Yum! Brands, Inc. to pay quarterly dividend of $0.46 per share of common stock

LOUISVILLE, KY, 2015-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.46 per share of common stock. The quarterly dividend will be distributed February 5, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 15, 2016. Since initiating a dividend in 2004, Yum! has increased its dividend at a double-digit percentage rate each of the past eleven years, placing Yum! in a select group of companies from the S&P 500 to do so.

Yum!’s first priority with the operating cash it generates is to invest in high-return global growth opportunities. In addition, Yum! is committed to returning significant cash to shareholders. The Company has returned over $6 billion of cash through the combination of share repurchases and dividends over the past five fiscal years.

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 41,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries and territories. Yum! is ranked #228 on the Fortune 500 List with revenues of over $13 billion in 2014 and is one of the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders in North America. The Company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opens over five new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in international retail development.

Analysts are invited to contact
Steve Schmitt, Vice President Investor Relations & Corporate Strategy, at 888/298-6986
Elizabeth Grenfell, Director Investor Relations, at 888/298-6986

Members of the media are invited to contact Virginia Ferguson, Director Public Relations, at 502/874-8200

The Bon-Ton Stores Q3 FY2015 results: results were challenged as sales were pressured by unseasonably warm weather

YORK, Pa., 2015-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:BONT) today reported operating results for the third quarter of fiscal 2015, the 13-week period ended October 31, 2015.

Third Quarter Overview

  • Comparable store sales decreased 2.6% in the third quarter as compared with the prior year period.
  • Gross margin rate decreased 286 basis points as compared with last year to 33.4% of net sales in the current year period.
  • Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expense decreased $0.7 million in the third quarter compared with the prior year period.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $5.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2015. (Adjusted EBITDA is not a measure recognized under generally accepted accounting principles – see Note 1.) Adjusted EBITDA was $28.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014.
  • Net loss in the third quarter of fiscal 2015 was $34.0 million, or $1.72 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $11.0 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2014.
  • The Company completed a $75 million accordion exercise on August 28 and, subsequent to the third quarter of fiscal 2015, completed a second transaction of $80 million that cumulatively expanded its borrowing capabilities under its revolving credit facility by $155 million, bringing total revolving commitments to $830 million.

Comments

Kathryn Bufano, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Clearly, our third quarter results were challenged as sales were pressured by unseasonably warm weather, which significantly impacted our cold-weather classifications, and by continued weakness in overall traffic trends. However, customers strongly responded to our expanded brand offerings and we also saw sustained momentum in certain core categories. Recognizing that the competitive environment is likely to continue, we remain focused on creating a differentiated and compelling product assortment and leveraging our home town strategy. We also continued to control our expenses, resulting in a net reduction in SG&A in the period. We ended the quarter in a healthy inventory position in terms of freshness and content, primed for holiday selling. Additionally, as previously announced, we amended our private label credit card agreement, extending a valued and successful partnership three years to 2022.”

Ms. Bufano continued, “Looking ahead, we are not anticipating major changes in the retail environment in the near term. Accordingly, we are pursuing a number of avenues to drive additional process improvements and further reduce expenses.” The Company’s plan is expected to yield approximately$35 million in annual savings in fiscal 2016. These expense savings, which will benefit SG&A expenses and gross margin, combined with lower capital spending and inventory levels, will positively impact 2016 cash flow.

Third Quarter Details

Comparable store sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2015 decreased 2.6%. Total sales in the period decreased 3.0% to $623.4 million, compared with$642.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014.  Sales were adversely impacted by unseasonably warm weather and the continuation of soft traffic trends. Despite these challenges, we achieved a 3.0% increase in sales associated with our proprietary credit card and sales growth in eCommerce, primarily due to a higher conversion rate.  The sales performance in our small and mid-tier stores continued to outpace that of our larger locations. Year-to-date fiscal 2015 comparable store sales decreased 1.0%.

Other income in the third quarter of fiscal 2015 was $17.5 million, compared with $16.0 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014. The increase was largely the result of increased revenues associated with our proprietary credit card operations. Proprietary credit card sales, as a percentage of total sales, increased 299 basis points to 54.5% in the third quarter of fiscal 2015.

