Nordstrom Rack to open at District Center in Washington D.C. in fall 2016

SEATTLE, 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Seattle-based Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) announced today plans to open a new Nordstrom Rack at District Center in Washington D.C.The approximately 37,000 square-foot, two-level store is scheduled to open in fall 2016.

Located in the heart of Washington D.C. at 555 12th Street Northwest, the new Rack is just a few minutes’ walk from several Metro Stations, popular tourist destinations including the White House, National Mall, International Spy Museum, Madame Tussaud’s and Ford’s Theatre, as well as a strong mix of retailers including Macy’s, H&M, Zara and T.J.Maxx.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to open this location in downtown Washington D.C., an area with great retail, historic and cultural activities, hotels and restaurants,” said Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack. “We look forward to opening our doors and hope this new location will allow us to better serve customers in the area.”

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 30-70 percent off regular prices. Nordstrom Rack merchandise, available at Rack stores and at Nordstromrack.com, comes from Nordstrom stores, Nordstrom.com as well as specially purchased items from many of the top brands available at Nordstrom. The Rack is designed to provide the ultimate treasure hunt to style-savvy customers.

“MetLife and its partners are thrilled to have Nordstrom Rack join us at District Center,” said Jessica Schoen of MetLife Investment Management. “We believe Nordstrom Rack’s presence will offer a valuable amenity to the occupants of 555 12th Street and also measurably improve the retail offerings for residents of the District of Columbia.”

Nordstrom operates seven full-line stores in the Washington D.C./Baltimore area, with the closest Nordstrom located at The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The new Rack will be the retailer’s 13th Nordstrom Rack in Washington D.C./Baltimore area having first opened in the area at Potomac Mills in Woodbridge, Virginia in 1990.

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 326 stores in 39 states, including 121 full-line stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico; 197 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 MetLife
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Kendall Ault
Nordstrom, Inc.
(206) 303-3208

Fred Pieretti
MetLife, Inc.
(212) 578-2631

SOURCE Nordstrom, Inc.

Nordstrom Rack to open at The Parke in Cedar Park, Texas in spring 2017

SEATTLE, 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Seattle-based Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) announced today plans to open a Nordstrom Rack at The Parke in Cedar Park, Texas just north of Austin. The approximately 31,000 square-foot store is scheduled to open in spring 2017. The property is being developed by Austin-based Endeavor Real Estate Group.

“We’re excited to grow our presence in Greater Austin at The Parke in Cedar Park,” said Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack. “Austin has been a great home for Nordstrom since 2003 and Nordstrom Rack since 2009 and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to more conveniently serve customers in Northwest Austin at a destination with such great retail.”

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 30-70 percent off regular prices. Nordstrom Rack merchandise, available at Rack stores and at Nordstromrack.com, comes from Nordstrom stores, Nordstrom.com as well as specially purchased items from many of the top brands available at Nordstrom. The Rack is designed to provide the ultimate treasure hunt to style-savvy customers.

The Parke is located directly off Highway 183A at the intersection of East New Hope Drive. When it opens, the new Nordstrom Rack will join a strong mix of retailers including 365 by Whole Foods, DSW, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Field & Stream.

This will be the third Nordstrom Rack in the Austin area joining stores at Sunset Valley Shopping Center in Sunset Valley and at Gateway Center in Austin. The company also has one full-line store located at Barton Creek Square and is opening its second full-line store later this year on September 30th at The Domain.

“Endeavor is excited to welcome Nordstrom Rack to Cedar Park and to have a retailer of their caliber at The Parke. Cedar Park has become the destination for high-quality retailers inNorthwest Austin, and we are thrilled to continue that trend,” says Charlie Northington, Managing Principal with Endeavor.

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 326 stores in 39 states, including 121 full-line stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico; 197 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 Endeavor Real Estate Group
Based in Austin, Texas, Endeavor Real Estate Group is a full-service commercial real estate firm that enhances value with a creative approach to investment, design, management, and leasing of retail, office, industrial, self-storage, mixed-used and multi-family properties. Endeavor is committed to sustainable, meaningful and high-quality projects that enhance the surrounding communities and exceed stakeholder expectations. Since opening its doors in 1999, Endeavor has acquired or developed more than 13 million square-feet and currently has 1.7 million square-feet in its pipeline. Noteworthy projects include the Domain, Southpark Meadows, 1890 Ranch, Whole Foods Market grocery store at Domain, IBC Bank Plaza,Champion Office Park and recently completed The Bowie, a 36-story mixed-use tower consisting of 41,000 square-feet of office space and 358 luxury rental units in Downtown Austin’s Market District.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Kendall Ault
Nordstrom, Inc.
(206) 303-3208

Michelle Alonso
Endeavor Real Estate Group
(512) 682-5533

SOURCE Nordstrom, Inc.

