Amazon Original Series The Man in the High Castle the most-streamed original show ever by Prime members globally

Amazon’s new original series, developed by Frank Spotnitz and based on the bestselling Philip K. Dick novel, debuted on Prime Video on November 20th and in four weeks became the most-viewed original show on the service

SEATTLE,  2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today announced that Amazon Original Series The Man in the High Castle, recently renewed for a second season, is the most-streamed original show ever by Prime members globally. The show broke a previous record set by Amazon Original Series Bosch—which is launching its second season next year. Based on the award-winning book byPhilip K. Dick, developed by Frank Spotnitz and Executive Produced by Scott Free Productions’ Ridley Scott and David Zucker, along with Isa Dick Hackett, the show is available exclusively on Amazon Prime.

In addition, The Man in the High Castle has received outstanding critical acclaim:

  • “…Amazon has the best new drama of the season in The Man in the High Castle.” USA Today, Robert Bianco
  • “The Man in the High Castle accomplishes so much, where most new broadcast TV dramas these days don’t even try.” NPR, David Bianculli
  • “The series is a bold leap into big-saga TV for Amazon…It’s serious-minded sci-fi that’s stylish and strange and soulful, and only grows more rewarding over time.” Entertainment Weekly, Jeff Jensen
  • “Castle has the feel of a classic…cannily contriving suspenseful cliffhangers at the end of each hour to drive viewers to the next chapter.” TV Guide, Matt Roush

“We’re very proud of this outstanding series created by Frank Spotnitz, Scott Free and Isa Dick Hackett, which Amazon customers around the world have enthusiastically embraced, and we look forward to the second season,” said Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios. “We hoped that once again bringing together the work of Philip K. Dick and the vision of Ridley Scott – who brought us the classic film Blade Runner – would help deliver on our promise of creating some of the best television in the world for Prime customers, and we believe that it has.”

The Man in The High Castle stars Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Rufus Sewell, Rupert Evans, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Joel de la Fuente andDJ Qualls. The show is available in US, UK, Germany, and Austria – only on Amazon Prime.

Prime members can stream all 10 episodes of The Man in The High Castle at no additional cost to their Prime membership with the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, or online at Prime members can also download the series for offline viewing on iOS, Android and Fire devices at no additional cost. In addition to SD and HD, the series is also available in 4K Ultra HD on Amazon Fire TV and compatible smart TVs from Samsung, LG and Sony. Customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free 30-day trial at

About Amazon Video
Amazon Video offers customers unlimited access to tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, including award-winning Amazon Original Series, through Amazon Prime; monthly subscriptions to SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more; and hundreds of thousands of titles including new-release movies and current TV shows for rent or purchase.

The entire range of selection can be instantly accessed through the Amazon Video app on TVs, streaming media players, mobile devices,Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire tablets, or online at

Prime Video, included in Amazon Prime, enables Prime members to enjoy binge-worthy TV shows including Amazon Original Series airing now such as the multi-Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated series Transparent, the breakout hit The Man in the High Castle, based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, the hour-long drama Bosch, based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling books, the Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman comedy, Mozart in the Jungle, and the comedy created by and starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe, in addition to HBO favorites like The Sopranos, True Blood and Girls, and popular primetime series including 24, Downton Abbey, Extant, Falling Skies, Grimm, Hannibal, Justified, Orphan Black, Teen Wolf, The Americans, and Under the Dome. Prime members also have access to an exclusive collection of kids shows now airing including Amazon Original Series’ Annedroids, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street and the Annecy, Annie and multi-Emmy Award-winning Tumble Leaf, as well as popular shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. including SpongeBob SquarePantsDora the ExplorerTeam Umizoomi, and Blue’s Clues. Customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at

In addition to tens of thousands of titles to instantly stream on Prime Video, the Amazon Prime membership ( includes more than one million songs, more than a thousand playlists and hundreds of stations through Prime Music, unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, early access to select Lightning Deals, unlimited photo storage with Amazon Photos, and access to borrow from more than 800,000 books for Kindle owners–all for $99 a year.

Amazon Prime is an annual membership program for $99 a year that offers customers unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on more than 20 million items across all categories, unlimited Free Same-Day Delivery on more than a million items in 16 metro areas, unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, more than one million songs, more than one thousand playlists and hundreds of stations with Prime Music, early access to select Lightning Deals all year long, free secure, unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive with Prime Photos and access to more than 800,000 books to borrow with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. In addition, Prime members in select cities receive one and two hour delivery through Prime Now on tens of thousands of items through a mobile app. Not a member? Start a free trial of Amazon Prime at

About Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit

Source:, Inc., Inc.
Media Hotline, 206-266-7180

Macy’s announces special giveaway of $10 “cash” cards at more than 600 stores across the country

From Dec. 20 – Dec. 22, Macy’s will offer free $10 “cash” cards to the first 250 customers in stores across the country

NEW YORK, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — With less than a week left until Christmas Day, shoppers are hitting the stores for the final chance to find the perfect gifts for loved ones and finish off holiday checklists. To spread a little extra cheer and help customers save on their last-minute purchases, Macy’s (NYSE:M) will offer a special giveaway of $10 “cash” cards at more than 600 stores across the country, from Sunday, Dec. 20 to Tuesday, Dec. 22. For these days only, cards will be distributed to the first 250 customers, on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning at store opening.

“As the ultimate destination for affordable gifts for everyone, we’re pleased to offer an extra holiday treat to our customers as they finish out their shopping over the next week,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “We have a lot of great deals on last-minute gifts, and now shoppers who come early will get even more value with a free cash card on us.”

Cards will be available while supplies last at most stores*, beginning at store opening (see for local hours). Cards may be used to purchase merchandise and in-store services from Dec. 20 – Dec. 22. Limit one per customer and redeemable in-store only.

Visit for inspiration and ideas, including gifts by recipient and gifts by price. For media materials, including hi-res images, visit

*Excludes furniture stores, clearance centers and Macy’s Backstage

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

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

Source: Macy’s

Macy’s Media Relations
Holly Thomas, 646-429-5250
Tracy Davis, 646-429-7470

Sainsbury’s: Dog gifts outselling cat gifts by 100%

Sainsbury's Dog gifts outselling cat gifts by 100%

LONDON, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The loyalty of a ‘man’s best friend’ is finally paying off for dogs across the UK according to the latest sales figures from Sainsbury’s. Compared to their feline friends, dogs are twice as likely to find a present under the Christmas tree this year, with dog gifts outselling cat gifts by 100%.

