New Memory Optimized X1 instances available for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

  • New memory-optimized instance family features 2 TB of memory and high-performing Intel processors to support large-scale in-memory databases, big data processing, and HPC
  • X1 instances offer more memory than any other SAP-certified cloud instance available today

SEATTLE, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced the availability of X1 instances, a new Memory Optimized instance for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). X1 instances have 2 TB of memory – the most memory available in any SAP-certified cloud instance available today. Powered by four 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon E7 8880 v3 (Haswell) processors delivering 128 vCPUs, X1 instances also offer up to 10 Gb per second of dedicated bandwidth to Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), making them ideal for running in-memory databases like SAP HANA, big data processing engines like Apache Spark or Presto, and high performance computing (HPC) workloads. X1 instances are certified and available for SAP S/4HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA (SoH), and SAP Business Warehouse on HANA (BWoH). To get started with X1 instances, visit https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/instance-types/x1/.

“Amazon EC2 provides the most comprehensive selection of instances, offering customers, by far, the deepest compute functionality to support virtually any workload,” said Matt Garman, Vice President, Amazon EC2. “We’ve had a Memory Optimized instance family (our R3 family) for a while that is quite popular for high performance databases, in-memory analytics, and enterprise applications; however, customers have increasingly asked for even more memory to help run analytics on larger data sets with in-memory databases, generate analytics in real time, and create very large caches. With 2 TB of memory – 8 times the memory of any other available Amazon EC2 instance, and more memory than any SAP-certified cloud instance available today – X1 instances change the game for SAP workloads in the cloud. Now, for the first time, customers can run their most memory-intensive applications at scale with the elasticity, flexibility, and reliability of the AWS Cloud, rather than having to battle the complexity, cost, and lack of agility of colo or on-premises solutions.”

AWS customers, across virtually every industry and geography, are running SAP applications on the AWS Cloud and experiencing the agility, scalability, security, and cost savings of the world’s most comprehensive cloud platform for their business applications. Earlier this week, AWS shared that GE Oil & Gas, Kellogg’s, Brooks Brothers, Ferrara Candy Company, GPT Group, Hoya Corporation, Lionsgate, Macmillan Publishers India, RWE Czech Republic, Zappos.com, and Bart & Associates Inc. are among the many customers running SAP on AWS.

Founded in 1818, Brooks Brothers is a leading retailer of fashion wear and accessories in the United States. “Our company already uses AWS for key business-critical SAP applications powered by HANA on AWS,” says Sahal Laher, Executive Vice President and CIO, Brooks Brothers. “With the addition of X1 instances with 2 TB of memory, we’ll be able to rapidly deploy new SAP solutions like S/4HANA, Supply Chain Management (SCM/APO), as well as Fashion Management (FMS) powered by HANA in production on AWS. We’re looking forward to realizing the same benefits with X1 that we’ve experienced thus far with the AWS Cloud, which has allowed us to put greater focus on areas of our business that drive revenue.”

DNAnexus provides scientific stack and data management services, enabling collaborative research to rapidly deliver insights from high resolution genomics, molecular, imaging, and clinical data. “The new X1 instances will be a powerful addition for genomic workflows with high memory demands,” said Omar Serang, Chief Cloud Officer, DNAnexus, Inc. “Complex tasks which require massive computational resources and terabyte-scale memory – de novo genome assembly, sequence scanning and matching applications, and genomic variation annotation programs – will particularly benefit from being able to hold their database in memory.”

Rescale offers industry leading software platforms and hardware infrastructure for companies to perform scientific and engineering simulations. “Our customers are using cloud infrastructure at increasingly large scale, at times launching tens of thousands of CPU cores to run critical engineering simulations,” said Joris Poort, CEO, Rescale. “Some of the engineering applications, in particular circuit and silicon logic simulations, large acoustic models, and electromagnetic frequency analysis, require very large amounts of localized memory near the CPU core for optimal performance. The new X1 instance addresses the needs of these applications, giving teams the ability to run a wider range of simulations, including higher fidelity models, to improve design quality and speed up simulations to reduce product development time.”

X1 instances are available today by customer request in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), EU (Germany), Asia Pacific (Tokyo),Asia Pacific (Sydney), and Asia Pacific (Singapore) Regions and will expand to additional Regions in the coming months.

