More than 6,000 U.S. corporate and franchise-owned Taco Bell restaurants will serve cage-free eggs by December 31, 2016

Brand on target to fulfill goal to remove artificial colors and flavors; Deepens pledge to meet consumers’ desire for simplicity, transparency and choice

IRVINE, Calif., 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Taco Bell® today extended its long-standing promise to delivering quality food at great value by announcing that 100% of its more than 6,000 U.S. corporate and franchise-owned restaurants will exclusively serve cage-free eggs by December 31, 2016. After several years of planning, the brand expects to be the first national quick service restaurant to completely implement the change, outpacing some competitive implementation timelines by years. According to the Humane Society of the United States, approximately 500,000 hens each year will benefit from this change.

“We are a brand that has our finger on the pulse of not only what appeals to our customers’ tastes but also the issues they care most about, and they tell us they want food that’s simple and easy to understand,” said Brian Niccol, CEO, Taco Bell Corp. “Implementing this change at record pace underscores that we are always listening and responding to our customers, while doing what is right for our business.”

The move also supports the brand’s focus on disrupting the breakfast market with fun, craveable menu items that feature eggs, like the A.M. Crunchwrap, Biscuit Taco and breakfast burritos.

Teaming with its strategic partner, Taco Bell will transition to cage-free eggs in an industry-leading 12-month time frame. Taco Bell’s eggs will be verified as “American Humane Certified” based on cage-free egg production standards set by the American Humane Association.

“Delivering a sustainable and safe egg supply to Taco Bell restaurants nationwide in one year is possible due to the brand’s large yet flexible infrastructure, and years of close collaboration with our partners,” Liz Matthews, Chief Food Innovation Officer, Taco Bell Corp.

Cage-free egg production supports the natural behaviors of hens, including walking, spreading of wings, nesting, and perching, and can lead to animals exhibiting lower levels of stress.

“Taco Bell has catapulted itself ahead of other major restaurant chains. Switching to 100 percent cage-free eggs by the end of 2016 is a tremendous commitment that will quickly improve the lives of countless animals and further cement the future of egg production as being one without cages,” said Josh Balk, Senior Food Policy Director, The Humane Society of the United States.

Food for All Milestones Met
Taco Bell also confirmed that by the beginning of 2016, it will deliver on its stated goal of removing artificial flavors and colors, added trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, and unsustainable palm oil from its core menu items. The company also plans to introduce aspartame-free diet Pepsi products in all of its U.S. restaurants beginning in early 2016.

With an eye to the future, the company plans to expand its policies related to food simplicity, transparency and choice in coming months, to complement its stated goal of eliminating additional preservatives and additives where possible by end of 2017.

“Ingredient transparency is more important than ever to the next generation of Taco Bell customers. That is why we remain hungry and challenge ourselves to set ambitious yet achievable commitments that make our food better, without ever compromising the flavor that our fans crave,” said Matthews.

Taco Bell’s food journey spans over a decade, and has included a 15 percent sodium reduction across the menu, the removal of all kid’s meals from the menu in U.S. stores, and the introduction of the Cantina Power Menu™ for fans looking for options that are high-protein and under 500 calories. Over the years, Taco Bell has also removed additives such as BHA/BHT, HVPs, MSG and Azodicarbonamide from its food. The brand is also the first QSR to serve American Vegetarian Association-certified (AVA) menu items, empowering customers to select from millions of customizable vegetarian options.

ABOUT TACO BELL® CORPORATION
Taco Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), is the nation’s leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant. Taco Bell serves made to order and customizable tacos, burritos, and specialties such as the exclusive Doritos® Locos Tacos, gourmet-inspired Cantina Power® Menu, lower calorie Fresco options and is the first QSR restaurant to offer American Vegetarian Association (AVA)-certified menu items. Taco Bell Breakfast offers portable, classic items such as the A.M. Crunchwrap, Biscuit Taco and signature breakfast burritos. The company encourages customers to “Live Más,” both through its food and in ways such as its Feed The Beat® music program and its nonprofit organization, the Taco Bell® Foundation™. Taco Bell and its more than 350 franchise organizations have nearly 6,000 restaurants across the United States that proudly serve more than 40 million customers every week.

Like: Facebook.com/tacobell
Follow: @TacoBell (Twitter) and tacobell (Instagram)
Subscribe: YouTube.com/tacobell

SOURCE: Taco Bell Corp.

Starbucks unveils handpicked selection of holiday gifts at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle

SEATTLE, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — When Starbucks first opened the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, the intent was to create a retail experience unlike anything customers had seen from Starbucks. One year later, Starbucks is surprising its customers again with a handpicked selection of holiday gifts at the Roastery.

Jennifer Quotson, vice president of Starbucks Creative, was one of the curators for the collection.

“It was our goal when we opened the Roastery to do something different,” said Quotson. “We’ve embraced that philosophy with an unexpected collection of pieces, selected with the same care as we do for our coffee.”

Through the holidays, while supplies last, customers visiting the Roastery will have the opportunity to purchase an array of personal gifts – including technology, notions, entertaining, kitchen and home. Story cards tell the story about the people behind each product.

“Some items are tied to coffee, but we also feature things that are fun and giftable,” Quotson said. “It’s an eclectic mix, but they are all tied together through the coffeehouse experience.”

Featured makers include Hardmill, the Seattle-based company that crafted the leather wrap on the Roastery’s railings and produces the leather and waxed canvas aprons worn by the roasters and baristas. They will be selling leather coasters and coffee cup sleeves, waxed canvas aprons and totes, and a coffee brew kit in a leather bag designed exclusively for the Roastery that includes everything needed for a great cup of coffee on the go.

“It is an honor for us to have our products for sale at the Roastery, as it has become such a destination in Seattle,” said Hardmill’s Michael Barrie.

Also at the Roastery this holiday is Los Angeles-based fashion brand, The Giving Keys. Actress and singer-songwriter Caitlin Crosby first started with the idea in 2008, and the company now employs a team of people transitioning from homelessness. Each key is hand-stamped with a single word of hope and inspiration. Dream. Inspire. Courage.

“To be recognized and included by a global brand like Starbucks is a validation of what we’re trying to achieve in the fashion and social space,” said Crosby. “To share this with a company like Starbucks with a social mission means the world to us.”

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

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation

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Starbucks unveils handpicked selection of holiday gifts at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle

Starbucks unveils handpicked selection of holiday gifts at the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle

The Fondation Louis Vuitton features special art project to raise funds for charity called “recto/verso”

PARIS, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Fondation Louis Vuitton is featuring a very special art project to raise funds for charity called “recto/verso” (front/back). The exhibition of contemporary art works, which runs until November 15, will culminate with an auction of the works, which remain anonymous when they go under the hammer. All proceeds will be donated to the Secours Populaire charity. This unique concept in France is supported by the LVMH Group.

More than 200 contemporary artists, both established and emerging, agreed to take part in the recto/verso project, creating a work specially for the event. The only “rules” were that all the works had to be the same format, and could only be signed on the back, making them all equal when they are auctioned anonymously.

Displayed to the public from November 11-15, the works will be sold at a novel type of auction. Collectors bid on a work without knowing the name of the artist, which is concealed on the back of the canvas. They can try to recognize the artist, or simply let their personal taste be their guide. Bidding starts at 150 euros, thus encouraging a larger number of people to take part.

This project is designed to help promote broad access to culture, since proceeds will be donated to the French charity Secours Populaire, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The funds raised will enable the association to continue its initiatives to facilitate access to art and culture, which plays an essential role in helping improve the lives of disadvantaged people.

The recto/verso project encompasses multiple facets, uniting artists, specialists from the art world, collectors and the public behind the same cause thanks to a shared passion for contemporary art.

SOURCE: LVHM

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© Bernard Nicolau Bergeret for the Fondation Louis Vuitton

© Bernard Nicolau Bergeret for the Fondation Louis Vuitton

Sainsbury’s: Woodland Trust marks historic tree planting milestone

Thousands of green fingered school children across the county are set to receive free trees as the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity marks a historic tree planting milestone.

LONDON, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Over the last year, the Woodland Trust – with lead partner Sainsbury’s – has planted a million trees to honour those who lived and served in the First World War.

As well as being in the process to plant four new UK woods it has provided free trees to thousands of schools and communities.

This week it will deliver 465,000 free trees to schools and communities across the country. One of these trees could contain a golden ticket that identifies one lucky group as the custodians of the millionth tree of the charity’s First World War Centenary Woods Project. The tree will provide a poignant reminder to the fact that Britain lost around a million people during the war.

Trees are desperately needed in the UK as tree cover is very low at just 13 per cent, compared to the European average of 38 per cent.

We are the lead partner of the First World War Centenary Woods project by helping to plant millions of native trees to commemorate the First World War. And, we have supported the Woodland Trust since 2004 with the launch of free range Woodland eggs and other products.

First World War Project Manager Philippa Borrill said: “This week is a really exciting and poignant time for the Woodland Trust. Not only will hundreds of schools be receiving free trees – bringing the important educational and health benefits of nature to many, but the millionth tree marks an important milestone in our First World War Project. We are a quarter of the way through the project to plant millions of trees as a lasting tribute to those who lived and served in the First World War. One group will receive a golden ticket – and essentially will become custodians of our millionth tree. While this is a fun idea it is also a symbolic mark in the commemorations as one million people also lost their lives in the First World War.”

Fawbert and Barnard Primary School, in Harlow, Essex, received free trees to plant as protection from a busy busy road, as part of the spring 2015 send out. More than 50 children enjoyed planting the trees as part of a lunchtime club.

Christine Baxter, senior administrator at the school, said: “When we do an activity such as planting trees, I always explain to the children what we are doing and why. They learn a new skill, they get to realise that not everything they plant survives but that they stand a better chance if we look after them. So many children do not get the opportunities to enjoy seeing things grow but it is obvious they do get so much out of doing so. We set aside a part of our budget each year for the environment but it is never able to be enough – the free packs are greatly appreciated.”

The school or community group which receives the ticket will be asked to contact the Woodland Trust which is organising a special surprise for them.

Woodland Trust tree packs have been generously funded by lead partners Sainsbury’s, IKEA FAMILY, players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Yorkshire Tea.

Be part of this special project

Schools and communities can now apply for tree packs for spring 2016 – the Woodland Trust will have 3250 available.

All those eligible will receive their tree packs between 7-11 March 2016. People can apply for packs by going to www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees

SOURCE:  J Sainsbury plc

 

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Sainsbury’s: Woodland Trust marks historic tree planting milestone

Sainsbury’s: Woodland Trust marks historic tree planting milestone

More than 400 doorbuster deals offered during Black Friday weekend at Macy’s

Customers can shop starting at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving evening in most stores

NEW YORK, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — As customers prepare for one of the biggest shopping events of the year, Macy’s (NYSE:M) is announcing incredible Black Friday deals beginning at 6 p.m. at most stores on Thanksgiving day, and online all day at macys.com. With more than 400 doorbuster deals offered during Black Friday weekend, shoppers will have access to extraordinary savings across apparel, cosmetics and fragrances, home and more.

The following is a look at Macy’s Black Friday doorbuster specials, available while supplies last, from 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26through 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For shoppers looking to get a head start on their Christmas lists, Black Friday prices will be available at macys.com all day on Thanksgiving. Click here for a complete list of doorbuster specials.

