The third annual Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give a complete success: $850,000 donation to the retailer’s Simply Give program

Memorable week of golf raises funds for Meijer Simply Give program to restock Midwest food pantries

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2016-Jun-28 — /EPR Retail News— Representatives with the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give today deemed the third annual tournament a success with an $850,000 donation to the retailer’s Simply Give program, which restocks the shelves of its food pantry partners across the Midwest. South Korean LPGA professional Sei Young Kim took home the trophy at the LPGA Tour event, which took place at Blythefield Country Club June 16-19, but the real winners are the families who will benefit from the donation.

“Thanks to the great weather and enthusiastic crowds, the third annual Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give was a complete success and will continue improving the quality of life in the Midwest,” Meijer Co-Chairman Doug Meijer said. “The difference all of this support has made is tremendous because this week was about more than just golf. It was an opportunity for the entire community to enjoy great athletic competition while supporting a very important cause – feeding the hungry.”

“On behalf of everyone at Meijer, we congratulate Sei Young Kim on a great win at the Meijer LPGA Classic,” Meijer President Rick Keyes said. “It was a fantastic end to a wonderful week. This year’s tournament was once again fully embraced by the community.”

While attendance figures are not yet available, representatives said the tournament continued to exceed expectations.

In total, the three tournaments generated more than $2.1 million for the Meijer Simply Give program.

Meijer started Simply Give in November 2008 and has since generated nearly $22 million for its food pantry partners. The contributions donated as a result of the Meijer LPGA Classic are due, in large part, to the generous Meijer customers who attended the tournament week events, and the sponsors who helped make the event a success.

The $850,000 donation will be divided among the retailer’s more than 200 food pantry partners participating in the spring Simply Give campaign, which ended today.

“The Meijer Simply Give program is extremely important to our food pantry because it helps us to provide healthy and nutritious food to our neighbors,” said Waverly Knight, a director of the Northwest Food Pantry. “Without the program, our food pantry shelves would be very empty. We thank Meijer for their willingness to have the Simply Give program and the community for their support in helping feed those in need.”

A crowd of enthusiastic fans lined the ropes at Blythefield Country Club June 16-19 to watch a competitive field of 144 world-class golfers play 72 holes of stroke play. Ultimately, Sei Young Kim claimed the title as the Meijer LPGA Classic champion after a one hole playoff, making this her sixth LPGA Tour victory and her second win this year.

Kim said this tournament was extra special because her dad was watching in the stands on Father’s Day.

“I’m very happy to on the Father’s Day give it to my dad … this trophy,” she said. “I played with Lexi Thompson last defending champion, so I’m very honored to play with her. She’s a great competitor.”

About Meijer Simply Give:
Meijer is a family-owned retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich. with a fundamental philosophy aimed at strengthening the communities it serves. Meijer operates more than 200 super centers and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin, and proudly donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives. For additional information on Meijer philanthropy, please visit meijercommunity.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

About Blythefield Country Club:
Located just north of Grand Rapids, Blythefield has been providing families the best golf and social experience in West Michigan since 1928. With the Rogue River flowing through, Blythefield boasts one of the most beautiful championship layouts in Michigan. Previously, Blythefield has hosted the 1953 Western Amateur, the 1961 Western Open, won by Arnold Palmer, and the 2005 Western Junior won by Rickie Fowler. In 2014, Blythefield hosted the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft. Learn more about Blythefield Country Club at www.blythefieldcc.org/.

About the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association):
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via: www.lpga.comwww.facebook.com/LPGA,www.twitter.com/lpga, and www.youtube.com/user/lpgavideo.

About Octagon Global Events:
Octagon Global Events is a division of Octagon, the world’s largest sports and entertainment representation and marketing agency. Octagon Global Events focuses on premium event/property management, providing strategic corporate solutions. The division currently manages two Champions Tour events, two LPGA Tour events and the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. For more information, visit http://www.octagonglobalevents.com/.

Contact:
Christina Fecher
christina.fecher@meijer.com
616-735-7968

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The third annual Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give a complete success: $850,000 donation to the retailer’s Simply Give program

The third annual Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give a complete success: $850,000 donation to the retailer’s Simply Give program

 

Source: Meijer

Starbucks customers will be the first to hear the new album from Maxwell

Seattle, 2016-Jun-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks customers will be the first to hear the new album from Maxwell, a GRAMMY Award-winning artist. On Monday, June 27 at 12 p.m. local time, customers can hear an exclusive preview of the long-awaited “black SUMMERS’ night” (Columbia) – an album seven years in the making – in its entirety in more than 7,500 participating U.S. Starbucks® stores.

Songs from the album, which will be officially released on July 1, will be played regularly at participating Starbucks locations and available on Spotify where Maxwell’s music will be featured prominently.

Through an in-app integration between the companies, Starbucks customers who want more music from Maxwell can seamlessly move from the Starbucks mobile app to a corresponding playlist on Spotify. This functionality will also allow customers to save the songs to their personal playlists on Spotify, taking the music with them when they leave Starbucks.*

This is the second time in as many months that Starbucks customers have been given early access to music from critically-acclaimed artists. Last month customers enjoyed an exclusive preview of the latest album from Corinne Bailey Rae.

The in-house Starbucks Entertainment team is responsible for programming the music heard in Starbucks® stores, which includes thousands of songs across all genres, reaching nearly 90 million customers globally each week.

*Starbucks customers will need a Spotify account to save or create Spotify playlists, and must have a Spotify account to play music. Customers must connect their Starbucks and Spotify Free or Premium accounts to save music.

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

Media contact:

Global
Phone: 206 318 7100
Email: press@starbucks.com

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Starbucks customers the first to hear the new album from Maxwell

Starbucks customers will be the first to hear the new album from Maxwell

 

Source: Starbucks

ICA Gruppen announces the appointment of Peter Muld as new Chief Digital Officer

Solna, Sweden,  2016-Jun-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — ICA Gruppen is taking its next step in the work on strengthening its focus on digitalisation with the establishment of a new Chief Digital Officer function at the group level. Peter Muld will begin serving in the position on 5 September this year. The new function will ensure a clearer and more coordinated digital strategy for the entire Group.

The business environment is changing rapidly, and all of ICA Gruppen’s subsidiaries are already working actively with digitalisation. However, the additions of both ICA Insurance and Apotek Hjärtat have created several interfaces with the same customers, which is giving rise to new opportunities. Being able to fully capitalize on these will require sharper focus, specialized expertise and greater coordination between the Group’s subsidiaries.

“We are very happy that we can now establish a CDO function headed by Peter Muld,” comments Liv Forhaug, Chief Strategy Officer, ICA Gruppen. “Peter has a highly relevant background with extensive experience in both IT and business opportunities coupled to digitalisation, among other things from his former role as Business CIO and head of the digital transformation at SAS. I also see Peter’s diverse and broad record of experience from both entrepreneurial ventures and large corporations as a merit in his ability to contribute to our journey of change.”

The new function will serve primarily in a strategic role and will report to the Chief Strategy Officer. In addition, the function will lead selected development projects with significance for several of the Group’s subsidiaries. In time, the new function will consist of a handful of individuals who will work closely with key employees in the subsidiaries.

For more information
ICA Gruppen press service
Tel.: +46 10 422 52 52

Source: ICA Gruppen

Starbucks will support The Mission Continues revitalization mission to refresh Detroit Central High School

SEATTLE, 2016-Jun-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Among the dynamic veterans profiled in the 2014 book “For Love of Country,” written by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, was David Oclander, a West Point graduate who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan before retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

Oclander left the military in 2012 and turned his focus to tackling what he considers to be one of America’s greatest challenges: underperforming schools.

Today, the U.S. Army veteran is the principal of Detroit Central High School, where he’s enlisting like-minded leaders and organizations to help him put the once great school back in order.

When Oclander came to Detroit at the invitation of a friend who was a veteran, he was taken aback by the disarray he encountered at the school. Central High’s 90-year-old building is striking but had issues. Ball fields were overrun by weeds, mold marred the swimming pool and vandals had cut through a surrounding fence and left their mark. A music teacher arrived on the job to find instruments floating in the flooded band room.

Despite the obvious problems, Oclander also saw great potential.

“What I saw was a group of kids who were really beautiful and warm and intelligent and capable,” he said. “They were just truly underserved by the system and by years of neglect. That’s exactly why I got into education. I decided this was where I wanted to try to make a difference.”

Operation Motown Muster

The Mission Continues, which empowers veterans adjusting to civilian life through community service, will refresh Central High School as part of a five-day Detroit revitalization mission called Operation Motown Muster. Starbucks, which partners with the veteran service organization, will support volunteers working at the school throughout the weekend of June 25.

“Much like the city, the iconic Detroit Central High School has a rich and storied history, but has faced significant challenges in recent years,” said Spencer Kympton, a U.S. Army veteran and president of The Mission Continues. “With the commitment of the community – including the administration, teachers and parents – the students at Central have a brighter future. And with the skills and experience they cultivated in the military, veterans are uniquely positioned to help accelerate Central’s comeback. We’re proud to play a small part in transforming the school into a safer, more vibrant place to learn for years to come.”

The impact of The Mission Continues is already being felt. Their first project was to fix up the school’s ballfield. The girls’ softball team has since won its first district championship in years. Alumni are stepping up in greater numbers to help with the school’s restoration.

“The kids are starting to believe in a system of education – that the school is here to serve them and not serve adults,” Oclander said.

Media contact:

Global
Phone: 206 318 7100
Email: press@starbucks.com

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Starbucks will support The Mission Continues revitalization mission to refresh Detroit Central High School

Starbucks will support The Mission Continues revitalization mission to refresh Detroit Central High School

 

Source: Starbucks

Giant Food, LLC announces the 2016 recipients of the Izzy Cohen Memorial Scholarship and the Esther Peterson Memorial Grant

Scholarships recognize family, financial need, school and community service

Landover, Md., 2016-Jun-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Giant Food, LLC today announced the 2016 recipients of the Izzy Cohen Memorial Scholarship and the Esther Peterson Memorial Grant. The winners are from a variety of high schools in the Greater Washington, D.C. region and were selected based on academic merit, association with Giant Food, school and community service and financial need. The scholarships will be used in part to support post-secondary education.

“Giant Food’s educational assistance programs have been making a difference in the lives of associates and their families for more than 20 years,” said Gordon Reid, president, Giant Food of Landover, Md. “The Izzy Cohen Memorial Scholarship and the Ester Peterson Memorial Grant represent Giant’s commitment to advancing the education of children in our communities and we are delighted to provide these scholarships to students throughout our community who represent the future of our region”Izzy Cohen was one of the original founders of Giant Food, Inc. and he had a strong belief in the power of training and education. Applications for this scholarship are available each year in the spring with awards announced prior to summer break. Ten winners are selected each year. Awards are valued at $4,000 andare renewable for up to four years.Esther Peterson was one of the most admired women in Giant Food‘s history. She pioneered the use of nutritional and unit price labeling in Giant stores well before any other major food chains. Before joining Giant, she served as the nation’s first presidentially-appointed consumer affairs advocate. This grant is awarded in conjunction with the Izzy Cohen Scholarships and provides 10 additional, non-renewable awards of $1,000 each.

Recipients of this year’s scholarships include:

  • Esther Peterson Memorial Grant
    • Hayfield High School, Alexandria, VA
    • Damascus High School, Damascus, MD
    • Huntingtown High School, Huntingtown, MD
    • Liberty High School, Eldersburg, MD
    • Mercey High School, Baltimore, MD
    • Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes DE
    • Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts, Dundalk, MD
    • Archbishop Curley High School, Baltimore, MD
  • Izzy Cohen Memorial Scholarship
    • James Madison High School, Vienna, VA
    • Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Greenbelt, MD
    • Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Baltimore, MD
    • Towson High School, Towson, MD
    • Howard High School, Ellicott City, MD
    • North Point High School for Science, Technology and Industry, Waldorf, MD

For more information on Giant’s community initiatives, visit https://giantfood.com/live-well/community/giving-back/.

About Giant Food, LLC
Giant Food, LLC, headquartered in Landover, Md., operates 169 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, and employs approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 169 stores are 160 full-service pharmacies. Giant is owned by Ahold USA, Inc.

For more information on Giant visit www.giantfood.com.

 

Source: Giant Food

Macy’s CEO Terry J. Lundgren will transition the position to Jeff Gennette in Q1 2017

Terry Lundgren to remain Executive Chairman as Jeff Gennette becomes CEO in the first quarter of 2017; Planned succession process supports upcoming strategies for business improvement

CINCINNATI, 2016-Jun-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) today announced that Terry J. Lundgren, the company’s CEO since 2003 and Chairman since 2004, will transition the position of CEO to Jeff Gennette in the first quarter of 2017. The transition is part of the board of directors’ succession plan that included Gennette’s election as President of Macy’s, Inc. in 2014. Beyond the first quarter of 2017, Lundgren will continue as Executive Chairman of the company and work side-by-side with Gennette as President and CEO.

Gennette will join the Macy’s, Inc. board of directors, effective today – bringing the size of the board to 14 members. He will assume additional management responsibility during the transition period, including oversight of the Macy’s stores organization.

“I have been honored to lead this enterprise through a period of unprecedented reinvention. While our company is larger, stronger and more resourceful than we were 13 years ago, now is the time to reset our business model to thrive in a future that is being driven by rapid evolution in consumer preferences and shopping habits. Our company must and will change in response to the profound secular forces that are driving consumer spending. I am firmly committed to, and invigorated by, the process we have begun to set a going-forward strategy in lockstep with our evolving customers,” Lundgren said.

“Jeff Gennette is an extraordinary leader who has distinguished himself as a skilled merchant and retail operator. He has worked closely with me over the past two years as president of Macy’s, Inc. in a first step in this succession process, and we are closely aligned on creating a compelling and sustainable path forward. In making this announcement today, the board and I want to communicate proactively the timing of the CEO transition as we act to seamlessly implement our future plans. Jeff and our team are well equipped to continue the transformation of our company for the next generation of customers and associates.”

Added Marna C. Whittington, Macy’s, Inc. lead independent director: “Since taking the reins in 2003, Terry Lundgrenhas been an outstanding leader of this company. His tenure has included nearly doubling topline sales, acquiring theMay Department Stores Company, creating Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s as nationwide brands with emerging global opportunities, and establishing Macy’s, Inc. as one of the top six online retailers in the United States, and number three in the categories we sell. His leadership, combined with his vision and energy, will help set the tone for the next generation of growth at Macy’s, Inc. in collaboration with Jeff and the management team. One of Terry’s hallmarks has been creating an exceptional depth of management talent. Jeff Gennette has demonstrated proven leadership skills over his 33-year career with the company, and he is uniquely capable of leading the next chapter of Macy’s, Inc.’s history given his in-depth knowledge of the organization, his merchandising acumen and clear insight into the evolution of the retailing landscape. The entire board of directors is pleased and we are fortunate that an executive of Jeff’s caliber is in place to be the company’s next CEO and lead implementation of our going-forward strategies.”

Lundgren and Gennette will continue to work very closely together on improving current business trends and setting the stage for changes that will be announced as decisions are finalized.

“This is the time for us to be laser-focused on what is most important to our customers, and how we can best deliver the shopping experience that will secure our position as the premier omnichannel retailer of the future,” Gennette said. “We have successfully navigated our way through changing customer trends in the past and there is no doubt that Macy’s, Inc. will need to be a significantly different retailer in the future in the way we operate and approach the marketplace. But we also must continue to tackle our immediate priorities with vigor and discipline. Terry and I have an outstanding relationship and we will continue to collaborate closely through this CEO transition process.”

Jeff Gennette, 55, was named President of Macy’s, Inc. in March 2014 after serving as Macy’s Chief Merchandising Officer since February 2009. From February 2008 to February 2009, Gennette served as chairman and CEO of Macy’s West in San Francisco. He began his retail career in 1983 as an executive trainee at Macy’s West. He held positions of increasing responsibilities, including vice president and division merchandise manager for men’s collection and senior vice president and general merchandise manager for men’s and children’s. In 2004, Gennette was appointed executive vice president and director of stores at Macy’s Central in Atlanta. From February 2006 toFebruary 2008, Gennette was chairman and chief executive officer of Seattle-based Macy’s Northwest. During his career, Gennette also served as a store manager for FAO Schwarz and director of stores for Broadway Stores, Inc.Gennette, a native of San Diego, is a graduate of Stanford University.

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

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

Contact:

Media:
Jim Sluzewski
513-579-7764

Investor:
Matt Stautberg
513-579-7780

Source: Macy’s, Inc.

Cold Stone Creamery® launches three new homemade batter ice cream flavors: Fudge Brownie Batter™, Peanut Butter Cookie Batter™ and Sugar Cookie Batter™

A Decadent Sugar Cookie Batter Ice Cream Shake Also Joins the Menu for a Limited Time

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ —From Cold Stone Creamery®, (www.ColdStoneCreamery.com), the place that brought you the original Cake Batter Ice Cream®, comes three new homemade batter ice cream flavors: Fudge Brownie Batter™, Peanut Butter Cookie Batter™ and Sugar Cookie Batter™, available for a limited time beginning June 22.

These new summer time ice cream flavors have all the homemade taste of batter right off the spoon and can be combined with delicious mix-ins for a one-of-a-kind Creation™. In addition, Cold Stone Creamery is blending up a decadent Sugar Cookie Batter Ice Cream Shake piled high with whipped topping, yellow cake, sugar cookie dough, caramel and rainbow sprinkles.

“After bringing our famous Cake Batter Ice Cream to market years ago, we wanted to extend the line for the hot summer months,” said Kate Unger, senior vice president of marketing for Cold Stone Creamery. “Cookie batter is a childhood favorite and with our three new homemade batter ice cream flavors and Sugar Cookie Batter Ice Cream Shake, customers can relive those sweet childhood memories all over again.”

Cold Stone Creamery will feature the following promotional ice cream flavors and Creations™ from June 22 through September 6.

PROMOTIONAL CREATIONS™

  • Everything’s Batter With Chocolate™ – Fudge Brownie Batter Ice Cream with Brownie, Fudge, Caramel and Whipped Topping
  • Loaded Peanut Butter Batter™ – Peanut Butter Cookie Batter Ice Cream with REESE’S® Peanut Butter Cup, Fudge and Caramel
  • Rainbow Cookie Batter™ – Sugar Cookie Batter Ice Cream with Rainbow Sprinkles, Sugar Cookie Dough and Whipped Topping
  • Birthday Cake Remix™ – Cake Batter Ice Cream® with Rainbow Sprinkles, Brownies and Fudge
  • Shake It, Cookie! Milkshake – Sugar Cookie Batter Ice Cream™ blended with Rainbow Sprinkles and topped with Whipped Topping, Yellow Cake, Sugar Cookie Dough, Caramel and Rainbow Sprinkles

About Cold Stone Creamery
Cold Stone Creamery delivers the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience® through a community of franchisees who are passionate about ice cream. The secret recipe for smooth and creamy ice cream is handcrafted fresh daily in each store, and then customized by combining a variety of mix-ins on a frozen granite stone. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Cold Stone Creamery is owned by parent company Kahala Brands™, one of the fastest growing franchising companies in the world, with a portfolio of 18 quick-service restaurant concepts. The Cold Stone Creamery brand operates approximately 1,500 locations in over 27 countries.