The gross margin rate in the third quarter of fiscal 2015 decreased 286 basis points as compared with the third quarter of fiscal 2014 to 33.4% of net sales, largely the result of increased net markdowns and increased distribution and delivery costs associated with omnichannel selling efforts in the current quarter. Gross profit decreased $24.9 million to $208.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2015 as a result of both decreased sales volume and rate in the period.

In the third quarter of fiscal 2015, SG&A expense was $220.2 million, a decrease of $0.7 million from the third quarter of fiscal 2014 results. This reduction was largely driven by expense control measures as well as the avoidance of costs incurred in the prior year related to the implementation of our expense efficiency initiative, partially offset by increased advertising expenses and continued investment in omnichannel operations. SG&A expense rate increased 95 basis points to 35.3% of net sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2015 as a result of the decreased sales volume in the period.

The Company’s excess borrowing capacity under its revolving credit facility, which includes the $75 million increase as a result of the accordion exercise completed on August 28, was $250.2 million at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2015.

The Company’s Board of Directors did not declare a dividend at this time as a result of the current shareholders’ deficit and the requirements ofPennsylvania state law. The Board of Directors will revisit the declaration of a dividend at the end of fiscal 2015.

Guidance

For fiscal 2015, the Company now expects Adjusted EBITDA in a range of $110 million to $120 million. Earnings per diluted share are expected to be in a range of a loss of $2.15 to $2.65 and cash flow (see Note 2) is now expected to be in a range of ($30) million to ($40) million.

Assumptions reflected in our full-year guidance include the following:

  • A  comparable store sales performance ranging from a decrease of 0.5% to 1.5%;
  • A gross margin rate ranging from a decrease of 70 to 80 basis points from the fiscal 2014 rate of 35.7%;
  • An SG&A expense rate ranging from a 30- to 60-basis-point increase over the fiscal 2014 rate of 32.9%;
  • Capital expenditures not to exceed $71 million, net of external contributions; and
  • An estimated 20 million average diluted shares outstanding.

Guidance does not reflect any potential impact associated with an early termination of the Company’s remaining mortgage facility, thereby excluding the financial effect of the make-whole provision in the agreement, which could range up to approximately $2 million. It also does not include any implementation costs associated with the planned expense reductions in fiscal 2016, as those costs have yet to be determined.

Call Details

The Company’s quarterly conference call discussing its third quarter fiscal 2015 results will be broadcast live today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time. Investors and analysts interested in participating in the call are invited to dial (888) 211-4434 at 9:55 a.m. Eastern time and reference conference ID 4537346. A taped replay of the conference call will be available within two hours of the conclusion of the call and will remain available throughThursday, November 26, 2015. The number to call for the taped replay is (877) 870-5176 and the replay PIN is 4537346. The conference call will also be broadcast on the Company’s website at http://investors.bonton.com. An online archive of the webcast will be available within two hours of the conclusion of the call.