For Her

  • $19.99 Women’s Puffer Coats from Rampage and more
  • 50 percent off Boots and Booties
  • 40-50 percent off Cold Weather Accessories
  • $39 Cultured Freshwater Pearls
  • Buy 1, Get 1 Free Clearance Fashion Jewelry
  • 30 percent off all Diamond Engagement Rings
  • 50 percent off Denim Jeans
  • $25 Ari by Ariana Grande Fragrance
  • $20 Estee Lauder 6-Piece Shine On Pure Color Gloss Collection
  • $12 Philosophy 2-Piece Set

For Him

  • 50 percent off Suit Separates from Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein
  • $39.99 Men’s Boots from Weatherproof and Nautica
  • 60 percent off Designer Ties
  • $49.99 Packable Outerwear from Hawke & Co. and 32 Degrees
  • Buy 1, Get 2 Free Alfani Sweaters and Knit Jackets

For Kids

  • $15.99 Puffer Coats for Kids
  • 55-65 percent off Boys’ Star Wars Gear
  • 65 percent off Kids’ Dresses
  • 60 percent off Carter’s Playwear

Home

  • $29.99 750-Thread Count Sheet Sets
  • 60 percent off Charter Club Damask Bedding
  • $199.99 KitchenAid 4.5-Qt. Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
  • $29.99 Magic Bullet
  • $29.99 2-Qt. Enameled Cast-Iron Casseroles from Martha Stewart Collection
  • $99.99 14-Piece Cuisinart Black Nonstick Cookware Set
  • 60 percent off Holiday Trim – Holiday Lane Ornaments, Tree Skirts and more
  • $29.99 20-Piece Tools of the Trade Cutlery
  • 60 percent off Samsonite Luggage
  • $78.99 Shark Vacuum
  • $4.99 Quick Dry Bath Towel from Martha Stewart Collection

Customers can view specials online at macys.com, where they can pick favorite items and create custom tags to organize gift recipients. Shoppers can also view select specials through Macy’s Pinterest page at pinterest.com/macysofficial.

Beginning at store opening on Thursday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 29 at 3 a.m. EST, customers shopping at Macy’s stores with Macy’s mobile app will have a chance to instantly win $1 million in Macy’s gift codes and branded prizes – including a Macy’s shopping spree, home makeover and trips to New York City. To register for “Macy’s Black Friday Walk In and Win” and view Official Rules, visit macys.com/win.

Visit macys.com/stores for local information, as Black Friday hours may vary by store.

For more information on Macy’s Black Friday event, merchandise images and a full list of all doorbuster specials, please visit http://pimsmultimedia.com/macys-holiday2015/black-friday.php.

About Macy’s
Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 775 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at macys.com. Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy’s offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy’s flagship stores — including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, and Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern California — are known internationally and are leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers and employees, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $69 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.

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

Source: Macy’s

Macy’s Media Relations
Holly Thomas, 646-429-5250
holly.thomas@macys.com
or
Julie Strider Fukami, 646-429-5213
julie.striderfukami@macys.com

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Shop Macy’s and macys.com on Black Friday for incredible doorbuster deals including Samsonite luggage, 60 percent off. (Photo: Business Wire)

Shop Macy’s and macys.com on Black Friday for incredible doorbuster deals including Samsonite luggage, 60 percent off. (Photo: Business Wire)

Lowe’s released the next generation of its Iris smart home solution built with Microsoft Azure’s cloud technology

MOORESVILLE, N.C., 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, Lowe’s announced the next generation of its Iris smart home solution, built with Microsoft Azure’s cloud technology. This latest version of Iris enhances Lowe’s smart home offering with new functionality and faster performance and includes updated software and hardware that make Iris simpler, more intuitive and more personalized. Available online at IrisbyLowes.com and in stores nationwide, the new generation of Iris provides consumers with unmatched productivity to more easily manage, monitor and maintain their homes in an open, secure environment.

Redesigned from the ground up for a more personalized, intuitive consumer experience and support the faster onboarding of a larger product ecosystem, Iris now works with more than 75 devices. By implementing a mobile-first philosophy that focuses on simplicity, speed and customization, Lowe’s has reinvigorated the smart home. The next generation Iris mobile app and hardware more seamlessly blend the digital and physical worlds, giving users an intuitive interactive way to communicate with their home and make their lives easier.

“This year’s Iris by Lowe’s Smart Home Survey revealed that more than half (57%) of Americans prefer DIY smart home solutions, and home improvement stores are the No. 1 place they are turning to for purchase,” said Mick Koster, vice president and general manager of Iris Home Systems. “As consumers increasingly become interested in home automation, Iris will continue evolving to meet the needs of each customer’s lifestyle. This next generation of Iris delivers on the promise of the smart home today – in a way that is immediately and easily accessible and affordable for consumers across America.”

Next generation Iris features and devices include:

New Iris mobile app (iOS + Android) – Users have complete control and simple navigation of every aspect of their smart home, directly in the new Iris app. Redesigned with a fresh, modern look, the app’s customizable and intuitive interface allows users to upload photos of their own family, home and connected devices to reflect their home and enable a more personalized experience. Controlling devices with a simple tap in the app, now mimics what’s actually happening in their home with new animations and experiences to better blend the digital and physical worlds.

New Smart Hub ($59.99) – Manufactured by CentraLite with a sleeker, smaller design and improved performance, the new Iris Smart Hub has a more powerful processor, additional memory, a local app engine, battery backup, and is now Bluetooth capable and continues to work with ZigBee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi and AllJoyn enabled devices, furthering Lowe’s commitment to open standards.

Seven best-selling Iris devices, redesigned (beginning at $22.99) – Seven of the Iris by Lowe’s core devices, which existing Iris consumers have found most beneficial in the home, now have sleeker, smaller profile designs and in most cases additional features: Contact Sensor ($22.99), Smart Plug ($34.99), Motion Sensor ($29.99), Help Pendant($29.99), Smart Button ($24.99), Smart Fob ($24.99) and Smart Keypad ($39.99).

Reconstructed DIY Starter Packs – The low priced Iris Smart Hub will now be available solely as a stand-alone option to complement simple, lower-priced Iris Starter Packs, making it even more affordable to attain a smart home and even easier to get started.

  • Security Pack ($99) – This DIY pack offers peace of mind via home security, and includes two Iris Contact sensors and a Motion Sensor to track movement and opened windows/doors, and a Smart Keypad with an audible siren.
  • Home Automation Pack ($129) – This DIY pack is a great way for consumers to get started with home automation and offers advanced device connection to further simplify the way things work in the home. It includes two Contact Sensors and a Motion Sensor to detect movement, and a Smart Plug and a Smart Button that offer remote control of other devices.

“By utilizing Microsoft Azure IoT technology, Lowe’s was able to realize more business value with less effort, all while dramatically improving scalability and time to market for Iris,” said Sam George, partner director of Azure Internet of Things, Microsoft. “We look forward to working with Lowe’s to continue the evolution of Iris and make customers’ homes easier to manage and smarter than ever before.”

Lowe’s was the first company to target the mass consumer market with a broad home automation solution in Iris and the first to introduce a truly open platform – allowing devices across its stores to connect with one another. Iris offers a wide variety of connected devices from well-known brands, a simple user experience, value-priced products, an easy DIY system setup, free service from the day of installation, customizable rules to connect devices and customer support provided by Lowe’s. Iris was developed and designed for the consumer, using nearly 70 years of home improvement experience and input from its 16 million shoppers a week.

Click here to access and download images of new Iris by Lowe’s smart home products and mobile app.

For the complete list of products available for Iris, please visit IrisbyLowes.com.

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

SOURCE Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Belk kicks off the holiday season with more than 400 doorbuster items on Thanksgiving Day

  • Season kicks off with a visit from Santa;
  • Stores to open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day with more than 400 doorbuster items & a $1 million gift card giveaway – one $1,000 winner per store;
  • Promotions and events throughout the holiday season starting the week before Thanksgiving;
  • Extended holiday store hours

Charlotte, N.C., 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Belk kicks off the holiday season with a visit from Santa at its annual SantaFest event in all stores on November 14. With stores opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Belk will offer more than 400 doorbusters and $1 million in gift card giveaways to the first 250 customers at every store. The gift cards are valued anywhere from $5 to $1,000, and there will be one $1,000 winner per store. With huge assortments of most-wanted gift items, premium brands, extended holiday hours and in-store events and saving opportunities all season long, Belk is the holiday shopping destination for Modern. Southern. Style.

Amazing Deals and Promotions

At Belk, the holiday deals are all season long, starting with the Pre-Thanksgiving sale that begins the week before Thanksgiving. From Nov. 15 – 21, Belk will have a $10 off $50, $20 off $100, $30 off $150 coupon in addition to extra 40% off red dot items and select bonus buys.

Nov. 22 will kick off the Thanksgiving Sale, with deals lasting all week long including: 20% off sale (15 % off home and shoes) with Belk card; 15% off (10% off home and shoes) with shopping pass; additional 50% off red dot; and free shipping on www.belk.comwith a $50 purchase.

Sales and promotions will be bigger than ever on Thanksgiving Day at 6 p.m. through Black Friday with more than 400 doorbusters and top items including:

  • $19.99 Rampage boots
  • 50 – 70% off fashion jewelry
  • $19.99 sweaters from ND New Directions
  • $39.99 ND New Directions or Ciao 5 piece luggage sets
  • 25% off Under Armour for ladies, men and kids
  • $34.99 – $49.99 Under Armour shoes
  • 75% off Belk Silverworks
  • 55% off entire stock of Crown & Ivy
  • $19.99 folded pajama gift sets from Kim Rogers

Santafest
Belk kicks off the holiday season each year with its Santafest event in all stores. This year’s Santafest is Saturday, Nov. 14, from noon – 3 p.m. The event features free photos with Santa, candy canes, holiday crafts, refreshments and the opportunity to enter the annual Belkie Bear design contest. Kids ages 4-11 may enter the contest to create their own Belkie Charity Bear design using a color sheet provided. The grand prize winner will receive a $500 shopping spree and their winning design will be the Charity Bear for next season. This year’s event will unveil Belk’s Charity Bear chosen from the 2015 contest.

Holiday Charity Program
From December 2 through 26, Belk will provide customers an opportunity to support local Title One elementary schools through direct contributions at local Belk stores during its annual holiday fundraising campaign, Angel Days. Each store will donate 100% of the proceeds of the program to a local Title One elementary school. The schools can use the funding to support their individual needs. For a $5 contribution, customers can earn their wings with an exclusive angel pin.

Marketing Campaigns
Santa baby is back and better than ever. The campaign launches Nov. 7 and runs through Dec. 31. During the promotion period, participants will be able to enter via social media follows, shares and referrals and have the opportunity to create unique eCards that will be featured on the official site. Entrants will be able to personalize Santa Baby gifs, and the extra festive part — the opportunity to vote for a favorite TV commercial ending. The grand prize is a $10,000, but there are additional instant win prizes available, too, including: 50 $25 Belk gift cards and 250 $15 Belk gift cards.

Extended Hours
To accommodate customers’ busy schedules, Belk will open for extended hours through the holiday season. A calendar of hours is attached.

About Belk, Inc.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. (www.belk.com) is the nation’s largest family owned and operated department store company with 296 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence.  Its belk.com website offers a wide assortment of national brands and private label fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership and has been committed to community involvement since its inception. In the fiscal year ended January 31, 2015, the company and its associates, customers and vendors donated more than $21.5 million to communities within Belk market areas.

