Baskin-Robbins signs with PWS Ventures, LLC to develop a new ice cream shop in Dalton, Ga


CANTON, MA, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, announced today the signing of a store development agreement with new franchise group, PWS Ventures, LLC, to develop a new ice cream shop in Dalton, Ga. Paras Sharma is taking advantage of the brand’s special incentive program, available only to U.S. military veterans, to open his first Baskin-Robbins restaurant planned to open early next year. Through this incentive program, the initial franchise fee is waived and royalty rates are reduced for the first five years of business for timely openings by qualified candidates.*

Paras served for eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and is currently a Senior Distributor Manager for Nestle Corporation, while his wife, Wendy, is an Implementation Manager at Unum. Together, they have decades of experience in sales, marketing, finance and operations management. Once their Baskin-Robbins location is up and running, their daughter, Haley, will be acting as manager of the local ice cream shop, making this a true family venture.

“My family and I are thrilled to be a part of the Baskin-Robbins system,” said Paras. “Growing up, I always loved the brand and can still remember the excitement I felt when my parents would take my sister and me to the local Baskin-Robbins shop on Saturdays. I can’t wait to bring that excitement to local families in Dalton.”

He added, “While I’m familiar with the brand, my wife and I are new to the foodservice industry. We currently own two Fantastic Sam’s Hair Salons and decided to diversify our business with a foodservice brand that honors military veterans. When we heard about the company’s veteran incentives, we knew Baskin-Robbins was the right choice for us.”

Haley also has extensive management experience in franchising with concepts such as Zaxby’s, KFC and Applebee’s. Once the Dalton location is open, the family is looking at the possibility of a second location in Gordon County, Ga. Ultimately, they hope to experience growth in Georgia as well as the Chattanooga, Tenn. market where they’re heavily involved in the local community. Paras and Wendy organize a Toys for Tots drive every year through their Fantastic Sam’s Hair Salons, in which they collect new, unwrapped toys for less fortunate children, and Wendy frequently volunteers at the local Habitat for Humanity.

“Our secret to continued growth includes passionate franchisees who provide a high-level of customer service to our guests every day,” said Grant Benson, CFE, vice president of global franchising and business development, Dunkin’ Brands. “We are excited to welcome these new franchisees to the Baskin-Robbins family, and believe they will cultivate lasting customer relationships and become an integral part of the Dalton community.”

Baskin-Robbins currently has franchising opportunities in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. Candidates interested in learning more can contact the Franchising Team at 781-737-5530 or

Baskin-Robbins combines delicious treats with a simple operating model. Franchisees enjoy convenient hours of operation, minimal equipment and little product waste. They also benefit from award-winning training programs and comprehensive operating systems designed to help build business. For additional information, visit the Baskin-Robbins franchising website.

In 1945, Baskin-Robbins was founded in Glendale, Calif., by two ice cream enthusiasts who shared a dream to create an innovative ice cream shop that would be a neighborhood gathering place for families. Today, over 300 million people visit Baskin-Robbins each year to sample from the more than 1,300 flavor creations available in its ice cream library. Baskin-Robbins offers guests its wide range of hard scoop ice cream flavors, along with custom ice cream cakes, delicious frozen beverages, premium soft serve and take home frozen treats.

* For details, please see the Baskin-Robbins Franchise Disclosure Document.

About Baskin-Robbins
Named the top ice cream and frozen dessert franchise in the United States by Entrepreneur magazine’s annual Franchise 500® ranking in 2015, Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops. Baskin-Robbins creates and markets innovative, premium hard scoop ice cream and soft serve, custom ice cream cakes and a full range of beverages, providing quality and value to consumers at more than 7,600 retail shops in nearly 50 countries. Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 by two ice cream enthusiasts whose passion led to the creation of more than 1,300 ice cream flavors and a wide variety of delicious treats. Headquartered in Canton, Mass., Baskin-Robbins is part of the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) family of companies. For further information, visit


Name: Claibourne Smith
Phone: 954-893-9150

Baskin-Robbins introduces two new ice cream cakes to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  • New Star Wars: Darth Vader Cake and Star Wars: The Force Awakens Cake
  • Are Now Available To Order In-Store and Online

CANTON, Mass., 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, is offering Star Wars lovers nationwide two new ice cream cakes for a limited time throughout December to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Baskin-Robbins’ new Star Wars: Darth Vader Cake is a classic sheet cake with blue icing, red, black and grey trim which features a collectible Darth Vader helmet decoration that makes the iconic movie villain’s infamous breathing sound. The new Star Wars: The Force Awakens Cake is a classic sheet cake decorated with orange icing with black, grey and white trim which features a collectible BB8 decoration that turns from left to right locking into its base while its head spins, making for action packed fun after the party. The cake also features a raised backdrop with Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron.

Both ice cream cakes can be customized with a guest’s favorite Baskin-Robbins ice cream flavor, including favorites like Pralines ‘n Cream, Gold Medal Ribbon®, Mint Chocolate Chip, Jamoca® Almond Fudge and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. The cakes can be ordered either in-store or online at, and are available for pick-up within 24 hours of ordering.

“We’re excited to share our new Star Wars: Darth Vader Cake and Star Wars: The Force Awakens Cake with our guests to help celebrate the newest Star Wars film release,” said Carol Austin, Vice President of Marketing for Baskin-Robbins. “We hope ice cream lovers enjoy these two new cakes with their friends and family as they celebrate this month.”

For more information about Baskin-Robbins’ wide variety of ice cream flavors and frozen desserts, visit or follow us on Facebook (, Twitter ( or Instagram (

About Baskin-Robbins
Named the top ice cream and frozen dessert franchise in the United States by Entrepreneur magazine’s 36th annual Franchise 500(r) ranking in 2014, Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops. Baskin-Robbins creates and markets innovative, premium hard scoop ice cream and soft serve, custom ice cream cakes and a full range of beverages, providing quality and value to consumers at more than 7,600 retail shops in nearly 50 countries. Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 by two ice cream enthusiasts whose passion led to the creation of more than 1,300 ice cream flavors and a wide variety of delicious treats. Headquartered in Canton, Mass., Baskin-Robbins is part of the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) family of companies. For further information, visit


Name: Justin Drake
Phone: 781-737-5200


SOURCE: Baskin-Robbins


Baskin-Robbins introduces two new ice cream cakes to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Baskin-Robbins introduces two new ice cream cakes to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

ICSC survey: Consumers will visit a shopping center on average 6.5 times a week this holiday season

ICSC Consumer Survey affirms significance of Omni-channel experience this holiday season: Millennials between the ages of 18-24, visit shopping centers 10-times a week.

NEW YORK, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — With the holiday season well underway, consumers will be flocking to their local shopping centers for all the essentials they need to make their season bright according to a consumer survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).  Between now and Christmas Day consumers will visit a shopping center on average 6.5 times a week for goods and services spending on average $147.00 a week. This translates into a whopping $4.3 billion dollars a day in sales or $30 billion dollars a week in sales.

“Whether it’s to find the perfect gift, take the kids to see Santa, support a charitable activity, get the ingredients needed for the holiday cookies, or simply enjoy a meal with friends and family shopping centers are truly the hub of the holiday shopping season,”  asserted ICSC President and CEO, Thomas McGee.

While mobile technology has greatly changed the way consumers shop, what has remained constant is the fact that consumer do the vast majority of their shopping at shopping centers with 83 percent of U.S. consumers visiting a shopping center at least once a week, including 92 percent of the most tech-savvy consumers, 18-24 year olds. These young consumers visit shopping centers on average 10.8 times a week.

“Although it may seem counter-intuitive that the most wired consumer, Millennials between the ages of 18-24, spend the most time at shopping centers, today’s shopping centers are more than places to simply buy goods and services as they have incorporated a multitude of dining and entertainment venues into their tenant mix. Combined with the fact that shopping is no longer a choice between clicks and bricks but rather an omni-channel journey that often leads to fulfillment at a physical store, it is not surprising that consumers visit shopping centers so often,” explained Mr. McGee.

An earlier survey conducted by ICSC over the Black Friday weekend substantiates the importance of the physical store to the omni-channel shopping experience. The survey found that 40 percent of Thanksgiving Day shoppers made a purchase online from a retailer with a physical presence and picked up that item in store. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of Black Friday shoppers did the same, which gives a combined 34 percent for both days. More importantly, about 6 in 10 shoppers bought more items once on the premises.

One of the reasons for the high in-store conversion rates could be shoppers’ online research prior to their visits with slightly more than two-thirds (68 percent) of these shoppers who purchased in store researched online before visiting the location. Technology has altered in-store behavior as well. On Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, about 62 percent of shoppers used their smartphones or tablets while in stores for shopping-related purposes. Usage is identical by gender and about the same by income group but varies widely by age. This use ranges from 78 percent among 18-24 year-olds to 32 percent for those 65 and older.

The top reasons these shoppers gave for in-store mobile use were to:

  • Compare prices (33 percent)
  • Check availability (23 percent)
  • Get digital coupons (21 percent)
  • View ratings (18 percent)
  • Email or text friends and family for opinion (18 percent)
  • Buy items online while in-store (18 percent)

These figures demonstrate that the use of smartphones and tablets is already well integrated into consumer behavior and the overall shopping center experience. Mobile technology users employed their devices not just for comparison and research purposes, but also for affirmation of their buying inclinations. An astounding 93 percent of those shoppers who used their mobile device in store made purchases. “Overall what our research confirms is that today’s tech-savvy consumer is more knowledgeable than ever about the goods and services they desire. Armed with this information, consumers’ holiday shopping journeys are productive and efficient with the shopping center positioned at the heart of their total experience,” Mr. McGee noted.

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 and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to

SOURCE: International Council of Shopping Centers

ICSC survey: Millennials between the ages of 18-24 visit shopping centers 10-times a week

ICSC survey: Millennials between the ages of 18-24 visit shopping centers 10-times a week

ICA Gruppen commits to be climate-neutral by 2020

SOLNA, SWEDEN, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — ICA Gruppen has taken the decision to be climate-neutral by 2020.* This encompasses the climate impact of operations in stores, pharmacies, warehouses and offices from areas such as refrigerants, electricity, goods transports and business travel in both the Swedish and Baltic operations. The decrease will be measured using a science-based method developed by the UN and WWF, among others.

ICA will achieve this by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and through more efficient use of resources as well as by climate compensating the climate impact than cannot be eliminated in ICA’s operations by 2020. The target has been set using a method for science-based climate targets developed by WWF, the UN Global Compact, CDP and the World Resources Institute.

