Starbucks celebrated its 15th year in Hong Kong with the opening of new Starbucks Reserve™ store

HONG KONG, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The perfect blend of coffee and creativity can now be found at Starbucks.

Recently, Starbucks commemorated its 15th year in Hong Kong with the opening of a new Starbucks Reserve™ store. The 4,500-square-foot Gala Place store is located in the Kowloon district of Mong Kok and features the work of local artists as the backdrop for brewing coffee from the finest coffee beans.

“Our success relies on the efforts of our partners and the support from our customers,” said Norbert Tan, executive director, Starbucks Hong Kong and Macau. “We are very excited about the opening of the Gala Place Starbucks store, which marks a new chapter for Starbucks Hong Kong.”

Providing Exceptional Options

Inside Gala Place, customers will find a Starbucks Reserve™ Coffee Experience Bar with an open layout, designed for a more personal and inclusive customer experience. Twenty coffee masters from Starbucks stores across Hong Kong were selected to work behind the bar, including Suki Lo, Starbucks Hong Kong Barista Champion 2015.

“I am honored to work alongside such talented and experienced partners,” said Lo. “I have the privilege of doing what I love every day – creating coffee and interacting with enthusiastic customers.”

“Gala Place showcases ultra-premium coffees brewed with the rarest and finest Starbucks Reserve™ coffee beans,” said Tan. “The open design of the bar lets customers enjoy first-hand the experience of coffee brewed by our coffee masters.”

The store’s elite group of baristas introduce customers to new brewing methods, including the Siphon, which produces a light, almost tea-like coffee, and the Black Eagle espresso machine, which helps deliver Starbucks signature handcrafted beverages. To pair with the coffee and espresso drinks, the Gala Place store features the new Custard Cream Croissant in three signature flavors: Mango Yogurt, Very Berry and Crispy Chocolate.

A Creative Touch

Interior design at the Gala Place store incorporates the work of local urban street artists Bao Ho and Stern Rockwell. A street artist who specializes in murals and illustration, Ho is also the champion of the Hong Kong Secret Walls Contest, a competition of live art “battles.” Stern’s designs are famous for showcasing emotions, facial expressions and lifestyles in artistic forms.

Other design elements include Mong Kok-inspired stencils and posters that reflect the style of the neighborhood. A beaming neon light crafted in the image of the signature Reserve™ logo is mounted on the store’s wall and is now a hallmark of the Kowloon district.

Local artists and art lovers will have an opportunity to showcase their talents in what’s known as the store’s Community Corner. In this creative space, complete with audio and visual equipment, customers will enjoy live art performances.

“We hope the new, unique store can elevate the local art scene, showcase our pride for the city and become a place that connects our customers to local culture,” said Tan.

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

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation

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Starbucks celebrated its 15th year in Hong Kong with the opening of new Starbucks Reserve™ store

Starbucks celebrated its 15th year in Hong Kong with the opening of new Starbucks Reserve™ store

Walgreens Boots Alliance announces financial results for the first quarter 2016 that ended 30 November 2015

  • Adjusted first quarter net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance per diluted share increase 32.1 percent to $1.03 compared with the year-ago period; GAAP net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance per diluted share increase 13.5 percent to $1.01
  • Adjusted first quarter net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance increase 51.1 percent to $1.1 billion compared with the year-ago period; GAAP net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance increase 30.6 percent to $1.1 billion
  • GAAP operating cash flow totals $732 million in the quarter, while free cash flow totals $392 million
  • Company raises by 5 cents per share its low end of guidance for fiscal year 2016 anticipated adjusted net earnings per diluted share attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance to $4.30 to $4.55

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) today announced financial results for the first quarter 2016 that ended 30 November 2015.

Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina said, “The year has started with a comparatively strong first quarter, as we expected. Our ongoing work to control costs across Walgreens Boots Alliance and improve adjusted operating income margins is growing earnings overall. Although it is early in the year, we are on track to deliver against our expectations.

“The work to renew and update our businesses, in order to meet the opportunities and challenges of our ever-changing markets, is a core strength that we must embrace as routine across our enterprise. Our ability to deploy tools and strategies that address these dynamics, generating continued growth across Walgreens Boots Alliance, and the commitment I see from our team give me confidence that we will deliver what we have signaled for 2016 and beyond.”

Overview of First Quarter Results

Fiscal 2016 first quarter net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance determined in accordance with GAAP increased 30.6 percent to $1.1 billion compared with the same quarter a year ago, while GAAP net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance per diluted share increased 13.5 percent to $1.01 compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Adjusted fiscal 2016 first quarter net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance1 increased 51.1 percent to $1.1 billion compared with the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance per diluted share for the quarter increased 32.1 percent to $1.03 compared with the same quarter a year ago. Fiscal 2016 first quarter earnings adjustments were a net increase to GAAP net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance of $22 million or 2 cents per diluted share.

Net sales in the first quarter increased 48.5 percent to $29.0 billion compared with the same quarter a year ago, largely due to the inclusion of Alliance Boots consolidated results.

Combined net synergies in the fiscal 2016 first quarter were $288 million. The company continues to expect to reach at least $1.0 billion in combined net synergies in fiscal 2016 relating to the strategic combination with Alliance Boots. This excludes the synergy benefits related to the company’s strategic, long-term relationship with AmerisourceBergen, the benefits of refinancing the legacy Alliance Boots indebtedness at a lower cost and the proposed Rite Aid acquisition.

Walgreens Boots Alliance GAAP operating cash flow totaled $732 million in the first quarter, while the company generated free cash flow of $392 million in the quarter.

Rite Aid Acquisition

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s proposed acquisition of Rite Aid Corporation is progressing as planned. The transaction, which was announced 27 October 2015, is subject to the approval of Rite Aid’s stockholders, the expiration or termination of applicable waiting periods under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, and other customary closing conditions.

Rite Aid has scheduled a special meeting of its stockholders for 4 February 2016 to, among other things, consider and vote on a proposal to approve the Agreement and Plan of Merger related to the proposed acquisition.

As a standard part of the regulatory process in connection with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) review, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid last month each received, as expected, a request for additional information from the FTC in connection with the proposed acquisition.

Walgreens Boots Alliance continues to expect the transaction to close in the second half of calendar 2016.

The company’s integration planning continues. In addition, in connection with the acquisition, the company last month completed the placement of $5 billion term loan facilities and the syndication of a new $7.8 billion bridge facility. These new facilities replaced the company’s previously reported $12.8 billion bridge facility commitment. Drawing under the facilities is subject to the closing of the acquisition.

Company Outlook

The company is raising by 5 cents per share its low end of guidance for fiscal year 2016 anticipated adjusted net earnings per diluted share attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance to $4.30 to $4.55.

This guidance continues to assume no material accretion from the proposed acquisition of Rite Aid.

Business Segment Highlights

Retail Pharmacy USA:

The Retail Pharmacy USA division, whose principal retail pharmacy brands are Walgreens and Duane Reade, had first quarter total sales of $20.4 billion, an increase of 4.2 percent over the year-ago quarter. Sales in comparable stores increased 5.8 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Pharmacy sales, which accounted for 68.4 percent of division total sales in the quarter, increased 6.7 percent compared with the year-ago quarter, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 9.3 percent. The company attributed the increase in pharmacy sales in part to growth in Medicare Part D and an increase in focus on pharmacy customer care.

The division filled 231 million prescriptions (including immunizations) adjusted to 30-day equivalents in the quarter, an increase of 4.1 percent over last year’s first quarter, while the reported incidence of flu across the USA declined 10.7 percent compared with the year-ago quarter, according to IMS Health. Prescriptions filled in comparable stores increased 4.7 percent compared with the same quarter last year. The division’s retail prescription market share on a 30-day adjusted basis in the first quarter increased approximately 20 basis points over the year-ago quarter to 19.2 percent, as reported by IMS Health. Walgreens new U.S. fulfillment agreements with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., announced on 15 December 2015, are expected to enhance the division’s pharmacy market share growth as the agreements are rolled out in calendar 2016.

