MinuteClinic introduced new digital tool for patients to view wait times and hold a place in line

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) which operates more than 1,100 retail medical clinics in CVS Pharmacy and Target stores across the United States, has introduced a new digital tool that allows patients to view wait times at most locations and hold a place in line from the convenience of their smartphone, computer or tablet.

The new system is currently available to patients visiting MinuteClinic locations inside CVS Pharmacy stores and Longs Drugs in Hawaii. It will be expanded to Target-based clinics later this year. The service debuts at the same time as MinuteClinic expands its suite of health care services and surpasses 30 million patient visits.

“Since introducing the first store-based, walk-in clinics in 2000, MinuteClinic has consistently developed new ways to evolve its model to make health care services more convenient for today’s consumer,” said Andrew Sussman, M.D., President of CVS MinuteClinic and Executive Vice President and Associate Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health. “We know patients are demanding added convenience as they interact with the health care system. The option to hold a place in line gives patients more choices and flexibility and will allow for prompt care when arriving at our clinics. We think of it as the ‘cure for the common wait’.”

To use MinuteClinic’s new digital tool, patients start by viewing current wait times online at the clinic they’d like to visit. They then enter the reason for their visit and provide an email address or phone number in MinuteClinic’s secure system to receive a confirmation code and reminder messages via email or text. Patients are given an estimated time to arrive at the clinic. Once at the selected clinic, they sign in at the kiosk and enter their unique confirmation code. They are then ready to be seen as soon as the practitioner is available based on the order in which the confirmation was received.

While bringing more convenient care options to its growing patient base, MinuteClinic has also added a variety of new medical services that include treatment of sprains and strains, gout, joint pain, indigestion and heartburn, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

In addition, MinuteClinic is expanding women’s health and counseling services to include contraceptive care. Available to patients over 18 years of age (19 in some states), MinuteClinic practitioners can see women interested in starting birth control or changing their present method of contraception to develop a customized plan.

Increasing patient demand is the impetus for adding these new services, according to Sussman.

“We’ve worked closely with our collaborating physicians, health system affiliates, and our practitioner team to develop a consistent and thoughtful approach to expand and introduce new services that are within the scope of practice of our nurse practitioners and physician assistants,” said Sussman. “We employ evidence-based guidelines in our treatment plans. Having seen more than 30 million visits in 16 years, we hope to continue to bring innovations and convenience to the way health care is delivered today.”

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants at MinuteClinic specialize in family health care and can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses such as strep throat; ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections; nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; indigestion. Acne, rashes and skin conditions; sprains and strains; and minor wounds and abrasions are also treated. Common vaccinations are available at most locations, such as influenza, tetanus, pneumonia and Hepatitis A & B.

Prevention and wellness services include screening and monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, tuberculosis (TB) testing, contraceptive care, motion sickness prevention and smoking cessation.

At the conclusion of each visit, patients receive educational material, a prescription (when clinically appropriate) and a visit summary. A copy of the diagnostic record can be sent electronically, or by fax or mail, to a primary care provider with patient permission.

About MinuteClinic
MinuteClinic is the retail medical clinic of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic launched the first retail medical clinics in the United States in 2000 and is the largest provider of retail clinics with more than 1,100 locations in 33 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to patient demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has provided care through more than 30 million patient visits, with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic is the only retail health care provider to receive four consecutive accreditations from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.minuteclinic.com.

SOURCE MinuteClinic

The Kroger Co. expanded the store locations included in the recall of two green peas products

CINCINNATI, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced it has expanded the store locations included in a recall of two green peas products, Pictsweet Steamable Green Peas and Kroger Green Peas, announced previously by The Pictsweet Company.

Both products were included in a recall initiated earlier this month by supplier CRF Frozen Foodsbecause they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which could result in severe illness to those individuals who may consume these products. No customer illnesses have been reported to date.

Kroger has removed the following items from store shelves and initiated its customer recall notification system that alerts customers who may have purchased recalled Class 1 products through register receipt tape messages and phone calls.

Product UPC Code Size
Kroger Green Peas 0001111081918

Best By: 
March 2016
32 oz
Pictsweet Steamable Green Peas 0007056097901 Best By: 6/27/16
9/2/16; 9/13/16
10 oz.

Kroger has expanded its recall of Kroger Green Peas to include products sold in Kroger stores in the following states: northern Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, central and eastern Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

The company has expanded its recall of Pictsweet Steamable Green Peas to include products sold in Kroger, Dillons, Bakers, Gerbes, Food 4 Less (Midwest), and Jay-C locations in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Both products were previously recalled in Fry’s, King Soopers, City Market, Ralphs, Food 4 Less (west coast), Smith’s, QFC, and Fred Meyer stores in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Customers who have purchased any of the products described above should not consume them and should return them to a store for a full refund or replacement.

Customers who have questions may contact Kroger at 1-800-KROGERS, Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 12:00 am EDT and Saturday through Sunday 8:00 am to 9:00 pm EDT.

Every day, the Kroger Family of Companies makes a difference in the lives of eight and a half million customers and 431,000 associates who shop or serve in 2,778 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Kroger and its subsidiaries operate an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized, order online, pick up at the store service – in addition to our 2,231 pharmacies, 784 convenience stores, 323 fine jewelry stores, 1,387 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants in the United States. Kroger is recognized as one of America’s most generous companies for its support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.

SOURCE The Kroger Co.

The Kroger Co. announced $1m donation and multi-faceted program to engage customers and honor our heroes all summer

Company Kicks Off Memorial Day with Plans to Support Servicemen and Women This Summer, Including a $1 Million Donation to the USO

CINCINNATI, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — To show support for our heroes – service members, their families and veterans – The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced a $1 million donation and a multi-faceted program to engage customers and honor our heroes all summer.

“Kroger is deeply grateful to our military men and women and their families for their selflessness, service and sacrifices,” said Jessica Adelman, Kroger’s group vice president of corporate affairs. “Whether through hiring returning service members, supporting the USO’s programs or sharing a taste of home through special events, Kroger is committed to our troops and their families.”

More than two million Americans serve on active duty or in the reserves today, including many Kroger family of stores associates. Kroger’s “Honoring Our Heroes” program is designed to show Kroger’s deep gratitude to our active duty service members and our nation’s 23 million veterans through the company’s partnership with the USO.

Kroger’s customers and associates have enthusiastically supported the endeavor: Together, Kroger annual campaign has raised more than $14 million since 2010 to support USO programs, which represents the largest cumulative gift to the USO in its 75-year history.

To honor our heroes, Kroger announced several easy ways for customers to participate this Memorial Day season and throughout the summer:

  • Help Raise an Additional $1 Million for Our Troops
    Kroger invites its customers to join forces with them to donate an additional $1 million to the USO by giving through register scan cards and coin boxes at every store or by donating online at HonoringOurHeroes.com. All funds raised from customers will be additional to Kroger’s $1 million commitment. Any size gift will help the USO continue its mission to keep service members connected to family, home and country throughout their service to our nation.
  • Gift Card Donations
    Customers may purchase special donation gift cards in $5, $10 and $15 denominations that will be delivered to USO centers around the world. In addition, shoppers can share their spirit with loved ones by purchasing patriotic banner gift cards to give as gifts, maybe to someone in the family who is (or was) a service member or someone in the community who is especially patriotic.
  • Meet Our Heroes
    Kroger has hired more than 32,000 veterans since 2009, and the “Meet Our Heroes” section on Kroger’s website highlights some of the many team members who have served in the military. Customers can visit HonoringOurHeroes.com to become inspired by Kroger’s own associates’ stories of courage, then write a special message of their own to America’s heroes. By posting on social media channels using the #HonoringOurHeroes hashtag, the message will automatically show up on the official website. In addition, many of the messages will be broadcast on special digital outdoor billboards.
  • A Summer to Remember
    Treating troops and their families to a dinner together is a token of the company’s appreciation for the many family dinners they missed while deployed. Kroger associates look forward to volunteering at three upcoming events:

    • On May 24, they joined the USO to serve lunch and dinner to 1,000 service members at Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson in Anchorage.
    • On June 3, they will join the USO to host a beachside BBQ for 1,000 veterans, active duty soldiers and their families in Virginia Beach as part of Warrior Week.
    • On June 7, they will join the USO to host a rib roast at Ft. Riley, Kansas, for 1,000 military families as they celebrate Victory Week, the anniversary of their base.
  • Share a Coke
    With every click, The Coca-Cola Company will donate a refreshing Coke to the troops, up to 100,000, on Kroger’s behalf. Consumers can use the hashtags #HonoringOurHeroes #USO #ShareaCoke to spread the message with their friends and followers.

To find out more about these many programs, visit https://www.honoringourheroes.com/

About the USO
The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

About Kroger
Every day, the Kroger Family of Companies makes a difference in the lives of eight and a half million customers and 431,000 associates who shop or serve in 2,778 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Kroger and its subsidiaries operate an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized, order online, pick up at the store service – in addition to our 2,231 pharmacies, 784 convenience stores, 323 fine jewelry stores, 1,387 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants in the United States. Kroger is recognized as one of America’s most generous companies for its support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.

SOURCE The Kroger Co.

Food 4 Less stores announced Honoring Our Heroes campaign in partnership with the USO

Honoring Our Heroes Campaign Will Raise Funds to Assist Military Programs through the USO

LOS ANGELES, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Food 4 Less stores in Southern California, southern Nevada and greater Chicago are inviting customers to join in supporting the men and women of the armed forces and their families during its annual Honoring Our Heroes campaign in partnership with the USO.

In addition, the supermarket chain’s Foods Co Division, which serves Central and Northern California, is also raising funds to support USO programs and services.

To honor our heroes, Food 4 Less, Foods Co and other Kroger-family stores, together with customers and employees, are raising money to support the USO’s broad range of programs that assist service members and their families. Since 2010, The Kroger Co., of which Food 4 Less and Foods Co are divisions, has provided more than $12 million to support the USO – the largest cumulative gift to the USO in the organization’s history.

This year, customers and associates of Food 4 Less and Foods Co stores will be able to show their support for our service men and women from May 25 to July 19 by donating their spare change in specially-marked coin boxes at the check stand. One-hundred percent of all donations will go to the USO.

“The USO supports our military and their families in so many ways—from being right there for the wounded, injured and ill, to helping those who are on deployment record a bed time story for their children,” said Kendra Doyel, Food 4 Less/Foods Co’s vice president of  corporate affairs.  “The USO connects with our service men and women every step of the way, and Food 4 Less/Foods Co is proud to honor our troops and veterans by supporting them.”

Honoring Food 4 Less/Foods Co’s Heroes
Food 4 Less/Foods Co is also recognizing company employees and their families who are active and former military members, including Dean Frame, a deli/bakery clerk at the Food 4 Less at 44455 Valley Central Way in Lancaster, CA.

Frame served 12 years in the United States Army achieving the rank of sergeant and platoon leader. He was honorably discharged in 2011. During his years in the Army, Frame was deployed to the Middle East several times and took part in Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Customers can read more stories like Dean Frame’s, and learn how to volunteer with the USO or make a donation, by visiting www.honoringourheroes.com.

About Food 4 Less
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Food 4 Less operates 131 price-impact, warehouse-format supermarkets under the banners Food 4 Less in Southern California, Illinois and Indiana, and Foods Co in Central and Northern California. Food 4 Less is a subsidiary of The Kroger Co., (NYSE:KR), one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information about Food 4 Less, please visit our website at www.food4less.com.

SOURCE Food 4 Less/Foods Co

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Food 4 Less stores announced Honoring Our Heroes campaign in partnership with the USO

Food 4 Less stores announced Honoring Our Heroes campaign in partnership with the USO

Ralphs and other Kroger-family stores to raise money in support of the USO

Honoring Our Heroes Campaign Will Raise Funds to Assist Military Programs through the USO

LOS ANGELES, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ralphs invites customers to join in supporting the men and women of the armed forces and their families during its annual Honoring Our Heroes campaign in partnership with the USO.

To honor our heroes, Ralphs and other Kroger-family stores, together with customers and employees, are raising money to support the USO’s broad range of programs that assist service members and their families. Since 2010, The Kroger Co., of which Ralphs is a division, has provided more than $12 million to support the USO – the largest cumulative gift to the USO in the organization’s history.

This year, customers and associates of Ralphs will be able to show their support for our service men and women from May 25 to July 19 by donating their spare change in specially-marked coin boxes at the check stands in all Ralphs supermarkets. One-hundred percent of all donations will go to the USO.

“The USO supports our military and their families in so many ways—from being right there for the wounded, injured and ill, to helping those who are on deployment record a bed time story for their children,” said Kendra Doyel, Ralphs’ vice president of  corporate affairs. “The USO connects with our service men and women every step of the way, and Ralphs is proud to honor our troops and veterans by supporting them.”