About The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 270 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 26 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates. The stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings. For further information, please visit the investor relations section of the Company’s website at http://investors.bonton.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information included in this press release contains statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which may be identified by words such as “may,” “could,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “project,” “intend” or other similar expressions and include the Company’s fiscal 2015 guidance, involve important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect results in the future and, accordingly, such results may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of the Company.   Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to: risks related to retail businesses generally; a significant and prolonged deterioration of general economic conditions which could negatively impact the Company in a number of ways, including the potential write-down of the current valuation of intangible assets and deferred taxes; risks related to the Company’s proprietary credit card program; potential increases in pension obligations; consumer spending patterns, debt levels, and the availability and cost of consumer credit; additional competition from existing and new competitors or changes in the competitive environment; inflation; deflation; changes in the costs of fuel and other energy and transportation costs; weather conditions that could negatively impact sales; uncertainties associated with expanding or remodeling existing stores; the ability to attract and retain qualified management; the dependence upon relationships with vendors and their factors; a data security breach or system failure; the ability to reduce or control SG&A expenses, including initiatives to reduce expenses and improve efficiency; operational disruptions; unsuccessful marketing initiatives; the ability to expand our capacity and improve efficiency through our new eCommerce fulfillment center; changes in, or the failure to successfully implement, our key strategies, including initiatives to improve our merchandising, marketing and operations; adverse outcomes in litigation; the incurrence of unplanned capital expenditures; the ability to obtain financing for working capital, capital expenditures and general corporate purposes; the impact of regulatory requirements including the Health Care Reform Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; the inability or limitations on the Company’s ability to favorably adjust the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets; and the financial condition of mall operators. Additional factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ from those contained in these forward-looking statements are discussed in greater detail under Item 1A of the Company’s Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Note 1: As used in this release, Adjusted EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, including amortization of lease-related interests, impairment charges and loss on extinguishment of debt. Adjusted EBITDA is not a measure of financial performance under generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). However, we present Adjusted EBITDA in this release because we consider it to be an important supplemental measure of our performance and because it is frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties to evaluate the performance of companies in our industry and by some investors to determine a company’s ability to service or incur debt. In addition, our management uses Adjusted EBITDA internally to compare the profitability of our stores. Adjusted EBITDA is not calculated in the same manner by all companies and, accordingly, is not necessarily comparable to similarly entitled measures of other companies and may not be an appropriate measure for performance relative to other companies. Adjusted EBITDA should not be assessed in isolation from or construed as a substitute for net income or cash flows from operations, which are prepared in accordance with GAAP. Adjusted EBITDA is not intended to represent, and should not be considered to be a more meaningful measure than, or an alternative to, measures of operating performance as determined in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of net loss to Adjusted EBITDA is provided in the financial schedules accompanying this release.

Note 2: As used in this release, cash flow reflects the forecasted net loss, plus depreciation and amortization, amortization of lease-related interests and impairment charges, less capital expenditures and pension contributions.

CONTACT: Kim George

Divisional Vice President
Investor Relations
717.751.3071
kim.george@bonton.com

Source: The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

Fubon Bank Hong Kong first bank in Greater China to introduce NCR Interactive Teller

NCR Interactive Teller enables Fubon to deliver a smart branch strategy to bank with live tellers in a smaller footprint

HONG KONG, 2015-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), the global leader in consumer transaction technologies, today announced that Fubon Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (“Fubon Bank”) has become the first bank in Greater China to introduce NCR Interactive Teller to transform its traditional branch banking and enhance customers’ banking experiences. NCR’s software-based Interactive Teller technology allows live tellers at the customer service centre to take remote control of an ATM inside a branch to assist customers with up to 95 percent of transactions typically completed by tellers at counters.

The NCR Interactive Teller units are now available at Fubon Bank’s recently remodeled branch at Queen’s Road East in Wanchai and will also be available in a new branch to be opened in the Western District in late November. The new solution allows Fubon Bank customers to execute branch banking transactions such as cash deposits, cheque deposits, cheque encashment, cash withdrawals, setting up time deposits, and account transfers.

“Fubon Bank always strives to delight our customers with a service-centric approach by leveraging innovative technologies to enhance our customers’ banking experiences. With the high cost of running bank branches in Hong Kong, NCR Interactive Teller technology is the premier solution to help redefine our branch banking experience and transform our retail network strategy,” said Carmen Yip, Executive Vice President & Head of Retail Banking Group, Fubon Bank. “NCR Interactive Teller puts a human touch to technology, mixing efficiency with ease-of-use. From now on, Fubon Bank is able to offer teller service to customers in a smaller footprint.”

With the NCR video teller technology, a live teller located at Fubon’s Customer Service Centre takes control of an ATM at the branch and instantly serves customers over two-way video, which helps to provide a more personalized experience. NCR Interactive Teller offers similar services as a teller over the counter offers. For instance, customers can withdraw money from their bank accounts without using a traditional ATM card and passwords, and like branch tellers, remote tellers can introduce bank products and services to customers after completing bank transactions. In addition, customers can have private conversation with the remote teller by using a handset.

“In Hong Kong, branch space is precious. NCR Interactive Teller allows banks to transform their branch locations into more effective service and sales environments, and release in-branch staff to better focus on sales and services,” said Keith Au, general manager of Hong Kong & Taiwan, Financial Services, NCR Corporation. “NCR Interactive Teller software offers a powerful combination: live video teller transactions for an interactive, personal experience or an unassisted ATM transaction for fast, always-on service. Fubon Bank customers will appreciate the increased convenience and the flexibility of choice on how they interact at this flexible channel.”