  • Sales figures reveal dog owners are twice as likely to buy Christmas gifts than cat owners
  • Sainsbury’s launches nationwide feline appeal #LoveYourMog in Christmas week

As pet owners prepare to spoil their pup Sainsbury’s has sold twice as many stockings and gifts for dogs, compared to stockings for cats, so far this year.

Vernon Davis, the Buying Manager for Pet Care at Sainsbury’s said: “We’re left scratching our heads to see cat owners being put to shame by indulgent dog owners this Christmas! Especially as we’re particularly protective of our own Mog who is the star of our Christmas advert this season! And it’s not just presents – sales of our premium pet food – The Delicious Collection, have increased 55% for dogs this month compared with a 26% uplift in cat options and this is a trend that continues from last year. So dogs are even winning at lunch too! To help all those mogs left in the doghouse this year we’re campaigning for Britons to give dog owners a run for their money and make it a merry Mog-mas for cats too!”

Further figures also revealed dogs were more likely to enjoy treats in the run up to Christmas, with sales of their advent calendars up 30% compared to last year, while cat options remained the same.

Luckily for our feline friends, it’s not too late as this Christmas is set to be the biggest ever for pet treats and gifts and there’s still time for cats across the UK to win on Christmas Day. Toys for four legged members of the family continue to rise steadily with a 10% uplift and the Sainsbury’s pet gifts range is bigger than ever.

Vernon Davis, concluded: “With only three days left until Christmas, we are making a plea to all of Mog’s fans to treat her relatives across the country with affection this festive period. Dog owners are leading the way on all fronts so far, but there is still time for cat lovers to catch up!”

Shoppers looking for cat gift ideas are invited to tweet @SainsburysNews with #LoveYourMog where a team of mog experts are on hand to help.

SOURCE: J Sainsbury plc

Gaming and on-demand TV spark a rise in sales of 10 inch tablets – Argos

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gaming and on-demand TV have sparked a rise in sales of 10 inch tablets and now the average home has two or more tablets, according to Argos.

The boom, with the number of 10 inch tablets sold up by 130% over the last twelve months versus the previous year at Argos, is due to people wanting bigger screens for entertainment, as well as becoming more affordable like their established seven and eight inch cousins. Shoppers can now get an Alba 10 inch tablet for £79.99.

The number of tablets per household has soared as one person watches TV and others share the sitting-room but watch on-demand telly or prefer to play a game.

Many are also taking advantage of the fact that is it possible to download box sets at home and watch them on their tablets on the daily commute without even needing an internet connection.

Recent figures from GFK mirror Argos’s research and reveal 90% of customers are now buying their second or third tablet.

Argos buyer Aaron Culhane said: “We know from customer research that the primary use of tablets in the home is for streaming media and for gaming and browsing on websites. The experience is infinitely better on a larger screen.

“We know that people like to sit together in the living-room even if one is watching TV and others are watching on-demand telly, gaming or browsing the internet. By having multiple tablets everyone can be together, even if they are not always sharing the same entertainment.

“Customer research reveals that many people are now purchasing their second or third tablet. There are also a number of people who now own more than tablet, often trading up to a ten inch screen because they are now far more affordable.”

GFK research reveals that the 10 inch market has been worth over 800k units for the past year.


Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email: Follow us on Twitter at @argos_PR.

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

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

In the financial year to February 2015, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business. Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.


Online searches at reveal Brits prepare their homes for visiting guests this Christmas

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Forget perfume, jewellery and gadgets, shoppers are more likely to be buying toilet roll holders, doorbells and curtain poles as they prepare their homes ready for visiting guests this Christmas, Homebase reveals.

Online searches at revealed Brits thoughts in the two weeks running up to Christmas is not on present buying, but on last minute items to make their homes welcoming for guests coming for the festive season.

In addition to looking for Christmas trees and decorations, practical items people were looking for included rugs, shelves, and even doorbells, which were up 16 per cent on searches compared to in September, as homeowners look to make those last minute touches to their homes.

Some are so keen to impress their family and friends that they are even looking to buy a new dining table with searches up by 25 per cent compared to in September as people try to accommodate all family on Christmas Day.

Homebase Christmas Buyer Lindsay O’Neil, said: “We are house proud as a nation, and Christmas usually is the time we have most of the family round with many staying with us for a few days, so getting our homes looking great becomes the priority after the presents are sorted.

“We have also seen Christmas homewares have grown in popularity by around 30 per cent from last year. With Christmassy bedding and cushions being the most popular items. increase in demand this year for Christmassy duvet sets, cushions and throws compared to last year, which just shows people want to go the extra mile and make the spare room as good as a hotel room for guests.”

Interestingly online search results also revealed the outside of the home gets a makeover ahead of guests arriving. A new garden shed and even a pressure washer are a top last minute must have in the run up to Christmas, as the driveway and car get a deep clean prior to guests arriving.

Most searched for items before Christmas:

1. Toilet roll holder

2. Door bell

3. Dining table

4. Cushions

5. Shelves

6. Curtains poles

7. Wardrobes

8. Laminate flooring

9. Radiators

10. Duvets

11. Folding chairs

12. Shower screen

13. Axe

14. Skirting board

15. Bath panel

16. Tablecloth

17. Drill

18. Chainsaw

19. Shed

20. Rugs


Note to Editors:

For more information, images, pricing please contact the Home Retail Group Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email .

For hi-res images and to view the new Schreiber Home Collection lookbook, go the

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 58 million transactions a year, selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 271 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at . In the financial year to February 2015, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 17,000 people across the business.

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

SOURCE: Home Retail Group

Walgreens Boots Alliance Completes $12.8 Billion placement as part of its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid Corporation

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq:WBA) today announced it has completed the placement of $5 billion of term loan facilities, evenly split between two tranches of $2.5 billion each, with three- and five-year maturities, respectively, and a $7.8 billion term loan bridge facility. These facilities replace the company’s previously reported $12.8 billion bridge facility commitment.

This financing has been put in place as part of the financing of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s proposed acquisition of Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD). Drawing under the facilities is subject to the closing of this acquisition.

“The term loan facilities constitute a key milestone in securing permanent financing for the proposed acquisition of Rite Aid,” said George Fairweather, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Financial Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. “We are very pleased with the high level of interest and support from our banking partners, which resulted in the oversubscription of the transaction. The $5 billion pre-payable term facilities provide us with diversification of funding sources and the flexibility to reduce leverage over time.”

The proposed acquisition by Walgreens Boots Alliance of Rite Aid, which was announced on 27 October 2015, is subject to approval of Rite Aid’s stockholders and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, including expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of calendar 2016.