About “Made Fresh”
In Cold Stone Creamery locations across the world, ice cream is hand-crafted in small batches – one flavor at a time. Cold Stone Creamery starts with the highest quality cream, sugar and flavorings to make its ice cream fresh in the back of each of its stores. This small-batch process ensures customers receive a rich, creamy, delicious ice cream when they visit a Cold Stone Creamery.

For more information about Cold Stone Creamery, visit www.ColdStoneCreamery.com.

For more information about Kahala Brands, visit www.KahalaBrands.com.

CONTACT:
Jessica Benedick
Cold Stone Creamery
480.362.4837
jbenedick@kahalamgmt.com

Source: Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone Creamery® enters Cambodia market with the opening of new location in Phnom Penh

Dignitaries Welcome the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience to Capital City Phnom Penh 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Cold Stone Creamery® (www.ColdStoneCreamery.com) has officially entered the Cambodia market with a new location in Phnom Penh, the first of 13 stores set to open over the next five years. The occasion was marked by a VIP celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony on June 3, which was attended by local Cambodian dignitaries excited to welcome the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience® to the country.

The ceremony kicked off with a welcome speech from Mr. Norm Hav, Executive Director of TH F&B Co. Ltd., which owns the master franchise rights to open locations throughout Cambodia. He was joined by His Excellency Mr. William A. Heidt, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, and His Excellency Mr. Pak Sokhom, Secretary of State and Ministry of Tourism, as well as Mr. Eddy Jimenez, Senior Vice President of International Operations and Development at Kahala Brands™, the parent company of Cold Stone Creamery.

“TH F&B Co. Ltd. understands the demand for higher quality products and ultimately found a brand that fit the culture’s desire for delicious tasting ice cream. We are delighted to join forces with them to bring the Cold Stone Creamery brand to ice cream fans of Cambodia,” said Jimenez. “This is just the first of many locations that will cater to the premium tastes of consumers by offering a one of a kind experience and flavor you can only get at Cold Stone Creamery.”

The community gathered for the grand opening to witness the ribbon cutting ceremony by the guests of honor and to enjoy the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience as well as Cold Stone Creamery’s signature menu items. Staff scooped up ice cream made fresh in store and amused guests with their Entertainment Factor®. The celebration continued for a full week with additional marketing efforts, offering ice cream lovers new Cold Stone Creamery daily specials featuring all of the brands’ signature products.

These events included a kid’s party with a face painting artist and life-size famous animated characters for the children to enjoy along with their ice cream. In the true spirit of the brand’s culture, crew members were also part of a special ribbon cutting where they each received a piece of the red ribbon commemorating their part in the ownership of the store.

Cold Stone Creamery® has continued to make strong key moves into the international market in recent years. The international growth of Cold Stone Creamery began in November 2005 when the first international store opened in Tokyo, Japan. Today, stores are operating in over 300 international locations and in 27 countries abroad, including the Philippines, Kuwait, Qatar, Trinidad, Nigeria, Egypt and Indonesia.

About Cold Stone Creamery
Cold Stone Creamery delivers the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience® through a community of franchisees who are passionate about ice cream. The secret recipe for smooth and creamy ice cream is handcrafted fresh daily in each store, and then customized by combining a variety of mix-ins on a frozen granite stone. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Cold Stone Creamery is owned by parent company Kahala Brands™, one of the fastest growing franchising companies in the world, with a portfolio of 18 quick-service restaurant concepts. The Cold Stone Creamery brand operates approximately 1,500 locations in over 27 countries.

About “Made Fresh”
In Cold Stone Creamery locations across the world, ice cream is hand-crafted in small batches – one flavor at a time. Cold Stone Creamery starts with the highest quality cream, sugar and flavorings to make its ice cream fresh in the back of each of its stores. This small-batch process ensures customers receive a rich, creamy, delicious ice cream when they visit a Cold Stone Creamery store.

For more information about Cold Stone Creamery, visit www.ColdStoneCreamery.com.

For more information about Kahala Brands, visit www.KahalaBrands.com.

CONTACT:
Jessica Benedick
Cold Stone Creamery
480.362.4837
jbenedick@kahalamgmt.com

Source: Cold Stone Creamery

Ireland’s largest department store Arnotts to introduce John Lewis own brand Home products to its store this Autumn

LONDON,, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Arnotts, Ireland’s largest department store, has concluded an exclusive agreement to introduce John Lewis own brand Home products to its store this Autumn.

This will be the first time that John Lewis own brand Home products will be available in Ireland, launching in store on Thursday 6 October 2016.

The agreement with John Lewis marks the first major new brand initiative for Arnotts since the business was acquired by the Selfridges Group in November 2015.

The new range, which will form part of Arnotts existing and extensive homeware offering, will comprise a wide selection of products across bed, bath, cook and dine, furniture and lighting products (including a range of cushions made at the John Lewis owned factory, Herbert Parkinson, in Lancashire in the UK). The collection will also be available on arnotts.ie.

Commenting on the news, Donald McDonald, Managing Director, Arnotts, said: ‘We’re delighted to introduce John Lewis own brand Home products to our customers. The new range will enhance Arnotts existing position as the largest and only full line department store in Ireland. We look forward to introducing other exciting new brands to Arnotts over the coming months.’

Christine Kasoulis, Home Buying Director at John Lewis, said: ‘We’re really pleased to be debuting John Lewis own brand Home and lifestyle products within Arnotts department store in Ireland. This is a great opportunity to bring the John Lewis Home assortment to our existing customer base in Ireland as well as new customers who are looking for great quality and inspiring products for their home.’

Arnotts is Ireland’s largest department store and one of Ireland’s most iconic retail brands. The store is a Dublin landmark and is home to some of the world’s leading brands, offering a comprehensive selection of merchandise ranging from fashion to furniture, jewelry and cosmetics, footwear, sportswear, kitchenware, electrical goods and children’s wear. It also includes a number of cafes and restaurants.

Arnotts, which directly employs approximately 570 people with an additional 600 people working in concession partners, is a member of the Selfridges Group, one of the world’s foremost department store groups. Selfridges Group provides leading luxury shopping experiences for customers around the world through exciting customers, driving creativity and innovation, inspiring people and remaining committed to leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 46 John Lewis shops across the UK (32 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership and all 30,000 John Lewis staff are Partners in the business. John Lewis, ‘Best In-Store Experience 2016’, ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Electricals Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Furniture Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2016’ and ‘Best Click & Collect Retailer 2016’¹, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

1 Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2016

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

Enquiries

For further information or images please contact:
Vikki Speed
Senior Communications Officer, Corporate & Brand, John Lewis
Telephone: 0207 931 4921
Email: vikki.speed@johnlewis.co.uk

Source: John Lewis Partnership

Kantar Retail: British FMCG suppliers and the Brexit

Boston, MA, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Shock has arrived on the back of the UK’s historic vote to leave the European Union and Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to resign.  This shock has resulted in a “Black Friday” effect in financial markets with the price of British Pounds Sterling plummeting and stock markets searching for direction.

Kantar Retail’s analyst team has gathered to give our initial views on both short-term and long-term exposure to the effects of Brexit on a retailer by retailer basis.

Our Analytical Framework

In order to help clients understand the effects of Brexit on each retailer in the FMCG landscape, we have chosen to focus on a few key topics.  These topics revolve around European Union principles.  Namely, the principles related to the free movement of services, free movement of goods, and free movement of people.  It is our belief that the shock of Brexit will impact movement of services most profoundly in the short-term, followed by movement of goods in the medium term, and finally movement of people in the longer-term.

brexit

Using this framework, we asked each of our retail analysts to write down the biggest factors that each retailer will need to consider when developing a post-Brexit game plan.

Post-Brexit Game Plans

One of the easiest ways to think about Britain’s FMCG retailer landscape is in three groups:

  1. Retailers with their headquarters in Britain
  2. Retailers with their headquarters in the European Union (excluding Britain)
  3. Retailers with their headquarters outside the European Union & Britain

We have created a chart to help you visualize this landscape.

Brexit_t2Retailer by Retailer Considerations

British Retailers

Retailers with headquarters inside Britain will primarily be concerned in the early stages about the financial market effects.  In the short-term their ability to import goods from the European Union will be adversely effected by a weaker Pound:Euro exchange rate. Nearly all retailers will look inward to source locally and we at Kantar Retail feel that the retailers that have done the best job of cultivating good relations with British farms and fisheries will do better than their peers in the immediate term.

Sourcing

The mid-term effect of goods sourcing is likely to be the largest factor of consideration for British retailers. The prices of fresh produce will definitely go up as much of this is sourced from the EU. In the case of Tesco, for example, almost 50% of butter and cheese consumed in the UK comes from milk sourced from EU markets. Inflationary pressures will further boost the call for locally-sourced/manufactured products as the retailers’ ability to source from the EU suppliers offering better trade terms is adversely impacted. Higher commodity prices and tariffs will also impact production of traditional FMCG products, even though a significant proportion of good are produced locally. Supply chain costs are likely to go up due to higher trade tariffs.