Honoring Ralphs’ Heroes
Ralphs is also recognizing company employees and their families who are active and former military members, including Joseph Humphries who works at the Ralphs at 1500 Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks.

Humphries is United States Navy veteran, who was wounded in Afghanistan. He says working Ralphs has helped ease his transition from active duty in the military to civilian life because Ralphs is a “military friendly” company.

“My managers at Ralphs have been very accommodating and understanding,” says Humphries, who served in the Navy from 2007 to 2010 and was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Customers can read more stories like Joseph Humphries’, and learn how to volunteer with the USO or make a donation, by visiting www.honoringourheroes.com.

About Ralphs
Ralphs Grocery Company was founded in 1873 and currently operates 204 supermarkets from its headquarters in Los Angeles. Last year, Ralphs contributed more than $6 million to support education, hunger relief, women’s health and local nonprofit organizations in the communities served by the company’s stores. Ralphs is a subsidiary of The Kroger Co., (NYSE:KR), one of the nation’s largest food retailers, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more about Ralphs, please visit our web site at www.ralphs.com.

SOURCE Ralphs Grocery Company

 

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Ralphs and other Kroger-family stores to raise money in support of the USO

Ralphs and other Kroger-family stores to raise money in support of the USO

MIGROS: Wer kennt sie nicht, die Appenzeller Chäshörnli?

Einer Portion Appenzeller Chäshörnli mit viel Käse kann kaum einer widerstehen. Zu Recht sind wir Schweizer mit diesem traditionellen Gericht bis über unsere Landesgrenzen hinaus bekannt. Ursprünglich aus dem Kanton Appenzell schmecken die Chäshörnli natürlich am besten mit dem lokalen Käse.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wer kennt sie nicht, die Appenzeller Chäshörnli? Von Jung und Alt geliebt ist diese traditionelle Spezialität ein fester Bestandteil vieler Schweizer Menüpläne. Und wir Schweizer sind bis über unsere Landesgrenzen hinaus dafür bekannt.

Dass die Chäshörnli genau aus dem Appenzell kommen überrascht nicht wirklich. Einerseits stammt auch der Appenzeller Käse aus den beiden Bergkantonen. Und dass die Chäshörnli am besten gelingen, wenn viel Appenzeller Käse verwendet wird, ist allgemein bekannt. Andererseits haben die Kantone Appenzell und deren Einwohner viel mit den überbackenen Teigwaren gemeinsam.

Gemäss gängigem Vorurteil sind die Bewohner der beiden Appenzell urchig, traditionell und urschweizerisch. Ausserdem sind sie weitum beliebt. Die selben Beschreibungen passen auf die Chäshörnli. Kaum einer, der dem geschmolzenen Käse und den gerösteten Zwiebeln widerstehen kann.

Übrigens, als Geheimtipp: Wer den Hörnli einen extra Schuss Aroma geben will, kocht sie in Bouillon und nicht nur reinem Wasser. Auch Knoblauch im Kochwasser gibt den Chäshörnli einen unverkennbaren Geschmack. So oder so freuen wir uns, wenn die Spezialität in vielen Schweizer Restaurants auf der Menükarte steht – ob traditionell mit „Südwooscht“ oder ganz einfach pur. Hauptsache viel Käse.

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MIGROS: Wer kennt sie nicht, die Appenzeller Chäshörnli?

MIGROS: Wer kennt sie nicht, die Appenzeller Chäshörnli?

Ulta Beauty Q1-2016: Net sales increased 23.7% to $1,073.7 million YoY

  • Total Sales Increased 23.7%
  • Comparable Sales Increased 15.2%
  • Diluted EPS Increased 39.4% to $1.45
  • Company Raises Outlook for Fiscal Year 2016

BOLINGBROOK, Ill, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) today (May 26, 2016) announced financial results for the thirteen week period ended April 30, 2016 (“First Quarter”), which compares to the same period ended May 2, 2015.

“We are off to a phenomenal start to the year, delivering excellent top and bottom line growth in the first quarter,” said Mary Dillon, Chief Executive Officer. “Several positive factors are coming together to drive the momentum in our business, exemplified by the best comparable sales growth in our history as a public company. These include healthy consumer demand in the beauty category, our unique format and offering which are supporting sustained share gains, and effective collaboration across the enterprise to ensure strong execution of our growth strategies.”

For the First Quarter

  • Net sales increased 23.7% to $1,073.7 million from $868.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015;
  • Comparable sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months and e-commerce sales) increased 15.2% compared to an increase of 11.4% in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. The 15.2% same store sales increase was driven by 11.0% growth in traffic and 4.2% growth in average ticket;
  • Retail comparable sales increased 13.9%, including salon comparable sales growth of 7.7%;
  • Salon sales increased 14.7% to $58.9 million from $51.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015;
  • E-commerce sales grew 38.8% to $61.0 million from $44.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, representing 130 basis points of the total company comparable sales increase of 15.2%;
  • Gross profit increased 150 basis points to 36.4% from 34.9% in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, due to leverage in fixed store costs and increased merchandise margins;
  • Selling, general and administrative expense as a percentage of net sales increased 20 basis points to 22.4% compared to 22.2% in the first quarter of 2015;
  • Pre-opening expenses were $2.5 million, compared to $3.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. Real estate activity in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 included 13 new stores compared to 24 new stores and one relocation in the first quarter of fiscal 2015;
  • Operating income increased 36.8% to $147.2 million, or 13.7% of net sales, compared to $107.6 million, or 12.4% of net sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2015;
  • Tax rate decreased to 37.6% compared to 38.0% in the first quarter of fiscal 2015;
  • Net income increased 37.4% to $92.0 million compared to $66.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015; and
  • Income per diluted share increased 39.4% to $1.45 compared to $1.04 in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

Balance Sheet

Merchandise inventories at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2016 totaled $843.5 million, compared to $662.9 million at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2015, representing an increase of $180.6 million. Average inventory per store increased 14.5%, compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2015. The increase in inventory was driven by 89 net new stores, the opening of the Company’s fourth distribution center in Greenwood, Indiana, investments in inventory to ensure high in-stock levels to support sales growth, and incremental inventory for new brands and in-store prestige brand boutiques.

The Company ended the first quarter of fiscal 2016 with $369.3 million in cash and short-term investments.

Share Repurchase Program

During the first quarter, the Company repurchased 157,765 shares of its stock at a cost of $26.7 million under its 10b5-1 plan and in March 2016, the Company entered into an accelerated share repurchase agreement with Goldman, Sachs & Co. to repurchase $200.0 million of its common stock. Under the agreement, the Company paid $200.0 million and received initial delivery of 851,653 shares in the first quarter of 2016, which represents 80% of the total shares the Company expects to receive based on the market price at the time of the initial delivery. The final number of shares delivered upon settlement of the agreement will be determined with reference to the average price of the Company’s common stock over the term of the agreement. As of April 30, 2016, approximately $219 million remained available under the $425 million share repurchase program announced inMarch 2016.

Store Expansion

During the first quarter, the Company opened 13 stores located in Dover, DE; Eldersburg, MD; Morgantown, WV; Muskogee, OK; Orlando, FL; San Clemente, CA; Sarasota, FL; Suffolk, VA; Tucson, AZ; Warren, MI; Washington, D.C.; Waxahachie, TX and Wooster, OH. In addition, the Company closed one store. The Company ended the first quarter with 886 stores and square footage of 9,348,577 which represents an 11% increase in square footage compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

Outlook

For the second quarter of fiscal 2016, the Company currently expects net sales in the range of $1,041 million to $1,058 million, compared to actual net sales of $877.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2015. Comparable sales for the second quarter of 2016, including e-commerce sales, are expected to increase 11% to 13%. The Company reported a comparable sales increase of 10.1% in the second quarter of 2015.

Income per diluted share for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 is estimated to be in the range of $1.32 to $1.37. This compares to income per diluted share for the second quarter of fiscal 2015 of $1.15.

The Company is raising its previously announced fiscal 2016 sales and earnings per share guidance. The Company plans to:

  • achieve comparable sales growth of approximately 10% to 12%, including the impact of the e-commerce business, compared to previous guidance of 8% to 10%;
  • increase total sales in the high teens percentage range, compared to previous guidance of mid to high teens percentage range;
  • grow e-commerce sales in the 40% range;
  • expand square footage by approximately 11% with the opening of 100 net new stores;
  • remodel 12 locations;
  • deliver earnings per share growth in the low twenties percentage range, compared to previous guidance of 18% to 20%, including the impact of the new Dallas distribution center, the accelerated rollout of prestige brand boutiques, the accelerated share repurchase program, and continued open market share repurchases; and
  • incur capital expenditures in the $390 million range in fiscal 2016, compared to $299 million in fiscal 2015. The planned increase in capital expenditures includes approximately $80 million to fund an accelerated rollout of prestige brand boutiques and enhancements to the Ulta Beauty Collection and fragrance fixtures in hundreds of stores.

Conference Call Information

A conference call to discuss first quarter results is scheduled for today, May 26, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Investors and analysts interested in participating in the call are invited to dial (877) 705-6003. The conference call will also be web-cast live at http://ir.ulta.com and remain available for 90 days. A replay of this call will be available until 11:59 p.m. (ET) on June 9, 2016 and can be accessed by dialing (877) 870-5176 and entering conference ID number 13637509.

About Ulta Beauty
Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA) is the largest beauty retailer in the United States and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skin, hair care products and salon services. Since opening its first store in 1990, Ulta Beauty has grown to become the top national retailer providing All Things Beauty, All in One Place™. The Company offers more than 20,000 products from over 500 well-established and emerging beauty brands across all categories and price points, including Ulta Beauty’s own private label. Ulta Beauty also offers a full-service salon in every store featuring hair, skin and brow services. Ulta Beauty is recognized for its commitment to personalized service, fun and inviting stores and its industry-leading ULTAmate Rewards loyalty program. As of April 30, 2016, Ulta Beauty operates 886 retail stores across 48 states and the District of Columbia and also distributes its products through its website, which includes a collection of tips, tutorials and social content. For more information, visit www.ulta.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, future events and financial performance. You can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of forward-looking words such as “outlook,” “believes,” “expects,” “plans,” “estimates,” “targets,” “strategies” or other comparable words. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon our historical performance and on current plans, estimates and expectations. The inclusion of this forward-looking information should not be regarded as a representation by us or any other person that the future plans, estimates, targets, strategies or expectations contemplated by us will be achieved. Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation: the impact of weakness in the economy; changes in the overall level of consumer spending; the possibility that we may be unable to compete effectively in our highly competitive markets; the possibility that cybersecurity breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information or result in the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information; the possibility that the capacity of our distribution and order fulfillment infrastructure and the performance of our newly opened and to be opened distribution centers may not be adequate to support our recent growth and expected future growth plans; our ability to gauge beauty trends and react to changing consumer preferences in a timely manner; our ability to attract and retain key executive personnel; customer acceptance of our rewards program and technological and marketing initiatives; our ability to sustain our growth plans and successfully implement our long-range strategic and financial plan; the possibility that our continued opening of new stores could strain our resources and have a material adverse effect on our business and financial performance; the possibility of material disruptions to our information systems; changes in the wholesale cost of our products; the possibility that new store openings and existing locations may be impacted by developer or co-tenant issues; weather conditions that could negatively impact sales; our ability to successfully execute our common stock repurchase program or implement future common stock repurchase programs; and other risk factors detailed in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including risk factors contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 30, 2016, as such may be amended or supplemented in our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Our filings with the SEC are available at www.sec.gov. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, the Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Source: Ulta Beauty

Ulta Beauty
Scott Settersten
Chief Financial Officer
(630) 410-4807
or
Laurel Lefebvre
Vice President, Investor Relations
(630) 410-5230
or
Karen May
Director, Public Relations
(630) 410-5457

Starbucks to bring its first international Starbucks Roastery and Reserve® Tasting Room to Shanghai in 2017

Immersive coffee experience to be located in the heart of the new HKRI Taikoo Hui Complex

SHANGHAI, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today (May 26, 2016) announced that it will bring its first international Starbucks Roastery and Reserve® Tasting Room to Shanghai, China, in 2017. Located along Nanjing Road (West), one of the world’s busiest shopping destinations, the Roastery will be part of the soon to be built HKRI Taikoo Hui Project, Shanghai’s newest premium world-class retail, office, and hotel area.