Fubon Bank has plans to bring NCR Interactive Teller technology to additional branches in 2016.

An internal study done by NCR showed that implementation of NCR’s Interactive Teller resulted in a 33 percent reduction in transaction time and the cost-per-transaction is 40 percent more economical compared to a branch teller transactions.

Since introducing the technology in 2013, NCR Interactive Teller technology has been deployed by more than 200 financial institutions around the world.

*Opening Hours of Fubon Bank’s Queen’s Road East Branch:

From now until 19 January, 2016

Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed on Public Holidays.

About Fubon Bank
Fubon Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (“Fubon Bank”) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fubon Financial Holding Co., Ltd. (“Fubon Financial Holdings”), a leading financial services group in Taiwan which is engaged in institutional banking, consumer finance, wealth management, investment management and insurance.  Fubon Financial Holdings is now the only Taiwanese financial institution with banking subsidiaries in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  Fubon Bank operates 22 branches, 2 Securities Services Centres and 1 Personal Loan Centre in Hong Kong, providing a wide range of financial services encompassing consumer and wholesale banking, wealth management, financial markets, securities brokerage and investment services.  Fubon Bank holds an A-2 short-term, BBB+ long-term rating from Standard & Poor’s.  The rating reflects Fubon Bank’s strong capitalization, good liquidity and sound asset quality.

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 site: 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 Contact

Winnie Sze
NCR Corporation
852 2975 6948
winnie.sze@ncr.com

SOURCE: NCR

NCR: Digital Insight to bring FICO® Score Open Access program to its financial institution customers

FICO® Score access helps educate consumers about their financial health

DULUTH, Ga., 2015-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Digital Insight, an NCR company and leader in digital banking solutions, has partnered with FICO to bring the FICO® Score Open Access program to its financial institution customers. The program enables the financial institution to share with their customers the same FICO® Scores used to manage their accounts. The customer may view their score, see its relative strength within a score meter, and access FICO® Score education including their score history and key factors that impacted the score.

“We are always looking for ways to provide our financial institution customers value they can pass along to their end users,” said Jeff Hughes, general manager of Digital Insight and CTO of NCR Financial Services. “Offering FICO® Scores gives financial institutions the ability to educate consumers on their finances and increase customer engagement.”

FICO® Scores provide a fair and objective evaluation of a customer’s credit history and their likelihood to repay their debt obligations. FICO® Scores are a key factor that lenders look at when evaluating loans.

For financial institutions, sharing FICO® Scores with their customers and members creates an opportunity for increased interaction via online banking. End users will be able to log into their accounts to see their score and utilize other offerings within their online banking session. Once logged into their account, in a single click a user can know their FICO® Score, the relative score strength, key score factors and 12 months of historical scores and factors.

By disclosing FICO® Scores to their customers and members, financial institutions will be able to:

  • Help customers and members understand their financial health; when it comes to credit, knowledge is power.
  • Provide an additional touch point and service via their online banking sites.
  • Gain trust and increase the likelihood that users will think of their financial institution first for additional financial needs.

Digital Insight supports FICO® Score models for all three major Credit Reporting Agencies. Digital Insight clients interested in this offering should contact their Digital Insight relationship manager.

About Digital Insight
Digital Insight, an NCR company, helps banks and credit unions achieve their goals and grow by offering innovative online and mobile banking solutions that make it easier for consumers and businesses to manage their money. Our proven banking innovations give financial institutions the flexibility and control to engage more, increase retention and cross-sell effectively.

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.

Suggested Links:

Gain more banking insights at Banking.com.
Follow Digital Insight on Twitter, like on Facebook or connect on LinkedIn.

News Media Contact:

Heather Almand
Digital Insight, an NCR company
770.349.1217
Heather.almand@digitalinsight.com

SOURCE: NCR

The Gymboree Corporation to host Q3 FY15 results webcast on Dec 10, 2015

San Francisco, Calif., 2015-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Gymboree Corporation today announced it will hold a conference call and webcast to review third fiscal quarter 2015 financial results. The call will be held on Thursday, December 10, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. Pacific/5:00 p.m. Eastern.