SONIC® Drive-In launches Soda Pop Shoppe

America’s Drive-In introduces new line of sweet cream sodas

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — SONIC® Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC) brings back memories with the launch of Soda Pop Shoppe, a new line of sweet cream sodas, offering a throw-back taste of classic flavors the old-fashioned way with a new-fashioned pop.

The hand-crafted sodas are offered in two options: Old Fashioned Sweet Cream Sodas, mixed with fizzy carbonated water and flavored syrups with real, sweet cream. Or, Classic Sweet Cream Sodas made with flavored syrups and iconic sodas including Dr Pepper®, root beer or Coca-Cola® mixed with real, sweet cream.

“Consumers know SONIC as the destination for new and exciting twists to familiar beverages, and our chefs meticulously crafted our new sweet cream soda flavors and designed them the old-fashioned way,” said Scott Uehlein, vice president of product innovation and development for SONIC. “Our guests enjoy sophisticated beverages and the new sweet cream sodas offer just that with high-quality, unique flavors you can’t find anywhere else.”

Soda Pop Shoppe’s Old-Fashioned Sweet Cream Sodas are offered in fun flavors like Vanilla, Strawberry, Cherry, Grape, Blue Coconut, Blue Raspberry and Green Apple. The Classic Sweet Cream Sodas leave your taste buds begging for more with classic combinations including Cherry Sweet Cream Dr Pepper, Blue Coconut Sweet Cream COKE, Strawberry Sweet Cream COKE, Cherry Vanilla Sweet Cream COKE, Strawberry Sweet Cream Root Beer, Vanilla Sweet Cream FANTA ORANGE®, Strawberry Sweet CreamFanta Orange and Chocolate Sweet Cream Root Beer.

SONIC’s new hand-crafted sodas join a drink and slush menu with more than 1.3 million flavor combinations, all available half price every day from 2-4 p.m. during SONIC’s famous Happy Hour.*

Soda Pop Shoppe sweet cream sodas are available for a limited time only, so pop in to your nearest drive-in to try one of these new and delicious creations – the SONIC way.

*See menu for details.

About SONIC, America’s Drive-In
SONIC, America’s Drive-In is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain serving more than 3 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. Over more than 60 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, more than 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. Since the 2009 launch of SONIC’s Limeades for Learning philanthropic campaign in partnership withDonorsChoose.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.

SONIC Drive-In

Matthew Young, 512-542-2802
Matthew.Young@cohnwolfe.com

Source: SONIC® Drive-In

News Provided by Acquire Media

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Vanilla Cream FANTA(R) Orange (Photo: Business Wire)

Vanilla Cream FANTA(R) Orange (Photo: Business Wire)

Responsible selling of knives set of principles agreed in UK

LONDON, UK, 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Major retailers and the Home Office have agreed on a set of principles for the responsible selling of knives.

As an industry, we are committed to ensuring the responsible selling of knives in the interest of public safety. The set of principles builds upon previous initiatives in this area including, most notably, a six-point commitment for retail knife sales issued by the Home Office in 2009.

We welcome the Home Office’s commitment to explore the application of Primary Authority and Better Regulation Deliver Office (BRDO) Codes for knife sales which will help ensure a more consistent application of policy and greater certainty for retailers. We further welcome the Home Office’s decision to consider the use of the Online Identity Exchange (OIX) and Trust Elevate which could provide retail businesses with a useful voluntary customer identity validation tool. We will be encouraging our other members who sell knives, but who were not involved by the Home Office in the immediate discussions, to adopt the set of principles as would be relevant and appropriate to their business models.

The agreed set of principles are outlined below:

* FINAL *

SALES OF KNIVES

Tesco, Lidl UK, Amazon UK, Wilko, Argos, Morrisons, Asda, Poundland, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Waitrose have committed to the following principles:

1. Retailers will apply their policies for age restricted sales such as think 21 or challenge 25 to ensure age verification checks take place and knives will only be sold (or supplied) once they are satisfied the customer is 18 or over. This will include proof of age checks for in-store sales, collection or point of delivery situations.