About Amazon Web Services

For 10 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 70 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, analytics, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and enterprise applications from 33 Availability Zones (AZs) across 12 geographic regions in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. AWS services are trusted by more than a million active customers around the world — including the fastest growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies — to power their infrastructure, make them more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit http://aws.amazon.com.

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

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

Amazon.com, Inc.
Media Hotline, 206-266-7180
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Les Journées Particulières: Several exceptional places in France open for the first time (no reservation needed)

PARIS, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — France, the cradle of the LVMH Group, is quite naturally home to the majority of the events on the Journées Particulières program. Over 20 Houses are proposing a unique “tour de France” of heritage and traditions inspired by excellence. Several exceptional places are open for the first time (no reservation needed).

Louis Vuitton workshop, Sainte Florence
Sainte-Florence is one of 12 Louis Vuitton leather goods workshops in France that preserve and perpetuate the unique leather craftsmanship synonymous with the Maison. The site’s two buildings were completed in 1999 and 2001. Every detail contributes to impeccable quality craftsmanship and the open, modular spaces enable the workshop to quickly adapt to production flows. The site reflects the exacting focus needed to produce city bags and bags for runway shows.

Guerlain’s La Ruche production site in Chartres
Since its founding in 1828 and the launch of the first production facility on what would become the Place de l’Étoile in Paris, Guerlain has always created and manufactured its products in France. This priority continues today, even as 75% of Guerlain products are destined for export markets. Inaugurated in 2015, La Ruche (which means “beehive”) is where Guerlain produces its makeup and skincare lines, reaffirming the commitment of the House to “made in France”, as well as to cutting-edge innovation, excellence in cosmetics and exemplary social and environmental responsibility.

Domaine du Clos des Lambrays, Morey-Saint-Denis
The Domaine du Clos des Lambrays is located at an altitude of 250 meters. These vineyards have been worked since Charlemagne and the Dukes of Burgundy, expressing a natural alchemy where ideal terroir and climate are enhanced by the talents of winemakers. Visitors are invited to tour the estate, its vineyards and the stunning panorama, and discover different steps in the winemaking process in the winery and cellars, where precious bottles of the estate’s oldest vintages are kept.

Exhibition and new guided tour of Hennessy, Cognac
The Cognac house proposes two exceptional new guided tours. Visitors during Les Journées Particulières will be the first to discover the all-new guided tour of Hennessy’s cellars. This innovative, immersive itinerary blends history and modernity, plunging visitors into a 360% sensorial experience that retraces Hennessy’s singular history and global presence.

Visitors will also discover the Hennessy 250 exhibition, celebrating its 250th anniversary. After touring major cities around the world, the exhibition returns to the origins of the House in Cognac for the first showing in France. Conceived as a bridge between the values of Hennessy and contemporary art, the 500-square-meter exhibition is a creative journey during which 11 renowned international artists draw inspiration from the Hennessy spirit to revisit its heritage through a series of original works.

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
The Fondation Louis Vuitton is taking part in Les Journées Particulières for the first time, opening the spectacular building designed by Frank Gehry with no admission fee. Visitors are invited to discover an exclusive exhibition of photographs by Stephan Gladieu entitled “LVMH, Artisans d’Art – Trésors de Savoir-Faire”, dedicated to the exceptional artisans at the Group’s Houses. The current exhibition of Chinese Artists at La Fondation Louis Vuitton will also be open. Plus, visitors will discover the spectacular colorful installation on the building’s sails by Daniel Buren.

Thomas Pink store, Paris
In 2000, Thomas Pink chose rue François-Ier for its Paris flagship store. There, just a few steps off the Champs-Élysées, Thomas Pink invites visitors to discover the art of crafting semi-custom shirts with a choice of 200 exceptional quality fabrics. Thomas Pink proudly carries on this time-honored British tradition with a resolutely contemporary touch.

 

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© Louis Vuitton Malletier

© Louis Vuitton Malletier

Les Journées Particulières: Spotlight on exceptional sites open for the first time for visits without reservations in Italy and UK

PARIS, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Les Journées Particulières is a resolutely European event, proposing visits to LVMH Houses in France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Poland and Switzerland. Spotlight on exceptional sites open for the first time for visits without reservations in Italy and the UK.

Italy
A deep tradition of excellence, creativity, innovation and heritage are all themes with powerful resonance in Italy, where the Journées Particulières agenda this year includes exclusive visits to rarely seen LVMH Houses.

In Rome, visitors have a chance to tour the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, a striking architectural creation built in 1937 and now the headquarters of Fendi. Known as the Colosseo Quadrato, the building is instantly recognizable with its square shape and 260 arches on eight levels. While it has never been open to the public, it is nevertheless well-known, having appeared in countless movies by leading Italian directors. After completely renovating the building in 2015, Fendi has moved its worldwide headquarters and historic fur workshop there. The Journées Particulières offers a unique opportunity to discover a Roman icon and the prestigious Italian house.

The Piedmont region in the foothills of the Italian Alps is home to the Loro Piana spinning mill in Roccapietra, built in 1995. Emblematic of the House’s special relationship with nature, the building is nestled in a valley with a façade inspired by the stones and rocks of the rivers around it. Large bay windows bathe the interior in natural daylight, creating an exceptional working environment where each day the noblest raw materials to be found in the world are transformed into the finest fabrics such as vicuña from the Andes, cashmere, baby cashmere and merino wool.

In Ferrara, visitors are invited to discover the Berluti shoes and leather goods production site, inaugurated in January 2015. The 8,000-square-meter workshop supports the dynamic development of the House, which has been present since 1993 in a region known for excellence in men’s footwear. While machines are used for some steps in the manufacturing process, the emphasis here is on hand-crafted work by skilled artisans. Here, every stage in development from prototypes to manufacturing comes together in a single building.

Other sites are also open without reservation in Italy: Palazzo Fendi, the historic Bulgari store and the Acqua Di Parma store in Rome, as well as theLouis Vuitton shoes factory in Fiesso d’Artico and Pucci’s Villa di Granaiolo.

United Kingdom
A highlight of this third edition of Les Journées Particulières is the participation of several LVMH Houses in Britain, notably in London, which reclaims its reputation as a major European capital of style and artisanal excellence.

Visitors can discover the flagship Nicholas Kirkwood boutique, opened in 2011 in a historic building on Mount Street, a striking choice for one of the most audacious designers of his generation. Throughout Les Journées Particulières, visitors can discover the amazing savoir-faire that goes into each model. What’s more, owners of Nicholas Kirkwood shoes can bring them in to have them monogrammed by an artist. They can also create their very own version of the Beya loafer using a new personalization app.

Located in the heart of the Mayfair district at 15 St. George Street, LVMH House is a striking 18th century building with characteristic Londonian architecture. The site, which hosts training for senior leaders from LVMH and its Houses, will be open to the public during the event. In addition to a presentation of the history of LVMH, visitors can enjoy an exclusive exhibition and video projections.

The Thomas Pink boutique is a highlight of Les Journées Particulières in London. Visitors will also want to discover the Glenmorangie distillery in Scotland. Both are open without reservation, subject to availability.

 

For the complete program of Les Journées Particulières, click here.

Les Journées Particulières: Spotlight on exceptional sites open for the first time for visits without reservations in Italy and UK

Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana © Fendi

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. Q1 2016: 31.4 percent increase of net earnings over the same period a year ago

MOORESVILLE, N.C., 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) today reported net earnings of $884 million for the quarter ended April 29, 2016, a 31.4 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share increased 40.0 percent to $0.98 from $0.70 in the first quarter of 2015.

The first quarter results include an unrealized gain on a foreign currency hedge entered into in advance of the Company’s pending RONA acquisition, which increased pre-tax earnings for the first quarter by $160 million and diluted earnings per share by $0.11.

Sales for the first quarter increased 7.8 percent to $15.2 billion from $14.1 billion in the first quarter of 2015, and comparable sales for the quarter increased 7.3 percent.  Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 7.5 percent.

“We executed well in the quarter, growing both transaction and average ticket to achieve comparable sales growth that exceeded our expectations,” commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “We continued to focus on providing better omni-channel customer experiences, and saw strength in indoor as well as outdoor categories.

“Our team’s project expertise and commitment to customer service allowed us to capitalize on strong home improvement demand during the quarter, and I would like to thank them for their efforts,” Niblock added.

Delivering on its commitment to return excess cash to shareholders, the Company repurchased $1.2 billion of stock under its share repurchase program and paid $255 millionin dividends in the first quarter.

As of April 29, 2016, Lowe’s operated 1,860 home improvement and hardware stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 202.3 million square feet of retail selling space.

A conference call to discuss first quarter 2016 operating results is scheduled for today (Wednesday, May 18) at 9:00 am ET.  The conference call will be available by webcast and can be accessed by visiting Lowe’s website at www.Lowes.com/investor and clicking on Lowe’s First Quarter 2016 Earnings Conference Call Webcast.  Supplemental slides will be available fifteen minutes prior to the start of the conference call. A replay of the call will be archived on Lowes.com/investor until August 16, 2016.

Lowe’s Business Outlook1

Fiscal Year 2016 — a 53-week Year (comparisons to fiscal year 2015 — a 52-week year; based on U.S. GAAP unless otherwise noted)

  • Total sales are expected to increase approximately 6 percent, including the 53rd week
  • The 53rd week is expected to increase total sales by approximately 1.5 percent
  • Comparable sales are expected to increase approximately 4 percent
  • The company expects to add approximately 45 home improvement and hardware stores.
  • Earnings before interest and taxes as a percentage of sales (operating margin) are expected to increase 80 to 90 basis points.2
  • The effective income tax rate is expected to be approximately 38.1%.
  • Diluted earnings per share of approximately $4.11 are expected for the fiscal year endingFebruary 3, 2017.

1 Lowe’s Business Outlook excludes the impact of the pending RONA acquisition.

2 Operating margin growth excludes the unrealized gain on the foreign currency hedge entered into in advance of the Company’s pending RONA acquisition as well as the impact of the non-cash impairment charge the Company recognized in the fourth quarter of 2015 in connection with its decision to exit its joint venture with Woolworths Limited in Australia.

Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including those regarding the proposed acquisition by Lowe’s Companies, Inc. of RONA, inc. and the expected impact of the transaction on Lowe’s strategic and operational plans and financial results.  Statements including words such as “may”, “will”, “could”, “should”, “would”, “plan”, “potential”, “intend”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate” or “expect” and other words, terms and phrases of similar meaning are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, expectations, projections, goals, forecasts, assumptions, risks and uncertainties.  Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements or implications about the benefits of the transaction, including future financial and operating results, Lowe’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, expectations for sales growth, comparable sales, earnings and performance, shareholder value, capital expenditures, cash flows, the housing market, the home improvement industry, demand for services, share repurchases, Lowe’s strategic initiatives, any statement of an assumption underlying any of the foregoing and other statements that are not historical facts.  Although we believe that the expectations, opinions, projections, and comments reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such statements will prove to be correct. A wide variety of potential risks, uncertainties, and other factors could materially affect our ability to achieve the results either expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, changes in general economic conditions, such as the rate of unemployment, interest rate and currency fluctuations, fuel and other energy costs, slower growth in personal income, changes in consumer spending, changes in the rate of housing turnover, the availability of consumer credit and of mortgage financing, inflation or deflation of commodity prices, and other factors which can negatively affect our customers, as well as our ability to: (i) respond to adverse trends in the housing industry, such as a demographic shift from single family to multi-family housing, a reduced rate of growth in household formation, and  slower rates of growth in housing renovation and repair activity, as well as uneven recovery in commercial building activity; (ii) secure, develop, and otherwise implement new technologies and processes necessary to realize the benefits of our strategic initiatives and enhance our efficiency; (iii) attract, train, and retain highly-qualified associates; (iv) manage our business effectively as we adapt our traditional operating model to meet the changing expectations of our customers; (v) maintain, improve, upgrade and protect our critical information systems from data security breaches and other cyber threats; (vi) respond to fluctuations in the prices and availability of services, supplies, and products; (vii) respond to the growth and impact of competition; (viii) address changes in existing or new laws or regulations that affect consumer credit, employment/labor, trade, product safety, transportation/logistics, energy costs, health care, tax or environmental issues; and (ix) respond appropriately to unanticipated failures to maintain a high level of product and service quality that could result in a negative impact on customer confidence and adversely affect sales. In addition, we could experience additional impairment losses if either the actual results of our operating stores are not consistent with the assumptions and judgments we have made in estimating future cash flows and determining asset fair values, or we are required to reduce the carrying amount of our investment in certain unconsolidated entities that are accounted for under the equity method. With respect to the transaction discussed herein specifically, potential risks include the possibility that the transaction will not close or that the closing may be delayed; the effect of the announcement of the transaction on Lowe’s and RONA’s strategic relationships, operating results and businesses generally; significant transaction costs or unknown liabilities; failure to realize the expected benefits of the transaction; and general economic conditions. For more information about these and other risks and uncertainties that we are exposed to, you should read the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates” included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and the description of material changes therein or updated version thereof, if any, included in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or subsequent filings with the SEC.

The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements. All such forward-looking statements are based upon data available as of the date of this release or other specified date and speak only as of such date. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf about any of the matters covered in this release are qualified by these cautionary statements and in the “Risk Factors” included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K to the SEC and the description of material changes, if any, therein included in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or subsequent filings with the SEC. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, change in circumstances, future events, or otherwise.

Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving over 16 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2015 sales of $59.1 billion, Lowe’s has 1,860 home improvement and hardware stores and more than 270,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

SOURCE Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Contact

If you’re a journalist working on a story about Lowe’s: 704-758-2917
PublicRelations@lowes.com

Sonic Corp. issued $425 million of Series 2016-1 Class A-2 Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes in private securitization transaction

Sonic Announces Increase to Share Repurchase Program

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ:SONC), the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced that certain of its subsidiaries have issued $425 million of Series 2016-1 Class A-2 Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes (the “2016 Fixed Rate Notes”) in a private securitization transaction. The 2016 Fixed Rate Notes will have an expected life of seven years and bear interest at 4.47% per annum, payable monthly. Guggenheim Securities, LLC acted as sole structuring advisor and active book-running manager for the transaction.

The same Sonic subsidiaries have also entered into a $150 million securitized revolving credit facility of Series 2016-1 Class A-1 Variable Funding Senior Secured Notes (the “2016 Variable Funding Notes” and, together with the 2016 Fixed Rate Notes, the “2016 Notes”). The Company does not currently have any borrowings under the 2016 Variable Funding Notes facility.

The net proceeds from the sale of the 2016 Fixed Rate Notes will be used to repay the approximately $266 million in outstanding Series 2011-1 Class A-2 Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes and the $67 million in outstanding Series 2011-1 Class A-1 Variable Funding Senior Secured Notes, together with related prepayment premium and transaction costs. The remaining net proceeds will be available for further investment in the business and to return to shareholders via share repurchase or dividends. Including the impact of the transaction, net interest expense is projected to be $26 to $27 million for fiscal year 2016.

The subsidiaries that will issue the 2016 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 2016 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 ofSonic Corp., will be liable for any obligations under the 2016 Notes.

The 2016 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.

Share Repurchase

Sonic also announced that its board of directors approved an incremental $155 million share repurchase authorization. The new authorization allows for up to $155 million of common stock to be repurchased through August 31, 2017. This is in addition to the over $21 million remaining for repurchase under the prior authorization expiring on August 31, 2016. Share repurchases may be made from time-to-time in the open market or otherwise, including through an accelerated share repurchase program, under the terms of a Rule 10b5-1 plan, in privately negotiated transactions or in round lot or block transactions.

“We are very pleased that we were able to leverage the strength of our business to optimize our capital structure,” said Clifford Hudson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The increase in our share repurchase authorization and extension of the program through fiscal 2017 enables us to continue to maximize shareholder value. Since fiscal 2013, we have returned over $370 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.

“We continue to build our brand and execute our key initiatives using our multi-layered growth strategy, comprised of same-store sales growth, operating leverage, new unit growth and effective deployment of free cash flow to drive double-digit earnings growth in the near and long term.”

The company continues to expect adjusted earnings per share growth for fiscal 2016 of 20% to 25%. For the fiscal third quarter ended May 31, 2016the company expects system same-store sales growth to be positive, but below the full-year target of 4% to 6% as a result of slower industry traffic and modestly unfavorable weather during the quarter.

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

The Home Depot reports $22.8 billion sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2016

ATLANTA, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Home Depot®, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, today reported sales of $22.8 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2016, a 9.0 percent increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2015. Comparable store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 were positive 6.5 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 7.4 percent.

Net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 were $1.8 billion, or $1.44 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of$1.6 billion, or $1.21 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2015. For the first quarter of fiscal 2016, diluted earnings per share increased 19.0 percent from the same period in the prior year.

“We were pleased with our stronger than expected start to the year, driven by solid execution and broad-based growth across the store,” said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president. “This was made possible by our hard working associates and their continued dedication to our customers in a quarter marked by week-to-week demand spikes caused by weather variability.”

Updated Fiscal 2016 Guidance

The Company raised its fiscal 2016 sales guidance and now expects sales will be up approximately 6.3 percent and comp sales will be up approximately 4.9 percent. The Company also raised its diluted earnings-per-share guidance for the year and now expects diluted earnings per share to grow approximately 14.8 percent from fiscal 2015 to $6.27.

The Home Depot will conduct a conference call today at 9 a.m. ET to discuss information included in this news release and related matters. The conference call will be available in its entirety through a webcast and replay at earnings.homedepot.com.

At the end of the first quarter, the Company operated a total of 2,275 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia,Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. The Company employs more than 385,000 associates. The Home Depot’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

Certain statements contained herein constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may relate to, among other things, the demand for our products and services; net sales growth; comparable store sales; effects of competition; state of the economy; state of the residential construction, housing and home improvement markets; state of the credit markets, including mortgages, home equity loans and consumer credit; demand for credit offerings; inventory and in-stock positions; implementation of store, interconnected retail and supply chain initiatives; management of relationships with our suppliers and vendors; the impact and expected outcome of investigations, inquiries, claims and litigation, including those related to the 2014 data breach; issues related to the payment methods we accept; continuation of share repurchase programs; net earnings performance; earnings per share; dividend targets; capital allocation and expenditures; liquidity; return on invested capital; expense leverage; stock-based compensation expense; commodity price inflation and deflation; the ability to issue debt on terms and at rates acceptable to us; the effect of accounting charges; the effect of adopting certain accounting standards; store openings and closures; guidance for fiscal 2016 and beyond; financial outlook; and the integration of Interline Brands, Inc. into our organization and the ability to recognize the anticipated synergies and benefits of the acquisition. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available information and our current assumptions, expectations and projections about future events. You should not rely on our forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to future events, risks and uncertainties – many of which are beyond our control or are currently unknown to us – as well as potentially inaccurate assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations and projections. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to those described in Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” and elsewhere in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for our fiscal year ended January 31, 2016 and in our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we do not undertake to update these statements other than as required by law. You are advised, however, to review any further disclosures we make on related subjects in our periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE The Home Depot

Financial Community, Diane Dayhoff, Vice President of Investor Relations, 770-384-2666, diane_dayhoff@homedepot.com; News Media, Stephen Holmes, Director of Corporate Communications, 770-384-5075, stephen_holmes@homedepot.com

Rob Green of National Council of Chain Restaurants on DOL’s new federal overtime regulations

WASHINGTON, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Council of Chain Restaurants issued the following statement from Executive Director Rob Green strongly objecting to the Labor Department’s new federal overtime regulations:

“By dramatically increasing the wage threshold for determining a restaurant manager’s overtime eligibility, key management positions will be eliminated, restaurant employee career advancement will be derailed and workplace morale will plummet.”

“If this outrageous regulation remains unchanged, chain restaurants will be forced to convert tens of thousands of managers from being salaried professionals to hourly status in order to avoid costly and unpredictable impacts. Restaurant owners across the country are asking why the federal government wants to take a salary away from restaurant managers.

“We will continue to fight this punitive regulation and will work with Congress to make the Labor Department go back to the drawing board to find a workable solution. Overtime regulations need to reflect cost-of-living differences around the country and allow employees and managers to grow in their careers.”

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

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(855) NRF-Press

Delhaize Group discloses acquisition of treasury shares

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Delhaize Group discloses information with respect to the acquisition of treasury shares in accordance with Belgian law.

Delhaize Group has recently acquired 313 202 shares pursuant to a share buy-back program with a Belgian credit institution for the purchase of Delhaize Group shares in order to satisfy exercises of stock options:

Purchase date
Place of the transaction
Number of shares purchased
Average unit purchase price
(in €)
Lowest unit purchase price
(in €)
Highest unit purchase price
(in €)
May 9, 2016 Euronext Brussels  28 100  92.21  91.15  92.62
May 9, 2016 Chi-X  1 900  92.09  92.03  92.18
May 10, 2016 Euronext Brussels  56 274  92.88  92.07  93.74
May 10, 2016 Chi-X  3 420  92.72  92.36  93.23
May 11, 2016 Euronext Brussels  45 934  92.43  92.10  92.81
May 11, 2016 Chi-X  17 230  92.43  92.00  92.75
May 12, 2016 Euronext Brussels  48 145  92.77  91.48  93.60
May 12, 2016 Chi-X  14 075  92.73  91.57  93.60
May 13, 2016 Euronext Brussels  33 427  93.33  92.05  94.38
May 13, 2016 Chi-X  1 537  92.21  92.15  92.32
May 16, 2016 Euronext Brussels  41 251  92.41  92.22  93.80
May 16, 2016 Chi-X  21 909  92.38  92.24  93.41

More information on the company’s share buyback program can be found on the website www.delhaizegroup.com.