Belk offers many ways to connect via digital and social media, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google Plus, and provides exclusive offers, fashion updates, sales notifications and coupons via email or mobile phone text messages. Customers can also download the latest Belk mobile apps for the iPad, iPhone or Android.

SOURCE: BELK

11-year-old from South Carolina won 2015 Belkie Bear design contest

Designed by 11-year-old contest winner

CHARLOTTE, N.C., 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — An 11-year-old from South Carolina won the 2015 Belkie Bear design contest held at Belk’s SantaFest event last year. The bear was unveiled at Belk’s SantaFest today. Abigail’s design was selected from more than 1,000 applicants.

As the grand prize winner of last year’s contest, Abigail’s design was used in creating a newBelkie Charity Bear, with $5 of the proceeds from the sale of the bear going to the United Service Organizations (USO). This charity was chosen by the winner’s response to the contest question, “I want my Belkie Bear to help…”

Based on the judges’ selection, Abigail received 10 custom Belkie Charity Bears created based on her design, along with a $500 Belk shopping spree.  A Belkie Bear and $500 Belk shopping spree were also awarded to finalist winners in each of the three age categories:  4 – 6; 7 – 9 and 10 – 11.

The new 2015 Charity Bear will be available in most stores and online at www.belk.com. Kids are able to enter the contest to design the 2016 Belkie Charity Bear today at SantaFest fromnoon to 3 p.m. in all Belk stores.

About Belk, Inc.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. (www.belk.com) is the nation’s largest family owned and operated department store company with 296 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence.  Its belk.com website offers a wide assortment of national brands and private label fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership and has been committed to community involvement since its inception. In the fiscal year ended January 31, 2015, the company and its associates, customers and vendors donated more than $21.5 million to communities within Belk market areas.

Belk offers many ways to connect via digital and social media, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google Plus, and provides exclusive offers, fashion updates, sales notifications and coupons via email or mobile phone text messages. Customers can also download the latest Belk mobile apps for the iPad, iPhone or Android.

About the USO
The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

SOURCE Belk, Inc.

For further information: Jessica Graham, vice president, communications and community relations, 704-426-8333, Jessica_graham@belk.com

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11-year-old from South Carolina won 2015 Belkie Bear design contest

11-year-old from South Carolina won 2015 Belkie Bear design contest

IKEA disappointed that the UFCW chose to illegally block access to its Stoughton store

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA respects the rights of our co-workers to join, form or not to join a co-worker association of their choice without fear of reprisal, interference, intimidation or harassment. We will not facilitate a preference for a co-worker association.

Updated Statement: noon November 16th
IKEA is disappointed that the UFCW chose to illegally block access to our Stoughton store for routine truck deliveries and prevented co-workers from reporting to work this morning, all in an attempt to draw attention to their organizing efforts. These tactics create unnecessary safety risks for both our co-workers and vendors. Few, if any, of the individuals who attempted to block access to the store were actual IKEA co-workers. Consistent with its philosophy, IKEA notified the UFCW that the company respects the union’s right to file a Petition for Election under the National Labor Relations Board rules. IKEA has requested a secret ballot election for each of its four distribution centers, all of whom voted in favor of union representation.

IKEA firmly believes that each co-worker’s voice matters and the right to choose representation lies solely with the co-worker. IKEA co-workers have the right to make a choice for or against representation without fear of intimidation or harassment from either IKEA or the union. Regarding the 75% number that the UFCW is promoting, we cannot corroborate it. In fact, we have reason to doubt its accuracy. We have received a request to recognize a micro-unit consisting of 33 co-workers within the logistics department of a location that employs 279. We have a long history as an employer in the US of over 12,000 coworkers and our decisions are designed to protect the rights of all co-workers.

When union representation is selected by IKEA co-workers through the secret ballot process, IKEA is committed to building and maintain a constructive and cooperative relationship with the union, built upon a foundation a mutual respect.

Please see below for more info:
Click here to read the IKEA Co-worker Principles.

Traditional Swedish Julbord buffet in the restaurants of IKEA U.S. stores on Friday, Dec. 11

Tickets to Holiday Smörgåsbord Available for $16.99 Adults / $4.99 Kids 12 & Under; Discounted Prices for IKEA FAMILY* Members

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA invites the public to celebrate this holiday season with a traditional Swedish Julbord buffet in the restaurants of IKEA U.S. stores** on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. The all-you-can-eat smörgåsbord will include several courses of Swedish holiday favorites such as holiday ham, smoked salmon, meatballs with lingonberries, and much more. Tickets are available for only $16.99 per person or $4.99 for kids 12 and under. IKEA FAMILY members’ tickets are $12.99 per person or $2.99 for kids 12 and under.

Julbord is a classic Christmas dinner in Scandinavian countries. The word “Julbord” is made up of two parts: “Jul,” meaning Yule (synonymous with Christmas) and “Bord,” meaning table. The traditional, three-course Swedish Julbord is a highlight of Swedish cuisine, consisting of local and family specialties. The spread typically begins with a variety of fish as the first course, cold sliced meats such as ham as the second course, and warm dishes such as Swedish meatballs as the third course.

“Food brings people together, so we are excited to provide a venue where our customers can enjoy a great meal with friends and family this holiday season,” says Patricia Meumann, IKEA Food Manager. “Plus, we always enjoy the opportunity to share our classic Swedish holiday traditions – like Julbord – with customers.”

The IKEA Julbord all you can eat buffet menu includes***:

  • Assorted varieties of herring
  • Gravad lax with mustard sauce
  • Poached salmon
  • Red beet salad
  • Swedish cucumber salad
  • Swedish potato salad
  • Christmas ham
  • Prinskorv sausages
  • Meatballs with lingonberries
  • Hard boiled eggs with shrimp
  • Red cabbage
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Assorted cheeses
  • Crispbread, thin bread, dinner rolls
  • Swedish rice pudding with almonds
  • Assorted desserts
  • Jansson temptations
  • Glögg with raisin almond mix
  • Coffee, tea, fountain beverages

Seating is limited, so those who are interested are encouraged to purchase tickets early at their local IKEA stores. To locate and contact the nearest IKEA store for more details – including local seating times – visit the “Store Locator” page on www.IKEA-USA.com.

For those that are not able to make it to the event, they can still bring Swedish holiday traditions home! Visit the Swedish Food Market in IKEA U.S. stores to purchase select items from the Julbord menu, including KÖTTBULLAR Swedish meatballs, or to explore, find and try other Swedish favorites – like gingerbread cookies.

GINGER THINS

Ingredients & Supplies

  • 550 grams (19.4 ounces) PEPPARKAKA DEG gingerbread dough
  • VINTER 2015 pastry cutter (set of six)
  • DRÖMMAR cookie sheet

Directions

  • Knead the dough smoothly. Roll the dough ⅛ inch thick.
  • Cut figures with pastry cutters – hearts, stars and Christmas trees are popular figures in Sweden!
  • Bake on a baking tray with parchment paper for six to seven minutes.

* IKEA FAMILY is a benefits program that offers membership perks including special product discounts, sneak previews, free coffee and tea in the IKEA Restaurant, and more. Consumers can sign up for the free program online or in-store.

** IKEA Carson will not host a Julbord Party in 2015.

*** Menu is subject to change due to product availability.

ABOUT IKEA
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 360 IKEA stores in 47 countries, including 40 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Contact: Kathy Boerner
kathy.boerner@ketchum.com

SOURCE: IKEA Systems B.V.

The H&M group’s sales increased by 12 percent in October 2015 YoY

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — The H&M group’s sales including VAT increased by 12 percent in local currencies in October 2015 compared to the same month last year.

The total number of stores amounted to 3,807 on 31 October 2015 compared to 3,437 on 31 October 2014.

Percentage sales development for the month of November and total revenue in SEK for the fourth quarter (September to November) will be published in a separate press release at 08.00 (CET) on 15 December 2015. The Full-year Report, covering the period 1 December 2014 to 30 November 2015, will be published on 28 January 2016.

Karl-Johan Persson, CEO

 

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

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

Head of Communications
Kristina Stenvinkel
+46 8 796 39 08

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

SOURCE: H&M

CVS/pharmacy® ReadyFill® program improves medication adherence while reducing drug waste – CVS Health Research Institute

Findings show that CVS/pharmacy® ReadyFill® program improves medication adherence while reducing drug waste

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — New research by the CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) Research Institute is the first to show the impact of prescription refill programs on medication adherence. The study, published in the American Journal of Managed Care, found that ReadyFill®, the refill program available at CVS/pharmacy®, improved adherence to medications for common chronic conditions without contributing to an oversupply of medication.

“Medication adherence is a complex public health challenge, and our ongoing research in this area has identified many reasons why people don’t always take their medications as prescribed by their doctor,” said William H. Shrank, MD, MSHS, senior vice president and Chief Scientific Officer, CVS Health. “At CVS Health, we are pleased to show that our prescription refill program is helping to address one challenge of medication adherence by making the prescription refill process easier and more convenient without contributing to drug oversupply, which is a common concern with these types of programs.”

The study found that patients who chose to enroll in the refill program offered by CVS/pharmacy had significantly greater medication adherence. In fact, those enrolled in the program receiving 30-day supplies of medication had a Medication Possession Ratio (MPR), a measurement for medication adherence, that was three points higher than the control group. For those patients receiving 90-day supplies of chronic medications, their MPR was 1.4 points higher than the control group. In addition, those enrolled in the refill program who received 30-day fills had 2.5 fewer days of oversupply than those in the control group, and those receiving 90-day fills had 2.18 fewer days of oversupply.

“We created the ReadyFill program to help encourage adherence by providing customers with easy access to an appropriate and adequate medication supply,” added Joshua M. Flum, executive vice president of Pharmacy Services, CVS Health. “At CVS Health, we are committed to helping more people start and stay on their prescriptions every day, and ReadyFill is just one of several adherence services that we offer to help improve health outcomes and reduce total health care costs.”

The study evaluated integrated data of more than 250,000 CVS/caremark members who filled 30- or 90-day prescriptions for at least one of 11 common chronic conditions at a CVS/pharmacy. The researchers compared MPR and average days of excess medication on hand at the time of refill for a sample of members who chose to enroll in the CVS/pharmacy refill program to a control sample that filled prescriptions using traditional methods.

CVS Health launched ReadyFill in 2009. The program coordinates refills for eligible maintenance prescriptions to save customers time and help them stay on track with their medications without contributing to prescription oversupply. Those who choose to enroll in the program receive reminder messages when their prescription is ready to be picked up. Concerns had previously been raised about the potential of these programs to produce drug waste by reducing a patient’s involvement in the dispensing process, which could result in unnecessary health care spending.

Medication adherence is a major public health issue that costs the health care system nearly $300 billion each year. Approximately 50 percent of American adults are prescribed a maintenance medication for a chronic disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Yet many patients do not adhere to their prescribed therapies. As a pharmacy innovation company, CVS Health is building a range of programs to meet the various challenges individual patients face when taking their medications. These include programs that help align prescription refills for patients with multiple maintenance medications, comprehensive medication reviews to help identify potential safety issues and adherence-improving interventions that can be delivered at the retail pharmacy, via digital tools and at the patient’s home.

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. 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.

For more detail on the data, please visit the following link: http://www.ajmc.com/journals/issue/2015/2015-vol21-n11/Community-Pharmacy-Automatic-Refill-Program-Improves-Adherence-to-Maintenance-Therapy-and-Reduces-Wasted-Medication

About CVS Health
CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 7,900 retail drugstores, more than 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, 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 www.cvshealth.com.

