-‘80s, in terms of expansion. I started going there when I was in college.

I came back to Seattle in 1992 to go to law school and, by that point, Starbucks had just gone public. I remember thinking: This whole town is bonkers for Starbucks and double-tall lattes. I was just a brewed drinker and I began to drink lattes because I needed to get in the cool-kid crowd. I became a rabid Starbucks customer during law school from 1992 to 1995.

You received your bachelor’s degree from UCLA in classical civilizations. Are there things you learned from the Greeks and the Romans that apply to your business career?

I think Greek and Roman history, philosophy and art were the perfect canvas for a liberal arts education. It’s history, it’s literature, it’s poetry, it’s art, it’s philosophy. Those are things that are great to write about. It hones your writing and thinking skills. It helps you with business creativity as well.

This is true of a lot of liberal arts education. It teaches you to look at something that’s somewhat esoteric or somewhat abstract from daily life, but you can relate it to your daily life. And then write about it. Those skills help with problem solving and creative thinking.

After receiving your law degree, your career took a different path. Did you intend to be a lawyer?

I went into the study of law specifically with an objective to have it help me with business, which is rare. Most people go to law school to become a lawyer. In my case, I had a three-step path. Luckily, my uncle [Jeffrey Brotman] went to University of Washington law school, then had a law career and then started Costco. He mentored me on this idea that law school is an amazing opportunity for young people – or frankly people of any age – to learn to think like a lawyer.

That is similar to what I just mentioned about my liberal arts education. By focusing on business law, at an early age in your legal career you could have access to board rooms and CEOs and CFOs in a way that no one else could at that stage in their legal career. Because you’re not a litigator; you’re a business lawyer. And business lawyers, particularly 20 years ago, were a rarity.

There was no track for business law at law school, so if you took it upon yourself to become a business lawyer you could become part of this small group going to boardrooms. And if you want to go into business, you want to have access to boardrooms so that you can learn and watch and operate on that playground.

To my uncle’s annoyance, I quit my law practice after two years, got the entrepreneurial bug and started PlayNetwork. I think the grand plan was for me to practice law for another five years. Probably in hindsight I should have. But my entrepreneurial passion overtook my career logic.

As chief digital officer for Starbucks and CDO Club’s U.S. Chief Digital Officer of the Year, you’re the tip of the tech spear for an innovative company. Have you always been an early technology adopter?

I have been, although honestly I wouldn’t describe myself that way. But when others now see what I’ve done from starting PlayNetwork to being involved at Corbis and now getting involved here as chief digital officer, they tell me they remember me from junior high school and high school always having the first version of the computer – whether it was an Atari system or a Commodore computer when I was a kid. They remind me that when it came to digital music, I was the very first person anyone knew who had a CD player. I never coded anything in my life, outside of those classes in school, so I’m not a technologist. I’m a digital guy.

Mobile Order & Pay has been your focus for some time now. What is the biggest surprise you encountered in developing Mobile Order & Pay and rolling it out nationally?

It took a year of intense work before we even launched it amongst a tight-knit group of different functions. This is core to operations now. We designed Mobile Order & Pay to be seamlessly integrated into the operational flow, for both the partners in the store and the customers in the store. But also for how the production engine works. How the hand-off plane works (where customers pick up their orders). How the routines for the partners work.

We designed it from day one with the goal of making this a seamlessly integrated feature set and platform, much like we did with drive-thru, as a company. We had to have Operations be a key partner to this core of different functions that came together to work on this. What surprised me the most was how similarly operators in our company and the digital team think.  It was fascinating.

Both teams, I think, are very entrepreneurial. Both teams are extremely customer-centric and thought, “Let’s not engineer this in a way to make it the way we want it. Let’s think of the customer experience first, and the partner experience is part of that. Don’t let the tail wag the dog.” I think the operators found a long-lost cousin in Digital.

The program would not be the success it is today if there wasn’t that partnership between those two groups. It was not a matter of just some master plan and everyone got onboard. It was co-created by a number of different groups: the Technology group, the Operations group, the Digital group, the Marketing group, the Loyalty group. We all got in a room and designed it together and the partnership was great.

You emphasize learning as a key component of what you do in the digital realm. Who are your teachers?

I grew up reading business biographies. My dad and uncle would read business biographies when they were in their thirties and forties and I would always read the hand-me-down business biographies. I still read every business biography that I can get my hands on. You can see on my desk: a book about how Twitter was founded; a book about Jeff Bezos and how Amazon was founded; this is a Hillary Rodham Clinton book; here’s a biography about Ariana Huffington; here’s one about Apple. I tend to read a lot about Apple.

I learn a lot from what other consumer-facing digital companies are doing, particularly out of Silicon Valley. What is Jack Dorsey doing with Square and Twitter? What is Mark Zuckerberg doing with Facebook? I look at apps and think about what Starbucks can do to enhance our relationship with our customers – as opposed to what other retailers or other restaurant companies are doing.

When was the last time you were totally unreachable by phone or computer?

That’s a hard one. I remember once telling everyone that I’m not going to be reachable for a week and I’m really going to try to unplug. But that was a couple of years ago, to be honest. I should probably do it more often.

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



Starbucks chief digital officer Brotman: Mobile Order & Pay expands to all company-owned U.S. stores ahead of schedule

Starbucks chief digital officer Brotman: Mobile Order & Pay expands to all company-owned U.S. stores ahead of schedule

Starbucks China president Wong sent letter to the company’s 30,000 employees in China ahead of China’s President Xi’s visit to US

SETTLE, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahead of a state visit to the U.S. by China’s President Xi and Madame Peng, the president of Starbucks China, Belinda Wong, sent the following letter to the company’s 30,000 partners (employees) in China.

Photos and story updates will be added to this post during the visit to Seattle on September 22 and 23.

Dear Partners,

Greetings from Seattle. As you have probably seen in news coverage, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan will be arriving here in a few hours as the first stop on their U.S. state visit. I am proud to share that Starbucks is one of only a small number of U.S.-based companies that were appointed to the official Welcoming Host Committee.

I am extremely honored to be here this week on behalf of all you, our 30,000 China partners, to welcome President Xi and more than 1,000 Chinese Government and business delegates. I, along with Howard Schultz and other Starbucks leaders, will be participating in a number of events and meetings over the next few days including the National Banquet Dinner on Tuesday evening welcoming the president.  Howard will also be participating in a CEO Roundtable discussion with President Xi on Wednesday morning.