Scheduled to open in late 2017, the new Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room in Shanghai will be inspired by the first location that debuted in December 2014 in the company’s hometown of Seattle, Washington. The 2,700 square-meter (30,000 square-foot) Shanghai space will reflect a similar, immersive all sensory experience.  This interactive, retail environment will allow customers in China to better understand the craft of roasting and brewing a range of Starbucks coffees including the rare, limited availability of Starbucks Reserve coffees from around the world.

“China represents the most important and exciting opportunity ahead of us. As our first international Roastery, we will take even bolder steps to make this Shanghai location our most stunning store, while making it completely unique and relevant to the Chinese customer,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks. “The Starbucks Roastery environment honors coffee innovation as a modern day Willy Wonka experience, where customers are only feet away from the theatre and artistry of our coffee craft. I am confident this will be one of the most highly-anticipated store openings in our international markets.”

China is, today, Starbucks largest international market with more than 2,100 stores across over 102 cities, including 55 Starbucks Reserve® stores. The new Roastery represents Starbucks 45-year relentless pursuit for coffee excellence and promises to bring to China an unparalleled experience that starts with the passionate Starbucks partners. Exclusively at the Roastery, customers will be able to watch freshly-roasted beans arrive, connect with Starbucks coffee specialists and master roasters, enjoy a unique beverage and food menu, as well as savor some of the most unique, small-lot coffees brewed multiple ways. Starbucks believes this revolutionary retail concept will make the new Roastery one of the city’s latest and most iconic must-visit lifestyle destinations and landmarks, for Shanghainese and visitors from China and around the world.

The Shanghai Jing’an Government has given Starbucks their full support to bring this first-of-its-kind coffee retail experience that combines coffee roasting, manufacturing, education and retail within a single facility in China. Following a meeting with Starbucks global leaders, Shanghai Jing’an Party Secretary, Mr. An Lusheng, and Shanghai Jing’an Mayor Mr. Lu Xiaodong reiterated: “The new Jing’an is focused on developing high-end commercial sectors, establish new developmental goals for a modern cosmopolitan city, and encourage new retail innovations within our district. The government fully supports this pioneering retail experience and initiative from Starbucks.”

The Starbucks Roastery will be part of the HKRI Taikoo Hui complex, developed jointly between HKR International Limited and Swire Properties Limited, who are fully committed to launch this pioneering project with sustainability and quality at its core. The revolutionary retail experience of the new Starbucks Roastery will be located within a standalone semi-circle building of the complex that faces the bustling Nanjing Road (West), known as China’s Number One Commercial Street, due to its deep history and rich cultural heritage, which is set to become the most anticipated business and lifestyle destination in Shanghai.

Mandarin Press Release

Photos above from Starbucks Roastery in Seattle.

For more information on this news release, contact us

 

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Starbucks to bring its first international Starbucks Roastery and Reserve® Tasting Room to Shanghai in 2017

Starbucks to bring its first international Starbucks Roastery and Reserve® Tasting Room to Shanghai in 2017

Starbucks mobile payment and eGifting introduced in Japan

Mobile apps for iPhone and Android introduce mobile payment, provide a faster and more convenient way to pay; e-Gift feature offers uniquely-designed digital cards for every occasion.

TOKYO, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks today (May 25, 2016) announced the expansion of the company’s industry-leading digital ecosystem with the launch of Starbucks mobile app in Japan. The move introduces Starbucks mobile payment and eGifting to the company’s fourth largest market and one of the most dynamic markets for Starbucks.

“Extending our mobile app and e-Gifting to our customers in Japan helps us meet their needs while enabling us to provide an exceptional and convenient experience within our stores,” said John Culver, group president, Starbucks China/Asia Pacific region. “Our ability to bring our best-in-class mobile payment and gifting experience to Japan demonstrates Starbucks digital leadership and the impact we believe we can make on the future of retail. Starbucks is committed to exploring new ways to leverage digital innovations to delight customers and unlock growth opportunities across the country.”

Starbucks Mobile App, Payment Now Available in Japan

Beginning today, customers in Japan will be able to download and use the market’s first Starbucks mobile app. The Starbucks® Japan App for iPhone® and Android™ provides a fast and convenient way for customers to pay for their in-store purchases at more than 1,100 stores across the market.  Customers can quickly pay for their in-store purchases by scanning a bar code linked to their registered Starbucks Card. Customers can register multiple Starbucks Cards onto their account, all of which will also be available within the Starbucks mobile app.

 

“We are pleased to bring this digital innovation to our customers in Japan, who now have an unprecedented level of connection with Starbucks,” said Takafumi Minaguchi, chief operating officer, Starbucks Japan. “This is the latest way Starbucks is continuing to engage with our customers using digital and mobile experiences.”

In addition to mobile payment, the new Starbucks Japan mobile app provides customers with information on all the latest Starbucks products and the ability to redeem special offers and send eGifts in a few easy steps. The eGift experience offers customers uniquely-designed digital cards with a wide variety of themes and occasions they can send from within the app.

Expanding the Digital Portfolio Across Asia

The introduction of mobile payment builds on a rapidly expanding portfolio of digital innovations across markets in the China/Asia Pacific Region. In December 2015, Starbucks announced the opening of its first online store in China on the country’s popular e-commerce site, Tmall. The Starbucks Tmall store seamlessly connects the online shopping habits of Chinese customers with Starbucks unique in-store experience.

In 2014, Starbucks also introduced the first mobile ordering service of its kind in the industry with Siren Order in Korea, an app which allows customers to order and pay with their mobile device. Starbucks also made the digital experience more convenient last year with the launch of the company’s first Starbucks app on a wearable device in Asia, which allows customers in Korea to track their My Starbucks Rewards™ status and pay for Starbucks purchases directly from the wearable device.

Starbucks will continue to focus on connecting with customers through the Starbucks mobile apps, social media and the My Starbucks Rewards™ loyalty program, while exploring new ways to leverage digital innovations to unlock new business opportunities and extraordinary customer experiences across the globe.

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

For more information on this news release, contact us

 

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Starbucks mobile payment and eGifting introduced in Japan

Starbucks mobile payment and eGifting introduced in Japan

Carrefour Poland opens its first “Premium” Market

WARSAW, POLAND, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour Poland is opening a new supermarket concept.

Carrefour Poland is inaugurating its first “Premium” Market to improve the customer experience and provide a tailored offering and innovative services to customers.

The Białołęka Market has a floor area of 2,020 m² and a new layout with wide aisles, clearly marked departments and low gondolas to enable customers to access their products more easily. These improvements have made the store more spacious and welcoming. Innovation extends all the way to the checkouts, where the displays have been replaced by digital screens.

Customers are showing ever-increasing interest in healthy eating and are highly mindful of product quality so the store offers a selection of organic fruit and vegetables, and soya-based, gluten-free and diabetic products. The store also enables its urban customers, who are discerning in the products they buy, to follow their creation with, for example, a ripening room and a meat smoker. They may also juice fruit they have selected in the self-service section.

The Warsaw Market also offers a wide range of “world cuisine” products: American, French (“Reflets de France” range) and Italian (“Terre d’Italia” brand). In addition, the store also carries a permanent range of bulk products such as pasta, coffee, sweets and cakes, plus cat- and dog-food.

To help customers in the preparation of their meals, the aisle-end product staging has been rethought and now applies cross-merchandising by associating products such as pasta and tomato sauce, brioches and spreads etc.

So customers can be sure of enjoying their shopping and being rewarded with quality at the Białołęka Market … at the best price! The store has introduced a promotional campaign, „Zyskuj na okrągło” (Always a benefit), guaranteeing a low rounded price for everyday products in the different departments.

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Carrefour Poland opens its first “Premium” Market

Carrefour Poland opens its first “Premium” Market

StoreCheck honoured Carrefour Belgium with two awards

BELGIUM, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — StoreCheck, the Belgian magazine focusing on the Retail sector, has honoured Carrefour Belgium with two awards in the StoreCheck Sales Team Awards.

These prestigious awards recognise the efforts and achievements of suppliers and retailers in further improving their offering.

The Panel, comprising 80 suppliers and seven retailers, made four awards to retailers, including two to Carrefour Belgium for Category Management Performance and Banner Management.

 

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StoreCheck honoured Carrefour Belgium with two awards

StoreCheck honoured Carrefour Belgium with two awards

Carrefour’s Paris Saint Marcel Market supermarket completely redesigned

PARIS, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Paris Saint Marcel Market supermarket right in the heart of Paris’ 13th arrondissement has been completely redesigned, the aim being to serve its customers as effectively as possible.
Over a sales area of 1334 sq.m., the store has a wide selection of high-quality products, with the emphasis on fresh produce. More traditional counters are given particular pride of place – the retailer’s “Freshness guaranteed” commitment is clearly in evidence!

The store features an “Organic” counter, where customers can purchase products in bulk, dietary products and high-quality wines (including a number of prestigious vintages). A wide range of services is also on offer, including an innovative trolley system, home delivery and a car park, while the shop itself is decorated in an “urban chic” style.

The store employs 85 people who are committed to serving customers every day and is open from 9 AM to 10 PM, Monday to Saturday.

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Amazon’s New Pilot Season to debut on June 17 exclusively on Amazon Video in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan

Shows feature notable talent, including Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Ambrose, David Krumholtz, Jessica Pare, David Arquette, Thomas Lennon,Zoe Kravitz, Michael Pena and Erik Griffin

SEATTLE, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — (NASDAQ: AMZN)— Amazon today announced the lineup for its next pilot season; a unique development process that gives all customers an opportunity to stream and review pilots in order to help choose the next Amazon Original Series that are then available to Prime Members. These new shows, including two one-hour pilots and six kids pilots, are scheduled to debut on June 17 exclusively on Amazon Video in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan. New one hour-pilots, The Last Tycoon and The Interestings, which will be available in 4K Ultra HD and HDR,will be joined by new kids pilots including live-action show Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and animated pilots The Curious Kitty and Friends, Jazz Duck, Morris and the Cow, Toasty Tales and Little Big Awesome. All pilots will be available via the Amazon Video app for compatible TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/amazonvideo.

Amazon customer feedback on pilots have helped make some of the most critically-acclaimed and popular series to date, including multi Golden Globeand Emmy-winning series Transparent, multi Golden Globe-winning series Mozart in the Jungle, and the most-streamed Amazon Original Series ever by Prime members globally, The Man in the High Castle. Feedback also helped make Amazon Original Kids Series Annedroids, Niko and the Sword of Lightand Tumble Leaf that won a combined nine Daytime Emmy Awards.

“We’re focused on bringing customers compelling, must-see TV and we accomplish this by going directly to them for input,” said Roy Price, Vice President, Digital Video and Amazon Studios. “Our process has proven to work time and time again. Their feedback has helped create series that have become fan favorites among critics and customers.”

The new one hour pilots come from an accomplished roster of creative talent such as Academy Award nominee Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games), Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Donnie Brasco), Academy Award nominee Michael De Luca (The Social Network), Lyn Greeneand Richard Levine (Masters of Sex, Boss, Nip/Tuck) and star Golden Globe winner Matt Bomer (White Collar, The Normal Heart), five-time Emmy Award winner Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, Boss), Emmy nominee Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), David Krumholtz (New Girl) and Jessica Pare (Mad Men).

Creative talent helming the new kids pilots include Tsuneo Goda (Godo), Jonathan Judge (The Thundermans, School of Rock), Andreas Trolf (Sanjay and Craig), Ben Gruber (Spongebob Squarepants, Super Jail), Thomas Borowski and Caroline Foley (Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken), and feature David Arquette (Scream, Jake and the Neverland Pirates) and voice talent, including Thomas Lennon (Bob’s Burgers, Dawn of the Croods), Zoë Kravitz(Divergent, Mad Max), Michael Peña (Ant Man, The Martian) and Erik Griffin (Workaholics).

Amazon’s next pilot season includes the following one hour shows:

The Interestings

Adapted from Meg Wolitzer’s critically acclaimed New York Times best-seller and a co-production with TriStar Television, The Interestings follows a group of artistic teenagers who meet at summer camp in 1974. As they transition into adulthood over the course of the next few decades, their friendships are tested by tragedy, success, failure and secrecy. At the heart is Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) as Jules Jacobson, an aspiring actress who uses her wit to compensate for what she is lacking in glamour, money and the talent her other friends seem to have in spades. BAFTA winner Mike Newell (Harry Potterand the Goblet of Fires, Four Weddings and a Funeral) directed the pilot written by Lyn Greene and Richard Levine (Masters of Sex, Boss, Nip Tuck). In addition to Greene, Levine and Newell, Michael De Luca (The Social Network) and Lindsay Sloane (Covert Affairs) serve as executive producers. The Interestings also stars David Krumholtz (Numb3rs), Jessica Pare (Mad Men), Matt Barr (Sleepy Hallow), Gabriel Ebert (Ricki and the Flash), Jessica Collins (Rubicon) and Corey Cott (Public Morals). Wolitzer’s novel, which the series is based on, received numerous accolades from top tier press and made countless “best-of” lists, including Amazon Best Books of 2013: Top 10 Literature & Fiction, Top 100 Editors’ Picks, New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2013, inclusion in Oprah’s Best 10 Books of 2013, among others.