2. Action to be taken in-store and online to remind customers and staff that knives are age restricted products. This means that knives will only be sold (or supplied) once age verification to think 21 or challenge 25 has taken place. Supervisory support to be provided where appropriate.

3. Retailers will ensure knives are displayed and packaged securely as appropriate to minimise risk. This will include retailers taking practical and proportionate action to restrict accessibility and avoid immediate use, reduce the possibility of injury, and prevent theft.

4. All staff selling or approving sales of knives will be provided with training, with that training being refreshed at least once every year. This includes all staff involved in the sales transaction up to and including delivery.
The principles above will be applied as relevant to each retailer’s business model in discussion with their Primary Authority.

5. Ebay is committed to a safe online marketplace and currently prohibits the sale of all knives on ebay.co.uk, with the exception of cutlery.

6. Amazon requires that all third-party sellers on its marketplace comply with the law on the sale of knives, including clearly listing products as for over 18s and requiring age verification on delivery; those who do not are subject to action including potential suspension.

Alongside this, the Home Office will:
1. Work with the police in co-operation with trading standards (and the Better Regulation Delivery Office and relevant codes) to deliver test purchases across a range of retailers in six months’ time, and to feedback information to retailers head office on the results to aid and understand progress.

2. Explore further the application of Primary Authority for knife sales to provide businesses with assured advice and promote consistent approach to compliance with knife legislation.

3. Explore the use of Online Identity Exchange and Trust Elevate as a secure, reliable age verification tool for knife sales in the near future. 23 March 2016

 

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

Bol.com named Best Web Store of the Netherlands in the annual Thuiswinkel Awards Ceremony

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Bol.com was named Best Web Store of the Netherlands in the annual Thuiswinkel Awards (Homeshopping Awards) Ceremony, both by an expert jury and a consumer panel.

According to the jury, bol.com deserved the prize as it bases its choices on what customers find most important rather than on what happens to be “cool” in the industry. Bol.com also won the public award for Best Online Department Store.

Improvements in specialty stores
Since 2010, bol.com has significantly expanded its specialty stores, increasing the assortment from 2.5 to 10 million articles. Bol.com’s assortment also grew thanks to the introduction and expansion of the “Sell via bol.com” business model and the addition of luxury beauty brands in 2015. In 2015, bol.com furthermore focused specifically on service and quality, adding more product information in its stores. In addition, several improvements were made on the mobile app, making mobile shopping easier than ever.

More choice in delivery
In 2015, customers ordered more at bol.com than ever before, with a record of 350,000 items in one day. They had more delivery options, as bol.com expanded the number of pick-up points, introduced evening delivery and a same day delivery service. Bol.com also developed a fulfillment service for businesses selling via their platform, ensuring customers can rely on bol.com service for an even larger part of the online assortment.

Daniel Ropers, General Manager of bol.com said: “All the appreciation we are seeing, from our customers and also the expert jury, gives us even more energy to continue on this road with full speed, and to become an even better store for our customers in 2016.”

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ShopRite to participate in Whole Grain Sampling Day on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Keasbey, NJ, 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — ShopRite is pleased to announce they will be participating in Whole Grain Sampling Day, an annual event organized by the Whole Grains Council to educate consumers about the nutritional benefits of whole grains. The event is scheduled to take place at select ShopRite locations on Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

“We’ve always known that whole grains are an important and delicious part of a balanced diet,” says Natalie Menza, Manager of Health and Wellness at ShopRite, the largest supermarket cooperative in the country with more than 250 stores in the northeast. “We’re really excited that this day gives us the opportunity to not only inspire our customers about all the great whole grains that are available, but also helps shoppers discover unique ways to incorporate healthy grains into their favorite recipes.”

For those unable to attend a Whole Grain Sampling Day event, the ShopRite Health and Wellness team has compiled some easy suggestions on how to incorporate more whole grains into your diet:

  • Add brown rice, barley or quinoa to soup or chili. This adds excellent texture as well as makes the meal more filling and hearty.
  • Use as a salad topping.  Most people think of vegetables, meat and croutons as salad toppings but grains such as rice pilaf, quinoa salad, tabbouleh, or farro make a great addition to any salad.
  • Use oats instead of breadcrumbs. Try using rolled oats in place of breadcrumbs in your meatballs or burger recipes.
  • Have popcorn as a snack. Yes, popcorn is a whole grain! Aim for air popped popcorn to cut down on fat and sodium and have a delicious high fiber snack.
  • Try using half whole wheat flour, half white flour in your baked goods. Breads, pancakes, muffins, cookies can all be done with half wheat flour and will still taste great!