“Sustainability and the climate are a strategic priority for us,” comments Per Strömberg, CEO of ICA Gruppen. “We achieved our previous target – to lower our direct climate impact by 30% from 2006 to 2020 – already at the start of this year. So we know what we are capable of. We are therefore now setting a much more ambitious climate target that we are proud of and that hopefully will inspire other companies to take their responsibility.”

Climate impact of our suppliers
ICA aspires to be a driver in this development and will therefore, on top of the climate target for its own operations, be further developing the manner of working for lower climate impact among its suppliers. This is also in line with the method of setting science-based climate targets. Today ICA already works on reducing the climate impact from its product range by making certain demands on its suppliers in the environmental area, but also by focusing on matters such as greater sales of vegetarian meals, and fruits and vegetables.

Climate impact of our customers
In addition to setting an ambitious climate target, ICA is also developing services designed to help customers lower their own climate impact. Among other things, ICA is working with recipes on that have been created to help customers eat more climate-smart. Another example is the Klimaträtt project, which allowed participants to monitor their climate impact weekly and thereby see the consequences of various changes in their lifestyle. The Klimaträtt project helped the participants reduce their climate impact by 31%.

In addition, in cooperation with Stockholm Resilience Center, during the year ICA conducted a study at 26 ICA stores focusing on how customers can be urged to make more climate-conscious choices through so-called green nudging. The result showed that there is potential in how we can use various tools to steer customers toward sustainable choices.

*The climate target encompasses the direct climate impact in all of ICA Gruppen’s companies excluding the portfolio company inkClub.
Read more about science-based climate targets at

For more information
ICA Gruppen press service, Telephone number: +46 10 422 52 52

ICA Gruppen discloses the information provided herein pursuant to the Securities Market Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication at time CET 8:00 a.m on Monday, 7 December 2015.


ICA Gruppen reports on November 2015 sales figures of it Swedish stores

SOLNA, SWEDEN, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sales in the Swedish ICA stores rose by 3.7% in November 2015 compared with the corresponding month last year. Sales in like-for-like stores increased by 3.1%.

November 2015 January – November 2015
Store sales, excl. VAT SEKm Change all stores Change like-for-like SEKm Change all stores Change like-for-like
Maxi ICA Stormarknad 2,660 4.2% 2.4% 29,508 5.7% 3.4%
ICA Kvantum 2,103 3.4% 3.0% 23,697 4.5% 3.5%
ICA Supermarket 2,612 3.2% 3.2% 30,057 2.2% 2.5%
ICA Nära 1,247 3.8% 4.3% 14,757 2.4% 2.9%
Total 8,622 3.7% 3.1% 98,018 3.8% 3.1%

In November 2015, sales in the Swedish ICA stores totalled SEK 8,622 million excluding VAT, which is an increase of 3.7% compared with the same month in the previous year. Sales in January-November 2015 amounted to SEK 98,018 million, an increase of 3.8% compared with the previous year.

At 30 November 2015, the number of ICA stores in Sweden was 1,306. Store sales for December will be published on 12 January 2016 at 08.45 CET.

To see all publication dates in 2016, please visit ICA Gruppen’s website

For more information
ICA Gruppen press service, Telephone number: +46 10 422 52 52

ICA Gruppen discloses the information provided herein pursuant to the Securities Market Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication at 08:45 CET on Tuesday, 8 December, 2015.


Staples offers great last-minute gifts and deals throughout the holidays

Staples Customers Can Find Savings on Last Minute Gifts and Stocking Stuffers Including Same Day Personalized Items

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ —  From the Inner Geek to the Fashion-Forward co-worker, Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) makes more for less happen this holiday season with great last-minute gifts and deals throughout the holidays. Staples customers will find savings on gifts, from the latest technology accessories and affordable stocking stuffers to same-day customized products from Staples Copy & Print centers. Plus, last minute shoppers can package and ship their gifts at the UPS service counter located in every Staples store. Check out the Staples weekly ad for all the latest savings:

“We’re giving our customers more for less this holiday season with exceptional savings on a great selection of stocking stuffers and last minute gifts,” said Peter J. Scala, executive vice president – merchandising, Staples. “At Staples, we know our customers are busy so we offer convenient solutions for their holiday shopping needs including a buy online and pick up in store option, Price Match Guarantee, and free shipping for our Staples Rewards members during the holidays and everyday.”

Last-minute gift ideas for everyone, including:

The Inner Geek: In celebration of the new Star Wars episode “The Force Awakens” entering the galaxy, Staples will carry Limited Edition Moleskine Star Wars VII Notebooks($24, in select stores and on, so customers can snag new memorabilia for their Star Wars obsessed friends. Or add some fun to your airspace with the indoor/outdoor Quad Micro Drone ($39.99, in select stores). Give the gift of major tech convenience with the Voxx Myris Eyelock, a USB powered Iris Identity Authenticator. The recipient will never have to type a password again and can easily keep nosy siblings out of their digital world ($279.99, in select stores and

Fashionistas: Stylish office accessories can spruce up any space. Find the latest Style at Staples collection from Cynthia Rowley exclusively at Staples. Beautiful notebooks, frames, pens and organizational solutions are available from top designers and brands like Cynthia Rowley, Paperchase and Poppin. Give a chic Dark Floral Cynthia Rowley Desktop Organizer ($19.99, in select stores) or a Dark Romance Paperchase Cosmetic Case to keep makeup products stylishly stashed ($14.99, in select stores and

Close Family & Friends: Nothing says “personal gift” like custom-made photo products! Consider creating something unique at Staples Copy & Print. From customized mugs, tote bags and magnets to same-day 12-month photo wall calendars, there are so many affordable options to make more personalization happen for less at Staples. Or choose a classic gift that brings back memories like a timeless Etch a Sketch ($14.99) or Lite Brite ($19.99) in select stores.

Up and Coming Techie: Staples makes hot technology gifts happen for less with tech accessories that won’t break the bank. Give the up and coming techie on your list a fun gift like the Selfie Stick ($10, in select stores and or consider the KidLid protective laptop to keep computers safe while being used by small children ($29, in select stores and The HMDX Audio Rave Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker wirelessly connects with smartphones, tablets and notebooks with a range of 30 feet – a great choice at a fantastic price ($39.99, in select stores at

Tech Enthusiast: Give the gift of fitness with the FitBit Charge HR Heart Rate + Activity Wristband to kick off 2016 right! The Charge HR gives automatic, continuous heart rate and activity tracking right from the wrist ($149.99, in select stores). Beats by Dr. Dre Wireless On Ear Headphones are a great gift idea for the hard to buy for on your list ($279.95, in select stores and

Don’t forget about last minute shipping. Staples has you covered with convenient package drop off seven days a week, packaging and shipping materials, and UPS service counters in all stores. Ship your packages via UPS overnight by December 23 to arrive in time for Christmas. Check package drop-off times at your local store to ensure timely delivery.

About Staples:
Staples makes it easy to make more happen with more products and more ways to shop. Through its world-class retail, online and delivery capabilities, Staples lets customers shop however and whenever they want, whether it’s in-store, online, on mobile devices, or through the company’s innovative buy online, pick-up in store option. Staples offers more products than ever, such as technology, facilities and breakroom supplies, furniture, safety supplies, medical supplies, and Copy and Print services. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. More information about Staples (SPLS) is available at

Source: Staples

Kristy Houston, 508-253-8468
Carrie McElwee, 508-253-1405

Staples and Office Depot to contest FTC’s decision to challenge the merger of the two companies

Companies confident in legal position based on competitive dynamics and clear FTC precedent

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. & BOCA RATON, Fla., 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) and Office Depot, Inc. (Nasdaq: ODP) today announced that they intend to contest the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s decision to challenge the merger of the two companies. The companies were informed of the FTC’s decision earlier today.

The proposed acquisition would benefit customers, employees and shareholders, and the companies look forward to a full, impartial judicial review of the competitive effects of the transaction.

Staples and Office Depot will demonstrate that the FTC’s decision is based on a flawed analysis and misunderstanding of the intense competitive landscape in which Staplesand Office Depot compete. In fact, the FTC’s decision to contest the merger contradicts its own unanimous ruling in the Office Depot – OfficeMax merger in 2013, in which the commission declared the market highly competitive. At the time, the FTC ruled that Staples and Office Depot face “strong competition” from “a host” of competitors. The office products landscape has grown even more competitive since then.

“This merger creates an unparalleled opportunity to better serve customers of Staples and Office Depot,” said Ron Sargent, chairman and chief executive officer, Staples. “The combined company would generate significant savings, and we’re committed to investing savings in lower prices for all customers. We’ll also use the savings to continue to invest in our people, technology and customer service.”

Roland Smith, chairman and chief executive officer, Office Depot said, “The combination of Staples and Office Depot is based on creating an organization able to compete in a vibrant market with strong regional players and powerful new national entrants. We are confident that this transaction is consistent with the 2013 FTC statement in the Office Depot-Office Max merger and intend to pursue legal options in order to complete this transaction.”

The acquisition is expected to generate more than $1 billion of net synergies over the three-year integration period as the combined company aggressively reduces global expenses and optimizes its retail footprint. The savings will dramatically accelerate Staples’ strategic reinvention, which is focused on driving growth in delivery businesses and in categories beyond office supplies.

The companies intend to show that the FTC underestimates the disruptive effect of new competitors in the digital economy and ignores the vigorous competition Staples faces from numerous competitors, including office products dealers, manufacturers selling office supplies direct to business customers, dealers in adjacent categories, cooperatives of regional players, Internet resellers, big-box chains and club stores.

Even though Staples and Office Depot disagree with the FTC’s interpretation of the competitive landscape, the companies proposed divesting more than $500 million in commercial business in an effort to complete the transaction and unlock tremendous value for shareholders and customers. The FTC rejected this solution, even though it would strengthen a national competitor, further enable a host of independent office products dealers, and help minority and woman-owned businesses compete for national commercial customers.

“This combination is good for customers. It’s good for shareholders, and it’s good for both companies,” Sargent said. “We intend to complete this transaction and to provide our customers with the lower prices and better service that they deserve.”


In connection with the proposed merger, Staples has filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4 that includes a proxy statement of Office Depot that also constitutes a prospectus of Staples. Staples filed the final proxy statement/prospectus with the SEC on May 18, 2015. The registration statement was declared effective by theSEC on May 15, 2015. Office Depot mailed the definitive proxy statement/prospectus to stockholders of Office Depot on or about May 19, 2015, and the stockholders approved the transaction on June 19, 2015. The registration statement and the proxy statement/prospectus contain important information about Staples, Office Depot, the transaction and related matters. Investors and security holders are urged to read the registration statement and the proxy statement/prospectus (including all amendments and supplements thereto) carefully.