» Delhaize Group

Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in seven countries on three continents. At the end of 2015, Delhaize Group’s sales network consisted of 3 512 stores. In 2015, Delhaize Group posted €24.4 billion ($27.1 billion) in revenues. In 2015, Delhaize Group posted €366 million ($407 million) in net profit (Group share). At the end of 2015, Delhaize Group employed approximately 154 000 people. Delhaize Group’s stock is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG).

This press release is available in English, French and Dutch. You can also find it on the website http://www.delhaizegroup.com. Questions can be sent to investor@delhaizegroup.com.

» Contacts

Investor Relations: + 32 2 412 2151
Media Relations: + 32 2 412 8669

National Retail Federation on DOL’s overtime rules: hundreds of thousands of career professionals will lose their status as salaried employees

Retailers Appeal to Congress to Block Overtime Expansion

WASHINGTON, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today released the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French in response to the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules:

“These rules are a career killer. With the stroke of a pen, the Labor Department is demoting millions of workers. In the retail sector alone, hundreds of thousands of career professionals will lose their status as salaried employees and find themselves reclassified as hourly workers, depriving them of the workplace flexibility and other benefits they so highly-value. And the one-size-fits-all approach means businesses trying to make ends meet in small towns across America are now expected to pay the same salaries as those in New York City.”

“These regulations are full of false promises. Most of the people impacted by this change will not see any additional pay. Instead, this sudden and extraordinary increase will mean more red tape and fewer advancement opportunities for salaried professionals. In the real world – as opposed to D.C. conference rooms filled with career bureaucrats and political appointees – employers and employees will suffer the consequences of a policy rooted in pure politics.

“Of course, the devil is in the details, but this fight is far from over. NRF will continue to advocate alongside our congressional allies for realistic workplace policies. Overtime regulations need to be sensitive to cost-of-living differences throughout the country, moderate enough that they don’t block the career ambitions of young people and middle managers working to climb the career ladder, and gradual enough that business owners can implement them without penalizing the very people they were intended to help.”

Research conducted for NRF shows that the rules will force employers to limit hours or cut base pay in order to make up for the added payroll costs of overtime expansion, leaving most workers with no increase in take-home pay despite added administrative costs. A separate survey found that the majority of retail managers and assistant managers the new regulations are supposed to help oppose the plan.

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

BNP Paribas and Carrefour to test mobile payment app for paperless electronic payment, loyalty and couponing services

•    BNP Paribas and Carrefour are testing a new secure mobile services model designed to make life easier for the customer
•    A ground-breaking initiative, which will be open to all retailers

PARIS, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — BNP Paribas and Carrefour are about to test an application that will enable customers to pay for purchases with their mobile phones, automatically combining standard loyalty services with the payment facility, whatever bank or bank card they use. In just one movement, using only a PIN code, the customer will be able to settle up for his/her purchases both at physical retail outlets, including hypermarkets, supermarkets and local shops, and on the Internet, with the guarantee of still being able to claim their usual loyalty benefits.

For this purpose, Carrefour and BNP Paribas jointly developed a technology platform, which has been operational since 2015. It was designed from the very outset to be open for tech startups to contribute a range of enhanced services. A mobile app called Wa! – which provides paperless electronic payment, loyalty and couponing services – has been created for the test. Experiments so far have shown strong interest among consumers and full-scale tests are now due to be conducted over the next few months in the Ile-de-France (Greater Paris region) at a dozen sales outlets representing the full range of Carrefour store formats. Other retail players with an interest in joining the initiative are also invited to take part in the test.

Connected shopping opens up opportunities to create a new type of relationship with the customer, with greater emphasis on personalisation, mobile facilities, simplicity, accessibility and usefulness. BNP Paribas and Carrefour share the same determination to develop a rigorous basis for this new Customer Experience, especially as regards security and data protection.

FULL PRESS RELEASE 

 

Carrefour to pay €0.70 per share dividend for the 2015 FY

Boulogne-Billancourt, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — At the Annual General Meeting held today, Carrefour’s shareholders approved the proposed €0.70 per share dividend for the 2015 financial year and decided to offer shareholders an option to receive the dividend payment in shares.

The issue price of the new shares to be issued in consideration for the dividend has been set at €21,86. This issue price represents 90% of the average opening prices quoted on the regulated market of Euronext Paris during the 20 trading days preceding the date of the Annual General Meeting, less the amount of the dividend, and rounded upward to the nearest euro cent.

The dividend ex-date is set on May 23, 2016. The shareholders may opt for the dividend payment in cash or in new shares from May 23, 2016 to June 10, 2016 included, by sending their request to their financial intermediaries. For the shareholders who have not exercised their dividend payment option by June 10, 2016, the dividend shall only be paid in cash1 .

For the shareholders who have not opted for a dividend payment in shares, the dividend shall be paid in cash on June 21, 2016. For the shareholders who have opted to receive the dividend in shares, settlement and delivery of the shares will be as from June 21, 2016.

If the amount of dividends for which the option is exercised does not correspond to a whole number of shares, shareholders may choose to either receive the rounded-up whole number of shares by paying the difference in cash on the day they exercise the option or receive the rounded-down whole number of shares and the balance in cash.

The shares issued as dividend payment will carry dividend rights as from January 1, 2016. An application to list these new shares on Euronext Paris will be made. The new shares will rank pari passu with existing shares and will be fully fungible with existing shares already listed.

The maximum total number of new shares which may be issued for the purpose of the dividend payment in shares is 23,375,470 shares (excluding additional shares issued for rounding purposes), representing approximately 3.17% of the share capital and 2.65% of the voting rights of Carrefour based on the total number of shares and voting rights as of April 30, 2016.

1  ADR holders may be subject to different election and payment conditions and should consult the depositary for more information.

Calendar:

May 20     Dividend record date
May 23        Dividend ex-date and beginning of the option period for the election of share dividend
June 10    End of the option period for the election of share dividend
June 17    Announcement of the result of the option
June 21    Payment of cash dividend, settlement-delivery of share dividend

 

Disclaimer
This press release constitutes the information document required pursuant to Article 212-4 4° and 212-5 5° of the French Financial Market Authority (AMF) General Regulation and Article 13 and Annex III of the AMF Instruction AMF n° 2005-11 dated December 13, 2005 as amended.
This press release does not constitute an offer to purchase securities. This press release and any other document relating to the payment of dividend in shares may only be distributed or disseminated outside of France in conformity with applicable local laws and regulations and shall not constitute an offer for securities in any jurisdiction where such an offer would infringe applicable laws and regulations.
The option to receive the 2015 dividend payment in shares, as described herein, is not available to shareholders residing in any country where such option would require registration or approval by local securities regulators. Shareholders residing outside of France must inform themselves about, and comply with, any restrictions which may apply under their local laws. In any event, this option is open to shareholders residing in a Member State of the European Union, the United States of America, Norway and Switzerland. Orders originating from other countries would not be accepted.
For tax purposes in relation to the dividend payment in shares, the shareholders are invited to review their personal situation with their own tax advisor.
In making the election to receive the dividend payment in shares, shareholders should take into consideration the risks associated with an investment in shares.

Investor Relations: Alessandra Girolami, Mathilde Rodié, Matthew Mellin Tel: +33 (0)1 41 04 26 00

RILA: DOL’s overtime rule will certainly hurt those that it purports to help

Final Rule Undermines Important Employee Benefits And Creates Enormous Burdens For Employers

Arlington , VA, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement from Jennifer Safavian, executive vice president for government affairs, in response to published reports about the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime rule.

While a review of the current overtime threshold is justifiable, the dramatic changes imposed by the Department of Labor are not. The rule will certainly hurt those that it purports to help. Specifically, the rule will cause retail employees who are forced to be reclassified from salaried to hourly to lose much of the flexibility and upward mobility they value.

“Further, the Department of Labor’s failure to adequately consider regional differences will ensure the most acute effects will be experienced by employees in rural areas and the automatic adjustment will create a perpetual state of disruption as businesses will be forced to reclassify employees each and every three years.

“In the weeks and months ahead, RILA will focus on educating Congress on the impact the rule will have on workers and press for action to halt this harmful rule from taking effect.

RILA detailed its objections to the proposed rule in comments submitted to DOL last year.

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.

###​​

Brian Dodge
Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Phone: 703-600-2017
Email: brian.dodge@rila.org