Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder on Homebase acquisition: long-term value creation opportunity for Bunnings

Acquisition overview

  • Acquisition of 100 per cent of Home Retail Group plc’s (Home Retail Group) holding in Homebase for £340 million (A$705 million)¹
  • Unanimously supported by the Board of Home Retail Group
  • Expected to complete in the first quarter of calendar year 2016, subject to approval by Home Retail Group shareholders and its banking syndicate

Acquisition rationale

  • £38 billion UK home improvement and garden market is an attractive and growing market
  • Homebase delivers an established and scalable platform with stores that are the right size for the UK market and support warehouse merchandising and a low cost operating model
  • Acquisition is the first step in a program which will invest in the Homebase team and reinvigorate core Homebase assets to build an exciting new Bunnings-branded business over three to five
  • Ability to improve existing Homebase performance in the short-term through operational

PERTH, AUSTRALIA, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wesfarmers Limited (ASX: WES) has entered into an agreement to acquire Homebase from Home Retail Group (LSE: HOME) for £340 million (A$705 million)¹. This follows the announcement on 14 January 2016 confirming that a conditional offer had been made to acquire Homebase. Homebase is the second largest home improvement and garden retailer in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland. Homebase reported revenue of £1,461.2 million for the 12 months ended 29 August 2015 and currently has 265 stores.

Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder said the acquisition of Homebase provides a long-term value creation opportunity for Bunnings which will complement the strong growth trajectory of the Australian and New Zealand business.

“Bunnings is well placed to unlock value from the Homebase business and has a proven track record in delivering growth both organically and through acquisition,” Mr Goyder said. “Our offer provides significant execution certainty and an attractive cash consideration to Home Retail Group shareholders.

“The £38 billion UK home improvement and garden market is a large and growing market with strong fundamentals. The opportunity to enter this attractive market through the acquisition of Homebase has been comprehensively researched and carefully considered by Wesfarmers and Bunnings. The Bunnings team has done a lot of work to make sure it understands the market and the opportunity, including having visited hundreds of stores, spending significant time researching the market and closely studying international retail expansions into the UK and other markets. Detailed due diligence has been completed and implementation and improvement planning is well advanced.”

Due to early transformation activity, the acquisition is expected initially to have an immaterial effect on Wesfarmers’ earnings per share and return on equity. From the third year post acquisition, the acquisition is projected to be progressively accretive reflecting long-term growth prospects.

Bunnings Managing Director John Gillam said the acquisition represents a compelling opportunity to enter the attractive UK home improvement and garden market.

“Homebase has an established and scalable store platform with strong representation in high density areas,” Mr Gillam said. “The stores are well-sized for the UK market and support warehouse merchandising and a low cost operating model.

“The acquisition is the first step in building a further growth platform for Bunnings with additional planned investment of approximately £500 million (A$1,037 million)¹ in the Homebase team and assets to build a new Bunnings-branded business over three to five years. We will combine essential local elements with the best of Bunnings to bring customers in the UK and Ireland an exciting new home improvement and gardenoffer.”

Management structure
Following completion, a new management structure will be put in place at Bunnings to drive continued strong performance in the existing operations and effectively implement the Homebase acquisition plans.

John Gillam will be Chief Executive Officer of Bunnings, with management teams established in the two distinct operational regions. Key leadership appointments within the new Bunnings structure include:

Bunnings Australia and New Zealand

  • Mike Schneider, Managing Director (currently Director of Store Operations)
  • Clive Duncan, Chief Operating Officer (currently Director of Merchandising & Store Development)
  • Justin Williams, Chief Financial Officer (currently General Manager Information Technology & Financial Services)

Bunnings UK and Ireland

  • Peter (PJ) Davis, Managing Director (currently Chief Operating Officer)
  • Rodney Boys, Finance Director (currently Chief Financial Officer)

Transaction funding, approval and timetable
The acquisition will be funded by new GBP-denominated debt facilities. Rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service have been updated on the transaction. Whilst no change is expected to the Group’s existing credit ratings (A- and A3 level respectively), the anticipated short-term impact on credit metrics may result in a change to the Group’s outlook.

The acquisition is subject to approval by Home Retail Group shareholders under the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s Listing Rules for Class 1 transactions. The Board of Home Retail Group has unanimously recommended the transaction to shareholders. Subject to the approval of Home Retail Group shareholders and its banking syndicate, transaction completion is expected by the end of the first quarter of calendar year 2016.

Lazard is acting as Wesfarmers’ financial advisor.

Analyst briefing

An analyst briefing will be held at 7:30am AWST / 10:30am AEDT on Monday 18 January 2016. This briefing will be webcast and accessible via the Wesfarmers website at www.wesfarmers.com.au.

For more information:
Mark Scatena
General Manager, Investor Relations Media and External Affairs Manager
(+61) 8 9327 4416 or (+61) 439 979 398 (+61) 8 9327 4423 or (+61) 417 813 804

Media – Wesfarmers
Cathy Bolt
Media and External Affairs Manager
(+61) 8 9327 4423 or (+61) 417 813 804

UK Media
Philip Gawith
Managing Partner, Teneo Strategy
+44 (0)20 7240 2486

Media – Bunnings
Kate Inverarity
Partner, Nightingale Communications
(+61) 3 9670 4373 or (+61) 413 163 020

1 £:A$ of 0.4822 at 15 January 2016 (Reserve Bank of Australia)

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. retired its remaining mortgage loan facility due in April using borrowings under its $830 million revolving credit facility

YORK, Pa., 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:BONT) today announced that, effective as of January 15, 2016,  it has retired its remaining mortgage loan facility due in April using borrowings under the Company’s $830 million revolving credit facility.  The mortgage loan facility had principal outstanding of $102.4 million and was secured by 12 properties.  In June of 2015, the Company retired the first of its two mortgage loan facilities in the amount of $104.5 million. The consummation of these two transactions fully satisfies all obligations pursuant to the Company’s aggregate mortgage loan facility entered into on March 6, 2006.

To facilitate the transaction, the Company’s revolving credit facility was amended to include the special purpose entities (“SPEs”) that had previously participated in the Company’s two mortgage loan facilities.  Pursuant to the amendment, all 18 properties owned by the SPEs became real estate in which security interests were granted under the revolving credit facility.  As a result, the borrowing base availability under the revolving credit facility increased to reflect the addition of the properties.

Kathryn Bufano, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We were able to retire our remaining mortgage facility through our recent proactive pursuit of increased borrowing capacity under our revolving credit facility.  That increased capacity and the granting of security interests in the 18 owned properties afforded us the flexibility to utilize our revolver for retirement of the mortgage facility while maintaining sufficient liquidity to effectively manage our business and fund strategic initiatives to position us for long-term profitable growth.”

In conjunction with the early termination of the mortgage loan facility, the Company will pay $1.3 million to satisfy the make-whole provision of the agreement.

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

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

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


Kim George
Divisional Vice President
Investor Relations
Source: The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

USDA’S FSIS: Home Maid Ravioli Company recalls 34,200 pounds of beef ravioli products due to misbranding

WASHINGTON, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Home Maid Ravioli Company, Inc., a San Francisco, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 34,200 pounds of beef ravioli products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products contain whey, a known allergen, and pork, neither of which are declared on the product labels.  The products were also produced without the benefit of federal inspection.