Investors and security holders may obtain free copies of the registration statement and the proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC by Staples andOffice Depot through the web site maintained by the SEC at

In addition, investors and security holders may obtain free copies of the registration statement and the definitive proxy statement/prospectus from Staples by contacting Staples’ Investor Relations Department at 800-468-7751 or from Office Depot by contacting Office Depot’s Investor Relations Department at 561-438-7878.


Statements in this document regarding the proposed transaction between Staples and Office Depot, the expected timetable for satisfying conditions to the merger, including receiving regulatory approvals, and completing the transaction, future financial and operating results, benefits and synergies of the transaction, future opportunities for the combined company and any other statements about Staples or Office Depot managements’ future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects constitute forward looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “intends,” “estimates” and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward looking statements, including: the ability to consummate the transaction; the risk that regulatory approvals required for the merger are not obtained or are obtained after delays or subject to conditions that are not anticipated; the risk that the financing required to fund the transaction is not obtained; the risk that the other conditions to the closing of the merger are not satisfied; potential adverse reactions or changes to business or employee relationships, including those resulting from the announcement or completion of the merger; uncertainties as to the timing of the merger; competitive responses to the proposed merger; response by activist shareholders to the merger; uncertainty of the expected financial performance of the combined company following completion of the proposed transaction; the ability to successfully integrate Staples’ and Office Depot’s operations and employees; the ability to realize anticipated synergies and cost savings; unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the merger; litigation relating to the merger; the outcome of pending or potential litigation or governmental investigations; the inability to retain key personnel; any changes in general economic and/or industry specific conditions; and the other factors described in Staples’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 31, 2015 and Office Depot’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 27, 2014 and their most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q each filed with the SEC. Staples and Office Depot disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this document.

Source: Staples, Inc.

Media Contacts:
Kirk Saville, 508-253-8530
Office Depot:
Karen Denning, 630-438-7445
Investor Contacts:
Chris Powers, 508-253-4632
Office Depot:
Mike Steele, 561-438-3657

Staples and Office Depot Open Letter regarding The Federal Trade Commission’s intention to challenge Staples’ acquisition of Office Depot

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. and BOCA RATON, Fla., 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) and Office Depot, Inc. (Nasdaq: ODP) have issued the following open letter to customers after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced earlier today their decision to challenge the merger of the two companies:

To Our Valued Customers,

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that it intends to challenge Staples’ acquisition of Office Depot.  The government’s challenge, if successful, will hurt customers of both companies and jeopardize our ability to compete in a rapidly evolving marketplace. We plan to fight to complete this transaction.

This merger creates an unparalleled opportunity to better serve customers of Staples and Office Depot. The combined company would generate significant savings from synergies, and we’re committed to investing these savings to enable lower prices for all customers. We will also use the savings to continue to invest in our people, technology and customer service.

We strongly believe in a robust and competitive marketplace. Unfortunately, the FTC’s decision is based on a flawed analysis and misunderstanding of the intensely competitive landscape in which Staples and Office Depot operate.  The FTC underestimates the disruptive effect of new competitors in the digital economy. It also ignores the vigorous existing and expanding competition Staples and Office Depot face from numerous strong competitors, including office products dealers supported by large national wholesalers, manufacturers selling office supplies directly to business customers, dealers in adjacent categories, cooperatives of regional players, Internet resellers, big-box chains, and club stores.

In the words of the unanimous FTC ruling in the Office Depot – OfficeMax merger in 2013, Staples and Office Depot face “strong competition” from “a host” of competitors. The FTC now contradicts its prior ruling, even though competition has materially intensified in the two years since the commission declared this market highly competitive.  This contradiction is not only unfair; it flies in the face of marketplace realities.

Nevertheless, to help address FTC concerns, Staples has proposed divesting more than $500 million in commercial contracts to an established competitor. The FTC rejected this solution, even though it would strengthen a national competitor, enable independent dealers and support minority and woman-owned businesses in competing for national commercial customers.

In reaching its decision, the FTC is acting against the best interests of the thousands of business customers served by Staples, Office Depot and our competitors. The FTC also ignores the millions of products beyond office supplies that customers purchase, everything from cleaning supplies to breakroom snacks to furniture and technology. Instead, the FTC is focused on the prices that a few dozen of the largest, most powerful companies in the world pay for paperclips and rubber bands.

This combination will benefit all of our customers across the United States and worldwide —businesses of all sizes, consumers who shop with us in stores and online.  Above all, this combination will enable us to deliver lower prices and better service to all of our customers.

Thank you for your continued support.

Ron Sargent                                          Roland Smith

Chairman and CEO                               Chairman and CEO

Staples, Inc.                                          Office Depot, Inc.

SOURCE: Office DEPOT® | OfficeMax®

adidas brings back Stella McCartney as the Creative Director for its Team GB official kit for Rio 2016

London, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Three years since the huge success of Team GB in London adidas today revealed their plans for Rio 2016 by announcing Stella McCartney as the Creative Director for the adidas Team GB official kit.

The iconic British designer will reprise her role from 2012 and will implement her design aesthetic into the official team kit as well as ranges of supporter’s apparel. To allow Team GB athletes at the Olympic Games and Paralympics GB athletes at the Paralympic Games to be at their very best adidas will also implement their innovative performance technology into the official team kit.

Building on the momentum from 2012, where the adidas Team GB replica kits sold out all over the country and became the most successful Olympic range ever, the range for Rio will be a brand new design and is set to be unveiled in April 2016. It will also include cutting edge yet to be launched adidas innovations that will help athletes on the world’s biggest sporting stage.

With just over one year to go until the XXXI Olympic Games and the XV Paralympic Games sports brand adidas also revealed an insight into the design process with a selection of stills and a short piece of video content that showcases the unique collaboration with the designer.

The kit design process began 18 months ago with Stella McCartney commissioned in April 2014. The official team kit and supporter’s ranges have since been through months of testing and feedback which will continue up until the end of 2015. adidas athletes engaged to help in this process have included Olympic Games gold medalists Jessica Ennis-Hill and Laura Trott, Triathlete world beaters Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Tom Daley, British National Road Race Champion Lizzie Armistead, Ryder Cup hero Justin Rose, and star gymnast Max Whitlock.

Barry Moore, adidas UK Brand Director, said: “Three years ago we set the benchmark. Today we take the first step on our mission to create a new one. Bringing together our innovative sports technology with the designs from Stella McCartney will allow our athletes to perform better than ever before.”

Stella McCartney said; “”I am thrilled to be back with adidas as Creative Director for Team GB for the Rio 2016 Olympics Games. It is a great honour to work with our great athletes again to make them proud with the designs we are creating for them.”

Olympic gold medalist Jessica Ennis-Hill said; “It is fantastic that Stella McCartney is back working with adidas as the Creative Director for the Team GB Rio 2016 kit. The kit in London 2012 was so iconic and was part of so many special memories for me personally. I am looking forward to seeing the new designs made up and hopefully I will get to wear them and be part of another incredible Olympics in 2016.”

Bill Sweeney, Chief Executive Officer of the British Olympic Association, said; ““At the London 2012 Olympics, Team GB was instantly recognisable to fans thanks to Stella McCartney. We are therefore thrilled to have Stella back on board as the Creative Director for the Team GB adidas competition and village wear at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. We can’t wait for fans to see our latest unique look when fashion meets sport created by Stella.”



About adidas
adidas is a global designer, developer and marketer of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to be the leading sports brand in the world.  Brand adidas is part of the adidas Group, a corporation that includes brands such as Reebok, TaylorMade and Rockport.

About the adidas Group
The adidas Group is a global leader in the sporting goods industry, offering a broad portfolio of footwear, apparel and hardware for sport and lifestyle around the core brands adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade, Rockport and Reebok-CCM Hockey. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany, the Group employs more than 50,000 people across the globe and generated sales of € 14.5 billion in 2013.

SOURCE: Stella McCartney Ltd


adidas brings back Stella McCartney as the Creative Director for its Team GB official kit for Rio 2016

adidas brings back Stella McCartney as the Creative Director for its Team GB official kit for Rio 2016

Grand & Toy expands its online offering with the addition of new products from wholesale partner SP Richards

TORONTO, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Grand & Toy today announced a major increase in its online offering with the addition of new products from wholesale partner SP Richards’. The increase will add a curated selection of online content for over 6,000 products.

‘We’re committed to continually enhancing the GRANDANDTOY.COM experience,” said Gaurav Sharma, Senior Director, Marketing and eCommerce, Grand & Toy. “This new selection is part of an ongoing effort to provide our customers with a wide selection of products that meet and exceed their expectations, creating an industry-leading online shopping destination.”

This new product offering bolsters Grand & Toy’s position as a one-stop-shop for a wide variety of products that include office supplies, paper, toner, technology, furniture, cleaning & breakroom and print services.

The 6,000 new products are now searchable on GRANDANDTOY.COM.

About Grand & Toy
With a heritage that dates back to 1882, today’s Grand & Toy is committed to offering sustainable solutions to Canadian businesses in the areas of interiors, technology, and imaging and professional services, in addition to office and facility supplies. We are one of the largest B2B office products and services providers, operating one of the country’s biggest distribution networks serving customers coast-to-coast via our direct sales force and e-commerce platform. Grand & Toy also demonstrates a firm commitment to corporate social responsibility through a comprehensive sustainability strategy that is manifested through numerous internal and external environmental and social outreach programs. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Jesse Bernstein
Senior Consultant
Environics Communications, Inc. (for Grand & Toy)

SOURCE: Grand & Toy

King Kullen opened new supermarket in North Patchogue

  • King Kullen Opens North Patchogue Store
  • Former Waldbaum’s supermarket offers customers greater selection and expanded technology to enhance the shopping experience.

BETHPAGE, NY, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — King Kullen Grocery. Co., Inc. opened a new supermarket in North Patchogue on Friday, December 4, at the site of the former Waldbaum’s at 440 West Sunrise Highway, South Service Road.  Acquired by King Kullen this autumn after Waldbaum’s parent company, A&P, declared bankruptcy, the new King Kullen provides customers with greater selection throughout, including store-made prepared meals, an expanded fresh produce section, and a bakery whose original offerings include store-baked artisanal banquettes…available in traditional and multigrain varieties.

“From the moment we acquired the store we’ve been focused on how to make it better and give customers everything they want in a modern supermarket,” explains King Kullen Senior Vice President Joseph Brown.  “I’m happy to say that while shoppers will find many changes and improvements, they will still recognize most of the same employees they knew from Waldbaum’s.  A proud union company, King Kullen offered employment to these men and women and also hired additional workers from nearby stores that had closed due to A&P’s bankruptcy.  We’re committed to North Patchogue and the surrounding communities and are very excited to be here.”