MEDIA CONTACT

Carolyn Castel
1-401-770-5717
carolyn.castel@cvshealth.com

SOURCE: CVS Health

Health is Primary, CVS Health to increase coordination of care between primary care providers and retail pharmacies and clinics

Campaign Will Educate Consumers and Advocate for Continuity of Care, Increased Provider Collaboration

WASHINGTON, D.C., 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Health is Primary campaign today announced a collaboration with CVS Health to increase coordination of care between primary care providers and retail pharmacies and clinics, including CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic, the walk-in medical clinic of CVS Health. This initiative will advocate for patient access to coordinated, continuous care and help to ensure that all consumers have access to a primary care provider. Together, Health is Primary and CVS Health will work to educate consumers about the medical neighborhood and how the different parts of the health care system—primary care, pharmacy, retail clinics, acute and post-acute care, diagnostic services, public health, and community and social services—play a role in keeping patients healthy.

“We cannot address the biggest health care problems in this country without a strong primary care foundation and true collaboration across the health care system,” said FMAHealth President and Board Chair Glen Stream, MD. “Patients need a regular source of care and they need to know that, wherever they access care, they can be assured of a system that is coordinated and working together to keep them healthy. Across the country, CVS Health and its MinuteClinic are already working with primary care providers to strengthen the medical neighborhood. We want to elevate this model of collaboration to ensure that all patients understand and have access to continuous, coordinated care.”

The Health is Primary campaign will work with CVS Health to disseminate patient materials that provide a roadmap for understanding the various resources available through the medical neighborhood while helping them know when and where to access these services. In addition, the campaign will highlight models of collaboration that can help accelerate a shift to a primary care-based health care system.

“Patients should expect both convenient access as well as high-quality health care,” said Andrew J. Sussman, M.D., Executive Vice President and Associate Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health and President, CVS/minuteclinic. “We know that patient health and outcomes improve when patients utilize the resources available to them throughout the medical neighborhood and when providers across the health care system are working together. By partnering with primary care and family medicine, we will continue to improve provider collaboration and help ensure all patients have access to primary care within a coordinated medical neighborhood.”

About Health is Primary
Family Medicine for America’s Health launched a national three-year campaign, Health is Primary, to raise awareness of the role of primary care in the health care system and demonstrate its value in delivering on the Triple Aim of better health, better care and lower costs. The campaign is traveling to cities around the country to engage local stakeholders and showcase community level interventions that are working to enhance and expand primary care and improve health. Health is Primary also coincides with a five-year strategic initiative to transform family medicine to meet the changing needs of the health care system.

About Family Medicine for America’s Health
Family Medicine for America’s Health, the organization behind Health is Primary, is a collaboration between the nation’s eight leading family medicine organizations to drive continued improvement of the U.S. health care system and demonstrate the value of true primary care.

We represent:

  • American Academy of Family Physicians;
  • American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation;
  • American Board of Family Medicine;
  • American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians;
  • Association of Departments of Family Medicine;
  • Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors
  • North American Primary Care Research Group; and
  • Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 7,900 retail drugstores, more than 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, 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 https://www.cvshealth.com.

Health is Primary Contact: 

Ann Saybolt
annsaybolt@fmahealth.org
703.969.2859

Kirsten Thistle
kirstenthistle@fmahealth.org
301.802.4567

CVS Contact:

Erin Shields Britt
erin.britt@CVSHealth.com
401-770-9237

SOURCE: CVS Health

Proposed Executive Committee of Ahold Delhaize

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold and Delhaize Group today announced the proposed Executive Committee of Ahold Delhaize, effective upon completion of the proposed merger of the two companies.

The future Executive Committee will be comprised of the Management Board members as announced on June 24, 2015, and will be supplemented by the following four members, in alphabetical order, who will report directly to the Ahold Delhaize CEO:

• Marc Croonen, Chief Sustainability, Transformation & Communications Officer
• Hanneke Faber, Chief E-Commerce & Innovation Officer
• Jan Ernst de Groot, Chief Legal Officer
• Abbe Luersman, Chief Human Resources Officer

Ahold and Delhaize Group have created two new important roles in the future Executive Committee to help shape and drive the company’s ambitions as a responsible and innovative retailer: Chief Sustainability, Transformation & Communications Officer and Chief E-Commerce & Innovation Officer. At the level of the Supervisory Board, these areas will be overseen by a Sustainability and Innovation Committee.

As announced, the proposed Ahold Delhaize Management Board consists of CEO Dick Boer, Deputy CEO and Chief Integration Officer Frans Muller, CFO Jeff Carr, COO Europe Pierre Bouchut, COO USA Kevin Holt, and COO USA James McCann.

The Management Board will be responsible for the overall management and decision-making of the new company and will have fiduciary responsibility towards the Supervisory Board and shareholders. The future Executive Committee will be charged with the day-to-day management of the company. With a strong and balanced leadership team with representation from both companies, it exhibits the right combination of functional capabilities and retail experience to steer a company that will greatly expand its reach to deliver even more for the customers and communities it serves. The team will be well-positioned to drive and support integration, while managing the businesses for continued customer service and commercial success.

On June 24, 2015, Ahold and Delhaize announced their intention to merge, creating an international retailer with a portfolio of strong, trusted local brands with more than 375,000 associates serving more than 50 million customers every week in the United States and Europe.

Ahold and Delhaize remain on track to complete their proposed merger by mid-2016. The appointment of the future Management Board members and other important elements of the merger are subject to shareholder approval and regulatory clearance as well as other customary conditions. More information can be found at www.adcombined.com.

Cautionary notice

NO OFFER OR SOLICITATION
This communication is being made in connection with the proposed business combination transaction between Koninklijke Ahold N.V. also known as Royal Ahold (“Ahold”) and Delhaize Group NV/SA (“Delhaize”). This communication is not intended to and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to subscribe for or buy or an invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction in connection with the proposed transaction or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and applicable Dutch, Belgian and other European regulations. This communication is not for release, publication or distribution, in whole or in part, in or into, directly or indirectly, any jurisdiction in which such release, publication or distribution would be unlawful.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL BE FILED WITH THE SEC
In connection with the proposed transaction, Ahold will file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) a registration statement on Form F-4 that will include a prospectus. The prospectus will be mailed to the holders of American Depositary Shares of Delhaize and holders of ordinary shares of Delhaize (other than holders of ordinary shares of Delhaize that are non-U.S. persons (as defined in the applicable rules of the SEC)). INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROSPECTUS AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED OR TO BE FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT AHOLD, DELHAIZE, THE TRANSACTION AND RELATED MATTERS. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC by Ahold and Delhaize through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. In addition, investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the prospectus and other documents filed by Ahold with the SEC by contacting Ahold Investor Relations at investor.relations@ahold.com or by calling +31 88 659 5213, and will be able to obtain free copies of the prospectus and other documents filed by Delhaize by contacting Investor Relations Delhaize Group at Investor@delhaizegroup.com or by calling +32 2 412 2151.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This communication contains forward-looking statements, which do not refer to historical facts but refer to expectations based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance, or events to differ materially from those included in such statements. These statements or disclosures may discuss goals, intentions and expectations as to future trends, plans, events, results of operations or financial condition, or state other information relating to Ahold, based on current beliefs of management as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. Forward-looking statements generally will be accompanied by words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “guidance,” “intend,” “may,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project” or other similar words, phrases or expressions. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Ahold’s control. Therefore, investors and shareholders should not place undue reliance on such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: the occurrence of any change, event or development that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement; the ability to obtain the approval of the transaction by Ahold’s and Delhaize’s shareholders; the risk that the necessary regulatory approvals may not be obtained or may be obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated; failure to satisfy other closing conditions with respect to the transaction on the proposed terms and timeframe; the possibility that the transaction does not close when expected or at all; the risks that the new businesses will not be integrated successfully or promptly or that the combined company will not realize the expected benefits from the transaction; Ahold’s ability to successfully implement and complete its plans and strategies and to meet its targets; risks related to disruption of management time from ongoing business operations due to the proposed transaction; the benefits from Ahold’s plans and strategies being less than anticipated; the effect of the announcement or completion of the proposed transaction on the ability of Ahold to retain customers and retain and hire key personnel, maintain relationships with suppliers, and on their operating results and businesses generally; litigation relating to the transaction; the effect of general economic or political conditions; Ahold’s ability to retain and attract employees who are integral to the success of the business; business and IT continuity, collective bargaining, distinctiveness, competitive advantage and economic conditions; information security, legislative and regulatory environment and litigation risks; and product safety, pension plan funding, strategic projects, responsible retailing, insurance and unforeseen tax liabilities. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Ahold does not assume any obligation to update any public information or forward-looking statement in this communication to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this communication, except as may be required by applicable laws.

SOURCE: AHOLD

BRC: Guidance on what must be considered before making a ‘free-from’ claim on a product

LONDON, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, the BRC and the FDF with the support of Anaphylaxis Campaign and Coeliac UK are launching a guidance document which provides food manufacturers, retailers and enforcement authorities with essential advice on what must be considered before making a ‘free-from’ claim on a product (1).

At present, with the exception of ‘gluten-free’, there are no specific rules at either UK or EU level governing the use of ‘free-from’ claims, neither is there any publically available guidance for businesses on making such claims. For this reason the BRC and FDF have pooled their expertise to produce an easy-to-use guidance for food business operators, large and small, with the aim of ensuring that ‘free-from’ claims are applied both accurately and consistently across the whole food industry. All food labels, including ‘free from’, must be substantiated and reliable if they are to be safe for consumers.

In addition to helping business operators know when and how to label, the guidance also provides a useful overview of relevant UK and EU legislation and key things to consider with regard to appropriate manufacturing practices and also when carrying out a risk assessment.

The BRC’s Deputy Food Director, Andrea Martinez-Inchausti, said:

“A ‘free-from’ claim cannot be taken lightly. A small manufacturer could now confidently understand whether producing a ‘free-from’ product is within their capability. It will also result in more consistency which means more consumer trust as acknowledged in the foreword to the Guidance by FSA Chief Executive Catherine Brown.”

Chief Scientist / Policy and Sustainability Director at the Food and Drink Federation Barbara Gallani said:

“This Guidance on ‘free-from’, which follows on from the publication earlier this year of FDF’s Gluten Labelling Guidance, is going to provide food businesses with key information on legal requirements, risk assessment and consumer expectations.

We are pleased that our long standing collaboration with the British Retail Consortium, Anaphylaxis Campaign and Coeliac UK is continuing to deliver useful advice to businesses and ultimately more consistent labelling for consumers.”

ENDS

Notes to the editor:

1. A “free-from” allergen claim is an absolute claim unless a regulatory threshold has been set and should only be used following a rigorous risk assessment and management of the ingredients, process and environment
2. The BRC-FDF Guidance on Free-From Allergen Claims document can be found here

For further information:

Laura Blumenthal
Communications Assistant
British Retail Consortium
P: 020 7854 8924
E: laura.blumenthal@brc.org.uk

Danielle Carter
Media and Campaigns Officer
Food and Drink Federation
P: 020 7420 7131
E: Danielle.Carter@fdf.org.uk

SOURCE: British Retail Consortium

BRC/SPRINGBOARD: Retail park footfall increased 2.9% YoY in October 2015

  • Footfall in October was 0.2% lower than a year ago, unchanged from the decline in September. This was above the three-month average of -0.6%.
  • Footfall in retail park locations increased 2.9% year-on-year. This is below September’s high of 4.0%.
  • High Streets and Shopping Centres reported a decline in footfall of 1.0% and 1.3% respectively.
  • Four regions in England reported positive footfall growth in October, the East Midlands continuing its strong performance.
  • The national town centre vacancy rate was 9.1% in October 2015, down from the 9.8% rate reported in July 2015. This is the lowest reported rate since we began reporting the data in July 2011.