To find a ShopRite store hosting a Whole Grain Sampling Day event near you, visit http://www.shoprite.com/health-events/

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About ShopRite
ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in Keasbey, NJ, and the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States.  With more than 250 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than six million customers each week.  A long-time supporter of key community efforts, ShopRite is dedicated to fighting hunger in the communities it serves.  Through its ShopRite Partners In Caring program, ShopRite has donated more than $39 million to 1,700 worthy charities and food banks since the program began in 1999.  For more information, please visit www.ShopRite.com.

PR Contacts

Karen O’Shea

Communications Specialist
Email: karen.oshea@wakefern.com
Phone: 732-906-5932
Fax: 732-906-5160

Karen Meleta

Vice President
Consumer and Corporate Communications
Email: Karen.meleta@wakefern.com
Phone: 732-906-5356

Ingles Markets, Incorporated announces the appointment of Jim Lanning as CEO/President

ASHEVILLE, N.C., 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ingles Markets, Incorporated (NASDAQ: IMKTA) announced that effective today, Robert P. Ingle, II and the Company’s Board of Directors appointed Jim Lanning as CEO/President of Ingles Markets, Inc.  Mr. Lanning will continue to work with and report to Mr. Ingle, who will retain the title of Chairman of the Board (which he has held since 2004) and continue his day-to-day active operational role in the executive leadership of the Company.

Mr. Lanning joined Ingles as a student in 1975 and has served as President of the Company since 2003.  As CEO/President, he will continue his leadership role within the Company.

“Jim has shown outstanding leadership qualities as President for the past 13 years.  I am proud at this time to expand his role for the Company’s future growth, flexibility and development,” said Mr. Ingle.

About Ingles Markets, Incorporated
Ingles Markets, Incorporated is a leading supermarket chain with operations in six southeastern states. Headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, the Company operates 202 supermarkets. In conjunction with its supermarket operations, the Company operates neighborhood shopping centers, most of which contain an Ingles supermarket. The Company also owns a fluid dairy facility that supplies Company supermarkets and unaffiliated customers. The Company’s Class A Common Stock is traded on The NASDAQ Stock Market’s Global Select Market under the symbol IMKTA. For more information, visit Ingles’ website www.ingles-markets.com.

Ingles Markets, Incorporated – Post Office Box 6676, Asheville, NC 28816

Russia’s largest retailer PJSC Magnit announces its audited FY 2015 results

Krasnodar, Russia, 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — , March 24, 2016: PJSC “Magnit”, Russia’s largest retailer (the “Company”; MOEX and LSE: MGNT) announces its audited FY 2015 results prepared in accordance with IFRS.

During 2015 the Company added (net) 2,378 stores (1,250 convenience stores, 29 hypermarkets, 58 “Magnit Family” stores and 1,041 drogerie stores) and increased its selling space by 22.92% in comparison to 2014 from 3,590.64 thousand sq. m. to 4,413.72 thousand sq. m. The total store base as of December 31, 2015 reached 12,089 stores (9,594 convenience stores, 219 hypermarkets, 155 “Magnit Family” stores and 2,121 drogerie stores).

Revenue increased by 24.50% YoY from 763,527.25 million RUR in 2014 to 950,613.34 million RUR in 2015. The top line growth was due to an increase in selling space as well as to a 6.21% increase in like-for-like sales.

Gross profit increased by 22.81% from 220,520.56 million RUR to 270,820.81 million RUR. Gross margin in 2015 amounted to 28.49%.

EBITDA increased by 21.03% from 85,909.67 million RUR in 2014 to 103,972.93 million RUR in 2015. EBITDA margin in 2015 amounted to 10.94%. EBITDA margin in the 4Q of 2015 was 11.09%. Net Debt / EBITDA ratio (in ruble terms) for 2015 amounted to 0.92.

2015 net income increased by 23.85% and amounted to 59,061.20 million RUR vs. 47,685.84 million RUR in 2014. Net income margin for 2015 was 6.21%.