North Patchogue Store Manager Joseph Notaro says one way the new King Kullen is addressing the needs of the surrounding community is by offering time-strapped shoppers a number of options, including specialty prepared meals that are ready to bring home and serve.

“We’re on the westbound South Service Road of Sunrise Highway,” he explains.  “Many people pass the store on the way back from work or before turning down Waverly Avenue towards Patchogue Village.  Now they can stop in and pick up great, healthy meal options prepared by our culinary team, with the selections changing daily.”

According to Notaro, the prepared items — which are available at the service counter or pre-packed and ready to bring home — include complete meals, such as London broil or roasted vegetable lasagna; nutritious salad options, ranging from grain-based harvest wheatberry to Thai coconut quinoa; and traditional hot and cold soups as well as more diverse choices, including shrimp and corn chowder or black bean with shredded pork.

Visitors to the new King Kullen will also discover a host of technological advances designed to facilitate ordering and enhance the shopping experience.  For example, the deli department boasts two digital screens and four kiosks where customers can place orders and continue shopping.  When the order is ready, they either receive a text message or are paged — whichever they prefer.  During peak times a deli employee will come out from behind the counter and take orders via a tablet.  Even the store’s full-service pharmacy department offers online prescription refills to save people time.

“The new store makes shopping easier and more enjoyable,” observes Brown.  “It’s what King Kullen is all about.  Since our founding 85 years ago, we’ve been locally owned and operated.  We’re still going strong because we listen to customers to determine how we can serve them better.  We know what they want in a supermarket and you see that reflected in the new store.”

The North Patchogue King Kullen is open 7:00 am to 11:00 pm Monday to Saturday; 7:00 am to 9 pm on Sundays.  More information is available by visiting

Headquartered in Bethpage, New York, King Kullen Grocery Company, Inc. is recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as America’s first supermarket.  Founded in 1930 by Michael J. Cullen, King Kullen operates 36 stores and five Wild by Nature markets across Long Island.

SOURCE: King Kullen Grocery Co., Inc.


King Kullen opened new supermarket in North Patchogue

King Kullen opened new supermarket in North Patchogue

Weis Markets hosts chain-wide vendor appreciation week

Company thanks direct store delivery vendors for their support

Sunbury, PA, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Weis Markets’ senior team and store managers are recognizing their direct store delivery vendors for their strong support throughout the year, particularly during the busy holiday season with their chain-wide vendor appreciation week.

The program starts on December 7 and runs through December 12. Throughout the week, Weis Markets’ stores will provide free donuts, coffee and beverages to its direct store delivery (DSD) vendors who service their stores along with a holiday card signed by company Chairman, President and CEO Jonathan Weis, other senior team members and individual store managers and receivers.

“Our success in 2015 has been based on improved customer experience and offering our customers strong values. Improved collaboration with our supplier partners, particularly our DSD suppliers, has also been an important part of our success” said Richard Gunn, Weis Markets Senior Vice President, Merchandising and Marketing. “We strongly believe in recognizing and acknowledging the people who help make us successful, including our DSD suppliers who work hard year-round to help us better serve our customers and drive sales.”

SOURCE: Weis Markets



Weis Markets hosts chain-wide vendor appreciation week

Weis Markets hosts chain-wide vendor appreciation week

Undeclared Allergens: Bakery Fresh Goodness chocolate brownies recall at Kroger retail stores

CINCINNATI, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) said today it has recalled Bakery Fresh Goodness chocolate brownies (16 oz, tub) sold in its retail stores because the product may contain walnuts not listed on the label.

People who are allergic to walnuts could have a severe reaction if they consume this product. For consumers who are not allergic to walnuts, there is no safety issue with the product. One Kroger customer has reported a possible allergic reaction in connection with this product.

All stores operating under the JayC and Smith’s names, as well as Kroger stores located in Georgia; South Carolina; Auburn, Alabama; Greater Cincinnati (including Northern Kentucky and Dayton, Ohio plus South Eastern Indiana); Central and Northwest Ohio; Northwestern West Virginia panhandle; Michigan; Hopkinsville and Bowling Green, Kentucky; Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee; Huntsville, Alabama; Indiana (except SE Indiana and Evansville); Illinois; Eastern Missouri; Texas and Louisiana; no other Kroger locations are included.

Kroger has removed this item from store shelves and initiated its customer recall notification system that alerts customers who may have purchased recalled Class 1 products through register receipt tape messages and phone calls.

Kroger is recalling the following item:

Product UPC Codes Size
Bakery Fresh Goodness
11110-09172 Lot numbers beginning
with 15307

Purchased between
Nov. 7, 2015 – Nov. 16, 2015
16 oz

Customers allergic to walnuts who have purchased the above product should not consume it and should return them to a store for a full refund or replacement.

Customers who have questions may contact Kroger at 1-800-KROGERS.

Kroger, one of the world’s largest retailers, employs more than  400,000 associates who serve customers in 2,620 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s.  The company also operates 780 convenience stores, 327 fine jewelry stores, 1,342 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S.  Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and community organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber’sMillion Dollar Club.

SOURCE The Kroger Co.

Starbucks launches its first series of local designs featuring U.S. states and cities for this holiday’s Dot Collection

SEATTLE, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — From the Golden Gate to the Empire State, Starbucks is launching its first series of local designs featuring U.S. states and cities for this holiday’s Dot Collection.

The Starbucks® local city collection features designs highlighting cities and states including Boston, California, Chicago, Florida, Hawaii, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Texas and Washington, D.C. These double-wall ceramic travelers can also be paired with small, matching cup ornaments for the holiday season.

Starting today (December 8) customers can pick up a local design in their hometown at participating Starbucks® stores. The full collection can be found online at, while supplies last.

Walk past the brownstones, and there is an undeniable fascination with college life that’s brimming throughout the city. As home to schools like Harvard and MIT, the design captures the city’s personality with diploma-like fonts layered over Boston’s historic homes.


At first glance, one may notice the bear inspired bv the California State flag. A closer look at the design reveals lines of varying angle and weight symbolizing the state’s unique terrain from the rolling hills to the sprawling deserts and winding coasts.


Set foot in downtown Chicago and feel the city buzzing with life. Look up and see skyscrapers that can’t be seen anywhere else. The design captures the spirit of the sprawling cityscape through a color scheme inspired by the Chicago’s flag.


Inspired by Florida’s tropical state of mind, pink flamingos that have graced lawns and imaginations, Starbucks created a design that draws from the quirkier, playful side of the Sunshine State.


No souvenir is as instantly recognizable as a Hawaiian shirt. The designer was intrigued by the vibrant colors of these quirky shirts and intricate patterns that feature flowers among other small emblems of coastal life.

Los Angeles

A hike along LA’s Runyon Canyon at sunset features the sky transforms into various shades of pink. Enchanted by quiet moments like that in a city with so much noise, the designer wanted to capture something that will never grow old.

New York

Astonished by the raw beauty of New York’s street art, the designer tagged all five boroughs in a design that celebrates the grit and elegance of the city.

New Orleans

Turn almost any corner of New Orleans and hear music calling out at any given moment of the day. The designer used a bold, illustrative style to revel in that rare kind of energy that can only be found in this vibrant musical city.

Pike Place Market

New faces from every corner of the globe come in and out of Starbucks first store at Seattle’s Pike Place Market every day. The designer decided to add a new glow to Starbucks very first siren logo using gold touches to toast to the company’s heritage in a new kind of light.

San Francisco

Climb the hills of San Francisco and it’s easy to spot new art or some off-the-wall sight. The designer showcased a city with quirky sensibilities while nodding to the classic landmarks that are quintessentially San Francisco.


Amazing views of Seattle’s Gasworks Park are the backdrop for the design that features the former Seattle Gas Light Company’s historic plant from the early 1900s that still stands today.


The larger than life flair of Texas takes center stage in this ode to the Lone Star State. The designer looked to the big and bold personality of the region to bring this rattlesnake skin-inspired motif to life.

Washington, D.C.

Inspired by living and driving through bustling streets of Washington, D.C., the Starbucks designer layered the many winding traffic circles to represent the unique D.C. commute while nodding to the various neighborhoods that make up the city.

About Starbucks Dot Collection

Building on the popularity of 2014’s inaugural collection, Starbucks in-house designers created a collection of artistic variations on the iconic Starbucks green “Dot” logo. The Starbucks® Dot Collection offers a variety of drinkware, including stainless steel and ceramic tumblers, cold cups, and mugs. Each piece in this collection of nearly 70 designs is packaged in a festive red box with most items priced under $25.

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


Starbucks launches its first series of local designs featuring U.S. states and cities for this holiday's Dot Collection

Starbucks launches its first series of local designs featuring U.S. states and cities for this holiday’s Dot Collection

The second Starbucks for Life sweepstakes started on December 8 exclusively for My Starbucks Rewards® members

SEATTLE, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Winning a free beverage or food item every day for the next 30 years had an unexpected benefit for the first “Starbucks for Life” winner.

After winning the grand prize from Starbucks, Mary has visited a Portland, Oregon area store nearly every day this year. Along with her go-to Starbucks® beverages of dark roast coffee or a grande no whip Peppermint Mocha, she discovered new favorites including Cold Brew iced coffee and lattes made with coconut milk. She has also been able to treat her co-workers, and get to know more Starbucks partners (employees) through her frequent visits.

“We’ve been going out for more coffee breaks,” she said. “It’s been fun getting to interact with the baristas at various stores too.”

Mary was one of 14 customers – 10 in the U.S., three in Canada and one in the U.K – who won the grand prize of Starbucks for Life  in the “It’s a Wonderful Card” sweepstakes last holiday. The estimated value of the ultimate prize in the U.S. was $54,000, and it included an engraved card made of 10K hammered gold.

The second Starbucks for Life sweepstakes starts today (December 8) exclusively for My Starbucks Rewards® members.

How to Play

When a My Starbucks Rewards® member pays for their purchase in participating U.S. and Canada stores using a registered card or the Starbucks Mobile App, he or she receives one game play. The member then goes to and logs in using their My Starbucks Rewards® credentials to play the game for the chance to win instant prizes, like bonus stars, or a game piece to place on their game board for the chance to win Starbucks for a day, a week, a month or a lifetime.

From December 8 to January 11, 2016, rewards members can collect game pieces for the chance to win.

Exclusive Prizes

Prizes range from bonus stars to the grand prize of Starbucks for Life, which seven lucky customers (five in the US and two in Canada) will receive along with the Ultimate Starbucks Card, made of 10K hammered gold and engraved with their name, prize valued at $54,275 US ($54,750 CAD). 45 customers (25 in the US, 20 in Canada) will win Starbucks for a year; 225 customers (125 in the US, 100 in Canada) will win Starbucks for a month; and 750 (500 in the US and 250 in Canada) will be notified they’ve won Starbucks for a week.