LONDON, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, BRC Chief Executive, said: “The locations consumers are choosing to shop remains in a state of flux. While the rate of decline in footfall across high streets and shopping centres appears to have stabilised, more and more shoppers are choosing to visit retail parks which offer a greater mix of leisure and retail.

“There is a little cheer in the news that vacancies have fallen once again. However in order for this good news to be sustainable, action is urgently needed to reform business rates. Otherwise the new occupants of these premises will, in the not too distant future, find themselves struggling under the weight of ballooning bills. If the burden of business rates continues to grow as it has in the past, today’s vacancy figure may become but a distant, happy memory. Action now will ensure our high streets remain vibrant and viable long into the future.”

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, said: “October is fast becoming an important ‘look and compare’ month for shoppers ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is driving up footfall across all retail destinations. Footfall may have remained relatively unchanged for October from September but over the last two years as the importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday grows, we are seeing a significant increase in footfall for the month of October from -2.9 per cent in 2013 to -0.8 per cent in 2014 and this month’s -0.2 per cent.

“Additionally the UK vacancy rate of 9.1 per cent is the lowest on record [since July 2011] and this is undoubtedly helping retain footfall across all retail destinations – this is a longer trend to watch.

“This contrasts with expectations at the beginning of the year, when the unprecedented number of retail leases expiring this year suggested that the vacancy rate would increase. However, after a long period of recession and low demand for additional space from retailers, alongside the growth of leisure and food and beverage and multi-channel shopping, landlords have been forced into being more flexible about who they are prepared to accept as tenants and on what terms – no longer able to demand the strength of covenant they were once able to, we are now seeing a broadening of occupier types in high streets and shopping centres which can only be for the good.”

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

Carrefour rolls out its new CARREFOUR VEGGIE range in all its stores

Boulogne-Billancourt, FRANCE, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — At a time when consumer trends are becoming increasingly diverse, Carrefour has broken new ground and is releasing its new CARREFOUR VEGGIE range in all its stores. Carrefour is the first French retailer to have an own-brand vegetarian range.

An affordable, varied gourmet range
“CARREFOUR VEGGIE – Vegetarian cuisine” – that’s the name of Carrefour’s new vegetarian range launched in stores at the end of October 2015. CARREFOUR VEGGIE is a varied and affordable range featuring many simple and easy-to-cook formats depending on people’s tastes.

Available in all Carrefour retail outlets in France (hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores and on its e-commerce sites), the range features around fifteen products designed to meet the needs of both “flexitarians” and vegetarians. And eleven of them are also suitable for vegans. The Carrefour Veggie range includes wheat and onion nuggets, cereal and vegetable pancakes, and vegetable and soyaballs.

CARREFOUR VEGGIE is a range of fully vegetarian products that meet the retailer’s strict taste requirements.

A range that consumers have asked for
This new idea came from the general public in 2013 when Carrefour was celebrating its 50th birthday: it was one of the ideas submitted via its website as part of the “If I were Carrefour” campaign. Internet users were given the opportunity to vote for certain initiatives and significant numbers expressed their enthusiasm for a vegetarian range. After two years of development and consultation with our stakeholders and customers, the range is now available at Carrefour.
With Carrefour Veggie, the retailer is supplementing an already very varied product offering. It is providing both its vegetarian and flexitarian consumers with an affordable alternative. The products are on sale at between €2.10 and €3.50.

SOURCE: Carrefour

Carrefour renews its commitment to the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

Boulogne-Billancourt, FRANCE, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ —  Carrefour has just renewed its commitment to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) by signing the “Global Business and Disability Network” charter. The purpose of the charter is to promote the interests of people with disabilities and to include them through concrete initiatives at international level. An initiative that is consistent with practices that are already well-established at Carrefour: it currently employs more than 11,000 people with disabilities. The signing of this charter is also part of a partnership that it entered into with the ILO in 2011.

According to Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO, “the lack of equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities often means lives of poverty and social exclusion” […] “The first signatories – all the major international companies – will help us spread a simple but essential message: employing people with disabilities is not just a good moral cause: it is also good for business. This new charter can also make a sustained contribution to achieving many of the goals which are included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

Employing disabled workers and keeping them in employment: stepping up the concrete initiatives

In the various countries in which it operates, Carrefour distinguishes itself through its sustained inclusive equal opportunities policy, a policy that promotes diversity and seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination. Between 2011 and 2014, Carrefour saw a 21.3% increase in its numbers of employees with disabilities.

. In Brazil, a country in which all stores employ workers with disabilities, Carrefour has rolled out its “Eu pratico a inclusão” (I support inclusion) programme, together with the “Meu amigo e especial” scheme to help them integrate into the company. This proactive policy has increased the number of disabled employees to 1600 – nearly 300 of whom were hired in 2014.

. In France, where 8% of people working in hypermarkets are disabled, the “Mission Handicap” agreement that was instigated in 1999 and which has been renewed six times since, is built around three key commitments: recruiting employees with disabilities, integrating them into the workforce under the best conditions possible and helping them stay in employment – by modifying their workstations in particular (ergonomic design, working hours, etc.) The 2014-2016 agreement also sets a target of 350 hires over its 3-year duration. Agreements have also been entered into and initiatives undertaken in supermarkets and across the supply chain.

. In Poland, Carrefour has been employing hard-of-hearing checkout staff since 2006, bringing the total number of disabled employees up to 700 – that’s 6% of the total workforce. Carrefour also encourages the use of assisted contracts in partnership with the Ekon association, and this has led to the recruitment of 150 mentally disabled people.

In October, Carrefour – represented by its CEO Georges Plassat – and trade union Federation UNI Global Union signed an international agreement to promote Social dialogue, Diversity and the employment of people with disabilities. The agreement was signed in the presence of Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The ILO’s “Global Business and Disability Network” charter.
As a global tool designed to enable companies to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities, this charter has a broad selection of aims. These include protecting employees with disabilities against all forms of discrimination, ensuring that they are able to access the premises, and guaranteeing that they can receive internal communications. Carrefour’s partnership with the ILO began in 2011. It was the first major company to join the ILO’s Disability network.

SOURCE: Carrefour

Sea Mild Biotech Ltd won the first prize at Carrefour Taiwan’s “Major Climate Challenge for Suppliers”

Taipei, Taiwan, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — On the occasion of the official partnership between Carrefour and the International Conference on Climate which will take place in Paris from 30th November to 11th December, Carrefour Taiwan held an Award Ceremony of “Major Climate Challenge for Suppliers” in Taipei on 30th September.

The long-time supplier partner of Carrefour Taiwan, Sea Mild Biotech Ltd, has received the first prize from the Executive Director of Carrefour Taiwan, Rami Baitiéh, to honor its “Most Eco-Friendly Laundry Powder Project” in fighting climate change in Taiwan.

As the strong advocate for Carrefour CSR works among Carrefour Group’s 10 integrated countries, Carrefour Taiwan has been incorporating reducing CO2 emission actions into its daily business. 2015 is a year all about climate for Carrefour Group; Taiwan certainly takes its part of this grand international campaign.

In organizing the “Major Climate Challenge for Suppliers” campaign, Carrefour Taiwan was calling projects related to combat climate change from its SME supplier partners; after months of case review, the Panel has selected Sea Mild Biotech Ltd as the Winner and it will be Taiwan’s representative of Group’s Climate Change event in Paris on 19th and 20th November. Sea Mild’s project secured the first place because of its strong commitment on being the activist to bring positive changes on reducing green gas emission and protect bio-system at the same time. Its “Most Eco-Friendly Laundry Powder” is successfully reducing its CO2 footage by 7% compared with competitors. On top of that, Sea Mild Biotech is the provider of detergent that protects the rivers and the sea, a green environmental practitioner who is protecting the Earth.

Carrefour Taiwan CEO, Rami Baitiéh, states at the award ceremony that, “Carrefour Taiwan is the bellwether of sustainability development in retail industry. Integrating environmental protection into our business is our top priority. And we firmly commit to be a more environmental-friendly corporate from every aspect in the coming years. So the event today not only witnesses our commitment but also vividly exemplifies Carrefour Taiwan’s involvement in the environmental protection and our Green endeavors.”

SOURCE: Carrefour

Carrefour: The very first City convenience store opens at Aéroports de Paris

Boulogne-Billancourt, FRANCE, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Augustin de Romanet – CEO of Aéroports de Paris – and Georges Plassat – CEO of the Carrefour Group – have just jointly opened the very first City convenience store to be located in a French airport.

Based in the Departures lounge of Paris-Orly’s sudden terminal, this new City retail outlet has 200 m² of sales area and stocks a broad selection of nearly 3000 items.

“By entering into this new partnership and including a leading name that has become synonymous with retail in France, Aéroports de Paris is seeking to provide travellers and visitors – as well as the airport’s employees and partners – with as broad a range of stores as possible. We want to ensure that our airports are accessible to all of our customers”, says Augustin de Romanet, CEO of Aéroports de Paris.

According to Georges Plassat – Carrefour’s CEO: “This initiative that we have launched with Aéroports de Paris is a shining example of Carrefour’s unique multi-format profile. In many countries, we anticipate our customers’ needs, creating stores that are specifically designed to meet their requirements, selling products and providing services designed to make their lives easier”.

A store specifically for customers who need a wider range of services and longer opening hours
Boasting long opening hours (6 AM – 10 PM, 7 days a week) and the same prices as those found in town centre City stores, the Orly City store features a wide selection of products to meet customers’ day-to-day shopping needs, as well as what they need to eat on-the-go: grocery products, fruit and vegetables, home maintenance products, ready-to-cook/eat products, snacks, etc. Customers will find Carrefour brand products – including Reflets de France regional products – as well as national brand products. They’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of their loyalty cards, which are valid in all Carrefour stores.
And a range of services – such as on-site bread slicing all day long – are also available for customers to make their lives easier.

This new store will contribute to the airport’s business dynamic and will also help local employment: 6 employees will be recruited from neighbouring towns.

A few facts and figures about Paris Orly airport’s City store:
– Nearly 200 m²
– 6 employees recruited from neighbouring towns
– Nearly 3000 products

Services:
– On-site bread slicing
– Special area for Reflets de France products
– Wide selection of organic products, as well as hot and cold snacks and gluten-free products
– Opening hours: 6 AM – 10 PM, 7 days a week

SOURCE: Carrefour

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Carrefour: The very first City convenience store opens at Aéroports de Paris

Carrefour: The very first City convenience store opens at Aéroports de Paris

Diane Rusignola appointed deputy editor at NACS

​ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Diane Rusignola has joined NACS as a deputy editor. In this newly created role, Rusignola will help guide the content, design consistency and editing of the award-winning monthly NACS Magazine as well as content across NACS Media platforms including the NACS Daily e-newsletter and NACS social media.

Rusignola previously worked at Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America as an associate publisher and managing editor. She also held the role of assistant editor at the Association of Corporate Counsel. She was also a member of the Board of Directors for Association Media & Publishing from 2011-2015.

She holds an M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a B.A. in communications and political science from Villanova.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 152,700 stores across the country, posted $696.1 billion in total sales in 2014, of which $482.6 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

SOURCE: NACS

Nearly half of all regular Black Friday shoppers expect to shop more this holiday season as a result of lower gas prices – NACS survey

​ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Nearly half (42%) of all regular Black Friday shoppers expect to shop more this holiday season as a result of lower gas prices, according to the results of a new consumer survey released today by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

Shoppers also expect to have plenty of company in stores over the holiday season: 96% of Americans say that they expect Americans to shop at least as much — if not more — this holiday season as they did last year. Overall, one in four Americans (25%) expect to shop more this year than last holiday season, when gas prices were approximately 70 cents more per gallon. Two in five (41%) shoppers ages 18 to 34 say they are likely to spend more this year, while only 14% of those over age 50 expect to do so.

Consumers say they are posed to spend more this holiday season because of lower gas prices, and 9 in 10 (87%) of holiday shoppers expect to stop at a convenience store, most often to purchase gas (77% of all travelers and 86% of regular Black Friday shoppers), or to use the bathroom (50% of all travelers and 51% of regular Black Friday shoppers).

Travelers will be buying plenty of beverages at convenience stores: 46% expect to purchase bottled water or a soda and 42% expect to purchase coffee or an energy drink to stay alert. They also plan to purchase food, with 45% expecting to buy a snack and 20% expecting to buy a sandwich or meal from a convenience store while traveling over the holidays.

Younger consumers ages 18-34 are most likely to stop at convenience stores during holiday travels, whether to buy a snack (57%), a bottle of water or soda (55%), a coffee or energy drink (52%), a sandwich or meal (28%) or use the ATM (25%).

“Sales have been strong all year at convenience stores and it looks like these strong sales will continue through the holiday season, especially with Millennials seeking out more fresh items in stores like salads, fruits or sandwiches,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “Consumers are optimistic about the economy and lower gas prices are contributing to this optimism.”

Half of all Americans (50%) are optimistic about the economy, according to survey results released by NACS last week.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts monthly consumer surveys to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,100 gas consumers nationally were surveyed November 2-4, 2015.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 152,700 stores across the country, posted $696.1 billion in total sales in 2014, of which $482.6 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

SOURCE: NACS

Gap, Bombas to bring awareness to the most requested clothing item in homeless shelters: socks

The exclusive partnership sets goal to donate 1 million socks to homeless shelters

NEW YORK, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — This holiday season, Gap is joining forces with Bombas, the athletic-leisure sock company with a philanthropic mission, to bring awareness to the most requested clothing item in homeless shelters: socks. The exclusive Gap x Bombas collection will be available in select Gap stores around the world and on Gap.com. For every pair sold in participating countries, Gap will give a pair of specially-designed Bombas donation socks to someone in need.

The partnership is part of Gap’s ongoing commitment to support local communities and to give back this holiday season. Since its founding in 2013, Bombas has been committed to donating a pair of socks for every pair sold and, to date, has donated more than 500,000 pairs of socks in the United States. Inspired by that accomplishment, Gap has committed to bringing awareness of the Bombas mission to a global audience, and together the two brands share a goal to donate one million pairs of socks to homeless shelters in participating Gap markets.

“Gap has always been committed to incorporating a positive social impact into our everyday business,” said Steven Sare, senior vice president of Merchandising for Gap. “We saw a natural partner in Bombas because their giveback component resonates so strongly with our values and those of our customers who are excited about giving back. We were also impressed by the innovative design of the socks that Bombas donates, as they’re specifically crafted to meet the particular needs of the people receiving them.”

“Bombas was founded because we wanted to help solve a problem that many people didn’t know existed,” said Randy Goldberg, co-founder and chief brand officer of Bombas.  “With the support of Gap, we are able to bring an international spotlight to the issue that drives us year-round,” added David Heath, co-founder and chief executive officer of Bombas.

The Bombas donation socks are purpose-built to help meet the needs of those who have inspired the Bombas mission. Each pair has reinforced seams for greater durability, an anti-microbial treatment to deter the growth of odor and fungus and darker colors to minimize visible wear.  These attributes make a big difference in the lives of those who don’t have the luxury of having a clean pair of socks every day.

In store and online (in the U.S. and Canada), Gap will carry the exclusive line of Gap x Bombas calf socks for adults and children. Within each category, there are four different color combinations exclusive to the partnership. The Gap x Bombas socks will be available at select Gap stores in the U.S., Canada and Japan. Working with charitable partners, Good360 and the National Coalition for the Homeless, all Gap x Bombas and Gap brand socks purchased in these countries as well as Gap brand socks purchased in the EU will contribute to the goal of one million donated.

To extend that campaign further, Gap is raising awareness for the issue through social media with the use of the hashtag #socksforall.

Further details on the campaign can be found at Gap.com.

About Gap
Gap is one of the world’s most iconic apparel and accessories brands and the authority on American casual style.  Founded in San Francisco in 1969, Gap’s collections are designed to build the foundation of modern wardrobes – all things denim, classic white shirts, khakis and must-have trends.  Beginning with the first international store in London in 1987, Gap continues to connect with customers online and across the brand’s about 1,700 company-operated and franchise retail locations around the world. Gap includes Women’s and Men’s apparel and accessories, GapKids, babyGap, GapMaternity, GapBody and GapFit collections.  The brand also serves value-conscious customers with exclusively-designed collections for Gap Outlet and Gap Factory Stores.  Gap is the namesake brand for leading global specialty retailer, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) which includes Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.

About Bombas
Founded in 2013, Bombas is a collection of highly functional and fashionable athletic-leisure socks with a philanthropic mission. After discovering socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in homeless shelters, founders Randy Goldberg and David Heath established the brand’s mission to donate a pair of socks for every pair sold.Each sock is constructed using Bombas Sock Tech, comprised of seven substantial ways to improve the comfort, performance and design of the athletic sock.  The collection is currently available on www.Bombas.com in a variety of bold colors and neutral solid for men, women and kids.press@gap.com

PRESS CONTACT
press@gap.com

SOURCE: Gap Inc.

Toys“R”Us® announced its Thanksgiving Weekend plans

Loyal Customers Given Exclusive Availability to Shop More Than 100 Black Friday Sales in Advance of the Holiday Shopping Crowds

WAYNE, NJ, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us® today announced its Thanksgiving Weekend plans, revealing the season’s hottest doorbusters on this year’s most sought-after playthings, including more than 350 offers and $8,000 in savings. With Toys“R”Us stores nationwide opening at 5pm on Thursday, November 26*, deal-seeking customers can save on items at the top of kids’ wish lists including, Shopkins, Star Wars®, NERF® and more. Bringing extra yuletide joy to the company’s 19 million loyalty members, Toys“R”Us will provide exclusive, early access in-store and online to more than 100 Black Friday items beginning Sunday, November 22.

“Whether gift-givers are looking to save before the Thanksgiving turkey defrosts, shop online or join the excited crowds at their local store, Toys“R”Us is THE one stop that toy shoppers can’t afford to miss this Black Friday,” said Richard Barry, Executive Vice President, Global Chief Merchandising Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “Toys“R”Us customers can expect unbeatable Black Friday deals on hundreds of toys we know are going to bring smiles to kids’ faces on Christmas morning. And, our most loyal consumers can beat the crowds and get a jump start on shopping with additional, exclusive offers.”

Spreading Holiday Cheer to Rewards“R”Us Loyalty Members with Early Access and Big Savings
Toys“R”Us is providing its most loyal shoppers with more than 100 Black Friday doorbusters in advance of the busy shopping weekend – both in-store and online – beginning Sunday, November 22. Rewards“R”Us members have the added benefit of accumulating points on their purchases, thus extending their holiday savings, with the ability to apply those points to last-minute presents or wait to use them for Toys“R”Us shopping in the New Year.

Throughout November and December, “R”Us Credit Cardholders are eligible to receive an additional 10% off their Toys“R”Us and/or Babies“R”Us purchases when they use their “R”Us Credit Card in-store on Thursdays, including Thanksgiving. Through December 19, existing Cardholders can also save 10% every Saturday when they use their “R”Us Credit Card in-store**. Shoppers who elect to open an account in-store on Saturdays can stack this offer along with our everyday 15%*** off purchases or 6-month special financing offer****, granting shoppers maximum ways to save this holiday season. Those who wish to apply for an “R”Us Credit Card can simply visit any “R”Us store nationwide or Toysrus.com/Rewardsrus.

Carving In To Deals from the Comfort of Home
Consumers looking to prep the turkey and set the table while still saving, can shop the majority of the Toys“R”Us Thanksgiving Weekend offers from home. Deals will begin at 9pm ET – one hour earlier than last year – on Wednesday, November 25 at Toysrus.com/BlackFriday.

Helpful Services from THE Toy Authority
With the Toys“R”Us “Navigators,” also known as the “G.P.S.” (Gurus for Play Stuff), a speedy checkout at a dedicated Express Lane and the new $19 shipping minimum for online purchases*****, Toys“R”Us is dedicated to making Black Friday shopping an #AwesomeMoment for families.

“AWWWESOME” Black Friday Ads and a #BlackFridayMadeEasy Twitter Party
As the “AWWWESOME” “Shelf Talker” holiday marketing campaign continues to roll out, new advertisements spotlight the Black Friday deals available to Toys“R”Us shoppers. In one spot touting the Rewards“R”Us members’ early access, a very excited My Little Pony® re-envisions the shopping holiday with pink sparkles and glitter, much to the dismay of her friends on the shelf.

In addition, the company is also encouraging fans to join a Twitter Party on Tuesday, November 24 at 2pm ET by using #BlackFridayMadeEasy. Hosted in partnership with The Mommyhood Chronicles, consumers will learn more about Black Friday doorbusters and in-store services designed to make shopping quick and simple, as well as receive suggestions from THE toy experts about hot toys and much more.

Following the party, fans can continue to engage with Toys“R”Us socially on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus, on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus, on Instagram at Instagram.com/Toysrus, as well as subscribe to the Toys“R”Us channel on YouTube (YouTube.com/Toysrus), and follow the company on Snapchat (@ToysRUsOfficial) to see big offers, excited gift-givers shop on Black Friday and more this holiday and beyond.

For media use: Photos, b-roll and “AWWWESOME” ads related to Thanksgiving Weekend and Black Friday at Toys“R”Us, are available at https://toysrus.sharefile.com/d-sd577dc0d4b6485b8.

For company news and updates throughout the season, please visit “R” Holiday Press Room.

Following are highlights of doorbusters available at Toys“R”Us stores only nationwide beginning Thursday, November 26 from 5pm to midnight, while supplies last (no rain checks).

  • SAVE $15 on Fisher-Price® Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo – Was $39.99; Now $24.99
  • 50% OFF Paw Patrol Rescue Training Center – Was $29.99; Now $14.99
  • SAVE $70 ON EXCLUSIVE Imaginarium 55-Piece Train Set with Table – Was $109.99; Now $39.99
  • BOGO 80% OFF ALL Skylanders® SuperChargers Single Figures and Vehicles
  • BOGO 60% OFF ALL LEGO® Dimensions Fun Packs
  • SAVE $150 ON EXCLUSIVE 12-volt Black or Barbie® Escalade – Was $449.99; Now $299.99
  • 50% OFF EXCLUSIVE Journey Girls® Limited Edition 2-Doll Gift Pack – Was $99.99; Now $49.99
  • 50% OFF EXCLUSIVE NERF® N-Strike LongShot CS-6 Blaster – Was $39.99; Now $19.99
  • SAVE $20 on EASY-BAKE Ultimate Oven – Was $44.99; Now $24.99
  • $5 EXCLUSIVE Shopkins Season 3 Ornaments (each) – Two exclusive Shopkins in each ornament!

Following are examples of additional savings that will be available beginning Thursday, November 26 at 5pm through Saturday, November 28 at midnight, while supplies last (no rain checks). Those who want to shop online as early as 9pm ET on Wednesday, November 25, will be delighted to find the majority of the following deals available at Toysrus.com.

  • 40% OFF ALL High-back Chairs & Flip Open Sofas
  • 50% OFF VTech® Alphabet Activity Cubes – Was $49.99; Now $24.99
  • 30% OFF ALL EXCLUSIVE LEGO® Ultra Agents Construction Sets
  • 50% OFF Fisher-Price® Medical Kits – Was $14.99; Now $7.49
  • OVER 60% OFF EXCLUSIVE Crayola® Fabulous Art Kit, Super Art & Craft Kit or Super Art Coloring Kit – Was $26.99; Now $10.00
  • 50% OFF EXCLUSIVE Barbie® Rock ‘n Royals Super Star Limo – Was $59.99; Now $29.99
  • SAVE $150 on Razor® Crazy Cart – Was $399.99; Now $249.99
  • UP TO 65% OFF  ALL Disney Princess Petite Princess 6 Toddler Dolls –
  • Was $10.99 –$14.99; Now $5 each
  • 2 FOR $25 ALL “R” Superbuy Video Game Software

Following are select deals available on Friday, November 27 from 7am through Saturday, November 28 at midnight, as well as online at Toysrus.com, while supplies last (no rain checks):

  • $50 OFF EXCLUSIVE The Home Depot® Big Builders Pro Workshop – Was $129.99; Now $79.99
  • OVER 40% OFF Max Tow Truck – Was $59.99; Now $34.99
  • 50% OFF Disney Princess Little Mermaid Sisters Dolls 7-Pack or Small Doll MagiClip Princess 7-Pack – Was $29.99; Now $14.99
  • SAVE $30 ON EXCLUSIVE VTech® Go! Go! Smart Wheels Smart City Heroes – Was $79.99; Now $49.99
  • 50% OFF Playskool Heroes Transformers® Rescue Bots Optimus Primal Figure – Was $34.99; Now $17.49
  • BOGO Mix & Match – Toys To Life:
    • BOGO 40% OFF ALL Skylanders® SuperChargers and Trap Team Figures, Vehicles and Accessories (excludes Starter Pack)
    • BOGO 40% OFF ALL Disney Infinity Figures, Vehicles and Accessories (excludes Starter Pack)
    • BOGO 40% OFF ALL amiibo Figures, Cards and Accessories (excludes Starter Pack)
  • SAVE $800 on Big Backyard Premium Charleston Lodge Wood Swing Set – Was $1599.99; Now $799.99 (in-store only)
  • SAVE $80 on Step2 Happy Home Cottage & Grill – Was $179.99; now $99.99

*Toys“R”Us stores nationwide will open at 5pm on Thursday, November 26 and remain open until 11pm on Friday, November 27, except for stores in Paramus, NJ, which will open on Thanksgiving from 5 – 11pm and will reopen on Friday, November 27 at 7am, and stores in Watchung, NJ, which will open on Thanksgiving from 5 – 9pm and will reopen Friday, November 27 from 12am – 11pm. Select stores in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico will also have varying store open times. All store hours can be found online at www.Toysrus.com/BlackFridayStoreHours.
**Some exclusions/conditions apply. See store for details. Must request 10% off discount at time of purchase on Thursdays and Saturdays through December 19.
***Some exclusions apply. See the “R”Us Rewards program terms or an associate for details.
****Minimum monthly payments required. See an associate or special financing disclosures in store for details.Rewards“R”Us Card offered by Toys“R”Us, Inc. “R”Us Credit Card and “R”Us MasterCard are issued by Synchrony Bank pursuant to a license from MasterCard International, Inc. MasterCard is a registered trade mark of MasterCard International Incorporated.
*****
For more information, please visit www.Toysrus.com/FreeShipping.

About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 863 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam, and in 745 international stores and more than 250 licensed stores in 38 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys at FAO.com. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com and FAO.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys“R”Us, Inc. employs approximately 66,000 associates annually worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys“R”Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys“R”Us, Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus, Facebook.com/Babiesrus and Facebook.com/FAO and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus, Twitter.com/Babiesrus and Twitter.com/FAOSchwarz.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Cheryl O’Brien
973-617-4380
Cheryl.Obrien@toysrus.com

Samantha Xenis
973-617-5306
Samantha.Xenis@toysrus.com

SOURCE: Toys”R”Us

Malaysia: Giant to plant trees and refurbish a whole classroom into a 21st Century Classroom

Hypermarket staff plant trees in compound and give classroom 21st-century look 

MALAYSIA, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — WHEN Rihana Hashim, principal of SMK Desa Cempaka, Nilai, received a call from GCH Retail (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd corporate affairs department, she was elated.

It was because Giant offered to plant fruit trees as well as bougainvillea and refurbish a whole classroom into a 21st Century Classroom.

“I was so happy. We have been trying to find a sponsor to help transform our best Form One classroom.

“I’m happy Giant called. And, it’s exciting to know that three years from now, we shall have rambutans to eat, plucked fresh from the tree in our own school!” she said.

Rihana believes that a well-maintained school makes a positive difference to a child’s learning development. There are over 1,200 students enrolled in SMK Desa Cempaka.

Thirty staff members from Giant Superstore Nilai led by their general manager Goh Chin Fock and the GCH corporate affairs team led by its corporate affairs director Roseta Mohd Jaffar arrived at the school with a lorry-Load of goodies, potted plants, fruit plants, paint and other materials.

They were received by over 80 teachers and students.

Together, they managed to complete their project before noon.

“Now, I will be more determined to study harder because my classroom looks so nice and beautiful,” said student Ameera Sofia Zailan, 13.

The activity is part of Giant Loves My School (GLMS) CSR programme by GCH Retail (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd which owns Giant and Cold Storage chains.

GLMS is a CSR programme that focuses on providing or enhancing school facilities and infrastructure.

GCH has allocated RM750,000 for 150 schools throughout 2015.To-date, more than 100 schools have benefitted from this programme.

SOURCE: GCH RETAIL

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Malaysia Giant to plant trees and refurbish a whole classroom into a 21st Century Classroom

Richard T. (Mick) McGuire III to resign from NCR’s Board of Directors

DULUTH, Ga., 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) today announced that Richard T. (Mick) McGuire III, Founder and Managing Partner, Marcato Capital Management, has resigned from the Company’s Board of Directors.  McGuire has served on the Board since November 2014.

“Mick has been a good director who has provided the Board a valuable shareholder perspective,” said NCR Chairman and CEO Bill Nuti.  “We appreciate his support of our announced strategic partnership with Blackstone which we believe will accelerate our strategic transformation and increase long-term shareholder value.  On behalf of the full Board, I’d like to thank Mick for his contributions to the growth and success of NCR and wish him the best going forward.”

Mr. McGuire stated, “It has been a pleasure to serve on the Board of NCR.  I have confidence that the new Blackstone directors will bring ample analytical and strategic resources and a shareholder’s perspective to the Board.”

About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is the global leader in consumer transaction technologies, turning everyday interactions with businesses into exceptional experiences. With its software, hardware, and portfolio of services, NCR enables more than 485 million transactions daily across the financial, retail, hospitality, travel, telecom and technology industries. NCR solutions run the everyday transactions that make your life easier.

NCR is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia with over 29,000 employees and does business in 180 countries. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries. NCR encourages investors to visit its web site which is updated regularly with financial and other important information about NCR.

Web site: www.ncr.com
Twitter: @NCRCorporation
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ncrcorp
LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/ncrgroup
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/ncrcorporation

News Media Contact
NCR Corporation
Lou Casale, 212-589-8415
lou.casale@ncr.com

Investor Contact
NCR Corporation
Gavin Bell, 212-589-8468
gavin.bell@ncr.com

SOURCE: NCR Corporation

First Data becomes preferred provider of cybersecurity and payment processing solutions to NCR’s customers in the grocery, petroleum and convenience store industries

  • Agreement establishes First Data as preferred payments technology provider for NCR in grocery, petroleum and convenience store industries
  • NCR becomes First Data’s preferred ATM and services provider, including enterprise license for NCR CxBanking software

DULUTH, Ga. and NEW YORK, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — First Data (NYSE: FDC), a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions, and NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), the global leader in consumer transaction technologies, have entered into a strategic commercial agreement. First Data will be a preferred provider of cybersecurity and payment processing solutions to NCR’s customers in the grocery, petroleum and convenience store industries. NCR will be a preferred provider of ATM hardware and services to First Data’s client base of more than 4,000 financial institutions. The two industry leaders will also pursue co-development of integrated commerce technology solutions for U.S. merchant clients.

“As respective leaders in payments and consumer transaction technologies across multiple industries, First Data and NCR are uniquely positioned to add customer value through a holistic consumer experience from the initiation of a transaction to its completion,” said Bill Nuti, Chairman and CEO, NCR Corporation. “We believe this new relationship will help drive revenue growth, reduce costs, and improve security for our customers. As payment security continues to drive decision-making among CIOs and CTOs, NCR and First Data’s unique payment security software will create a winning combination for retailers.”

“We are focused on partnering with NCR to bring integrated technology solutions, including payment acceptance, security, business intelligence, and digital gift card software, to clients in the petroleum, grocery and convenience store industries,” said Guy Chiarello, President, First Data. ”Merchants around the world are concerned with cybersecurity and data protection, and our collaboration with NCR enables us to offer best-in-class security to a broad range of businesses through our TransArmor solution.

Solutions for Grocery, Petroleum and Convenience Store Businesses

The strategic partnership will encompass payment card acceptance and technology solutions for clients in the grocery, petroleum and convenience store sectors. First Data will become a preferred partner of NCR and its value-added resellers in the U.S.

First Data and NCR will also collaborate to develop a payments security infrastructure that includes First Data’s TransArmor® Data Protection integrated with NCR Epsilon and Connected Payments® Gateway, which provides a secure routing technology delivered as a Software-as-a-Service solution. First Data’s TransArmor solution provides powerful payment card security that combines encryption with random-number tokenization technology. With TransArmor, payment card data is protected at every transaction stage, reducing the risk of data breach as well as the scope and costs of PCI compliance.

In addition, the companies will jointly explore opportunities to package their respective payment solutions and value-added services to deliver unique capabilities to their clients.

Solutions for Financial Institutions

Under the agreement, as a preferred provider, First Data will offer NCR’s industry-leading ATM hardware and services to First Data’s client base of more than 4,000 financial institutions. The agreement includes an enterprise license for NCR CxBanking software – such as APTRA applications and NCR Kalpana – allowing First Data to deliver highly accessible and differentiated consumer experiences.

Every second, more than 6,000 transactions around the world are being run through NCR hardware and software. NCR is the global leader in ATM technology and more than $1.134 trillion in cash moves through NCR ATMs each year.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About First Data
First Data is a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions, serving approximately six million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in 118 countries around the world. The company’s 23,000 owner-associates are dedicated to helping companies, from start-ups to the world’s largest corporations, conduct commerce every day by securing and processing more than 2,300 transactions per second and $1.9 trillion per year.