To listen live over the internet, please log on to www.gymboree.com, click on “Company Information” at the bottom of the page, go to “Investors & Media” and then “Conference Calls & Webcasts.” A replay of the call will be available two hours after the broadcast through midnight PT, Thursday, December 24, 2015, at 855-859-2056, passcode 70524600.

About The Gymboree Corporation
The Gymboree Corporation’s specialty retail brands offer unique, high-quality products delivered with personalized customer service. As of October 31, 2015, the Company operated a total of 1,315 retail stores: 598 Gymboree® stores (549 in the United States, 48 in Canada, and 1 in Puerto Rico), 175 Gymboree Outlet stores (174 in the United States and 1 in Puerto Rico), 152 Janie and Jack® shops (151 in the United States and 1 in Puerto Rico), and 390 Crazy 8® stores in the United States. The Company also operates online stores at www.gymboree.com, www.janieandjack.com and www.crazy8.com, and offers directed parent-child developmental play programs at 720 franchised and Company-operated Gymboree Play & Music® centers in the United States and 42 other countries.

Gymboree, Janie and Jack, Crazy 8 and Gymboree Play & Music are registered trademarks of The Gymboree Corporation.

Investor Relations contact:
Tel: 415-278-7933
investor_relations@gymboree.com

Media Relations contact:
Tel: 415-278-7493
media_relations@gymboree.com

SOURCE: Gymboree Corporation

USDA: Unsafe handling and undercooking of your turkey can lead to serious foodborne illness

WASHINGTON, 2015-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Thanksgiving is the largest meal many cooks prepare every year. Its centerpiece—the turkey—is the largest dish most cooks ever encounter, and many are not experienced at roasting one. USDA wants consumers to know that a range of resources, from smartphone apps to its 30-year Meat and Poultry Hotline, exist to help consumers through any food preparation conundrums this holiday season, wherever and whenever they may arise.

“Unsafe handling and undercooking of your turkey can lead to serious foodborne illness,” said Al Almanza, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. “USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has a variety of food safety resources to help with any questions related to preparing Thanksgiving dinner, including our Meat and Poultry Hotline that will be staffed will helpful experts on Thanksgiving Day.”

Cooking Turkey like a PRO:

This Thanksgiving more than 46 million turkeys will be eaten. Cooking the Thanksgiving turkey can be tricky, and trying to figure out when the turkey is done is often the hardest task. But, it doesn’t have to be! Impress your family by using a food thermometer to cook like a PRO: Place the thermometer, Read the temperature, Out of the oven.

  • Place the thermometer in the innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing, and the thickest part of the breast.
  • Read the temperature to make sure that the bird has reached a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.
  • Take the turkey Out of the oven, and serve it to your family without worry!

Planning Ahead:

For big Thanksgiving dinners, planning ahead is very important. You can assess your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to plan out your meals and your shopping list. When you are trying to figure out if you can use something you already have at home, keep the FoodKeeper application handy.

The FoodKeeper is a mobile application created by FSIS in partnership with The Food Marketing Institute and Cornell University. The FoodKeeper offers storage advice on more than 400 different food and beverage items and can help you decide what you can keep and what you should throw out. It also offers handy guidance on leftovers, which you’ll probably have a lot of after the big meal. Download the FoodKeeper today on your Android or iOS device.

There Are Also Real People to Talk to:

If you have questions about your Thanksgiving dinner, you can call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) to talk to a food safety expert. The Hotline has been around for 30 years. Last November they received more than 3000 calls mostly about Thanksgiving dinner. You can also chat live with a food safety expert at AskKaren.gov, available from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, in English and Spanish.

If you need help on Thanksgiving Day, the Meat & Poultry Hotline phone line is available from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET.

Consumers with more food safety questions can visit FoodSafety.gov to learn more about how to safely select, thaw, and prepare a turkey. FSIS will provide Thanksgiving food safety information during November on Twitter, @USDAFoodSafety, and on Facebook, at Facebook.com/FoodSafety.gov.