Notes to Editors:

About Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

The company was created through the combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014, bringing together two leading companies with iconic brands, complementary geographic footprints, shared values and a heritage of trusted health care services through pharmaceutical wholesaling and community pharmacy care, dating back more than 100 years.

The company employs over 370,000* people and has a presence in more than 25* countries; it is the largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination in the USA and Europe. Including its equity method investments, Walgreens Boots Alliance is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail with over 13,100* stores in 11* countries. The company includes one of the largest global pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks with over 350* distribution centers delivering to more than 200,000** pharmacies, doctors, health centers and hospitals each year in 19* countries. In addition, Walgreens Boots Alliance is one of the world’s largest purchasers of prescription drugs and many other health and wellbeing products.

Its portfolio of retail and business brands includes Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots and Alliance Healthcare, as well as increasingly global health and beauty product brands, such as No7, Botanics, Liz Earle and Soap & Glory. More company information is available at

* As at 31 August 2015 including equity method investments

** For 12 months ended 31 August 2015 including equity method investments

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” and “will” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, risks related to the satisfaction of the conditions to closing the acquisition in the anticipated timeframe or at all, including risks related to the failure to obtain necessary regulatory and Rite Aid stockholder approvals and the possibility that the acquisition does not close, including in circumstances in which Rite Aid would be obligated to pay Walgreens Boots Alliance a termination fee or other expenses and vice versa; risks related to the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisition, including the possibility that the expected synergies from the proposed acquisition will not be realized or will not be realized within the expected time period; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; risks associated with the financing of the transaction; disruption from the transaction making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; negative effects of this announcement or the consummation of the proposed acquisition on the market price of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s common stock; significant transaction costs; unknown liabilities; the risk of litigation and/or regulatory actions related to the proposed acquisition; other business effects, including the effects of industry, market, economic, political or regulatory conditions; future exchange or interest rates or credit ratings; changes in tax laws, regulations, rates and policies; competitive developments; and risks and uncertainties discussed in the reports that Walgreens Boots Alliance has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Walgreens Boots Alliance expressly disclaims any current intention to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the distribution of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise. A further list and description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Walgreens Boots Alliance’s most recent Form 10-K and its reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
Media Relations
USA / Michael Polzin, +1 847-315-2935
International / Laura Vergani, +44 (0)207 980 8585
Investor Relations
Gerald Gradwell and Ashish Kohli, +1 847-315-2922

SOURCE: Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

LVMH: The creative Berluti and Krug collaboration create unique pairing of shoemaking savoir-faire and prestige Champagne

© Krug x Berluti

© Krug x Berluti


PARIS, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The collaboration between Berluti and Krug creates a unique pairing of shoemaking savoir-faire and prestige Champagne. This first chapter in a long-term alliance celebrated a special Krug patina at Berluti stores around the world.

The creative collaboration between the grand Champagne house and the House renowned for elegant footwear, leather goods and fashion is far from a coincidence. Both founded in the 19th century, the two Houses share a philosophy that perpetuates their heritage through an ongoing quest for excellence.

The first chapter in the partnership saw the creation of a special “black cherry” Berluti patina, a tribute to the founder of the Champagne house. Joseph Krug always kept a notebook in this distinctive color with him to jot down his thoughts and ideas. The presentation of the patina provided an opportunity to propose an original tasting of Krug Champagnes, each paired with a Berluti shoe model.

In addition to personalization of shoes with the Krug patina, Berluti introduced a collection of “Krug by Berluti” bags. The alliance between two exceptional Houses harbors great promise for elegant men with refined gourmet taste…


LVMH: Emilio Pucci unveils trendsetting collection of skateboards

© Emilio Pucci

© Emilio Pucci


PARIS, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Emilio Pucci has unveiled a trendsetting collection of skateboards, featured in a short film produced by Nowness. The artistic collaboration follows a design partnership with the University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL).

To capture its new skateboard collection on film, Pucci called on Nowness. Created in 2010 and the youngest House in the LVMH Group, Nowness is a pioneering platform for curated creative video content centered on the arts and culture. Director Edward Housden conceived the film Rolling with Puccias a short film, rather than a music or fashion clip. “I wanted to think of an unconventional way to use the skateboard and take the film away from something like a modern skate video.” The camera follows young model Martha-Rose Redding – wearing a silk dress from the 2016 Pilot Resort Collection – as she tries to rival two tween boys in a naive and bucolic dolce vita atmosphere.

To design this novel collection, Pucci called on the talents of students at the University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL). Following an immersion in the history of Pucci prints, the students were challenged to reinterpret the Pucci codes in an innovative way. Clémence Chatel’s  “Dolce Vita” patterns were chosen to deck out the skateboards with motifs inspired by Italian culture. The skateboards feature seven different prints on two models, the Street and the Cruiser. The boards are available exclusively online at the brand’s flagship site


LVMH: Berluti celebrates its 120th anniversary

© Berluti

© Berluti


PARIS, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Berluti is celebrating the 120th anniversary of the shoemaker’s founding with the publication of its first book, entitled At Their Feet, an ode to iconic shoes and the creative talents who wore them.

Loafers, slip-ons, boots or Oxfords … The models created by Berluti since 1895 set the standard in luxury footwear, earning them a loyal following among artists. To fête 120 years of shoemaking savoir-faire and the artists who wore its shoes, Berluti has published a strikingly original book entitled At Their Feet.

Showcased by photographer Erwan Frottin, the shoes and their stories are recounted through the artists who brought them to life, including Andy Warhol, Patti Smith, Yves Saint Laurent, Greta Garbo, Jean Cocteau and other illustrious customers who embodied Berluti elegance. Designed and illustrated by the creative director duo M/M (Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag), the book includes quotes from the artists and texts by American author Glenn O’Brien, an expert in fashion and lifestyle.

The limited edition of 200 numbered copies went on sale on December 15th. The Venezia leather cover can be customized with a distinctive patina, tattoos or initials. Both the limited edition and a classic edition are available at Berluti flagship stores.

At Their Feet, published by Editions Rizzoli
64 pages, 52 color and b/w illustrations, 33 x 43 cm
Available at Berluti stores and the Colette concept store.


SONIC® to introduce Seasoned Jumbo Popcorn Chicken

Flavors include Sriracha, Garlic Parmesan and Honey Barbeque

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — SONIC® Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC) today announced an innovative spin to its popular premium chicken menu that delivers high quality taste in a bite-sized snack with the introduction of Seasoned Jumbo Popcorn Chicken. Seasoned with bold flavors to satisfy chicken cravings – including Sriracha, Garlic Parmesan and Honey Barbeque – this new twist on a fan favorite is available only at SONIC for a limited time only.