Last year, more than 13 million customers entered the company’s first Starbucks for Life ultimate prize giveaway, over a 31-day period.

“I’m even more excited about this year’s Starbucks for Life contest because it is an opportunity for us to reward our My Starbucks Rewards members. With an engaging new way to play online, we’re giving away more than one million bonus stars as well as the ultimate gift of the season, Starbucks for Life,” said Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks global chief marketing officer.

Abbreviated Rules

Abbreviated rules for US: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.  LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C) 18 AND OLDER AND WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE MY STARBUCKS REWARDS® LOYALTY PROGRAM AT THE TIME OF ENTRY.  VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.  Participating stores only.  Promotion ends 1/11/16.  “Starbucks for Life” means the winner will receive a daily credit for 30 years for one free food or beverage item redeemable at participating Starbucks® stores in the U.S. Starbucks Evenings menu items excluded.  Winner must present a registered Starbucks Card.  Credits are non-transferrable and expire within 24 hours. For official rules, how to enter without purchase, prizes and odds, visit  Sponsor:  Starbucks Corporation, 2401 Utah Ave., S., Seattle, WA 981034.  Limit of one (1) instant-win-game prize per day.

Abbreviated rules for Canada: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.  LEGAL RESIDENTS OF CANADA 18 AND OLDER AND WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE MY STARBUCKS REWARDS® LOYALTY PROGRAM AT THE TIME OF ENTRY.  VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.  Participating stores only.  Promotion ends 1/11/16.  “Starbucks for Life” means the winner will receive a daily credit for 30 years for one free food or beverage item redeemable at participating Starbucks® stores in Canada. Starbucks Evenings menu items excluded.  Winner must present a registered Starbucks Card.  Credits are non-transferrable and expire within 24 hours. For official rules, how to enter without purchase, prizes and odds, visit  Sponsor:  Starbucks Coffee Canada, 5140 Yonge Street, Suite 1205, Toronto, ON M2N 6L7, Canada.  Limit of one (1) instant-win-game prize per day.

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


The second Starbucks for Life sweepstakes started on December 8 exclusively for My Starbucks Rewards® members

Sears refreshed its mobile app with new features

Retailer further expands on its suite of in-store and mobile shopping conveniences

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — This holiday season is expected to be the most connected ever and Sears has refreshed its mobile app with new features, making it even easier for shoppers to fill their sleighs with gifts this holiday season.

“In 2015 we’ve seen more than a third of our online traffic come from a mobile phone – a 46 percent increase from last year,” said Leena Munjal, senior vice president, Customer Experience & Integrated Retail, Sears Holdings. “Mobile devices are so much a part of our members’ lives and they’re not only researching and sharing, they’re also buying. So it’s more important than ever to have a robust, simple-to-use shopping app with features and services that no other major retailer offers.”

In addition to the app update, Sears recently lowered the minimum purchase threshold for free shipping on qualifying orders to just $35 (was $49).

For a limited time, as a special reward for Shop Your Way members who refresh the app or for new members who download it, Sears is offering $5 in points on your next purchase of $15 or more. Key features of the refreshed Sears mobile app include:

  1. Free In-Store Shipping – Looking for a different color of an item that’s not in-store? Simply open the Sears mobile app, find the item you want and get free shipping on orders placed while in-store (when location services are enabled).
  2. In-Vehicle Pickup, Return & Exchange in Five, Guaranteed – The fastest, most convenient way to get purchases is via In-Vehicle Pickup. The service lets members pick up, return or exchange their online purchases for free at any Sears store – guaranteed in five minutes or less – without ever leaving their vehicle.
  3. Complete Layaway Management – Shoppers can initiate a new layaway contract and make all payments via the Sears app. In-store, shoppers can now simply scan products directly from the app.
  4. Exclusive Wheel of Fortune® Game – In a retailing first, play the Wheel of Fortune® Holiday Puzzler directly on the Sears app for a chance to win. Sears is giving away $1,000 in Sears gift cards to game winners every day through December 11.
  5. eCoupons – The simplest way to find, load and redeem coupons. Members get exclusive, personalized online and in-store discounts – no clipping necessary.

This major refresh enhances the app’s existing shopping conveniences, including the ability to quickly find the right products and compare features, prices and user reviews; find deals, make the most of Shop Your Way points; make purchases, and track orders.

How to Activate Free Shipping In-Store on the Sears Mobile App

  1. With location services enabled, open the Sears mobile app while in-store. The app will automatically recognize you are inside a Sears store.
  2. Search for the products you’re looking for and add items to your cart.
  3. Check out to receive free shipping on all products added to your cart while in-store.

Shoppers can download the Sears app at and discover more Join the holiday conversation on Twitter and Facebook using #BringTheSleigh.

About Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a leading integrated retailer providing merchandise and related services and is part of Shop Your Way, a social shopping experience where members have the ability to earn points and receive benefits across a wide variety of physical and digital formats through Sears, Roebuck offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through Sears-branded and affiliated full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears, Roebuck also offers a variety of merchandise and services through, and specialty catalogs. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading proprietary brands including Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard — among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 14 million service and installation calls made annually. For more information, visit the Sears, Roebuck website at or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at

Brian Hanover Kamal Bosamia
Sears PR Zeno Group for Sears
847-286-6080 312-527-2SHC (2742)

SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation



Sears refreshed its mobile app with new features

Macy’s and Make-A-Wish celebrate the 7th annual National Believe Day on Friday, Dec. 11

To mark the occasion, Macy’s will offer a double donation for all letters to Santa collected in stores and online at on Fri. Dec. 11

NEW YORK, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Magical wishes will be granted to children across the country with life-threatening medical conditions, as Macy’s and Make-A-Wish celebrate the seventh annual National Believe Day on Friday, Dec. 11. A day devoted to observing the season’s spirit of generosity and goodwill, more than 50 “Wishes Across America” will be granted and Macy’s will mark the day with a double donation for the iconic Believe letter writing campaign.

“National Believe Day is the cornerstone of our Believe program, where we offer double the donation for Santa letters collected and grant wishes to children nationwide, making a life-changing impact on their families, friends and local communities,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “We’re excited to see the response from our associates and customers, and hope to again extend our campaign goal and raise an additional $1 million for Make-A-Wish.”

All season long, Macy’s has invited customers to drop their stamped letters to Santa at their local Macy’s store or send a digital letter via Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish for every letter collected through Dec. 24. New for this year, letters sent to Santa through Macy’s Wish Writer™ stylus and app also benefit Make-A-Wish. Available for $14.99 at approximately 600 Macy’s stores and on, the Wish Writer is a fun way for kids to play games and write a magical letter to Santa. One dollar from each stylus purchase will also go to Make-A-Wish.

National Believe Day

For every letter sent on National Believe Day, Macy’s will offer a double donation – providing an additional $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to an extra $1 million, above the existing $1 million campaign goal.

The Believe campaign was inspired by the true story of 8-year-old Virginia, who wrote a letter to the New York Sunnewspaper in 1897 asking about the existence of Santa Claus. The paper’s response, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus …,” written by Francis P. Church, became one of the most famous newspaper editorials of all time. Since 2003, Macy’s has raised $90 million for Make-A-Wish, with $10.8 million donated through the Believe campaign.

Tune In to “Yes, Virginia”

Next Friday, Dec. 18, the “Yes, Virginia” animated television special will return with the story of Virginia. The award-winning, half-hour holiday program features an all-star cast including Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alfred Molina, and Beatrice Miller in the title role. “Yes, Virginia,” presented by Macy’s, will air on ABC at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT (check local listings).

“Yes, Virginia The Musical” was adapted from the animated special “Yes, Virginia,” written by Chris Plehal, created and produced by Macy’s and J. Walter Thompson in conjunction with The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment, a division of Mediaedge:cia. “Yes, Virginia The Musical” was written by Wesley Whatley (music) and William Schermerhorn (book and lyrics), the Emmy® Award-winning creative team behind the original song “Yes, Virginia(There’s A Santa Claus).”

To learn more about Macy’s Believe campaign, plus view “The Wish Writer” film visit For a link to “The Wish Writer” film, click here. For additional media materials, including images and b-roll:

About Macy’s
Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 775 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy’s offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events asMacy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy’s flagship stores — including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, and Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plazain 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

About Make-A-Wish
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered inPhoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 27,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 37 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,200 in 2014 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at to learn more.

Source: Macy’s

Macy’s Media Relations
Julie Strider Fukami, 646-429-5213
Tracy Davis, 646-429-7470

Macy’s, Inc. priced its $500 Million senior notes due 2021

CINCINNATI, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) today announced the pricing of the public offering of $500 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2021 by its wholly owned subsidiary, Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc. The senior notes were issued at a price of 99.899% of par and will bear interest at a rate of 3.450% per annum. The senior notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis byMacy’s, Inc. The transaction is expected to close, subject to customary closing conditions, on or about December 10, 2015.

Macy’s Retail Holdings will use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, which may include working capital, capital expenditures, retirement of indebtedness (which may include our 7.45% senior debentures that mature onOctober 15, 2016, and our 5.90% senior notes that mature on Dec. 1, 2016) and repurchasing outstanding common stock of Macy’s, Inc. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated are acting as joint book-running managers. Jones Day is acting as counsel to Macy’s, Inc. and Macy’s Retail Holdings.

Copies of the prospectus and prospectus supplement relating to the senior notes may be obtained for free by visiting EDGAR on the SEC website at Alternatively, copies of the prospectus and prospectus supplement may be obtained from any of the joint book-running managers by contacting Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC at 1-800-221-1037, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC collect at 1-212-834-4533 or Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated at 1-800-294-1322.

Macy’s, Inc., with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation’s premier retailers, with fiscal 2014 sales of $28.015 billion. The company operates about 900 stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guamand Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Outlet, Macy’s Backstage and Bluemercury, as well as the, and websites. Bloomingdale’s inDubai is operated by Al Tayer Group LLC under a license agreement.

All statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Macy’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this release because of a variety of factors, including conditions to, or changes in the timing of, proposed transactions, changes in the conditions of the securities markets, particularly the markets for debt securities and other factors identified in documents filed by Macy’s with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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

Source: Macy’s, Inc.

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

COP21: LVMH Environment Director Sylvie Bénard provides an update and looks at the next steps

PARIS, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — The 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has been meeting in Paris since November 30th. The goal of COP21 is an ambitious agreement to fight climate change. Where do negotiations stand midway through the conference? LVMH Environment Director Sylvie Bénard provides an update and looks at the next steps.