SOURCE: USDA FSIS

USDA FSIS: Nation Pizza recalls 59,028 pounds of frozen Mama Cozzi’s Pizza Kitchen products due to misbranding

WASHINGTON, 2015-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Nation Pizza, a Schaumburg, Ill. establishment, is recalling approximately 59,028 pounds of frozen Mama Cozzi’s Pizza Kitchen products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products contain soy, a known allergen which is not declared on the product label.

The Mama Cozzi’s Pizza Kitchen Rising Crust Pepperoni Pizzas were produced between Aug. 25, 2015, and Nov. 9, 2015. The following products are subject to recall: [Labels (PDF Only)]

  • 27.5 ounce carton containing one “MAMA COZZI’S RISING CRUST PEPPERONI PIZZA.”

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 1682A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped exclusively to ALDI grocery stores in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

The problem was discovered during in-plant review activities.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Teresa Martinez, Vice President of Quality Assurance, Research & Development, at (847) 348-5433. Media with questions about the recall can contact Richard Auskalnis, President, at (847) 348-5454.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

USDA Recall Classifications
Class I This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
Class II This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.
Class III This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.

Congressional and Public Affairs
Julie Schwartz
(202) 720-9113

SOURCE: USDA FSIS

eBay Korea to offer vegetables, meat and dairy through Korea’s Gmarket and IAC platforms

eBay is offering fresh products such as vegetables, meat and dairy through Korea’s Gmarket and IAC platforms.

San Jose, California, 2015-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — In a move that will further change online shopping, eBay is offering fresh products such as vegetables, meat and dairy through Korea’s Gmarket and IAC platforms.

Korean shoppers, particularly single households and double-income families, are increasingly looking to buy small bundles of fresh produce online and have it delivered the same day. With this in mind, eBay Korea has partnered with Homeplus, one of the largest retail chains in Korea with more than 100 branches, to create a new offering called Homeplus Pavilion.

In an increasingly crowded online marketplace, the partnership signals a shift to meet evolving consumer demands and a tie-in with a successful and established offline retail brand.

The new arrangement will mean more than 30,000 items can be ordered from Gmarket-IAC and supplied to homes the same day via Homeplus’ logistics system and arsenal of cold storage trucks. The service currently encompasses 88 stores nationwide but will expand over time.

“As shoppers’ demand increases for fresh products, the timing is perfect for this collaboration,” says Ju Cheol Lee, Partnership Program Director, eBay Korea.

“We’ve aligned with a top Korean retail brand and put the final touches to the platform, giving our customers an easy and efficient experience when buying these goods on eBay,” he added.

eBay
United States: press@ebay.com
Canada: canada.press@ebay.com

SOURCE:  eBay Inc.

###

eBay Korea to offer vegetables, meat and dairy through Korea’s Gmarket and IAC platforms

eBay Korea to offer vegetables, meat and dairy through Korea’s Gmarket and IAC platforms

Ross Stores Q3 FY2015 results: EPS up 15%; net earnings rose 12%; sales grew 7%

DUBLIN, Calif., 2015-11-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported that earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended October 31, 2015 increased 15% to $.53, on net earnings that rose 12% to$216 million. Sales for the fiscal 2015 third quarter grew 7% to $2.783 billion, with comparable store sales up 3% on top of last year’s 4% gain.

For the first nine months of the fiscal year, earnings per share increased 15% to $1.85, while net earnings rose 12% to $757 million.  Sales for the first nine months of 2015 increased 8% to $8.689 billion, with comparable store sales up 4%.

Barbara Rentler, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased with the better-than-expected sales and earnings growth we achieved in the third quarter.  These results demonstrate that customers continue to respond positively to the wide assortments of fresh and exciting bargains we offer throughout our stores. Third quarter operating margin of 12.1% was ahead of plan, up 30 basis points over last year, mainly driven by higher merchandise margin.”

Ms. Rentler continued, “During the first nine months of fiscal 2015, we repurchased 10.4 million shares of common stock for an aggregate price of $530 million.  We remain on track to repurchase a total of $700 millionin common stock during fiscal 2015 under the two-year $1.4 billion authorization approved by our Board of Directors in February of this year.”