SONIC’s juicy popcorn chicken is made with marinated 100 percent premium all-white meat chicken, covered in an extra crispy coating and tossed with one of three savory flavors that deliver on taste in every bite. Perfect for a snack or a meal, this poppable chicken won’t disappoint.

“At SONIC, we continually create new flavor combinations for our chicken lineup that guests will love on-the-go,” said Todd Smith, chief marketing officer. “Our culinary team shook things up on our menu by adding the new Seasoned Jumbo Popcorn Chicken to build off a menu item our guests crave. These bites of juicy chicken have all the flavor packed into the seasoning, so guests don’t need dipping sauce, forks, or napkins.”

Inspired by the popular fiery red sauce, SONIC’s Sriracha seasoning is made from ground red peppers that add a kick in every bite. Always a crowd pleaser, the Garlic Parmesan seasoning is made with Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic and Italian herbs. The Honey Barbeque seasoning is made with real brown sugar and honey to bring barbeque lovers the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Perfect for a quick snack or pair an order of Seasoned Jumbo Popcorn Chicken with Tots and a classic Cherry Limeade to make a meal for lunch or dinner.

About SONIC, America’s Drive-In
SONIC, America’s Drive-In is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain serving more than 3 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. Over more than 60 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, more than 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. Since the 2009 launch of SONIC’s Limeades for Learning philanthropic campaign in partnership with, SONIC has donated more than $5 million to public school teachers nationwide to fund essential learning materials and innovative teaching resources to inspire creativity and learning in today’s youth. To learn more about Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit and please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about SONIC’s Limeades for Learning initiative, please visit


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

Source: SONIC Drive-In

News Provided by Acquire Media


Garlic Parmesan flavor (Photo: Business Wire)

Garlic Parmesan flavor (Photo: Business Wire)

Successful completion of Kroger’s tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Roundy’s common stock

CINCINNATI, OH and MILWAUKEE, WI, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Roundy’s, Inc. (NYSE: RNDY) today announced the successful completion of Kroger’s tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Roundy’s common stock for $3.60 per share in cash. The tender offer expired at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on December 17, 2015.

Kroger expects to complete the acquisition of the remaining eligible Roundy’s shares not acquired in the tender offer later today through a merger under Section 251(h) of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware.

“This merger blends Roundy’s complementary markets with Kroger’s strengths in scale and merchandising. Our future together is bright, and we look forward to learning from each other as partners,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “Most of all, we want to welcome each of Roundy’s more than 22,000 associates to the Kroger family of stores.”

“We look forward to bringing together the best of Roundy’s and Kroger for our customers and associates,” said Bob Mariano, who will continue to lead Roundy’s as president and CEO. He has served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Roundy’s since 2002. “Our merger with Kroger will help us continue to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

Additional Details of Tender Offer
As of the expiration of the tender offer, approximately 33,144,128 shares were validly tendered and not withdrawn in the tender offer, representing 67.138 percent of Roundy’s outstanding shares, according to the depositary. The condition to the tender offer that a majority of Roundy’s outstanding shares on a fully-diluted basis be validly tendered and not withdrawn has been satisfied. As a result, Kroger has accepted for payment and will promptly pay for all validly tendered shares. The depositary has also informed Kroger that Notices of Guaranteed Delivery have been delivered with respect to 1,409,042 additional shares, representing approximately 2.854 percent of Roundy’s currently outstanding shares.

As a result of the merger, all remaining eligible Roundy’s shares will be converted into the right to receive $3.60 per share in cash, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes, the same price that was paid in the tender offer (eligible shares exclude (i) shares owned by Kroger, KS Merger Sub Inc. or Roundy’s, (ii) shares held by any subsidiary of Roundy’s or Kroger (other than KS Merger Sub Inc.) and (iii) shares held by Roundy’s stockholders who properly demand appraisal under Delaware law).

Following completion of the merger, Roundy’s shares will cease to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, which is expected to take effect later today.

Kroger, one of the world’s largest retailers, employs more than 422,000 associates who serve customers in 2,774 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 35 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, Mariano’s, Pick ‘n Save, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The company also operates 786 convenience stores, 326 fine jewelry stores, 1,360 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 theBillion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber’s Million Dollar Club.


Kroger Contacts: Media: Keith Dailey (513) 762-1304; Investors: Kate Ward (513) 762-4969

Sonic Corp. will release results for the quarter ended November 30, 2015 after the market close on January 5, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC), the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced that it will release results for the quarter ended November 30, 2015 after the market close on January 5, 2016. The company will host a conference call to review financial results on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, at 5:00 PM ET.

The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing (888) 312-3048 or (719) 457-2648 for international callers. A replay will be available one hour after the call and can be accessed by dialing (877) 870-5176 or (858) 384-5517 for international callers; the conference ID is 3322264. The replay will be available until Tuesday, January 12, 2016. An online replay of the conference call will be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the live broadcast. A link to this event will be available on the investor section of the company’s website,

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


Sonic Corp.

Corey Horsch, 405-225-4800
Vice President, Investor Relations
and Treasurer

Source: Sonic Corp

News Provided by Acquire Media

CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo announced $1.3m donation to support dozens of charities across Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts

CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo announced $1.3m donation to support dozens of charities across Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — At a celebration today recognizing area non-profit organizations supported by the CVS Health Charity Classic, CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo announced that $1.3 million dollars will be donated from the 2015 tournament to support dozens of charities across Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.

In addition, CVS Health announced dates for the 2016 CVS Health Charity Classic, which is scheduled for June 26 – 28 at Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington, R.I.

This year’s donation from the annual golf tournament, which attracts world-class golfers each year and is the largest charitable sporting event in Rhode Island, brings the total amount donated over 17 years to more than $19 million.

“Supporting organizations that make a real difference in the community and provide the support necessary to bring the CVS Health Charity Classic to life is one of the most important ways we give back in our home state,” Merlo said. “We are proud to support the meaningful work being done by these non-profits to provide assistance to those who need it most in the areas of health care, education and social services.”

Merlo, along with Tournament Chairperson Eileen Howard Boone and PGA Tour professionals and CVS Health Charity Classic co-chairs Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon, awarded the donations in front of a crowd that included CVS Health colleagues, many of the awarded non-profits, working charities that volunteer their time during the tournament and CVS Health Charity Classic sponsors.