About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is the global leader in consumer transaction technologies, turning everyday interactions with businesses into exceptional experiences. With its software, hardware, and portfolio of services, NCR enables more than 550 million transactions daily across retail, financial, travel, hospitality, telecom and technology, and small business. NCR solutions run the everyday transactions that make your life easier.

NCR is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia with over 30,000 employees and does business in 180 countries. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Web sites: www.ncr.com
Twitter: @NCRCorporation
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ncrcorp
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/ncr-corporation
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/ncrcorporation

News Media Contacts

Jeff Dudash
NCR Public Relations
770.212.5091
jeff.dudash@ncr.com

Liidia Liuksila
First Data Public Relations
212.515.0174
Liidia.liuksila@firstdata.com

SOURCE: NCR Corporation

International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 2015 Holiday Guide released on The Center of Shopping’s website

All the latest holiday data and findings one click away.

NEW YORK, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — How much money are shoppers spending this holiday season? On Black Friday? Super Saturday? Do shopping centers prefer to hire Santas with real beards or will costume accessories suffice? How are omnichannel and technology trends influencing holiday shoppers?

Find out the scoop this holiday season via the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) “2015 Holiday Guide,” accessible via the website The Center of Shopping. The content heavy collection will serve as a tremendous resource throughout the 2015 season.

The site will act as a gift that keeps on giving, constantly updated with ICSC’s latest forecasts, spending data and trends. The guide is currently populated with data, visuals and commentary by ICSC’s Director of Research in addition to related content like ICSC’s holiday forecast.

While the data will cover every aspect of the season relating to the retail real estate industry, the pieces are connected by a common denominator. This holiday season, purchase- and purpose- driven individuals will be out in full force at America’s Marketplaces: shopping centers.

Longer Season, Deeper pockets

Holiday shoppers in particular will be willing to spend more, but will also be more knowledgeable about products. Enticed by promotions and faced with an elongated season, shoppers will start their purchases earlier, but complete them later. Shoppers will also be cannier about purchases as a result of online research, mobile devices and multiple channels of distributions.

‘Tis the giving season

The gain in spending ($702 in 2015 compared to $677 in 2014) is fueled in part by an increase in the number of people for whom shoppers will buy gifts. Also of note, approximately 40% of all adults in the United States intend to contribute to, or participate in, philanthropic events occurring at malls and shopping centers this holiday season.

Next up, Black Friday!

ICSC predicts 41% of holiday shoppers will hit the pavement on Black Friday – the most of any holiday shopping days. See how ICSC’s forecast plays out and be on the lookout for ICSC’s Black Friday survey next week, followed by results after the holiday.

Stay tuned to follow the season’s most important research and findings, in real time, on The Center of Shopping.

About ICSC
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials. The shopping center industry is essential to economic development and opportunity. They are a significant job creator, driver of GDP, and critical revenue source for the communities they serve through the generation of sales taxes and the payment of property taxes. These taxes fund important municipal services like firefighters, police officers, school services, and infrastructure like roadways and parks. Shopping centers aren’t only fiscal engines however; they are integral to the social fabric of their communities by providing a central place to congregate with friends and family, discuss community matters, and participate in and encourage philanthropic endeavors. For more information about ICSC visit www.icsc.org and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to www.thecenterofshopping.com.

SOURCE:  International Council of Shopping Centers

 

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International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 2015 Holiday Guide released on The Center of Shopping's website

International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 2015 Holiday Guide released on The Center of Shopping’s website

ICSC: 7 in 10 Kentuckians support federal legislation that requires online-only sellers to collect sales tax at the time of purchase

New Poll Finds Strong Support for Federal Legislation in the Bluegrass State

WASHINGTON, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) released the results of a Kentucky-specific poll that shows that roughly seven in ten Kentucky voters support federal legislation that requires online-only sellers to collect sales tax at the time of purchase.

“Kentuckians of all ages, from different walks of life and across the political spectrum overwhelmingly agree that leveling the playing field to support the shopping center industry in its essential role as stewards of economic development and prosperity for their local communities is of paramount importance,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “The findings show that a significant majority of Kentuckians support federal legislation and with precious few legislative days left in 2015, it is time for Congress to make efairness a reality this year.”

The poll also found that the current system, which requires brick-and-mortar retailers to collect sales tax and allows online-only sellers to avoid this responsibility, is seen as inherently unfair; providing a significant competitive advantage to out-of-state merchants over local businesses.

The poll identified a number of key findings, including:

  • 71% of registered voters in Kentucky support federal legislation that would require online-only sellers to collect sales tax at the time of purchase;
  • 85% of registered voters in Kentucky think it would be easier to collect sales tax from online-only sellers at the time of purchase;
  • 91% of registered voters in Kentucky say local retailers are important to their community’s economic health.

“It is abundantly clear that when Kentuckians understand their current tax liability for online purchases they overwhelmingly support federal legislation that streamlines and simplifies the sales tax collection process,” said Betsy Laird, senior vice president of Global Public Policy for ICSC.

ICSC has promoted efairness for more than a decade, advocating that a “sale is a sale” regardless of whether the purchase takes place on Main Street, at shopping centers, or over the Internet. For more information about efairness and how the current sales tax system is unable to support the 21st century retail marketplace, please visit efairness.org.

About ICSC
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials. The shopping center industry is essential to economic development and opportunity. They are a significant job creator, driver of GDP, and critical revenue source for the communities they serve through the generation of sales taxes and the payment of property taxes. These taxes fund important municipal services like firefighters, police officers, school services, and infrastructure like roadways and parks. Shopping centers aren’t only fiscal engines however; they are integral to the social fabric of their communities by providing a central place to congregate with friends and family, discuss community matters, and participate in and encourage philanthropic endeavors. For more information about ICSC visit www.icsc.org and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to www.thecenterofshopping.com.

About the Survey
Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) conducted a survey among two national probability samples, which, when combined, consists of 243 adults, 120 men and 123 women 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this CARAVAN® Survey was completed on September 10-15, 2015. 114 interviews were from the landline sample and 129 interviews from the cell phone sample

SOURCE:  International Council of Shopping Centers

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ICSC: 7 in 10 Kentuckians support federal legislation that requires online-only sellers to collect sales tax at the time of purchase

ICSC: 7 in 10 Kentuckians support federal legislation that requires online-only sellers to collect sales tax at the time of purchase

ICSC: 71 percent of Americans plan to stock up on holiday gifts over Thanksgiving weekend

  • More than 7 in 10 Americans (71 percent) plan to stock up on holiday gifts and merchandise over Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday-Sunday), according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Black Friday Shopping Study.
  • One in three Americans (32 percent) plan to shop in-store on “Cyber Monday.”
  • Hot toys include LEGO dimensions starter pack, Paw Patroller, Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage, Star Wars Bladebuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber.

NEW YORK, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — The 2015 International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Black Friday Shopping Study shows more than 7 in 10 Americans (71 percent) are planning to make holiday purchases over the Thanksgiving holiday period. Furthermore, 59 percent plan to make a purchase at a physical store over the weekend (Thursday-Sunday).

Surprisingly, Cyber Monday is shaping up to be the second-most popular day for in-store shopping – even though it’s a day normally associated with online activity. Overall, Americans plan to shop in-store on:

  • Thanksgiving Day (15 percent)
  • Black Friday (41 percent)
  • The Saturday and/or Sunday after Thanksgiving (30 percent)
  • Cyber Monday (32 percent)

“Shoppers’ in-store plans for Cyber Monday shows the lines between the online and in-store retail experiences are continuing to blur,” says Jesse Tron, ICSC Spokesman. “In-store shopping remains the preeminent channel for transactions, but online retail is continuing to influence those transactions by offering added value to shoppers in the form of research, in-store pickup, and more.”

Consumers planning to make a purchase over Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday-Sunday) will spend an average of $259 at retailers that have a physical presence. This represents 73 percent of Thanksgiving Weekend spending – including 14 percent for online purchases that will be picked up in store. This is significant as 4 out of 5 shoppers say they are likely to buy additional items when they go to retrieve their item.

Of all Thanksgiving weekend spending:

  • 60 percent will be spent on holiday gifts for others
  • 29 percent on non-gift items for themselves and their household
  • and 11 percent on non-gift items for people not in their house

Thanksgiving Day shopping: consumers have their say

As stores make headlines over their decisions to open their doors (or not) on Thanksgiving, shoppers are planning to take advantage of the extended hours. Of those who do plan to go to a shopping center on Thanksgiving Day, they will do so to:

  • Shop (68 percent)
  • Dine (41 percent)
  • See a movie (29 percent)
  • Have a child’s picture taken with Santa (15 percent)
  • Attend a holiday-themed-event like a Christmas tree or menorah lighting ceremony (15 percent)

Those who plan to shop on the Thanksgiving holiday say they plan to do so because:

  • Want to get a head start on finding the bargains offered (50 percent)
  • A fun opportunity to go shopping with family/friends (43 percent)
  • An opportunity to shop at more stores during the extended weekend (33 percent)
  • Expect the crowds to be smaller than on black Friday (28 percent)

Tech-enabled shopping: Shoppers getting savvy

Technology will continue to support the growing trend of omni-channel shopping for Thanksgiving weekend consumers, as more than 8 in 10 (82 percent) will do research online before making purchases in-store.

Additionally, 80 percent of shoppers plan to use a mobile device when shopping, most popularly to:

  • Compare prices (56 percent)
  • View ratings or reviews (37 percent)
  • Check availability/inventory (36 percent)
  • Get digital discounts or coupons to use in-store (36 percent)
  • Take pictures of items they’re thinking about purchasing (27 percent)

Hot gifts and shopping categories for the Holidays

Holiday shoppers will make the following distribution of their purchases in-store for the following categories:

  • Food and drink intended for holiday entertaining or gifts (84%)
  • Gift cards (69 percent)
  • Apparel and footwear (63 percent)
  • Home goods/housewares (60 percent)
  • Toys and games, not including apps or video games (55 percent)

This holiday, 66 percent of Americans will join in the scramble for the hottest toys and games of the season. The most popular ones cited include:

  • 1. LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack
  • T-2. Paw Patrol – Paw Patroller
  • T-2. Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage
  • T-3. Star Wars Bladebuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber
  • T-3. Mattel Barbie Dream House
  • T-3. Marvel Hulk Smash Vehicle
  • T-3. Doc McStuffins Take Care of Me Lambie

Methodology

The 2015 ICSC Black Friday Shopping Study was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of ICSC from November 2-4, 2015. The survey represents a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,016 adults 18 years of age and older.

About ICSC
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials. The shopping center industry is essential to economic development and opportunity. They are a significant job creator, driver of GDP, and critical revenue source for the communities they serve through the collection of sales taxes and the payment of property taxes. These taxes fund important municipal services like firefighters, police officers, school services, and infrastructure like roadways and parks. Shopping centers aren’t only fiscal engines however; they are integral to the social fabric of their communities by providing a central place to congregate with friends and family, discuss community matters, and participate in and encourage philanthropic endeavors. For more information about ICSC visit www.icsc.org and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to www.thecenterofshopping.com.

SOURCE: International Council of Shopping Centers

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ICSC: 71 percent of Americans plan to stock up on holiday gifts over Thanksgiving weekend

ICSC: 71 percent of Americans plan to stock up on holiday gifts over Thanksgiving weekend