Shopify integrates with Facebook new Messenger Platform that allows merchants to provide live customer support

Shopify leads conversational commerce trend with Messenger integration and future launch of commerce bots

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP)(TSX:SH), the leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses, today announced an integration with the new Messenger Platform that allows merchants to provide live customer support, automatically send order confirmations, shipping updates, push notifications, and more, all within Facebook Messenger. This new integration will make it easier for merchants in the U.S. to build stronger, one-on-one relationships with their customers.

“Messaging apps are enabling us to rekindle the conversations we are used to having in person with retail businesses, and recapture some of the lost intimacy that comes with shopping online,” said Brandon Chu, Senior Product Manager at Shopify. “Our decision to integrate with Messenger and build commerce bots, is designed to help merchants develop deeper relationships with their customers, and give them an opportunity to reinforce their brand’s personality.”

Additionally, Shopify is building commerce bots for Messenger, a project that will allow merchants to have more interactive and engaging conversations with customers.  Bots for Messenger and the Messenger Platform were announced at this year’s F8.

Over the last two years, Shopify has seen messaging apps grow in popularity and start to outpace social networks when it comes to where consumers are spending their time. With an expanding developer ecosystem, messaging apps are reaching far beyond simple messaging to connect customers privately and directly with their favorite businesses. This integration gives Shopify merchants a head start in leveraging messaging apps to run and grow their businesses.

For more information, please visit: https://shopify.com/messenger

About Shopify
Shopify is the leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Merchants use the software to design, set up and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations and pop-up shops. The platform also provides a merchant with a powerful back-office and a single view of their business. The Shopify platform was engineered for reliability and scale, making enterprise-level technology available to businesses of all sizes. Shopify currently powers over 243,000 businesses in approximately 150 countries and is trusted by big brands including Tesla Motors, Budweiser, Red Bull, the LA Lakers, the New York Stock Exchange, GoldieBlox, and many more.

CONTACT
press@shopify.com

Techstars powered METRO Accelerator opens the application process for its second programme for start-ups

  • Wanted are international start-ups that promote the digitalisation of the restaurant, hotel and catering sector
  • Ten selected teams are offered €120,000 investment and access to METRO’s and Techstars’ network of experts
  • Continuation of the world’s first accelerator for digital solutions in the food tech and hospitality industry, starting in September in Berlin
  • Applications for the METRO Accelerator programme are accepted online until 20 June 2016 via the websitewww.metroaccelerator.com

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is commencing the application process for its second programme for start-ups, whose digital services and companies could give a direct boost to the commercial success of restaurants, hotels and catering businesses. “The great success of the first round, with 11 international start-ups, proved to us that we should immediately up the ante and make the many opportunities of digitalisation more readily accessible to our customers in the restaurant and hotel sector. I am convinced that digital business models and services will play an even bigger role for the success of our customers in the future,” says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board ofMETRO AG. “More and more business founders are coming to us with new digital ideas. With the continuation of METRO Accelerator, we wish to provide them with a fast and efficient opportunity to test their projects with the help of our international experts in the area of wholesaling and food, and to advance these projects in the market. We offer potential access to a very large customer base and extensive contacts in the hospitality industry that start-ups barely receive elsewhere.”

From now until 20 June 2016, interested start-ups from all over the world can submit an application for the programme on the English-language website www.metroaccelerator.com. The teams must fill out a questionnaire and can upload a video, if they wish. The whole application is to be completed in English. An expert jury composed of investors and mentors will choose the 10 most promising start-ups. The programme will get under way in Berlin on 12 September. After three months’ working with more than 100 international mentors, the start-ups will present their company to investors, industry leaders and the general public on the so-called Demo Day in December 2016.

“The potential in this still underdeveloped founder segment is vast and the market for digital solutions in the hospitality industry is growing rapidly,” says Alexander Zumdieck, METRO managing director of METRO Accelerator. “We received several hundred interesting international applications for our first Accelerator round last year, far more than we anticipated. We expect a similarly strong response for the second round,” Zumdieck explains.

Once again, innovative businesses are being sought, with the ultimate aim of delivering added value for the restaurant, hotel and catering sector. They could be solutions for entire business areas – multichannel, new applications to gain customer loyalty and optimise business processes are just as conceivable as new digital products and special services. Start-ups at all maturity levels and from all over the world can apply, and neither their legal structure nor the age of the team members is relevant to the application. What is important is that a team is available and can work for the duration of the three-month programme in Berlin from mid-September. The whole programme is conducted in English.

As a renowned partner, Techstars will continue to be responsible for start-up development in the METRO Accelerator programme for the next three years. “After the successful conclusion of the first programme, we are delighted to be developing the promising start-up segment further, together with METRO,” says Jens Lapinski, Techstars managing director of METRO Accelerator. “As one of the world’s most well-known start-up ecosystems, Techstars contributes its internationally tested programme and a network of more than 3,000 mentors, investors and experienced members of the start-up community. To date, we have invested in more than 1,000 company founders. You remain a member of the Techstars network for life, not just for the duration of the programme.”

Further information on the process and details of the programme can be found at www.metroaccelerator.com and on Twitter at @MetroAccel.

METRO GROUP is one of the most important international retailing companies. It generated sales of some €59 billion in financial year 2014/15. The company operates over 2,000 locations in 29 countries and employs more than 220,000 people. The performance ofMETRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands, which act independently on the market: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry, the international leader in the self-service wholesale trade; Media Markt and Saturn, the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing; and Real hypermarkets.

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of startup programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO. Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and Do More Faster™. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from early stage grassroots community development to more formal opportunities that provide education, experience, acceleration, funding, and beyond.

For more information visit www.techstars.com.

Contact Media Department

Telephone: +49 211 6886-4252
Telefax: +49 211 6886-2001

E-Mail METRO GROUP: presse@metro.de

Starbucks hosted its 10th Annual Supplier Summit in Shenzhen, China

Shenzhen, China, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks looked to its core business as a model when it convened its first summit for suppliers of manufactured goods in China.

“We studied the leadership position we were taking to get high-quality coffee,” said Kelly Goodejohn, director, Starbucks Ethical Sourcing. “We wanted to build something similar for other products that we source.”

Similar to coffee, Starbucks wanted to understand where manufactured goods were sourced, how farmers and workers were being treated and the impact the suppliers were having in local communities. The summit served as a starting point to gain more of this knowledge.

“It was an awareness opportunity,” said Goodejohn. “What we found was that many of our suppliers shared our values, wanted to do more for their employees and communities, but didn’t know how to do it.”

Earlier this week, Starbucks hosted its 10th Annual Supplier Summit in Shenzhen, China, which featured Starbucks leaders, non-profits and other industry experts. During the event, Starbucks shared key company initiatives, discussed global responsibility goals and provided tools and resources to help suppliers improve business practices. More than 350 suppliers attended this year’s two-day event.

Building Trust and Impacting Communities

In 2006, when the first summit took place with just 10 suppliers in attendance, one of Starbucks goals was to cultivate a stronger rapport with them.

“Building authentic relationships with our suppliers was important as well as working with them to make improvements,” said Goodejohn. “Over time, we have worked with our suppliers in China to improve labor and environmental performance to enable higher overall performance, so they are positioned to grow with Starbucks as our business grows.”

At first, not all suppliers were willing to take Starbucks at face value.

“It was difficult to build trust, but we got there,” said Goodejohn. “While some suppliers moved on, the majority were willing to work with us and are still our suppliers today.”

Starbucks has worked with suppliers to improve worker health and safety, ensure employees get paid a fair wage, provide better living conditions at factory dormitories and confirm that products are made without emitting dangerous chemicals to protect water and air.

Three years ago, Starbucks incorporated community service into the supplier summit to highlight an important aspect of the company’s mission.

On April 13, suppliers, Starbucks partners (employees) and customers convened for a beautification and career development service project at the Shiao Community and the Young Dream Center in Shenzhen. The project is one of many that the company will engage in during its Global Month of Service that takes place throughout the month.

Sharing Knowledge

As a way to support suppliers on the ground year-round, Starbucks hired two field managers in China to help implement best practices related to social and environmental performance. They teach factory managers and work on continuous improvement with suppliers.

“I’m immensely proud of what we’ve done and the partners who are elevating ethical sourcing with suppliers on a regular basis,” said Goodejohn. “We have many countries that manufacture goods for us and we can bring the learnings from China to other regions. We have the right momentum and we will keep moving.”

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

 

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Starbucks hosted its 10th Annual Supplier Summit in Shenzhen, China

Starbucks hosted its 10th Annual Supplier Summit in Shenzhen, China

New Frappuccino® blended beverage introduced by Starbucks Japan

TOKYO, Japan, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — With a backdrop of swirling orange and white fabric on a large revolving stage, a new Frappuccino® blended beverage was introduced this week by Starbucks Japan.

Cantaloupe Melon & Cream Frappuccino® made its debut during a fashion event that the company hosted April 12 in Tokyo. Keigo Anan, art director for Logram Inc., produced the celebration, which was reminiscent of a carnival. Models and dancers wearing dresses designed for the event performed dances with the new beverage in hand. The festivities also included a local guest talk show host and a concert by a live band.

Cantaloupe Melon & Cream Frappuccino® is a handcrafted, layered combination with milk-flavored panna cotta and cantaloupe inclusions at the bottom, a blend of cantaloupe and melons in the center, and whipped cream topping. The new beverage will be available until May 17 in Starbucks® stores throughout Japan.

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

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New Frappuccino® blended beverage introduced by Starbucks Japan

New Frappuccino® blended beverage introduced by Starbucks Japan

Starbucks Law & Corporate Affairs Department Pro Bono Committee supports Innocence Project Northwest

SEATTLE, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Last year, 149 Americans convicted of committing crimes were exonerated, according to the University of Michigan Law School’s National Registry of Exonerations. Fifty-eight of those convictions were for homicide.

The process of freeing someone unjustly imprisoned is challenging and time intensive, according to Jacqueline McMurtrie, founder of the Innocence Project Northwest. Her group, which has been working to free innocent prisoners in the state of Washington for nearly two decades, receives up to 30 requests for help each month. Limited resources and the group’s high standard for consideration – focusing on persons who may be innocent, rather than those who may have received an unfair trial – keeps the number of cases the group works with at one time to a couple of dozen.

Providing assistance to their clients requires help beyond what the organization’s small staff can provide, even with help from University of Washington School of Law students. Recognizing the need for additional assistance, Innocence Project Northwest has enlisted members of the Starbucks Law and Corporate Affairs department to participate in an ongoing effort called Freedom Fridays.