The Home Maid ravioli items were produced on various dates between Sept. 20, 2015, and Jan. 15, 2016. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels(PDF only)]

  • 15-oz. cardboard boxed packages containing 54 pieces of “Ravioli.”
  • 12-oz. cardboard boxed packages of “Ravioli.”
  • 5-lb. bagged and boxed packages of “Ravioli with Sauce.”
  • 10-lb. bagged and boxed packages of “Ravioli with Sauce.”
  • 12-oz. cardboard boxed packages containing 24 pieces of “Deluxe Ravioli.”
  • 12-oz. cardboard boxed packages containing 24 pieces of “Jumbo Deluxe Ravioli.”
  • 12-oz. cardboard boxed packages containing 24 pieces of “Jumbo Ravioli.”
  • 12-oz. cardboard boxed packages containing 48 pieces of “Ravioli Seasoned w Sausage.”
  • 12-oz. cardboard boxed packages containing 24 pieces of “Ravioli Seasoned w Chicken.”
  • 12-oz. plastic containers of “Ravioli and Spaghetti Italian Style Sauce.”
  • 1-qt. plastic containers of “Italian Style Pasta Sauce.”
  • 1-gal. plastic containers of “Italian Style Pasta Sauce.”

These items were shipped to retail locations in California.

The firm operates under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); however the products subject to recall are amenable. The problem was discovered by FSIS during a review of products at a different federal plant.

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

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

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall can contact Richard Cresci, President, at (650) 588-0600.

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

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


Congressional and Public Affairs
Kristen Booze
(202) 720-9113


Carphone Warehouse: Now you can register your interest in Samsung’s new Galaxy smartphone

LONDON, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carphone Warehouse is allowing customers to register their interest in Samsung’s new Galaxy smartphone.

Widely rumoured to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress next month, the service lets fans keep up-to-date with all the latest news and web rumours surrounding the device.

A spokesperson at Carphone Warehouse comments: “There’s been a huge amount of buzz around Samsung’s new Galaxy smartphone and we’re excited by the rumours we’ve already heard. Based on last year’s schedule, we’re preparing ourselves for the possibility the new device will be launched at Mobile World Congress this year.”

To register interest in Samsung’s new Galaxy smartphone, customers can visit: http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/samsung/new-samsung-galaxy

– ENDS –

Carphone Warehouse Press Office


020 7544 3627

Notes to editors

About Dixons Carphone:
Dixons Carphone plc is Europe’s leading specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer and services company, employing over 40,000 people in 9 countries.

Focused on helping customers navigate the connected world, Dixons Carphone offers a comprehensive range of electrical and mobile products, connectivity and expert after-sales services from the Geek Squad and Knowhow.

Dixons Carphone’s primary brands include Carphone Warehouse, Currys and PC World in the UK and Ireland, Elkjøp, El Giganten, Gigantti and Lefdal in the Nordic countries, Kotsovolos in Greece, Dixons Travel in a number of European airports and Phone House in Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Our key service brands include Knowhow in the UK, Ireland and the Nordics, Geek Squad in the UK, Ireland and various other European markets.

Business-to-business services are provided through Connected World Services, PC World Business and Carphone Warehouse Business. Connected World Services aims to leverage the Group’s existing expertise, operating processes and technology to provide a range of services to businesses.

For more information about Dixons Carphone plc, please visit www.dixonscarphonegroup.com

Follow us on Twitter: @DixonsCarphone

Debenhams gives a fascinating insight into UK’s internet shopping habits for 2015

LONDON, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — The wettest August on record for parts of the UK saw the most web searches for wellingtons that month, rather than sun cream.

A look back over the nation’s internet shopping habits for 2015 by leading department store Debenhams gives a fascinating insight into the lives of British consumers over the last 12 months.

As ever the weather played a starring role. In April we were optimistic enough to be looking for bikinis, sunglasses and fascinators as we planned summer breaks and looked forward to outdoor events.

In June we were hunting for new suitcases and by July sandals and shorts were at their peak as we prepared to get away on that break abroad. Seventies style Kaftans were also popular.

By August hopes of a scorching summer at home had been dashed and wellies entered the list of most searched for items. Come November our umbrellas had seen so much action we were looking for replacements, the top month they feature.

Forward-thinking would-be prom-princesses started chasing for their dream dress early – with interest peaking in February, while April and May were bigger for sport and fitness shopping rather than January, when traditionally many vow to shed the pounds gained over Christmas.

Revamping homes proved popular in the first month of the year and was the most popular time to search for new curtains, cushions, mirrors and wallpaper.

In January and February 2015 demand for baby clothing and products peaked, rather than July and September which is the busiest time on hospital maternity wards. In November and December kitchenware and tableware was most often replaced, while candles were a much chosen item in the two months before Christmas.

Interest in new duvets soared as the weather turned chillier in September and in the depths of Winter in January when temperatures dropped and snow hit parts of Britain.

Thinking about Christmas presents for youngsters started in September for Debenhams customers while jewellery was popular in February and in December, perhaps reflecting gift buying for Valentine’s Day and Christmas. The number of web-surfers seeking aftershave and perfume also soared in December.

The list of top searches from the tens of thousands of products offered by the leading high street retailer, shows how customers use the shopping web site to research and buy and reflects fashion and lifestyle trends, as well as climate and social changes.

Lace dresses soared up the league table in February and March after being featured by designers Valentino and Gucci and proved popular as party dresses before Christmas. The classic little black dress was a recurring favourite throughout the year, though the little red dress became a rival in October and continued to be a hit right until the end of the year.

The most popular period for men to look for a new suit was April through to September which happens to be the time graduates start being interviewed for jobs. Waistcoats for men were revealed as one of this year’s fashion musts following a trend started by TV and sporting celebrities, with interest beginning in April.

Fashion leaders claim onesies are so last year, but not according to Internet searches which see them in the top twenty most looked for items for five months of the year while slippers were in the top five from September peaking in December. November was a high point for pyjamas, coinciding with the nights becoming darker, while the search for Christmas jumpers to out-do your mates started as early as October.

Searches for lingerie rose steeply in January and April, indicating this is a time when women Spring clean their wardrobe. Boots were a top ten item from September to April, while searches for handbags and dresses in general were a top favourite throughout the year.

Christine Morgan, Director of PR for Debenhams, said: “We get millions of visits to our web site every month so it’s fascinating to see when and what people are looking for. The visits to the website really do reflect people’s lifestyles and we endeavour to cater for everyone by offering a wide a choice as possible, with alternatives to suit every budget.”

Top months for product searches…

Homewares and baby items – January

Prom dresses – February

Evening dresses – March

Lingerie – April

Kimono style tops – May

Fascinators and bikinis – June

Sandals – July

Wellingtons and back packs – August

Ankle boots  – September

Umbrellas, scarves, pyjamas – November

Slippers, toys – December

Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades out of over 240 stores across 27 countries.  Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.

Debenhams has been investing in design for over 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands.  Current designers include Abigail Ahern, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Sadie Frost and Jemima French, Patrick Grant, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Stephen Jones , Ben de Lisi, Todd Lynn,  Julien Macdonald, Laura Oakes, Jenny Packham, Ren Pearce and Andrew Fionda, Aliza Reger, John Rocha, Ashley Thomas, Justin Thornton, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson.

For more information, visit www.Debenhams.com

Debenhams Press Office
020 3549 6420 / press.office@debenhams.com

The Walt Disney Studios: new release dates for Star Wars: Episode VIII and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

BURBANK, Calif., 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — This morning (), The Walt Disney Studios announced new release dates for upcoming films from two of its major franchises.

Star Wars: Episode VIII, originally scheduled for release on May 26, 2017, will now debut on December 15, 2017. The move follows the extraordinary success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first Star Wars movie to premiere in December. In the popular holiday moviegoing corridor, it smashed numerous records, including biggest domestic and global debuts of all time as well as the biggest domestic second and third weekends, en route to becoming the highest grossing domestic release of all time with over $861M and the third biggest global release ever with $1.887B.

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently in preproduction and will begin principal photography in London next month. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce and J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski, and Jason McGatlinwill executive produce. Stay tuned to StarWars.com for exciting updates in the coming weeks.

With Star Wars: Episode VIII jumping to December, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will set sail on May 26, 2017, from its previously scheduled July 7, 2017, berth. The blockbuster franchise’s previous installment, the $1B-grossingPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, also debuted in late May.

In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow with Geoffrey Rush back on board as Barbossa, Orlando Bloom resurfacing as Will Turner, and a terrifying new adversary, Captain Salazar, played by Javier Bardem, in the mix. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, the film is currently in post-production.

SOURCE: Disney

Formerly homeless Starbucks barista Matthew Tej begins a second career as a real estate agent

SEATTLE, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — When he was homeless, Matthew Tej kept a keychain in his pocket as a reminder that one day he’d have his own place to live in New York. Now the Starbucks barista is handing keys to others as he begins a second career as a real estate agent.

“I remember how I felt when I got my first apartment. I’m excited to experience that feeling through someone else when they get their property. It seems like a natural progression for my life story so far,” said Tej, who still works as a Starbucks barista.

Last year was a whirlwind for Tej, who wrote this personal essay early in 2015: “Inspired by Starbucks, a Young Man Overcomes Homelessness.” Although there were many days when “the negatives seemed to outweigh the positives,” Tej persevered. “I’ve learned life is filled with obstacles and you can’t change that,” he wrote. “But no matter what challenges you face, you always, always have a say in who you are and in the kind of person you will be.”

Soon after writing about his experience for fellow Starbucks partners (employees), Tej was invited to share his story through a video at Starbucks 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Standing backstage in a suit and tie, he acknowledged, “I’m grateful for all that’s happened, and my story is just beginning.”

‘A difficult decision’

Months later, walking amid New York’s skyscrapers, he thought about applying the customer service skills he honed through Starbucks to another profession – selling real estate in the Big Apple.

“I had to make a difficult decision,” he said. “I love Starbucks so much. The people in my store were like family to me. I remember crying after I told my partners I would be pursuing another career.”

He continued to work at Starbucks during the day while he took evening and weekend classes to earn his Real Estate Salesperson License in four weeks, passing the final exam in November. Though his store partners were supportive, some cautioned him to “give yourself a break. All you do is work.”

“People would say, ‘You need to have a life, too,’” he said. “They didn’t understand that I’m doing exactly what I want and need to do. I’m building a life.”

After receiving his real estate license, Tej landed a position with the Corcoran Group. The real estate company covers New York, the Hamptons and South Florida. Tej closed on his first rental property in December – a $17,500 per month lease. Today he’s taking Corcoran’s New Agent Course and supporting experienced agents with their open houses.

Formula for Success

He dedicates 50 hours a week to his real estate business and spends about 20 hours a week with Starbucks, where he begins each weekday as a barista. Even when his real estate business picks up, Tej said he will “probably stay with Starbucks too, because I enjoy interacting with customers.”

He also enjoys being with other Starbucks partners and offers this advice for those who are considering the next step on their career ladder:

“In life, if success is defined by how happy and fulfilled you are, then the formula for that is simple – vision plus integrity. If you can develop the integrity to stick to that vision and place it before everything in life, it will manifest itself.”

This is Matthew’s Starbucks story, what’s yours? Email: newstips@starbucks.com

Follow Starbucks News on Twitter and Instagram

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


Formerly homeless Starbucks barista Matthew Tej begins a second career as a real estate agent

Formerly homeless Starbucks barista Matthew Tej begins a second career as a real estate agent

Tiffany & Co. holiday period sales results: Results negatively affected by the strong U.S. dollar and weak tourist spending in a number of markets

NEW YORK, NY, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) today reported its sales results for the two-month period ended December 31st (“holiday period”). Results were negatively affected by the strong U.S. dollar and weak tourist spending in a number of markets. On a constant-exchange-rate basis that excludes the effect of translating foreign-currencydenominated sales into U.S. dollars (see “Non-GAAP Measures” schedule), worldwide net sales declined 3% (due to declines in the Americas and Asia-Pacific offsetting growth in Japan and Europe) and comparable store sales declined 5%. There were no noteworthy differences in performance among jewelry categories. Reported in U.S. dollars, worldwide net sales of $961 million were 6% lower than the prior year.

Net sales highlights by region:
• In the Americas, on a constant-exchange-rate basis total sales and comparable store sales were 5% and 8% below the prior year, respectively. Lower sales occurred across much of the U.S., exacerbated by lower foreign tourist spending in New York and certain other U.S. markets which management attributes to the strong U.S. dollar. Total sales rose in Canada and Latin America. Reported in U.S. dollars, total sales of $505 million were 7% below the prior year.
• In the Asia-Pacific region, on a constant-exchange-rate basis total sales and comparable store sales declined 6% and 9%, respectively. A continuation of strong sales growth in China was more than offset by significant weakness in Hong Kong and Singapore, with varying performance in other markets. Reported in U.S. dollars, total sales of $187 million were 11% below the prior year.
• In Japan, on a constant-exchange-rate basis total sales increased 12% and comparable store sales rose 10%, reflecting higher sales to local customers and foreign tourists. Reported in U.S. dollars, total sales rose 9% to $123 million.
• In Europe, on a constant-exchange-rate basis total sales rose 4% and comparable store sales declined 2%. Sales rose in the U.K., but performance was mixed across continental Europe with a notable decline in France, all of which reflected varying levels of demand among local customers and foreign tourists. Reported in U.S. dollars, total sales in Europe of $128 million were 4% below the prior year.
• Other sales on a constant-exchange-rate basis declined 16% in total and comparable store sales on that same basis decreased 12%. Reported in U.S. dollars, sales of $19 million were 20% below the prior year.
• At December 31, 2015, the Company operated 307 stores (125 in the Americas, 81 in AsiaPacific, 56 in Japan, 39 in Europe, and five stores in the United Arab Emirates and one in Russia), versus 296 stores a year ago (123 in the Americas, 73 in Asia-Pacific, 56 in Japan, 38 in Europe, and five in the U.A.E. and one in Russia).

Frederic Cumenal, chief executive officer, said, “In the holiday period, we continued to feel pressure from the strong U.S. dollar on the translation of non-U.S. sales into dollars and on foreign tourist spending in the U.S., which we expect will continue into 2016. We believe overall sales results were negatively affected by restrained consumer spending tied to challenging and uncertain global economic conditions and we expect 2015 earnings to come in at the low end of our previously-set range of expectations. Nonetheless, we were pleased with initial sales of our new fashion and fine jewelry designs, a solid increase in worldwide e-commerce sales and our ability to maintain gross margin at normal levels.”

Full Year 2015 and 2016 Outlooks:
Management expects net earnings in the year ending January 31, 2016 to decline approximately 10% (compared with its previously-reported forecast calling for a 5%-10% decline) from last year’s $4.20 per diluted share (excluding the loan impairment charge in the second quarter of 2015 and a debt extinguishment charge in 2014). In addition, this forecast excludes a charge of approximately four cents per diluted share being recorded in the fourth quarter for staff and occupancy reductions. This forecast does not assume recording any additional loan impairment charges. The Company maintains its forecast to generate at least $500 million of free cash flow in the full year. While financial plans for 2016 have not been finalized, management currently believes that the strong dollar and global macro challenges will likely result in minimal growth in net sales and net earnings, as reported in dollars and excluding charges in 2015, for the year. All assumptions and expectations are approximate and may or may not prove valid.

Upcoming Announcements and Events:

• The Company expects to report its fourth quarter and full year results on March 18th before the market opens. Management will conduct a conference call with a question and answer session. To be notified of future announcements, register at http://investor.tiffany.com (“EMail Alerts”).
• The Company will host an Analyst/Investor Day on April 12th at its corporate office in New York during which members of Company management will provide overviews of their respective areas of responsibility and strategic direction. A live audio webcast of the presentations will be available on the Company’s website at http://investor.tiffany.com. Due to space restrictions, a limited number of in-person invitations will be issued. For those unable to attend or to listen to the live webcast, a replay will be available on the Company’s website for 90 days following the event.

Tiffany is the internationally-renowned jeweler founded in New York in 1837. Through its subsidiaries, Tiffany & Co. manufactures products and operates TIFFANY & CO. retail stores worldwide, and also engages in direct selling through Internet, catalog and business gift operations. For additional information, please visit www.tiffany.com or call our shareholder information line at 800-TIF-0110.

Forward-Looking Statements: The statements in this document that refer to plans and expectations for the fourth quarter, the current fiscal year and future periods are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Words such as ‘expects,’ ‘anticipates,’ ‘forecasts,’ ‘plans,’ ‘believes,’ ‘continues,’ ‘may,’ ‘will,’ and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements we make regarding the Company’s objectives, expectations and beliefs with respect to store openings and closings, product introductions, sales, sales growth, retail prices, gross margin, expenses, operating margin, effective income tax rate, net earnings and net earnings per share, inventories, capital expenditures, cash flow, liquidity, currency translation and growth opportunities. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, risks from global economic conditions, decreases in consumer confidence, the Company’s significant operations outside of the United States, regional instability and conflict that could disrupt tourist travel and local consumer spending, weakening foreign currencies, changes in the Company’s product or geographic sales mix and changes in costs or reduced supply availability of diamonds and precious metals. Please also see the Company’s risk factors, as they may be amended from time to time, set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, for a discussion of these and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by applicable law or regulation.

# # #

Mark L. Aaron
Fifth Avenue & 57th Street
New York, N.Y. 10022

Harlingen – Weslaco-Brownsville – McAllen, Texas again on top of Walgreens Flu Index™ for Week of Jan. 17, 2016

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Walgreens Flu Index™ is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information, and ranking of those experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country. The Flu Index does not provide data measuring actual levels or severity of flu activity, but rather, illustrates which populations are experiencing the most incidences each week based on Index methodology.

With the ability to generate hyper-local data across most U.S. markets, the Flu Index is an online, interactive resource allowing anyone to search and find information regarding the most current state of influenza in their community.

To view this week’s Walgreens Flu Index, maps and other online features, click here.

Top Ten DMAs with Flu Activity
Week of 1/17/2016

  1. Harlingen – Weslaco-Brownsville – McAllen, Texas
  2. Miami – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
  3. Las Vegas, Nev.
  4. Tucson (Sierra Vista), Ariz.
  5. Tyler – Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas
  6. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.)
  7. Phoenix (Prescott), Ariz.
  8. Los Angeles, Calif.
  9. Beaumont – Port Arthur, Texas
  10. Palm Springs, Calif.

Top Ten States with Flu Activity
Week of 1/17/2016

  1. Nevada
  2. Arizona
  3. Texas
  4. Wyoming
  5. California
  6. Hawaii
  7. Florida
  8. Mississippi
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Tennessee

Top Ten DMAs Flu Activity Gains
Week of 1/17/2016

  1. Harlingen – Weslaco – Brownsville – McAllen, Texas
  2. Tucson (Sierra Vista), Ariz.
  3. Shreveport, La.
  4. San Diego, Calif.
  5. Knoxville, Tenn.
  6. Memphis, Tenn.
  7. Honolulu, Hawaii
  8. La Crosse – Eau Claire, Wis.
  9. Monterey – Salinas, Calif.
  10. Rockford, Ill.

Top Ten States Flu Activity Gains
Week of 1/17/2016

  1. Wyoming
  2. Hawaii
  3. Idaho
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Arizona
  6. Tennessee
  7. California
  8. Connecticut
  9. Utah
  10. Florida


The Walgreens Flu Index™ is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.

For more on the Walgreens Flu Index visit http://arcg.is/1HA3vGp.

© Copyright Walgreen Co. 2015. All rights reserved

About Walgreens

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com), one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,173 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes Walgreens.com, drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and VisionDirect.com. Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations around the country.


Emily Hartwig
(847) 315-3316

Walmart Foundation, U.S. Conference of Mayors name this year’s U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant recipients

Walmart’s U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund awards $2.8 million to five universities

WASHINGTON, D.C., 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors today announced this year’s U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant recipients at the 84th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

Five leading research and academic institutions were awarded a total of $2.84 million in grants by the fund for their work focused on innovations in textile manufacturing. The fund, which focuses on the development of domestic manufacturing with a specific goal of advancing the production or assembly of consumer products in the U.S., will provide a total of $10 million in grants over the course of five years. This is the second round of funding under this grant.

The grant recipients were selected for their ability to address two key challenges that currently present barriers to increased domestic manufacturing. These challenges are:

  • Reducing the cost of textile manufacturing, including home textiles and apparel, in the U.S. by addressing obstacles throughout production.
  • Improving common manufacturing processes with broad application to many types of consumer products.

“Through these grants we hope to help remove the barriers to revitalizing and growing U.S. apparel manufacturing, while creating more sustainable production processes,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “The U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund is part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s broader commitment to foster new economic growth and opportunity and create stronger communities.”

“America’s mayors work every day to create good jobs for the people who live in our cities and metro areas. The five projects we’ve recognized today will lead to manufacturing jobs in their respective cities and eventually, across the country,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “We are proud to partner with Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to support these important efforts.”

The 2016 Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant winners are:

  • Clemson University for energy and effluent reduction through innovative dyeing of polyester fabrics
  • Oregon State University for environmentally conscious dyeing of fabrics using continuous digital printing and drying of biopigment inks
  • University of Texas at Austin for on-loom fabric defect inspection using contact image sensors
  • North Carolina State University for developing a non-stop tying-in process/approach to improve weaving efficiency
  • Cornell University for recycling post-consumer textile waste and a raw material substitute for new textiles

Support for the Innovation Fund is part of Walmart’s broader commitment to help revitalize U.S. manufacturing. In January 2013, Walmart announced a commitment to buy an additional $250 billion in products that support U.S. jobs by 2023.

These commitments represent a significant investment that will help accelerate the pace of U.S. manufacturing. By making production in the U.S. more cost-effective and efficient, the global retailer believes it can bring American consumers more American-made products and ultimately create jobs in communities across the country.

For more information on Walmart’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing, please visithttp://corporate.walmart.com/global-responsibility/us-manufacturing.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT:NYSE) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our nearly 11,600 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2015 revenue of $485.7 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

About Philanthropy at Walmart 

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.

About The U.S. Conference of Mayors
The United States Conference of Mayors is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. The primary roles of the Conference are to promote the development of effective national urban/suburban policy; strengthen federal-city relationships; ensure that federal policy meets urban needs; provide mayors with leadership and management tools; and create a forum in which mayors can share ideas and information. www.usmayors.org

SOURCE: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

1.2 million Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club associates to receive pay increase in in 2016

2016 action lifts average hourly full-time rate to $13.38; New paid time off plan gives full- and part-time associates greater control

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — More than 1.2 million Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club associates will receive a pay increase under the second phase of the company’s two-year, $2.7 billion investment in workers. The pay raise, which takes effect Feb. 20, will be one of the largest single-day, private-sector pay increases ever. As an industry leader for competitive pay and benefits, Walmart is also implementing new short-term disability and simplified paid time off (PTO) programs. The combined changes will expand support for associates dealing with extended health issues and provide associates greater control over their paid time away from work.

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“We are committed to investing in our associates and to continuing to simplify our business. When we do so, there is no limit to what our associates can accomplish,” said Judith McKenna, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S. “Our customers and associates are noticing a difference. We’re seeing strong increases in both customer experience and associate engagement scores. Five straight quarters of positive comps in our U.S. business is just one example of how helping our associates grow and succeed helps the company do the same.”

This associate investment was taken into account in the financial outlook discussed last October at the company’s annual analyst meeting. Today’s announcement addresses the details for associates. Specifics are provided below.

A job at Walmart means competitive pay for all associates. Every year, the company promotes 160,000 associates to jobs with higher pay and more responsibility and last year Walmart converted more than 150,000 associates from part-time to full-time. On Feb. 20, 2016, the company will implement one of the largest single-day, private-sector pay increases ever, benefiting more than 1.1 million hourly associates. The changes taking effect include:

  • All associates hired before Jan. 1, 2016 will earn at least $10/hour. 
  • New entry-level associates will continue to start at $9/hour and move to at least $10/hour after successfully completing the company’s new retail skills and training program known as Pathways.
  • Associates already earning more than $10/hour will receive an annual pay increase in February rather than waiting until their anniversary date.
  • Walmart is raising the starting rate of its non-entry level hourly pay bands. Anyone earning below the new minimum will automatically move up to the new minimum.
  • Associates at or above their pay band maximum will receive a one-time lump sum payment equal to 2 percent of their annual pay.
  • When these changes go into effect, Walmart’s average full-time hourly wage will be$13.38/hour. The average part-time hourly wage will be $10.58/hour.

Walmart and Sam’s Club are launching a new, simplified PTO policy, effective March 5, 2016 that will streamline paid vacation, sick time, personal time and holiday time into one category. And the one-day wait to use sick time will be eliminated, as promised. When the plan rolls out in March, both full- and part-time associates will earn PTO based on tenure and hours worked. The plan includes:

  • No waiting. PTO is available to use as soon as it’s earned and can be used for almost any reason.
  • Full-time hourly associates can carry over up to 80 hours (48 hours for part time) of PTO from year to year.
  • Any unused hours at the end of the year above the 80 hour and 48 hour limits willautomatically be paid to hourly associates in the first paycheck every February.
  • Associates will also keep any existing and accrued sick and personal time. These balances will be kept separate, to be used for certain circumstances once all available PTO is used.

In addition to PTO, Walmart is providing a new, Short Term Disability Basic plan at no cost to full-time hourly associates. Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the plan offers more financial protection to workers who need to be away from work for an extended period of time due to their own medical needs such as an illness, injury or having a baby. The basic plan will pay 50 percent of a worker’s average weekly wage, up to $200, for up to 26 weeks. Walmart is also offering aShort Term Disability Enhanced plan, which costs less than the company’s prior voluntary plan and provides more coverage. Associates would receive up to 60 percent of their average weekly wage with no weekly maximum for up to 26 weeks.

Walmart’s associate investment is about more than wages and benefits: it is designed to provide associates the tools they need to grow with the company and provide great customer service. The company is also creating new training programs, which will create clear career paths from entry-level positions to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.

About Walmart 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our more than 11,600 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2015 revenue of $485.7 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

SOURCE: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Grupo Vips repurchased 49% of Starbucks Coffee Spain S.L. equity from Starbucks EMEA

Madrid, Spain, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks exclusive licensed partner to operate and develop the brand in Spain and Portugal, Grupo Vips, announced today that the company has signed an agreement with Starbucks Coffee Company, in which Grupo Vips has repurchased 49% of Starbucks Coffee Spain S.L. equity to Starbucks EMEA. Grupo Vips had sold 49% of its partnership interests in Starbucks Coffee Spain S.L. to Starbucks EMEA back in September 2013, continuing to own 51% of the market shares. This transaction gives Grupo Vips again 100% control to develop and operate the brand in Spain and Portugal.

Additionally, both companies have decided to extend their license and development trademark agreement until 2030 – which was due to expire in 2021. This underlines “the outstanding business relationship which has characterized our partnership since the very beginning of our journey together” emphasized Grupo Vips President Plácido Arango.

“The Group’s financial health has made it possible to once again control 100% of Starbucks Spain equity, a brand for which we have major future development plans. As a Group, we’re beginning a new phase of growth and expansion affecting all of our brands,” said Enrique Francia, CEO of Grupo Vips.

The partnership between Grupo Vips and Starbucks dates back to October 2001 and started with a 50% joint-venture agreement, which led to the opening of Starbucks first stores in Madrid and Barcelona, in 2002 and 2003 respectively, followed by Sevilla and Valencia. The sound business relationship between both companies led Starbucks to choose Grupo Vips as its business partner to introduce the brand and open the first stores in France in 2004 and Portugal in 2008.

Starbucks Spain S.L. currently operates 90 stores in Spain and 11 stores in Portugal and plans to open 12 new stores and undertake integral renewal of 10 existing stores in Spain in 2016.

About Grupo Vips
Grupo Vips is one of the leading multi-brand and multi-format groups in the food service and retail sector in Spain. It includes restaurants, cafés and shops. The company manages a total of 6 well-known chains it either owns or operates under franchising agreements: 4 internally-created brands – VIPS (café-restaurant and shop), VIPSmart, GINOS and The Wok – as well as 2 of international fame, Starbucks Coffee and Fridays. Since 2001, Grupo Vips is the sole and exclusive partner of Starbucks Coffee, the world’s coffee leader, licensed to develop the brand in Spain and Portugal. On the other hand, it has an exclusive licensing agreement with Fridays, the top casual dining chain in the United States, to operate the brand in Spain. In addition, the group has 3 fine dining restaurants including Lucca, Rugantino Casa Tua and Tattaglia. The company manages a total of 350 locations serving more than 120,000 customers a day. It runs a pioneer and restaurant sector-leading loyalty program, Club VIPS, with more than 2,000,000 members throughout Spain.  The APP, which is unique in the market and was launched at the end of April 2015, has already been downloaded more than 300,000 times. Grupo Vips is a private equity company which was founded in 1969. Goldman Sachs Capital Partners V acquired 30% of the company in 2006. Grupo Vips employs 8,700 people and ended fiscal year 2014 with 350 million euros in turnover.

For more information on this news release, contact us.

Starbucks opened 528 net new stores in Q1 globally; reports record 8% sales increase

  • Strong Holiday Performance Drives 9% Comp Growth in the U.S. and Americas, 8% Globally; Global Traffic up 4%
  • Consolidated Net Revenues Rise 12% to a Record $5.4 Billion; Channel Development Revenues Jump 16%
  • Consolidated Operating Income up 16% to a Record $1.1 Billion; GAAP EPS of $0.46;
  • Non-GAAP EPS up 15% to a Record $0.46 Dollars Loaded on Starbucks Cards Increase 18% to a Record $1.9 Billion

SEATTLE, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) today reported financial results for its 13-week fiscal first quarter ended December 27, 2015. Fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2015 GAAP results include items which are excluded from non-GAAP results. Please refer to the reconciliation of GAAP measures to non-GAAP measures at the end of this release for more information.

Q1 Fiscal 2016 Highlights:

  • Global comparable store sales increased 8%, including a 4% increase in traffic

​​Americas comp store sales increased 9%, including a 4% increase in traffic

China/Asia Pacific comp store sales increased 5%, driven by a 4% increase in traffic

EMEA comp store sales increased 1%, driven by a 1% increase in traffic

  • Consolidated net revenues grew 12% over Q1 FY15, to a record $5.4 billion
  • Consolidated GAAP operating income increased 16% over Q1 FY15, to a record $1.1 billion

Non-GAAP operating income increased 15% over Q1 FY15 non-GAAP, to a record $1.1 billion

  • Consolidated GAAP operating margin increased 60 basis points over Q1 FY15, to a Q1 record 19.7%

Non-GAAP operating margin expanded 40 basis points over Q1 FY15 non-GAAP, to a Q1 record 19.9%

  • GAAP EPS of $0.46 versus Q1 FY15 GAAP EPS of $0.65

Non-GAAP EPS increased 15% over Q1 FY15 non-GAAP, to a record $0.46

  • Opened 528 net new stores in the quarter globally, including a record 281 stores in China/Asia Pacific and a record 79 stores in EMEA
  • Channel Development revenues increased 16%; operating margin expanded 210 basis points and operating income increased 23% over Q1 FY15
  • Company served over 23 million more customer occasions from its global comp store base – 18 million in the U.S. – in Q1 over the prior year
  • Record $1.9 billion loaded on Starbucks Cards in the U.S. and Canada; 1 in 6 American adults received a Starbucks Card over Holiday, up from 1 in 7 in Q1 FY15
  • Membership in the company’s My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program increased 23%; the company now has more than 11 million active members in the U.S.

View detailed financial data here

“Starbucks record Q1 2016 financial and operating results, highlighted by comp sales increases of 9% in the U.S., 8% globally, another 4% increase in global traffic – and record performance from our Channel Development segment – underscore the accelerating strength and relevance of the Starbucks brand around the world,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and ceo. “Successful retail, CPG, digital, mobile, loyalty, card and investment strategies are combining to accelerate our revenue growth and drive significant margin expansion and EPS leverage.”

“We’ve entered fiscal 2016 with another record-breaking quarter and a continuation of the accelerating momentum we saw in our business throughout 2015,” said Scott Maw, Starbucks cfo. “The investments we are making in our people and our business are driving record, industry leading operating and financial performance and consistently strong comp growth, and are both paying off today and setting us up for continued strong performance into the future.”

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-qualityarabica coffee. Today, with more than 23,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit our stores or online at news.starbucks.com and Starbucks.com.

For more information on this news release, contact us.

Amazon Prime Now customers in Chicago can now enjoy delivery from local restaurants

  • Prime Now customers in Chicago can now enjoy delivery from local restaurants, including Balena, Big Bowl, Big Star, Chicago q, M Burger, RPM Italian, Wildfire, and many more
  • Free delivery for a limited time on all restaurant orders

SEATTLE, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that Prime Now customers in Chicagocan now enjoy delivery from local restaurants including Balena, Big Bowl, Big Star, Chicago q, M Burger, RPM Italian, Wildfire, and many more. Prime Now already services the Chicago area with one and two hour delivery from Amazon and grocery delivery from Plum Market, My Fit Foods and Sprinkles Cupcakes.

Using the Prime Now mobile app, Chicago customers can view participating restaurants, browse menus, place orders, track the status of their delivery, and watch as the driver travels from the restaurant to the delivery address in real time. Once an order is placed, Amazon delivery drivers pick up and deliver the food within an hour or less. The average delivery time since introducing restaurant delivery on Prime Now is 39 minutes.

“Chicago is home to just about every kind of cuisine you could want,” said Gus Lopez, general manager, Amazon Restaurants. “We’re excited to offer Amazon Prime customers a quick and convenient way to enjoy some of the city’s best restaurants without having to fight traffic or brave the cold.”

Starting today, restaurant delivery is available across 18 zip codes in Chicago. Prime members can download the Prime Now app or visit amazon.com/primenow to enter their zip code and see if Prime Now is available in their area. In zip codes where restaurant delivery is available, customers will see Restaurants on the home page.

“Being an Amazon Prime member myself, I was excited to hear that restaurant delivery was coming to Chicago,” said Kimberly Galban, One Off Hospitality Group, the management company for Big Star, Dove’s Luncheonette and Publican Quality Meats. “We are looking forward to working with Amazon because like us, they stand for flawless service and incredible value. We are thrilled to partner with Amazon in what will likely change the restaurant delivery market in Chicago.”

Participating Chicago restaurants include:

• 5411 Empanadas

• Labriola Café

• America’s Dog

• Links Taproom

• Bakin’ & Eggs

• Local Root Chicago

• Balena

• Lockdown Bar & Grill

• Be Leaf

• Lovely: A Bake Shop

• Beatrix

• Loving Heart

• Big Bowl

• M Burger

• Big G’s Pizza

• mEAT

• Big Star

• Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse

• Billy Goat Tavern

• Native Foods Café

• Bites Asian Tapa

• Paddy O’Fegan’s

• Blue Door Farm Stand Too

• Paula & Monica’s Pizzeria

• Bombay Wraps

• Pizzeria Da Nella

• Bon Bon Vietnamese Sandwiches

• Pleasant House Bakery

• bopNgrill

• Poag Mahone’s

• Brazilian Bowl

• Publican Quality Meats

• Briciola

• Rickshaw Republic

• Brown Bag Seafood Co.

• RoSal’s

• Burger Bar Chicago

• RPM Italian

• Butcher & The Burger

• RPM Steak Chicago

• Cassava

• Saigon Sisters

• Cemitas Puebla

• Scone City

• Chef Luciano

• Snap Kitchen

• Chicago q

• Sopraffina Marketcaffe

• Costello Sandwhich & Sides

• Southport Grocery and Cafe

• D.S. Tequila Company

• Standard Market Grill

• Da Lobsta

• Stan’s Donuts & Coffee

• Dive Bar

• Sunrise Cafe

• Dove’s Luncheonette

• Sweet Sensations Pastry

• Earth’s Healing Café

• Tallboy Taco

• Fatso’s Last Stand

• Taza Cafe

• FliP Crepes

• The Panini Republic

• Fuh

• Tre Soldi

• Geek Bar Beta

• Umami Burger

• Jaffa Bagels

• Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar

• Jerry’s

• Unite Urban Grill

• JINYA Ramen Bar


• Jubrano’s

• Wildfire

• La Stanza Ristorante

• Yefseis Cafe

• La Storia Ristorante

• And more coming soon

Restaurant delivery on Prime Now offers customers transparent pricing—there are no menu markups or hidden service fees, and delivery on all orders is free for a limited time. Customers pay using the information already stored in their Amazon account and orders are backed by Amazon’s award-winning customer service.

To learn more about restaurant delivery on Prime Now and to download the mobile app, visit amazon.com/Chicago-restaurants. For restaurants interested in working with Prime Now, please contact restaurant-inquiries@amazon.com.

More to Prime

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 with Prime Video, more than one million songs and thousands of curated playlists and stations with Prime Music, early access to select Lightning Deals all year long, free secure, unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drivewith Prime Photos and access to more than one million books to borrow with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. In addition, Prime members in more than 20 metro areas 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 amazon.com/prime.

About Amazon
Amazon.com 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 www.amazon.com/about.

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

Amazon.com, Inc.
Media Hotline, 206-266-7180

LVMH Houses in Italy showed their collections in Milan from January 16-19

PARIS, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — As Men’s Fashion Week kicks off in Paris, LVMH Houses in Italy showed their collections in Milan from January 16-19. The Fendi Men’s Fall/Winter 2016-2017 collection was all about cozy, comfortable elegance.

Silvia Venturini Fendi, Creative Director for Fendi Men’s Collections, again showed her flair for melding functional and sophisticated. Models strolled in a cozy atmosphere on a catwalk designed for cocooning comfort, after coming down a spiral staircase that evoked the intimate mood of a private home.

The silhouettes feature soft, fluid materials, from silk and fur to knits, felted wool and shearling. Oversize cuts with a 70s feel transform belted coats into elegant bathrobes, matched with roomy checked pants. The feet are cosseted too in fur slippers, or fur-lined loafers for more urban looks.

Accessories and details added warm organic hues, including Peekaboo bags decorated with FendiFaces, the signature eyes, eyebrows and mouths that bring a touch of lighthearted humor to Fendi leather goods.


© Fendi

© Fendi

Federal income tax treatment for 2015 distributions to holders of Federal Realty Investment Trust’s Common Shares of Beneficial Interest

ROCKVILLE, Md., 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ – Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT) released today the Federal income tax treatment for 2015 distributions to holders of its Common Shares of Beneficial Interest (NYSE: FRT).

The characterization of distributions on our common shares traded under the ticker symbol FRT is as follows:

Distribution Type
CUSIP Record Date Payable Date Distr. Per Share Taxable Ordinary Dividend Qualified Dividend Capital Gains Nontaxable Distr.
313747206 1/2/2015 1/15/2015 $0.87 $0.8613 $0.0 $0.0087 $0.0
3/20/2015 4/15/2015 $0.87 $0.8613 $0.0 $0.0087 $0.0
6/22/2015 7/15/2015 $0.87 $0.8613 $0.0 $0.0087 $0.0
9/22/2015 10/15/2015 $0.94 $0.9306 $0.0 $0.0094 $0.0
2015 Totals $3.55 $3.5145 $0.0 $0.0355 $0.0

The company did not incur any foreign taxes.  Shareholders are encouraged to consult with their personal tax advisors as to their specific tax treatment of Federal Realty distributions.  Should you need any additional information, contact Brenda Pomar, Investor Relations, at 301-998-8316.

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 Boston as 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

NRF: US DOL’s concept of a joint employer is even worse than what we’ve seen from the NLRB

WASHINGTON, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation said joint employer standards issued today by the Labor Department are too broad and that Obama administration attempts to hold more companies responsible for the action of subcontractors or franchisees should be overturned by Congress.

“The Labor Department’s concept of a joint employer is even worse than what we’ve seen from the NLRB,” NRF Senior Vice President David French said. “Lawyers are already saying it’s only going to lead to more litigation. Congress has to stop the spread of this Orwellian big brother approach to government before it can go any further. This type of interference in well-established business practices is just one more roadblock to job creation and economic recovery. Ultimately, it’s American workers and families who will suffer.”

“Washington needs to understand that businesses can’t be held responsible for what they don’t control,” French said. “Subcontractors and franchisees are independent companies who make their own decisions on how to deal with their employees. Trying to treat large companies and smaller businesses as one large entity is just another effort to make life easier for organized labor.”

Guidelines released today by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division would set a broad definition of what can be considered a joint employer, using language from the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act that defines employment as “to suffer or permit to work.” By contrast, National Labor Relations Act provisions cited by the NLRB in its joint employer rulings last year require an element of “directing and controlling.”

DOL would recognize two types of joint employers. Under a “horizontal” model, an employee would work for two or more employers that are only technically separate. Under a “vertical” model, the employee would work for an intermediary such as a staffing agency that in turn is hired by another company.

The current debate over joint employers began last year at the NLRB, but Wage and Hour is the third federal agency to become involved. Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also considering whether to broaden the definition it uses, looking at whether franchisers can be held responsible for franchisees’ safety and health violations.

Under guidelines followed for more than 30 years, the NLRB held that a company had to have direct control over the actions of a subcontractor or franchisee’s employees in order to be considered a joint employer. However, in an August 2015 ruling involving the waste management company Browning Ferris Industries and staffing agency Leadpoint Business Services, the NLRB said a company could be considered a joint employer even if it had only indirect or unexercised control. In a separate case, the NLRB said McDonald’s could be considered a joint employer with its restaurant franchisees.

In October, the House Education and Workforce Committee approved legislation that would amend the NLRA to say a company can only be considered a joint employer if it has “actual, direct and immediate” control over essential terms and conditions of employment.

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. NRF.com

J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
(855) NRF-Press

National Council of Chain Restaurants on US DOL’s joint employer standards: misguided intrusion in the affairs of America’s small businesses

WASHINGTON, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Council of Chain Restaurants said the joint employer standards issued today by the U.S. Labor Department are a misguided intrusion in the affairs of America’s small businesses.

“The Labor Department is codifying a radical concept of employer-employee relationships and it is the most aggressive attempt yet to build on the flimsy foundation built by the NLRB’s Browning Ferris decision,” NCCR Executive Director Rob Green said. “Trial lawyers will love the new lawsuits that will be result of this policy. We call on Congress to review this new policy as soon as possible.”

“Federal bureaucrats shouldn’t have the final say in the daily affairs of operating small businesses, including chain restaurants,” Green said.  “Setting up intentionally vague standards to govern the relationship between different businesses, including subcontractors and franchisees, is a recipe for confusion, litigation and overzealous enforcement.”

Guidelines released today by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division would set a broad definition of what can be considered a joint employer, using language from the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act that defines employment as “to suffer or permit to work.” By contrast, National Labor Relations Act provisions cited by the NLRB in its joint employer rulings last year require an element of “directing and controlling.”

The current debate over joint employers began last year at the NLRB, but Wage and Hour is the third federal agency to become involved. Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also considering whether to broaden the definition it uses, looking at whether franchisers can be held responsible for franchisees’ safety and health violations.

Under guidelines followed for more than 30 years, the NLRB held that a company had to have direct control over the actions of a subcontractor or franchisee’s employees in order to be considered a joint employer. However, in an August 2015 ruling involving the waste management company Browning Ferris Industries and staffing agency Leadpoint Business Services, the NLRB said a company could be considered a joint employer even if it had only indirect or unexercised control. In a separate case, the NLRB said McDonald’s could be considered a joint employer with its restaurant franchisees.

The National Council of Chain Restaurants is the leading trade association exclusively representing chain restaurant companies. For more than 40 years, NCCR has worked to advance sound public policy that best serves the interests of restaurant businesses and the millions of people they employ. NCCR members include the country’s most-respected quick-service and table-service chains. NCCR is a division of the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade group.


– See more at: https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/national-council-of-chain-restaurants-calls-out-new-dol-joint-employer#sthash.aTFEHrpe.dpuf


Treacy Reynolds
(855) NRF-Press

Wesfarmers’ 2016 half-year results will be announced on Wednesday 24 February 2016

Perth, Australia, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ —

The Manager
Company Announcements Office
Australian Securities Exchange


Wesfarmers’ 2016 half-year results (including second quarter retail sales results) will be announced on Wednesday 24 February 2016.

An analyst briefing will be held at 10:00am (AWST) / 1:00pm (AEDT) following the release of the half-year results announcement. This briefing will be webcast and accessible via our website at www.wesfarmers.com.au.

Yours faithfully,

Wesfarmers Limited ABN 28 008 984 049
11th Floor, 40 The Esplanade, Perth, Western Australia 6000. GPO Box M978, Perth WA 6843.
Telephone 61 8 9327 4211 Facsimile 61 8 9327 4216 www.wesfarmers.com.au

PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk hypermart opened the 115th G7 concept Hypermart at Kuala Kapuas, Central Borneo

Tangerang, Indonesia, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk (MPPA), a multi-format modern retailer in Indonesia, which operates Hypermart, Foodmart and Boston Health & Beauty, today has opened the 115th Hypermart outlets at Kuala Kapuas, Central Borneo with the concept of G7 which has a gross selling area of ± 5,200 m2.

Hypermart Kuala Kapuasis the 4 th Hypermart outlet opensin Central Borneo, after the opening of 3 outlets in Palangkaraya, Pangkalan Bun, and Sampit. Based on the Company’s observation, the area of Kuala Kapuas refers to “Water City” which is located nearby the longest river in Indonesia, Kapuas river is one of the most develop city in Borneo.

The new G7 concept of Hypermart Kuala Kapuas will bring shopping comfort and convenience to the next level. The outlet offers wider shopping aisle with the products color scheme has been arranged in harmony with the eyes.

Ready to Eat area is extended with a choice of both local and international food and beverages. Bulk food also comes with the modern display concept. Overall store design looks more modern and appealing to bring the best shopping experience for customers.

For further information, please contact:
Phoa Marchea Trenggono,
Investor Relations & Communications Officer

Danny Kojongian,
Director of Public Relations & Communications

About PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk (MPPA)
PT Matahari Putra Prima (MPPA) operates Hypermart, Foodmart and Boston Health & Beauty. Total 2014 Sales amounted to Rp 13,59 Trillion (audited), a growth of 14.1% from 2013. Net Income 2014 amounted to Rp 554,0 Billion, which grew 24.5% from Rp 444,9 Billion in 2013. Hypermart has the widest store network among hypermarket operators in more than 60 cities ranging from Tanjung Balai (Medan) to Jayapura (Papua).

MPPA continues to receive both domestic and international acknowledgement with several awards such as: 2014 Customer Satisfaction by Roy Morgan, 2014 Excellence Experience by Bisnis Indonesia & Carre CCSL, 2014 Top 500 Bronze Award by Retail Asia, 2014 Charta Peduli Indonesia by Dompet Dhuafa, 2014 Superbrand Indonesia by Superbrand, 2014 Best Senior Management IR Support & Most Improved Investor Relations by Alpha Southeast Asia, 2014 Most Admired Companies by Fortune Indonesia, and 2014 Most Admired Company by Warta Ekonomi.


PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk hypermart opened the 115th G7 concept Hypermart at Kuala Kapuas, Central Borneo

Bridgepoint acquired leading retailer of children’s apparel, toys and accessories in Poland for €247 million

LONDON, 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Smyk, the leading retailer of children’s apparel, toys and accessories in Poland, has been acquired by Bridgepoint from Empik Media & Fashion, a Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed retail group, in a transaction totalling €247 million.

Established in 1952 as a toy and apparel retailer in Warsaw, Smyk now operates a network of 125 stores in Poland and has a growing presence in Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Germany.  The company has four store formats comprising a combination of megastores (typically located in retail parks), city stores, small stores in mid-sized cities and local malls, and outlets. It has also recently introduced an apparel-only ‘shop-in-shop’ format for its international markets.  12% of sales are currently made online. 2015 revenues are forecast to reach PLN 1,449 million.

Smyk CEO Mark Rollman said: “Smyk has a proven track record of success and enjoys high appreciation amongst its customers, especially in relation to its exciting fashion and toys offer. With the introduction of a new shareholder who is experienced in retail and is very supportive of our ambitions, we now have the opportunity to roll out our proven store concept, develop our exciting multichannel proposition and accelerate our international franchising and wholesaling expansion.”

Khai Tan, partner responsible for Bridgepoint’s investments activities in the CEE, added: “Smyk is the market leader in a fast growing sector and is well positioned to seize future opportunities for expansion. It has a strong brand heritage and is run by an experienced and talented management team.  This business has established a strong foundation for progress based on a brand that is well-known for its superior quality, range and leading service levels. In partnership with Bridgepoint, we have the opportunity to grow into a larger, more efficient and more international business.”

Krzysztof Rabiański, CEO of EM&F Group said: “Smyk has been our long-term investment and I am proud of this unique concept and shareholders’, business value that we created over the years of consistent development of this asset. Our mission in Smyk has come to an end and I wish the new owner and the management team of Smyk further success.”

Spend per child in this market is significantly lower than that recorded in Western European markets. The children’s products market is forecast to grow at c.5% per annum whilst Smyk’s specialised niche is expected to grow at an even greater rate of 11% per annum. This growth  will continue predominantly through increase of spend per child, with clear evidence emerging that as Polish families get richer, there is a strong correlation between their disposable income growth and child spend across toys and apparel.

This investment was made by Bridgepoint Europe V, a €4 billion European middle market buyout fund. Bank debt for this transaction was provided by Pekao.  Cornerstone Partners of Poland will take a small minority in the Bridgepoint-led acquisition.

Advisers involved in the transaction included:

– For Bridgepoint: Weil (legal), PwC (M&A, financial, tax, IT), Pekao IB (IB), OC&C (commercial),  Environ (environmental), CEE CG (management referencing), Marsh (insurance), Colliers (real estate)

– For EM&F: J P Morgan (M&A), Clifford Chance (legal), PwC (commercial), EY (financial and tax)

– For Management: Jamieson, Travers Smith (legal)

SOURCE: Bridgepoint

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