A number of the CVS Health Charity Classic non-profit partners were on-hand to highlight how the tournament has supported their efforts throughout the year. This included a singing performance by a Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence youth and a speech by Joe Andruzzi, president of the Joe Andruzzi Foundation which supports cancer patients and their families, former New England Patriots player, Super Bowl winner and cancer survivor. “We’re very fortunate for this support from the CVS Health Charity Classic which allows us to provide assistance to more patients and families as they recover from both the physical and financial stresses of a cancer diagnosis,” said Andruzzi. “We’re truly grateful for the support we receive from such a community-minded organization, which gives us the opportunity to financially assist as many families as we can as they go through a difficult time.”

In all, 103 local non-profit organizations across Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts will benefit this year from the CVS Health Charity Classic. These include:

A Wish Come True, Inc.

American Diabetes Association, RI


ALS Rhode Island

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

American Lung Association, Rhode Island

American Heart Association

American Red Cross

Amos House

Arthritis Foundation, RI

Arts Alive! Barrington

Bags of Hope

Boys & Girls Club of Blackstone Valley

Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket

Boys & Girls Club of Taunton

Boys & Girls Club of Warwick

Barrington Community School

Barrington Education Foundation

Barrington Public Library

Barrington Senior Center

Barrington TAPIN

Bayside Family YMCA of Barrington

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State

Blessings in a Backpack

Boston Red Sox Foundation

Boy Scouts of Rhode Island

Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence

Bradley Hospital

Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island

Build Our Kids’ Success (BOKS)

Button Hole Golf

Children’s Friend

Children’s Wishes of Rhode Island

Citizens Scholarship Foundation of Barrington

City Year Providence

College Visions

Community Preparatory School

Crossroads Rhode Island

Day One

Donate Life New England

Easter Seals of Rhode Island

Economic Progress Institute

Families First Rhode Island

Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart and Hope Fund

Gaits of Harmony

Girls on the Run

Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation

Golf Fights Cancer

Habitat for Humanity

Hasbro Children’s Hospital Golf Invitational

Highlander Charter School

Hockomock Area YMCA

Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of RI

Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island

Joe Andruzzi Foundation

John E. Fogarty Foundation

March of Dimes Rhode Island Chapter

Meals on Wheels

Meeting Street

Michael H. Flanagan Foundation

Operation Gratitude

Our Sisters’ School

PASA (Providence After School Alliance)

PeaceLove Studios

Project GOAL

Providence Center Golf Tournament

Providence International Arts

Resilient Kids

Rhode Island Family Shelter

Rhode Island Community Food Bank

Rhode Island Parent Information Network

Richard A. Browning Medical Education Fund

RI Burn Foundation

RI Healthy Schools Coalition


Ronald McDonald House (RI)

Salvation Army Rhode Island

Save The Bay

Serve Rhode Island

Sojourner House

South Shore YMCA

Special Olympics Rhode Island


St. Mary’s Home for Children

Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre

Station Fire Memorial Foundation

The Autism Project

The Learning Center for the Deaf

The San Miguel School Providence

Tides Family Services

Tomorrow Fund

University of Rhode Island Golf Team

VIPS (Volunteers in Providence Schools)

WaterFire Providence

Wolf School

Women’s Center of Rhode Island

Woonsocket Boys & Girls Clubs

Woonsocket Park Renovation

Woonsocket Rotary Days

YMCA of Greater Fall River

Youth Pride, Inc.

“The Charity Classic has always been about great golf and great charities,” said Faxon. “We continue to be proud of the success the tournament has had in improving the lives of so many.”

“As New England natives, Brad and I are so excited that the tournament has been able to donate more than $19 million dollars,” said Andrade. “We have had the opportunity to make a positive impact through our support of local organizations, and thanks to the dedication of many individuals, that impact will be even greater this year.”

For photos and videos from today’s event and updates throughout the year, follow @CVSClassicGolf on Twitter and like CVS Health Charity Classic on Facebook.

About the CVS Health Charity Classic
The CVS Health Charity Classic is Rhode Island’s largest charitable sporting event and hosts some of the best PGA and LPGA professional golfers in the world. Funds generated by the tournament, launched in 1999, are distributed to area nonprofit organizations that provide vital funding to a range of programs serving children, families and people in transition throughout Southeastern New England.

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 7,900 retail drugstores, more than 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at

Media Contacts

Mary Alfieri, CVS Health
(401) 770-9811

Dawn Ratte, (add)ventures
(401) 580-9597

SOURCE CVS Health Charity Classic

Retailers estimate that 3.5 percent of their holiday returns this year will be fraudulent – NRF Return Fraud Survey

WASHINGTON, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Retail fraud comes in many shapes and sizes and is especially rampant during the holiday season when online and in-store traffic grows significantly. One of the biggest issues throughout the holiday season: return fraud. According to NRF’s latest Return Fraud Survey, retailers estimate that 3.5 percent of their holiday returns this year will be fraudulent, up slightly from the estimated 3 percent reported last year. Holiday return fraud is expected to cost retailers $2.2 billion, up from approximately $1.9 billion last year.

Retailers surveyed estimate that total annual returns will reach $260.5 billion, or 8 percent of total retail sales, with $9.1 billion of retailers’ annual returns expected to be fraudulent, or 3.5 percent of the industry’s total returns.

“Return fraud remains a critical issue for retailers with the impact spanning far and wide, in-store and online,” said NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca. “While technology has played a significant role in deterring many in-person fraudulent transactions that would have otherwise gone unseen, there is little that can be done to prevent a determined criminal who will find a loophole one way or another. When it comes to retail fraud, retailers can build taller walls, but criminals continue to find taller ladders.”

When it comes to specific instances of return fraud, one problem stands out as the biggest offender: nine in 10 retailers surveyed (91.9%) said they have experienced the return of stolen merchandise, similar to last year’s 92.7 percent. Wardrobing, or the return of used, non-defective merchandise, also presents a unique challenge year after year for retailers: three-quarters (72.6%) of those polled said they have experienced wardrobing in past year, on par with last year’s 72.7 percent.

The report does offer a glimmer of optimism though. According to the survey, fewer retailers in 2015 have experienced specific instances of return fraud, including:

  • 75.8 percent have experienced the return of merchandise purchased on fraudulent tender, down from 81.8 percent in 2014;
  • 71 percent have experienced return fraud made by known organized retail crime groups, down from 78.2 percent last year;
  • 77.4 percent of retailers surveyed have experienced employee return fraud or collusion with external forces, down from 81.8 percent in 2014.

Given the growing use of e-receipts by retailers, the survey found a likely connection to fraud in this area. The survey found one-third (33.9%) of those polled said they have experienced return fraud with use of e-receipts, up from 18.2 percent last year.