RelatedA History of Giving Back Fuels Starbucks Global Month of Service

Twice in 2015, Starbucks attorneys and paralegals gathered in a room at company headquarters in Seattle to participate in a 90-minute training session conducted by McMurtrie and Innocence Project Northwest staff attorney Fernanda Torres. After the presentation and a question-and-answer session, they dig into case files.

“These cases have passed our basic screening process, but still need to be initially assessed,” Torres explained. “Starbucks volunteers review the files and answer some questions that will help us determine if we keep reviewing or gather additional information or close the file.”

Cassandra Soltis, Starbucks corporate counsel and co-chair of the Starbucks Law & Corporate Affairs Department Pro Bono Committee, said contributions by Starbucks partners (employees) to Freedom Fridays are part of a continuing effort to support worthy causes. Veterans, children, the homeless and first responders have also received pro bono aid from lawyers employed by Starbucks.

“It really touches you,” said Soltis, who has provided assistance to the Innocence Project Northwest. “It inspired me to want to do more of this and I think others who’ve participated feel the same way.”

Kevin Stock, Starbucks vice president and assistant general counsel, is a Freedom Fridays regular, but his involvement with the Innocence Project Northwest goes even deeper. As chair of the Pro Bono Committee at Starbucks, Stock participated in a 2011 lunch-and-learn featuring McMurtrie. The 13-year Starbucks partner was so inspired by her presentation that he reached out to see how else he could contribute.

Stock is now a member of the group’s advisory council and has been working alongside Torres for five years attempting to exonerate a man imprisoned since 1998 for arson and attempted murder. There are witnesses who say his client couldn’t have been at the scene of the crime, according to Stock.

“As lawyers, we have an ethical obligation to provide pro bono services,” he said, adding that the law department strongly encourages all of its partners to participate in pro bono activities. Many volunteer throughout the year in different pro bono projects, whether its Freedom Fridays, the annual Washington First Responder Will Clinic, Neighborhood Legal Clinics or on individual matters.

‘A voice for change’

Innocence Project Northwest began in 1997, inspired by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld’s New York-based Innocence Project and the PBS documentary “What Jennifer Saw,” which chronicled a mistaken-identity case.

“It really struck me, because nothing was done wrong in the documentary case,” McMurtrie said. “The detective was good. The defense attorney did a good job. The prosecutor wasn’t evil or hiding evidence. Still a horrible mistake was made.”

The film reminded McMurtrie of a murder case she’d worked as a public defender. The defendant insisted he’d been out of the state when the crime was committed, but proving that meant enlisting a capable investigator, which McMurtrie did. With a sound alibi established, her client was cleared.

“I realized that if we didn’t have that investigator, my client would have gone to trial and he might have been convicted,” she said.

McMurtrie, who worked on her own for the first 11 years, stepped aside as director of Innocence Project Northwest last fall. She continues to teach and supervise cases. Anna Tolin, the organization’s deputy director since 2012 has taken over as director. Thirteen people, confined for a collective 100 years in prison for crimes they did not commit, were exonerated under McMurtrie’s watch. She’s observed that winning their freedom is only a first step in putting their lives back together.

“People struggle,” McMurtrie said. “It’s hard to find work. People are traumatized. What does help our exonerees is to become a voice for change.”

And change is coming, she believes.

“There is an increased awareness that wrongful convictions occur,” McMurtrie said. “There’s a desire on everybody’s part – law enforcement and prosecutors included – to not have the wrong person convicted, both because of the horror  that person experiences, but also because there’s someone still out there committing more crimes.”


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

 

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Jacqueline McMurtrie

Jacqueline McMurtrie

Amazon introduced the eighth generation of Kindle; pre-order available for $289.99

  • Designed to feel weightless—incredibly thin with an ergonomic grip that shifts the center of gravity to the palm of your hand, creating the perfect balance so you can read comfortably for hours with one hand
  • 30% thinner on average and over 20% lighter than any other Kindle
  • Dual-battery charging system provides the longest battery life of any Kindle—included removable leather charging cover lets you read for months without plugging in

SEATTLE, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Eight years ago, Amazon introduced Kindle, making it possible for the first time to think of any book and start reading it in seconds. Since then, Amazon has introduced new Kindle e-readers that are smaller, lighter, and faster—all on a mission to make the device disappear so you can lose yourself in an author’s story. Today, Amazon took another step toward this mission: introducing Kindle Oasis—the eighth generation of Kindle—crafted from the ground up for readers, with an all-new, incredibly thin and light design, plus an included charging cover that delivers months of battery life. Kindle Oasis is available for pre-order today for $289.99 and will start shipping in the coming weeks. Meet Kindle Oasis at www.amazon.com/kindleoasis.

“To lean back and read for hours, you need a sanctuary from distraction,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “We want Kindle to disappear, and Kindle Oasis is the next big step in that mission. It’s the most advanced Kindle we’ve ever built—thin and ultra-lightweight, it gets out of the way so you can lose yourself in the author’s world.”

Kindle Oasis

All-New Design—The Thinnest and Lightest Kindle Ever

The new Kindle Oasis is unlike any Kindle you’ve ever held. With an incredibly thin display and an ergonomic grip, Kindle Oasis weighs just 4.6 ounces and is just 3.4 mm at its thinnest point—30% thinner on average and over 20% lighter than any other Kindle. To achieve this, Kindle Oasis has a featherweight polymer frame that is plated with metal by structural electroplating—this makes the device incredibly light while ensuring it has the strength and rigidity of metal so it is resilient enough to take anywhere you want to read.

Designed for Comfortable and Extended Reading

Kindle Oasis is designed for extended reading sessions—with an entirely reimagined shape, Kindle Oasis shifts the center of gravity to your palm, to rest in your hand like the spine of a book so that the device feels balanced for one-handed reading. Effortlessly turn the page with either the touch display or physical buttons. Oasis is comfortable to read on with either hand—a built-in accelerometer detects whether you are reading with your left or right hand, and automatically rotates the page and page turn buttons to match.

Dual-Battery Design Delivers Months of Battery LifeOur Longest Ever

Kindle Oasis introduces a new dual-battery system—as soon as you connect the cover to Kindle Oasis, the battery in the cover begins recharging Kindle Oasis automatically. The battery in the cover uses a custom cell architecture that optimizes power and energy while keeping an incredibly small and light form factor and delivering months of battery life. You can charge the device and cover simultaneously while both are snapped together and plugged in. Plus, a new hibernation mode minimizes power consumption when your Kindle is inactive.

The included charging cover is made of high-quality leather and is available in black, merlot, or walnut. The cover opens like a book and fits closely around the bezel, waking Kindle Oasis when opened and putting it to sleep when closed. Twelve magnets form a secure and solid attachment between the device and cover, while ensuring it is easy to detach when you choose to read without the cover.

Next Generation Paperwhite Display

Kindle Oasis features the latest generation high-resolution 300 ppi Paperwhite display for crisp, laser-quality text. A redesigned built-in front light features 60% more LEDs for our brightest Kindle display ever and leverages new cylindrical diffractive patterns to increase the consistency and range of screen brightness for improved reading in all types of lighting. The new Paperwhite display on Oasis is the first Kindle display designed using a ground-breaking 200 micron display backplane that is as thin as a single sheet of aluminum foil, but is robust enough for you to throw in your bag and take with you on-the-go, combined with a custom cover glass engineered from chemically-reinforced glass.

The Kindle Family: Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage, and Kindle Oasis

Kindle Oasis is the newest addition to the Kindle family. By design, Kindle e-readers are purpose-built for reading so you can lose yourself in a book. Unlike tablets and phones, dedicated e-readers don’t distract you with social media, emails, and text messages. They don’t beep at you or tire your eyes when you read for hours at a time. You can now choose from four different Kindle e-readers to find the one that is best for you:

  • Kindle, our most affordable reader, with a touchscreen display and all the latest features customers love about Kindle, including Whispersync, Smart Lookup, and Goodreads integration, just $79.99.
  • Kindle Paperwhite, the most popular and best-selling Kindle, features a high-resolution display and an adjustable front light, just$119.99.
  • Kindle Voyage, with a high resolution, high contrast display, an adaptive front light and page turns with PagePress buttons, just$199.99.
  • Kindle Oasis, the thinnest and lightest Kindle, with an all-new ergonomic design, page turn buttons, and an included leather charging cover which, when added, provides months of battery life through a unique dual-battery charging system, just $289.99.

All the Features Readers Love about Kindle

The new Kindle Oasis includes all of the features that have made the Kindle family the most popular e-readers in the world for eight years running:

  • Reads like a book—Thanks to a built-in front light, read without eyestrain or glare, even in bright sunlight.
  • Weeks of battery life—Battery life is measured in weeks, not hours.
  • No set-up required—Kindle arrives pre-registered so you can start reading immediately.
  • Whispersync—Saves and synchronizes your last page read, bookmarks, and annotations across all of your devices and Kindle apps, so you can always pick up where you left off.
  • Worry-free archive—Automatically backs up your Kindle books in the cloud, so you never need to worry about losing your books—re-download your books wirelessly anytime for free.
  • Goodreads—Kindle is integrated with the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations, with over 50 million members, 1.3 billion books added, and 47 million book reviews.
  • X-Ray—Explore the “Bones of the Book”—see all of the passages across a book that mention relevant ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places, or topics of interest.
  • Word Wise—Available on many popular English language titles, Word Wise makes it easier to enjoy and quickly understand more challenging books. Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, so you can keep reading with fewer interruptions.
  • Family Library—With Kindle and Kindle reading apps, you can access not only your own books, but also books from the Amazonaccount of a spouse or partner.
  • Kindle FreeTime—Gives parents a simple, engaging way to encourage kids to spend more time reading. Hand-select books for your kids to read, and achievement badges are earned when they hit reading milestones.
  • Time to Read—Tells you how much time it will take to finish a chapter or a book based on your personalized reading speed.
  • Vocabulary Builder—Compiles words you look up in the dictionary into an easy-to-access list. Use these lists to quiz yourself with flashcards and instantly see words in context.
  • Share your favorite passages—Share book recommendations, highlighted sections, and meaningful quotes with friends viaFacebook and Twitter.
  • Smart Lookup—Integrates a full dictionary definition with other reference information via X-Ray and Wikipedia.
  • Custom-Built Typesetting Engine—Word and character spacing, with hyphenation, justification, ligatures, and kerning lays out the pages just as the author intended.