Key figures presented in this press release are immaterially higher compared to numbers under management accounts announced by the Company on January 27, 2016. Thus, according to the audited FY 2015 results EBITDA and EBIT margins are higher by 1 b. p., while Net Income margin is higher 2 b.p

For further information, please contact:

Timothy Post Head of Investor Relations
Email: post@magnit.ru
Office: +7-861-277-4554 x 17600
Mobile: +7-961-511-7678
Direct Line: +7-861-277-4562

Investor Relations Office MagnitIR@magnit.ru
Direct Line: +7-861-277-4562
Website: http://ir.magnit.com/

Media Inquiries Media Relations Department
press@magnit.ru

Company description:
Magnit is Russia’s largest food retailer. Founded in 1994, the company is headquartered in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar. As of December 31, 2015, Magnit operated 33 distribution centers and about 12,089 stores (9,594 convenience, 374 hypermarkets, and 2,121 drogerie stores) in 2,361 cities and towns throughout 7 federal regions of the Russian Federation.

In accordance with the audited IFRS results for 2015, Magnit had revenues of RUB 951 billion and an EBITDA of RUB 104 billion. Magnit’s local shares are traded on the Moscow Stock Exchange (MOEX: MGNT) and its GDRs on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: MGNT) and it has a credit rating from Standard & Poor’s of BB+. Measured by market capitalization, Magnit is one of the largest retailers in Europe.

FULL PRESS RELEASE

Albert Heijn: Er worden steeds meer biologische eieren gegeten in Nederland

Zaandam, Nederland, 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wie aan Pasen denkt, denkt aan eieren. Of dit nu echte eieren zijn of chocolade-eitjes. Er worden steeds meer biologische eieren gegeten in Nederland. In de afgelopen 5 jaar is het aandeel biologische eieren bij supermarktketen Albert Heijn dan ook meer dan verdubbeld. Ook de chocolade variant doet het goed. De verwachting is dat alleen al via Albert Heijn meer dan 1.5 miljoen biologische chocolade-eitjes verkocht worden deze Pasen.

Biologische ontbijtproducten snelle stijgersDriekwart van de Nederlanders koopt wel eens biologische producten* ; Lagen er in 2007 bij Albert Heijn nog zo’n 270 biologische producten in het schap, nu is dit aantal vervijfvoudigd. De best verkochte biologische producten bij Albert Heijn in 2015 waren onder andere melk, bananen, eieren en yoghurt. Met name biologische ontbijtproducten doen het dus goed. De verwachting is dan ook dat er dit jaar meer biologische producten dan ooit op de Paastafel staan. *Bron TNS NIPO

Over Albert Heijn BiologischAH Biologisch bestaat uit verse en houdbare producten, van alledaags tot bijzonder. Van appels, melk en chocolade tot babyvoeding, verse soepen en wijn. Natuurlijk zijn al deze biologische producten onafhankelijk gecontroleerd door Skal Biocontrole en hebben daarom het Europees biologisch keurmerk.

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Seven new national nonprofit organizations receive grants from Best Buy

Minneapolis, MN, 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Best Buy is bolstering its efforts this year to reduce the nation’s technology gap by giving grants to national nonprofit partners and participating in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) ConnectHome initiative.

“For 50 years, Best Buy has been a catalyst in the rise of technology as a means to improve virtually every aspect of our lives,” said Susan Bass Roberts, senior director of Community Relations, Diversity & Inclusion at Best Buy. “We are committed to giving underserved youth access to the tech training and tools they need to further their education and careers. Together, we believe we can help nurture and inspire a new generation of engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers, designers, artists and dreamers.”

Seven new national nonprofit receive grants

Each year Best Buy gives grants to national nonprofit partners who provide educational resources to foster success in a world filled with technology. This year, Best Buy has partnered with seven new organizations, bringing its national partnerships total to 16.

Our new partners include BDPA, Cyber Seniors, DePaul University/Digital Youth Network, EveryoneOn, Games for Change, Hispanic Heritage Foundation and LRNG. These organizations focus on narrowing the digital divide by providing tech opportunities for underprivileged teens and youth; teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); closing the generational technology gap, or building an online platform open to all youth.

Returning national partners include After-School All-Stars, Common Sense Media,Dreaming Tree Foundation, FIRST, GRAMMY Foundation, Mouse, Science Buddies,The Clubhouse Network and Youth Radio.

Hundreds of families will receive training via Best Buy’s HUD ConnectHome participation

Best Buy will continue to support ConnectHome, a new national initiative to help children and families living in HUD-assisted housing.

As part of the HUD partnership, Best Buy will provide free digital literacy training and Geek Squad Academy courses to teens in public housing in more than 20 cities. Teen Tech Centers will be used as training and distribution locations for ConnectHome families receiving devices and Internet services.