“Retailers have the difficult task of providing superior customer service by always giving the benefit of the doubt to their shoppers when it comes to returns, while simultaneously working to make sure they protect their business assets,” continued Moraca. “We expect retailers to continue their tried and true ways of combating fraud through increased usage of identification verification, as well as seeking new and innovative approaches on the back end.”

Additional findings:

  • Three in 10 (30%) surveyed said they have seen an increase in fraudulent purchases made with cash, while six in 10 (60.7%) have seen an increase in the use of gift card/merchandise credit return fraud.
  • Eight in 10 retailers surveyed (85.2%) said they require identification when making a return without a receipt, up from 70.9 percent last year.
  • Retailers surveyed said they estimate 10 percent of returns made without a receipt are fraudulent, up from an estimated 5 percent who said so last year. Just 1 percent of purchases made online and returned to stores are suspected to be fraudulent.

* NRF has revised its methodology for this report to use median data rather than averages, thus estimates from previous reports are no longer comparable. The data represented in this survey compares the median averages for both 2014 and 2015. 

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

NRF welcomes Congress’s final passage of a wide-ranging spending and tax-relief package

WASHINGTON, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today welcomed final passage by Congress of a wide-ranging spending and tax-relief package, citing provisions that would delay onerous portions of Obamacare, make it easier for businesses to share cyber threats, and renew tax law that helps retailers create jobs while laying the groundwork for comprehensive tax reform.

“Congress has finally taken away the threat of a government shutdown that has threatened our nation’s economy the past few months, and given both consumers and businesses some certainty on what to expect in the future,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “In addition to funding the government, this legislation is the first step toward fundamental tax reform that our economy so urgently needs.”

“Retailers are pleased to be getting relief from provisions of the Affordable Care Act that would have driven up the cost of health insurance and made it harder for families to get good coverage,” French said. “Employers should not be penalized for providing generous benefits to their employees, and this delay is a step toward righting that wrong.”

Congress completed work today on an omnibus spending bill and the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, or PATH, which would extend more than 50 tax provisions that expired at the end of 2014.

“Making permanent many important tax provisions gives our companies the certainty they need to plan investments, and we believe this will greatly increase investments by our industry” French wrote in a letter to congressional leadership.

The package would make permanent a provision that allows retailers to depreciate remodeling and other improvements to their stores over 15 years rather than the previous standard of 39 years. The provision, which also applies to restaurants, is important because retailers typically remodel every five to seven years. In addition to helping keep stores attractive to customers and profitable, the remodeling work creates tens of thousands of construction jobs each year.

A separate provision that allows 50 percent of the cost of improvements to be written off under “bonus deprecation” would be extended for five years, and would be expanded to cover stores and restaurants that are owned rather than just those that are leased.

Section 179 expensing, which determines the amount of an investment a small business is allowed to write off entirely in the first year rather than being depreciated over multiple years, would be made permanent and its level would be increased.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which gives retailers a tax incentive to hire the disabled, welfare recipients and other economically challenged individuals, would be renewed for five years.

By sorting out which provisions should be made permanent, which should be extended for a short time and which should be phased out, French said the tax relief measure “will be a stepping stone to more fundamental tax reform that provides U.S. businesses with a more competitive tax rate, increases investment in the United States, increases wages in the United States, and helps the consumer.”

Between the two bills, the Affordable Care Act’s so-called Cadillac Tax on high-value health insurance plans and a tax on medical devices would be delayed for two years, along with a one-year delay in a health insurance tax.

Also included is language protecting businesses from liability when they share information about cyber threats with the government.

“Sharing information on cyber threats will create an atmosphere of community vigilance that will ensure that consumer’s sensitive data is kept safe,” French said.

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

SOURCE: National Retail Federation

Robin Roberts
(855) NRF-Press

US Foods announces the winners of its annual vendor recognition awards

Categories Include Innovation, Center of the Plate, Easy to do Business With and More

Rosemont, Ill., 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — US Foods, one of America’s most innovative food companies and leading distributors, announces the winners of its annual vendor recognition awards. US Foods vendor partners share the company’s belief in Great Food. Made Easy. and consistently provide best-in-class service and innovative ideas.

“These vendors are critical to our mission of providing the highest quality products and business solutions to more than 250,000 customers around the country,” said Steve Guberman, chief merchandising officer, US Foods. “Congratulations to the winning companies, who excel in all the qualities that are important to us and most importantly, our customers.”

As in years past, vendor companies were recognized for their superior performance in the following categories: Innovation, Easy To Do Business With, and four product categories, Center of the Plate, Grocery, Non-Foods and Produce.  Seven companies were honored:

Innovation Award: ARYZTA has consistently provided US Foods with cutting-edge solutions. Whether it’s introducing the Croissant Donut to broadline distribution or a cinnamon roll with five centers, their committment to innovation is evident. We honor their continued creativity and commitment to joining US Foods in transforming the foodservice industry.

Easy to do Business With Award: tie between Strauss and Sugar Foods.  A valued partner to US Foods for more than 20 years, Strauss embodies the principle of “Easy” when it comes to vendor relationships, and Sugar Foods has delivered consistently high service in this highly collaborative partnership.  We appreciate that these vendors embrace our values while raising the bar every year to provide a competitive and “Easy” advantage for our business.

Center of the Plate Award: Butterball has proven itself to be a leader in poultry innovation and stepped up in an impressive way during a difficult time in the poultry industry this year, due to the Avian Influenza epidemic.

Grocery Award: From sugar and spice to butter and eggs, grocery products play a significant role in an operator’s menu.  Winona Foods provides competitive pricing, ranks top of class in FSQA compliance and maintains a strong focus on product development and innovation.

Non-Foods Award: Although food is so often the focus at US Foods, our key vendors of disposable products, such as this year’s winner Team 3 Group Limited, also play a vital role in customers’ operations.

Produce Award: Mann Packing Company has been a leader in innovation, continuously sustaining a full pipeline of great products, including the ever-popular Cross Valley Farms Superfood Slaw. They have supported US Foods in every aspect of the business, from on-the-ground support at the local level to strategic logistics solutions.

“Congratulations to all our vendors nominated for their daily contributions and hard work,” said Guberman. “Together we will continue to make it easy to do business with US Foods and build even more value for our customers.”

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

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

SOURCE: US Foods, Inc.