Comparable retail sales decreased 0.6 percent in the first quarter primarily due to a reduction in unprofitable promotions and the transitioning of seasonal items away from holiday decorations and toward higher quality, giftable items.

Adjusted gross profit dollars for the division grew $143 million to $5.5 billion compared with the same quarter a year ago. At the same time, gross profit margins were negatively impacted, as expected, by lower pharmacy reimbursement rates, an increase in Medicare Part D prescriptions and the mix of specialty medications.

Adjusted first quarter selling, general and administrative expenses in the division decreased by $89 million, or 2.1 percent, compared with the year-ago quarter. The strong cost control resulted from good progress within the division as part of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previously announced $1.5 billion cost transformation program, designed to restructure and invest in the company’s future in a way that is better for customers and simpler for employees, resulting in a faster and more agile company.

The division’s GAAP operating income in the fiscal 2016 first quarter decreased 2.5 percent over the year-ago quarter to $1.0 billion. Adjusted operating income in the first quarter increased 11.2 percent over the year-ago quarter to $1.2 billion.

The fiscal 2016 first quarter for the Retail Pharmacy USA division includes results of operations, the allocation of synergy benefits including Walgreens Boots Alliance Development GmbH (WBAD) and an allocation of combined corporate costs. The fiscal 2015 first quarter included all corporate costs of Walgreen Co., the full consolidated results of WBAD and equity income from Walgreen Co.’s pre-closing 45 percent interest in Alliance Boots. Excluding the impact from Alliance Boots equity income, the division’s adjusted operating income in the first quarter increased 22.9 percent over the year-ago quarter.

Retail Pharmacy International:

The Retail Pharmacy International division, whose principal retail brands are Boots in the UK, Thailand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland and The Netherlands, Benavides in Mexico and Ahumada in Chile, had first quarter total sales of $3.5 billion. On a pro forma constant currency basis, comparable store sales in the first quarter increased 2.2 percent compared with the same period a year ago, with particularly strong growth in Mexico and the Republic of Ireland.

Comparable pharmacy sales increased 3.8 percent in the first quarter compared with last year’s first quarter, driven by good growth in dispensing and pharmacy services in the UK and Mexico.

Comparable retail sales increased 1.3 percent in the quarter compared with the same period a year ago, with strong growth in Ireland. Boots UK also grew due to good performances in retail healthcare and beauty, supported by continued growth in boots.com.

GAAP operating income was $302 million, while adjusted operating income was $315 million.

Pharmaceutical Wholesale:

The Pharmaceutical Wholesale division, which mainly operates under the Alliance Healthcare brand, had first quarter total sales of $5.8 billion. On a pro forma constant currency basis and excluding acquisitions and dispositions, comparable sales increased 3.1 percent compared with the same period a year ago. Sales growth in the quarter was particularly strong in Norway, while solid growth continued in Germany and Turkey, two of the division’s largest markets.

GAAP operating income was $143 million, while adjusted operating income was $166 million.

Comparability of Results

Walgreens Boots Alliance has organized its operations and reports results in three segments: Retail Pharmacy USA, Retail Pharmacy International and Pharmaceutical Wholesale. Segmental reporting includes the allocation of synergy benefits, including WBAD’s results, and the combined corporate costs for periods subsequent to 31 December 2014. The company has determined that it is impracticable to allocate historical results to the current segmental presentation.

Following the combination, the company eliminated the three-month reporting lag and recast prior period results with no lag. The combination on 31 December 2014 also means fiscal year 2015 reporting includes the results of Alliance Boots for eight months (January through August 2015) on a fully consolidated basis and four months (September through December 2014) as equity income from Walgreen Co.’s pre-closing 45 percent interest.

The company’s balance sheet reflects the full consolidation of Alliance Boots assets and liabilities as a result of the close of the combination on 31 December 2014. The company’s purchase accounting remains preliminary as contemplated by U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and, as a result, there may be upon further review future changes to the value, as well as allocation, of the acquired assets and liabilities, associated amortization expense, goodwill and the gain on the previously held equity interest.

Year-over-year comparisons of results require consideration of the foregoing factors and are not directly comparable.

Conference Call

Walgreens Boots Alliance will hold a one-hour conference call to discuss the first quarter results beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time today, 7 January 2016. The conference call will be simulcast through the Walgreens Boots Alliance investor relations website at: http://investor.walgreensbootsalliance.com. A replay of the conference call will be archived on the website for 12 months after the call.

The replay also will be available from 11:30 a.m. Eastern time, 7 January 2016 through 14 January 2016, by calling 855-859-2056 within the USA and Canada, or 404-537-3406 outside the USA and Canada, using replay code 93731993.

1 Please see the “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” table and accompanying disclosures at the end of this press release for more detailed information regarding non-GAAP financial measures herein, including the items reflected in adjusted net earnings calculations.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:All statements in this release that are not historical including, without limitation, estimates of and goals for future financial and operating performance (including those under “Company Outlook” above), the expected execution and effect of our business strategies, our cost-savings and growth initiatives and restructuring activities and the amounts and timing of their expected impact, and our pending agreement with Rite Aid and the transactions contemplated thereby and their possible effects, are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “expect,” “likely,” “outlook,” “forecast,” “preliminary,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “can,” “will,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “guidance,” “target,” “continue,” “sustain,” “synergy,” “on track,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “may,” “possible,” “assume,” 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 are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to vary materially from those indicated, including, but not limited to, those relating to the impact of private and public third-party payers’ efforts to reduce prescription drug reimbursements, the impact of generic prescription drug inflation, the timing and magnitude of the impact of branded to generic drug conversions, our ability to realize anticipated synergies and achieve anticipated financial, tax and operating results in the amounts and at the times anticipated, supply arrangements including our commercial agreement with AmerisourceBergen Corporation, the arrangements and transactions contemplated by our framework agreement with AmerisourceBergen and their possible effects, the risks associated with equity investments in AmerisourceBergen including whether the warrants to invest in AmerisourceBergen will be exercised and the ramifications thereof, the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination, cross-termination or modification of any ofour contractual obligations, the amount of costs, fees, expenses and charges incurred in connection with strategic transactions, whether the actual costs associated with restructuring activities will exceed estimates, our ability to realize expected savings and benefits from cost-savings initiatives, restructuring activities and acquisitions in the amounts and at the times anticipated, the timing and amount of any impairment or other charges, changes in management’s assumptions, the risks associated with governance and control matters, the ability to retain key personnel, changes in economic and business conditions generally or in the markets in which we participate, changes in financial markets, interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates, the risks associated with international business operations, the risk of unexpected costs, liabilities or delays, changes in vendor, customer and payer relationships and terms, including changes in network participation and reimbursement terms, risks of inflation in the cost of goods, risks associated with the operation and growth of our customer loyalty programs, risks associated with acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and strategic investments, including our ability to satisfy the closing conditions and consummate the pending acquisition of Rite Aid and related financing matters on a timely basis or at all, the risks associated with the integration of complex businesses, subsequent adjustments to preliminary purchase accounting determinations, outcomes of legal and regulatory matters, including with respect to regulatory review and actions in connection with the pending acquisition of Rite Aid, and changes in legislation, regulations or interpretations thereof. These and other risks, assumptions and uncertainties are described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended 31 August 2015, which is incorporated herein by reference, and in other documents that we file or furnish with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 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. Except to the extent required by law, we do not undertake, and expressly disclaim, any duty or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the date of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.