What were some of the highlights of the first week of the Climate Conference?
The first week was marked by the presence of heads of state from the entire world who came to outline the commitments of their countries. Among the noteworthy speeches were those by U.S President Barack Obama, who recognized the impact of human activity on the climate, as well as China, which said it would pursue additional reductions if a final agreement is reached. India, on the other hand wants to continue to rely on fossil fuels. Small island countries also made their voice heard, demanding measures to limit the rise in temperatures to 1.5 degrees. Otherwise, they emphasized, their countries will disappear.

The atmosphere at the “Climate Generation Village” set up at the conference venue in Le Bourget is both serious and smiling. Attendees from the world over have stopped in to share examples, initiatives and ideas. There are people from every continent wearing traditional dress, alongside prominent researchers, journalists and engaged citizens eager to be a part of this historic event.

Where do the negotiations stand?
On December 5th, the President of COP21, Laurent Fabius, announced that a new draft had been worked out and approved by all parties, providing a new basis for negotiations. So far the draft represents a shorter text – 20 pages, compared with 55 at the beginning of the negotiations – but there is still a great deal of suspense as the Thursday deadline for an agreement draws near. A “Paris Committee” will meet daily to provide an overview of negotiations, while a group of 14 facilitators is responsible for ensuring that the level of targets, adjustments and the preamble remain open to negotiation.

What are the next steps?
We’re beginning a decisive week that will see an agreement signed, or not. If there is an agreement, will it be balanced, binding and universal. On Monday, ministers from the 195 countries again played a direct role in the negotiations. I hope that uncertainties will be cleared up and that compromises will be found. Nobody wants to be held responsible for the failure of these negotiations. The key point is that all the countries want to see an agreement that is robust and legally binding to ensure that the measures are applied. The results of the negotiations will be announced on Friday, December 11th.
Between now and then the LVMH Group will continue to contribute to the conversation, organizing a conference on “Climate & Logistics” on Wednesday, December 9th, in the “Génération Climat” village. Several Group Houses – Guerlain, Hennessy, Louis Vuitton, LVMH Fragrance Brands, Moët & Chandon and Sephora – will present initiatives to internal and external publics that illustrate how LVMH is contributing to the fight against climate change. We hope to draw a big audience!



COP21: LVMH Environment Director Sylvie Bénard provides an update and looks at the next steps


COP21: Sephora CEO Chris de Lapuente talks about the importance of the environment

PARIS, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — In conjunction with the COP21 World Climate Summit, of which LVMH is a partner, we asked five CEOs from our different business sectors to talk about the importance of the environment for their respective Houses. Chris de Lapuente, CEO of Sephora, spotlights innovative solutions introduced by the beauty brand.

Why is the environment so important to Sephora?
We aim to be the best loved and most admired beauty community in the world. This means we have a responsibility to help build a better society, which is why I want Sephora to be a benchmark for exemplary environmental performance. New technologies, equipment and eco-friendly materials are being introduced all the time and impact every aspect of our business – architecture, store operations, logistics, products, etc. Environmental responsibility brings us a fantastic opportunity to show our disruptive spirit thanks to creative and innovative initiatives. It’s embedded in our DNA!

Is there one particular initiative Sephora has taken of which you’re especially proud?
There are a lot of things we can be proud of, but the most significant is the energy savings we’ve achieved thanks to LED lighting. Starting three years ago, all our new stores and renovation projects have been fitted with latest-generation LED lights, which are 15% more energy efficient. And this is a worldwide commitment. For example, by the end of 2016, our U.S. retail network will be 100% LED. We’re quite proud of this effort.

How will the creation of the LVMH Carbon Fund help Sephora reduce its greenhouse gas emissions?
The fund will at the same time change and facilitate our strategy of investing in equipment with a lower carbon footprint. We’ve identified three strategic levers to reduce our energy consumption: lighting, air-conditioning and deliveries.
The fund will allow us to test the latest eco-friendly solutions and gradually integrate the most effective ones in our operations.
My vision is for our global store network to be carbon neutral in 2020. It’s an exciting objective that really stimulates our creativity!



© Studio Kippik

© Studio Kippik

California Transparency in Supply Chains Act: IKEA Way on Purchasing Products and Services

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — On January 1, 2012, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (SB 657) went into effect. The law requires retailers operating in California to publically state the steps they have undertaken to eliminate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chain. At IKEA we have worked actively with our suppliers across the world to ensure that good working and environmental conditions are integrated into their operations and human rights respected.

The IKEA Way on Purchasing Products and Services (IWAY) is the IKEA Supplier Code of Conduct. It was created and implemented at all IKEA home furnishing suppliers in 2000. It outlines the minimum social, environmental and working conditions that IKEA suppliers are required to maintain.

IWAY requirements include:

  • Implementation of workplace health and safety
  • Management of wages and working hours
  • Prevention of forced and bonded labour
  • Prevention of discrimination
  • Prevention of child labour
  • Freedom of association
  • Requirements for ethical recruitment

Within these requirements prevention of slavery and human trafficking is monitored and compliance with local laws and international conventions and principles is required.

In addition to IWAY requirements for existing suppliers we evaluate potential suppliers according to our mandatory IWAY Start-up requirements. These include:

  • No child labour
  • No forced or bonded labour
  • Prevention of environmental pollution
  • Prevention of safety hazards
  • A transparent and reliable system for records of working wages and working hours.
  • Insurance covering medical treatment for work related accidents

All potential suppliers are evaluated through on site supplier assessments and must meet these start-up requirements before a contract is signed. Supplier orders are stopped immediately if a non-compliance with IWAY start-up requirements is discovered. Once the issue is fully resolved and the correct actions taken, suppliers are placed on probation for six months with intensified monitoring. Remedies must be implemented in accordance with the law, IKEA requirements and in the best interest of the worker(s).

IKEA regional purchasing co-workers regularly visit supplier factories to support implementation and maintain IWAY requirements. Their active presence contributes to suppliers’ development and helps to ensure adherence to the IWAY standard. Announced and unannounced audits are also conducted by IKEA and independent third party auditors to provide a more accurate picture of factory conditions. Each home furnishing supplier is audited at least every second year, and more frequently in some countries, depending on risk assessments. Follow-up audits are also conducted to ensure non compliance points are corrected. Audit results are registered and results followed up monthly.

The IKEA Compliance and Monitoring Group (CMG) is responsible for ensuring consistency across our global auditing procedures, including site tours, document checks and co-worker interviews. This is done through calibration activities and training as well as compliance audits to verify results.

All suppliers and purchasing teams in the IKEA purchasing organisation receive training in the requirements and working methods with regard to the IKEA supplier code of conduct IWAY. IKEA audit and support teams receive specific training on IWAY procedures, working methods and auditing skills.

At IKEA, we believe we can have a positive impact on people and the environment and are continually looking for ways to improve our sourcing practices and we will continue to do so.

Related links


SOURCE: Inter IKEA Systems B.V.

Online sales of Non-Food products in UK up 11.8% in November vs. a year earlier – BRC-KPMG

  • Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 11.8% in November versus a year earlier, when they had risen by 12.0% over the previous year. November’s online sales performance was in line with its 3-month average of 11.9% and was just ahead of its 12-month average of 11.6%.
  • In November 2015, Online sales represented 22.4% of total Non-Food sales, against 20.3% in November 2014, meaning 1 in 5 pounds was spent online. This is the highest penetration since the inception of this monitor in December 2012, indicative of the popularity of online shopping ahead of Christmas and during the Black Friday sales.
  • Household Appliances achieved its fastest growth since our records began in November 2014 and its highest penetration rate, at 40.8%. Similarly, Health & Beauty reached its strongest penetration rate on record, at 8.0%.
  • Online sales contributed 2.7 percentage points to the year-on-year growth of Non-Food total sales in November, while stores made a negative contribution.

LONDON, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium, said: “Online was an attractive place for shoppers this November with the highest penetration rate on record at 22 per cent, edging closer to people spending £1 in every £4 online across non-food categories. Retailers worked hard to offer attractive targeted Black Friday promotions, which were often extended across several days, as well as enhancing the customer experience by improving website performance, offering user-friendly apps and improving order delivery services. Customers had access to an array of offers, with many retailers personalising their website offerings such as granting loyal customers early access to sales. We spent heavily on household appliances online with the category also seeing its highest penetration rate on record at an impressive 40 per cent. The success of November’s online sales will encourage customers to continue to shop across channels in the run-up to Christmas.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “As some retailers sought to play down the stampede of Black Friday and put fighting in the aisles behind them, the consumer too shied away from the High Street to click into Christmas from the phone or tablet. This year’s was certainly an online Black Friday, which drove penetration levels to an all-time high of 22.4 per cent.

“Retailers will delight in systems that were able to withstand the peak demand but will yet have to count the cost of meeting delivery deadlines and handling returns next month before they know if this has been a profitable venture or a giveaway gesture.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900.

SOURCE: British Retail Consortium


UK retail sales in November 2015 decreased 0.4% on a like-for-like basis from November 2014 – BRC-KPMG

    • UK retail sales decreased 0.4% on a like-for-like basis from November 2014, when they had increased 0.9% from the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 0.7%, against a 2.2% rise in November 2014. Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index deflation, total growth was 2.2%.
    • Total growth was below the 3-month average of 2.0% and the 12-month average of 1.7%. Half of the RSM categories showed year-on-year growth on a total basis but, excluding online sales, only two categories showed growth in stores, Furniture and Home Accessories.
    • Total Food sales grew 0.1% over the three months to November and 0.3% over the twelve months, but declined for the month. On a three-month basis, total Non-Food sales were up 3.5%, ahead of their twelve-month average of 2.9%.
    • Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 11.8% in November versus a year earlier, when they had grown 12.0%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 22.4%, up 2.1 percentage point from November 2014 and the highest on record.

LONDON, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium, said: “With growth of 0.7 per cent, November was quite a slow month overall for retail. The picture was somewhat mixed when we look across the different categories, with half experiencing growth and the other half seeing a decline. Furniture and the home categories were the main drivers of growth for the month, with large and small electrical appliances doing particularly well, driven by Black Friday sales. Black Friday had an undoubtedly significant impact for the non-food categories, disturbing the build-up to Christmas: traditionally, sales in the last week of November were 25 per cent larger than in the first week of the month. Last year already, those sales were inflated by the popularity of Black Friday deals and this year, they were 50 per cent larger than in the first week of November.

“As consumers and retailers continue to adapt to the changing patterns of omni-channel shopping, where the lines between channels become less and less relevant, this build-up to Christmas is one of the hardest to read in years. The conversion of people’s higher disposable income into retail sales shouldn’t be taken for granted.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “November’s relatively flat sales figures are a reality check for the retail sector with consumers holding off for a Black Friday bargain pitted against retailers determined to hold onto their hard-earned margins. The result was that, despite the hype around Black Friday, there was minimal loosening of the family purse strings compared to last year and retailers, facing significant cost increases next year, will be striving to wean UK shoppers off the discounting drug.

“Detailed examination of November trading shows a slowdown in most categories as consumers held off purchases in the hopes of a deluge of Black Friday discounts. Whilst many retailers participated, categories which saw the biggest uplift on the day were the electricals ones where, I suspect, the discounting pain was borne by supplier and retailer alike. In clothing and footwear, brands tended to hold their nerve to retain margins.

“While Black Friday ended up being more of an online affair, the focus over the next few weeks is to promote the theatre of the store for Christmas in the hopes that the tills will be ringing all the way into the New Year.”

Food & Drink sector performance – Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD, said: “Food and drink plays only a small part in Black Friday and so the bulk of attention was directed elsewhere in November. It was an uneventful month for grocery sales although beers, wines and spirits enjoyed a strong uplift in the final week, helped by price promotions.

“The spotlight will now fall on the grocery sector and all signs point towards a ‘multichannel Christmas’ with spending spread across a variety of formats. Supermarkets will remain the most popular destination but seven in ten shoppers say they will use discounters for some of their Christmas food shopping and a fifth will order online.”<

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900.

SOURCE: British Retail Consortium


Best Buy’s VP Public Affairs & Sustainability: We are committed to uphold our status as a leader in corporate responsibility and sustainability

“We are committed to upholding our status as a leader in corporate responsibility and sustainability because our employees and customers expect that of us,” says Laura Bishop, Best Buy’s vice president of Public Affairs & Sustainability.

MINNEAPOLIS, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — While the holiday shopping season is in full-swing here in the U.S., there’s another crowd gathering in Paris for the global conference on climate change, also referred to as COP21. Best Buy’s Laura Bishop, vice president of Public Affairs & Sustainability, is there to represent our company’s sustainability efforts.

The United Nations conference on climate change brings together business, nonprofit and government leaders from around the world to collectively agree to reduce the carbon emissions that are warming our planet and creating economic risks. The effort aims to establish an international agreement that sets the stage for averting the impacts of climate change like wildfires, hurricanes, rising sea levels, along with the resulting economic impacts.

I spent time with Laura to learn more about this historic gathering and what it means for our company and our customers.

Q: Why is it important for Best Buy to be at COP21?

A: By being in Paris, we are actively supporting positive results from these international climate negotiations. Best Buy has been recognized as an industry leader after recently signing on to the American Business Act on Climate Change with the White House and 80 other companies, as well as setting an aggressive, science-based carbon-reduction goal.

We are committed to upholding our status as a leader in corporate responsibility and sustainability because our employees and customers expect that of us. Also, it’s the right thing for our business. We offer a variety of energy-efficient products to help our customers live more sustainably. Reducing carbon in our operations also saves our company money – our current efforts have saved more than $50 million.

Q: What do you hope to achieve?

A: It’s important that we continue to deepen our relationships with government officials and business leaders so we have a voice in shaping the climate change policies that will help our company and our customers move to a low-carbon economy. Best Buy is a recognized leader in carbon reduction, and we set a goal to reduce our carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2020. What I’m learning will also help us lessen risks and identify opportunities for even more efficiency in our business.

Q: Where do you see the impact of climate change on Best Buy’s business? 

A: Transitioning to a low-carbon economy is important to our business and the planet. The extreme weather that results from climate change disrupts our store operations and supply chain. Last year alone, 670 Best Buy stores (more than half of our U.S. locations) experienced weather extremes that led to temporary closure and disrupted our employees’ and customers’ lives. In 2011, a devastating flood in Thailand significantly affected the global supply of hard drives.

Q: Do you think customers are concerned about carbon?

A: Our customers care about ways to reduce their energy costs. We see it in the high volume of ENERGY STAR products we sell and in the growing popularity of connected home solutions, such as smart thermostats and solar systems. People realize that they can save money and mitigate climate change, too.

Follow Laura’s COP21 experience on Twitter: @BestBuyCSR. Visit the Best Buy website to learn more about our sustainability efforts.

SOURCE: Best Buy


Best Buy’s VP Public Affairs & Sustainability: We are committed to uphold our status as a leader in corporate responsibility and sustainability

Best Buy’s VP Public Affairs & Sustainability: We are committed to uphold our status as a leader in corporate responsibility and sustainability

Best Buy’s Drone Selection for the holidays: dozen different drones in stores and nearly 40 models online

MINNEAPOLIS, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Drones are generating a lot of buzz as one of this year’s hottest — and most talked about — holiday gifts for first-time fliers and avid aviators alike.

The Consumer Electronics Association expects about 700,000 drones to fly off retailers’ shelves this year, up 63 percent from a year ago, and the Federal Aviation Administration says sales could top 1 million. Best Buy Chairman and CEO Hubert Joly even bought one recently.

Whether you’re looking to fly for fun or capture jaw-dropping photos and video, Best Buy makes it easy to find the drone that’s right for you. We offer an unmatched selection of the miniature remote-control aircraft, and our Blue Shirts are experts on how to use them — and use them safely.

We sell about a dozen different drones in our stores and nearly 40 models online, ranging from $50 for beginner-level toys to more than $1,000 for high-tech flying machines for “pro-sumers.” Plus, we carry dozens of accessories, including batteries, propellers and propeller guards.

And we’re making sure we sell drones the right way. Best Buy employees who sell them are required to complete an online training course to master this emerging technology and learn how to fly safely and responsibly.

On Friday, we announced that we’re teaming up with the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) to teach shoppers about drone safety with “Know Before You Fly”safety brochures in all U.S. stores. Receipts for drone purchases will have regulatory and safety information printed on them. We’re also selling AMA memberships, which give consumers access to up-to-date information on potential drone-related regulations, as well as access to local clubs where consumers can take their drones to fly and receive instruction from experienced operators.

Here’s a quick look at the products you’ll find at Best Buy.

For the First-Time Flier

Entry-level drones are a great way to get your feet wet in the hobby and learn the basics of flying. These drones are small and light, and sometimes maneuverable enough to fly safely indoors. However, their size and basic technology can make them difficult to control outside, especially when it’s windy. Some can capture images and video when paired with an action camera.

Example: Parrot Bebop

For the Avid Aviator

Advanced drones offer a wide array of added features. You’ll move beyond quadcopters into drones with six or eight rotors for added lift and more stability, and some of the included cameras can take stunning photos and 1080p video or better. Some models offer advanced flight controllers and GPS to control your drone in practically any way imaginable, including premapping flight paths.

Examples: Yuneec Typhoon, 3DR Solo and DJI Phantom 3.

For more information about drones, stop into your local Best Buy store or check out the Drone Buying Guide on

SOURCE: Best Buy



Best Buy’s Drone Selection for the holidays: dozen different drones in stores and nearly 40 models online

Best Buy’s Drone Selection for the holidays: dozen different drones in stores and nearly 40 models online

Meer dan 4 op de 10 Nederlanders ervaart stress tijdens de (voor) bereidingen van het kerstdiner

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Het kerstdiner is voor veel mensen de favoriete traditie tijdens de kerstdagen. Maar het bereiden van dit feestmaal is niet voor iedereen een feestje… Meer dan 4 op de 10 Nederlanders* ervaart stress tijdens de (voor)bereidingen van het kerstdiner. En dat is niet gek, want bij 65% van de mensen mislukt wel eens een kerstgerecht. Om klanten een helpende hand te bieden, staat Albert Heijn daarom met een culinair team klaar voor heel kerstkokend Nederland: Allerhande Kersthulp via WhatsApp. Op 24, 25 en 26 december werken de experts van Allerhande gewoon door. Ze zijn overdag en ‘s avonds live via WhatsApp bereikbaar voor vragen en kookadvies.

Blunders in de keuken
Uit onderzoek* blijkt dat er geregeld iets misgaat in de kerstkeuken, 65% van Nederland laat een kerstgerecht wel eens mislukken. De meest voorkomende blunder is het laten aanbranden van de maaltijd. Op nummer twee staat het tegenovergestelde, een gerecht serveren dat nog niet gaar is. De derde meest voorkomende kerstkookblunder is dat mensen belangrijke ingrediënten vergeten. Ook opvallend is dat we soms eten laten vallen of dat bijgerechten volledig onaangeraakt in de koelkast blijven staan. Met het hoofdgerecht hebben we de meeste moeite, deze mislukt het vaakst, gevolgd door het nagerecht. Bijna één derde is het meest onzeker over de bereiding van vlees, gevolgd door gevogelte en het dessert.

Mannen vs. vrouwen
Mannen houden vaker het hoofd koel tijdens het koken voor Kerst dan vrouwen. Bijna de helft van de vrouwen staat weleens gestrest in de keuken tegenover een derde van de mannen. Wanneer het misgaat met het kerstgerecht, schakelt 43% van de mannen de hulp van hun partner in (versus 30% van de vrouwen). Moeders advies wordt door één vijfde ingezet als de spreekwoordelijke vlam in de pan slaat. Dankzij Albert Heijn is dat nu verleden tijd en heeft iedere kerstkoker een persoonlijke hulplijn binnen handbereik.

Allerhande Kersthulp live via WhatsApp
Allerhande Kersthulp is een unieke 1-op-1 kookhulp live via WhatsApp. Op 24, 25 en 26 december staat tussen 10:00 en 22:00 uur het team van Allerhande voor heel kerstkokend Nederland klaar. Zij beantwoorden alle brandende kookvragen via WhatsApp**. Twijfels of het vlees gaar is? Of heeft de chocobombe meer weg van een chocoblunder? Een appje naar 06-48484040 kan wellicht het kerstdiner redden.

Alles voor een Kerst om nooit te vergeten
Albert Heijn en Allerhande zijn met Kerst al jaren dé inspiratiebron voor heel Nederland. Dit jaar komt al deze inspiratie samen op het Kerstfestival op 11, 12 en 13 december. De jaarlijkse kersteditie van het Allerhande magazine ligt nu gratis in alle Albert Heijn winkels,tegelijk met het prachtige assortiment met meer dan tweehonderd feestfavorieten. Klanten die zich echt geen zorgen willen maken over het bepalen van het kerstmenu, kunnen kiezen voor de Allerhande Kerst Box. Hierin zitten alle ingredië nten en recepten voor een heerlijk 4-gangen diner voor 4 personen. De Allerhande Kersthulp biedt lastminute hulp als het mis dreigt te gaan. Kortom: Albert Heijn biedt alles voor een Kerst om nooit te vergeten

* Onderzoeksverantwoording Het ‘Kerstkook en -stress onderzoek’ van Albert Heijn is uitgevoerd door PanelWizard onder 1.011 Nederlanders van 16 jaar en ouder, die wel eens koken tijdens de feestdagen.
** Er kan alleen via de instant messaging service van WhatsApp gebruik gemaakt worden van de Allerhande Kersthulp.