US Foods to acquire family owned Dierks Waukesha in Waukesha, Wisconsin

With an expanded footprint, the company will now bring its differentiated products and business solutions to more independent restaurants throughout Wisconsin

Rosemont, Ill., 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — US Foods, one of the country’s most innovative food companies and leading distributors, today announced it has agreed to acquire Dierks Waukesha in Waukesha, Wis. This acquisition underscores the company’s commitment to growth and mergers and acquisitions as a key path to continued growth. With this acquisition, US Foods substantially strengthens its presence in the Upper Midwest.

Family owned for three generations, Dierks Waukesha serves more than 3,500 customers throughout Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Upper Michigan, and Eastern Minnesota from fine dining restaurants and caterers to schools and institutional organizations. Known as “The Fresh Guys,” the Dierks name has become synonymous with providing the freshest center of the plate items, produce and vegetables in the area. With approximately $120 million in annual sales, Dierks is one of the leading independent foodservice distributors in the region.

“Dierks has been a top foodservice provider for restaurants throughout the area since 1963 and you don’t stay in business that long without doing things right,” said Russell Scott, Midwest region president, US Foods.  “We are excited to build on the great reputation of Dierks and introduce its customers to the innovative products and best-in-class marketing, technology and business solutions that have made US Foods an industry leader.”

US Foods will service customers throughout the region from both its distribution center in Menomonee Falls, Wis. and the Dierks distribution center in Waukesha. The Dierks employees will be joining US Foods and will continue servicing customers throughout the area.

“We are excited to welcome the very talented Dierks team to the US Foods family,” said Pietro Satriano, president and CEO, US Foods. “The addition of this great team and the new distribution center will allow us to better serve our customers throughout the area and positions us for continued growth throughout the region.”

Thomas Muehl, one of the owners of Dierks, and Kevin Musser, CEO of Dierks, will also be joining US Foods.  Both will play integral roles in the transition of the business so that it is as seamless as possible for customers.

“US Foods has a lot to offer both our customers and our employees,” said Muehl. “I’m excited that the Dierks team will now be a part of this great company and for our customers to gain access to the expanded offering from US Foods that is sure to help them be even more successful.”

The transaction is expected to close on December 31, 2015.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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

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

X5 Retail Group now with 7,000 stores in Russia

Krasnodar, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — X5 Retail Group (“X5” or the “Company”), a leading Russian food retailer (LSE ticker: “FIVE”), announces the opening of its 7,000th store in Russia and a more than 1.5x year-on-year increase in the expansion rate of its retail chains. Since the beginning of the year, X5 has opened more than 1,500 Pyaterochka, Perekrestok and Karusel stores, compared to 939 new stores in 2014.

Igor Shekhterman, X5 Retail Group CEO, said:

“In 2015 we significantly accelerated organic growth rates, and are proud to open our 7,000th store today. By expanding the Company’s geographic presence, we maintain our focus on creating the best value offer for customers while developing ties with Russian suppliers.”

X5’s 7,000th store is a Pyaterochka in Krasnodar (65 Rossiyskaya St.). This is the second time this year that a new Pyaterochka has been opened as a “milestone store”. In late March, X5 opened a new Pyaterochka in Lyubertsy, marking the Group’s 5,555th store. In July 2015, X5 opened its 6,000th location, a Perekrestok store on Bolshaya Dorogomilovskaya St., Moscow; in November 2015, the Group launched its 6,555th facility, a Karusel hypermarket in Nevinnomyssk (Stavropol region).

The new Pyaterochka store opened today will have an assortment of over 4,000 SKUs, and 35% of this falls into fresh categories. The store’s total area is over 600 sq m, in line with the new Pyaterochka concept launched in October 2013. The new concept has already been rolled out at over 60% of Pyaterochka stores.

Yea-to-date, X5 has opened more than 1,500 stores in Russia, creating over 14,500 new jobs. Significant growth in X5’s retail chains has also increased sales opportunities for Russian suppliers, whose share in the product mix offered by Х5 retail chains exceeds 90%.

Note to Editors:
X5 Retail Group N.V. (LSE: FIVE, Fitch – ‘BB’, Moody’s – ‘Ba3’, S&P – ‘BB-’) is a leading Russian food retailer. The Company operates several retail formats: the chain of proximity stores under the Pyaterochka brand, the supermarket chain under the Perekrestok brand, the hypermarket chain under the Karusel brand and Express convenience stores under various brands.

As of 30 September 2015, X5 had 6,512 Company-operated stores. It has the leading market position in both Moscow and St. Petersburg and a significant presence in the European part of Russia. Its store base includes 5,795 Pyaterochka proximity stores, 451 Perekrestok supermarkets, 84 Karusel hypermarkets and 182 convenience stores. The Company operates 34 DCs and 1,393 Company-owned trucks across the Russian Federation.

For the full year 2014, revenue totaled RUB 633,873 mln (USD 16,498 mln), EBITDA reached RUB 45,860 mln (USD 1,194 mln), and profit for the period amounted to RUB 12,691 mln (USD 330 mln). In 9M 2015, revenue totaled RUB 578,701 mln (USD 9,763 mln), EBITDA reached RUB 41,780 mln (USD 705 mln), and net income amounted to RUB 12,084 mln (USD 204 mln).

X5’s Shareholder structure is as follows: Alfa Group – 47.86%, founders of Pyaterochka – 14.43%, X5 Directors – 0.05%, treasury shares – 0.02%, free float – 37.64%.

For further details please contact
Maxim Novikov
Head of Investor Relations
Tel.: +7 (495) 502-9783

Whole Foods Market to open its 21st Colorado location in Longmont in December 2016

LONGMONT, Colo., 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market today announced plans to open its 21st Colorado location, in Longmont in December 2016.

The Longmont store is in development at the corner of South Hover Road and Ken Pratt Boulevard. The updated timeline is aligned with Whole Foods Market’s plan to increase square footage at a more moderate pace, as detailed on the company’s fourth quarter earnings conference call held Nov. 5.

“We continue to grow and evolve at Whole Foods Market,” said Heather Larrabee, executive marketing coordinator for Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain Region. “Our company mission and commitment to quality, transparency and value are as strong today as they have ever been. We deeply care about our customers and the communities we serve and are thrilled to be part of the vibrant growth underway in Longmont. We look forward to bringing the highest quality natural and organic products, the best grocery shopping experience, and value to customers coming to Village at the Peaks. We appreciate the community’s patience and can’t wait to open this store!”

Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain Region has experienced rapid growth since 2007, growing from nine to 34 stores serving shoppers across Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico and Utah, with additional stores slated for Kansas City, Mo., and El Paso, Texas, in the next 24 months.