The Last Tycoon

A co-production with TriStar Television, The Last Tycoon is written and directed by Academy Award nominee Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games), and executive produced by Ray and Christopher Keyser (Tyrant, Party of Five), who serve as showrunners, Joshua D. Maurer (Rosemary’s Baby), Alixandre Witlin (Rosemary’s Baby), and David A. Stern (Rosemary’s Baby). Mad Men’s Scott Hornbacher serves as co-executive producer of the pilot, along with Perri Kipperman (Billions). An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last work, The Last Tycoon follows Hollywood’s Golden Boy, Monroe Stahr (Matt Bomer, White Collar) as he battles father figure and boss, Pat Brady (Kelsey Grammer, Frasier) for the soul of their studio. In a world darkened by the Great Depression and the growing international influence of Hitler’s Germany, The Last Tycoon illuminates the passions, violence, and towering ambition of 1930’s Hollywood. Lily Collins (The Blind Side) stars as Cecelia Brady and noted Pulitzer-winning Fitzgerald scholar A. Scott Berg serves as consulting producer.

Amazon’s next pilot season includes the following kids shows:

Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (for children ages 6-11; live-action)

Sid & Marty Krofft present Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, a live action show for children ages 6 to 11, based on their classic Saturday morning series from the 1970s. The show is centered on two brothers, Johnny and Scotty, who discover and befriend Sigmund, a friendly young sea-monster who escapes from his old life and his comically dysfunctional brothers Slurp and Blurp. Now, using a Clubhouse as their hiding place, the boys must keep Sigmund safe from an ambitious sea-monster hunter Captain Barnabas. The show is Executive Produced by Sid & Marty Krofft (H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost) with the pilot being directed by Jonathan Judge (The Thundermans, School of Rock) and starring David Arquette (Scream, Jake and the Neverland Pirates) as Captain Barnabas. Garrett Frawley and Brian Turner (Santa Baby) wrote the new teleplay based on the classic series.

Little Big Awesome (for children ages 6-11; animated)

Little Big Awesome is a comedy for kids ages 6-11 that combines 2D animation, puppetry, and real live action footage as we explore the whimsically weird world of Ballopolis. Our show follows Gluko, a jelly giant, and Lennon, a small kid-like creature with a fuzzy hat, who are inseparable buddies. They adventure through a universe where sea turtles fly, flowers talk, and tear drops splash around on a hot summer day. Gluko and Lennon’s desire to help those around them can, at times, lead them to epically outlandish places, but at the end of the day, this show is about two best buds making their own fun and enjoying the wonderfully strange world around them. Created by Tomas Dieguez (TRONCO), written by Ben Gruber (Spongebob Squarepants andSuper Jail), and animated by Emmy award winning studio Titmouse (Randy Cunningham and Metalocalypse).

Morris and the Cow (for children ages 6-11; animated)

Morris and the Cow, an animated comedy for 6 to 11 year-olds, follows Morris, a 10 year-old determined to follow his passion and become a cowboy! Wearing homemade chaps and joined by his best friend, a talking cow named Florence, the duo explores the city of South Krumpton while confronting everyday problems with a mix of grit, determination, and country wisdom. The show is created and written by Andreas Trolf (Sanjay and Craig) and Luke Watson (Memphis Beat), with production and animation by Emmy-winning Bento Box Entertainment (Bob’s Burgers). Featuring the voice talent of Jermaine Fowler (College Humor, Robot Chicken) as Morris, Riki Lindhome (The Muppets, Adventure Time) as Florence, and Thomas Lennon (Bob’s Burgers, Dawn of the Croods) as Jimmy Ray Royce. Also starring Zoë Kravitz (Divergent, Mad Max), Michael Peña (Ant Man, The Martian), and Erik Griffin(Workaholics).

Toasty Tales (for children ages 6-11; animated)

Toasty Tales in an animated comedy for kids ages 6-11, featuring Waffle, Burger and Pants– three best friends who happen to be Marshmallows living in the long forgotten Move-Along National Park. Every day is a new adventure filled with strange creatures, perilous excursions, and epic tomfoolery, always served with a side of pancakes, hot off the griddle! Together, the trio explore the mysteries of Move-Along, and spin tall tales that maybe…just maybe…. have a hint of truth. Created by Thomas Borowski and Caroline Foley (Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken), written by Merriwether Williams (Spongebob Squarepants, Adventure Time), and animated by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (Robot Chicken).

The Curious Kitty and Friends (for preschool-aged children)

The Curious Kitty and Friends is a preschool stop-motion animated show, where we will join the upbeat and colorful adventures of kitty cat Komaneko as she explores the wonderful world with her friends Mimmi Bear, Radibo, and Yeti. With her trusty video camera and knapsack in tow, creative and curious Komaneko makes her own movies, usually starring her two favorite dolls, Wink and Ink. This playful show is produced by Dwarf Studios and comes from the mind of Tsuneo Goda, the creator and director of the world-famous DOMO among other numerous characters and award-winning films and series. The talent also includes recognized lead animator Hiro Minegishi, music by Kevin Kiner (Star Wars Rebels, Jane the Virgin) and script by Kent Redeker (Doc McStuffins, Special Agent Oso).

Jazz Duck (for preschool-aged children)

Jazz Duck is an animated series that encourages preschoolers to listen and express themselves as they explore the sounds and musical potential of their world! Jazz Duck is part duck, part saxophone, and loads of physical fun. With the friendship of the Narrator and his animal friends, he embarks on adventures through the noisy Big City that culminate in a musical jam. Created by Tom Jobbins, co-directing with Mark Perrett, the show is animated by award-winning studio Nexus Productions and features a kid-filled voice cast including Myla Beau, Britain Dalton, Tony Espinosa, Aiden Ledowski, andAva Priestley with saxophonist Ross Hughes as Jazz Duck.

About Amazon Video

Amazon Video is a premium on-demand entertainment service that offers customers the greatest choice in what to watch, and how to watch it. Amazon Video is the only service that provides all of the following:

  • Prime Video: Thousands of movies and TV shows, including popular licensed content plus critically-acclaimed and award-winning Amazon Original Series and Movies from Amazon Studios like Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, kids series Tumble Leaf and Chi Raq, available for unlimited streaming as part of an Amazon Prime membership
  • Add-on Subscriptions: Dozens of subscriptions to networks like SHOWTIME, STARZ and more, available to Amazon Prime members as add-ons to their membership
  • Rent or Own: Hundreds of thousands of titles, including new-release movies and current TV shows available for on-demand rental or purchase for all Amazon customers
  • Instant Access: Instantly watch anytime, anywhere through the Amazon Video app on TVs, mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire tablets, or online. For a list of all compatible devices visit www.amazon.com/howtostream
  • Premium Features: Top features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and mobile downloads for offline viewing

In addition to Prime Video, the Prime membership includes unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items across all categories, more than one million songs and thousands of playlists and stations with Prime Music, early access to select Lightning Deals all year long, free secure, unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive with Prime Photos, access to borrow books with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and more. To sign-up for Prime or to find out more visit: www.amazon.com/prime.

About Amazon

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

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

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

Sears Holdings Q1 2016: Kmart and Sears Domestic comparable store sales decline 5.0% and 7.1% respectively

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sears Holdings Corporation (“Holdings,” “we,” “us,” “our,” or the “Company”)(NASDAQ: SHLD) today announced financial results for its first quarter ended April 30, 2016. As a supplement to this announcement, a presentation, pre-recorded conference and audio webcast are available at our website http://searsholdings.com/invest.

In summary, we reported:

  • Reported net loss attributable to Holdings’ shareholders of $471 million ($4.41 loss per diluted share) for the first quarter of 2016 compared to a net loss attributable to Holdings’ shareholders of $303 million ($2.85 loss per diluted share) for the prior year first quarter.
  • Adjusted for significant items, we would have reported a net loss attributable to Holdings’ shareholders of $199 million ($1.86 loss per diluted share) for the quarter compared to a net loss attributable to Holdings’ shareholders of $213 million ($2.00 loss per diluted share) in the prior year quarter;
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $(127) million, excluding Seritage Growth Properties and joint venture rent, in the first quarter of 2016 improved from$(141) million in the prior year first quarter. We have shown improvements in six of the last seven quarters;
  • Kmart and Sears Domestic comparable store sales declined 5.0% and 7.1%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2016; and
  • During the first quarter of 2016, the Company closed a $750 million Senior Secured Term Loan (the “2016 Term Loan”) and received approximately $722 million in net proceeds from the 2016 Term Loan. The Company also entered into a $500 million committed secured loan facility (the “Secured Loan Facility”) maturing in July 2017 and received net proceeds of approximately $485 million from the Secured Loan Facility. The proceeds were used to reduce outstanding borrowings under its asset-based revolving credit facility and for general corporate purposes. The 2016 Term Loan, together with the Secured Loan Facility, provide the Company with additional financial flexibility as it executes on its transformation to a more asset-light integrated retailer leveraging its membership based Shop Your Way® program.

Edward S. Lampert, Holdings’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “While our operating performance still remains well below our goals, I am pleased to report that our first quarter Adjusted EBITDA, excluding Seritage Growth Properties and joint venture rent, improved by $14 millioncompared to the first quarter of 2015, largely driven by reductions in overall expenses. Our Sears Domestic and Kmart apparel businesses continue to be negatively impacted by a heavily promotional competitive environment. We continue to focus on improving the overall performance of these businesses through changes to our assortment, sourcing, pricing and inventory management practices. We remain focused on restoring Sears Holdings to profitability by concentrating on our best stores, our best members and our best categories through innovative solutions leveraging our Shop Your Way membership program and our Integrated Retail offerings.”

Rob Schriesheim, Holdings’ Chief Financial Officer, said, “We have an asset rich portfolio which provides us with numerous options to finance our transformation strategy. The closing of the previously announced $750 million Term Loan, together with the $500 million Secured Loan Facility, provides $1.25 billion of committed financing. When considered together with our previously announced intention to monetize at least $300 million of assets, this set of actions would result in an aggregate of $1.5 billion of enhanced liquidity. As we have consistently demonstrated, we will continue to take actions to adjust our capital structure and manage our business to enable us to execute on our transformation while meeting all of our financial obligations.”

Financial Results

Revenues decreased approximately $488 million to $5.4 billion for the quarter ended April 30, 2016, compared to revenues of $5.9 billion for the quarter ended May 2, 2015. The decrease in revenue was primarily driven by a 6.1% decline in comparable store sales during the quarter, which accounted for $268 million of the revenue decline, and by having fewer Kmart and Sears Full-line stores in operation, which accounted for $149 million of the decline.

At Kmart, comparable store sales decreased 5.0% driven by declines in the consumer electronics, grocery & household, pharmacy, drugstore and home categories. Sears Domestic comparable store sales decreased 7.1% primarily driven by decreases in home appliances, apparel, consumer electronics, footwear and Sears Auto Centers.

During the quarter, gross margin decreased $341 million due to the above noted decline in sales, as well as a decline in our gross margin rate. Kmart’s gross margin rate for the first quarter declined 310 basis points compared to the prior year first quarter, while Sears Domestic’s gross margin rate declined 470 basis points. Excluding the impact of significant items noted in our Adjusted Earnings Per Share tables, Kmart’s gross margin rate would have declined 110 basis points, while Sears Domestic’s gross margin rate would have declined 230 basis points compared to the prior year first quarter, driven by increased markdowns, including an increase in Shop Your Way expense, in both formats, as well as significantly lower margin in our apparel business and home appliances business experienced in Sears Domestic.

Selling and administrative expenses decreased $178 million in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the prior year quarter. Excluding significant items noted in our Adjusted Earnings Per Share tables, selling and administrative expenses declined $176 million primarily due to a decrease in payroll expense. In addition, advertising expense also declined as we shift away from traditional advertising to use of Shop You Way® points expense, which is included within gross margin.

Our effective tax rate for the first quarter of 2016 was an expense of 3.3%, compared to an expense of 6.3% in the prior year quarter. The application of the requirements for accounting for income taxes in interim periods, after consideration of our valuation allowance, causes a significant variation in the typical relationship between income tax expense and pretax income.