SOURCE: Albert Heijn


Meer dan 4 op de 10 Nederlanders ervaart stress tijdens de (voor) bereidingen van het kerstdiner

Meer dan 4 op de 10 Nederlanders ervaart stress tijdens de (voor) bereidingen van het kerstdiner

Österreich: BILLA holt regionale Lieferanten vor den Vorhang

In der BILLA Filiale in der Perfektastraße 106 durften sich Kunden vergangenen Freitag über eine besondere kulinarische Aufmerksamkeit freuen: eine Produktverkostung aus dem BILLA Regional Regal. Dabei standen aber nicht nur die Produkte selbst im Mittelpunkt, sondern auch zahlreiche anwesende Produzenten der regionalen Köstlichkeiten erklärten den BILLA Kunden spannende Hintergründe zu ihren nachhaltigen und regionalen Produkten aus Österreich.

Wiener Neudorf/Wien, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — BILLA liegen die vielseitigen Regionen Österreichs sehr am Herzen. Darum setzt sich BILLA stark für kleine und regionale Unternehmen ein, die einen wichtigen Beitrag dazu leisten, die Wertschöpfung in Österreich zu halten und nachhaltig zu wirtschaften. Um die regionalen Produzenten in ihrer wertvollen Arbeit zu unterstützen wurde 2013 das BILLA Regional Regal ins Leben gerufen, das mittlerweile in über 900 Filialen österreichweit die Gaumen der Kunden erfreut. „Wir wollen Regionalität in unserem Land stärken und haben deshalb ganz Österreich in 32 Regionen unterteilt und suchen daraus laufend die besten regionalen Köstlichkeiten“, erklärt BILLA Vorstand Josef Siess, der sich selbst vor Ort von den Köstlichkeiten überzeugte. In Wien bieten wir den Kunden ein ‚Best of’ Regal, in dem sie zusätzlich zu den Wiener Schmankerln die besten lokalen Spezialitäten aus ganz Österreich finden“, so Siess weiter.

Kostproben des Wiener Regional Regals
Neun der Produzenten, deren Produkte die Kunden im Wiener Regional Regal finden, kamen vergangenen Freitag persönlich in die BILLA Filiale in der Perfektastraße um ihre Spezialitäten zur Verkostung anzubieten. „Lokale und regionale Lieferanten zu unterstützen und ihnen die Möglichkeit zu bieten ihre Produkte unter die Menschen zu bringen, freut nicht nur BILLA sondern vor allem unsere Kunden“, erläutert Siess den Erfolg des Regional Regals. In der Filiale wurde auf die Aktion mittels Plakaten und Fensterklebern aufmerksam gemacht. Zudem konnten die Kunden sich über -10% auf alle Artikel aus dem Wiener Regional Regal freuen. Weiters hatte BILLA auch bereits fertig geschnürte regionale Geschenkkörbe – wie sie in jeder Filiale auch bestellt werden können – direkt vor Ort im Angebot.

Genuss aus Österreichs Regionen – BILLA Regional Regal
Mit dem BILLA Regional Regal wird knapp über 200 österreichischen Produzenten eine Plattform geboten, die rund 800 Spezialitäten für BILLA Kunden bereithält. Die Produktpalette reicht dabei von Wiener Produkten wie dem Wiener Gemischten Satz, Käsekrainer mit original Wiener Würstlsenf, bis zur Enzianlimonade aus den Alpen, AMA-Gütesiegelnudeln und Tiroler Lebkuchen od. steirischem Kernöl. Damit wird lokalen Betrieben und Produzenten die einmalige Chance geboten, ihre regional erzeugten Produkte in BILLA Filialen der jeweiligen Region anzubieten und so einer breiten Masse bekannt zu machen.

Bildtext zum übermittelten Bildmaterial:
Bild (1).: Josef Siess (BILLA Vorstand) beim Verkosten mit den regionalen Produzenten vor dem Regional Regal

Credits: BILLA AG/ Dusek, Abdruck zu PR-Zwecken honorarfrei.

BILLA und Österreich verbindet seit mehr als 60 Jahren eine einzigartige Erfolgsgeschichte: Als Pionier im heimischen Lebensmittelhandel sorgt BILLA dafür, dass in ganz Österreich täglich Lebensmittel und Produkte zu einem fairen Preis verfügbar sind. BILLA deckt damit als Nahversorger mit Hausverstand die ganze Range an Produkten ab: Das Angebot reicht von einer breiten Palette an Markenartikeln bis zu den erfolgreichen Eigenmarken, darunter die Ja! Natürlich Bio-Produkte, qualitativ hochwertige Produkte der BILLA Eigenmarke, bis hin zur Diskontlinie clever®. BILLA arbeitet ständig am Produktsortiment und Serviceangebot, um so den Bedürfnissen der Menschen in Österreich gerecht zu werden und diesen tagtäglich ein kulinarisches Erlebnis zu bieten.

BILLA gehört zur REWE International AG und ist Teil von einem der größten Lebensmittelhändler Europas. Nachhaltigkeit hat BILLA in seiner Unternehmensstrategie umfassend verankert: Heute sind rund 350 der mehr als 1.000 BILLA-Filialen in Österreich energieeffizient. Weitere zentrale Themen der BILLA-Unternehmensstrategie sind Gesundheit und die Förderung von verstärktem Ernährungsbewusstsein der Österreicherinnen und Österreicher. Der Verantwortung gegenüber seinen treuen Kunden, rund 18.400 Mitarbeitern und langjährigen Partnern wird BILLA auf vielfache Art und Weise gerecht.

»Wer nicht von gestern sein will, beschäftigt sich mit morgen«, sagt der Hausverstand

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Philippines: SM malls evolved into sustainable structures

Pasay City, Philippines, 2015-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM malls, which now total 56 in the country, have evolved into sustainable structures that are proving to be valuable and sensible investments.

In the last few years, SM malls have consciously integrated disaster risk reduction into design and operations in the midst of worsening effects of climate change.

Speaking before the Annual General Meeting of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in London last November 5, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. President Hans T. Sy shared that the company has taken major steps to ensure the longevity of its developments and safeguard its host communities given this context.

SM malls, with a total gross area of over 7 million square meters, have an average daily foot traffic of over 4 million people and have approximately 15,000 tenants.

“My experience has proven that investing in resilience of our company’s assets makes good business sense. Depending on the location and assessment of the project, around 10% of CAPEX (capital expenditure) is allocated to Disaster Resiliency,” Sy said. Sy is the only Filipino to be part of the UNISDR’s Private Sector Advisory Group.

“We see the entirety of our malls as a city in itself, with locators, employees, customers and the communities we serve,” Sy added.

The latest SM mall, SM City Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija, which opened last October 19, 2015 is a good example of how SM Prime has adapted to climate change by making its infrastructure more disaster resilient. Cabanatuan was affected by Super Typhoon Lando (International name: Koppu) which caused massive flooding, mudslides and power outtages that affected nine million people in the northern region. The mall’s design allowed the free flow of creek floodwater during extreme flooding while the lower ground structure served as a flood catchment, thereby reducing the risk of flooding and ensuring the safety of the surrounding communities. The mall likewise served as a refuge for over 400 customers and families in the area at the height of the typhoon.

Over the past several decades, SM Prime has made significant inroads in incorporating disaster resiliency in its malls. The best example is SM City Marikina which opened in 2008 and was built on concrete stilts to allow flood water from the nearby Marikina River to flow freely. When Typhoon Ondoy (International name: Ketsana) flooded most of Marikina City, the mall stood high above flood waters and all its tenants were undamaged and safe.

The roads surrounding the Marikina mall are at ground level. Anticipating floods during heavy rains at that level, SM Prime constructed the first two levels of SM Marikina as parking areas without wall enclosures. The upper parking level was constructed at an elevation of 20.5 meters. During extreme floods, the parking floors are vacated and the supportive stilts allow for the free flow of water through the lower levels, while the business units continue to operate safely as was seen at the onset of Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) when a huge part of Marikina was flooded. The mall became a refuge for stranded people and food seekers. It also became a re-packing center for relief goods.

SM City Masinag in Antipolo, SM BF Paranaque, SM Angono and SM San Mateo both in Rizal province were provided with catch basins underneath the mall to hold water during flooding.

SM Muntinlupa in Alabang, was also designed to ensure the safety of the customers even if it was found to be located on a “discontinued major fault line”. Its design features a slab system that minimizes the effects of earthquakes.

The Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, one of SM Prime’s biggest investments located on 60 hectares of reclaimed property, has also been been designed for resiliency. He said that the main feature of the complex is that all structures were constructed at a height of 4.5 meters above the National Building Code requirements.

“SM Prime places crucial importance on disaster resilience, not as an additional cost, but as part of our core business strategy. It allows us to serve our communities better, to be competitive, to increase our value and bottomline. But most of all, disaster resilience ensures the safety of our customers and the communities where we operate,” Sy said.

Moreover, SM Prime and SM Megamall have been certified ISO 22301, the first in the Philippine Retail Industry for having provisions for Business Continuity Management.

Aside from introducing sustainable features in its malls, SM Prime also educates and updates its partners and stakeholders on disaster risk reduction (DRR) through internal procedures and various forums, such as the Green Retail Agenda, Business Case for Disaster Resilience, Top Leaders Forum and others. It also values and supports the government’s programs and initiatives in their information and educational campaigns such as the first Metro Manila Shake Drill for Earthquake Preparedness.

SM Prime also supports DRR projects such as the Weather Philippines Foundation’s Automated Weather Station (AWS) which specializes in local weather forecasting. All SM malls have also installed the AWS device which provides online 5-day local weather forecasts as a form of public service in support of the government’s weather forecasting.

SM has also donated 1,000 units of disaster resilient houses to victims of Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm to make landfall in the southern part of the Philippines.

SM Prime set up its efforts to lead Philippine businesses and communities disaster-resilient through the Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE), a worldwide initiative spearheaded by the UNISDR to create more resilient societies.

ARISE was introduced for the first time in Southeast Asia during the 2015 Top Leaders Forum at the SMX Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

ARISE, which was launched in London last September, was created in order to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a 15-year global roadmap adopted in March 2015 which aims to curb disaster mortality and economic losses substantially.

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For further information, please contact:
Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
Tel. No. (632) 857-0117

SOURCE: SM Investments Corporation