Please refer to the supplemental information presented below for reconciliations of the non-GAAP financial measures used in this release to the most comparable GAAP financial measure and related disclosures.

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 more than 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 www.walgreensbootsalliance.com.

* As at 31 August 2015 including equity method investments

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

Contact(s)

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

SOURCE: Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

Dollar Tree announces the completion of Howard R. Levine’s role in the integration of Family Dollar and Dollar Tree

Gary Philbin Continues to Lead Family Dollar as President & Chief Operating Officer, Reporting to Bob Sasser, Chief Executive Officer of Dollar Tree ~

CHESAPEAKE, Va., 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR), North America’s leading operator of discount variety stores, today announced that Howard R. Levinehas completed his role in the integration of Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, and is stepping down as an officer of the Company effective January 15, 2016.

On July 6, 2015, Dollar Tree completed its acquisition of more than 8,200 Family Dollar stores across 46 states. The Company had previously announced that Mr. Levine would remain with the Company for a period of time to assist with the integration, reporting to, and supporting, Dollar Tree’s Chief Executive Officer, Bob Sasser. Gary Philbin, who was named Family Dollar’s President and Chief Operating Officer in July 2015, will continue leading Family Dollar and will continue reporting to Mr. Sasser.

Bob Sasser, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “It was very important to me for Howard to remain with our company and to contribute to the combination of our two large organizations. He has been an integral leader at Family Dollar for more than two decades, and has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. I would like to commend Howard for his many years of service and leadership at Family Dollar, and to thank him for his partnership during our integration. Howard has completed everything I have asked of him during this process, and has proven to be a valuable resource to both Gary Philbin and me.”

Howard Levine, Family Dollar’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “It has been an honor to serve Family Dollar over the past 25 years. I would like to share my gratitude to many thousands of current and former Family Dollar team members that have helped build Family Dollar into the business it is today, delivering terrific values to millions of customers on a daily basis. I am appreciative for the opportunity to assist Bob and Gary through the integration of our companies. I have been impressed by Dollar Tree’s commitment to discipline and execution in running a value retail business. I am confident that both the Family Dollar and Dollar Tree banners are well-positioned for many years of growth and success.”

Mr. Sasser continued, “I have long-admired the Family Dollar brand. Since Leon Levine opened its first store in Charlotte in 1959, the Company had grown to more than 8,200 stores in 46 states. Howard and his father had a great vision and for more than five decades were committed to creating jobs and delivering values to Family Dollar’s customers and their shareholders. I would like to wish Howard and his family the best for many years to come.”

About Dollar Tree, Inc.

Dollar Tree, a Fortune 500 Company, now operates more than 14,038 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces. Stores currently operate under the brands of Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree Canada, and Deals. To learn more about the Company, visit www.DollarTree.com.

A WARNING ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: Our press release contains “forward-looking statements” as that term is used in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements address future events, developments or results and typically use words such as believe, anticipate, expect, intend, plan, forecast, or estimate. For a discussion of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could affect our future events, developments or results, you should carefully review the “Risk Factors,” “Business,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed March 13, 2015, the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and other sections in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed November 24, 2015 and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We are not obligated to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this press release to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this report and you should not expect us to do so.

Dollar Tree, Inc.
Randy Guiler, 757-321-5284
Vice President, Investor Relations
www.DollarTree.com

Source: Dollar Tree, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

Price Chopper and Market 32’s placed 5th nationwide in Commercial Carrier Journal’s annual “Flashiest Fleets” contest

Schenectady, NY, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Price Chopper and Market 32’s freight fleet continues to turn heads and recently placed 5th nationwide in the Successful Concept category in Commercial Carrier Journal’s annual “Flashiest Fleets” contest.

The series of trailer graphics features colorful close-up images of fresh fruits and vegetables with the tag line, “The Farm Just Got Closer.”

“Price Chopper’s bright trailers are tremendously eye-catching. Each display s simple, yet clear message about the quality of the grocer’s foods,” said Lucas Deal, truck parts and service editor for Commercial Carrier Journal. “They are great examples of how to use equipment as rolling billboards!”

The Price Chopper and Market 32 artwork was one of 30 campaigns that were nominated for the contest, which ran for two weeks in December. Winners were decided by popular vote by the readership of Commercial Carrier Journal.

Commercial Carrier Journal is a multi-channel publication that reaches close to 100,000 subscribers within the freight transport business.

About The Golub Corporation: Based in Schenectady, NY, the Golub Corporation owns and operates 136 Price Chopper and Market 32 grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The American owned, family-managed company prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, leadership in community service, and cooperative employee relations. Golub’s 22,000 teammates collectively own more than 47% of the company’s privately held stock, making it one of the nation’s largest privately held corporations that is predominantly employee-owned. For additional information, visit www.pricechopper.com

Contact:
Mona Golub
Price Chopper
518.379.1480
or
Jonathan Pierce, APR
Pierce Communications
518.427.1186

 

SOURCE: Price Chopper

Toys“R”Us announces same store sales for the five-week and nine-week periods ended January 2, 2016

WAYNE, NJ, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us, Inc. today reported its same store sales for the five-week and nine-week periods ended January 2, 2016.  The five-week period refers to November 29, 2015 to January 2, 2016, as compared to November 30, 2014 to January 3, 2015 in the prior year.  The nine-week period refers to November 1, 2015 to January 2, 2016, as compared to November 2, 2014 to January 3, 2015 in the prior year.

For the five-week and nine-week periods ended January 2, 2016, Consolidated same store sales increased 3.7% and 2.0%, respectively.  These figures exclude the impact of foreign currency translation.

Dave Brandon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc., said, “Our positive holiday same store sales results demonstrate our ability to execute our holiday plan in a highly competitive marketplace.  We successfully maintained a strong in-stock position on the hottest toys while offering customers competitive prices and an extensive merchandise assortment, both in stores and online.  I am pleased with our holiday performance and am extremely proud of the hard work that our team members have put in to deliver an enjoyable shopping experience to our customers.”

Domestic

For the five-week and nine-week periods ended January 2, 2016 same store sales increased 2.9% and 1.4%, respectively, with particular strength in online sales.  The core toy, learning and seasonal categories generated the strongest same store sales growth, partially offset by a decline in the entertainment (which includes electronics, video game hardware and software) category.

International

For the five-week and nine-week periods ended January 2, 2016 same store sales increased 5.1% and 3.1%, respectively.  The positive same store sales results were led by Canada and Japan, partially offset by some softness in Europe.

About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands.  Merchandise is sold in 863 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam, and in more than 755 international stores and over 250 licensed stores in 38 foreign countries and jurisdictions.  In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys at FAO.com.  With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com andBabiesrus.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products.  Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys“R”Us, Inc. has an annual workforce of approximately 66,000 employees worldwide.  The Company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need.  Additional information about Toys“R”Us, Inc. can be found onToysrusinc.com.

# # #

For more information please contact:

Lenders and Note Investors:

Chetan Bhandari, Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance & Treasurer at 973-617-5841 or Chetan.Bhandari@toysrus.com

Media:

Corporate Communications at 973-617-5900 or press@toysrus.com

Whole Foods Market Hawai‘i announces ‘ONO Awards winners

Recognizing Hawai‘i farmers, brewers, ranchers, innovators and producers

HONOLULU, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market Hawai‘i announces the winners of its third annual ‘ONO Awards, created to honor local companies and growers that embody Whole Foods Market’s mission and core values. The awards will be presented in a pau hana ceremony Sunday, Jan. 17, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Maui Brewing Co. in Kihei. The event is open to the public; RSVP at onoawards.eventbrite.com.