The Company reported a net loss attributable to Holdings’ shareholders of $471 million for the first quarter of 2016 compared to a net loss attributable to Holdings’ shareholders of $303 million for the prior year period. Net loss attributable to Holdings’ shareholders for the first quarter of 2016 and 2015 included significant items noted in our Adjusted Earnings Per Share tables, which aggregated to expense of $272 million and $90 million, respectively. Adjusting for these significant items, we would have reported a net loss attributable to Holdings’ shareholders of $199 millionand $213 million in the first quarter of 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Financial Position

The Company’s cash balances were $286 million at April 30, 2016 compared with $238 million at January 30, 2016. Merchandise inventories at April 30, 2016 were $5.0 billion, compared to $5.1 billion at May 2, 2015, while merchandise payables were $1.3 billion and $1.7 billion at April 30, 2016 and May 2, 2015, respectively. Short-term borrowings totaled $380 million at the end of the first quarter of 2016 compared to $797 million at January 30, 2016.

At April 30, 2016, we had utilized approximately $896 million of our $1.971 billion revolving credit facility due in 2020 (consisting of $244 million of borrowings and $652 million of letters of credit outstanding). The amount available to borrow under our credit facility was approximately $265 million, which reflects the effect of our springing fixed charge coverage ratio covenant and the borrowing base limitation in our revolving credit facility, which varies primarily based on our overall inventory and receivables balances.

Total long-term debt (long-term debt and capital lease obligations) was $3.4 billion and $2.2 billion at April 30, 2016 and January 30, 2016, respectively.

Other Corporate Developments

As we continue to evaluate opportunities to accelerate our transformation and drive growth, we recognize there is significant potential to further develop our Kenmore®, Craftsman® and DieHard® (“KCD”) and Sears Home Services (“SHS”) businesses. Accordingly, our Board of Directors has decided to explore alternatives for KCD and SHS. Our iconic KCD brands are beloved by the American consumer and we believe that we can realize significant growth by further expanding the presence of these brands outside of Sears and Kmart. Similarly, our SHS business, which is the nation’s leading provider of in-home services (Protection Agreements, Parts Direct, Delivery/Installation/Repair and Home Improvement), has greater potential than what we have delivered in the past. As the “internet of things” develops and as more of our lives become connected, we believe SHS and KCD stand to benefit significantly from broader accessibility. By evaluating potential partnerships or other transactions that could expand distribution of our brands and service offerings, we can position both businesses to achieve greater success.

We have retained Citigroup Global Markets and LionTree Advisors to assist us in these efforts. There can be no assurance that we will complete one or more transactions, but we intend to aggressively evaluate all of the potential alternatives available to these businesses.

Finally, Sears announced today that its Chief Financial Officer, Robert Schriesheim, will be departing from his position with the Company to focus on his other business interests and pursue other career opportunities. To ensure a smooth transition, Mr. Schriesheim has agreed to continue in his current role until we have identified his replacement. Additionally, Mr. Schriesheim will continue to remain an advisor to the Company throughJanuary 31, 2017. “On behalf of Sears and its Board of Directors, I would like to thank Rob for his many contributions to the Company since he joined in 2011,” said Mr. Lampert.

Adjusted EBITDA

In addition to our net loss attributable to Sears Holdings’ shareholders determined in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”), for purposes of evaluating operating performance, we use Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”), Adjusted EBITDA excluding Seritage/JV rent and Adjusted Earnings Per Share (“Adjusted EPS”), which are non-GAAP measures. The tables attached to this press release provide a reconciliation of GAAP to as adjusted amounts. Adjusted EBITDA, excluding Seritage/JV rent, reflects the impact of the additional rent expense and assigned sub-tenant rental income as a result of the Seritage and JV transactions. The terms of our leases with Seritage and the JVs provide us with the ability to accelerate the transformation of our physical stores. We expect that our cash rent obligations will decrease significantly as space in these stores is recaptured. We believe that our use of Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA excluding Seritage/JV rent and Adjusted EPS provides an appropriate measure for investors to use in assessing our performance across periods, given that these measures provide adjustments for certain significant items which may vary significantly from period to period, improving the comparability of year-to-year results and is therefore representative of our ongoing performance. Therefore, we have adjusted our results for them to make our statements more useful and comparable. However, we do not, and do not recommend that you, solely use Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA excluding Seritage/JV rent or Adjusted EPS to assess our financial and earnings performance. We also use, and recommend that you use, diluted earnings per share in addition to Adjusted EPS in assessing our earnings performance.

Forward-Looking Statements

Results are unaudited. This press release contains forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements about our transformation through our integrated retail strategy, our plans to redeploy and reconfigure our assets, our liquidity, our ability to exercise financial flexibility as we meet our obligations and pursue possible strategic transactions and other statements that describe the Company’s plans. Whenever used, words such as “will,” “expect,” and other terms of similar meaning are intended to identify such forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements, including these, are based on the current beliefs and expectations of our management and are subject to significant risks, assumptions and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Detailed descriptions of risks, uncertainties and factors relating to Sears Holdings are discussed in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While we believe that our forecasts and assumptions are reasonable, we caution that actual results may differ materially. We intend the forward-looking statements to speak only as of the time made and do not undertake to update or revise them as more information becomes available, except as required by law.

About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) is a leading integrated retailer focused on seamlessly connecting the digital and physical shopping experiences to serve our members – wherever, whenever and however they want to shop. Sears Holdings is home to Shop Your Way®, a social shopping platform offering members rewards for shopping at Sears and Kmart, as well as with other retail partners across categories important to them. The Company operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation, with full-line and specialty retail stores across the United States. For more information, visit www.searsholdings.com.

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
Sears Holdings Public Relations
(847) 286-8371

SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation

Walgreens Boots Alliance priced $6 Billion bonds to fund Rite Aid pending acquisition

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) today announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of unsecured, unsubordinated notes consisting of:

  • $1.25 billion 1.750% notes due 2018
  • $1.5 billion 2.600% notes due 2021
  • $750 million 3.100% notes due 2023
  • $1.9 billion 3.450% notes due 2026
  • $600 million 4.650% notes due 2046

The sale of the notes is expected to close on 1 June 2016, subject to customary closing conditions. Walgreens Boots Alliance intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to fund a portion of the cash consideration payable in connection with Walgreens Boots Alliance’s pending acquisition of Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD), to retire a portion of Rite Aid’s existing debt and to pay related fees and expenses. Any remaining net proceeds from the sale of the notes may also be used for general corporate purposes.

The joint book-running managers for the offering are: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., UBS Securities LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Lloyds Securities Inc., Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA), Inc., Mizuho Securities USA Inc., UniCredit Capital Markets LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

These securities are being offered pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement previously filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The offering may be made only by means of a prospectus and related prospectus supplement, copies of which may be obtained on the SEC website at http://www.sec.gov or by contacting HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. by mail at 452 5th Avenue, New York, NY, 10018, Attention: Transaction Management Americas, by telephone at 1-866-811-8049 or by email at tmg.americas@us.hsbc.com, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated by mail at 200 North College Street, NC1-004-03-43, Charlotte, NC, 28255-0001, Attention: Prospectus Department, by telephone at 1-800-294-1322 or by email at dg.prospectus_requests@baml.com, or UBS Securities LLC by mail at 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, 10019, Attention: Prospectus Department or by telephone at 1-888-827-7275.

Notes to Editors:

About Walgreens Boots Alliance
Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

The company was created through the combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014, bringing together two leading companies with iconic brands, complementary geographic footprints, shared values and a heritage of trusted health care services through pharmaceutical wholesaling and community pharmacy care, dating back more than 100 years.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is the largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination in the USA and Europe and, together with its equity method investments*, employs more than 370,000* people and has a presence in more than 25* countries. Walgreens Boots Alliance is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail with over 13,100* stores in 11* countries. The company includes one of the largest global pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks with over 350* distribution centers delivering to more than 200,000** pharmacies, doctors, health centers and hospitals each year in 19* countries. In addition, Walgreens Boots Alliance is one of the world’s largest purchasers of prescription drugs and many other health and wellbeing products.

The company’s portfolio of retail and business brands includes Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots and Alliance Healthcare, as well as increasingly global health and beauty product brands, such as No7, Botanics, Liz Earle and Soap & Glory.

* As at 31 August 2015 (without subsequent adjustment for business acquisitions or dispositions), including equity method investments

** For 12 months ended 31 August 2015 (without subsequent adjustment for business acquisitions or dispositions), including equity method investments

(WBA-GEN)

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements

All statements in this release other than statements of historical facts are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, known or unknown, that could cause actual results to vary materially from those indicated, including, but not limited to, those described in Item 1A “Risk Factors” of our Form 10-K for the fiscal year ending 31 August 2015 and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and in other documents that we file or furnish with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Except to the extent required by law, Walgreens Boots Alliance does not undertake, and expressly disclaims, any duty or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the date of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

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

Walgreens VP Skip Bourdo and Christy Gibb of the Comic Relief Board of Trustees rang Nasdaq Opening Bell

DEERFIELD, Ill, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise, rang the Opening Bell this morning at the Nasdaq Stock Market in celebration of Walgreens participation in Red Nose Day. Walgreens, one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Red Nose Day, which is happening today in the U.S., is a chance for everyone to get seriously silly to raise funds and help change the lives of kids who need it most – in the U.S. and around the world. Over the past several weeks and continuing through next week, Walgreens has asked its customers to purchase red noses and other red flair items and wear them today on Red Nose Day, with proceeds benefiting the Red Nose Day Fund.

In honor of the day, Walgreens Corporate Operations Vice President Skip Bourdo and Christy Gibb of the Comic Relief Board of Trustees rang the Opening Bell. Representatives from Red Nose Day 2016 partners NBCUniversal and Mars Chocolate North America also were in attendance.

“We’ve already raised millions of dollars for this year’s event, thanks to our valued customers, supplier partners and particularly our passionate team members who all took advantage of a chance to get seriously silly during this powerful campaign,” said Bourdo.

This year’s Red Nose Day campaign will culminate tonight in a live, two-hour broadcast on NBC from 9-11 p.m. Eastern time. The television special will feature popular comedians, top musicians and Hollywood stars in an engaging mix of comedy, live musical performances and short, compelling films shedding light on the cause. Through the power of entertainment, Red Nose Day raises awareness and money to help kids who need it most at home and around the world. Red Nose Day, in its second year in the U.S., has raised over $1 billion globally in the last 25 years.

Continuing through June 4, Walgreens and Duane Reade locations throughout the U.S. will continue to sell red noses for $1 each and red flair items for between $1-$5.99. Proceeds from red nose and red flair purchases benefit the Red Nose Day Fund***, which supports charities with domestic and international reach aimed at fighting childhood poverty, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America; charity:water; Children’s Health Fund; Covenant House; Feeding America; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; National Council of La Raza; National Urban League; Oxfam America; Save the Children; and The Global Fund.

Notes to Editors:

About Walgreens Boots Alliance
Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

The company was created through the combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014, bringing together two leading companies with iconic brands, complementary geographic footprints, shared values and a heritage of trusted health care services through pharmaceutical wholesaling and community pharmacy care, dating back more than 100 years.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is the largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination in the USA and Europe and, together with its equity method investments*, employs more than 370,000* people and has a presence in more than 25* countries. Walgreens Boots Alliance is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail with over 13,100* stores in 11* countries. The company includes one of the largest global pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks with over 350* distribution centers delivering to more than 200,000** pharmacies, doctors, health centers and hospitals each year in 19* countries. In addition, Walgreens Boots Alliance is one of the world’s largest purchasers of prescription drugs and many other health and wellbeing products.

The company’s portfolio of retail and business brands includes Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots and Alliance Healthcare, as well as increasingly global health and beauty product brands, such as No7, Botanics, Liz Earle and Soap & Glory.

* As at 31 August 2015 (without subsequent adjustment for business acquisitions or dispositions), including equity method investments

** For 12 months ended 31 August 2015 (without subsequent adjustment for business acquisitions or dispositions), including equity method investments

About Red Nose Day
Red Nose Day (rednoseday.org) is a fundraising campaign run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief Inc. (comicrelief.org), a registered 501(c)(3) public charity. Red Nose Day has raised over $1 billion globally in the last 25 years, and in the UK has become a cultural phenomenon where people across the country come together to have fun, raise money and change lives. Red Nose Day launched in the U.S. in 2015, dedicated to raising money to help children who are most in need, both in the U.S. and in some of the poorest communities in the world. Last year it benefited children and young people in all 50 states and in 15 countries internationally.

Red Nose Day returns this year on 26 May 2016. The day’s events will culminate in a two-hour live primetime TV special on NBC, featuring the biggest stars across comedy, music, TV and film. Funds raised go to the Red Nose Day Fund which distributes the money through programs to keep children and young people safe, healthy and educated. Comic Relief Inc. in the US and Comic Relief UK are independent sister organizations that are joined by their shared vision of a just world, free from poverty and the mission to drive positive change through the power of entertainment.

*** Until June 4, 2016, for each Red Nose purchased Walgreens will donate $0.50; and for each Red Nose Flair item purchased (Beads, Bow Ties, Headbands, Sunglasses, Pens, Mugs, Cups and Hats) Walgreens will donate 10 percent of the purchase price to Comic Relief Inc.’s Red Nose Day Fund, which helps lift children out of poverty in the U.S. and overseas. For more information about the Red Nose Day Fund, visit rednoseday.org. No portion of purchase is tax deductible.

Contact(s)

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

SOURCE: Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

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Walgreens VP Skip Bourdo and Christy Gibb of the Comic Relief Board of Trustees rang Nasdaq Opening Bell

Walgreens VP Skip Bourdo and Christy Gibb of the Comic Relief Board of Trustees rang Nasdaq Opening Bell

Château de la Colle Noire: Christian Dior’s former residence comes back to life following renovation work

PARIS, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — On May 9, Dior inaugurated the Château de la Colle Noire, Christian Dior’s former residence. Following renovation work that began in 2013, the designer and perfumer’s cherished home comes back to life, just as he had imagined it in the 1950s.

The Château de la Colle Noire is located in Montauroux, a village near Grasse in the region that inspired Christian Dior to craft his most beautiful fragrances. He took refuge in the area during the Occupation, and in 1951, when he was at the height of his career, Christian Dior purchased the Château de la Colle Noire.

The magnificent property, which spans several hundred hectares, became the designer’s haven of peace when he decided to leave the fashion runways behind and seek out nature in Provence. Little by little, Monsieur Dior transformed the château into a place for living, creating, art and entertaining friends. He decorated all the rooms with the refinement for which he is renowned, and devoted himself to the creation of a grandiose garden.

Christian Dior had a passion for plants. He planted entire flowerbeds of fragrance flowers such as roses, jasmine and lavandin, as well as olive trees, vines and other crops, which he took great pleasure in tending to himself. He decorated his Garden of Eden with a reflecting pool, an immense basin designed to recall the garden of “Les Rhumbs”, his childhood home in Granville. He enjoyed his garden up to his untimely death in 1957.

In 2013, the Château de la Colle Noire once again became the property of the House of Dior, which set out to restore the property to the condition it was in during Monsieur Dior’s life. With the aid of landscape gardeners and decorators, Dior brought life back to the castle’s rooms as well as to its gardens, replanting the designer-perfumer’s favorite flowers.

The opening party for this exceptional place took place on May 9, attended by celebrities including actress Charlize Theron, the former prima ballerina and director of the Opéra de Paris Aurélie Dupont, model Bella Hadid and musician Benjamin Biolay.

SOURCE: LVMH

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Château de la Colle Noire: Christian Dior’s former residence comes back to life following renovation work

© Christian Dior Parfums

H&M welcomes Swedfund and DBL plan to establish textile factory in Ethiopia

The development financier Swedfund and the industry group DBL will establish a textile factory in Ethiopia, which will provide job opportunities for 4,000 people. H&M supports with expert knowledge from sustainable textile production and also by buying products from this factory.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Decent working conditions, job creation for women and environmental considerations are some of the most important goals with the collaboration project, pushing one of Ethiopia’s prioritized industry sectors forward. The requirements on this individual factory are in line with the strict standard requirements H&M’s suppliers always have to follow. Local and international partners will also be involved in the collaboration in order to enhance the know-how around sustainable production of ready-made garments in Ethiopia.

“We have managed to form a unique partnership in Ethiopia with deep professional knowledge in every part of the process in order to fulfill the high sustainability requirements. It is a great example of how to work to achieve efficient job creation, and in this project it is particularly focused on women. Job creation is crucial to help people find their way out of poverty and the cooperation with such a great partners like H&M and DBL will make this a role model for other similar projects”, says Anna Ryott, Managing Director at Swedfund.

”H&M is pleased that Swedfund is co-financing a project with DBL Group. H&M wants to contribute to a long-term sustainable textile industry in Ethiopia taking social as well as environmental dimensions into consideration. It is important to us that both DBL and Swedfund are putting these questions on top of their agenda when doing investments”, says Helena Helmersson, Global Head of Production at H&M.

GLOBAL MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Only press enquiries

Phone: +46 8 796 53 00
Email: mediarelations@hm.com

Asda’s Income Tracker: The average UK household had £200 a week of discretionary income in April

  • The average UK household had £200 a week of discretionary income in April – £12 more than in April 2015 – and the highest figure recorded since the Asda Income Tracker began in 2008
  • Year-on-year growth in spending power has remained above £10 per week for a full year and a half, marking 18 consecutive months of double-digit growth for families’ bank accounts
  • While wage growth slowed slightly, a drop in inflation last month helped to ensure another boost to spending power

LEEDS, England, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Family bank balances received another boost in April, with discretionary income reaching £200 a week according to Asda’s latest Income Tracker – an all time high since the tracker was established in 2008.

The data revealed that families enjoyed a £12 (6.3%) a week boost to spending power compared to April last year, with this rise marking the 18th consecutive month of double-digit growth.

Contributing to this latest increase in disposable cash was a fall in the overall levels of inflation. Consumer price inflation dropped to 0.3% – the first fall in the headline rate of inflation since 2015 – while essential item inflation fell by -0.2%, helping to mitigate the effects of slowing wage growth.

In fact, annual wage growth for families remained below the levels recorded a year ago, in spite of regular pay increasing by 2.1% between January and March. However, this is likely to change in the coming months following the introduction of the National Living Wage in April.

Looking across other areas affecting inflation, there was an annual drop in the price of transport (-1.3%) and vehicle fuels (-7.5%). And it wasn’t just domestic travel that benefitted last month. With a 3.2% fall in the cost of air transport prices over the past year, it gave holiday-makers a great opportunity to escape to warmer climates.

Meanwhile, changes to social housing rents also contributed to the overall drop in inflation. Following the Government’s announcement last summer, housing associations have started to cut social housing rents by 1% annually from April this year.

In contrast, prices for cultural events and services rose by 3.8% between March and April, making it more costly for those families heading to the cinema or streaming their favourite series. However, food and drink prices are down -2.5% on last year, helping to ease the impact of these price increases.

Overall, the April Income Tracker demonstrates that as discretionary income continues to grow month on month, the outlook for households remains positive. This is despite uncertainty in business confidence due to the upcoming EU Referendum.

Andy Clarke, Asda president and CEO said: “April was the first time that discretionary income reached the £200 level since the Asda Income Tracker began, which is a significant milestone for consumer spending power. Double-digit growth in household income is clearly good news for UK consumers, although we continue to see them take a prudent approach to spending on every day items.

“Looking ahead, the outlook remains cautiously optimistic, which is encouraging and should give consumers a boost as we head into summer. Although, whilst inflation is likely to recover over the coming year, the uncertainty over the EU referendum makes it difficult to forecast long term consumer confidence.”

Sam Alderson, Economist, Cebr, said: “Uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the UK’s referendum on EU membership and the underlying health of the British economy have weighed heavily on the confidence of businesses in recent months.

“In contrast, the continuation of increasing household spending power has helped keep consumer confidence robust. As such, activity in the consumer side of the economy appears to have ridden the series of turbulent economic waves seen since the start of the year much better.”

Read the full report here.

Maxima grupė announces 2.683 billion euro audited consolidated turnover, exclusive of VAT in 2015

Vilnius, Lithuania, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — In 2015, the audited consolidated turnover, exclusive of VAT, of the companies of Maxima grupė in the Baltic States, Poland and Bulgaria amounted to 2.683 billion euro. The consolidated net profit after taxes was 77 million euro, and investments in business development and maintenance exceeded 75 million euro. Over 176 million euro in taxes were paid in Lithuania.

Last year, the consolidated turnover of the companies of the group grew in all the countries and was 3.7 per cent higher than in 2014. In Lithuania, it grew by 2 per cent and was equal to 1.524 billion euro, in Latvia by 2.1 per cent and amounted to 689 million euro, in Estonia by 9.9 per cent with a turnover of 440.8 million euro, in Bulgaria by 10.2 per cent, which was equal to 72.5 million euro, and in Poland by 17.8 per cent, with a figure of 45.4 million euro in the audited turnover.

In 2015, the companies of the group invested 75.2 million euro in business maintenance and development, an increase of 34.3 per cent over 2014. A total of 25 new stores were opened, 16 stores were reconstructed, and a new modern logistics centre was opened near Tallinn in Estonia.

The group earned 77 million euro in consolidated net profit. As in 2014, the companies in Lithuania and Poland were profitable. The companies in Estonia, Bulgaria and Poland finished the year with a loss due to the high investments in business development. Maxima LT, which has the largest trade area and greatest number of stores, had the highest turnover of the group, with a net profit of 72 million euro.

The improved annual financial results of the companies were determined by the lower franchise tax, new improved internal processes, successful development which allowed the companies to grow, significantly changed purchasing habits of the consumers of the Baltic States, as well as the structurally changed basket of goods.

The taxes of the companies of Maxima grupė in Lithuania also grew in 2015. A total of 176 million euro was paid in taxes last year, an increase of 10.7 per cent over the previous year.

This year, the companies of Maxima grupė plan to increase their investment in business development and maintenance by a third more than last year’s amount, with an estimated expenditure of 99.5 million euro. A large proportion of this amount — over 55 million euro — will be allocated for Lithuania.

MAXIMA GRUPĖ, UAB is a controlling company registered in 2007, which currently consolidates retail companies in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria and Poland. 528 stores of Maxima X, Maxima XX, Maxima XXX, Aldik, T-Market operate in them: in Lithuania, 232 stores operate, in Latvia – 148, in Estonia – 74, in Bulgaria – 48, in Poland – 26. More than 31 thousand workers are employed in the Companies of the Group.

More information:
Giedrius Juozapavičius
Corporate Affairs Manager | Maxima Grupė
+37065915118
Giedrius.Juozapavicius@maximagrupe.eu

Wastewater Improvement Project: The Co-op Refinery Complex announces commissioning phase of $200 million environmental mega project

Saskatoon, CANADA, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) is announcing the commissioning phase of a $200 million environmental mega project called the Wastewater Improvement Project (WIP).

When the WIP is fully operational, industry experts say that the CRC will be the only refinery in North America that can clean and recycle all of its wastewater for the purpose of steam production. This puts the CRC on the leading edge of environmental sustainability in the oil refining industry.

“Federated Co-operatives Limited has invested more than $200 million in ensuring the sustainability of our water resources for both the refinery and the City of Regina,” said Scott Banda, CEO of Federated Co-operatives Limited. “This is a significant investment that helps us realize our long-term vision focused on sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

The WIP will clean 100 per cent of the CRC’s wastewater on-site. This will significantly decrease Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions from the refinery’s wastewater ponds and substantially reduce the nuisance odours that the refinery’s neighbours sometimes smell. In addition, the WIP will enhance the sustainability of Regina’s water supply by reducing the refinery’s reliance on freshwater resources by an estimated 28 per cent or the equivalent of about 3,100 Regina households on an annual basis.

“Being an industry leader in sustainability is a major part of our vision for the future of this refinery,” said Gil Le Dressay, Vice-President of Refinery Operations. “By implementing the WIP and its leading-edge technology, we enhance our operations, reduce our environmental impact and benefit our community.”

The WIP utilizes leading-edge technology developed by General Electric (GE). The process involves various stages that use a combination of live bacteria, special filtration units and high-efficiency reverse osmosis (HERO mode) to clean and recycle the refinery’s wastewater. The WIP is currently in the commissioning phase and is expected to be fully operational in the fall of 2016.

SOURCE: Federated Co-operatives Limited

 

Federated Co-operatives Limited

empty 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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The $200 million WIP is currently in the commissioning phase.

The $200 million WIP is currently in the commissioning phase.

NACS releases new online toolkit on how convenience store operators increase sales of better-for-you items

​ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — NACS has published a new online toolkit for retailers that shares eight easy to implement, low-cost and proven examples of how convenience store operators can successfully grow their healthy offer and increase sales of better-for-you items.

Through the NACS reFresh initiative, the new online Ideas That Work to Grow Better-for-You Sales toolkit is one of a growing collection of resources, infographics, videos, podcasts and NACS Magazine articles that share examples of how convenience stores can successfully increase sales of better-for-you items and deliver healthier options to their customers. This toolkit, created by NACS and Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, shares convenience store-specific examples of evidence-based practices.

“Continued growth in sales of healthier, nutritious foods underscores the need for new strategies that capitalize on changes in consumer demand. NACS is leading the effort to create and communicate new opportunities for convenience retailers to both expand their selection of better-for-you offers and grow their business,” said NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard.

The NACS reFresh initiative provides valuable insights about the contributions convenience stores are delivering to the communities they serve. Through reFresh, convenience retailers are discovering new ideas that enhance their operations and communication efforts to showcase the industry’s positive business practices. NACS also is developing partnerships with groups that share similar values, such as Cornell University, to foster best practices and make a difference.

“There is one more critical element to emphasize: The convenience store industry shares more ideas than any other retail channel. For this project, retailers allowed NACS to test key insights and share the results with other retailers who can determine how these findings will improve their own operations,” said Lenard, adding that NACS and Cornell will continue to build the online toolkit and share new data as it becomes available.

The Food and Brand Lab was created by Professor Brian Wansink, a leader in Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Food and Brand Lab research has driven the creation of the USDA’s Smarter Lunchrooms Movement and the Grocery Retail Scorecard. the lab’s research has also been reported in dozens of magazines, newspapers, books and television news programs.

Lenard encouraged retailers interested in working with NACS to test new ideas and explore partnerships to contact him atjlenard@nacsonline.com.

More information on the refresh initiative is at nacsonline.com/refresh.

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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, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

SOURCE: NACS

NACS survey: 72% of vacation travelers more likely to stop to use the bathroom than any other activity

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — This summer, vacation travelers are more likely to stop to use the bathroom than any other activity, including buying gas or food and drinks, according to results of a nationwide consumer survey conducted by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

Nearly three in four American drivers (72%) say that they stop to use the bathroom when driving on a vacation, compared to 68% who purchase gas and 66% who buy food or drinks. Female drivers are more likely than male drivers to stop to use the bathroom (77% vs. 66%).

Vacationers are also particular about the stores that they visit: 41% say that cleanliness and bathrooms influences their decision to visit a store, an increase from 36% who said so two years ago. Overall, the top two reasons that drivers say they select a place to stop are the gas price and the proximity to the area that they want to stop (48% for each). Quality food options was tied for third with bathrooms at 41%.

Nearly three in ten Americans (29%) say that they will take more time on vacation trips this summer and 86% of these vacationers say that they will travel by car. Vacationers are more likely to travel out of state (38%) than in state (26%).

Affordability is the primary reason the vast majority of vacationers plan to travel by car, cited by 59% of drivers. That’s up from 54% two summers ago, when gas prices averaged more than $3.60 per gallon. Two thirds of drivers in the Midwest (67%) cited affordability as a main reason to drive by car.

The ability to spend time with family was the second most-mentioned reason to travel by car, cited by 45% of Americans. However, there was a noticeable split by gender: while 51% of females say that car travel allows them to spend more time with family, only 39% of men say the same.

Wherever they’re headed, millions of Americans will be stopping and going inside convenience stores as part of their vacation. The top reasons that they will go inside a convenience store are to use the bathroom (70%), buy a drink (63%), buy a snack (57%) or buy a sandwich or other meal (26%). One in eight drivers (13%) say that they will not stop at a convenience store or gas station on their summer travels.

Overall, 17% of American drivers say that they are driving more because of low gas prices. Younger consumers ages 18 to 34 are most likely to say that gas prices allow then to drive more (29%) and older drivers ages 50 or more are least likely (6%).

“The classic long summer drive is evolving from stopping to take care of the car to stopping to take care of the travelers, whether that means using the bathroom or picking up food and drinks,” said NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard. “Americans are seeking out stores that are more appealing inside with fresh food and an emphasis on cleanliness, and convenience stores are delivering, serving 160 million customers every day — and even more over the summer months.”

Overall, nearly nine in ten consumers (89%) say that low gas prices are good for the U.S. economy, down slightly from the 91% who indicated so in 2015.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas in the country, conducts monthly consumer surveys to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted online from May 3 to 6 by Penn Schoen Berland among 1,109 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month. Summary results are available at www.nacsonline.com/fuelssurvey.

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, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

SOURCE: NACS

###

NACS survey: 72% of vacation travelers more likely to stop to use the bathroom than any other activity

NACS survey: 72% of vacation travelers more likely to stop to use the bathroom than any other activity

Toys“R”Us announces the appointment of Lance Wills as EVP, Global Chief Technology Officer effective June 13

WAYNE, NJ, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us, Inc., the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, today announced that Lance Wills will join the company as Executive Vice President, Global Chief Technology Officer (CTO), effective June 13. He will report directly to Chairman and CEO Dave Brandon.

As CTO, a newly created position within Toys“R”Us®, Mr. Wills’ responsibilities will span global IT and digital strategy for the company, bridging both data and business operations. In addition to governance and infrastructure, Mr. Wills will oversee end-to-end strategy, design and implementation of the company’s digital road map, ensuring the enhancement of the customer experience by creating a seamless approach through all available shopping channels. Phillip Newmoyer, who recently joined Toys“R”Us as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer to lead the IT portion of bringing the company’s e-commerce platform in-house, will report to Mr. Wills.

“As we work towards creating a world-class customer shopping experience and revolutionizing our digital strategy, we are excited to welcome Lance to this new key role within the organization,” said Mr. Brandon. “Lance has the talent, experience and leadership qualities that will be instrumental in helping position our IT and digital teams for success in the company’s journey to growth.”

Mr. Wills comes to Toys“R”Us from American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) where he served as Vice President, Global Head of Digital Technology, leading the company’s online and in-store technology groups, as well as those of the AEO subsidiary brands. Previously, he served as Vice President, Direct and Omni Channel Technologies at Macy’s, Inc. Prior to that, he held various consulting and technology roles within Thomson Reuters (previously Thomson Publishing) in London and San Francisco.

Mr. Wills received a Diploma in Information Technology from the Central Institute of Technology in Wellington, New Zealand.

FOR MEDIA USE: Download a photo of Lance Wills here: https://toysrus.sharefile.com/d-sf7c3ee65bdb42f59.

About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 864 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam, and in more than 755 international stores and more than 250 licensed stores in 37 countries and jurisdictions. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com, the company provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Toys“R”Us, Inc. is headquartered in Wayne, NJ, and has an annual workforce of approximately 62,000 employees worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys“R”Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus and Facebook.com/Babiesrus and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus and Twitter.com/Babiesrus.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Alyssa Peera
973-617-5634
Alyssa.Peera@toysrus.com

Darden Restaurants to release its fiscal 2016 fourth quarter financial results on Thursday, June 30, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla., 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE:DRI) plans to release its fiscal 2016 fourth quarter financial results before the market opens on Thursday, June 30, 2016, with a conference call to follow at 8:30 am ET. Gene Lee, CEO, and other senior management will discuss fourth quarter results and conduct a question and answer session. For those who cannot listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available shortly after the call.

What: Darden Restaurants, Inc. Fiscal 2016 Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call
When: 8:30 am ET, Thursday, June 30, 2016
Where: https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/1007/15389
How: Live over the Internet – Simply log on to the web at the address above or, to access via the telephone, dial 1-888-820-8959 and enter passcode 1848969 to join the call.

About Darden
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants that generate $7.0 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 150,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. Our restaurant brands –Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House – reflect the rich diversity of those who dine with us. Our brands are built on deep insights into what our guests want. For more information, please visit www.darden.com.

 

SOURCE Darden Restaurants, Inc.: Financial

(Analysts) Kevin Kalicak (407) 245-5870; (Media) Rich Jeffers (407) 245-4189

Dollar General Corporation announces financial results for its 2016 first quarter ended April 29, 2016

  • Net Sales Increased 7%; Same-Store Sales Increased 2.2%
  • Diluted Earnings Per Share Increased 23% to $1.03
  • Operating Profit Improved 12%; Operating Profit Margin Expanded 42 Basis Points
  • Over $300 Million of Capital Returned to Shareholders Through Combination of 2.7 Million Shares Repurchased and Dividends Paid in the Quarter
  • Board of Directors Declares Second Quarter 2016 Dividend

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn., 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) today reported financial results for its 2016 first quarter (13 weeks) ended April 29, 2016.

“Dollar General had a strong start to the year with our first quarter 2016 results. Compared to the first quarter of 2015, same-store sales improved 2.2%. We remained keenly focused on ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of every aspect of our business as we delivered both gross margin expansion and selling, general and administrative expense leverage. This balanced performance contributed to operating profit improvement of 12% and diluted earnings per share growth of 23%. We are confident in our opportunities for growth and remain committed to creating sustainable long-term shareholder value,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief executive officer.

First Quarter 2016 Financial Highlights
Net sales increased 7.0 percent to $5.27 billion in the 2016 first quarter compared to $4.92 billion in the 2015 first quarter. Same-store sales in the 2016 first quarter increased 2.2 percent over the 2015 first quarter resulting from increases in both customer traffic and average transaction amount. Same-store sales increases were driven by positive results in both the consumables category and certain of the non-consumables categories, with sales of consumable merchandise outpacing sales of non-consumable merchandise. Within the non-consumables categories, growth in same-store sales was due to seasonal and home products. The net sales increase also was positively affected by sales from new stores, partially offset by sales from closed stores.

Gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 30.6 percent in the 2016 first quarter compared to 30.5 percent in the 2015 first quarter, an increase of 16 basis points. The majority of the gross profit rate increase was due to higher initial inventory markups and lower transportation costs partially attributable to lower fuel rates, offset in part by a greater proportion of sales of consumables merchandise, which have a lower gross profit rate than non-consumables merchandise, increased inventory shrinkage, and higher markdowns.

Selling, general and administrative expense (“SG&A”) as a percentage of sales was 21.5 percent in the 2016 first quarter compared to 21.8 percent in the 2015 first quarter, a decrease of 26 basis points. The majority of the SG&A decrease was due to lower utilities costs, administrative payroll, incentive compensation, travel expenses, workers’ compensation costs and advertising costs, as well as a higher volume of convenience fees associated with customer cash-back transactions. Partially offsetting these items were retail labor and occupancy costs, each of which increased at a rate greater than the increase in sales.

The Company’s net income was $295 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, in the 2016 first quarter, compared to net income of $253 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, in the 2015 first quarter.

The effective income tax rate in the 2016 first quarter was 35.4 percent compared to 37.7 percent in the 2015 first quarter. The effective income tax rate was lower in the 2016 first quarter due primarily to the Company’s early adoption of an amended accounting standard for employee share-based payments and the recognition of additional amounts of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (“WOTC”) in the 2016 first quarter. The December 2015 reenactment of the WOTC allowed the Company to receive credits for eligible employees hired during the first quarter of 2016. In 2015, only eligible employees hired on or before December 31, 2014, were credit eligible.

The share-based payment accounting amendments are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016 with early adoption permitted. The Company adopted this guidance in the 2016 first quarter. The income tax benefit in the 2016 first quarter of this accounting standard adoption was approximately $9.0 million or $0.03 cents per diluted share. Due to the majority of the Company’s share-based awards typically vesting in the first quarter, this amended accounting standard is anticipated to have the most significant impact in the first quarter. It is not expected to reoccur to this degree over the balance of the year.

Merchandise Inventories
As of April 29, 2016, total merchandise inventories, at cost, were $3.07 billion compared to $2.84 billion as of May 1, 2015, an increase of two percent on a per-store basis.

Capital Expenditures
Total additions to property and equipment in the 2016 first quarter were $99 million, including: $33 million for distribution and transportation-related capital expenditures; $31 million for improvements, upgrades, remodels and relocations of existing stores; $24 million related to new leased stores, primarily for leasehold improvements, fixtures and equipment; and $6 million for information systems upgrades and technology-related projects.

During the 2016 first quarter, the Company opened 249 new stores and remodeled or relocated 301 stores. For 2016, the Company plans to open 900 new stores and remodel or relocate 875 stores. For 2017, the Company intends to accelerate its square footage growth with plans to open about 1,000 stores and remodel or relocate about 900 stores.

Share Repurchases
In the 2016 first quarter, the Company repurchased 2.7 million shares of its common stock under its share repurchase program at an average price of $84.81 per share. From December 2011 through the end of the 2016 first quarter, the Company repurchased 64.7 million shares of its common stock under the share repurchase program at a total cost of $3.8 billion, at an average price of $58.82 per share. The total remaining authorization for future repurchases was approximately $693 million at the end of the 2016 first quarter. The authorization has no expiration date.

Dividend
On May 24, 2016, the Board of Directors declared its regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share on the Company’s common stock. The second quarter dividend will be payable on June 29, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 15, 2016.