World’s Best eBook Store

Kindle e-readers come with instant access to the Kindle Store, which includes:

  • Massive selection—Millions of books, newspapers and magazines, including the latest best sellers, Kindle Singles, and more.
  • Kindle exclusives—Over 1,000,000 books are exclusive to the Kindle Store.
  • Lowest book prices—Over a million titles are $2.99 or less, over 2 million are $9.99 or less.
  • Kindle Unlimited—Enjoy unlimited reading of over 1,000,000 books and unlimited listening to a selection of thousands of audiobooks for just $9.99 a month.
  • Kindle First—Access new Kindle books a month in advance of their official release date. Customers can choose one of the featured books each month for $1.99, and Prime members can make their selection for free—yet another benefit of Prime membership.

The new Kindle Oasis is $289.99. It is available for pre-order around the world and will start shipping in the coming weeks. Order now at www.amazon.com/kindleoasis.

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

Amazon.com, Inc.
Media Hotline, 206-266-7180
Amazon-pr@amazon.com
www.amazon.com/pr

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Kindle Oasis with Premium Leather Charging Cover (Photo: Business Wire)

Kindle Oasis with Premium Leather Charging Cover (Photo: Business Wire)

Macy’s chief marketing officer Martine Reardon to leave the company

CINCINNATI, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer, has decided to leave the company, effective May 13, after 32 years of service.

“I am extremely proud of the work that I have led in building Macy’s into an international omnichannel brand. We have established a clear and compelling brand promise rooted in fashion, entertainment, pop culture, value and newness, and opened potential new avenues for growth,” Reardon said. “I will miss my Macy’s family terribly, but I am looking forward to taking time for me now. The marketing organization at Macy’s is incredibly deep and talented, and I am excited for my colleagues to carry on the work we began together.”

Terry Lundgren, Macy’s, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer, said, “It is with deep sadness that we accept Martine’s resignation from Macy’s. Martine is a very special executive who has come to personify the spirit, energy and integrity of Macy’s. She has poured her mind, heart and soul into making Macy’s the industry leader it is today. Martine’s leadership, insight, creativity and expertise have enabled Macy’s to compete in physical stores and digitally as customer shopping preferences have evolved. Our entire organization will miss Martine. We salute her many accomplishments and wish her the very best in the next chapter of her life and career.”

Reardon was named Macy’s Chief Marketing Officer in February 2012. She leads Macy’s multi-faceted world of marketing, including macys.com and the company’s advertising, creative development, social, mobile, and digital media, brand public relations, cause and tourism marketing, special events, media planning, consumer insights and data analysis for its 730 stores nationwide. Under Reardon’s direction, Macy’s highly acclaimed national marketing team has received numerous honors, including Emmys, Reggies, Clios, Effies, Racies and Art Directors ClubAwards.

Reardon rose through the ranks at Federated Department Stores, Inc. and Macy’s, Inc., beginning in the special events department at Abraham and Straus. Under her leadership, Macy’s has received many significant retail industry accolades for marketing, including Mobile Marketer of the Year, Direct Marketer of the Year, Brandweek Marketer of the Year and the L2 Genius Award for digital relevance in retail marketing several years running.

Reardon has received the “Power of Women to Make A Difference” Award from the United Way of New York City, the Lifetime Mission Achievement Award from the American Heart Association, and the Matrix Award from the New York Women in Communications, and has served as Advertising Women of New York’s honoree at its Annual Roast.

A member of Macy’s Executive Committee, Reardon sits on the board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as the Retail Advertising Marketing Association (RAMA), a division of the National Retail Federation. She has chaired the American Heart Association’s annual Go Red For Women New York City luncheon since 2006, is a member of the International Women’s Forum, and participates in many industry events and conferences as keynote speaker.

A search for Reardon’s successor is now beginning.

Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation’s premier retailers, with fiscal 2015 sales of $27.079 billion. The company operates about 870 stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Outlet, Macy’s Backstage and Bluemercury, as well as the macys.com, bloomingdales.com and bluemercury.com websites. Bloomingdale’s in Dubai is operated by Al Tayer Group LLC under a license agreement.

All statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Macy’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this release because of a variety of factors, including conditions to, or changes in the timing of, proposed transactions, prevailing interest rates and non-recurring charges, competitive pressures from specialty stores, general merchandise stores, off-price and discount stores, manufacturers’ outlets, the Internet, mail-order catalogs and television shopping and general consumer spending levels, including the impact of the availability and level of consumer debt, the effect of weather and other factors identified in documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

(NOTE: Additional information on Macy’s, Inc., including past news releases, is available at www.macysinc.com/pressroom.)

Source: Macy’s, Inc.

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

Waitrose to launch major campaign showing customers first-hand where their food comes from

Campaign features live footage from Waitrose farm in industry first

LONDON, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Waitrose is to launch a major campaign taking customers beyond the barn door to real farms, giving customers the chance to see first-hand where their food comes from.

The campaign kicks off with a series of TV adverts which will be filmed on the same day of broadcast. The unprecedented short timescales between filming and screening will give the advert immediacy and authenticity.

In an industry first, the supermarket will also ‘live stream’ footage from its own farm, Leckford Estate in Hampshire. From dawn to dusk, commuters at some of the UK’s major train terminals including Waterloo Station will be able to watch live footage from three different locations of the Waitrose farm, including beehives, rapeseed and panoramic views of  the countryside.

The opening TV advert, which will be filmed and broadcast on 15 April 2016, will come from a dairy farm near Newbury that supplies milk to Waitrose.

Waitrose is the only supermarket able to guarantee that all the cows that provide its milk and cream have access to grazing. One of the dairy cows will now take centre stage in the advert by wearing a small, lightweight camera  giving customers the opportunity to see the benefits of their environment for themselves.

Highlighting the quality of its food is not new for Waitrose, but the use of innovative technology means the supermarket can demonstrate its sourcing credentials in a new and contemporary way.

The campaign is in response to the demand Waitrose is seeing for quality food and shoppers wanting to be reassured about its provenance.

Rupert Thomas, Marketing Director, Waitrose, said: ‘We’ve always been proud of where our food comes from, and the care and commitment our farmers and suppliers put into producing it. We have never compromised on quality, and never will – but rather than telling customers what we do, we’ve decided to show them in an open and honest way.’

Further adverts in the campaign will highlight that Waitrose is the only supermarket to guarantee that all its eggs are free-range* and that all its fish is responsibly sourced.

All genuine farms, the advertising campaign will feature David Homer’s dairy farm near Newbury who supply the supermarket with essential Waitrose milk; and a free range hen farm managed by Rachel Rivers near Marlborough, who supply Waitrose with its free range eggs.

Additionally, all national print advertising will only use images of real Waitrose farms that have been taken within 24 hours of publication**.

Notes to editors

*   Supermarkets’ include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose
**  Excluding The Scotsman and Herald

Waitrose – winner of the Best Supermarket1 and Best Food and Grocery Retailer2 awards- currently has 346 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 60 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has seven shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service Waitrose.com, as well as specialsit online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitrosekitchen.com for cookware, utensils and kithchen gadgets.

¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards

Enquiries

For further information please contact:
Hannah Chance
Communications Manager, Corporate, Waitrose
Telephone: 01344 825080
Email: hannah.chance@waitrose.co.uk

LVMH key partner of Viva Technology Start Up Connect / Paris 2016

PARIS, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The LVMH Group has affirmed its longstanding support for entrepreneurial initiative and innovation by becoming a partner of “VIVA TECHNOLOGY PARIS”. This groundbreaking event will bring all the key players in the digital transformation together in the French capital from June 30 to July 2, 2016.

LVMH is a prominent partner in this international event, designed to promote France’s capabilities in innovation and nurturing startups. Organized jointly by Groupe Les Echos and Publicis Groupe, VIVA TECHNOLOGY PARIS will give 5,000 startups a chance to engage with business executives, investors, researchers and opinion leaders from around the world.

LVMH is hosting a special “Lab” dedicated to the luxury industry, designed as a “village of excellence”. Within this 500-square-meter space, the Group will welcome 50 startups whose initiatives address the future challenges of luxury houses in Fashion & Leather Goods, Wines & Spirits, Perfumes & Cosmetics, Watches & Jewelry and Selective Retailing. Participating startups will be chosen for their capacity to drive quality and excellence in customer relationships and to create unique, powerful experiences for consumers who engage with these exceptional Houses.

“The luxury industry is at a strategic juncture with respect to digital technologies, and an essential part of this transformation is recognizing the importance of entrepreneurial initiative, which has always been a core value at LVMH. We’re very proud to be associated with VIVA TECHNOLOGY PARIS to help showcase the best startups in the luxury industry today, the creative young enterprises that will nourish the future of luxury” said Ian Rogers, LVMH Group Chief Digital Officer.

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Eroski y Artzai-Gazta unen sus fuerzas para el “Festival Internacional del Queso 2016”

La cooperativa se convierte en colaborador principal del ‘International Cheese Festival 2016’ que se celebrará en Donostia-San Sebastián entre el 16 y el 18 de noviembre

  • En el certamen internacional participarán más de 3.000 quesos procedentes de 40 países de los cinco continentes que reunirá a 250 catadores internacionales
  • La cooperativa apuesta por su apoyo a este festival como impulso a su compromiso por los productos locales, su apoyo a los pequeños productores y el fomento de la diversidad del tejido productivo del sector agroalimentario
  • EROSKI comercializa 1.415 quesos diferentes elaborados por 216 proveedores, sus compras en España alcanzaron los 40 M€ en 2015

DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIÁN, España, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — EROSKI y Artzai-Gazta han firmado un acuerdo por el que la cooperativa se convierte en colaborador principal de la 28ª edición del World Cheese Awards que, dentro del International Cheese Festival, se celebrará en Donostia-San Sebastián en noviembre y de la que la asociación de pastores-elaboradores de queso de oveja latxa es co-organizadora en esta edición en colaboración con los creadores del certamen Guild of the Fine Food, principal asociación inglesa de productos gourmet y referente internacional.

La coordinadora de Artzai-Gazta, Luisa Villegas, y la directora comercial para Productos Locales de EROSKI, Asun Bastida, han sido las encargadas de rubricar el acuerdo. Ambas han coincidido en afirmar que esta cita es una oportunidad inigualable para promocionar los quesos artesanos y el sector ganadero profesional y poner en valor el gran esfuerzo de un sector responsable y comprometido con unos altos estándares de calidad.

“La celebración de este certamen es un hito extraordinario por la oportunidad que representa para promover y fortalecer las vocaciones productivas vinculadas con la producción del queso artesanal y la proyección de las 27 Denominaciones de Origen e Indicación Geográfica Protegida en España, impulsando en conjunto nuestra cultura, gastronomía y desarrollo rural. Contar con el apoyo de agentes externos es fundamental para su desarrollo y enriquece la propuesta”, ha declarado Luisa Villegas de Artzai Gazta.