“Scaling the business so quickly, along with evolving to meet customer needs in the face of competition, presents a fresh opportunity to focus on how we can do things better to create the kind of experience customers expect from us, and we embrace that,” said Bill Jordan, president of Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain Region. “Whole Foods Market understands that customers are the lifeblood of our success. It’s important to me that we focus on the fundamentals, so that when our guests come in to see us in Boulder, Denver, Ft. Collins, and elsewhere, they experience something truly special. We are 100 percent committed to the Longmont community and are excited to open our doors next December.”

Each Whole Foods Market store is custom created for the community it serves – from store design to product selection—no two stores are alike. The new Longmont location will feature custom interior design unlike any other Whole Foods Market in the U.S. Shoppers will find Whole Foods Market’s value-priced fresh and organic produce, thousands of locally sourced products, meat and seafood cut fresh in-house by butchers and fishmongers daily, including local meat raised in Colorado. The store is expected to also offer expansive grocery, bulk and pantry products, along with a coffee and fresh juice bar, a bakery and extensive prepared foods/deli department with in-house-made sandwiches, burritos, pizzas, rotisserie chickens, soup and salad bars, and deli fare to go. The Longmont location will cater to active Front Range residents with a lifestyle department focused on exercise, health and wellness supplements, apparel, and more. When opened, the store is expected to create more than 100 new jobs in Longmont.

For more information about the store’s development please visit Whole Foods Market’s newsroom.


Bill Jordan
President – Rocky Mountain Region

Bill Jordan has worked in the natural foods industry since 1985. Bill grew up in Southern California and began working as a courtesy clerk at Mrs. Gooch’s, a business Whole Foods Market acquired in 1993.

SOURCE: Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market’s product experts pinpoint 10 top food trends to watch in 2016

Whole Foods Market’s product experts pinpoint 10 top food trends to watch in 2016

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Drawing on more than 100 years of combined industry experience, Whole Foods Market’s product experts have pinpointed 10 top food trends to watch in 2016. From “old-world” ingredients and new vino vehicles to emerging flavors and sourcing trends, this year’s forecast covers a lot of ground:

  • Uncommon meat and seafood — Lesser-known meat and seafood options are making their way from restaurant menus and local obscurity into mainstream American kitchens. Thanks to heightened awareness around food waste, renewed interest in artisan butchers and a host of other factors, once-overlooked cuts like sirloin top, pork T-bone chop and Denver steaks are becoming fair game for at-home cooks. Offbeat – and more sustainable – seafood species like Responsibly Farmed Paiche and wild-caught blue catfish are also making a dinnertime debut, easing pressure on popular picks like salmon, tuna and shrimp.
  • Wine in a can — As American wine drinkers become an increasingly young, diverse and playful bunch, winemakers are taking note. Options that provide accessibility and convenience without trading quality, will continue to gain traction. Cue the aluminum can – a portable, easy-to-chill option that’s well suited for single servings and active, outdoor lifestyles. And with choices like Infinite Monkey Theorem and Presto Sparkling wine (coming soon to Whole Foods Market), today’s pop-tops are the new popped-cork.
  • Plant-based everything — Plants are playing a meatier role in a surprising number of products, and not just for vegan and vegetarian alternatives. This year’s plant-forward movement will be all about harnessing the power of plants – from quinoa protein in hair care products to vitamin-rich veggies in frozen dessert pops. Look out for Whole Foods Market’s™ 97 percent plant-derived hair care line, Kite Hill nut-based cheeses and 365 Everyday Value Fruit & Veggie Bars.
  • Culture Craze: Fermented foods and probiotics — Whether shoppers are seeking gut health or go-for-it flavor, fermented foods and probiotics are growing like good bacteria – and they’re not just for hippies anymore. Fiery picks like kimchi and gochujang will continue to gain steam, while innovative options like chiogga beet kraut and non-dairy tonics will add variety.
  • Non-GMO-fed verified products — As shoppers demand more transparency in their food, the non-GMO movement will continue to gain momentum. Whole Foods Market currently offers more than 11,000 non-GMO verified choices and 25,000 organic options, with even more in the pipeline. Growth and innovation in the animal protein category will be especially strong, thanks to the recent development and approval of non-GMO verification methods for animal feed. Non-GMO-fed verified fresh eggs, chicken, pork and even sausages from brands like Fork in the Road will be worth watching.
  • Graze Craze: Grass-fed 2.0 — With new grass-fed products– from milk, eggs, yogurt, butter and cheese options to packaged meat snacks and even protein powders – sprouting up across the store, grass-fed has proven it’s no longer a niche category for health fanatics or Paleo devotees. Brands to keep an eye on include Sweet Red Cheddar, Maple Hill Creamery, Organic Valley, Kerrygold, and meat-based snack makers EPIC and TANKA.
  • Dried and true: dehydrated foods — Gone are the days of empty-calorie snacking. Today’s shoppers are trading up for healthier, whole-food based snacks with simple, quality ingredients. Unlike the kale chip craze of years past, 2016’s dehydrated trend takes it to new heights – from dehydrated broccoli, Brussels sprout and parsnip chips to sophisticated salmon, bison and chicken jerkies with grown-up flavor combinations. On-trend products include veggie options from Brad’s Raw Foods, Wildbrine Kimchi Crisps and new made-in-house meat jerky at Whole Foods Market.
  • Heirloom ingredients beyond the tomato — Heirloom ingredients are making a comeback and not just in the produce aisle. Prized for flavors and traits that have been preserved for centuries, these “old-world” edibles are popping up in all kinds of packaged goods. Tiny But Mighty Heirloom Popcorn, Madécasse Chocolate made with heirloom cocoa and Seely’s Mint Patties made with heirloom black mitcham peppermint are just a few examples of trending products.
  • Alternative and wheat-free flours — “Alternative flours” are not so alternative anymore. People are going nuts for gluten-free flours made from legumes, ancient grains, teff, amaranth and, well, nuts. Chickpea flour is a quick riser, while other legume-based flours are showing up in bean-based pastas and other packaged goods.
  • ‘Old World’ flavor adventures — “Old World” flavors with a twist continue to see significant gains, especially Far East flavors from Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia, as well as Middle Eastern ingredients. On-trend products include Saffron Road Korean Tacos, 365 Everyday Value Organic Sweet Sabi Mustard (coming soon) and 365 Everyday Value Organic Thai Curry Cashews.

This year’s predictions came from Whole Foods Market’s experts and industry leaders, who source items and lead trends across the retailer’s cheese, grocery, meat, seafood, prepared foods, produce and personal care departments, and spot trends for the grocer’s more than 430 stores. For interviews with Whole Foods Market’s experts, or to learn more about their 2016 predictions, contact

SOURCE: Whole Foods Market.