Conference Call Information
The Company will hold a conference call on Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. CT/10:00 a.m. ET, hosted by Todd Vasos, chief executive officer and John Garratt, chief financial officer. If you wish to participate, please call (855) 576-2641 at least 10 minutes before the conference call is scheduled to begin. The conference ID is 94270343. The call will also be broadcast live online at www.dollargeneral.com under “Investor Information, Conference Calls and Investor Events.” A replay of the conference call will be available through Thursday, June 9, 2016, and will be accessible online or by calling (855) 859-2056. The conference ID for the replay is 94270343.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking information, including statements regarding the Company’s outlook, plans and intentions, including, but not limited to, statements made within the quotations of Mr. Vasos and in the section entitled “Capital Expenditures”. A reader can identify forward-looking statements because they are not limited to historical fact or they use words such as “outlook,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “expect,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “confident,” “opportunities,” “goal,” “prospect,” “positioned,” “accelerate,” “intend,” “committed,” “continue,” “looking ahead,” “going forward,” “focused on,” or “will likely result,” and similar expressions that concern the Company’s strategy, plans, intentions or beliefs about future occurrences or results. These matters involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual performance of the Company to differ materially from that which the Company expected. Many of these statements are derived from the Company’s operating budgets and forecasts as of the date of this release, which are based on many detailed assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable. However, it is very difficult to predict the effect of known factors on the Company’s future results, and the Company cannot anticipate all factors that could affect future results that may be important to an investor. All forward-looking information should be evaluated in the context of these risks, uncertainties and other factors. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to:

  • economic conditions, including their effect on employment levels, consumer demand, disposable income, credit availability and spending patterns, inflation, commodity prices, fuel prices, interest rates, exchange rate fluctuations and the cost of goods;
  • failure to successfully execute the Company’s strategies and initiatives, including those relating to merchandising, sourcing, customer segmentation, shrink, private brand, distribution and transportation, store operations, store formats, budgeting and expense reduction, and real estate;
  • failure to open, relocate and remodel stores profitably and on schedule, as well as failure of the Company’s new store base to achieve sales and operating levels consistent with the Company’s expectations;
  • levels of inventory shrinkage;
  • effective response to competitive pressures and changes in the competitive environment and the markets where the Company operates, including consolidation;
  • the Company’s level of success in gaining and maintaining broad market acceptance of its private brands;
  • disruptions, unanticipated or unusual expenses or operational failures in the Company’s supply chain including, without limitation, a decrease in transportation capacity for overseas shipments, increases in transportation costs (including increased fuel costs and carrier rates or driver wages), work stoppages or other labor disruptions that could impede the receipt of merchandise, or delays in constructing or opening new distribution centers;
  • risks and challenges associated with sourcing merchandise from suppliers, including, but not limited to, those related to international trade;
  • unfavorable publicity or consumer perception of the Company’s products, including, but not limited to, related product liability and food safety claims;
  • the impact of changes in or noncompliance with governmental laws and regulations (including, but not limited to, environmental compliance, product safety, food safety, information security and privacy, and labor and employment laws, as well as tax laws, the interpretation of existing tax laws, or the Company’s failure to sustain its reporting positions negatively affecting the Company’s tax rate) and developments in or outcomes of private actions, class actions, administrative proceedings, regulatory actions or other litigation;
  • natural disasters, unusual weather conditions, pandemic outbreaks, terrorist acts and geo-political events;
  • damage or interruption to the Company’s information systems or failure of technology initiatives to deliver desired or timely results;
  • ability to attract and retain qualified employees, while controlling labor costs (including potential effects of regulatory changes related to overtime exemption under Fair Labor Standards Act once implemented) and other labor issues;
  • the Company’s loss of key personnel, inability to hire additional qualified personnel or disruption of executive management as a result of retirements or transitions;
  • failure to successfully manage inventory balances;
  • seasonality of the Company’s business;
  • incurrence of material uninsured losses, excessive insurance costs or accident costs;
  • failure to maintain the security of information that the Company holds, whether as a result of a data security breach or otherwise;
  • deterioration in market conditions, including market disruptions, limited liquidity and interest rate fluctuations, or a lowering of the Company’s credit ratings;
  • new accounting guidance, or changes in the interpretation or application of existing guidance, such as changes to lease accounting guidance;
  • the factors disclosed under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K; and
  • such other factors as may be discussed or identified in this press release.

All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by these and other cautionary statements that the Company makes from time to time in its SEC filings and public communications. The Company cannot assure the reader that it will realize the results or developments the Company anticipates or, even if substantially realized, that they will result in the consequences or affect the Company or its operations in the way the Company expects. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which they were made, except as otherwise required by law. As a result of these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements included herein or that may be made elsewhere from time to time by, or on behalf of, the Company.

About Dollar General Corporation
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for over 75 years. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, housewares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. With 12,719 stores in 43 states as of April 29, 2016, Dollar General is among the largest discount retailers in the United States. In addition to high quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America’s most-trusted manufacturers such as Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, Unilever, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Nabisco, Hanes, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. Learn more about Dollar General at www.dollargeneral.com.

Contact(s):
Dollar General Corporation
Investor Contacts:
Mary Winn Pilkington, 615-855-5536
Matt Hancock, 615-855-4811
or
Media Contacts:
Dan MacDonald, 615-855-5209
Crystal Ghassemi, 615-855-5210

About Dollar General Corporation
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for over 75 years through its mission of Serving Others. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, housewares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. Dollar General operates 12,483 stores in 43 states as of January 29, 2016. In addition to high quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America’s most-trusted manufacturers such as Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and PepsiCo. For more information on Dollar General, please visit www.dollargeneral.com.

SOURCE: Dollar General Corporation

GOME announces its unaudited results for the three-month period ended 31 March 2016

  • Sales Revenue reached RMB15.2 billion, up 5.2% y-o-y, with B2C direct sales revenue of e-commerce business grew by 91.6%
  • Total gross merchandise volume (“GMV”) for both online and offline grew by 12.7% y-o-y, with GOME Online GMV up 105.3% y-o-y
  • Consolidated gross profit margin was 17.0%, remained at a relatively high level

HONG KONG, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Limited (HKSE: 493, “GOME” or the “Company”, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”) today announced the Group’s unaudited results for the three-month period ended 31 March 2016 (the “Reporting Period”).

Good Progress Made on Transformation; Consolidated Gross Profit Margin Remained at a Relatively High Level

GOME enters into the implementation stage of the transformation according to the strategy of “Omni-Channel, New Scenario, Strong Linkage” in 2016. Good progress has been made in its transformation efforts to date. During the Reporting Period, the Group’s sales revenue was approximately RMB15.2 billion, up 5.2% year-on-year, with B2C direct sales revenue of GOME Online grew by 91.6%. Overall sales revenue from comparable stores declined by 3.3% while sales revenue from comparable stores in the second-tier market recorded increase of approximately 1.2%. Benefiting from effective cost control, the Group’s adjusted operating expense ratio excluding non-operating factors dropped by 0.2 percentage point year-on-year to 16.0%. Consolidated gross profit margin remained at a relatively high level of approximately 17.0%. Adjusted net profit was RMB200 million, down 31.4% as compared with the corresponding period last year.

As at the end of the reporting period, the Group has 675 stores in the first-tier market and 516 stores in the second-tier market, with sales contribution from the first-tier and the second-tier market accounted for 74.3% and 25.7%, respectively. Meanwhile, the Group’s total GMV for both online and offline grew by 12.7% as compared with the corresponding period last year, with GMV of GOME Online recorded strong growth of 105.3%. GMV from mobile devices up 245.5% year-on-year and was accounted for 63.4% of the online GMV.

Building of New Scenario Experience with Every Effort to Establish Strong Linkages with Customers and Attract Customer Flow

In first-tier market, the Group is committed to upgrading stores with new scenario experience that integrates “food, beverage, entertainment, joy and shopping” and establishing VR showrooms, so as to fully satisfy consumers’ demand and to establish strong linkages with its customers. The upgraded stores allow customers traffics from retail, entertainment and leisure to complement each other, thus drawing in stronger customer flow and driving consumption in the stores. The ZhongTa Global Experience Store fully demonstrates the digitized smart stores of the Group. GOME will make the VR experience zone an integral part of its New Scenario establishment and implement a rapid development strategy. In view of the growing consumption demand for smart TV, and leveraging the Group’s large customer base and internet mindset, GOME is actively exploring the internet TV business model through cooperation with multiple partners, with the aim of building living-room economy for enlarging GOME’s share in internet market and establishing new lucrative business model.

GOME Online Continued to Grow Rapidly; Enhanced O2O Ecosystem with Overseas Ecommerce

During the Reporting Period, the Group’s online business GOME Online maintained strong, with self-operated GMV increasing by 91.6% y-o-y and sales revenue of telecommunication products recording a y-o-y growth of over 200%. For cross-border e-commerce, GOME has successfully built up overseas e-commerce supply chain to enhance its O2O overseas ecommerce platform. The Group is also planning to successively launch Australia Shop and Korea Shop, and to explore opportunities to collaborate with Amazon.cn on overseas supply chains.

Continued Effort in Launching Smart Products and Developing the Third-party Logistics Services

In terms of diversification of product mix, GOME has been expanding product mix with more innovative smart products as potential new growth driver. The new smart products, including VR equipment, drone and smart robot, will help to attract new source of customers by satisfying different demand and optimizing shopping experience of different customer groups. In terms of logistic services, as the leading logistics service provider for large and medium-sized items, the Group continued the development of the second-tier market through its wider footprint of physical stores and its broader logistics geographic coverage to achieve the integrated penetration of its logistic network. In addition, it vigorously developed third-party logistics services. As of 31 March 2016, a total of 582 merchants offering third-party logistics services had joined third-party partnerships with the Group, with 247 new merchants joining in first quarter of 2016.

Proactive Development in Home Appliance After-Sales Services Market to Achieve Transformation from Low Frequency Consumption to High Frequency Consumption

As the integral part of “Omni-channel, New Scenario, Strong Linkage”, GOME extended its home appliances segment from products retail to service market. In April, GOME launched “GOME House Manager”, an online after-sales service platform with the core functions of Ewarranty card, E-manual, door-to-door service appointment, and the visualization of delivery and installation information. With the after-sales service as an entry point, GOME established a “self-operated + third-party” platform as a one-stop O2O model to enhance its strong linkage with customers, thus promoting repeat purchase and achieving transformation from low frequency consumption to high frequency consumption. GOME built up the “closed-loop” system covering the home appliance lifecycle of “purchasing – cleaning – repairing – recycling – repurchasing”, and enhancing the profitability of the after-sales services.

Establishment of GOME Self-media Ecosystem through GOME TOGO (國美來購); A Relatively Low Cost Portal the Generates Rapid Growth in GMV

GOME launched its micro shop brand “GOME TOGO” at the end of 2015. Through the strong communication and linkage with customers via WeChat Moments (朋友圈) run by GOME employees, the Company is to bring the best products all over the world to its consumer and build up the GOME self-media community ecosystem to affect a larger audience. This low cost portal will in turn generate rapid growth in GMV. In the first half 2016, the number of GOME micro shops is expected to reach over 100,000.

Mr. Wang Junzhou, President of GOME, concluded, “The internet era is a time to realize personalized demand. The commercial value is to be re-defined. Traditional operating business model will further shift its focus from products to customers. The existing customer relationship that based on transaction will focus more on the linkage with and among customers. In view of the upgrading and evolution of the industry, GOME implemented the transformation strategy of “Omni-channel, New Scenario, Strong Linkage” that is customerflow driven, and is expected to result in an improvement of the Group’s results upon completion. Leveraging the solid interface platform as customer traffic portals, GOME establishes strong linkages with its customers through the operation of membership, and we believe that it will in turn translate into sustainable growth in total GMV. Looking forward, GOME will open up our strong supply chain platform to serve the community, and shift our focus to customer traffic and customer linkage. We believe that this transformation strategy will support the sustainable development of GOME total retail strategy, thus laying solid foundations for future rapid growth and creating greater value for shareholders.

-END

About GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Limited
GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Limited has been listed on The Hong Kong Stock Exchange since July 2004 (HKSE: 00493). The GOME Group was founded in China in 1987 and is engaged in the retail business of electrical appliances and consumer electronics in China. It is the leading retail chain of electrical appliances and consumer electronics and the leading retail chain enterprise in China.

Please visit our website for more information: www.gome.com.hk

For further enquiries, please contact:

Hong Kong
Hill+Knowlton Strategies Asia
Linda Pui
Tel: (852) 2894 6378 / 9700 0178
Email: linda.pui@hkstrategies.com

Queenie Hung
Tel: (852) 2894 6262 / 6932 2584
Email: queenie.hung@hkstrategies.com

Beijing
Maggie Zhang
Tel: (86) 010 5928 8178
Email: zhangyuan-cw@GOME.com.cn