Human Resources

While labor costs aren’t likely to be significantly impacted considering the introduction of minimum wages; the availability of talent – from senior leaders to store staff – will be impacted.

Individual Retailer-by-Retailer Considerations

Tesco has strong interests in Central Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) and Brexit will impact cash inflows and outflows, as well as the company’s ability to invest.  Sainsbury’s may reconsider its current Netto business in partnership with Dansk Supermarket. Morrisons is well-situated as its processing plants are based locally in the UK.  However, it will be more exposed to commodity price fluctuations due to its membership in the European buying group AMS. Marks & Spencer sources most of its products locally, but its French supermarkets will be exposed to the Brexit changes.

European Union Retailers

Europe’s largest traditional retailers have not found strong success in Britain over the years.  Carrefour attempted to trade in the UK but gave up on that after poor results in the mid-1980s.  Few others have even attempted to trade in the UK.  However, Europe’s discounters, Aldi & Lidl, have not only attempted to trade in the UK but they have reshaped the trade in recent years.

There are several factors which will help discounters Aldi and Lidl absorb the rise in food prices and inflation – namely its limited range, having the leanest supply chains in retail and most importantly their economies of scale.

Crucially, in their attempts to position themselves as genuine weekly shopping destinations, both Aldi and Lidl have drastically increased and improved their fresh offer, with sales from fruit and vegetable, meat, poultry and bread now accounting for 50% of sales. In this time, they have been the most proactive in driving provenance and localism, with Aldi implementing a 100% British fresh meat policy. This heightened relationship with British farmers means they are in a stronger position than their rivals in the immediate term.

Lidl alone will Invest GBP1.5 Billion over the next three years in building new stores, refurbishing existing ones and developing new product lines.  These investment plans are likely to remain unchanged and with the value of the pound dropping, the Billions of Euros set aside at their HQs in Germany are now set to go a lot further. As a result, Aldi and Lidl are certainly primed to be the least affected retailers. Indeed they may be the ones to benefit in the short and medium term.

Non-European, Non-British Retailers

America’s largest retailers have had the most profound effect on British FMCG retailing. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer by sales of directly controlled products, purchased ASDA in the 1990s and has dominated the weekend stock-up shopping trip in many of Britain’s towns and communities ever since. Costco, the world number 3 retailer, has had a more difficult time in Britain with rules constraining the types of members to whom it can sell its services.  Amazon has had a much bigger impact in recent years than any of the other non-European retailers with services like Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Now, and most recently Amazon Prime Fresh changing the nature of retailing and falling high on the list of topics consumers, analysts, and retailers discuss when thinking about how shopping may change in the future.  Walgreens, the world’s largest drugstore retailer, has also helped Boots after acquiring the chain a few years ago. The biggest assistance Walgreens has provided is giving Boots better access to global commodities and capital markets.

One other retailer stands out as having a strong impact on the UK – Hong Kong’s AS Watson group, a leader in health & beauty retailing.  AS Watson owns the Super drug and Savers drug chains which tend to trade well with non-British European citizens.  As a result, this company will be more focused on the longer term impact on its shopper base.

All of the non-British, non-EU retailers will benefit from a weaker pound in terms of being able to have their investments go further but will likely be hedging their exposure to lower profits and revenues coming from the UK.  This will be good for Walmart as ASDA has performed extremely poorly in the last six months.  For Amazon and Costco the size of the UK business is still small enough to be of lower concern.

The eCommerce Impact

Amazon UK

Amazon should be able to quickly capitalize on the current situation given their position as a “search when you are in a panic” status.

As a case study, this is what was happening this morning across Europe:brexit tweet 1brexit tweet 2Brexit tweet 3

 

Amazon is also incredibly creative when it comes to working across borders so we expect Amazon to do very well in the short-term.

Ocado on the other hand is handicapped.  Imports will be strongly reduced and Ocado will be leaning towards a higher reliance in local suppliers in the short term.

Ocado operates three warehouses in London, accounting for most of its employees. The cost of acquiring talent for its technology centres will be higher, but their couriers and warehouse operators will not be impacted in the short term. The main implication in terms of labour will be a higher collaboration with local suppliers, creating a more intricate logistics around the fresh product sourcing.

 

Overall Summary:  Next Steps for Retailers

Retailers will need to go to work.  Beyond the obvious work around Procurement, HR, and Investor Relations, retailers will need to develop new long-term connections.  Regulations are going to change.  Retailers will need to keep up on these changes and make a different set of plans to manage these changes.  We see three big areas requiring a large amount of focus for retailers in the UK.  These are:

  • Data.   The European Union has spent extraordinary amounts of time setting rules on personal data privacy, corporate data security, policing of data and other issues related to cloud computing, data sharing and survey work.  The types of data that retailers have access to, how they gain access to it, and how they protect it will change.
  • Food Labeling and Food Packaging.  The European Union has had a powerful effect on how retailers label and package goods.  These rules will change and UK retailers will need to take advantage of or react to these changes.
  • Social and Environmental.  Up to now, the environmental rules and social rules governing retail in the UK have largely been shaped by European Union rules that have a future deadline well in advance of the present.  As these change, retailers will likely be able to argue for different regulations and will have to deal with a different group of legislators.

 

Overall Summary:  Implications for FMCG Suppliers

FMCG suppliers will need to understand the impact, and more importantly, the reaction, of different retailers in both the short and medium term.  With a devalued British Pound and a UK economy facing recessionary fears, suppliers will need to double-down on unlocking value from the supply chain.  This should be done in the context of understanding shopper changes first. Shoppers, facing uncertainty, are likely to cut back on spending and delay large purchase decisions.

FMCG suppliers should remember that FMCG retailers operating in the UK will be rocked by three waves of change.  The first wave will be related to banking, currency, and financial market changes.  This will affect how retailers think about their investments and debts.  Many of the retailers would have already taken steps to reduce exposure to these problems so this should not be the main priority for FMCG suppliers looking to build new strategies with retailers.  In the near term they are likely to reduce or delay capital spending and other large projects.

The second wave of change is the most important consideration for FMCG suppliers. In the second wave we will see large changes in the flow of goods in and out of Britain. We see the most difficult step for retailers related to changing sources for fresh produce to accommodate the higher cost of purchasing items sourced in Euros.  In the short-term, consumers will likely see higher prices and in the longer term all retailers will be looking to source from new directions.

While the second wave will be related to what retailers sell, the third wave will be related to people. On one side, retailers will need to readjust their plans around hiring and staffing.  On the other side, retailers will also need to adjust their plans around consumers that shop their stores.  This will take some time to get a clear picture and will only emerge after negotiations take place.

 

Call to Action

We at Kantar Retail encourage FMCG suppliers to take the following steps:

  1. Update BREXIT risk analysis to include customer by customer assessments on both the profit and loss impact (cost of goods and operating costs) as well as balance sheet (cost of debt, ability to borrow, capital spending, and working capital costs)
  2. Develop ways to unlock value from the supply chain
  3. Stay close in touch with changing shopper values, particularly those that are exposed to Brexit concerns related to their finances and investments
  4. Build top-to-top plans focused on helping leading retailers make a smooth transition and schedule the meetings as soon as the opportunity is right
  5. Align trade terms length with retailers in the UK to the Brexit timetable(s)
  6. Manage the transition away from European sourcing supply chains and integrated pricing platform planning platforms
  7. Prepare a transition team to help manage and coordinate the transition

As always, Kantar Retail’s teams are prepared to advise, consult, and answer your questions.

 

Press Contact:

All press and media enquiries to:

Victoria Bradshaw,
Global Communications Manager
victoria.bradshaw@kantarretail.com
T: +44 (0) 1372 825 391

Source:Kantar Retail

Meijer expands online shopping and Curbside service in Southeastern Michigan

Retailer grows Meijer Curbside service in Southeastern Michigan to 14 stores; will offer 33 locations in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois by end of year

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — With another four Detroit area stores unveiling Meijer Curbside in the past few weeks, Meijer is continuing a big push this summer to increase locations that allow customers to shop online and enjoy the convenience of picking up their groceries curbside without leaving their vehicles.

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer just added its Rochester Hills, Brighton, Fort Gratiot and Lapeer supercenters as Meijer Curbside locations and plans on completing its Southeastern Michigan plan in October, bringing the total number of stores offering the popular shopping option in the Detroit and Ann Arbor areas to 14. By year end, Meijer Curbside will be offered at 33 stores in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois, including multiple locations in Lansing, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne.

“The way customers shop for food continues to change and our efforts to expand the number of stores where Meijer Curbside is offered is one more way we are bringing more convenience to our customers,” said Michael Ross, vice president of Digital Shopping and Customer Marketing. “Providing an all-encompassing service that offers grocery, health and beauty and general merchandise items, and allows customers to pick up orders in as little as a few hours is a game changer for many of our shoppers.”

Since launching the program at its Canton and Ann Arbor stores last year, Ross said that popular demand in Detroit has seen the number of orders more than double in the weeks following most store launches, and expects that number will eventually grow to 100 per day at some stores. He said more than 80 percent of weekly orders come from repeat customers, which demonstrates how quickly the shopping option of picking up their groceries curbside is gaining popularity especially among busy parents and young millennials.

The Meijer Curbside program enlists 15 specially-trained team members at each store to hand select every item in a customer’s order, choose best available produce and meats, and shop according to special instructions and personal preferences. Orders are shopped prior to pick-up and dedicated refrigerators and freezers are used to keep grocery items fresh.

Customers shop for more than 80,000 of the most commonly shopped grocery and general merchandise – including health and beauty products, pet food, toys, Keurigs and Fitbits – and place orders online at Meijer.com/Curbside. Then customers select a preferred pick-up time between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily. For orders, customers can schedule pickup in about three hours. Orders can be placed up to five days in advance.

As a busy school teacher, Utica resident Melissa Wolfe said the last thing she and her husband want to do at the end of a long week is to go grocery shopping. But that’s how she used to spend her Saturdays, until she tried Meijer Curbside at the Auburn Hills Meijer in April. Ever since, she and husband John have been enthusiastic repeat customers.

“Balancing full work weeks and weekly grocery shopping has never been easier,” she said. “Curbside saves us at least 2 to 3 hours every weekend – and because we both have full-time jobs that demand a lot of our time during the week, our weekend hours are precious to us. We now put our weekly shopping list together throughout the week, sleep a little later on weekends and choose a pick-up time to get our groceries and pet food. For us, going grocery shopping is no longer a chore and we both get to sleep a little later and avoid long checkout lines on Saturdays.”

For shoppers at the newly added Rochester Hills, Brighton, and Fort Gratiot stores, Meijer Curbside will be offered free through July 31. Following the initial phase, the service cost varies between $4.95 and $6.95 per order, depending on store.

About Meijer:

Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 228 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, garden centers and electronic offerings. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/meijer and @twitter.com/meijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

Contact:
Joe Hirschmugl
joseph.hirschmugl@meijer.com
616-791-3943

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Meijer expands online shopping and Curbside service in Southeastern Michigan

Meijer expands online shopping and Curbside service in Southeastern Michigan

 

Source: Meijer

 

Rakuten invests in remote farming service provider Telefarm as part of the agriculture reforms it intends to promote

Aiming to contribute to regional revitalization with agriculture support through the internet

Tokyo, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rakuten, Inc. (TOKYO: 4755) today announced that it has invested in remote farming service provider Telefarm Co., Ltd.

Since September 2010, Telefarm has been providing a remote cultivation service for organic vegetables which incorporates gamification. The company carries out “Community Supported Agriculture” through the internet, and by connecting consumers and farmers, allows consumers to obtain vegetables they have overseen themselves, and provides farmers with stable revenue and sales channels.

With the working population in the agricultural industry steadily declining, coupled with Japan’s aging population, labor shortages in the industry are becoming a serious problem, and the amount of deserted arable land is increasing every year. Farmers are facing serious challenges, with initial investment and unstable revenues posing obstacles for new farmers, and the securement of stable sales channels and a shortage of successors presenting challenges for established, small-scale farmers.

Since its founding, Rakuten has upheld the philosophy of empowering people and society through the internet, and it intends to bring innovative solutions to solve challenges in agriculture, and contribute to the development of the industry. Rakuten decided to invest in Telefarm as part of the agriculture reforms it intends to promote.

Going forward, Rakuten will explore the development of new services in the agriculture field through the internet, while aiming to contribute to regional revitalization through the utilization of deserted arable land and support for new farmers.

About Telefarm

Name: Telefarm Co., Ltd.
URL: http://www.telefarm.net
Address: Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture
Representative: Managing Director and President, Shinobu Endo
Established: April 2007
Capital Stock: 32,000,000 yen (As of April 30, 2016)

Details of Business:  
1.    Agriculture revitalization business that uses a web-based remote cultivation system
2.    Production and sale of fruit trees, vegetables and grains
3.    Storage, transportation and sale of agricultural produce
4.    Manufacture and sale of seeds, seedlings and materials
5.    Undertaking of farm work on commission
6.    Planning and management of farming experiences and other events, and all business affairs related to the above

Source: Rakuten

Barnes & Noble posts $850 million retail sales in FY2016 Q4 and $4.0 billion for the full year

New York,NY, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) today reported sales and earnings for its fiscal 2016 fourth quarter and full-year ended April 30, 2016.

Retail sales, which include Barnes & Noble stores and BN.com, were $850 million for the quarter and $4.0 billion for the full year, decreasing 2.2% and 1.9%, respectively.  Comparable store sales declined 0.8% for the quarter and were flat for the full year, in-line with Company guidance.  “Core” comparable store sales, which exclude sales of NOOK® products, declined 0.8% for the quarter, while increasing 0.4% for the full year, slightly below expectations of an approximate 1% increase.  Sales for both the quarter and the year were also impacted by store closures and lower online sales.

NOOK sales, which include digital content, devices and accessories, were $42.0 million for the quarter and $191.5 million for the full year, decreasing 20.0% and 27.4%, respectively, due primarily to lower device and content sales.

Consolidated sales were $877 million for the quarter and $4.16 billion for the year, decreasing 3.7% and 3.1%, respectively, as compared to the prior year.

Retail incurred an operating loss of $34.9 million for the quarter and an operating profit of $113.3 million for the year.  NOOK generated an operating loss of $23.1 million for the quarter and $98.6 million for the year.

The consolidated fourth quarter net loss from continuing operations was $30.6 million, or $0.42 per share, compared to a loss from continuing operations of $3.0 million, or $0.12 per share, in the prior year.  Fiscal 2016 consolidated net earnings from continuing operations were $14.7 million, or $0.05 per share, compared to net earnings from continuing operations of $32.9 million, or $0.15 per share, in the prior year.

For the fourth quarter, Retail incurred an EBITDA loss of $11.1 million, which includes a previously disclosed $20.9 million pension settlement charge related to the termination of the Company’s pension plan.  Excluding this charge, Retail EBITDA would have been $9.8 million during the quarter, a decline of $23.3 million versus the prior year, primarily on lower sales, increased promotional activity and higher store wages and benefit costs.

For the full year, Retail generated EBITDA of $215.2 million, inclusive of $35.2 million of charges, including the $20.9 million pension charge noted above, a $10.5 million executive severance charge related to the Barnes & Noble College spin-off and a $3.8 million publishing contract impairment.  Excluding these charges, Retail EBITDA would have been $250.4 million for the year, declining $67.3 million primarily on lower sales, increased advertising, higher store wages and expense deleverage.

Fourth quarter NOOK EBITDA losses were $14.9 million, which included approximately $4.0 million of expenses incurred to further rationalize the cost structure of the business.  These expenses include transitional costs to outsource certain technology functions, consulting fees, Retail integration costs, and expenses to exit the U.K., apps and video businesses.  Excluding these items, NOOK EBITDA losses would have been consistent with the third quarter.

Full year NOOK EBITDA losses were $64.7 million this year as compared to $83.9 million a year ago, a 23% decrease as the Company continues to focus on cost rationalization efforts.

On a consolidated basis, the fourth quarter EBITDA loss was $26.0 million, which includes the $20.9 million pension settlement charge. Excluding the charge, the fourth quarter consolidated EBITDA loss would have been $5.1 million.  For the full year, consolidated EBITDA was $150.5 million, which includes the $35.2 million of charges noted above.  Excluding the charges, consolidated EBITDA would have been $185.7 million for the full year.

Excluding the charges noted above, the consolidated fourth quarter net loss from continuing operations would have been $17.8 million, or $0.24 per share, and fiscal 2016 consolidated net earnings from continuing operations would have been $36.2 million, or $0.35 per share.

Return of Capital
During the quarter, the Company returned $21.5 million in cash to its shareholders, including $11.3 million in dividends and $10.2 million through share repurchases.  The Company acquired approximately 964,000 shares at an average price of $10.61 during the quarter under its share repurchase program.

Outlook
“As we look ahead to fiscal 2017 and beyond, we are focusing on executing a number of initiatives to grow bookstore and online sales, reduce Retail and NOOK expenses and grow our Membership base,” said Ron Boire, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc.  “We believe our marketing, merchandising and Membership initiatives will lead to increased traffic and conversion in our stores.  We are also excited about our plans to open four new concept stores opening later this year, beginning with the first store opening this October in Eastchester, NY.  We look forward to discussing these initiatives at our Investor Day.”

For fiscal year 2017, the Company expects comparable bookstore sales to be approximately flat to an increase of approximately 1%. The Company also expects full year consolidated EBITDA to be in a range of $200 million to $250 million, with Retail EBITDA of $240 million to $280 million and NOOK EBITDA losses declining to a range of $30 million to $40 million, including previously announced transitional costs.

Investor Day Webcast
The Company’s senior management will host an investor conference beginning at 9:00 A.M. ET on Thursday, June 23, 2016 to discuss the Company’s financial results, business strategy and longer-term outlook. The webcast of this investor conference can be accessed on Barnes & Noble, Inc.’s corporate website at www.barnesandnobleinc.com/webcasts.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. will report fiscal 2017 first quarter results on or about September 8, 2016.

Financial Tables
Download financial tables related to the sales and earnings for the fiscal 2016 fourth quarter and full-year ended April 30, 2016:

About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is a Fortune 500 company, the nation’s largest retail bookseller, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The Company operates 640 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com). The NOOK Digital business offers a lineup of popular NOOK (www.nook.com) tablets and eReaders and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store®. The NOOK Store features more than 4 million digital books in the US plus periodicals, comics, apps, movies and TV shows, and offers the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through Free NOOK Reading Apps™ available for Android™, iOS® and Windows®.General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained by visiting the Company’s corporate website at www.barnesandnobleinc.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements (within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) and information relating to Barnes & Noble that are based on the beliefs of the management of Barnes & Noble as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to the management of Barnes & Noble. When used in this communication, the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “will,” “forecasts,” “projections,” and similar expressions, as they relate to Barnes & Noble or the management of Barnes & Noble, identify forward-looking statements.

Such statements reflect the current views of Barnes & Noble with respect to future events, the outcome of which is subject to certain risks, including, among others, the general economic environment and consumer spending patterns, decreased consumer demand for Barnes & Noble’s products, low growth or declining sales and net income due to various factors, including store closings, higher-than-anticipated or increasing costs, including with respect to store closings, relocation, occupancy (including in connection with lease renewals) and labor costs, the effects of competition, the risk of insufficient access to financing to implement future business initiatives, risks associated with data privacy and information security, risks associated with Barnes & Noble’s supply chain, including possible delays and disruptions and increases in shipping rates, various risks associated with the digital business, including the possible loss of customers, declines in digital content sales, risks and costs associated with ongoing efforts to rationalize the digital business and the digital business not being able to perform its obligations under the Samsung commercial agreement and the consequences thereof,

the risk that financial and operational forecasts and projections are not achieved, the performance of Barnes & Noble’s initiatives including but not limited to its new store concept and e-commerce initiatives, unanticipated adverse litigation results or effects, potential infringement of Barnes & Noble’s intellectual property by third parties or by Barnes & Noble of the intellectual property of third parties, and other factors, including those factors discussed in detail in Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” in Barnes & Noble’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended May 2, 2015, and in Barnes & Noble’s other filings made hereafter from time to time with the SEC.

Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results or outcomes may vary materially from those described as anticipated, believed, estimated, expected, intended or planned. Subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Barnes & Noble or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements in this paragraph. Barnes & Noble undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise after the date of this communication.

Media Contact:
Mary Ellen Keating
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3323
mkeating@bn.com

Investor Contact:
Andy Milevoj
Vice President,
Investor Relations
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3489
amilevoj@bn.com

Source: Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Couche-Tard expands operations in Estonia with purchase of majority assets of Premium 7®

Laval, Québec, Canada, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (“Couche-Tard”) (TSX: ATD.A/ATD.B) announces today that it has signed, through its wholly-owned indirect subsidiary Circle K Eesti AS, an agreement to purchase majority of the assets operated under the Premium 7® brand from Sevenoil Est OÜ and its affiliates. The assets are comprised of 23 sites, including 11 full service fuel stations with convenience stores and 12 automated fuel stations. The transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter of Couche-Tard’s fiscal year 2017 and is subject to the standard regulatory approvals and closing conditions. The acquisition will be financed from Couche-Tard’s available cash and existing credit facilities. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price for this acquisition.

Couche-Tard would buy the land and buildings for 23 locations. Following the acquisition, all the sites would be operated under the Statoil brand and within a year rebranded and operated under the Circle K® brand by Couche-Tard’s Estonian business unit.

“This acquisition would be a great addition to Couche-Tard’s expansion and growth plans in Europe. Having just added Ireland to our European network and expanded our footprint in Scandinavia with Shell’s retail network in Denmark, Couche-Tard’s declaration in 2012 is becoming a reality: Circle K Europe (formerly Statoil Fuel & Retail AS) is our platform for growth in Europe,” says Jacob Schram, Group President Europe, Couche-Tard.

“Subsequent to this transaction, Couche-Tard’s network in Estonia would grow by 40% and would total 77 company operated-stores and fuel stations. These sites occupy strategic locations within their respective trade areas. This acquisition would be a great complement to our existing network in the Estonian fuel market,” commented Jørn Madsen, EVP Central & Eastern Europe & Ireland, Circle K Europe.

About Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

Couche-Tard is the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry. In the United States, it is the largest independent convenience store operator in terms of number of company-operated stores. In Europe, Couche-Tard is a leader in convenience store and road transportation fuel retail in the Scandinavian and Baltic countries with a significant presence in Poland.

As of January 31, 2016, Couche-Tard’s network comprised 7,979 convenience stores throughout North America, including 6,560 stores offering road transportation fuel. Its North-American network consists of 15 business units, including 11 in the United States covering 41 states and four in Canada covering all ten provinces. About 80,000 people are employed throughout its network and at its service offices in North America.

In Europe, Couche-Tard operates a broad retail network across Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden and Denmark), Poland, the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and Russia. As of January 31, 2016, it comprised 2,218 stores, the majority of which offer road transportation fuel and convenience products while the others are unmanned automated fuel stations. Couche-Tard also offers other products, including stationary energy, marine fuel and chemicals. Couche-Tard operates key fuel terminals and fuel depots in six European countries. Including employees at franchise stations carrying its brands, about 19,000 people work in its retail network, terminals and service offices across Europe. Since its acquisition of Topaz Energy Group Limited on February 1st, 2016, Couche-Tard also operates a convenience and fuel retailing network comprised of 444 service stations in Ireland as well as a significant commercial fuels operation, with over 30 depots and two terminals.

In addition, around 1,500 stores are operated by independent operators under the Circle K banner in 13 other countries or regions worldwide (China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Guam, Honduras, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam).

For more information on Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., please visit: http://corpo.couche-tard.com.

Contact:

Investor Relations:

Claude Tessier, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: (450) 662-6632, ext. 4607
claude.tessier@couche-tard.com

Media Relations:

Karen Romer, Director, Global Communications
Tel: (514) 603- 4505 –
karen.romer@couche-tard.com

Forward-Looking Statements

The statements set forth in this press release, which describe Couche-Tard’s objectives, projections, estimates, expectations or forecasts, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation. Positive or negative verbs such as “will”, “plan”, “evaluate”, “estimate”, “believe”, “expect” and other related expressions are used to identify such statements. Couche-Tard would like to point out that, by their very nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties such that its results, or the measures it adopts, could differ materially from those indicated or underlying these statements, or could have an impact on the degree of realization of a particular projection. Major factors that may lead to a material difference between Couche-Tard’s actual results and the projections or expectations set forth in the forward-looking statements include the effects of the integration of acquired businesses and the ability to achieve projected synergies, fluctuations in margins on motor fuel sales, competition in the convenience store and retail motor fuel industries, exchange rate variations, and such other risks as described in detail from time to time in documents filed by Couche-Tard with securities regulatory authorities in Canada. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, Couche-Tard disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The forward-looking information in this press release is based on information available as of the date of the release

Source: Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Zealand: New World located in the iconic Devonport town centre gets upgraded

Change is afoot at Devonport New World, and the store’s owner-operator couldn’t be more excited.

Auckland, New Zealand, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — “The most exciting thing,” John Ashton says, “is we’re getting a completely new fresh food aisle, with new bakery and new service counters for deli, seafood and meat, and a new hot food cabinet.”

“It’ll all be brand new and I’m sure our shoppers are going to love it almost as much as me!” he says.

Monday 27 June marks the start of the build, in what is the fourth and final planned upgrade for the store which is located in the iconic Devonport town centre, on Auckland’s North Shore.

Ashton says the first three stages involved upgrades to the produce section and air conditioning, and installation of what was then the country’s first ‘green’ CO2 supermarket refrigeration system.

Now, he says the focus is on ‘freshness’ – and not just fresh food either.

“We’ll also be giving the inside of the store a fresh lick of paint, too, as part of a total revamp of the interior décor. The ceiling and floor tiles will be replaced, plus we’ll be getting new signage and energy saving LED strip lighting that will brighten up the whole store.”

He says the first part of the latest upgrade will be the creation of a new bakery, including new ovens.

“Unfortunately that does mean we have to close our bakery for four months. But we’ll still have a good supply of products baked daily by our same bakery staff, at a nearby New World store.”

Work will then begin on the rest of the fresh food aisle, transforming the existing deli, seafood, and meat counters into better-looking, more functional service counters.

“A new hot food cabinet will be added as well, which will be more energy efficient than the current one, and keep the food tasting better, longer.”

“Making room for all that does mean we have to move our milk fridge around to join up with the chilled foods, but that’s a natural fit, food wise.”

There’s good news for wine and cheese lovers, too, with the wine aisle’s layout changing to make it easier to select a good wine, a new chiller to keep it cool, and a separate fridge for specialty cheeses.

Topping it all off, the checkouts, customer service desk and Lotto counter will be upgraded with the latest technology and designs.

“It all adds up to a lot of work to be done over the next four months,” Ashton says, “but we will do everything in our power to ensure it’s a smooth transition for both our customers and our staff.”

He says the entire refurbishment is expected be completed by December, just in time for Christmas, by when Ashton says he expects to be feeling “like all my Christmases have come at once.”

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Foodstuffs Communications Team Phone:
0800 376 3342

Source: Foodstuffs

Barnes & Noble executive appointments: Jaime Carey promoted to President of Development & Restaurant Group and Michael Ladd named VP, Stores

New York, NY 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News — Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the nation’s largest retail bookseller and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today announced two executive appointments: Jaime Carey, currently Chief Operating Officer, has been promoted to President of Development & Restaurant Group, effective immediately, and Michael Ladd has been named Vice President, Stores. Both Mr. Carey and Mr. Ladd, whose appointment is effective June 27, will report to Ron Boire, Chief Executive Officer.

In his new role, Mr. Carey will be responsible for overseeing real estate development and the newly created Restaurant Group. “We have a tremendous real estate portfolio and the very best real estate team in retail led by David Deason, our VP of Development, said Mr. Boire. “Jaime’s promotion underscores the importance of having a leader devoted to our new store concepts with a focus on an enhanced restaurant experience.” Mr. Boire announced that Barnes & Noble would open four new concept stores in Fiscal 2017, complete with a new restaurant featuring an expanded menu along with a beer and wine offering. In addition to opening the first new store in Eastchester, NY, this October, the Company plans to open stores at the Edina Galleria in Edina, MN, at the Palladio in Folsom, CA, and at One Loudon in Loudon, VA.

Mr. Carey first joined Barnes & Noble in 2003 as Director of Newsstand, and was promoted to Vice President. In May 2008, Mr. Carey was named Chief Merchandising Officer overseeing merchandising and product development. He was instrumental in the company’s successful expansion into non-book categories, including Toys & Games, Gift and Vinyl. All of these departments experienced double-digit comp growth during his tenure. In July 2015, Mr. Carey was promoted to Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for overseeing merchandising, marketing, e-commerce, NOOK® and proprietary publishing.

Mr. Ladd joins Barnes & Noble from Sears Holding Corporation where he was Senior Vice President, Head of Retail Stores. He began his 24-year career at Sears as Store Manager in 1996, working his way up the ranks to District Manager, National Sales Director, Regional Director, and Vice President to his current role as Senior Vice President, with responsibility for the entire field and home office support organization of a $13 billion retail organization with 720 stores.

“Mike is an accomplished leader with a proven track record for driving results,” said Mr. Boire.  “We think he is the perfect addition to our management team given his broad range of retail capabilities.”

In his new role, Mr. Ladd will have responsibility for the entire retail store organization and profitable growth of the business, driving sales, training, developing talent and recruitment. He is a cum laude graduate of Miami University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Psychology.

About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is a Fortune 500 company, the nation’s largest retail bookseller, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products.  The Company operates 640 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com).  The Nook Digital business offers a lineup of popular NOOK® tablets and eReaders and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store®. The NOOK Store features more than 4 million digital books in the US (www.nook.com), plus periodicals and comics, and offers the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through Free NOOK Reading Apps™ available for Android™, iOS® and Windows®.General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained by visiting the Company’s corporate website at www.barnesandnobleinc.com.Barnes & Noble®, Barnes & Noble Booksellers®, Barnes & Noble.com® and Discover Great New Writers® are trademarks of Barnes & Noble, Inc. or its affiliates. NOOK® and the NOOK logos are trademarks of Nook Digital, LLC or its affiliates.For more information on Barnes & Noble, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, and like us on Facebook. For more information on NOOK, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements (within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) and information relating to Barnes & Noble that are based on the beliefs of the management of Barnes & Noble as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to the management of Barnes & Noble. When used in this communication, the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “will,” “forecasts,” “projections,” and similar expressions, as they relate to Barnes & Noble or the management of Barnes & Noble, identify forward-looking statements.

Such statements reflect the current views of Barnes & Noble with respect to future events, the outcome of which is subject to certain risks, including, among others, the general economic environment and consumer spending patterns, decreased consumer demand for Barnes & Noble’s products, low growth or declining sales and net income due to various factors, including store closings, higher-than-anticipated or increasing costs, including with respect to store closings, relocation, occupancy (including in connection with lease renewals) and labor costs, the effects of competition, the risk of insufficient access to financing to implement future business initiatives, risks associated with data privacy and information security, risks associated with Barnes & Noble’s supply chain, including possible delays and disruptions and increases in shipping rates, various risks associated with the digital business, including the possible loss of customers, declines in digital content sales, risks and costs associated with ongoing efforts to rationalize the digital business and the digital business not being able to perform its obligations under the Samsung commercial agreement and the consequences thereof, the risk that financial and operational forecasts and projections are not achieved, the performance of Barnes & Noble’s initiatives including but not limited to its new store concept and e-commerce initiatives, unanticipated adverse litigation results or effects, potential infringement of Barnes & Noble’s intellectual property by third parties or by Barnes & Noble of the intellectual property of third parties, and other factors, including those factors discussed in detail in Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” in Barnes & Noble’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended May 2, 2015, and in Barnes & Noble’s other filings made hereafter from time to time with the SEC.

Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results or outcomes may vary materially from those described as anticipated, believed, estimated, expected, intended or planned. Subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Barnes & Noble or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements in this paragraph. Barnes & Noble undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise after the date of this communication.

Contacts:
Mary Ellen Keating
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3323
mkeating@bn.com

Andy Milevoj
Vice President,
Investor Relations
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3489
amilevoj@bn.com

Source: Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Philippines: SM Foundation renovated its third Philippine National Police (PNP) medical facility

PASAY CITY, PHILIPPINES,  2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Foundation continues its support for our men and women in uniform as it turned over its 116th Felicidad Sy Wellness Center- the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Health Service Dispensary in Silang, Cavite on June 23. This is its 17th soldiers’ ward rehabilitated and its third PNP medical facility renovated to date.

The newly-renovated dispensary includes a reception area, lounge, waiting area for patients, physical examination room, physical therapy room, pharmacy, records and supply room, medication room, medical chief’s room, emergency room, toilets and utility rooms as well as a gender responsive Cadets Ward (male and female wards).

“This is all for you, our dear policemen and women, whose sworn duty to God and our country is to safeguard and protect our communities and its members,” Connie Angeles, SM Foundation’s Executive Director of Health and Medical Programs, said during the turnover ceremony.

The facility came fully furnished with a television, a sofa set, office tables and chairs, and bed sets. Angeles also added that SM Foundation will undertake regular maintenance of the dispensary every few years, as with all SM Foundation-adopted health facilities.

The PNPA has honed future public safety leaders and personnel of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology for more than three decades. Serving them is the PNPA Health Service Dispensary, which supports the healthcare needs of PNPA’s 1,000 residents and personnel as well as civilians from surrounding barangays.

Prior to the turnover, SM Foundation also held a medical mission which benefitted around 300 PNPA cadets and personnel as well as civilians from the nearby barangays. Participants were provided free medical services such as consultations, basic laboratory tests and medicine.

About SM Foundation
As the heart of the SM group of companies, SM Foundation is focused on social development and helps the underprivileged in communities where SM is present. SM Foundation was established in 1983 by Henry Sy, Sr. and Felicidad T. Sy, anchored in its founding principle of PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE. Committed to serve, SM Foundation SUPPORTS COMMUNITIES by providing opportunities in education, healthcare, farmers’ training, shelter, disaster response, the environment and care for persons with special needs. SM works hand in hand with its host communities and helps create a positive and lasting growth that is felt by all.

For more information:
Connie Angeles
Executive Director for Health and Medical Programs
Email: healthandmedical@sm-foundation.org
Visit us at sm-foundation.org
Facebook.com/SMFoundationInc/
@SMFoundationInc 

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Philippines: SM Foundation renovated its third Philippine National Police (PNP) medical facility
Philippines: SM Foundation renovated its third Philippine National Police (PNP) medical facility

Source: SM

World-class barista Mason Salisbury to train Costa baristas

LONDON, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Costa, the nation’s favorite coffee shop, has flown world-class barista and Instagram star, Mason Salisbury 5,000 miles across the world to train their baristas to make Rainbow Flat Whites in selected stores in time for this summer’s Pride celebrations.

Five Costa baristas from across the UK, especially selected for their latte art skills, spent a day learning Mason’s technique of creating rainbow art in the milk poured into a Flat White, ahead of London kicking off their Pride celebrations on 25th June.

The Rainbow Flat Whites will be served in four cities this summer to show Costa’s support for Pride and the LGBT+ community, including London on 25th June, Bristol on 9th July, Brighton on 6th August and Manchester on 27th August.

The Las Vegas barista has become a hit on his social media channel with 25,500 followers thanks to his visually stunning coffees and mesmerising pouring technique.

As an equal opportunities employer, Costa is a founding partner in GLOW (Gay Lesbian Out at Whitbread), which provides a network for the companies’ LGBT+ community as well as straight allies. People from across the whole Costa business – and the parent company Whitbread – from graduates, store teams to senior Directors meet regularly for networking sessions.

John Kerslake, Costa’s UK & Ireland Operations Director and co-founder of Costa GLOW commented: “We’re delighted to have Mason fly over from Las Vegas to train our baristas to make Rainbow Flat Whites. We believe that it’s not just our coffee but the people that make Costa so great and Mason definitely shares that mentality. He pours his bright and colorful personality into every cup and we’re so pleased he could share this skill with our baristas.

“Being an open and fair employer is extremely important to Costa: we’re proud to champion equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We hope to demonstrate our forward-thinking ethos with our Rainbow Flat Whites and will continue to show our support for Pride and the LGBT+ community.”

Mason Salisbury added: “Coffee is my biggest passion, so I was really excited when Costa invited me to come to the UK to show their baristas how to make rainbow coffees. The baristas were all fast learners, highly skilled and fun to work with, so we had a great time. Pride is such an incredible event and I’m thrilled that my rainbow coffees get to be a part of it.”

The Costa Rainbow Flat Whites will be available from the following participating stores on 25th June during London Pride at the normal RRP of £2.50:

  • •4 Great Portland St, London W1W 8QJ
  • •11 Argyll St, London W1F 7TH
  • •200 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD
  • •15 Regent St, London SW1Y 4LR
  • •Waterstones Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5EJ

For more information please contact: the Costa press office on 0207 467 9278 or at Costateam@onegreenbean.com

Notes to editors

1 UK Equity Costa Coffee employees.

Founded in London by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa in 1971, our quality coffee was the premium choice for boutique hotels and restaurants across the city. Today we continue to roast the original Mocha Italia recipe in Old Paradise Street, London with our 100% Rainforest Alliance certified coffee remaining at the core of our quality coffee credentials.