“At Whole Foods Market Hawai‘i, we have access to an amazing variety of high quality local products; we celebrate where they come from, how they are made and the impact they have on the planet. The ‘ONO Awards honor the most exceptional of these local farmers, brewers, ranchers, innovators and producers,” said Roger Fawcett, associate coordinator of Hawai‘i purchasing at Whole Foods Market. “We appreciate the many team members, customers and community members who supported these local companies with their ‘ONO Award votes.”

While companies from throughout the islands were nominated, all of this year’s winners are based on Maui.

“The fact that we have a Maui sweep is a real testament to the thriving and exciting local food community there,” said Dabney Gough, metro marketing field team leader at Whole Foods Market’s Kāhala store.

The ‘ONO awards were established in 2012 by Gough as the first local program to recognize Hawai`i growers and producers. To be eligible, products must be grown or produced within the state and carried at Whole Foods Market Hawai`i locations. Categories include: People’s Choice, Team Member Pick of the Year, Innovation, Sustainability, Best New Product, Partner of the Year and Hall of Fame. The People’s Choice award was determined by a two-part nomination and final voting process, which took place via social media channels. Winners in the other categories were selected by the Whole Foods Market Hawai`i team.

“Selling our chili pepper water at Whole Foods Market and being a part of a company that supports local producers is such a blessing,” said Michelle Jones, partner at Two Chicks in a Hammock, winner of the People’s Choice award. “We are so grateful for our amazing customers and supporters, and to Whole Foods Market, for giving us a chance.”

Whole Foods Market has been actively sourcing local products since opening its first store in 1980. In Hawai‘i, Whole Foods Market currently partners with nearly 300 local farmers and producers. In 2015, the stores purchased nearly $12 million in agricultural and value-added products from local farmers and producers. The Hawai‘i team continually seeks additional local products and producers to grow the volume and variety of Hawai`i grown and made products available at Whole Foods Market’s three island stores, and in the company’s stores on the mainland.

For more information, visit Whole Foods Market Kāhala, Kailua, and Maui store pages, or on Twitter @wfmhawaii.

2015 winners:

People’s Choice Award: Two Chicks in a Hammock, maker of Backyard Juice Chili Pepper Water

Selected by the Whole Foods Market online community, from nearly 3,000 nominations

Team Member Pick of the Year: Maui Breadfruit Company, maker of Pono Pies

Selected by Whole Foods Market Hawai‘i team members

Innovation Award: Hawaii Taro Company, maker of Maui Taro Burger

Selected for creativity in product, packaging, or business practices

Sustainability Award: Maui Breadfruit Company, maker of Pono Pies

Selected for practices that preserve the ‘aina, support our local economy, and promote food/product self-sufficiency

Best New Product: Maui Brewing Company Lorenzini Double IPA

Selected for best new product from previous year to date

Partner of the Year: Kumu Farms, grower of papayas, kale, and other produce items

Selected for exemplifying collaborative win-win partnerships outlined in Whole Foods Market’s core values

Hall of Fame: Yee’s Orchard, grower of legendary mangoes

Selected for being a long-standing producer who has made significant contributions to our local food economy

SOURCE: Whole Foods Market

METRO GROUP closes the sale of its Cash & Carry wholesale business in Vietnam to Thailand-based TCC

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO GROUP has closed the transaction of the sale of its Cash & Carry wholesale business in Vietnam to Thailand-based TCC. TCC Land International Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of TCC Holding Co. Ltd., has thereby acquired METRO GROUP’scomplete wholesale operations in Vietnam including all 19 wholesale stores and the related real estate portfolio for an enterprise value of €655 million. This results in a cash inflow of around €400 million. The payment has already been made. The EBIT effect amounting to more than €400 million will be part of the income statement for Q1 2015/16.

“I’m pleased that METRO GROUP and TCC have successfully completed the transaction. We are convinced that this transaction will create long term value for both groups”, said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board METRO AG.”We are confident that the success story of METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam will continue under the experienced hands of TCC and that their extensive businesses in the region will support its further growth. The proven competence of the local management and the transitional support of the METRO GROUP, help ensuring a smooth transition and continuous development of the business. Asia will remain an important growth region for METRO GROUP and we will continue to invest there in the further development of the METRO Cash & Carry business.”

In August 2014, METRO GROUP initially announced its agreement with Berli Jucker Public Company Limited (BJC) to sell its Vietnamese wholesale business. In February 2015, BJC’s majority shareholder TCC replaced BJC as acquirer in the framework of an amended sale and purchase agreement regarding METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam.

METRO GROUP entered the Vietnamese market in 2002 with its cash & carry wholesale business and was at last operating 19 wholesale stores across the country with more than 3,300 employees. METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam generated sales of €507 million in the financial year 2014/15.

Over the years METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam has invested broadly and continuously in the local trade infrastructure and food hygiene and safety. Efforts include training more than 20,000 Vietnamese farmers and fishermen to increase their yield and product safety for the better access to the modern trade and long-term competence. METRO Cash & CarryVietnam’s large market potential will be further tapped by TCC’s expansion ambitions and strong operational expertise.

METRO GROUP is one of the most important international retailing companies. It generated sales of some €59 billion in financial year 2014/15. The company operates at more than 2,000 locations in 30 countries and employs some 230,000 people. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands, which act independently on the market: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry, the international leader in the self-service wholesale trade; Media Markt and Saturn, the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing; and Real hypermarkets.

METRO AG

Corporate Communications
Metro-Straße 1
40235 Düsseldorf, Germany

Phone +49 211 68 86-42 52
Fax +49 211 68 86-20 01
presse@metro.de
www.metrogroup.de

SOURCE: METRO GROUP

Nordstrom Rack to open at The Marketplace at Braintree in Braintree, Massachusetts

SEATTLE, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Seattle-based Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) announced today plans to open Nordstrom Rack at The Marketplace at Braintree in Braintree, Massachusetts. The approximately 35,000-square-foot store, leased from Seritage Growth Properties (NYSE: SRG), is scheduled to open in fall 2016.

Nordstrom Rack at The Marketplace at Braintree will join a diverse group of retailers including Ulta Beauty, Sports Authority, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond and PetSmart. The 351,282-square-foot center is located south of downtown Boston and near main highways including I-93,I-95 and Route 3. Seritage is the fee owner of an existing 108,000-square-foot building at The Marketplace at Braintree that will be redeveloped for multiple national retailers, includingNordstrom Rack, and Ulta Beauty which is already open.

“We’re thankful for the opportunity we’ve had since 2007 to serve customers in the Bostonarea,” said Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack. “Our new location at The Marketplace at Braintree will be more convenient for customers who live and work in the South Shore area, and we look forward to delivering them a great shopping experience.”

The new store, which is situated only two miles from the Nordstrom South Shore Plaza store, will be the sixth Nordstrom Rack in the greater Boston area. Nordstrom also operates four full-line stores in Massachusetts and has been serving customers in the state since 2007 when it opened at Natick Collection in Natick, Massachusetts.

“We are pleased to announce the fifth lease in our portfolio with Nordstrom Rack,” saidBenjamin Schall, Chief Executive Officer and President of Seritage Growth Properties. “WithNordstrom Rack as an anchor, and with additional national retailers to be announced shortly, the Braintree redevelopment serves as a strong example of our ability to repurpose desirable real estate in a value-enhancing way for our shareholders.”

Nordstrom Rack is the off-price retail division of Nordstrom, Inc., offering customers a wide selection of on-trend apparel, accessories and shoes at an everyday savings of 30 to 70 percent off regular prices. The Rack carries merchandise from Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com, as well as specially purchased items from many of the top brands sold at Nordstrom. The Rack is designed to provide the ultimate treasure hunt to style-savvy customers.

About Nordstrom
Nordstrom, Inc. is a leading fashion specialty retailer based in the U.S. Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, today Nordstrom operates 323 stores in 39 states, including 121 full-line stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico; 194 Nordstrom Rack stores; two Jeffrey boutiques; and one clearance store. Additionally, customers are served online through Nordstrom.com, Nordstromrack.com and HauteLook. The company also owns Trunk Club, a personalized clothing service serving customers online at TrunkClub.com and its five clubhouses. Nordstrom, Inc.’s common stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN.

About Seritage
Seritage Growth Properties is a publicly traded, self-administered, self-managed REIT primarily engaged in the real property business through its investment in its operating partnership,Seritage Growth Properties, L.P. Our portfolio contains 235 wholly-owned properties and 31 joint venture properties, consisting of approximately 42 million square feet of building space, which is broadly diversified by location across 49 states and Puerto Rico. Pursuant to a master lease, 224 of our wholly-owned properties are leased to Sears Holdings and are operated under either the Sears or K-Mart brand. The master lease provides Seritage with rights to recapture certain space from Sears Holdings at each property.

For more information, please visit www.seritage.com

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Evans
Nordstrom, Inc.
(206) 303-3036
Dan.Evans@nordstrom.com

Mary Rottler
Seritage Growth Properties
212-355-7800
mrottler@seritage.com

SOURCE Nordstrom, Inc.

Starbucks Corporation announces that Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta Beauty was elected to the Starbucks Board of Directors

SEATTLE, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced that Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA) was elected to the Starbucks Board of Directors on Jan. 4 and she will serve on the Board’s Compensation and Management Development Committee. Dillon brings three decades of experience leading consumer-driven brands to build brand engagement and drive profitable growth.

“Mary shares our desire to deliver shareholder value while embracing the values and guiding principles that serve our people, our customers, and the neighborhoods where we do business, and we are honored to have her join the Starbucks Board of Directors,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo. “Mary’s proven track record for leveraging consumer insights and customer-focused strategies together with her leadership and passion for excellence make her the ideal addition to contribute to our next phase of growth as a company.”

Since Dillon took the helm of Ulta Beauty in June 2013, the company has achieved record sales and earnings. Dillon led Ulta Beauty to 21 percent top-line growth and comparable sales growth of nearly 10 percent for fiscal year 2014.  Ulta Beauty currently operates 875 stores in 48 states and a thriving e-commerce business making it the nation’s largest specialty beauty retailer. Dillon is responsible for an employee base of more than 22,000 full- and part-time employees, 92 percent of whom are women.  In the last two years, Dillon has added 5,380 new jobs, an increase of 30 percent.

“I am delighted to join the Starbucks Board of Directors,” said Dillon. “Starbucks and Ulta Beauty share many attributes: incredibly passionate customers, compelling loyalty programs, exciting growth strategies that put the customer at the center of all we do, and tremendous care for our people. I look forward to working with Howard Schultz, the Starbucks Board and leadership team to contribute to the future success of this great company.”

Prior to joining Ulta Beauty, Dillon served as president and CEO of U.S. Cellular.  During her tenure, U.S. Cellular expanded its product and service offerings and strengthened new channels of distribution, while maintaining industry-leading customer satisfaction levels. Dillon previously served as global chief marketing officer and executive vice president for McDonald’s Corporation, where she led the company’s worldwide marketing efforts and global brand strategy, including a focus on children’s well-being initiatives. Prior to that, she served as president of PepsiCo’s Quaker Foods division.

Dillon serves on the Ulta Beauty Board of Directors and previously served on the Board of Directors for Target Corporation and U.S. Cellular.

Dillon is an active member of the Chicago community and believes strongly in giving back as a mentor to other female business leaders.  She currently serves on the Boards of several non-profits, including the Ounce of Prevention Fund, World Business Chicago, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and Loyola Academy.

Named to Fortune’s Business Person of the Year list (#6) in 2015, Dillon is a proud first-generation college graduate born in Chicago. Dillon received her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and Asian studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dillon has four children, and along with her husband Terry, resides in the Chicago area.

Starbucks also announced the upcoming retirement of Board member Olden Lee, retired executive of PepsiCo, immediately prior to Starbucks 2016 Annual Meeting in March.  Lee has served on the Starbucks Board of Directors since 2003.

For more information on this news release, contact us.

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation

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Starbucks Corporation announces that Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta Beauty was elected to the Starbucks Board of Directors

Starbucks Corporation announces that Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta Beauty was elected to the Starbucks Board of Directors

Argos reports significant rise in sales of dash-cams as drivers cut on insurance

Milton Keynes, UK, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sales of dash-cams are booming as savvy drivers purchase them to get a cut in insurance and protect themselves against the alarming increase of “crash for cash” scams.

A growing number of insurance companies are cutting the cost by 10 per cent or more for those who have a dash cam in their cars as some insurance companies have reported up to 50 per cent of their fraudulent claims are due to deliberate crashes.

Recently, the number of dash cams sold at Argos have increased by 35 per cent month-on-month*. Dash Cams have become affordable with prices starting from £39.99, which has also boosted sales.

Dash-cams can film either the road in front or both ahead and behind. They are wired into the car so they automatically turn on and start recording when the car is started. Cameras can be powered by a cable plugged into the cigarette lighter. Dash-cams have built-in memory and record on a continuous loop, so when the storage is full it will record over the oldest footage.

Argos sat nav buyer Hannah Coy said: “There has been a significant rise in sales of dash cams. Some insurance companies are offering a cut of 10 per cent or more in insurance to those who have a dash cam.

“The huge increase in the number of deliberate crashes has also led to people wanting to protect themselves against scams and to be able to prove their innocence.”

David Ross, Director of Communications at the Chartered Insurance Institute said, “In the absence of independent witnesses establishing responsibility for a car accident, it can be a challenge for insurers.

“The use of dashcams provides useful evidence in apportioning blame and will generally avoid lengthy and protracted negotiations that can delay settlement of a claim – and in many cases add to the costs, both of which impact customers. For this reason insurers are increasingly encouraging drivers to fit dashcams, with a number offering discounts to those customers that do so.”

-ENDS-

 

Notes to Editors:

*Comparing November 2015 to October 2015.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

SOURCE: Home Retail Group

###

Argos reports significant rise in sales of dash-cams as drivers cut on insurance

Argos reports significant rise in sales of dash-cams as drivers cut on insurance

Christian Dior opens its largest boutique in China

PARIS, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dior inaugurated a brand new boutique in China at the end of December 2015. Located in the heart of the Beijing central business district in the China World mall, the boutique is the largest Christian Dior flagship in China, joining a network of 20 plus stores in the country.

Designed by American architect Peter Marino, the two-level store reflects the timeless elegance of Dior, with a double-layer glass façade that emulates the iconic “cannage” motif of the couture house. Inside, the refined atmosphere is enhanced by wall art and designer pieces, part of a curated selection of a dozen contemporary art pieces.

To celebrate the opening of the Dior Beijing China World flagship, the House presented its Spring-Summer 2016 collection at a runway show in a sumptuous blue-hued setting at the Phoenix Center. The show was attended by Christian Dior Couture CEO Sydney Toledano and A-list Chinese celebrities and artists.

SOURCE: LVMH
###

Christian Dior opens its largest boutique in China

© Bakas Algirdas © Dior

Marks and Spencer Group CEO Marc Bollandt to retire in 2016; Steve Rowe to succeed

LONDON, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks and Spencer Group plc today announces that Marc Bolland has informed the Board that, after six years in the role, he wishes to retire as CEO in 2016.

Marc will be succeeded as CEO by Steve Rowe, Executive Director of General Merchandise. Marc Bolland will remain CEO and on the Board until the end of the current financial year on 2 April 2016 when he will hand over to Steve Rowe. Marc will then remain available to Steve and the Board to assist in the transition until 30 June 2016.