Looking ahead, Ms. Rentler said, “In the upcoming fourth quarter, we face challenging prior year comparisons, ongoing uncertainty in the macro-economic environment, and a holiday season that will be highly promotional.  Therefore, while we hope to do better, we believe it is prudent to maintain our prior guidance for this period. For the 13 weeks ending January 30, 2016, we continue to project same store sales to be flat to up 1%, versus a strong 6% gain in the prior year, with earnings per share of $.60 to $.63 compared to $.60 in last year’s fourth quarter.  For fiscal 2015, earnings per share are now forecast to be in the range of $2.45 to $2.48, up 11% to 12% from $2.21 in fiscal 2014.”

The Company will host a conference call on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 4:15 p.m. Eastern time to provide additional details concerning its third quarter results and management’s outlook for the remainder of the year.  A real-time audio webcast of the conference call will be available in the Investors section of the Company’s website, located at www.rossstores.com. An audio playback will be available at 404-537-3406, PIN #70462877 until 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on November 27, 2015, as well as on the Company’s website.

Forward-Looking Statements:  This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding expected sales, earnings levels and other financial results in future periods that are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause our actual results to differ materially from management’s current expectations. The words “plan,” “expect,” “target,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “believe,” “forecast,” “projected,” “guidance,” “looking ahead” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Risk factors for Ross Dress for Less® (“Ross”) and dd’s DISCOUNTS® include without limitation, competitive pressures in the apparel or home-related merchandise retailing industry; changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences for apparel or home-related merchandise; market availability, quantity, and quality of attractive brand name merchandise at desirable discounts and our buyers’ ability to purchase merchandise that enables us to offer customers a wide assortment of merchandise at competitive prices; impacts from the macro-economic environment, financial and credit markets, and geopolitical conditions that affect consumer confidence and consumer disposable income; our ability to continually attract, train and retain associates to execute our off-price strategies; unseasonable weather trends; potential data security breaches, including cyber-attacks on our transaction processing and computer information systems, which could result in theft or unauthorized disclosure of customer, credit card, employee, or other private and valuable information that we handle in the ordinary course of our business – such breaches of our data security, or our failure or delay in detecting and mitigating a loss of personal or business information, could result in damage to our reputation, loss of customer confidence, violation (or alleged violation) of applicable laws, and could expose us to civil claims, litigation and regulatory action, and to unanticipated costs and disruption of our operations; potential disruptions in our supply chain or information systems; issues involving the quality, safety, or authenticity of products we sell; our ability to effectively manage our inventories, markdowns, and inventory shortage to achieve planned gross margin; volatility in revenues and earnings; an adverse outcome in various legal, regulatory, or tax matters; natural or man-made disaster in California or in another region where we have a concentration of stores or a distribution center; increase in our labor costs; unexpected issues or costs from expanding in existing markets and entering new geographic markets; obtaining acceptable new store sites with favorable demographics; damage to our corporate reputation or brands; issues from importing merchandise from other countries; and maintaining sufficient liquidity to support our continuing operations, new store and distribution center growth plans, and stock repurchase and dividend programs. Other risk factors are set forth in our SEC filings including without limitation, the Form 10-K for fiscal 2014 and Form 10-Qs and 8-Ks for fiscal 2015.  The factors underlying our forecasts are dynamic and subject to change.  As a result, our forecasts speak only as of the date they are given and do not necessarily reflect our outlook at any other point in time.  We do not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements.

Ross Stores, Inc. is an S&P 500, Fortune 500 and Nasdaq 100 (ROST) company headquartered in Dublin, California, with fiscal 2014 revenues of $11.0 billion.  The Company operates Ross Dress for Less® (“Ross”), the largest off-price apparel and home fashion chain in the United States with 1,276 locations in 34 states, theDistrict of Columbia and Guam as of October 31, 2015. Ross offers first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at savings of 20% to 60% off department and specialty store regular prices every day. The Company also operates 172 dd’s DISCOUNTS® in 15 states as of October 31, 2015 that feature a more moderately-priced assortment of first-quality, in-season, name brand apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at savings of 20% to 70% off moderate department and discount store regular prices every day. Additional information is available at www.rossstores.com.

Contact: Michael Hartshorn Connie Kao
Group Senior Vice President, Senior Director, Investor Relations
Chief Financial Officer (925) 965-4668
(925) 965-4503 connie.kao@ros.com

 

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.