These and other meetings will provide us with a significant opportunity to convey the gratitude and responsibility we have to all of you and the communities we serve in China. These conversations will also demonstrate how Starbucks is a different kind of company, a company that aims to lead through the lens of humanity by taking great care of our partners, investing in the communities we serve, and uplifting the spirits of our customers every day.

Jackie Xu, Beijing Kerry Centre Store Manager, is also with me in Seattle, representing you, to welcome, host and ensure the seamless delivery of the unique Starbucks Experience to our distinguished guests from China.

Over the next few days, we will continue to keep you updated on these exciting and important events. I am confident that the Starbucks story, and our passion for the highest quality coffee, will connect our cultures and people across China and the U.S.

Our mission since we opened our first store in Beijing in 1999, and which continues to guide us today, is based on the foundations of love and humanity. I am extremely optimistic about the opportunity ahead for Starbucks China – a bright future that all Starbucks partners and Chinese people can be proud of.

With warm regards and appreciation,

Belinda Wong

president, Starbucks China

Translation of Belinda Wong’s Letter to Partners

For more information on this news release, contact us.


Starbucks China president Wong sent letter to the company’s 30,000 employees in China ahead of China’s President Xi's visit to US

Starbucks China president Wong sent letter to the company’s 30,000 employees in China ahead of China’s President Xi’s visit to US

Starbucks and Monoprix sign licensed partnership agreement to open Starbucks® stores within Monoprix stores in France

FRANCE, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks and Monoprix are pleased to announce a licensed partnership agreement to open Starbucks® stores within Monoprix stores. The first two locations will be in the Monoprix Beaugrenelle in Paris and in the Monoprix GBL in Lyon, and are expected to open before the end of 2015.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to bring the best Starbucks experience that we can offer, to those shoppers who are already looking for the best services and products at Monoprix,” said Arjan Oudejans, vice president Branded Solutions, Starbucks EMEA. “This partnership underlines our commitment to growing our business in France, with an experienced French retailer with stores in central, prime city locations. Monoprix is the perfect partner to bring the Starbucks experience alive in their stores.”

“We pride ourselves on offering the widest variety of services and products, and the addition of Starbucks is another example of us giving our customers more,” said Dominique Benoit, Head of Real Estate and Franchise at Monoprix. “We are looking forward to surprising our customers with an innovative and premium service – the highest quality coffee and Starbucks experience.”

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-qualityarabica coffee. Today, with more than 22,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit Starbucks stores or online at and

About Monoprix
Subsidiary of Groupe Casino, Monoprix offers its customers a broad, varied and innovative range of products and services via its 6 store chains: Monoprix, monop’, monop’daily, monop’beauty, monop’station and Naturalia.  For more information:

For more information on this news release, contact us.

Nordstrom donated through its give-back brand Treasure&Bond to nonprofits that work to empower youth

Also selects Boys & Girls Clubs of America as the brand’s new nonprofit partner

SEATTLE, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Nordstrom is excited to announce that the company has made another donation through its give-back brand, Treasure&Bond, which supports nonprofits that work to empower youth. As the brand’s second beneficiary, national organization Girls on the Run received $254,000, which equals 2.5% of Treasure&Bond’s net sales (or 5% of net profits) from February 1 through July 31, 2015.

Additionally, the brand has announced plans to expand from Women’s apparel into otherNordstrom departments.

“It’s been so rewarding for us to see Treasure&Bond evolve,” said Mark Tritton, president ofNordstrom Product Group. “The positive feedback from our customers has enabled us to support inspiring organizations like Girls on the Run and now we’re really excited to look to the future and make an even greater impact.”

New Products from Treasure&Bond
Treasure&Bond’s Americana-inspired collection began in the Nordstrom Women’s apparel department and will now grow to also have offerings in Women’s footwear, handbags, soft accessories, Men’s apparel and Kid’s apparel. Kid’s apparel will launch in February 2016. The rest of the expanded line is available in-store and online at and will now include:

  • Women’s footwear, which is available now, features washed artisan staples with a ‘borrowed from the boys’ feel. Casual urban boots and booties take center stage, supported by distressed leather sandals and flats.
  • The Men’s apparel collection, also available now, will be rooted in denim (under $100!) and surrounded by cool, laundered tees, lived in shirts, jackets and rugged sweaters.
  • Treasure&Bond handbags will focus on a mix of authentic casual silhouettes with cross-body totes and satchels, while the brand’s soft accessories will feature an effortless urban-cool layering authentic aesthetic. Both will be available in October.

With the addition of merchandise offerings in other Nordstrom departments, Treasure&Bond’s community outreach will grow, too. Now, beneficiaries will be selected that work to empower all youth – girls, boys, young women and young men.

New Beneficiary
From August 1, 2015 through January 2016, the brand’s sales will support Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). With more than 4,100 Clubs in the United States, on Native lands and on military installations at BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers around the world, Boys & Girls Clubs offer safe places for nearly 4 million kids and teens to learn, grow, and have fun while building a path to a great future. A portion of the funds will also go toward selected youth-focused nonprofit organizations in Canada.

“We’re very excited to partner with Nordstrom through their Treasure&Bond brand,” said Chad Royal-Pascoe, National Vice President, Corporate & Cause Partnerships for BGCA. “Together with the support of Nordstrom customers, we’ll be able to bring valuable programming and resources to kids across the country, helping them to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.”

Since its launch in summer 2014, Treasure&Bond has enabled Nordstrom to give almost$440,000 to Girls on the Run and the brand’s first nonprofit partner, Girls Inc.

Treasure&Bond is available in all Nordstrom stores and online at Product images can be found in the Nordstrom Press Room.

Media Contacts:

Tara Darrow
(206) 303-3016

Sara Leutzinger
(404) 487-5624

Nordstrom, Inc. is a leading fashion specialty retailer based in the U.S. Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, today Nordstrom operates 310 stores in 38 states and Canada. Customers are served at 119 Nordstrom stores in the U.S. and Canada; 183 Nordstrom Rack stores; two Jeffrey boutiques; and one clearance store. Additionally, customers are served online through, and HauteLook. The company also ownsTrunk Club, a personalized clothing service serving customers online at and its five clubhouses. Nordstrom, Inc.’s common stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN.

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at BGCA’s Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE Nordstrom, Inc.

Carrefour Poland to host number of commercial events across all of its hypermarkets in support of The French Touch campaign

POLAND, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The French Touch campaign is an initiative designed to promote France and French products in Poland. It will run from 23 September to 10 October 2015.

Carrefour Poland is serving as one of the campaign’s strategic partners and so will be organising a number of commercial events across all of its hypermarkets.

The purpose the campaign is to use cultural, touristic and commercial means to showcase France. Throughout the period, France and its products will be on show throughout Poland in many of its shopping centres. The highlights of France’s regions will be showcased, the aim being to show Polish people the richness and beauty of what they have to offer to visitors and make them want to find out more.

During the weeks of the “French Touch campaign” French product enthusiasts will be able to pick up a special passport from a number of outlets in Warsaw and other major towns and cities throughout Poland (as well as over the Internet). It will feature some very enticing commercial offerings so that they can purchase French products at attractive prices.


Carrefour Poland to host number of commercial events across all of its hypermarkets in support of The French Touch campaign

Carrefour Poland to host number of commercial events across all of its hypermarkets in support of The French Touch campaign

Girish Lakshman appointed president Fulfillment at Sears Holdings Corporation

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) today announced the appointment of Girish Lakshman as president, Fulfillment. His new role will support the company’s continued efforts to enhance the member experience, flawlessly fulfill member and customers’ needs and advance its integrated retail strategy.

Lakshman most recently served as vice president of Worldwide Transportation Strategy, Technology and Customer Returns at Amazon. During his 15 years with Amazon, Lakshman held positions with increasing responsibility in a variety of roles in transportation, technology, logistics, operational excellence and management. Lakshman’s early career experiences included operations planning for manufacturing and industrial engineering functions.

“Girish’s strong operational discipline, process thinking and experience leading change make him a strong fit for Sears Holdings,” said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “He will work closely with me and our supply chain and inventory management leaders to enhance our members’ experiences and support our transformation as an integrated retailer.”

Lakshman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from Osmania University in India.

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


Sears Holdings Public Relations
(847) 286-8371

SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation

Digital retailer Argos to hire over 9,000 seasonal workers this Christmas

MILTON KEYNES, UK, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Leading digital retailer Argos is looking for over 9,000 seasonal workers to help make Christmas happen for the millions of customers who will shop with Argos this Christmas.

Around 8,000 customer helpers are being sought to support over 800 Argos stores to meet customer demand for toys, video games, technology and other popular Christmas gifts this festive season.

1,000 drivers with great customer service skills are required to support Argos’ store to customer door distribution service during the peak shopping season, which it expects to be highly popular with customers looking for the certainty of same-day delivery.

Initial contracts for all vacancies are around three months, with the potential for some roles to become permanent at the end of the season, where vacancies exist.  Recruits will be offered a minimum of 12 hours per week (minimum of six hours per week for weekend staff).

Roles are available at stores across the UK, including more than 100 digital Argos stores, which combine the benefits of online shopping inside a physical store.

Steve Carson, Director of Retail and Customer Operations, Argos said: “Christmas is the busiest and most exciting time to be in retail and our ability to offer more than 20,000 products for the whole family within easy reach is why millions of people shop with us over the festive season.

“To make sure we offer customers the best possible service, we need extra support in our stores and we’re looking for people who are customer focused, energetic and enthusiastic.  As we gear up to make getting hold of Christmas gifts as easy as possible, for the first time we are also seeking drivers to join our store teams and support local deliveries to customers.

“People are at the heart of our business and we are committed to maintaining the friendly, personal service we are known for, whether customers are shopping online or in-store. We can offer fantastic, flexible training that will also benefit people for the long term.”

Argos serves more than 121 million customer transactions throughout its store network every year, with 95 per cent of the population living less than 10 miles from an Argos store.

Vacancies are available nationwide:

Country Approximate number of vacancies
England 7,343
Scotland 666
Wales 465
Ireland 718

New team members will receive competitive rates of pay and immediate benefits of 10 per cent staff discount at Argos and 20 per cent discount at sister company Homebase. The ‘My Benefits’ scheme gives all staff exclusive savings and local discounts both online and in a variety of other high street retailers.

Successful applicants can gain valuable and transferable skills via Argos’ Open Door training system. This enables them to work through retail training modules at work, on the move or from the comfort of their own home using their smartphone, tablet or PC.

For the fourth consecutive year, Argos will be continuing its successful partnership with TUI UK, parent company of Thomson and First Choice, under which summer seasonal workers with the travel company can apply for roles in their local Argos store for the winter season.

Interested candidates can apply for all roles at


Notes to Editors: For regional job breakdowns, images, case studies or more information, please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email:  Follow us on Twitter at @argos_PR.

About Argos
Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 50,000 products through, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the telephone.

Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with around 121m customer transactions a year through its stores and over 900 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2015.  Customers can take advantage of Argos’ convenient Check & Reserve service available through its network of 788 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

In the financial year to February 2015, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business.

Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

SOURCE: Home Retail Group


Digital retailer Argos to hire over 9,000 seasonal workers this Christmas

Digital retailer Argos to hire over 9,000 seasonal workers this Christmas

Homebase: sales of fig, olive trees and grapevines on the rise over the last 6 months

MILTON KEYNES, UK, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — It seems holidaying in Europe and enjoying a Mediterranean diet is no longer enough for us – we now want to bring our holidays home and grow our own olives, grapes and even figs.

As well as growing apples and pears more of us than ever before are buying olive and fig trees as well as grapevines to grow in the back garden.

Sales of fig trees and grapevines are up by almost a third (28 per cent) whilst sales of olive trees have risen by a quarter (25 per cent) over the last six months, according to Homebase.

Andrew Dyer, Grow Your Own buyer at Homebase, said: “We have seen a trend towards more exotic varieties of fruit-growing such as olives, figs and grapes. An increasing number of people are holidaying in Europe and choosing a Mediterranean diet and they now want to have a go at growing their own. Our tastes are broader than ever and we like to mix our own favourite British foods with new ones we have discovered and enjoyed on our travels. It’s also a great way of bringing back holiday memories and sharing them beyond just photos and video clips.

“Olives, figs and grapes can all grow well in Britain, even without a continental climate. Growers have had a lot of success with tasty olives, figs and grapes as fresh as they can possibly be because they have not been on a plane before ending up on the dinner plate.”


Note to Editors:

For more information, please contact the Homebase Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email .

Follow us @Homebase_PR.

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 58 million transactions a year, selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 279 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at In the financial year to February 2015, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 17,000 people across the business.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

SOURCE: Home Retail Group


Macy’s plans to hire seasonal associates for approximately 85,000 positions for the 2015 Christmas and holiday season

CINCINNATI, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) today said it plans to hire seasonal associates for approximately 85,000 positions at its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, call centers, distribution centers and online fulfillment centers nationwide for the 2015 Christmas and holiday season. The company’s 2015 seasonal hiring plan is essentially flat to last year.

“Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s customers have come to appreciate the higher level of our staffing and service throughout the Christmas and holiday shopping season, and our associates love the employment and income-earning opportunities at this very special time of the year,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer. “We first offer our current associates the opportunity to work extra hours over the holidays, then supplement our ongoing workforce with seasonal hires. This enhanced staffing allows us to provide additional help to customers, whether they are shopping in stores or online.”

Seasonal associates at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s serve customers on the selling floor, work in store operations positions, interact with customers via call centers, and staff the distribution and fulfillment centers that coordinate shipments to stores and directly to customers who buy online or via mobile. Macy’s, Inc. is one of America’s largest online retailers.

Macy’s, Inc.’s 2015 seasonal hiring plan includes the following:

  • Approximately 12,000 of the 85,000 total seasonal positions will be based in direct-to-consumer fulfillment facilities that support sales generated by the company’s omnichannel business strategy. These positions are located in megacenters in Goodyear, AZ; Cheshire, CT; Tulsa, OK; Portland, TN, and Martinsburg, WV, and well as in product-specific fulfillment centers in Sacramento, CA, Stone Mountain, GA, Secaucus, NJ, and Joppa, MD.
  • About 1,600 associates will be hired to interact with customers via telephone, email and online chat at customer service centers in Mason, Ohio; Clearwater, FL; Tempe, AZ; and St. Louis, MO.
  • More than 1,000 persons will be hired across the country to support the 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving DayParade, Santalands and other iconic holiday events.

“These seasonal positions represent much-needed jobs for America, and they fill an important niche in the employment spectrum. Especially at the holidays, we employ students working during break to help pay tuition, retirees seeking to remain active and individuals from many walks of life wanting to supplement their income. We are proud to offer them this opportunity to work in a fun, fast-paced and respectful environment,” Lundgren said.

Most seasonal positions are part-time, often with flexibility to fit the availability of the individuals hired. Many positions require the applicant to work evenings, weekends or overnight. In some cases, temporary seasonal associates are offered open year-round positions based on their skills and performance over the holiday season.

Applications for seasonal positions at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are being accepted at and Candidates who submit applications online will receive a response via email. Hiring for store sales positions will begin in mid-October. The company has already begun hiring for sales support positions, such as in distribution centers, call centers and store receiving.

“We have many examples of associates who started with us in temporary seasonal positions and stayed to enjoy a long and fulfilling career with our company. Seasonal employment is often an opportunity to get to know potential future employees and to identify talent that we can recruit as needs arise,” Lundgren said. “The holidays are a magical time of year, and helping customers select gifts from Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s is a special experience that generations of associates have enjoyed and found rewarding.”

Macy’s, Inc. employs about 166,900 associates on a year-round basis.

Macy’s, Inc., with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation’s premier retailers, with fiscal 2014 sales of $28.105 billion. The company operates about 885 stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guamand Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Outlet, Macy’s Backstage and Bluemercury, as well as the, and websites. Bloomingdale’s inDubai is operated by Al Tayer Group LLC under a license agreement.

All statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Macy’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this release because of a variety of factors, including conditions to, or changes in the timing of, proposed transactions, prevailing interest rates and non-recurring charges, competitive pressures from specialty stores, general merchandise stores, off-price and discount stores, manufacturers’ outlets, the Internet, mail-order catalogs and television shopping and general consumer spending levels, including the impact of the availability and level of consumer debt, the effect of weather and other factors identified in documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In light of these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as may be required by applicable law, Macy’s disclaims any obligation to update its forward-looking statements for any reason.

(NOTE: Additional information on Macy’s, Inc., including past news releases, is available at

Source: Macy’s, Inc.

Macy’s, Inc.
Media – Jim Sluzewski, 513-579-7764
Investor – Matt Stautberg, 513-579-7780

DKNY, Marc Jacobs, Edun: Winds of change swept across New York women’s fashion week

NEW YORK, NY, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Winds of change swept across New York women’s fashion week. Marc Jacobs unveiled his latest designs under his new unified label, which blends Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs into one brand. Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne presented their first collection for DKNY. And Edun creative director Danielle Sherman took the concept of ethical, cross-cultural fashion to new heights.

This year’s revelation, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne were named DKNY’s new creative directors last spring. Introducing a more low key, pared-down visual identity for the brand, the designers presented their first collection for Spring/Summer 2016. Born and raised in New York, they revisited their creative roots in the city to craft an extremely rigorous, edgy wardrobe. Straight shapes and bold motifs, strong black/white contrasts and Wall Street suits with an inventive Brooklyn twist brought studied sophistication and a surprising touch to DKNY.

For Marc Jacobs, the show was all about celebrating the present and the creativity spawned by social and digital media. Superimposed styles and eras set the tone, with a voluntary focus on the timeless and universal present. More than a style, Marc Jacobs’ show revealed a thought process, the capacity to be inspired by everything and everyone, to explore archives from a fresh point of view, to invent a very personal vision of the present moment. In the elegant, baroque setting of the Ziegfeld Theatre, extra-large, long trench coats inspired by 1950s movies met baggy jeans borrowed from 90s American campuses, and long hippie-era long lacy dresses.

For Edun, Danielle Sherman was inspired by the beautiful motifs of the ceremonial dance costumes of the Kuba Kingdom in Central Africa. Lines and polka dots decorated abstract, geometric shapes borrowed from artists of the 1930’s. Tops with straight collars and exposed shoulders, long dresses and tunics layered over large solid patches, created structured yet flowing silhouettes.


DKNY, Marc Jacobs, Edun: Winds of change swept across New York women’s fashion week

DKNY / Marc Jacobs / Edun

Sainsbury’s launches £10 million project to tackle household food waste

LONDON, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s is launching a £10 million project to tackle household food waste with a bold five year plan that could transform communities across the UK.

  • Committing £10 million over five years to tackle household food waste and more
  • Will spend £1 million transforming one UK town as a test bed for innovation in 2016
  • Will develop and share findings with other communities in subsequent years

The ambitious Waste Less, Save More initiative launches today with a search for one UK town to benefit from £1 million investment and become the test bed for innovation to discover which initiatives are most effective in reducing household food waste.

Findings and recommendations from this trial phase in year one will be developed into a blueprint and made public in subsequent years so that communities across the country can benefit from the results.

Sainsbury’s will then focus on supporting the changes that need to be made to make a long-term difference and measuring the impact of the activity, with the final phases of the project continuing to roll out change and explore opportunities to reduce other forms of waste.

Household food waste is an escalating issue which sees 7 million tonnes of food and drink wasted annually, with the average family throwing away £700 of food per year*. This is just under half of the 15 million tonnes of food wasted in the UK.

Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe, said: “We know that waste – and particularly food waste – is a big challenge for households across the UK and it’s something our customers really care about. Investing significantly in this area clearly demonstrates the scale of our ambition over the next five years and shows just how committed we are to helping our customers make a real difference in this area. We’re confident that the project, which will start with trialling and testing in one UK town, will result in positive change for many more.”

Environment Minister Rory Stewart said: “Everyone has a role to play in reducing food waste and I congratulate Sainsbury’s for looking at innovative solutions to address this nationwide problem. Waste Less, Save More is bringing together a major retailer and communities to generate new ideas to tackle this issue. I looking forward to seeing the successes from this scheme.”

Dr Richard Swannell, Director Sustainable Food Systems WRAP, added: “This is a great initiative by Sainsbury’s to help people reduce food waste at home. We know through our Love Food Hate Waste and Courtauld Commitment work that innovation and collaboration can significantly help reduce waste, delivering much needed cost and environmental savings. We look forward to working closely with Sainsbury’s throughout the project to share our experience and expertise to make a real difference locally and nationally.”

Sainsbury’s is looking for a trial town that has a population of between 15,000 and 300,000 and has a Sainsbury’s store within a five mile radius. The town must also demonstrate a strong sense of community and be keen and willing to work together to tackle food waste. Sainsbury’s will work together with the town to devise a year-long investment plan, that might include:

  • Fridge innovations for the home to track when food is beginning to go off
  • Talking bins that give tips as rubbish is put in them
  • Reward programmes to encourage recycling
  • New packaging to keep products fresher for longer
  • Educational programmes for local schools and community centres

Individuals or community groups that would like to nominate their town to work with Sainsbury’s and benefit from £1 million investment as part of its Waste Less, Save More project can find out more at The winning town will be announced on 1 December 2015.

* Household food and drink waste in the UK 2012


Sainsbury’s launches £10 million project to tackle household food waste

Sainsbury’s launches £10 million project to tackle household food waste

Sainsbury’s: Average UK family spends around £700 a year on food that could be eaten but is thrown away

LONDON, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — At Sainsbury’s we want to know our customers better than anyone else and our values remain at the heart of our business.

Over the last year we have carried out research with over 5,000 of our customers to find out about the values that matter most to them when they do their shopping. Perhaps unsurprisingly we found that it’s the issues that are closest to home that take priority, and top of the list for our customers is to waste less food. This is primarily driven by the impact that throwing away food has on household budgets, with the average family in the UK spending around £700 a year on food that could be eaten but is thrown away.

We’re proud of the work we’ve already done to reduce waste, both ourselves and for our customers, but we know we need to be more ambitious, that’s why we’re launching our Waste Less, Save More initiative today.

We are in search of a UK town to become the test bed for some of the most innovative ideas to cut down on food waste. The selected town will receive a £1 million investment in the first year, and will be used as a blueprint so that communities across the country can benefit from the results.

We’re planning to bring ideas and innovations to the residents, schools and of course the local Sainsbury’s, whether that’s tracking when food in the fridge is starting to go off, or new packaging to keep products fresher for longer.

Click to download application pack.

Click to download application form.


Sainsbury’s: Average UK family spends around £700 a year on food that could be eaten but is thrown away

Sainsbury’s: Average UK family spends around £700 a year on food that could be eaten but is thrown away

IKEA becomes one of the largest providers of ASC and AMC certified seafood globally

Conshohocken, PA, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA today announces that seafood sold and served in its stores comes from sustainable and responsible sources certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This commitment marks the next step toward a wider offer of healthier and more sustainable food in IKEA restaurants, bistros and Swedish food markets. With more than 23 different ASC and MSC certified species across stores in 47 markets, IKEA is now one of the largest food service providers of responsibly produced fish in the world and brings certified seafood to eight IKEA markets for the very first time.

IKEA Food is continuing to develop according to its new direction. The commitment to offer seafood that is certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) marks a natural next step for IKEA and follows the introduction of veggie balls in April of this year.

“I am really proud that our customers can enjoy tasty fish that has been responsibly produced by people with good working conditions. This is a result of our high ambitions and commitment regarding the whole value chain, from fisheries and farms to training of our co-workers and certification of the restaurants,” says Michael La Cour, Managing Director of IKEA Food Services AB.

Seafood has a long tradition in Swedish kitchens and it is specifically enjoyed during Christmas, Easter and Midsummer celebrations. Being part of our Swedish heritage, it is sold and served every day at IKEA.

“The commitment to responsible seafood sourcing is an exciting next step in the progression of our food business. Offering healthy, tasty and sustainable food options at affordable prices follows our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people,” says Gerd Diewald, IKEA US Food Manager.

The MSC and ASC certification programs are globally recognised as the world’s most credible, science-based standards for sustainable and responsible seafood and ensure less water pollution, preservation of diversity of species, and good working conditions.

“IKEA is demonstrating global leadership in sustainability. By sourcing and selling only certified sustainable seafood, IKEA is powerfully inspiring consumer choices and influencing sustainable business practices around the world. IKEA’s significant commitment is already helping to ensure oceans teeming with life, and secure seafood supplies, for future generations,” says Nicolas Guichoux, Global Commercial Director, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

“I am delighted with IKEA´s decision to source ASC certified responsibly farmed seafood. The global IKEA commitment to the ASC programme is a game changer; introducing the ASC to consumers in many new markets. This is exceptional leadership in supporting the change necessary to promote the development of responsible aquaculture. Customers can now be assured that the salmon in IKEA’s restaurants and Swedish Food Markets comes from farms that respect the environment, the rights of workers and the interests of the local community,” says Chris Ninnes, CEO, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).

ASC* (Aquaculture Stewardship Council), is an international non-profit organisation that sets environmental and social standard for certifying responsible and well-managed fish farms. It contributes to ensuring availability of seafood, the health of the ocean and the livelihood of local communities that rely of the farms for the long term.

MSC (Marine Stewardship Council), is an international non-profit organisation that certifies sustainable fishery practises for wild caught fish. MSC certified fisheries must continually meet requirements for maintaining fish populations, reducing impacts on the environment and ensuring that the fishery is well managed.

* The ASC Salmon Standard was launched in 2012 as a result of the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue that began in 2004, initiated by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This Dialogue involved IKEA and other industry stakeholders.

IKEA will be making the following certified seafood species available to consumers in all IKEA markets:

1.Prawn (Northern) Pandalus borealis
2.Herring Clupea harengus
3.Salmon Salmo salar
4.Alaska Pollock Theragra chalcogramma
5.Cod (Atlantic) Gadus morhua
6.Hoki Macruronus novaezelandiae
7.Hake (cape) Merluccius capensis
8.Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus
9.Pangasius Pangasianodon hypophthalmus
10.Flounder Atheresthes stomias or Atheresthes evermanni
11.Saith Pollachius virens
12.Blue Mussel Mytilus medulis
13.Cod (Pacific) Gadus macrocephalus
14.North Pacific Hake Merlucius productus
15.Patagonian Grenadier Macruronus magellanicus
16.Golden Red fish Sebastes Marinus
17.Prawn (banana) Fenneropenaeus merguiensis
18.Scallop (Atlantic) Placopecten magellanicus
19.Sole (Southern rock) Lepidopsetta bilineata
20.Sole (yellowfin) Limanda aspera
21.Whiting (southern blue) Micromesistius australis
22.Salmon (chum) Oncorhynchus keta
23.Salmon (pink) Oncorhynchus gorbuscha

For further information, please contact:

Mona Astra Liss
US Corporate PR Director
Phone number: 610.834.0180, ext. 5852
Email address:

About IKEA Group
The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 328 IKEA Group stores in 28 countries. Additionally, there are 40 IKEA stores run by franchises. There are 40 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 15, IKEA Group had 771 million visitors to the stores and 1.9 billion visitors to IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, please visit,, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA,,,,

The new H&M campaign starring David Beckham and comedian Kevin Hart to debut on on 28 September

STOCKHOLM, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — For his new H&M campaign, David Beckham has teamed up with actor and comedian Kevin Hart to give a humorous take on the world of Beckham himself. In the campaign, for the new Modern Essentials selected by David Beckham autumn 2015 collection, Hart plays a method actor preparing to take on the role of Beckham. The video will debut on on 28 September, and in cinemas and on TV on 30 September, alongside a print and billboard campaign.

“Kevin Hart is one of the funniest, smartest guys around. I love to do the unexpected for my H&M campaigns. I hope everyone enjoys watching it as much as I did making it,” says David Beckham.

“To be able to make fun of a global icon like David Beckham is a comedian’s dream. I love fashion as much as I love sports, which is why I was so excited to star in David’s new H&M campaign,” says Kevin Hart.

This year, as part of its long-term relationship with David, H&M launched Modern Essentials selected by David Beckham. It’s his pick of the wardrobe essentials a man needs each season, and this new autumn 2015 collection is available in every H&M store that sells menswear from the beginning of October.

Kevin Hart is one of the world’s best loved comedians. He is the star of films such as Get Hard, The Wedding Ringer and Ride Along, and his current stand-up tour “What Now?”.

Only press enquiries
Phone: +46 8 796 53 00

All other enquiries
H&M switchboard +46 8 796 55 00

Head of Communications
Kristina Stenvinkel
+46 8 796 39 08

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


The new H&M campaign starring David Beckham and comedian Kevin Hart to debut on on 28 September

The new H&M campaign starring David Beckham and comedian Kevin Hart to debut on on 28 September

SONIC® Drive-In announced the return of Boneless Wings

America’s Drive-In introduces six bold sauces

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Back by popular demand, SONIC® Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC) announced the return of Boneless Wings with a lineup of exciting flavors for the ultimate wing experience. Tossed with sauces infused with bold ingredients like ginger, spicy habanero sauce, lemongrass, garlic and honey, these fan favorites will please any wing lover.

SONIC’s Boneless Wings are made with 100 percent all white-meat chicken and are available in six mouth-watering sauces, each loaded with bold flavor: Garlic Parmesan, Honey Barbeque, Asian Sweet Chili, Buffalo, Island Fire™ and Extreme Habanero Heat. Wing lovers across the nation can also spend their Monday nights at SONIC for Wing Night in America! Every Monday night untilDecember 20, from 5 p.m. to close, Boneless Wings are buy one, get one free. Whether it’s two orders of Island Fire or one order of all six flavors, Wing Night in America is the perfect time to feed your wing cravings.

“Our guests’ response was incredibly positive last year when we first introduced our Boneless Wings as a limited time offer. Our team of culinary experts developed a host of exciting new flavors we cannot wait for our fans to try,” saidTodd Smith, chief marketing officer for Sonic Corp. “Our new lineup elevates sauces to the next level in a way you won’t find anywhere else.”

SONIC’s upgraded lineup of sauces includes four new flavors: Garlic Parmesan, Honey Barbeque, Island Fire and Extreme Habanero Heat. A flavor crowd pleaser, the Garlic Parmesan is a creamy sauce made with Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic and Italian herbs. For barbeque lovers, the Honey Barbeque sauce is made with real brown sugar and honey to create the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The Island Fire is a SONIC signature and sweet heat Caribbean spiced sauce that is back on the menu by popular demand. The Extreme Habanero Heat sauce is an extreme combination of habanero, cayenne and chili for the boldest heat seekers.

Two fan-favorite flavors from last year, Asian Sweet Chili and Buffalo, are returning to the saucy lineup to give guests a variety of options for the perfect juicy wing. For a more exotic flavor, the Asian Sweet Chili sauce is made with savory soy sauce, bright, fresh ginger, lemongrass and spicy red pepper flakes for a distinct but subtle kick of heat. The Buffalo sauce is made with hot and fiery cayenne, red chili peppers and a touch of chipotle, giving guests a great choice for a traditional wing flavor profile with a kick.

All flavors of SONIC’s Boneless Wings are available in packs of six, 12 or 24. Guests who order 12 or 24 Boneless Wings have the option to mix or match two sauces to try more than one flavor. Whether you’re feeding a family or an entire tailgate, SONIC has you covered with the Flavor Feast featuring 24 Boneless Wings, four medium drinks and a family size Tots or fries.

Pair an order of Boneless Wings with Tots and a Cherry Limeade to make a great meal for lunch, dinner, or anywhere in between. Boneless Wings are available all day, but only for a limited time.

About SONIC, America’s Drive-In
SONIC, America’s Drive-In, is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain serving more than 3 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. Over the past 60 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, more than 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. To learn more about Sonic Corp.(NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


for SONIC Drive-In
Matthew Young, 512-542-2802
Christi Woodworth, 405-225-5600
Vice President of Public Relations

Source: SONIC Drive-In

News Provided by Acquire Media


Extreme Habanero Heat Boneless Wings (Photo: Business Wire)

Extreme Habanero Heat Boneless Wings (Photo: Business Wire)

CVS study: Initial Prescription Fills Can Accurately Predict Long-term Medication Adherence

Approach can help quickly identify patients most likely to benefit from interventions to improve medication adherence

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — A new study by researchers at the CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) Research Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital provides evidence that patients’ patterns of medication fills in the first few months after starting on a chronic therapy accurately predict future medication adherence behavior. The study, published in The American Journal of Managed Care, suggests that this approach may help quickly identify those patients most likely to benefit from medication adherence interventions.

“With the increasing availability of rich patient data, we can better anticipate how the patients we manage will take their medications,” said Niteesh Choudhry, MD, PhD, associate physician, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and associate professor, Harvard Medical School and the study’s senior author. “This research shows that by focusing on a patient’s initial, short-term medication filling behavior – are they or are they not refilling their prescription on time during the first few months of therapy – we can predict with great precision whether a patient will continue to take the medication as prescribed over the long-term.”

The study included claims data from more than 77,000 Medicare beneficiaries that began taking a statin or statin combination drug over a three year period and whose pharmacy benefits are administered by CVS/caremark, the pharmacy benefit management company of CVS Health. Based on patterns of prescription filling over the year following therapy initiation, the researchers used group-based trajectory models to classify patients into six adherence trajectories– ranging from non-adherent to near-perfect adherence–to help capture both duration and intensity of medication taking. The results showed that patient patterns of initial medication filling in the first two to four months following initiation of a prescription accurately predicted future adherence behavior, allowing precise prediction of the patterns of medication taking over the subsequent year.

This research helps to further validate group-based trajectory modeling as an accurate approach to classify patient medication adherence behaviors. This study builds on a growing body of peer-reviewed literature developed through the research partnership between Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the CVS Health Research Institute. Previous studies by these research partners have demonstrated that the group-based trajectory model offers greater precision than other sophisticated computational approaches to predict adherence, after initially describing this methodology in a publication in the journal Medical Care in 2013.

“This approach is helping us better target interventions to those patients who are most likely to benefit because trajectory modeling differentiates between patients who struggle with adherence at different times during their treatment,” said William Shrank, MD, MSHS, senior vice president and Chief Scientific Officer of CVS Health and study co-author. “It can also be easily replicated and available to support a wide spectrum of payors and providers who are attempting to improve the quality and reduce the costs of health care. Increasingly, we are finding that, through better analytics, we can deliver the right intervention to the right patient at the right time.”

Research shows that half of people who have long-term prescriptions for chronic conditions do not take their medicines as prescribed, costing the U.S. nearly $300 billion and tens of thousands of lives each year. As a pharmacy innovation company, CVS Health is using advanced analytics to more effectively target medication adherence interventions, improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs. In fact, CVS Health recently launched the Vulnerable Patient Index (VPI), a tool that uses pharmacy claims data to risk-stratify patients and identify CVS/caremark members most likely to generate high total health care costs resulting from poor medication adherence or unsafe use of complex regimens. By leveraging rich claims databases to better understand risk and to anticipate patient behaviors, CVS Health is better positioned to manage the health of populations by delivering tailored interventions that address individual patient medication use challenges.

The CVS Health Research Institute is focused on contributing to the body of scientific knowledge related to pharmacy and health care through research collaborations with external academic institutions, participation in federally-funded research, analysis and sharing of CVS Health data sources and coordination of pilot programs and initiatives. This analysis is part of a multi-year research collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital to better understand patient behavior, particularly around medication adherence. CVS Health Research Institute findings support a continuous quality improvement environment, which encourages product innovation and development to benefit CVS Health patients, clients and their members.

About CVS Health
CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health.  Through its 7,800 retail drugstores, nearly 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs.  Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at


Asda’s latest Income Tracker: Brits had an extra £18 a week to spend in August compared to 2014

LEEDS, England, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Families continue to enjoy spending their extra cash as Asda’s latest Income Tracker reveals that Brits had an extra £18 a week to spend in August compared to 2014.

  • The average UK household had £191 a week of discretionary income in August 2015, up by an extra £18 a week (10.7%) on August 2014
  • Fuel prices dropped by 12.9%, giving rugby fans on the road across the country a reason to celebrate
  • The cost of stocking cupboards and fridges for a big night in falls, thanks to a 2.4% drop in food and drink prices
  • Big screens and sound-bars which bring the games to fans see a 9.2% fall in price

Following opening night celebrations and a weekend of sporting excitement, Brits will be enjoying a taste of financial freedom during the Rugby World Cup, with more to spend on enjoying the games with friends and family. Asda’s latest income tracker shows that families now have £191 a week in disposable income, an increase of £18 a week (10.7%) on the same time last year.

And the good news doesn’t stop there. Those travelling the country to support their favourite teams and see the action up close needn’t give a second thought to tackling transport costs, with fuel prices falling 12.9% on August last year and the falling rate of inflation dropping back to 2.6%, making the journey to the game even more enjoyable.

Families choosing to have a big night in and watch the drama unfold from the comfort of their living rooms will also enjoy the benefits of the current economy. With food and drink prices falling by 2.4%, there’s even more reason for consumers to stock up on everyone’s favourite treats for a night in front of the TV cheering their team on!

What’s more, for those rugby fans eager to feel as if they are at the heart of the action, a 9.2% fall in the cost of audio visual equipment sees the average big night get even bigger, with the increase in spending power making it easier to convert the home cinema dream into a reality.

Chief Executive at Asda, Andy Clarke, said: “The economy continues to go from strength to strength and stability in the wider economy remains the key driver behind an increase in disposable income across the UK. Since the economic collapse there has been a shift in behaviour around spending versus saving and even though we’ve seen family’s spending power rise, households are choosing to save more money for a rainy day.

“Events such as this year’s Rugby World Cup provide economies with a shot in the arm and supporters visiting from across the world will be pleased to see that a fall in the rate of inflation across travel, hotel, sports equipment and restaurant are all contributing to an increase in disposable income.”

As more and more Brits celebrate the 10.7% rise in spending power, restaurants and bars continue to benefit from the boost in consumer spending confidence, no doubt looking to build on this as a nation of supporters gets set to celebrate and socialise by dining out.

Sam Alderson, Economist, Cebr, said: “In the wake of the global headwinds emanating from the slowdown in the Chinese economy, further evidence of strong growth in family spending power is welcome news for the UK economy.”

“Even though Christmas is fast approaching, with wages rising at rates well above inflation, households are in a great position to enjoy the autumn months and events such as the Rugby World Cup. ”

Read the full report here.


NRF’s 2015 Halloween Consumer Top Costumes Survey: Minions and “Star Wars” characters on the lists of adults, children and pets

Witch Tops NRF’s Adult Costume List for 11th Year in a Row

WASHINGTON, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Little yellow Minions, pint-size Yodas and pretty pink princesses are planning a takeover this Halloween as consumers’ costume decisions shed light on an epic year for pop-culture fanatics. According to NRF’s 2015 Halloween Consumer Top Costumes Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, Minions and “Star Wars” characters each made an appearance on all three top costume lists – adults, children’s and pets.

“As we’ve seen for several years, Hollywood and pop culture both have a tremendous impact on how adults and their children decide to dress the part each Halloween, and it’s evident some of the biggest newsmakers of the year will be out in full force this fall,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Maintaining their 11 year reign, princess costumes will once again top the children’s costume list with an estimated 3.2 million tiny tots looking to dress the part. Another 2 million will be their favorite Disney “Frozen” character. Additionally, more than 1.8 million children will don a “Star Wars” costume and 1 million will select a little yellow Minion costume as they take to the streets this Halloween.

For the 11th year in a row, a witch came in as the top adult costume with more than 4.3 million adults going with old reliable. “Star Wars” characters ranked 5th for adults this year after tying for 12th last year: 1.4 million adults will channel Han Solo, Princess Leia, Yoda or another beloved “Star Wars” character this Halloween. Animal characters (2.4 million), “Batman” characters (2 million) and zombie (1.9 million) round out the topfive adult costumes.

Additionally, 774,000 adults chose a political character as their preferred costume this year.

About one in 10 Halloween celebrants (12.9%) plan to dress their furry friends in costumes this year, and of the 80 percent of those surveyed who have already selected the costume, most (10.6%) will choose a little round pumpkin for Kitty and Rover. Additionally, several pet owners will opt to put their four-legged friend in a “Star Wars” (8th on the list) or Minion costume (11th).

“It’s easier than ever for consumers to find creative Halloween costumes given the popularity of Pinterest and Instagram and the immediate access to pop culture trends,” said Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “It’s always a nice surprise to see what tops the lists each year and to see just how creative people will get when it comes to what their own and even their pets’ costumes.”


NRF 2015 Top Costumes Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.

About the survey
NRF’s 2015 Halloween consumer spending surveys were designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Halloween spending. The surveys were conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights and Analytics. The poll of 6,754 consumers was conducted from September 1-8, 2015. The consumer polls have a margin of error of +/- 1.2 percentage points.

Prosper Insights and Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues.

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support 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.

Kathy Grannis Allen
(202) 783-7971
(855) NRF-Press

RILA: retailers spend billions to accept new, more secure credit cards, commonly referred to as “chip” cards

American Banks And Credit Unions Continue To Issue Less Secure “Signature” Cards

Arlington, VA, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — A change is coming to the checkout. This fall national retailers are turning on newly installed payment terminals aimed at better protecting consumers from cybercrime and credit card fraud.  These machines are designed to accept new, more secure credit cards, commonly referred to as “chip” cards. These new credit cards will contain an embedded microchip that cannot be replicated, making it more difficult for hackers to use stolen card numbers to produce fraudulent credit cards.

Retailers are spending billions of dollars putting in place new payment terminals that are certified for chip card acceptance. This will ensure they are not held liable for counterfeit fraud usage when new cards make their way to the marketplace, and will ensure a more secure transaction for consumers compared to current technology.

“Retailers are making a multi-billion dollar investment to protect customers and reduce credit card fraud,” said Brian Dodge, executive vice president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “Unfortunately, retailers are only one-half of the equation, and at present, banks and credit unions are not meeting the retail investment with the same commitment to consumer protection.”

While retailers turn on new payment machines, there is one security feature missing from the new cards being issued by American banks and credit unions—an accompanying PIN number. Unlike the credit cards issued in Canada, Europe and the rest of the industrialized world, U.S. consumers are being issued “chip-and-signature” cards rather than “chip-and-PIN” cards.  The PIN adds an extra layer of security, and makes it even more difficult—if not impossible—for cybercriminals to replicate counterfeit cards.

Chip-and-PIN cards are already in wide use around the world and have significantly reduced fraud. For example, in the United Kingdom “chip-and-PIN” cards have reduced fraud by 67%.

“Chip and PIN has been proven to combat fraud dramatically,” added Dodge. “But that’s not what American consumers are getting, and thus far banks have gone to great lengths to blur the lines between the two distinctly different transactions.”

U.S. banks and credit unions have argued that the chip is enough, and will prevent counterfeit credit cards from being made. However, cyber-thieves have already begun to find ways to work around the chip, making the PIN a vital component of a more secure payment ecosystem.

In an effort to make sure consumers have the most modern means to protect themselves against fraud, retailers are urging banks and credit unions to ditch the signature and adopt the PIN.

“We know Chip and PIN works. At a minimum, American consumers deserve the same level of security afforded cardholders in Europe and Canada,” concluded Dodge. There is no legitimate excuse for why banks and card networks are willing to accept weaker card security here in the United States.”

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.


Jason Brewer
Senior Vice President, Communications & Advocacy
Phone: 703-600-2050

RILA: financial services industry make dubious claims about the deployment of new cards and the readiness of retailers

Arlington, VA, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — As the October 1st liability shift approaches for banks and retailers to use new “chip” credit cards, many in the financial services industry are making dubious claims about the deployment of new cards and the readiness of retailers.

Randy Vanderhook, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance is falsely claiming that banks and card networks are outpacing retailers for the EMV transition in an article in today’s San Diego Union-Tribune:


“Issuers have largely gotten the cards into consumer’s hands, but merchants have not activated terminals or completed migration for chip,” said Randy Vanderhook, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance, an industry association that aims to stimulate adoption of chip 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. The truth is that banks, credit unions and the card networks are nowhere close to replacing the more than 1.2 billion cards Americans carry in their wallets.


Retailers are spending more than $8 billion to upgrade their point of sale terminals to accept new “chip” cards before the October 1st liability shift deadline, and most large retailers will have the new terminals up and running this fall.


“Retailers are making a multi-billion dollar investment to protect customers and reduce credit card fraud,” said Brian Dodge, executive vice president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “Unfortunately, the claims being presented by the financial services industry represent an attempt to mislead reporters and consumers rather than provide the facts surrounding the upcoming October 1st liability shift.”

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.


Jason Brewer
Senior Vice President, Communications & Advocacy
Phone: 703-600-2050