Por su parte, Asun Bastida, ha afirmado que “EROSKI, como especialista en alimentos frescos, colabora estrechamente con la organización del festival en apoyo al desarrollo de los productos locales y pequeños productores, fomentando la diversidad del tejido productivo del sector agroalimentario. Un compromiso que se extiende más allá de sus tiendas, como es este caso, en el que el certamen supone un escaparate incomparable en el que dar conocer y aprender a valorar no solo el producto, sino también la labor y contribución del sector a la sostenibilidad que enriquece nuestro patrimonio cultural, gastronómico y medioambiental”.

Se trata del certamen internacional de quesos considerado como el más importante a nivel mundial, y que será una de las citas gastronómicas más importantes del año. Se han aunado diferentes sinergias para organizar un festival de estas características, un esfuerzo de la Asociación Artzai-Gazta, la Denominación de Origen Idiazabal, del Gobierno Vasco y del Gobierno de España, la Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa, la universidad Basque Culinary Centre y la fundación Donostia-San Sebastián 2016.

Su finalidad principal es promover y fortalecer las vocaciones productivas vinculadas con la producción del queso artesanal, impulsando la puesta en valor del sector productivo comprometido con el desarrollo rural. Su misión es ofrecer al público extranjero profesional, local y turistas, quesos producidos artesanalmente junto con experiencias culturales de la más alta calidad (catas, gastronomía, talleres, conferencias y otras actividades) que propicien la convivencia y promuevan la labor de productores artesanos. También, se crearán espacios para hacer negocios entre diferentes productores y compradores, acciones concretas como “fast dating” o presentaciones en “corners”.

El festival congregará más de 3.000 quesos procedentes de 40 países de los cinco continentes y reunirá a 250 catadores internacionales. Asimismo, contará con la participación de productores con Denominación de Origen quesos de España y Europeos, cocineros reconocidos a nivel internacional, al igual que artesanos, universidades y empresas de la industria de queso y gastronómica. Se prevé una afluencia de más de 20.000 asistentes de los cinco continentes.

Primera edición de Champion of Champions

En esta ocasión además los organizadores de los World Cheese Awards (WCA) han lanzado el concurso Champion of Champions que se celebrará entre los ganadores de los últimos 28 certámenes del WCA y en el que se elegirá el mejor de los mejores quesos.

Más de 1.400 quesos diferentes en EROSKI

En los últimos años EROSKI ha redoblado su esfuerzo por incorporar los productos locales a sus puntos de venta, en su apuesta por impulsar el consumo de alimentos autóctonos “aspecto fundamental para la sostenibilidad del sector primario en toda su diversidad y para una mayor libertad de elección del consumidor en base a un mejor acceso a los productos de su entorno”, ha aclarado su directora comercial en Productos Locales.

Un compromiso que en el sector de los quesos se traduce en la comercialización de 1.415 quesos diferentes en su red comercial, elaborados por 216 proveedores, y unas compras en torno a los 40 millones de euros en 2015. En España existen veintiséis Denominaciones de Origen Protegidas (D.O.P) y  una Indicación geográfica Protegida (IGP) de queso, EROSKI trabaja con todas ellas.

Durante el último ejercicio EROSKI ha incorporado 232 novedades en quesos y ha sellado acuerdos comerciales con 11 nuevos productores, redoblando su esfuerzo por incorporar los productos de los pastores cercanos a sus puntos de venta. El consumidor muestra cada vez mayor interés por los productos locales, por su alta calidad y por la mayor sensibilidad que muestra hacia lo cercano. El objetivo de EROSKI es conciliar ese renovado interés de los consumidores de hoy con la profesionalización y el desarrollo de muchos pequeños productores locales”, ha detallado Asun Bastida.

Sobre Artzai Gazta

Actualmente se agrupan en Artzai-Gazta 111 pastores de las cuatro provincias que componen el área protegida de la D.O. Idiazabal, esto es, Álava, Guipúzcoa, Navarra y Vizcaya. En la campaña 2014 los quesos elaborados por sus socios supusieron más del 52% del total de queso certificado D.O. Idiazabal, convirtiendo a esta D.O. en la única europea cuya producción artesanal propia supera a la procedente de fábricas de quesos.

Artzai Gazta ha recibido numerosos reconocimientos por la calidad de sus quesos, además de galardones destacados en anteriores ediciones del World Cheese Awards.

La asociación busca alcanzar la excelencia en la producción del queso de pastor y poner en valor su identidad como un queso de leche cruda de oveja autóctona latxa que procede directamente del propio rebaño del pastor, y es elaborado siguiendo un método de elaboración artesano ancestral.

Datos de contacto con el Departamento de Comunicación:
944 158 642 comunicacion@eroski.es

 

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De izda. a dcha.: La directora Comercial para Productos Locales de EROSKI, Asun Bastida, y la coordinadora de Artzai-Gazta, Luisa Villegas, sellan el acuerdo por el que la cooperativa se convierte en colaborador principal patrocinador oficial de la 28ª edición del World Cheese AwardsFestival 2016 que se celebrará en Donostia-San Sebastián en noviembre.

De izda. a dcha.: La directora Comercial para Productos Locales de EROSKI, Asun Bastida, y la coordinadora de Artzai-Gazta, Luisa Villegas, sellan el acuerdo por el que la cooperativa se convierte en colaborador principal patrocinador oficial de la 28ª edición del World Cheese AwardsFestival 2016 que se celebrará en Donostia-San Sebastián en noviembre.

H&M reports steady increase of sustainably sourced materials and great progress in renewable electricity use

The H&M Conscious Actions Sustainability Report 2015 is published today. The report shows a steady increase of sustainably sourced materials and great progress when it comes to the use of renewable electricity. Yet another highlight is the signing of the Global Framework Agreement with IndustriALL Global Union and IF Metall.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — “We have set the vision of becoming 100% circular. In close dialogue with experts and stakeholders we will set time-bound milestones to reach this goal. This will take us closer to our goal; to lead the change towards fully circular and sustainable fashion”, says Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability at H&M.

The 14th Sustainability Report outlines goals and achievements, but also future challenges along the product lifecycle.

Steps towards 100% recycled or other sustainably sourced materials
Since new technology and innovation is essential in reaching the goal to only use recycled or other sustainably sourced materials, H&M will work even more closely with experts and other stakeholders to push the development forward. Every year H&M increases the use of sustainably sourced materials – now representing 20% of the total material use. Since cotton is a frequently used material in textile production, H&M also gradually raises the use of sustainably sourced cotton.  Organic cotton, recycled cotton and Better Cotton (certified by the BCI) made up close to one third of H&M’s cotton use in 2015, taking the company closer to its goal to only use cotton from sustainable sources by 2020. The recycled cotton comes from collected garments, such as through the H&M Garment Collecting program, while the equivalent of over 90 million PET bottles has been used to make recycled polyester.

78% renewable electricity
The share of renewable electricity of H&M’s total global electricity use increased to 78% in 2015 from 27% in 2014. At the same time, the total emissions were reduced by 56% compared to 2014.  The main reason for this was the increased use of renewable electricity.

Global framework agreement with IndustriALL
H&M sees positive development when it comes to the continuous work towards fair living wages. As a part of its Fair Living Wage strategy, H&M signed a Global Framework Agreement with IndustriALL Global Union and the Swedish trade union IF Metall. It aims for a well-functioning dialogue between the employer and the employees at the supplier factories working with H&M. It supports H&M’s already existing work to promote freedom of association, collective bargaining and peaceful conflict solution – all essential in promoting fair living wages.

The entire report and a summary of its highlights are available to read and download at: hm.com/consciousactions2015

Contact person:
Camilla Emilsson-Falk, Head of Media Relations
Phone: +46 8 796 3995
Email: mediarelations@hm.com

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H&M reports steady increase of sustainably sourced materials and great progress in renewable electricity use

H&M reports steady increase of sustainably sourced materials and great progress in renewable electricity use

Sonic Corp. priced $425 million of Series 2016-1 Class A-2 Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC), the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced that certain of its subsidiaries have priced $425 million of Series 2016-1 Class A-2 Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes (“Senior Notes”). The Senior Notes will have an expected life of seven years and bear interest at 4.472% per annum, payable monthly.

The same Sonic subsidiaries have also entered into a $150 million securitized revolving credit facility of Series 2016-1 Variable Funding Senior Secured Notes, Class A-1 (the “Variable Funding Notes”). The company does not expect to have any borrowings under the Variable Funding Notes facility at closing.

The net proceeds from the sale of the Senior Notes will be used to repay in full the remaining Series 2011-1 Class A-2 Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes and the Series 2011-1 Class A-1 Variable Funding Senior Secured Notes, together with related prepayment premiums, fees and expenses.Sonic Corp. expects the Senior Notes and Variable Funding Notes transactions to close on May 17, 2016.

The subsidiaries that will issue the Senior Notes are indirect subsidiaries of Sonic Corp. that own substantially all of the Sonic system’s franchising assets and real estate. The servicing and repayment of the Senior Notes will be made solely from the cash flows derived from these indirect subsidiaries’ assets. Neither Sonic Corp., the ultimate parent of each of the subsidiaries involved in the securitization, nor any other subsidiary of Sonic Corp., will be liable for any obligations under the Senior Notes.

The Senior Notes will not be registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements. This is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the Senior Notes.

About Sonic
SONIC, America’s Drive-In is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain serving more than 3 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. For 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. To learn more about Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit www.sonicdrivein.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or underlying, these forward-looking statements are detailed in the company’s annual and quarterly report filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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

Source: Sonic Corp.

News Provided by Acquire Media

Contractors hired for building IKEA’s future Columbus, Ohio store

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced contractors are hired for building its future Columbus, Ohio store. Pending remaining permits, this progress allows the project to continue on track for site work to commence, with groundbreaking this spring and a store opening in Summer 2017, increasing the Swedish retailer’s presence in the Midwestern United States with its second store in Ohio. Until the store opens, customers can shop at the closest IKEA stores in: West Chester, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and Canton, MI; or online at IKEA-USA.com.

IKEA has chosen Pepper Construction to serve as Construction Manager for the IKEA Columbus site work and store development project. Having a strong Midwestern presence and a regional office based in Dublin, Ohio, Pepper is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm that has constructed several IKEA stores throughout the years. Other Ohio firms assisting with this project are: real estate brokerage CBRE for site selection support; Smith & Hale, LLC for local land use counsel; CESO, Inc. for civil engineering; KJWW Engineering Consultants for structural; Geotechnical Consultants Inc. for geotechnical services; Davey Resource Group and Stantec for environmental and ecological services; and GreenbergFarrow as project architect. Additionally, ACIES Engineering is providing mechanical, electrical and plumbing services.“With a contractor onboard, plans can proceed towards opening the future IKEA Columbus,” said Lars Petersson, IKEA U.S. president. “This store will provide a more convenient IKEA shopping experience for current and potential customers throughout Central Ohio, complementing our Cincinnati-area store and growing our Midwestern U.S. presence.”

IKEA Columbus will feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 450-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store, and preferred parking. In addition to the more than 500 jobs that are expected to be created during the construction phase, approximately 300 coworkers will join the IKEA family when the new store opens. IKEA Columbus also will provide significant annual property and sales tax revenue for local governments and schools.

Located in the Polaris Centers of Commerce development, approximately 15 miles north of downtown Columbus, the 354,000-square-foot future IKEA store and its 1,200 parking spaces will be built on 33 acres at the northeastern corner of Interstate-71 and Gemini Place. Store plans reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide. IKEA also will evaluate potential on-site power generation to complement its current U.S. renewable energy presence at nearly 90% of its U.S. locations.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 380 IKEA stores in 48 countries, including 41 in the U.S. IKEA has been included in rankings of “Best Companies to Work For” and, as further investment in its coworkers, has raised its own minimum wage twice in two years. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, or IKEAUSA on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Contact: Joseph Roth, U.S. Expansion
(610) 834-0180, x 6500

Weekend-long celebration at IKEA U.S. stores for the re-opening of its newly remodeled restaurants, April 29 – May 1, 2016

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA U.S. invites customers to participate in a weekend-long celebration at stores across the country* to commemorate the grand re-opening of its newly remodeled restaurants from April 29 through May 1, 2016, beginning with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, April 29. Throughout the weekend, IKEA FAMILY** members can take advantage of fun activities & workshops, free goodie bag giveaways, and various IKEA Restaurant offers including discounted meal specials. Additionally, guests will be able to sample and taste some of the new nutritious and more sustainable IKEA Food offerings announced last year.

The three-day long event celebrates the re-opening of IKEA U.S. in-store restaurants. Nearly all of the restaurants nationwide are undergoing a full remodel so that customers will be able to enjoy a newly redesigned and customized dining experience featuring three different restaurant zones. The first area lends itself to a quick bite for the shopper on the run; the second space is family-oriented; and the third section is called “Fika” – Swedish for “to have coffee” – with a living room atmosphere.

“We know that there is so much more to food than food. Food brings people together at home in everyone’s daily lives, and we wanted to reflect that in the new dining experience at IKEA Restaurants,” said Patricia Meumann, U.S. Commercial Manager for IKEA Food. “What better way to celebrate together with our customers than with tasty food and family fun during our upcoming grand reopening weekend.”

Calendar of Events
Friday, April 29
•Ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand re-opening of the new IKEA restaurant
•Early bird giveaways (5:00pm) – First 100 visitors to the restaurant receive mystery prizes ranging from food offers to gift cards ranging from $5-$100 in value
•IKEA FAMILY Dinner Special from 5:00pm – 8:00pm
oThree-course meal for only $6.99 (reg. $9.99); choice of meatball entrée + soup or salad + dessert

Saturday, April 30
•Early bird giveaways – First 30 people in line at store opening receive a free IKEA goodie bag with Swedish Food Market organic products (value $45); next 100 in line will receive mystery prizes ranging from food offers to gift cards ranging from $5-$100 in value
•Full day of IKEA FAMILY food offers
oBreakfast: Swedish-American breakfast for only $1.49 (reg. $2.99)
oLunch: Chicken w/veggies and mashed potato for only $3.99 (reg. $4.99)
o“Fika” (Coffee Break): 50% off any dessert from 2:00pm – 4:00pm
oDinner: Two-course dinner – any entrée plus soup or salad or dessert for only $4.99 (reg. $7.99)
•“Fika” workshop at 2:00PM where participants can learn the art of the Swedish coffee break
•Family-friendly activities*** (e.g., face painting, balloon artists, music, etc.)
•IKEA Food sampling and IKEA Swedish Food Market coupon giveaways

Sunday, May 1
•All-You-Can-Eat Brunch from opening to 2:30pm
oIKEA FAMILY price $9.99 (reg. $12.99)
•Early bird giveaways – First 100 people in line at store opening receive a mystery prize ranging from food offers to gift cards ranging from $5-$100 in value

For more information, please visit the IKEA Food & Restaurant page or the local store pages on IKEA-USA.com.

*Not available at the IKEA Burbank, IKEA Carson, and IKEA St. Louis stores. IKEA Paramus is closed on Sundays.
** IKEA FAMILY is a benefits program that offers membership perks including special product discounts, sneak previews, free coffee and tea in the IKEA Restaurant, and more. Consumers can sign up for the free program online or in-store.
*** Activities vary by store.

About IKEA
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. here are currently more than 360 IKEA stores in 47 countries, including 40 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Press Contact Information
USA CORPORATE PUBLIC RELATIONS
Mona Astra Liss
1-610-834-0180 x 5852

USA PRODUCT PUBLIC RELATIONS
Janice Simonsen
1-610-834-0180 x 6349

USA EXPANSION
Joseph Roth
1-610-834-0180 x 6500

Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi and media agency Zenith appointed by Asda

LEEDS, England, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Asda has today announced the appointment of Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi as its lead creative agency along with Zenith as its media agency, replacing VCCP and Carat.

The appointment of Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith is part of Asda’s Project Renewal blueprint to transform its business and boost its Save Money Live Better brand strategy, led by recently appointed Chief Customer Officer, Andy Murray.

The move comes as implementation of Project Renewal accelerates, including a complete revamp of Asda’s offer, ranging and value proposition which also involves investing an additional £500 million in lowering prices on top of the £1bn revealed in 2013.

As Asda’s new customer proposition takes shape, the transition to Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith will begin immediately.

Andy Murray said: “We’ve made a big commitment within Project Renewal to our brand and we are making changes at pace that will differentiate Asda with our customers both in stores and online. I’m excited about this new partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith and I look forward to the leadership, creativity, and effectiveness this new team will bring to our business.

“I’d like to recognise and thank the VCCP and Carat teams for the contribution that they have made to Asda.”

Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide CEO, Robert Senior, said: “We are delighted to be re-establishing our long standing partnership with Asda, bringing a fully integrated Publicis Groupe offer led by a joint Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith team. This is a crucial time for UK retail and we relish the opportunity to support Asda in driving a reappraisal of its brand by customers using the latest creative techniques and cutting edge technology.”

Publicis Groupe and Saatchi & Saatchi have a long history with Asda, having worked with the retailer on some of its most iconic campaigns in recent history, arming it with unique insight and knowledge of Asda and its customers.

At a time when the UK retail market is undergoing significant structural change, Asda believes that building even closer connections with its customers is fundamental to the success of Project Renewal and Publicis Groupe is the right partner to achieve its ambitions.

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The National Retail Federation highlighted the negative consequences of Obama’s proposal to expand overtime

WASHINGTON, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today increased pressure on the Obama Administration to rethink its proposal to expand overtime and more than double the threshold at which a job can become a salaried career-track position. In a meeting with administration officials and a letter to Congress, NRF highlighted the negative consequences such an extreme change would have on the American workplace for generations to come.

“On behalf of the nation’s retail industry, the National Retail Federation urges you to consider cosponsoring the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act,” Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French wrote in a letter to all members of the House and Senate.

“The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act would provide an important pause in the rulemaking process and require DOL to complete critical analysis of the impacts on businesses, lower-cost regions of the country, non-profit and public sector employers and healthcare providers as well as the non-financial costs incurred by these employers,” French said. “These are studies that DOL should have undertaken before issuing the proposed rules and on which the public deserves an opportunity to comment.”

Retailers will meet this afternoon with the Office of Management and Budget to discuss the negative impacts of the proposed overtime regulations. OMB is currently reviewing the proposal in one of the last steps before a final version is released by the Department of Labor.

An Oxford Economics study commissioned by NRF estimated that DOL’s plan would affect 2.2 million workers in the retail and restaurant industries alone and cost businesses $8.4 billion a year in added wages if fully implemented. Yet, given the tight economy, Oxford found employers would be forced to compensate for these increased payroll costs by reducing bonuses and benefits, replacing full-time employees with part-time workers, and converting salaried employees to clock-punchers with less flexibility or fewer career development opportunities.

Nonetheless, employers would see an estimated $745 million in administrative costs even if workers saw no increase in take-home pay.

The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act was introduced last month by Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Representative Tim Walberg, R-Mich., with Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., as cosponsors. The legislation would require the Labor Department to conduct a comprehensive economic analysis on the impact of the proposed overtime expansion on small businesses, nonprofits, and public employers before publishing the final rules.

More resources on the impact of the proposed rules are available at nrf.com/overtime.

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

Robin Roberts
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Foodservice data and analytics provider Food Genius acquired by US Foods

Chicago-based Food Genius is a leading technology provider of foodservice data and analytics

Rosemont, Ill, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — US Foods today announced it has acquired Food Genius, a leading provider of foodservice data and analytics. The Food Genius team members will join US Foods.

Focused exclusively on foodservice, Food Genius offers a suite of technology applications which simplify the interactions needed to transform large-scale unstructured data into application-ready datasets and actionable insights.

“Our core technologies are built for a single purpose, providing consistent and predictable structure on top of what is normally inconsistent datasets in foodservice,” said Jason Felger, CEO, Food Genius. “We’re all very excited to be a part of US Foods mission of being first in food!”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

About US Foods
US Foods, Inc. is a large foodservice distributor serving chefs and foodservice operators across the country. Its customers include independent and multi-unit restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, government and educational institutions. The company employs approximately 25,000 people in 61 locations nationwide. US Foods is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill.

Contact

Lisa Lecas
Corporate Communications, US Foods
Office: 847-720-8243
Lisa.Lecas@usfoods.com

Download Auntie Anne’s App by April 25 for an exclusive offer on National Pretzel Day

“My Pretzel Perks” Members Can Redeem Free Pretzel Offer between April 26 and May 1

Lancaster, Pa., 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — What’s better than a free pretzel for National Pretzel Day? The mouthwatering prospect of having free pretzels for an entire year, of course! In celebration of National Pretzel Day, Auntie Anne’s® – the world’s largest soft pretzel franchise – is offering guests who sign up for the brand’s “My Pretzel Perks” app the choice of one free Original or Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel, redeemable on National Pretzel Day, Tuesday, April 26, 2016, through Sunday, May 1, 2016.

Elevating the excitement, Auntie Anne’s today announced that five lucky app users will also be selected at random to receive free pretzels for a year! The winners of this pretzel perfect prize will be announced on National Pretzel Day. Pretzel fans who have not yet joined the ranks of the nearly one million “My Pretzel Perks” app users are encouraged to do so before 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, April 25, 2016 for their chance to win.

“We’re thrilled to kick things up a notch this year for National Pretzel Day to show our amazing and loyal fans just how much they mean to us,” said Heather Neary, president of Auntie Anne’s. “Sharing simple goodness is at the core of everything we do all year long, and we’re excited to be able to spread joy on a grander scale for this very special occasion.”

The “My Pretzel Perks” app is available for download for free in the Apple App Store and the Android Google Play Store. Through the app, users earn 10 points for every $1 spent at any Auntie Anne’s location. The points can then be redeemed for free pretzels and signature Auntie Anne’s items. “My Pretzel Perks” loyalty members also receive free pretzels on their birthday and information about fresh, new products.

Auntie Anne’s offers its hand-rolled soft pretzel in a variety of flavors including Original, Cinnamon Sugar, Pepperoni, Roasted Garlic & Parmesan, Sour Cream & Onion, and Sweet Almond. For guests on-the-go, Auntie Anne’s also offers a wide selection of portable menu items including Original, Cinnamon Sugar and Cheddar Stuffed Pretzel Nuggets. And for those who need a little something extra in between meals, Auntie Anne’s offers a number of heartier, “hold-you-over” options such as Pretzel Dogs and Mini Pretzel Dogs. With eight different dips and a variety of drinks to accompany each pretzel, the combinations of possibilities are endless.

About Auntie Anne’s:
At its more than 1,500 locations around the world, Auntie Anne’s mixes, twists and bakes pretzels from scratch all day long in full view of guests. Auntie Anne’s can be found in malls, outlet centers, and Walmarts, as well as in non-traditional spaces including universities, airports, travel plazas, amusement parks, and military bases. In addition, it has extended the brand onto retailers’ shelves and also serves as a distributor for fundraising products. Available at select retailers nationwide, pretzel fans can enjoy Auntie Anne’s prepare-at-home products, from frozen Classic and Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels and Pretzel Nuggets, to frozen Pretzel Dogs and Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches, to a versatile Pretzel Baking Kit. For more information, visit www.auntieannes.com, or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Focus Brands:
Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands Inc., through its affiliate brands, is the franchisor and operator of more than 5,000 ice cream shoppes, bakeries, restaurants and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 60 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Auntie Anne’s® and McAlister’s Deli®, as well as Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets.  Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.

# # #

Media Contact:

Chas Kurtz
Public Relations Manager
ckurtz@auntieannes.com
(717) 435-1561

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Download Auntie Anne’s App by April 25 for an exclusive offer on National Pretzel Day

Download Auntie Anne’s App by April 25 for an exclusive offer on National Pretzel Day

Tractor Supply Company to release its first quarter 2016 results on Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BRENTWOOD, TN, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO), the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the United States, intends to release its first quarter 2016 results after the market closes on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. In conjunction with this release, the management of Tractor Supply Company will host a conference call at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, which will be simultaneously webcast live over the Internet at IR.TractorSupply.com.

Please allow extra time prior to the call to visit the site and download the streaming media software required to listen to the Internet broadcast.

A replay of the webcast will be available at IR.TractorSupply.com shortly after the conference call concludes.

About Tractor Supply Company
At December 26, 2015, Tractor Supply Company operated 1,488 stores in 49 states. The Company’s stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers and others who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses. Stores are located primarily in towns outlying major metropolitan markets and in rural communities. The Company offers the following comprehensive selection of merchandise: (1) equine, livestock, pet and small animal products, including items necessary for their health, care, growth and containment; (2) hardware, truck, towing and tool products; (3) seasonal products, including heating, lawn and garden items, power equipment, gifts and toys; (4) work/recreational clothing and footwear; and (5) maintenance products for agricultural and rural use.

Anthony F. Crudele
Chief Financial Officer
Christine Skold
Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
(615) 440-4000

Investors: John Rouleau/Rachel Schacter
Media: Alecia Pulman/Brittany Rae Fraser
ICR
(203) 682-8200

Source: Tractor Supply Company

Jeffrey Allen the $100,000 grand-prize winner in Co-op’s 2016 Fuel Up to Win contest

Saskatoon, Canada, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Jeffrey Allen has 100,000 more reasons to shop at Co-op.

Allen is the $100,000 grand-prize winner in Co-op’s 2016 Fuel Up to Win contest. Allen, a member and customer at Delta Co-op in western Saskatchewan, earned the jackpot by purchasing items at Co-op locations and collecting the seven game stickers needed to win.

“I’m usually the most unlucky guy. I usually don’t win … so I couldn’t believe it,” said Allen. “At times, there are people that don’t believe it could happen to them. This just goes to prove that it could happen to you in small-town rural Saskatchewan.”

In addition to his $100,000 windfall, Allen’s prize includes a $25,000 community donation, which will be shared evenly by five organizations and projects in Unity, Sask., and neighbouring communities:

•    Stars Air Ambulance
•    Unity and District Heritage Museum
•    Town of Macklin — Outdoor community rink project
•    Town of Luseland — Luseland rink cooling plant project
•    Town of Wilkie — Sask-Can Community Centre renovation

“We’re extremely happy to congratulate Jeffrey on his Fuel Up to Win prize, but what makes this prize even more special is the community donation,” said Joe Reddekopp, General Manager of Delta Co-op. “Co-ops across Western Canada support countless local initiatives every year, but this donation is unexpected, which somehow makes it more special. It is going to go a long way in our community.”

Co-op presented Allen with a $100,000 cheque during an event at the Co-op Food Store in Unity on April 12. For high-resolution images of the presentation, see bit.ly/23EAYX1.

More than $8 million in prizes are available to Co-op customers in this year’s Fuel Up to Win contest, which runs until April 21, 2016. To date, dozens of prizes have been awarded, while big-ticket items, including vacation getaways, shopping sprees and a 2016 Ford F150 XLT, remain up for grabs. For more information about Fuel Up to Win — including details about prizes and winners — see www.fueluptowin.ca.

SOURCE: Federated Co-operatives Limited

Federated Co-operatives Limitedempty space

Home Office
Box 1050, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 3M9
401 – 22nd Street East, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 0H2

PHONE: 306.244.3311
FAX: 306.244.3403
GENERAL INQUIRIES: inquiries@fcl.ca
GENERAL CAREER INQUIRIES: careers@fcl.ca

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Co-op customer and member Jeffrey Allen celebrates his 2016 Fuel Up to Win grand prize with his family at the Delta Co-op Food Store in Unity, Sask.

Co-op customer and member Jeffrey Allen celebrates his 2016 Fuel Up to Win grand prize with his family at the Delta Co-op Food Store in Unity, Sask.

RILA applauds the introduction of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 – Hun Quach VP for international trade

Legislation Will Eliminate Duties, Spur Economic Growth

Arlington , VA, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to the introduction of legislation in the House of Representatives that sets forward a path for a new Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB).

“RILA applauds the introduction of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016, which sets forth a process to reduce or eliminate duties on certain imports into the United States,” said Hun Quach, vice president for international trade. “The miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB) will enhance the competitiveness of American businesses. We commend Representatives Brady, Levin, Reichert, and Rangel for helping American businesses and consumers to spur economic growth and support more American jobs. We urge the House of Representatives to approve the legislation as quickly as possible.” 

The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016, introduced by Representatives Brady, Levin, Reichert, and Rangel, would set forth a process to eliminate trade distorting tariffs in the U.S. tariff code on imports critical to American businesses. The MTB would help enhance global competitiveness of those businesses by cutting production costs in the United States, without harming other U.S. producers. The last MTB passed by Congress expired on December 31, 2012.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

###​

Jason Brewer
Senior Vice President, Communications & Advocacy
Phone: 703-600-2050
Email: jason.brewer@rila.org

RILA announced 11 finalists for the 2016 Retail AP Innovation Awards

Eleven Solution Providers Ranked Among The Best For Advancements In Asset Protection

Arlington, VA, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the trade association for the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies, today announced 11 finalists for the 2016 Retail AP Innovation Awards. The Awards recognize the most visionary and influential solution providers and serve as a showcase for exciting new technologies in major areas of asset protection.

RILA received applications across categories, including Business Intelligence and Analytics, Workplace Safety, Crimes Against Business, and more. Finalists will showcase their cutting-edge technology to a panel of top executives at RILA’s 2016 Retail Asset Protection Conference, April 17-20 in Dallas, Texas, where the winners will be announced. Conference attendees will have the chance to meet the finalists, experience their technology, and cast their vote for Retailers’ Choice Award.

“Our industry has to continue to innovate to stay ahead of the pace at which retail​​ is changing,” said Lisa LaBruno, RILA’s senior vice president of retail operations. “I congratulate the finalists for developing cutting-edge technologies to address emerging AP risks.​Their solutions stood out among a crowded field of qualified applicants.”

2016 Retail AP Innovation Awards finalists are:

  • Axis Communications
  • Centronex, LLC
  • Checkpoint Systems Inc.
  • ClickIt Inc
  • Dataminr
  • Digital Signal Corporation
  • DiSa Digital Safety USA
  • Prism Skylabs
  • Snaptagg Inc.
  • Profitect
  • Zebra Technologies

For more information, visit the awards homepage.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers.

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Caroline Stec
Coordinator, Communications
Phone: 703-600-2082
Email: caroline.stec@rila.org

CarMax to provide community support and career opportunities to our nation’s military, veterans and their families

Company pledges $1.4 million to support veterans and their families

RICHMOND, Va., 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, announced today a commitment to providing community support and career opportunities to our nation’s military, veterans and their families. CarMax and The CarMax Foundation have pledged a total of $1.4 million over the next three years to organizations supporting the military, including Hiring Our Heroes, KaBOOM! and The Mission Continues.

Today, CarMax joined the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge hosted by theCouncil on Foundations and Veterans Philanthropy Exchange in Washington, D.C. The Pledge represents an ongoing commitment to bring long-term support to service members, veterans and military families.

“Supporting the communities where our associates live and work has always been a cornerstone of the CarMax culture,” said Matt Aman, regional vice president, service operations of CarMax, and former soldier in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. “CarMax associates are passionate about supporting our military and as a veteran myself, I am proud to work for a company that supports this cause.”

CarMax proudly employs our nation’s veterans, active duty service members and military spouses in its stores and offices nationwide. Through its partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, CarMax has joined the Veteran’s Employment Advisory Council and the Military Spouse Employment Advisory Council to help connect veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses to meaningful job opportunities. As part of the relationship, CarMax has committed $100,000 to support the efforts of Hiring Our Heroes.

“CarMax is actively recruiting men and women with military backgrounds because they share the same core values of integrity, respect, and honesty, and naturally make a great fit,” said Tracey Shoemaker, recruiting director for CarMax’s military program.

CarMax also is partnering with The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit that empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. CarMax is committing $300,000 over the next two years that will include sponsoring service platoons. These teams of veteran and non-veteran volunteers mobilize together to solve specific challenges in their communities.

The CarMax Foundation also announced a $1 million partnership with KaBOOM! to be the first corporate sponsor to bring play spaces to our military and veteran families. The CarMax Foundation and KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most, have successfully provided 100,000 kids across the nation with access to play. Over the next three years, CarMax and KaBOOM! will provide grants to fund four playgrounds and 30 play projects in military communities.

CarMax has partnered with a number of military bases across the country and respected military recruiting organizations such as GI Jobs and Recruit Military to connect the military community with CarMax job opportunities. The company is proud to be recognized as one of FORTUNE magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For® (12 years in a row), and received Victory Media’s Military Friendly® Employer designation in 2016. Job seekers can apply at http://jobs.carmax.com.

About CarMax
CarMax, a member of the FORTUNE 500 and the S&P 500, and on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for 12 consecutive years, is the nation’s largest retailer of used vehicles. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, CarMax currently operates 158 superstores in 78 markets. The CarMax consumer offer features low, no-haggle prices, a broad selection of CarMax Quality Certified used vehicles, and superior customer service. During the 12 months ending February 28, 2015, the company retailed 582,282 used cars and sold 376,186 wholesale vehicles at our in-store auctions. For more information, access the CarMax website at www.carmax.com

 

Source: CarMax, Inc.

Media Contact
Lindsey Duke, CarMax Public Relations, (855) 887-2915
pr@carmax.com, @CarMax, facebook.com/CarMax

Gap appoints Sonia Syngal as Old Navy’s global president

Two Proven Leaders to Oversee Gap Inc. Global Supply Chain Responsibilities

SAN FRANCISCO, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today announced that Sonia Syngal has been selected as Old Navy’s global president, effective immediately, to lead the brand’s continued reinvention of the value space with quality, accessible fashion for everyone. She will continue to report to Gap Inc. Chief Executive Officer Art Peck.

During her 12 year Gap Inc. tenure, Syngal has been a key driver in evolving the company’s product-to-market model, and held leadership roles where she honed her expertise in managing retail operations, driving growth, and bringing brand experiences to life for customers. The appointment marks Syngal’s return to Old Navy where she served as senior vice president of the brand’s International division in 2013, until being tapped to lead Gap Inc.’s enterprise-wide global supply chain.

“Sonia is an inspiring leader with a proven track record leading transformation and driving product-to-market innovations,” said Art Peck, chief executive officer, Gap Inc. “Following a comprehensive search, I’m confident Sonia is the right leader to enable Old Navy to realize its substantial, long-term growth potential.”

Most recently, Syngal served as executive vice president of Global Supply Chain and Product Operations for Gap Inc., responsible for managing all aspects of global sourcing, logistics and product operations across all of Gap Inc.’s brands and channels. In this role, Syngal worked closely with Old Navy leadership to develop the company’s newly evolved product-to-market model designed to increase speed and flexibility, while delivering brand-right product in a systematic, repeatable way across the enterprise.

“Old Navy is truly changing the value space with great design and quality apparel that the whole family loves, and I can’t wait to focus my energy on continuing to deliver that promise for our customers,” said Syngal. “How we continue to transform our product engine, focused on balancing amazing product with operational excellence, will be key to unlocking Old Navy’s next phase of growth.”

Before her time at Old Navy, Syngal led Gap and Banana Republic’s European business for nearly two years, and spent almost three years driving the international divisions for Gap Outlet and Banana Republic Factory Stores. She also held various vice president-level roles across the company’s global sourcing organization for four years. Prior to joining Gap Inc., Syngal had a successful career in Fortune 500 companies having spent 10 years at Sun Microsystems and six years at Ford Motor Company.

Jill Stanton, who served as interim leader for Old Navy, will serve as a strategic advisor to support a seamless transition as Syngal takes the helm. Additionally, the company announced that two seasoned executives will oversee Gap Inc.’s global supply chain and logistics functions. Effective immediately, Michael Yee, will serve as executive vice president, Global Supply Chain, Sourcing and Production and Shawn Curran, as executive vice president, Global Supply Chain Logistics and Product Operations.  Both Yee and Curran will report to Peck and join the senior leadership team.

“We want to thank Jill for her leadership through this transition and for all she’s done in building a strong product team,” said Peck. “I look forward to working with Michael and Shawn in their new roles and continuing to leverage their expertise across the enterprise.”

About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Intermix brands. Fiscal year 2015 net sales were $15.8 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,300 company-operated stores, over 400 franchise stores, and e- commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.

Press contact
OldNavy_Press@gap.com

Gap launched interactive digital campaign to raise awareness about the impact of the gender pay gap

SAN FRANCISCO, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — In recognition of Equal Pay Day on April 12, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today launched a new, interactive digital experience designed to raise awareness about the impact of the gender pay gap. The campaign features thought-provoking portraits of Gap Inc. employees styled in outfits missing 21 percent, such as a rolled up sleeve, to represent the fact that women in the U.S. are shortchanged by an average of 21 percent; women in the U.S. on average earn 79 cents to every dollar earned by their male counterparts.

Designed to raise awareness on the issue of equal pay for equal work, the digital experience features a number of resources, including a pay equality calculator to help women determine – and share on social media – how much money they stand to lose during their lifetime of work because of the pay gap, as well as educational resources. It also invites site visitors to join the conversation by rolling up their sleeve to depict 21 percent of an outfit, taking a picture, and sharing on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #CloseThePayGap.

In 2014, Gap Inc. was the first Fortune 500 company to announce equal pay for equal work, with its methodology and data validated by the leading gender and diversity firm Exponential Talent. Gap Inc. has since completed internal pay equality reviews annually using this approved methodology; today, the company reaffirmed equal pay for equal work for the third consecutive year.

Partnering to Help Raise Awareness about the Gender Pay Gap:

During the week of April 11, Gap Inc. executives will join together with other leaders in the public and private sector to help raise awareness about the importance of closing the gender pay gap.

  • April 12:  On Equal Pay Day, Gap Inc. will be featured at a White House event on Diversity and Inclusion hosted by Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, and will be presenting to other business and government leaders on its pay equality policies. For more information, please visit: www.whitehouse.gov
  • April 12: On Equal Pay Day, Gap Inc. will participate in a forum on the gender pay gap hosted by Glassdoor that will be livestreamed. The event in New York City will feature former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, and other pay equality advocates. The event is non-partisan and non-campaign. To watch the live stream, please visit:https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/equal-pay-roundtable/index.htm  

The company also announced that it will initiate a new research project to develop insights on the key drivers of pay equality at Gap Inc., which will be shared publicly. The project will be spearheaded by Dr. Kellie McElhaney, Adjunct Professor of the Institute for Business and Social Impact and Founder of the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley.

Catalyst Award Recognition
In March, Gap Inc. was recognized by the nonprofit Catalyst for its commitment to advance women with the prestigious Catalyst Award. Today, women make up more than 70 percent of Gap Inc.’s worldwide employee base, including a similar percent of its store managers and the CEO’s senior leadership team. Additionally, women currently lead four out of five Gap Inc. brands. The annual award from Catalyst recognizes organizations whose innovative approaches result in proven, measurable results that advance the recruitment, development, and advancement of women in the workplace. For the first time since the inception of the Catalyst award, Gap Inc. became the sole company to be honored by the organization in a given year and the first company from the fashion industry to be recognized by Catalyst.

ABOUT GAP INC.
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Intermix brands. Fiscal year 2015 net sales were $15.8 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,300 company-operated stores, over 400 franchise stores, and e- commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.

Press contacts
press@gap.com

Fuel consumers expect gas prices to rise over the next 30 days – NACS survey

​ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Two in three U.S. fuel consumers (64%) say that they expect gas prices to rise over the next 30 days, an 11-point jump from a month ago and the highest percentage of Americans expecting price increases since May 2015 according to the results of a new consumer survey released today by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

Nationally, consumers report that gas prices increased 20 cents per gallon last month, and 64% say that they noticed an increase in prices. Prior to March, U.S. fuel consumers had reported declining prices every single month since June 2015.

The increase in gas prices may have contributed to a decrease in economic optimism. Less than half (44%) of U.S. fuel consumers say they are optimistic about the economy, down from 50% in March 2016. As in previous months, younger fuel consumers are more optimistic about the economy than older Americans: 52% of 18-34 year olds report feeling optimistic, compared to 40% of those over age 50.

Drivers in the Northeast are most likely to expect future price increases, with 72% expecting prices to increase. Not coincidentally, they are the least optimism, with only 41% expressing optimism about the economy. Drivers in the West are most optimistic about the economy (48%).

“Gas prices historically increase in April as the petroleum industry undergoes the annual transition to produce and sell summer-blend fuels, but the percentage of Americans who expect prices to increase is at its highest level for April since we initiated our monthly surveys in 2013,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “While prices are relatively low compared to previous Aprils, there is still considerable angst across the country related to further prices increases.”

With the slight increase in gas prices, average miles per dollar — a calculation that examines gas prices related to vehicle fuel efficiency — dropped to 12.15 miles per dollar in March.

Despite consumer concerns about gas prices, there may be some good news for retailers. Nearly one in four Americans (23%) say that they will spend more money shopping for items besides gas over the coming month, the highest percentage since December when consumer spending peaks for the holiday shopping season. More than two in five (42%) of consumers ages 18-34 say that they will shop more over the coming month.

The NACS Retail Fuels Report (www.nacsonline.com/gasprices) examines a variety of issues related to fueling, with more than 20 backgrounders including a report on Why Prices Historically Go Up in the Spring.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts monthly consumer surveys to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,100 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck, or van at least once per month were surveyed April 5-7, 2016. Summary results are available at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

economic optimism vs. miles per dollar

Record 2015 in-store sales for convenience stores in U.S. – NACS State of the Industry Summit

CHICAGO, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — U.S. convenience stores experienced record in-store sales in 2015, led by strong growth in foodservice products. These industry’s overall metrics for 2015 were released today at the NACS State of the Industry Summit, taking place April 11–13 in Chicago.

Convenience stores sell 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and a continued period of low gasoline prices caused the overall sales in the convenience and fuel retailing industry to decrease significantly, dropping 17.4%. However, low gas prices and a recovering economy benefited retailers by driving more consumers inside the store. This resulted in total sales inside of the store reaching a record $225.8 billion in 2015.

​Industry Snapshot ​2014 ​2015 ​% Change
​U.S. Store Count ​152,794 ​154,195 ​0.9%
​Inside Sales ​$213.5B ​$225.8B ​5.8%
​Fuel Sales ​$482.6B ​$349.0B ​(27.7)%
​Total Sales ​$696.1B ​$574.8B ​(17.4)%
​Pretax Profit ​$10.4B ​$10.6B ​1.6%

 (Sources: Nielsen/TDLinx; NACS)

Overall, 69.2% of total industry sales were motor fuels, but motor fuels only accounted for 39.5% of profit dollars. Motor fuels continued to drive sales dollars, but in-store sales drove profitability.

Foodservice, a broad category that includes prepared and commissary foods, hot dispensed beverages (coffee) and cold and frozen dispensed drinks, continues to be a key focus for growth in the convenience store channel, contributing 20.8% of in-store sales in 2015 and accounting for 33.7% of gross profit dollars.

Convenience store pretax profits increased in 2015 to $10.6 billion, despite a slight decrease in the average gas margin, which was 21.6 cents per gallon before expenses.

Top 10 In-Store Categories
The top 10 in-store categories ranked by sales dollars represent about 80% of all in-store sales. In 2015, nine out of 10 top in-store categories had positive sales and all 10 had positive gross profit dollar growth. Factors such as low fuel prices and more discretionary income in consumers’ wallets drove shoppers inside convenience stores with more money in their pockets to spend.

Snacking categories, including alternative snacks, salty snacks, candy and packaged sweet snacks, all had strong growth as some consumers, especially millennials, moved toward snacking and away from traditional meals. This is highlighted by the fact that for the first time, alternative snacks, a category driven by protein- and energy-rich items, has landed in the top 10.

Here’s how in-store sales were broken down in 2015:

  • Tobacco (cigarettes and OTP): 35.9% of in-store sales
  • Foodservice (prepared and commissary food; hot, cold and dispensed beverages): 20.8%
  • Packaged beverages (carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, juices, water and teas): 15.1%
  • Center of the store (candy; sweet, salty and alternative snacks): 10.7%
  • Beer: 7.2%
  • Other: 10.3%

Foodservice accounted for 33.7% of gross profit dollars in 2015. Packaged beverages were second, accounting for 18.8% of gross profit dollars. While tobacco products constituted 35.9% of in-store sales dollars, they accounted for only 16.8% of gross profit dollars.

Despite record in-store sales, direct store operating expenses (DSOE) outpaced inside gross profit dollars in 2015. If DSOE remains high throughout 2016 and beyond, this trend will create challenges for convenience retailers as they look to grow their businesses.

Beyond sales, convenience stores remain an important part of the economy. The convenience and fuel retailing industry employed 2.5 million people in 2015 (a 2.9% increase from 2014). If total industry sales were compared to the GDP of other nations, our $574.8 billion industry would rank at number 21, just above Switzerland.

The industry’s 2015 metrics are based on the NACS State of the Industry survey powered by its wholly owned subsidiary CSX, the industry’s largest online database of financial and operating data. Complete data and analysis will be released in June in the NACS State of the Industry Report of 2015 Data.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2014, of which $483 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

QVC, NBC’s TODAY in the 2nd year for a country-wide search for “Mompreneurs”

WEST CHESTER, Pa., 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Calling all moms with a money-making invention! For the second year, QVC is collaborating with NBC’s TODAY to discover the next big product to be sold by the world’s leading video and ecommerce retailer. Nine budding mom entrepreneurs, or “mompreneurs,” will take center stage next week to showcase their creative inventions during TODAY’s Next Big Thing 2, a week-long competition where promising mom inventors and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch their breakthrough ideas each day to NBC’s TODAY‘s panel of experts.

The country-wide search began in February as inventors were asked to submit their inventions. From those submissions, nine finalists were chosen across three different categories including: “gadgets for mom’s purse,” “mom on the go” and “mom gets organized.” All of the products are created by moms, for moms. During the week of April 18, the products in each category will be pitched live on NBC’s TODAY to a panel of judges that includes Doug Howe, QVC’s Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Jill Martin, NBC’s TODAY contributor and Creative Director of QVC’s contemporary fashion and accessories line, G.I.L.I. got it love it® and Savannah Guthrie, NBC’s TODAY anchor.

Beginning Tuesday, April 19, viewers can vote for their favorite product each day by visiting TODAY.com. On Friday, April 22, the inventors of the product receiving the most votes in each category will have one last chance to win over the judges and explain why their product deserves to join the ranks of QVC’s best-selling items. The overall winner selected by the judges will sell their product live on QVC Saturday, April 23 at 10AM (ET).

“Joining together with TODAY once again provides us with the opportunity to highlight budding entrepreneurs and inventors across the country,” said Howe. “The joy of discovery and the power of storytelling is a big part of what we do at QVC. Through TODAY’s Next Big Thing, we’re able to discover promising mom entrepreneurs and provide them with national distribution and a powerful platform to showcase the story and inspiration behind their products.”

Last September, QVC and TODAY launched TODAY’s Next Big Thing. Leslie Pierson, the inventor of GoodHangups, a reusable magnetic display systems for posters, art, photographs and more, was named the winner. The product achieved immediate success on QVC selling out during Pierson’s first appearance on air and it continues to be a popular item.  The experience has given Pierson the opportunity to expand and further develop her business.

“Presenting my product on TODAY and then QVC was such an amazing opportunity to tell my story and demonstrate my product to millions of people and get instant feedback,” said Pierson. “So often in retail, your product is standing on its own either online or on a retail shelf with little or no opportunity to tell the story of how you came up with it or showcase how it works. With QVC, you’re talking directly to your customer and have the opportunity to explain your inspiration and demonstrate how it works in a way that’s usually not possible.”

Over the past 29 years, QVC has launched and fostered the growth of some of today’s most successful brands.TODAY’s Next Big Thing 2 aligns with QVC’s commitment to bring their customers an ever-changing mix of new and innovative products from inventors and entrepreneurs as well as national and boutique brands.  It also supports QVC Sprouts®, the ongoing, crowd-sourced product search that seeks the best up-and-coming products from inventors and entrepreneurs, where those with a retail-ready item have the opportunity to sell on QVC.com and the chance to grow their businesses through a scalable and nurturing process.

Tune in to Saturday Morning Q® on QVC Saturday, April 23 at 10AM (ET) for a firsthand look as the TODAY’S Next Big Thing winning invention is showcased. Visit QVC.com to purchase the winning product, plus the products of all nine finalists. To learn more about QVC Sprouts, visit http://www.qvc.com/qvcsprouts.

About QVC
QVC, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corporation (NASDAQ: QVCA, QVCB), is the world’s leading video and ecommerce retailer. QVC is committed to providing its customers with thousands of the most innovative and contemporary beauty, fashion, jewelry and home products. Its programming is distributed to approximately 340 million homes worldwide through operations in the U.S., Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, France and a joint venture inChina. Based in West Chester, Pa. and founded in 1986, QVC has evolved from a TV shopping company to a leading ecommerce and mobile commerce retailer. The company’s website, QVC.com, is ranked among the top general merchant Internet sites. QVC, Q, and the Q Ribbon Logo are registered service marks of ER Marks, Inc.

Xcel Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:XELB) is a brand development and media company engaged in the design, production, licensing, marketing and direct-to-consumer sales of branded apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home goods, and other consumer products, and the acquisition of dynamic consumer lifestyle brands. Xcel was founded by Robert W. D’Loren in 2011 with a vision to reimagine shopping, entertainment and social as one. Xcel owns and manages the Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka, H Halston, and C. Wonder brands, pioneering an omnichannel sales strategy which includes the promotion and sale of products under its brands through direct-response television, internet, brick and mortar retail, and e-commerce channels. Headquartered in New York City, Xcel Brands is led by an executive team with significant retailing, licensing, design, and marketing experience, and a proven track record of success in elevating branded consumer products companies.  With a team of over 70 designers and social media focused marketing executives, Xcel maintains control of product quality and promotion across all of its product categories and distribution channels.  Xcel differentiates by design.  www.xcelbrands.com

Media Inquiries:
484.701.1647
media.relations@qvc.com

Sports Direct International to acquire freehold property at Oxford Street, London from CIP Property Limited

Shirebrook, UK, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Acquisition of new Oxford Street freehold

Sports Direct International plc (“Sports Direct”) announces that it has, through its wholly owned subsidiary SDI (Oxford Street) Limited, agreed to acquire the freehold property at 161-167 Oxford Street, London and 36 Poland Street, London (the “Property”) from CIP Property (AIPT) Limited, a nominee of Aviva Investors.

Sports Direct intends to redevelop the Property, following which it will use the retail part of the Property as a new FLANNELS.com flagship store, and the office space above as the Group’s new London office replacing its former offices at New Cavendish Street. The consideration payable for the Property is £108m, which will be funded from a combination of its existing resources and the Group’s bank facility. Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur by the end of April 2016.

Ends.

Sports Direct International plc
Dave Forsey, Chief Executive
Matt Pearson, Acting Chief Financial Officer
T: 0344 245 9200

KBA
Keith Bishop
T: 020 7734 9995

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

Source: SPORTS DIRECT INTERNATIONAL PLC

SpartanNash to transition to selling 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2025

Company has offered cage-free eggs for more than ten years

Byron Center, MI, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ —SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) announced today that it plans to transition to selling 100 percent cage-free eggs at its 160 grocery retail stores by 2025 or sooner based on available supply, affordability and customer demand. Cage-free eggs include eggs labeled with any of the following: cage free, free range, USDA or Quality Assurance International Certified Organic, or pasture raised. Currently, SpartanNash offers cage-free eggs in all of its 160 retail stores under the Full CircleTM, Green Meadows or Eggland’s Best brands. The company has been selling certified organic eggs which are cage-free for more than ten years.

“SpartanNash recognizesthat farming practices evolve based on new information, technologies, agricultural advancements and consumer preferences,” notes Larry Pierce, EVP, Merchandising and Marketing. “Consequently, we rely on industry, agricultural and veterinary experts to stay abreast of scientific developments. Such experts have told us that it will take years to modify facilities to ensure an adequate supply of safe, sustainable cage-free eggs. For this reason, our buyers are working closely with our suppliers to ensure we have access to a number of cage-free egg brands for our retail store customers.”

About SpartanNash

SpartanNash (SPTN) is a Fortune 400 company and the leading food distributor serving U.S. military commissaries in the world. The Company’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to military commissaries and exchanges and independent and corporate-owned retail stores located in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt. SpartanNash currently operates 160 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, Family Fresh Markets, D&W Fresh Markets, and Sun Mart.

SpartanNash
Meredith Gremel, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications
616-878-2830

Source:SpartanNash