With over 2,000 coffee shops in the UK and more than 1,240 in 31 overseas markets, we are the fastest growing coffee shop business in the UK. We’re proud to be the UK’s favourite coffee shop, having been awarded “Best Branded Coffee Shop Chain in the UK and Ireland” by Allegra Strategies for six years running (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & December 2015).

Our people are the heart of our business and we employ over 30,000 people worldwide, with a target of 5,000 new jobs in the UK by 2020. Last year, we increased Barista pay by c.10%. Our Pay for progression model was introduced in October 2015, and our training rate of £7.20 was launched well ahead of National Living Wage.

As a popular, mainstream food and beverage brand, we can make a positive contribution towards customer health and wellbeing by investing in safe sourcing, new product development and consumer education. Health and wellbeing remains a strategic business focus area and we will continue to evolve our product offer over the coming years. We are working to reduce added sugar in our drinks by 25% by 2020 and will reduce salt in our sandwich range by a further 5% by 2017.

We care about the communities we operate in with our store teams volunteering over 10,000 hours of their time to lend support to over 900 local community projects.

Looking after coffee growers is extremely important to us, which is why we established The Costa Foundation, a registered charity with the aim to relieve poverty, advance education and the health and environment of coffee-growing communities around the world. So far, The Costa Foundation has funded the building of 53 schools and improved the social and economic welfare of coffee-growing communities.

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World-class barista Mason Salisbury to train Costa baristas

World-class barista Mason Salisbury to train Costa baristas

 

Source: Costa

The securities class action lawsuit against Alibaba Group dismissed by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

San Francisco, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) today announced that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed in its entirety a consolidated securities class action lawsuit brought against Alibaba Group and several executives concerning disclosures primarily made in connection with the company’s initial public offering.

The Court dismissed the case based on a finding that Plaintiffs had failed to plead that Alibaba made any actionable misstatements or omissions, and also failed to plead facts sufficient to show that any of the defendants sought to defraud investors. The Court also found Alibaba’s Registration Statement to be “unusually comprehensive” and to “fully disclose[] all substantive investment risks.”

As Alibaba Group disclosed previously, seven shareholder class action lawsuits were filed against the company asserting claims of securities fraud under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act since January 30, 2015, following the release of the so-called “white paper” briefly published on the website of the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”).

The plaintiffs generally alleged that Alibaba’s Registration Statement, IPO prospectus, and various other public statements, were false and misleading because they failed to disclose heightened regulatory scrutiny by the SAIC prior to the company’s IPO.

Contrary to the plaintiff’s complaint, the Court found Alibaba’s disclosures to be “accurate and sufficiently candid” with regard to their description of the SAIC’s crackdown on violations of Chinese laws on e-commerce sites. The Court also held that Alibaba did not downplay the problem of counterfeit sales on its platforms or the likelihood of an administrative action with respect to such issue.

Alibaba is pleased that the judge in the Southern District of New York has dismissed the litigation and concluded that Plaintiffs have failed to state any claim for violation of the U.S. securities laws.

The lawsuits are docketed under the master caption Christine Asia Co., Ltd. et al. v. Alibaba Group Holding Limited et al., No. 1:15-md-02631-CM (S.D.N.Y.) in the Southern District of New York.

Contact:

Alibaba Group Corporate Campus
Alibaba (China) Co., Ltd:

969 West Wen Yi Road
Yu Hang District
Hangzhou 311121
China
Tel: (+86) 571-8502-2088
Fax: (+86) 571-8526-9066

Source: Alibaba Group

Pets at Home Group Plc will hold its AGM on 14 September 2016

LONDON, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Pets at Home Group Plc (LSE: PETS) (the “Company”) today announces that its Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2016 (“Annual Report”), Notice (“Notice”) of the 2016 Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) and Form of Proxy for the 2016 AGM have been sent to shareholders and the Annual Report and Notice are available on the Company’s website at http://investors.petsathome.com.

In compliance with LR9.6.1, the Company has today submitted electronic copies of the following documents to the National Storage Mechanism appointed by the Financial Conduct Authority and these will shortly be available for inspection at http://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/NSM :

·     Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2016

·     Notice of the 2016 AGM

·     Form of Proxy for the 2016 AGM

The Company’s AGM will be held at 11.00 am on 14 September 2016 at the Macdonald Manchester Hotel, London Road, Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2PG.

The directors of the Company have determined that all of the resolutions to be put to a vote at the AGM will be decided on a poll.

The Company’s preliminary results announcement on 26 May 2016 included, in addition to the preliminary financial results for the year ended 31 March 2016, information on important events that occurred during the year and their impact on those financial statements. That information, together with the information set out in the Appendix below is provided in compliance with the requirements of DTR6.3.5(2) (b). This information is not a substitute for reading the full Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2016.

About Pets At Home
Pets at Home Group Plc is the UK’s leading specialist pet omnichannel retailer and services provider. Pets at Home operates from 419 superstores located across the UK. The Group operates the UK’s largest small animal veterinary business with 388 practices, run principally under a Joint Venture model using the Vets4Pets and Companion Care brand names, and four veterinary specialist referral centres. Pets at Home is the UK’s leading operator of pet grooming services offered through its 240 grooming salons. The Group also operates 7 specialist High Street based dog stores, called Barkers, as well as Ride-away, an equine retail business with a superstore and website. For more information visit :http://investors.petsathome.com/

Enquiries

Pets at Home Group Plc:
+44 (0) 161 486 6688
Louise Stonier
Company Secretary

Source:Pets at Home Group Plc

 

 

Kroger to pay 12 cents per share quarterly dividend; 14 percent up

CINCINNATI, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced that its Board of Directors raised the quarterly dividend by 14 percent, to 12 cents per share, to be paid on September 1, 2016, to shareholders of record on the close of business on August 15, 2016.

Kroger today also announced a new, $500 million share repurchase program, replacing the prior authorization, which has been exhausted.

“We remain committed to delivering value to shareholders. Kroger has delivered double-digit compound growth in its dividend since we reinstated it in 2006,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “Our strong cash flow has enabled us to return to shareholders more than $2.7 billion in dividends since 2006.”

The company continues to expect an increasing dividend over time.

“Kroger has also returned $12.9 billion to shareholders through share repurchases since January 2000 – effectively buying back half the company’s shares over the last sixteen years,” said Mr. McMullen.

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 2,230 pharmacies, 785 convenience stores, 323 fine jewelry stores, 1,400 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.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, about the future performance of the company. These statements are based on management’s assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. Such statements are indicated by the words “expect” and “continues.”  Our ability to continue to repurchase shares, fund dividends, and increase our dividend over time will be affected by our ability to generate free cash flow at the levels anticipated and our ability to generate expected operating results. These forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. We assume no obligation to update the information contained herein. Please refer to Kroger’s reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a further discussion of these risks and uncertainties.

Contact:

Call Center
(Open Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST)
1-866-221-4141

Mail
The Kroger Co.
Customer Relations
1014 Vine Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-1100

Corporate Switchboard
(513) 762-4000

SOURCE: The Kroger Co.

Stella McCartney supports PETA and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home with new dedicated store window installation

STELLA MCCARTNEY DEDICATES NEW STORE WINDOW INSTALLATION IN SUPPORT OF PETA AND BATTERSEA DOGS & CATS HOME #STELLAMCCATNEY

LONDON, 2016-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — As a longtime advocate of animal rights and welfare, Stella McCartney supports PETA and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home through a new dedicated store window installation. Reflecting the theme of her current Autumn 2016 collection, the designer playfully adapts the cheeky cat motif into a graphic neon installation that will now be featured in 19 Stella McCartney freestanding store windows across Europe, USA and Asia.

The Stella McCartney cat installation windows will contain messaging to encourage contributions to the charities and will be on display until the beginning of September, after which they will be donated to both organizations. The donations to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home from the Stella McCartney 2 London stores will go towards the cost of caring for dogs and cats at their 3 locations around the country, while the funds raised for PETA from all Stella McCartney stores worldwide will benefit their campaign to spay and neuter cats. In addition to the neon cat display in the windows; a social media campaign will also be launched to support the initiative with a dedicated hashtag playing off the cat motif #StellaMcCatney.

 About Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney is a 50/50 joint venture partnership between Ms. Stella McCartney and Kering established in 2001. A lifelong vegetarian, Stella McCartney does not use any leather or fur in her designs. The brand’s ready-to-wear, accessories, lingerie, fragrance, kids and adidas by Stella McCartney collections are available through 47 other free-standing stores including London, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris and Milan as well as around 600 wholesale accounts in key cities worldwide. For more information, please visit www.stellamccartney.com

About PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 5 million members and supporters. PETA works to eliminate animal suffering through public education, cruelty investigations, research, rescue, legislation, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns. Since 2001, PETA has spayed or neutered 80,000 cats near its Virginia headquarters in efforts to combat the animal overpopulation crisis and overcrowding at shelters. PETA regularly produces creative ads and videos encouraging spaying and neutering, adopting animals from shelters, and treating companion animals like family. For more information, please visit www.peta.org

About Battersea Dogs & Cats Home 

Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims to never turn away a dog or cat in need of help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found, no matter how long it takes. Battersea champions and supports vulnerable dogs and cats. For more information, please visit www.battersea.org.uk

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Stella McCartney supports PETA and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home with new dedicated store window installation

Stella McCartney supports PETA and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home with new dedicated store window installation

 

Source: STELLA MCCARTNEY