In reaching its conclusion to appoint Steve Rowe as the next CEO of Marks and Spencer Group plc, the Nominations Committee set a rigorous assessment, development and selection process, including external benchmarking. The Board is grateful to Marc for his planning, enabling the Nominations Committee to work carefully and systematically on his succession.

Steve Rowe has been with Marks and Spencer Group plc for over 25 years and been a Board Member since 2012. Before joining the Board, Steve worked in a range of senior positions across the business including Director of Retail and E-commerce and various positions in General Merchandise. In 2012 he was appointed by Marc Bolland to the Executive team as Executive Director, Food and was appointed to the Board of Marks and Spencer Group plc. In particularly difficult market conditions Steve led the Food business to produce 12 consecutive quarters of like for like growth, grow its margin and all its key performance metrics, continue its record of outstanding innovation and set out a path for further profitable growth. In July 2015, Steve Rowe was appointed Executive Director, General Merchandise with a mandate to improve the overall performance of that business, building on the improved design and sourcing capabilities.

Robert Swannell, Marks and Spencer Group plc Chairman, said “Over the last six years Marc Bolland has led Marks & Spencer through a period of necessary change. Over this time, the company has made significant investment in enhanced infrastructure and capabilities.

“It is now positioned for a digital age, with its own on-line platform and dedicated e-commerce distribution centre, improved design and sourcing capabilities in General Merchandise and an industry-leading track record of growth and innovation in the Food business.  Marc has put Plan A at the heart of the business and leaves a strong sustainability legacy. The Board is very grateful to Marc for his leadership in this important period of enhancing Marks & Spencer’s competitive position for its future.

“I am delighted that, after the most rigorous succession planning, Marc will be succeeded by Steve Rowe. Steve has a deep knowledge of Marks & Spencer and a proven track record of delivering results in key parts of the business. The Nomination Committee was unanimous in supporting Steve’s appointment in the light of his considerable knowledge of the business and its people, his appetite to continue the process of change, particularly in General Merchandise, his perceptive and effective problem solving, his values and his observed leadership.“

Marc Bolland said “It has been a huge honour to lead one of Britain’s most iconic companies. I am delighted to handover to Steve Rowe as my successor. I have worked closely with Steve for six years and I am convinced that he will be a great leader for Marks & Spencer. I would like to thank all my colleagues and the Board at Marks & Spencer for being so supportive of the drive to prepare M&S for the future. I am proud to leave such a large group of talent behind in the business.”

Steve Rowe said, “It is a great privilege to be appointed CEO of Marks & Spencer and to have the opportunity to lead this unique company and all its people forward.”

Notes to Editors:

Media Conference Call:
This will be hosted by Marc Bolland, Chief Executive Officer at 07.10 on 7th January 2016:
Dial in number: +44 (0) 203 427 1909 Confirmation code: 4047703

A recording of this call will be available until 17th January 2016:
Dial in number: +44 (0)20 3427 0598 Pass code: 4047703

Remuneration:

Steve Rowe:

From 2 April 2016, Steve Rowe will receive a salary of £810,000 on his appointment as Chief Executive Officer. The overall variable incentive opportunity for the Chief Executive role will remain unchanged. All other terms of Steve Rowe’s existing service agreement, including pension allowance, will remain unchanged.

Marc Bolland:

  • The following information is provided in accordance with section 430(2B) of the Companies Act 2006:
  • Marc Bolland’s remuneration terms will be in line with his service agreement and the key provisions for contract termination as per Marks and Spencer Group plc’s Executive Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders in 2014.
  • In line with Marc Bolland’s service agreement, Marc Bolland will receive salary, benefits and pension benefits by way of phased monthly payments (subject to mitigation) up to the end of the notice period of 7 January 2017.
  • Marc Bolland will remain eligible for consideration for payment of an annual bonus for 2015/16, subject to performance.
  • Marc Bolland will not be eligible to participate in the Annual Bonus or Performance Share Plan awards for 2016/17.
  • Any unvested nil-cost options awarded to Marc Bolland under the Deferred Share Bonus Plan will vest in full on termination and may then be exercised in accordance with the Plan rules.
  • Any unvested nil-cost options awarded under the Performance Share Plan will be time pro-rated and will vest, subject to performance conditions on a wait and see basis at the normal vesting date and may then be exercised in accordance with the Plan rules.

Further details of the operation of the Deferred Share Award and Performance Share Plan are set out in the Directors’ Remuneration Report in our Annual Report and Financial Statements 2015. Full disclosure of these remuneration arrangements will be provided in our Directors’ Remuneration Report in 2016.

For further information, please contact:

Investor Relations:
Majda Rainer:+44 (0)20 8718 1563
Helen Cox: +44 (0)20 8718 8491

Media enquiries:
Corporate Press Office:+44 (0)20 8718 1919

– Ends –

Sonic Corp. to present at the 18th Annual ICR Conference on January 13, 2016 in Orlando, FL

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC), the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced that the company will be presenting at the 18th Annual ICR Conference on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes inOrlando, FL. The presentation will begin at 9:30 AM ET.

Investors and interested parties can access the presentation by visiting the Company’s investor relations website at http://ir.sonicdrivein.com/.

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 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 DonorsChoose.org, 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 sonicdrivein.com and please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about SONIC’s Limeades for Learning initiative, please visit Limeadesforlearning.com.

SONC-F

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

Source: Sonic Corp.

News Provided by Acquire Media

DoSomething.org and CVS Health partner with hip-hop duo Kalin and Myles to encourage smokers to quit

DoSomething.org and CVS Health team up with hip-hop duo Kalin and Myles to encourage young people to create and share handmade cards encouraging smokers to quit

NEW YORK, NY, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States[1] and each year, over 68 percent of smokers want to quit[2]. The more support and resources someone has, the more likely they are to successfully quit smoking.[3]

That’s why DoSomething.org, one of the largest organizations for young people and social change, and CVS Health, America’s leading pharmacy company, have teamed up for Quitters Always Win, a national campaign that asks young people to create heartfelt, handmade cards to encourage family, friends and neighbors who smoke to quit as their New Year’s Resolution.

Because quitting smoking is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people attempt to make, and often fail at, Quitters Always Win attempts to provide the extra encouragement and resources that people need to accomplish their goal.

Young people can sign up at DoSomething.org/winner and will receive resources they can include in their card. Young people who sign up and upload a photo of their card will have the chance to win a $5,000 scholarship.

“This campaign is a great way to start the year off right and help people achieve their New Year’s resolution to quit smoking,” said Naomi Hirabayashi, Chief Marketing Officer at DoSomething.org. “Young people love crafting and care about the health of their loved ones. Quitters Always Win gives people who want to quit the extra support they need to help them successfully quit smoking.”

Hip-hop duo Kalin and Myles recorded a public service announcement to encourage their fan base, the KAMFAM, and young people across the country to join the campaign. The duo recently released their self-titled full-length debut album via Republic Records to all digital retailers. Upon release, the album vaulted to the Top 10 of the iTunes Overall Top Albums Chart.

”We’re so excited about this partnership with DoSomething.org to extend our commitment to help people lead tobacco-free lives and reach young people with tobacco-free messaging in unique and relevant ways,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy, CVS Health. “We know that 7 out of 10 people want to quit smoking, and support from friends and family is one of the most important factors in being successful.”

In 2014, CVS Health became the first, and remains the only, national retail pharmacy to eliminate the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products from its stores.

For more information about Quitters Always Win, visit DoSomething.org/winner.

To view the PSA, visit: https://youtu.be/uhcXGfMyeHA

About DoSomething.org
DoSomething.org makes the world suck less. One of the largest global orgs for young people and social change, our 4.7 million members tackle campaigns that impact every cause, from poverty to violence to the environment to literally everything else. Any cause, anytime, anywhere.*mic drop

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,500 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

[1] The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General.’

​[2] Smoking cessation among self-quitters’

[3] Strategies to Help a Smoker Who is Struggling to Quit”,

MEDIA CONTACT

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

 

SOURCE: CVS Health

State of Retailing Online 2016: online sales and traffic is now led by smartphones and not tablets

Washington, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The growing use of smartphones by consumers, a shift in investments by technology companies and continued optimization strategies from retailers has officially landed smartphones on top as a driver of sales and traffic for retail companies. According to the State of Retailing Online 2016, conducted by Shop.org, Forrester Research Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) and Bizrate Insights, mobile as a percentage of both online sales and traffic is now led by smartphones and not tablets.

Specifically, retailers surveyed report smartphone sales accounted for 17 percent of their total online sales in 2015, edging ahead of the 14 percent generated via tablets. Overall, retailers said sales from smartphone devices grew 53 percent over the previous year, while sales from tablet devices grew 32 percent.

According to the report, retailers continue to keep their mobile investments at a more moderate level: 30 percent of those surveyed say they invested less than $10,000 on smartphone platforms in 2015, and 17 percent kept budgets between $10,000 and $50,000. When it comes to tablets, the investments are even smaller. Nearly four in 10 (37%) said they made no additional investment in their tablet offerings in 2015, compared to 18 percent who left smartphones out of their investment plans for 2015; 11 percent of retailers surveyed said they put $10,000 to $50,000 into tablet investments last year.

“Retailers are now recognizing that their customers may not need a bigger, more expansive shopping experience on mobile platforms – they need a consistent, relevant and user-friendly experience that will shape their online and in-store shopping behaviors,” said NRF Senior Vice President and Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “Even with relatively small investments in their mobile initiatives, retailers are seeing tremendous growth in both sales that come from smartphones and the level of customer engagement from mobile across the brand.”

“Retailers are building their mobile platforms with strong customer engagement strategies in mind, allowing their shoppers to easily ‘click and buy’ or research in-store availability,” continued Cantrell. “For today’s consumer, this is all just a part of modern-day shopping; though for retailers, it’s a constant balance of where and how much to invest into the mobile experience and infrastructure.”

That said, the report did find that more mobile investment is on the horizon for retailers. And, it’s clear smartphones are where retailers have earmarked this investment. The survey found that one-third of retailers surveyed plan to grow their smartphone investments more than 20 percent in 2016, and another 34 percent will grow their investments between 1 and 20 percent. One in five (22%) will grow their tablet investment more than 20 percent in 2016.

“It’s the age of the customer and retailers need to be wherever shoppers are when they’re browsing and buying. It’s essential to provide value on those devices and in those moments, which are often in stores,” Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said. “While mobile phones still represent promise, savvy retailers will be leveraging mobile with their customers to positively influence in-store sales as well.”

Tablets growing in importance for store associates

Tablets may ultimately find a bigger purpose in stores, helping store associates provide greater service to customers.

The survey found that of the 36 percent who use mobile devices in stores, one-quarter of those use tablets. Two in five (44%) say their associates use tablets to show additional products not available in stores and four in 10 use the devices to send e-receipts; 23 percent use them to check inventory in warehouses and 21 percent use tablets to check their actual in-store inventory.

Media can request a copy of the complete report by emailing press@nrf.com.

About the State of Retailing Online Report
The State Of Retailing Online research series, which provides eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals with annual industry benchmarks of marketing and business investment and activities, surveyed 195 companies in September and October 2015. Industries surveyed included apparel, footwear, general merchandise, home furnishings, and personal care.

About Forrester Research
Forrester Research is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We work with business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies that drive growth. Forrester’s unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 500,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide, rigorous and objective methodologies, and the shared wisdom of our most innovative clients. Through proprietary research, data, custom consulting, exclusive executive peer groups, and events, the Forrester experience is about a singular and powerful purpose: to challenge the thinking of our clients to help them lead change in their organizations.

About Bizrate Insights
With over 27 million surveys collected annually from over 6,000 retailers worldwide, Bizrate Insights is one of the largest sources of verified customer-generated seller ratings and reviews, helping both retailers and consumers make informed decisions. Bizrate Insights’ solutions cover online and mobile visitors, online and mobile buyers, as well as retail store buyers. Our core solutions are free, allowing retailers of all sizes to build best-in-class customer experiences, gain competitive intelligence, and attract more qualified traffic from top search engines.

About Shop.org
Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world’s leading community for digital retail, offering thought leadership through original research and gold standard events. The community is made up of exclusive networking groups and committees that lead the global conversation surrounding innovative e-commerce trends and digital retail. Shop.org members include some of the world’s largest most respected retail, technology, research, and consulting companies. www.shop.org

Kathy Grannis Allen
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

SOURCE: National Retail Federation

Federal Realty Investment Trust to release fourth quarter and year-end 2015 earnings on February 9, 2016

ROCKVILLE, Md., 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT) will announce fourth quarter and year-end 2015 earnings in a press release to be issued after market close on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.

The conference call for fourth quarter and year-end earnings will take place on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).  Conference call access information is as follows:

Toll Free Number: (877) 445-3230
Pass Code: 20889236

A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST onWednesday, February 10, 2016, through Wednesday, February 17, 2016.  Replay access information is as follows:

Toll Free Number: (855) 859-2056
Pass Code: 20889236

A live on-demand webcast of the conference call will be available on Federal Realty’s web site at www.federalrealty.com.  Please check the company’s web site prior to the call for any materials that may be used during the conference call.  An online playback of the webcast will be available at www.federalrealty.com for 30 days following the conference call.

About Federal Realty:
Federal Realty is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of high-quality retail based properties located primarily in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Bostonas well as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Founded in 1962, our mission is to deliver long term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities where retail demand exceeds supply. Our expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods likeSantana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland and Assembly Rowin Somerville, Massachusetts. These unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working provide a destination experience valued by their respective communities.Federal Realty’s 90 properties include over 2,700 tenants, in approximately 21 million square feet, and over 1500 residential units.

Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 48 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT.  For additional information about Federal Realty and its properties, visit www.FederalRealty.com.

Investor Inquiries  Media Inquiries
Brenda Pomar Andrea Simpson
Investor Relations Director, Marketing
301/998-8316 617/684-1511
bpomar@federalrealty.com  asimpson@federalrealty.com
 

SOURCE Federal Realty Investment Trust

NACS welcomes Greg Levitan as its research coordinator

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Greg Levitan has joined NACS as a research coordinator. In this role, Levitan will help design and distribute the annual NACS Compensation Survey (which provides benchmarking data and standards in key HR categories such as compensation, turnover and benefits), support NACS Shopper Panel research, and deploy and analyze internal surveys that support continuous improvement of NACS events and services.

Levitan previously served as a client information specialist, supporting customer relationship management for VIP guests of the Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts in Las Vegas and Baltimore.

He holds M. Ed in professional studies from Marymount University and a B.S. in hotel administration from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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

For media interviews/comments contact Jeff Lenard.

SOURCE: NACS

Gap Inc. reports net sales for the five-week period ended January 2, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today reported that net sales for the five-week period ended January 2, 2016 decreased 4 percent to $2.01 billion, compared with net sales of $2.10 billion for the five-week period ended January 3, 2015.

On a constant currency basis, December 2015 net sales decreased 3 percent when compared with last year. In calculating the net sales change on a constant currency basis, current year foreign exchange rates are applied to both current year and prior year net sales. This is done to enhance the visibility of underlying sales trends, excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.

“As we bring the holiday season to a close, we look forward to delivering new Spring collections across our brands,” said Sabrina Simmons, chief financial officer of Gap Inc.

December Comparable Sales Results

Gap Inc.’s comparable sales for December 2015 were down 5 percent versus a 1 percent increase last year. Comparable sales by global brand for December 2015 were as follows:

  • Gap Global: negative 2 percent versus negative 5 percent last year
  • Banana Republic Global: negative 9 percent versus flat last year
  • Old Navy Global: negative 7 percent versus positive 8 percent last year

Additional insight into Gap Inc.’s sales performance is available by calling 1-800-GAP-NEWS (1-800-427-6397). International callers may call 706-902-4949. The recording will be available at approximately 1:15 p.m. Pacific Time on January 7, 2016 and available for replay until 1:15 p.m. Pacific Time on January 15, 2016.

January Sales

The company will report January sales at 1:15 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, February 8, 2016.

About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Intermix brands. Fiscal year 2014 net sales were $16.4 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,300 company-operated stores, over 400 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.

Gap Inc. brands, global business and financial inquiries: press@gap.com

SOURCE: Gap Inc.

NGA Best Bagger Championship sponsored by PepsiCo will once again be emceed by Food Network star Duff Goldman

Arlington, VA2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Food Network star, Duff Goldman will once again emcee the National Grocers Association (NGA) Best Bagger Championship, sponsored by PepsiCo, and held at The NGA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada from February 28 – March 1, 2016.

“2016 will be an exciting year for the NGA Best Bagger Championship as we celebrate 30 years of the competition and welcome back Duff as our emcee for this always energetic event,” said Peter J. Larkin, NGA President & CEO. “Having Duff Goldman emcee Best Bagger has brought a new level of awareness and enthusiasm to this long standing program, which features an important element of providing outstanding customer service and is one example of an area in which independent supermarket operators excel.”

“We are excited to be sponsoring NGA’s Best Bagger competition for the fourth year. The Best Bagger event is a great way to support and recognize the importance of independent grocery retailers and wholesalers which are the backbone of their local communities,” said Art Rosenberg, VP of Industry Development, PepsiCo.

The NGA Best Bagger Championship will be held Monday, February 29, from 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. (PST) in the Grand Ballroom at the Mirage Hotel and Casino.

The NGA Best Bagger Championship is the culmination of contests held across North America, in which one contestant who has won their statewide competition is eligible to compete in the championship and vie for “bagging rights.” Nearly 30 baggers will compete for the 2016 Best Bagger Champion title and the grand prize of $10,000. Contestants will be judged by speed of bagging, proper bag-building technique, weight distribution in the bag, as well as style, attitude and appearance.

Duff Goldman graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, with degrees in history and philosophy, and went on to study at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif. He worked at several acclaimed culinary destinations, including the French Laundry, the Vail Cascade Hotel and Todd English’s Olives before returning to Baltimore in 2000 to become a personal chef.

In March 2002, Duff quit his day job and opened Charm City Cakes. There, he was able to show off his creativity, which comes from a long line of artistic genes. The bakery became a household name on the hit Food Network show Ace of Cakes, which aired for 10 seasons. More recently, Duff and his team opened a second bakery location, Charm City Cakes West in Los Angeles.

Registration for The NGA Show is available at www.theNGAshow.com. For more information on the NGA Best Bagger Championship, visit www.bestbagger.com.

Media inquiries: Please email communications@nationalgrocers.org

SOURCE:  National Grocers Association

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NGA Best Bagger Championship sponsored by PepsiCo will once again be emceed by Food Network star Duff Goldman

NGA Best Bagger Championship sponsored by PepsiCo will once again be emceed by Food Network star Duff Goldman

L Brands, Inc. reported net sales of $2.415 billion for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — L Brands, Inc. (NYSE:LB) reported net sales of $2.415 billion for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, 2016, an increase of 9 percent, compared to net sales of $2.207 billion for the five weeks ended Jan. 3, 2015.  Comparable store sales increased 8 percent for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, 2016.

Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and CEO, commented, “We delivered our best December ever.  Victoria’s Secret, PINK and Bath & Body Works are great brands with high emotional content, and our teams worked hard to deliver exceptional merchandise and experiences to our customers.  We remain focused on execution and transitioning to spring with continued momentum.”

The company reported net sales of $11.343 billion for the 48 weeks ended Jan. 2, 2016, an increase of 6 percent compared to net sales of $10.671 billion for the 48 weeks ended Jan. 3, 2015.  Comparable store sales increased 6 percent for the 48 weeks ended Jan. 2, 2016.

To hear further commentary provided on L Brands’ prerecorded December sales message, call 1-866-639-7583 or log onto www.LB.com for an audio replay.

ABOUT L BRANDS:
L Brands, through Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, is an international company.  The company operates 3,010 company-owned specialty stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and its brands are sold in more than 700 additional noncompany-owned locations worldwide.  The company’s products are also available online at www.VictoriasSecret.com, www.BathandBodyWorks.comwww.HenriBendel.com and www.LaSenza.com.

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

L Brands, Inc. cautions that any forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) contained in this press release or the December sales call involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, many of which are beyond our control. Accordingly, our future performance and financial results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any such forward-looking statements. Words such as “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “planned,” “potential” and any similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements. Risks associated with the following factors, among others, in some cases have affected and in the future could affect our financial performance and actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements included in this press release or the December sales call:

  • general economic conditions, consumer confidence, consumer spending patterns and market disruptions including severe weather conditions, natural disasters, health hazards, terrorist activities, financial crises, political crises or other major events, or the prospect of these events;
  • the seasonality of our business;
  • the dependence on a high volume of mall traffic and the availability of suitable store locations on appropriate terms;
  • our ability to grow through new store openings and existing store remodels and expansions;
  • our ability to successfully expand into global markets and related risks;
  • our relationships with independent franchise, license and wholesale partners;
  • our direct channel businesses;
  • our failure to protect our reputation and our brand images;
  • our failure to protect our trade names, trademarks and patents;
  • the highly competitive nature of the retail industry generally and the segments in which we operate particularly;
  • consumer acceptance of our products and our ability to keep up with fashion trends, develop new merchandise and launch new product lines successfully;
  • our ability to source, distribute and sell goods and materials on a global basis, including risks related to:
    • political instability;
    • duties, taxes and other charges;
    • legal and regulatory matters;
    • volatility in currency exchange rates;
    • local business practices and political issues;
    • potential delays or disruptions in shipping and transportation and related pricing impacts;
    • disruption due to labor disputes; and
    • changing expectations regarding product safety due to new legislation;
  • fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;
  • stock price volatility;
  • our failure to maintain our credit rating;
  • our ability to service or refinance our debt;
  • our ability to retain key personnel;
  • our ability to attract, develop and retain qualified employees and manage labor-related costs;
  • the inability of our manufacturers to deliver products in a timely manner and meet quality standards;
  • fluctuations in product input costs;
  • fluctuations in energy costs;
  • increases in the costs of mailing, paper and printing;
  • claims arising from our self-insurance;
  • our ability to implement and maintain information technology systems and to protect associated data;
  • our failure to maintain the security of customer, associate, supplier or company information;
  • our failure to comply with regulatory requirements;
  • tax matters; and
  • legal and compliance matters.

We are not under any obligation and do not intend to make publicly available any update or other revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this press release or the December sales call to reflect circumstances existing after the date of this press release or the December sales call or to reflect the occurrence of future events even if experience or future events make it clear that any expected results expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements will not be realized. Additional information regarding these and other factors can be found in Item 1A. Risk Factors in our 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K.

For further information, please contact:
L Brands:
Investor Relations
Amie Preston
(614) 415-6704
apreston@lb.com

Media Relations
Tammy Roberts Myers
(614) 415-7072
communications@lb.com

SOURCE: L Brands Inc