For more information about Best Buy’s 2016 community programs, partnerships and tech education initiatives, click here.

SOURCE: Best Buy

Seven new national nonprofit organizations receive grants from Best Buy

Seven new national nonprofit organizations receive grants from Best Buy

Jack McGregor named Defense Commissary Agency’s 2015 Michael W. Blackwell Leadership Award recipient

  • Pacific logistics chief honored for keeping commissaries supplied

FORT LEE, Va., 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — To say 2015 was a difficult year for supplying Pacific Area commissaries is an understatement. The area dealt with poultry embargoes from Japan and Korea, and West Coast port slowdowns among other issues. So it was no surprise when the Defense Commissary Agency selected the person in the middle of all those challenges, Jack McGregor, Pacific Area logistics chief, as the agency’s 2015 Michael W. Blackwell Leadership Award recipient.

McGregor received the award during a DeCA Headquarters ceremony Feb. 1.

McGregor said winning the award was “a very unexpected and humbling experience. The team here in Sacramento, the headquarters management folks at Fort Lee, the central distribution center (CDC) folks in the Pacific and our distributor partners all played a role in the successes achieved this past year.”

McGregor, a former Navy service member, began his commissary career as a warehouse worker at the Naval Base Pearl Harbor Commissary, Hawaii. In 1992, he accepted a position with DeCA’s Pacific region at Fort Lewis, Washington, where he was a contract specialist. McGregor was promoted to chief, Pacific Overseas Processing Point, in 2003.

Today he supports eight CDCs, 24 CDC-supported commissaries, three direct-support commissaries and a U.S. Army-operated grocery store located in the Pacific. He also oversees ordering, shipping, product payments and container booking for all shipments to the Pacific and order processing payments to the CDC and all five commissaries in Alaska.

McGregor’s experience was tested early. In January 2015, Japan and South Korea enacted poultry embargoes because of the presence of avian flu in some U.S. poultry products. The embargoes reduced product flow to commissaries in those countries. McGregor immediately worked with suppliers and distributors to find other sources to keep product arriving at the stores.

South Korea eventually relaxed some restrictions and McGregor worked to get more than 300 items, such as hotdogs and chicken tenders, back into the stores.

During the embargoes, McGregor realized that families stationed in these areas wouldn’t be able to purchase turkeys for their Thanksgiving dinners. Seeking a solution, he located an Australian supplier that was not under the embargo and worked with veterinarians, category managers and contractors to get the supplier inspected and approved to send turkeys to the region.

McGregor also stayed current on the status of oceanic shipping. Finding one of two remaining U.S.-flagged ocean carriers was leaving the Pacific market, he coordinated with the U.S. Transportation Command and the remaining carrier, switching them in a seamless transition.

Meanwhile, a labor slowdown in West Coast ports was causing shipping delays and spoilage issues. McGregor quickly changed certain staple items over to airlift to fill shelves in the Pacific. The airlift lasted for four months, and must-have items were monitored closely to ensure costs were mitigated.

After port operations normalized, McGregor reduced the amount of items airlifted and shifted them back to surface shipments, while balancing shipping time with availability and shelf-life. During the port slowdown McGregor managed more than 5 million pounds of airlifted product, carrying a price tag of $19 million, while keeping the 27 stores in the Pacific at a 98-percent fill rate.

“Each of these situations caused unique challenges in their own way. I take it step by step and try to come up with the best possible solution in each situation,” McGregor said about the issues he faced.

“This series of exceptional challenges required exceptional leadership and persistence to overcome,” said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA Director and CEO. “Jack McGregor and his team did just that every time, in keeping with the Blackwell award’s central tenets: commitment to excellence, unswerving dedication and superior technical acumen.”

“It’s truly a team effort,” McGregor said. “I try to do my small part to make sure our customers know we care by bringing them a touch of home. There’s nothing like walking into a commissary in the Pacific and seeing a display of a good old USA item. That’s the feeling I want our customers get when they shop in our stores, and it makes everything we do behind the scenes worthwhile.”

The Blackwell award was created in honor of Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Michael W. Blackwell. He served with the Air Force Commissary Service before its consolidation into DeCA, and was the agency’s senior enlisted advisor from March 1994 to March 1995. Battling cancer, Blackwell retired from DeCA Feb. 9, 1995, after 22 years of service. He passed away April 5, 1995, at age 44.

Note: Photos related to this news release are on Flickr here, here and here.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Source: Commissary

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil