Macy’s announces the pilot of its mobile web tool “Macy’s On Call”

NEW YORK, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Jul. 20, 2016), Macy’s (NYSE:M) announced the pilot of “Macy’s On Call,” a mobile web tool that allows customers to interact with an AI-powered platform via their mobile devices. “Macy’s On Call” taps IBM Watson, via Satisfi, an intelligent engagement platform, to deliver a first-of-its-kind solution that will enhance the customer in-store shopping experience at 10 test locations nationwide.

The mobile companion, accessed via a mobile browser, allows customers to input natural language questions regarding each participating store’s unique product assortment, services and facilities and receive a customized response to the inquiry. There are a number of ways that customers may request information. For example, a customer could type, “Where are the women’s shoes?” or type a combination of brand and product inquiry such as “I.N.C dress,” and they will receive the relevant response and location of that product in the store.

Since each Macy’s store is different, and consumers increasingly prefer mobile platforms, “Macy’s On Call” is providing shoppers with a helpful tool to get information fast as they shop and navigate the store. The system will evolve as it learns more about each store’s customers. This is already evident in the popular searches category, which highlights the most asked questions, responses to which can be accessed at the click of the appropriate button.

As part of the pilot, Macy’s is also incorporating a Spanish language feature to serve a broader subset of its customer base in select stores.

“At Macy’s, we remain focused on identifying, testing and supporting new ideas and approaches that will help elevate service to our customers through technology. With an eye towards innovation, we are moving fast to test and scale up pilot programs that help enhance their experience with us,” said Peter Sachse, Macy’s chief growth officer. “This program, in partnership with Satisfi and leveraging the power of IBM Watson, will help us explore new ways to engage one-on-one with customers in-store, providing them another level of service right at their fingertips.”

“Bringing Watson into a retail store setting presents an opportunity to engage with the consumer on a variety of levels. This particular use case takes Watson beyond helping consumers evaluate purchasing decisions, and influences another, equally important aspect of the in-store experience – ease of use in locating products, facilities and services,” said David Kenny, general manager of IBM Watson. “As more developer partners like Satisfi continue to build with the technology, we see Watson more frequently being delivered into the hands of consumers, and we’re looking forward to learning more from this pilot with Macy’s and Satisfi.”

“The entire Satisfi team is delighted to be working with such an iconic brand as Macy’s to leverage the power of IBM Watson on this exciting project. The combination of Satisfi’s location-based, intelligent engagement software, with the cognitive learning capabilities of IBM’s Watson, has helped us build a powerful and comprehensive tool to enhance the in-store shopping environment,” said Don White, Satisfi’s chief revenue officer. “Macy’s has been a great partner for this project because of their commitment to exploring new technology that can elevate one-on-one interactions with customers, creating a more relevant and personal experience for them.”

Accessed via macys.com/storehelp, the pilot of “Macy’s On Call” answers store navigation details provided by department, brand and product category, as well as provides insight into the unique in-store services available at each test location – from My Stylist@Macy’s personal shoppers to Buy Online, Pickup in Store counters, and store facilities, including restrooms. The engagement is conducted through a simple question and answer interface leveraging Watson’s Natural Language Classifier, that is helping Macy’s learn more about the features and services that most resonate with shoppers. Additionally, in the Miami-area pilot locations, the interface is available for customers in Spanish, via Watson Language Translation, as Macy’s tests language capabilities, functionality and consumer interest in engagement via preferred languages.

Ten store locations were chosen representing a cross section of Macy’s store portfolio. Five of the locations serve as the base learning stores, with the Watson implementation deployed solely as a customer led self-serve initiative. The other five locations have an enhanced layer of associate support available to complement the virtual interactions. At these locations, customers can input a request for face-to-face engagement with a Macy’s specialist associate.

While Watson technology can power interactions in a number of ways, the first phase of this pilot program is applying Watson’s natural language capabilities in a physical retail environment, focused on three customer centric categories – each store’s unique products, services and layout. Satisfi accesses Watson’s technology from the cloud and this model is helping facilitate ongoing learnings and improvements to the solution. As the program progresses, Macy’s aims to closely study and gauge other potential uses of the technology, with the goal of implementing Watson’s full cognitive dialog capabilities in future phases.

At all 10 test locations customers are encouraged to visit macys.com/storehelp on their mobile browser to engage with the in-store companion. The first phase of Macy’s On Call recently launched and is expected to run through late fall of 2016.

“Macy’s On Call” pilot stores are as follow:

Base learning locations:

Macy’s Montgomery – Bethesda, MD

Macy’s Woodbridge Center – Woodbridge, NJ

Macy’s Clackamas Town Center – Portland, OR

Macy’s Santa Anita – Arcadia, CA

Macy’s Miami International – Miami

Connect @ Macy’s locations with additional sales associate support:

Macy’s Short Hills – Short Hills, NJ

Macy’s Mall of Georgia – Buford, GA

Macy’s Lenox Square – Atlanta

Macy’s Aventura – North Miami

Macy’s Roosevelt Field – Garden City, NY

About Macy’s
Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 734 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at macys.com. Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy’s offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy’s flagship stores — including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, and Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern California — are known internationally and are leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers and employees, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $69 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.

For Macy’s media materials, including images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at macys.com/pressroom.

About Satisfi:
Satisfi is a location-based intelligent engagement platform that combines the speed and accuracy of automation and the personality of a live person. Using Satisfi, conversion opportunities can be driven in real-time by capturing customer intentions, sentiments, questions and needs. The resulting customer engagements enhance the on-site experience by introducing additional features and bring to light previously unknown information and insights.

About IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing:
Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world the way humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns from previous interactions, gaining in value and knowledge over time. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

As part of IBM’s strategy to accelerate the growth of cognitive computing, Watson is open to the world, allowing a growing community of over one million developers, students, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to easily tap into the most advanced and diverse cognitive computing platform available today. Hundreds of clients and partners across six continents and across dozens of industries actively use Watson. More than 550 are already commercializing their ideas and over 100 of these partners have already introduced commercial cognitive enabled apps, products and services to the market.

Macy’s Media Relations:

Orlando Veras
646-429-7450
orlando.veras@macys.com

IBM Watson External Relations:
Gabrielle Gugliocciello
314-494-8715
gguglio@us.ibm.com

###

Macy’s announces the pilot of its mobile web tool “Macy’s On Call”
Macy’s announces the pilot of its mobile web tool “Macy’s On Call”

 

Source: Macy’s

More than 7,000 Amazon employees have participated in its Career Choice Program since inception in July of 2012

SEATTLE, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced milestones for its innovative Career Choice Program. The key features of the company’s peculiar Career Choice Program are that it pre-pays 95 percent of the cost of tuition to remove the financial barrier associated with returning to school, makes it easier for employees to participate by offering dedicated Career Choice classrooms on-site, and exclusively supports coursework related to in-demand fields according to sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics – even if those skills are not related to jobs at Amazon. Since its inception four years ago, more than 7,000 Amazon employees in 10 countries have participated in Career Choice.

“We’re energized by the interest and enthusiasm in Career Choice that we’ve seen from our employees,” said Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations for Amazon. “Through Career Choice our employees are becoming nurses, pharmacy technicians, accountants, and commercial drivers – all high-demand fields and many that provide a great service to the community. We’re very proud of our employees who are taking advantage of the opportunity and look forward to seeing many more step forward in the years to come.”

Since the launch of Career Choice, Amazon has made several enhancements and incremental investments in the program since it first launched in July of 2012:

  • Increased the amount of tuition pre-paid for courses to $12,000 over four years.
  • Decreased the amount of time associates must be with the company to become eligible to just one year of employment.
  • Reduced associate commuting times by bringing college and vocational courses onsite.
  • Created purpose-built classrooms at eight of its U.S. fulfillment centers and announced plans earlier this year to create an additional 25 dedicated on-site Career Choice classrooms. (Associate participation rates at fulfillment centers with dedicated on-site classrooms rose by 107 percent over prior years).
  • Beginning this year, most new fulfillment centers will be built with on-site classrooms as part of their standard blueprint. Amazon will also invest in building dedicated on-site classrooms at a dozen additional existing fulfillment centers across the U.S.

Highlights of employee participation:

  • More than 7,000 hourly employees in 10 countries have participated in the program.
  • More than 1,300 associates have taken a college-level course or vocational program onsite at an Amazon fulfillment center. That’s the equivalent enrollment of a small college.
  • Amazon associates have taken classes at nearly 1,500 different educational institutions since the program’s inception. That’s more than the number of public community colleges in the U.S.
  • Since the program’s launch, employees are pursuing degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming, and radiology, to name a few. Top chosen fields of study for Amazon employees are commercial driver license, computer and information technology, health and sciences, and accounting.
  • The most popular course taken by Amazon employees is Commercial Driver Training. Amazon employees have collectively driven semi-trailer trucks more than 15 million miles as part of their training and in the first months of their new careers. That’s the equivalent of traveling around the world 600 times.

Amazon is now open-sourcing the Career Choice Program and sharing its best practices and lessons learned to help other companies implement similar programs. To learn more about Career Choice and how it can be applied at other businesses, contact Juan Garcia at CareerChoice@amazon.com.

In addition to the Career Choice Program, full-time hourly Amazon employees receive competitive wages and a comprehensive benefits package, including healthcare, 401(k) and company stock awards starting on day one, as well as generous maternity and parental leave benefits. Interested candidates can learn more or apply online at www.amazondelivers.jobs.

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

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

Source: Amazon.com

Starbucks opens its first express store in London’s Canary Wharf

LONDON, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (July 20, 2016), the first Starbucks express store in Europe opens in London’s major business hub, Canary Wharf.  With an open layout, the new store features a walk-through experience and a streamlined menu at an early order point which allows customers to order, pay and pick-up even faster.

“We recognize some of our customers, especially busy commuters in Canary Wharf, are moving at a fast pace and efficient, high-quality service whatever the time of day,” said Rhys ‎Iley, vice president operations, Starbucks Europe, Middle East & Africa. “We’re excited to bring this unique store format to the UK, the first time for Starbucks outside of the U.S. and Canada. This follows the digital innovations we have rolled out to improve convenience for customers.”

Designed for people on-the-go who want Starbucks products, coupled with the efficiency that comes from knowing what they want, the store offers a welcoming environment with the barista and customer at its heart. Design features include textures of complementary natural wood and marble.

The streamlined menu focuses on high-quality brewed coffee, signature espresso beverages and a selection of popular food items including breakfast sandwiches, all displayed on digital menu boards that rotate throughout the day. For customers who choose to order ahead, Mobile Order & Pay is also integrated.

“The new express format is the latest in our evolving store portfolio, which aims to meet the needs of our customers while keeping our baristas at the heart of the customer experience,” added Iley.

The London launch follows the successful express format store openings in New York, Toronto and Chicago.

Media contact:

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

###

Starbucks opens its first express store in London’s Canary Wharf
Starbucks opens its first express store in London’s Canary Wharf

 

Source: Starbucks

Louis Vuitton launches new collection of rolling luggage in collaboration with Marc Newson

Louis Vuitton has unveiled  a new collection of rolling luggage created in collaboration with Australian designer Marc Newson. Amazingly lightweight and sturdy, the new Louis Vuitton luggage is expressly designed for the 21st century traveler.

Paris, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Louis Vuitton first made its reputation by creating travel trunks matched to the needs of travelers.  Today the House carries on this tradition with a new collection of wheeled suitcases, designed in collaboration with Marc Newson. “What compelled me to join forces with Louis Vuitton was the challenge to design a great piece of luggage,” says the designer, recognized for his innovative style in a wide range of disciplines. “Like a lot of people, I travel a lot and I feel that I am in many ways kind of uniquely placed to be able to create this luggage, both as  a consumer and as a designer.

Eighteen months of development and three patent applications resulted in a totally innovative suitcase. Made of a new  composite material that is both exceptionally thin and elastic, the luggage is able to withstand the rigors of travel while weighing less. Even the Monogram canvas is lighter thanks to a specially developed version that weighs 50% less without compromising the original characteristics. In a nod to Louis Vuitton’s historic trunks, the corners and handles are covered with natural cowhide. Thanks to a structure that increases resistance and frees interior space, the new luggage boasts an increase in internal volume of 15% while at the same time reducing its weight.

The Maison has introduced innovative services too, offering a 48-hour after-sales repair service in 14 cities around the world, integrated in the Louis Vuitton travel app.

Media contact:

LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton
22, avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris – France
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 13 22 22
Fax: +33 (0)1 44 13 22 23

###

Louis Vuitton launches new collection of rolling luggage in collaboration with Marc Newson
Louis Vuitton launches new collection of rolling luggage in collaboration with Marc Newson

 

Source: LVMH

EROSKI ha inaugurado en Binissalem su primera gasolinera de Mallorca

Binissalem, Mallorca,  España, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — EROSKI ha inaugurado esta mañana la primera gasolinera de esta cooperativa en Mallorca y segunda en Baleares, ya que la cadena ya cuenta con otra estación de servicio de características similares en Sant Lluís, Menorca. Con estas dos gasolineras, EROSKI es la primera y única cadena de distribución que ofrece el servicio de repostaje de combustible en Baleares.

La estación de servicio de Binissalem cuenta con un surtidor, con dos calles de servicio. Tiene capacidad para almacenar hasta 60.000 litros de combustible, repartidos entre gasóleo A (40.000 litros) y gasolina súper 95 (20.000 litros), las dos modalidades de combustible más demandadas. EROSKI prevé el paso de más de 80.000 vehículos al año y un incremento asociado de las ventas del supermercado del 4%.

La iniciativa, según Alfredo Herráez, director de EROSKI en Baleares, responde a la voluntad de EROSKI por ofrecer a sus clientes un ahorro significativo en un bien de gran consumo como es el combustible, “como venimos haciendo desde siempre con los productos de nuestros supermercados”, ha argumentado. “Nos diferenciamos, entre otras cosas, por el ahorro que generamos a nuestros clientes a través de su tarjeta EROSKI Club, que también puede ser utilizada en las gasolineras EROSKI para obtener puntos Travel Club y canjear el ahorro acumulado por combustible gratis” ha explicado Herráez.

En cuanto al plan de expansión de esta línea de negocio en Baleares, Alfredo Herráez ha anunciado nuevas aperturas, sin concretar ubicaciones ni fechas.

Datos de contacto con el Departamento de Comunicación:

944 158 642
comunicacion@eroski.es

###

EROSKI ha inaugurado en Binissalem su primera gasolinera de Mallorca
EROSKI ha inaugurado en Binissalem su primera gasolinera de Mallorca

 

Source: Eroski

Sainsbury’s tackles banana wastage by trialling loaves of banana bread baked fresh in store

London, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Britons are eating an average of three per week, which is 12 kg per year, and rank them as a favourite healthy snack. However, despite our love affair with the banana, we are binning 162 million each year.

New research from Sainsbury’s has revealed the nation’s particular preferences are contributing to the ‘bin-nana’ trend. While 81% of people either like or love the fruit, and almost 20% eat one every day, nearly 30% will bin a banana if it shows even a minor bruise, or a single black mark on the skin.

Paul Crewe, Head of Sustainability for Sainsbury’s said: “To bring this to life, if you lined up the 162 million wasted bananas from end-to-end, they would stretch from London to Wellington in New Zealand! I think it’s safe to say that’s a whole bunch of banana-drama!

Bananas are clearly very popular, but so many of us won’t touch them unless they’re anything short of perfect. With approximately three bananas per loaf, banana bread is a brilliant way of saving bin-bound fruit.

And Sainsbury’s is leading by example – from this week, we’ll be trialling loaves of banana bread baked fresh in store, using fruit at or after its sell-by date. The bread will be available at selected in-store bakeries, and we estimate that this trial alone will save over 1,000 bananas. It’s a really great way of using up food that could otherwise be thrown away – simply because it’s deemed ‘not perfect’.”

The banana loaves are being sold at seven selected Sainsbury’s stores and, if the trials prove successful, could be expanded across the UK. The move follows the introduction of Sainsbury’s Waste less, Save more programme to help customers across the UK help cut down on the amount of food they unnecessarily throw away. Each year the average family bins over £700 of food, with 7 million tonnes of avoidable food waste going to landfill from UK homes.

Paul Crewe from Sainsbury’s continues: “Currently only 4.1% of households use bananas to make bread but it’s the perfect way to reduce waste when you don’t like the look of them anymore. We’re going to give it a try in our stores and we want customers to join us at home too.”

For any customers wishing to make their own banana bread, a simple recipe can be found on the Food Rescue website: https://www.sainsburysfoodrescue.co.uk/recipe/598

Recipe: Nutty Topped Banana Bread

Prep time: 15m
Cooking time: 55m
Ready: 1h 10m

Serves: 12 persons

Ingredients:
225g pack sponge mix
1 medium egg, beaten
75ml cold water
4 small ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
½ teaspoon sunflower oil
15g demerara sugar

Optional:
25g walnuts, chopped
100g sultanas
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease and line the bottom of a 1lb loaf tin with the sunflower oil and greaseproof paper.

Make the sponge mix using the egg and water, to pack instructions, then stir in the bananas and cinnamon.

Using an electric whisk, beat together for 2-3 minutes, then fold in the sultanas. Pour into the loaf tin and sprinkle over the walnuts and sugar.

Bake for 55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Allergy tip: If your child has a nut allergy, replace the walnuts with a sprinkling of porridge oats on top instead. This recipe contains naturally occurring sugars.

Britain’s love affair with bananas in numbers
1. Our top ways to eat bananas are as they come, on cereal or granola, or in smoothies.
2. 59% of us love them because they’re great for healthy snacking on the go.
3. 47% love the energy boost a banana gives.
4. 45% of us like that they don’t need washing.
5. Other things we love about bananas are that they’re easy to transport, versatile to eat and kids love them.
6. 35% of us will break a bruised it off of a banana and eat the rest.
7. 25% don’t mind eating the bruised bits.
8. 13% won’t eat a banana if the skin is green in any area.
9. 11% never eat bananas.
10. Of the 19% of people who don’t like bananas – taste, texture and smell were the top three reasons.

For corporate press enquiries please contact:

press_office@sainsburys.co.uk
call 020 7695 7295

###

Sainsbury’s tackles banana wastage by trialling loaves of banana bread baked fresh in store
Sainsbury’s tackles banana wastage by trialling loaves of banana bread baked fresh in store

 

Source: JSainsbury

SONIC® Drive-In introduces one-of-a-kind Master Blast flavors blending the perfect combination of sweet and salty

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ —  SONIC® Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC) introduces a magnetic attraction for your taste buds with one-of-a-kind Master Blast flavors blending the perfect combination of sweet and salty. If you crave the unconventional, these sweet and salty creations are perfect for you.

SONIC’s Sweet & Salty Master Blasts® create bold new flavor and texture combinations by hand-mixing unique ingredients into SONIC’s creamy Real Ice Cream. Two worlds collide to create unexpected tastes in one bite with five news flavors: Oreo® Peanut Butter & Pretzel, Salted Caramel Pretzel Cluster, Dark Chocolate Pretzel & Chip, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Potato Chip Cluster and Salted Caramel Cookie Dough & Chip. There has never been a more delicious way to explore your “sweet and creamy meets salty and crunchy” craving.

“Sweet and salty is an iconic combination with timeless popularity, making these unique matches the perfect addition to our celebrated Master Blast menu,” said Scott Uehlein, vice president of product innovation and development for SONIC. “In addition to enjoying the five new Sweet & Salty Master Blast flavors, our guests can create any number of fully customizable, hand-mixed combinations.”

SONIC’s Sweet & Salty Master Blast join a wide variety of high-quality Master Blast flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter & Cookie Dough Dream and Waffleberry Brownie.

Don’t settle for a regular dessert when you can experience SONIC’s Sweet & Salty Master Blasts made with Real Ice Cream. These sweet and salty treats are only available for a limited time, so get yours before they’re gone!

About SONIC, America’s Drive-In
SONIC, America’s Drive-In is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain, serving more than 3 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. Over more than 60 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, more than 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. Since the 2009 launch of SONIC’s Limeades for Learning philanthropic campaign in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, SONIC has donated more than $6 million to public school teachers nationwide to fund essential learning materials and innovative teaching resources to inspire creativity and learning in today’s youth. To learn more about Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit sonicdrivein.com and please visit or follow us on Facebook  and Twitter. To learn more about SONIC’s Limeades for Learning initiative, please visit Limeadesforlearning.com.

Contact:

for SONIC Drive-In
Matthew Young
512-542-2802
Matthew.Young@cohnwolfe.com

###

SONIC® Drive-In introduces one-of-a-kind Master Blast flavors blending the perfect combination of sweet and salty
SONIC® Drive-In introduces one-of-a-kind Master Blast flavors blending the perfect combination of sweet and salty

 

Source: SONIC Drive-In

H&M releases For Every Victory campaign film to coincide with new sports-collection

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — H&M’s For Every Victory campaign film celebrates the power of sports and self-belief to transform people’s lives. The film is released to coincide with the For Every Victory sports-collection which is available in stores and online this week.

“I truly believe in the power of sports to bring positive change to people’s lives. This is why I’m so proud to be part of the For Every Victory campaign, because it reminds me of the strength and bravery of people around the world to be their authentic selves and overcome any obstacles that may come their way,” says Caitlyn Jenner, former Olympic gold medallist in decathlon who dared to stand up for her true identity and is starring in the film.

The film also includes characters such as Chelsea Warner, a gymnast who has never let Downs syndrome halt her progress; surfer Mike Coots who still takes to his board even though he lost his leg in a shark attack and boxer Namibia Flores who has fought against prejudice to pursue her dreams. The film also features the rugby team King Cross Steelers, which has helped change perceptions about sexual orientation and sports; a female skate crew who think of their sport as a universal language and a form of creative expression; and Jose Aballi who won’t let any obstacles stop his dream of becoming a professional baseball player.

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

###

H&M releases For Every Victory campaign film to coincide with new sports-collection
H&M releases For Every Victory campaign film to coincide with new sports-collection

 

Source: H&M

British Land to support the UK entry at the inaugural London Design Biennale to be designed by Barber & Osgerby

London, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — British Land has today announced that it will be supporting the UK entry at the inaugural London Design Biennale, which will be designed by internationally renowned design studio, Barber & Osgerby. The event, taking place at Somerset House from 7th-27th September, will bring together over 30 countries who are presenting new works that explore the theme of Utopia by Design, to mark the 500th anniversary of Sir Thomas More’s influential book.

This follows the recent announcement of British Land as the Headline Partner at the London Design Festival. British Land acknowledges the important role design plays in creating a sense of place. The company also has a long history of working with leaders in architecture, art and design, to create distinctive landmarks and public art installations. Its continued commitment to innovative and inspired design to create Places People Prefer forms an integral part of British Land’s approach to placemaking, creating places where people want to work, shop and live.

The UK entry, entitled Forecast, is being designed by award winning London design studio, Barber & Osgerby, and is curated by the Victoria & Albert Museum. The wind-powered installation will be located in the courtyard at Somerset House, and is inspired by weather measuring instruments to reflect the UK’s development in sustainable energy. Barber & Osgerby, who were behind the London 2012 Olympic Torch, won the Design Medal at the British Land Celebration of Design in 2015, which awards outstanding contribution to the design industry.

To continue the legacy of the first ever London Design Biennale, British Land will donate the installation to a new location in the UK to ensure it can be viewed and enjoyed by a wider community.

British Land CEO, Chris Grigg, comments: “Design is key to our ambition to create Places People Prefer; places where people want to work, shop and live. Our partnership with the V&A and the London Design Biennale, to deliver the UK’s stunning installation by Barber & Osgerby, demonstrates our commitment to innovative and engaging design which has a positive impact on local communities.”

Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby comment: “We are honoured to be designing the UK pavilion in London’s first ever design biennale and so pleased for it to be supported by British Land. British Land’s commitment to furthering design and innovation is significant and we feel fortunate to have had this platform to represent the UK.”

Notes to Editors

About British Land
We are one of Europe’s largest publicly listed real estate companies. We own, manage, develop and finance a portfolio of high quality commercial property, focused on retail locations around the UK and London offices. We have total assets in the UK, owned or managed of £19.7 billion (of which British Land share is £14.4 billion), as valued at 30 September 2015. Our properties are home to over 1,200 different organisations ranging from international brands to local start-ups. Our objective is to deliver long-term and sustainable total returns to our shareholders and we do this by focusing on Places People Prefer. People have a choice where they work, shop and live and we aim to create outstanding places which make a positive difference to people’s everyday lives. Our customer orientation enables us to develop a deep understanding of the people who use our places. We employ a lean team of experts, who have the skills to translate this understanding into creating the right places, and we have an efficient capital structure which is able to finance these places effectively.

UK Retail assets account for 51% of our portfolio. As the UK’s largest listed owner and manager of retail space, our portfolio is well matched to the different ways people shop today. We are focused on being the destination of choice for retailers and their customers by being the best provider of spaces and services. Comprising around 22 million sq ft of retail space across shopping parks, superstores, shopping centres, department stores and leisure assets, the retail portfolio is modern, flexible and adaptable to a wide range of formats.

Our Office and Residential portfolio, which accounts for 49% of our portfolio is focused on London. We have an attractive mix of high quality buildings in well managed environments and a pipeline of development projects which will add significantly to our portfolio. Increasingly, our Offices are in mixed-use environments which include retail and residential elements. Our 7.5 million sq ft of high quality office space includes Regent’s Place and Paddington Central in the West End and Broadgate, the premier City office campus (50% share).

We were awarded the 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s highest accolade for business success, for our continued economic, social and environmental achievements over five years. Our industry-leading sustainability strategy is a powerful tool to deliver lasting value for all our stakeholders. By supporting communities, improving environments and growing economies, we create Places People Prefer and enhance long-term returns. Further details can be found on the British Land website at www.britishland.com.

Facebook: British Land PLC https://www.facebook.com/britishlandplc/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BritishLandPLC @BritishLandPLC

Instagram: BritishLandPLC

Corporate hashtags: #BritishLandPLC #PlacesPeoplePrefer #BLDesign

About the London Design Biennale
More than 30 countries have confirmed their participation in the first London Design Biennale; a prestigious global event at which the world’s nations will present newly commissioned works in contemporary design, design-led innovation, creativity and research.

A new highlight of the cultural calendar, the Biennale will see some of the world’s most exciting and ambitious designers, innovators and cultural bodies gather in the capital for a major exhibition that will explore the role of design in our collective futures.

The London Design Biennale is a new independent production from the team behind the London Design Festival. The three-week long Biennale, comprising of an exhibition and collateral talks programme, will overlap the Festival, complementing its citywide programme of commissions and partner events every two years.

Sir John Sorrell, Ben Evans and Dr Christopher Turner are president, executive director and director of the London Design Biennale. The London Design Biennale’s International Advisory Committee and Jury includes: Paola Antonelli, Adelia Borges, James Lingwood, Jeremy Myerson, Jonathan Reekie, Martin Roth,
Victor Lo, Ana Elena Mallet, Kayoko Ota, Richard Rogers and Paula Scher.

The London Design Biennale is supported by the Mayor of London and UK Trade & Investment.

For further information and the full line-up of international entries visit:
www.londondesignbiennale.com | @londonbiennale | #LDB16

For further press information about the London Design Biennale please contact Brunswick Arts on ldb@brunswickgroup.com

About Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby
Designers Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby founded their London studio in 1996. Their diverse body of work spans industrial design, furniture, lighting and site-specific installations as well as gallery and public commissions such as the London 2012 Olympic Torch and projects for the Royal Mint. They are currently working with leading global manufacturers including Knoll, Vitra, B&B Italia, Cappellini, Venini, and Flos. Their work is held in permanent museum collections around the world including V&A and Design Museum in London, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Art Institute of Chicago. In 2001 Barber & Osgerby established Architecture design practice Universal Design Studio, and in 2012 they founded Map, a company specializing in research and strategy-led design.

In 2007 they were awarded Royal Designers for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts and in 2013 the designers were honoured with OBEs for their services to the design industry. In 2015 they were awarded The Panerai London Design Medal .

www.barberosgerby.com
Instagram: @barberosgerby #barberosgerby #forecast

For further press information about Barber & Osgerby please contact Valentina Giani at Camron PR on 020 7420 1700 valentina.giani@camronpr.com

Press Contact:

Pip Wood, British Land
020 7467 2838

Anita Gryson
LUCHFORD APM
020 7631 1000

###

British Land to support the UK entry at the inaugural London Design Biennale to be designed by Barber & Osgerby
British Land to support the UK entry at the inaugural London Design Biennale to be designed by Barber & Osgerby

 

Source: British Land

NRF: Total spending for K-12 and college is expected to reach $75.8 billion from last year’s $68 billion

WASHINGTON, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — With back-to-school spending on a “stock up” cycle rather than a “make do” cycle, the average family is expected to spend more freely on school and college supplies this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. Total spending for K-12 and college is expected to reach $75.8 billion, up from last year’s $68 billion.

“Families are still looking for bargains, but there are signs that they are less worried about the economy than in the past,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Heading into the second half of the year, we are optimistic that overall economic growth and consumer spending will continue to improve as they did in the first two quarters of the year. We fully expect retailers to be aggressive with offering great deals both in stores and online for back to school shoppers. And retailers will keep a close eye on inventory levels as families spread out their shopping throughout the summer.”

K-12 Spending
Families with children in grades K-12 plan to spend an average $673.57 on apparel and accessories, electronics, shoes and school supplies, up from last year’s $630.36 for a total of $27.3 billion, according to the survey. That’s an increase of 9.6 percent from last year’s $24.9 billion and compares with a total growth of 54.8 percent over the past 10 years.

The numbers follow a pattern in which spending often increases one year as families stock up on supplies only to drop off the next as they get a second year out of longer-lasting items like backpacks or computers. Spending then increases in the third year once children outgrow clothing or items need to be replaced.

According to the survey, K-12 consumers plan to spend $9.54 billion on clothing (purchased by 95 percent), $8.27 billion on electronics such as computers or calculators (57 percent), $5.12 billion on shoes (94 percent) and $4.37 billion on school supplies such as notebooks, folders, pencils, backpacks and lunchboxes (96 percent). Parents say they will spend an average $235.39 on clothing, $204.06 on electronics, $126.35 on shoes and $107.76 on school supplies.

Consumer confidence in the economy continues to grow and is a significant factor in how families will spend for back-to-school this year. A few more families are shopping for sales (43 percent, up from 41 percent) or comparing prices online (32 percent, up from 31 percent). But the number who saying they are spending less overall is down at 23 percent compared with 27 percent last year. And the number who say the economy will have no effect on their plans is at 27 percent, up from 24 percent last year and the highest level in the survey’s history.

“The budget-conscious consumer is not forgetting about price, quality or value, and we continue to see this when it comes to back-to-school shopping,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “That is why many parents are taking advantage of shopping early, scouring ads and websites for the best deals, and taking advantage of free shipping with online purchases.”

More families are tackling back-to-school lists earlier this year with 73 percent beginning about a month to two months out from the beginning of school, up from 62 percent last year. Only 22 percent are waiting for the last week or two, down from 30 percent. A total of 75 percent of those shopping early say they are trying to spread out their budgets, 63 percent of early shoppers don’t want to miss out on back-to-school sales and 51 percent want to avoid crowds.

While discount stores continue to be the choice of the largest share of shoppers at 61 percent, the number is at its lowest level in the survey’s history. But 46 percent of parents said they would shop online, a dramatic jump from last year’s 36 percent. The vast majority of online shoppers plan to take advantage of free shipping (89 percent of those surveyed) and conveniences like buy online, pick up in store (54 percent).

Bigger Kids, Bigger Bills
College students and families with children in college plan to spend an average of $888.71, according to the survey. That’s down slightly from $899.18 last year, but total spending is expected to be up at $48.5 billion compared with $43.1 billion last year due to an increase of consumers shopping for back-to-college.

“Whether it’s laptops for class or mini-fridges for the dorm, college simply costs more than the lower grades,” Shay said. “Some of these big-ticket items can last all four years, but when they need to be replaced it’s a bigger investment than pencils and lunchboxes. But retailers are ready to help students and parents alike stretch their dollars and make the investment in college pay off.”

The survey found college consumers plan to spend $11.54 billion on electronics (purchased by 50 percent), $7.49 billion on clothing (70 percent), $6.23 billion on dorm furnishings (43 percent), $5.78 billion on food items (69 percent), $4.26 billion on personal care items (72 percent), $3.84 billion on shoes (67 percent), $3.53 billion on school supplies (81 percent), $3.14 billion on gift cards (36 percent) and $2.7 billion on branded collegiate gear (49 percent). Spending on electronics will average $211.33, apparel and accessories $137.29, dorm furnishings $114.21, food $105.88, personal care items $78.03, shoes $70.39, school supplies $64.64, gift cards $57.54 and branded gear $49.41.

Similar to K-12, 30 percent of college consumers say the economy will not affect their shopping plans, up from 26 percent and the highest level in the survey’s history. Fewer will shop for sales (29 percent, down from 35 percent in 2015), spend less overall (26 percent, down from 30 percent) or buy more generic products (25 percent, down from 28 percent).

A few more college shoppers are starting early this year, with 26 percent starting two months before school compared with 24 percent last year while 25 percent will wait until the last week or two, up slightly from last year’s 24 percent. Of those shopping early, 68 percent say they are trying to spread out their budgets.

Discount stores still account for the largest share of college shopping, visited by 44 percent of consumers, but the number is at its lowest level in the survey’s history. Only 34 percent will visit a college bookstore, also a new low. Online shopping is the choice of 38 percent of shoppers, down from 39 percent last year and a peak of 45 percent two years ago.

The survey of 6,809 consumers asked about both back-to-school and back-to-college plans was conducted June 30-July 6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

About Prosper Insights and Analytics
Prosper Insights and Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues. www.ProsperDiscovery.com

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role retail plays in driving innovation. NRF.com.

If you are a member of the press and require additional information or insight surrounding our back-to-school and college survey results, please contact Ana Serafin Smith at press@nrf.com.

###

NRF: Total spending for K-12 and college is expected to reach $75.8 billion from last year’s $68 billion
NRF: Total spending for K-12 and college is expected to reach $75.8 billion from last year’s $68 billion

 

Source: NRF

Ahold and Delhaize Group expect to complete their intended merger on July 23, 2016

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — In line with required notification periods for listing purposes, Ahold and Delhaize Group today announced that they expect to complete their intended merger on July 23, 2016, if regulatory clearance has been obtained from the United States Federal Trade Commission by that date.Subject to completion of the merger on July 23, 2016, Ahold Delhaize is expected to start trading on Euronext Amsterdam and Brussels on Monday, July 25, 2016, with ticker symbol AD. Ahold Delhaize American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) will trade over-the-counter in the United States and will be quoted on the OTCQX International marketplace.

Details on the settlement mechanics for holders of Delhaize Group shares are provided in Delhaize Group’s press release of today.

Please visit www.delhaizegroup.com or www.adcombined.com for more information.

Read all about the intended merger

Cautionary notice
This press release includes forward-looking statements, which do not refer to historical facts but refer to expectations based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those included in such statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements as to the expectation of Ahold and Delhaize to complete their merger on July 23, 2016, subject to FTC clearance, and trading and quoting of Ahold Delhaize shares and ADRs. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Ahold’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as discussed in Ahold’s public filings and other disclosures. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Koninklijke Ahold N.V. does not assume any obligation to update any public information or forward-looking statements in this release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as may be required by law. Outside the Netherlands, Koninklijke Ahold N.V., being its registered name, presents itself under the name of “Royal Ahold” or simply “Ahold.”

Contact:
Phone: +31 88 659 9111

Source: Ahold

Tractor Supply Company announces financial results for its second quarter ended June 25, 2016

BRENTWOOD, TN, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO), the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the United States, today announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 25, 2016.

Second Quarter Results
As previously reported in the Company’s Business Update press release on June 29, 2016, net sales for the second quarter 2016 increased 4.5% to $1.85 billion from $1.77 billion in the second quarter of 2015. Comparable store sales decreased 0.5% versus a 5.6% increase in the prior year’s second quarter. Comparable average ticket decreased 1.9% and comparable store transaction counts increased 1.5%, representing the 33rd consecutive quarter of transaction count growth. In the quarter, comparable store sales were negatively impacted by a decline in sales of big ticket categories, such as riding lawn mowers, outdoor recreation, tillers and other power equipment, as well as soft sales in key spring items such as live goods, mower parts and attachments, and other lawn and garden categories. The Livestock and Pet category experienced continued strength and offset a portion of the comparable same store sales decline with a mid-single digit comparable store sales increase in each month of the quarter.

Gross profit increased 3.8% to $649.2 million from $625.3 million in the prior year’s second quarter and gross margin declined to 35.0% compared to 35.3% in the prior year period. Gross margin was negatively affected by a shift in the mix of products sold and higher freight expense from an increase in inbound miles and other transportation costs, which was partially offset by lower diesel fuel costs. These adverse factors more than offset the favorable impact of the Company’s ongoing margin initiatives.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, including depreciation and amortization, increased 5.2% to $400.0 million from $380.2 million in the prior year period. As a percent of net sales, SG&A increased to 21.6% compared to 21.4% in the second quarter of 2015. The increase as a percentage of net sales was primarily attributable to the decline in comparable store sales and the incremental costs associated with the Company’s new distribution facilities. These increases were partially offset by strong expense control and lower year-over-year incentive compensation expense as a percentage of net sales.

Net income increased 2.0% to $156.4 million from $153.3 million and diluted earnings per share increased 3.6% to $1.16 from $1.12 in the second quarter of the prior year.

The Company opened 22 new stores and closed one store, a Del’s store, in the second quarter of 2016 compared to 17 new store openings and one store closure in the prior year period.

Greg Sandfort, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “While it’s our job to manage the business through changes in weather and other external factors, the extreme weather patterns in the first two months of the quarter simply proved to be too much to overcome in the more seasonal segments of our business. We also do not anticipate that a significant shift in sales will come into the third quarter. As such, we have become a bit more cautious in our outlook for the remainder of the year, although last year’s comparable sales comparisons are more favorable in the second half.”

Mr. Sandfort continued, “Tractor Supply will continue to invest in our business to drive sales, shorten our supply chain timeline and increase our overall productivity and profitability as a company. We are continuing our test and learn process on the merchandise side, along with implementing an improved allocation system, expanding our new customer loyalty program pilot, growing our store mobile point of sale test and conducting a comprehensive distribution center network analysis. We are pleased with the progress we are making on all of these initiatives. We continue to manage the business with the future in mind and believe continuous improvement in our product and service offerings, in addition to improving systems and efficiencies, will keep Tractor Supply well positioned for growth.”

First Six Months Results
Net sales increased 7.0% to $3.32 billion from $3.10 billion in the first six months of 2015. Comparable store sales increased 1.9% versus a 5.7% increase in the first six months of 2015. Gross profit increased 6.9% to $1.14 billion from $1.07 billion and gross margin decreased to 34.4% from 34.5% in the first six months of 2015.

Selling, general and administrative expenses, including depreciation and amortization, increased 7.4% to $786.2 million, and increased as a percent of sales to 23.7% compared to 23.6% for the first six months of 2015.

Net income increased 6.0% to $224.1 million from $211.4 million and net income per diluted share increased 7.8% to $1.66 from $1.54 for the first six months of 2015.

The Company opened 58 new stores and closed four stores, all of which were Del’s stores, in the first six months of 2016 compared to 58 new store openings and two store closures during the first six months of 2015.

Fiscal 2016 Outlook
As previously stated in the Company’s Business Update press release dated June 29, 2016, the Company has updated its guidance for the expected results of operations in fiscal 2016. A summary of the fiscal 2016 outlook is as follows:

Net Sales $6.8 billion – $6.9 billion
Comparable Store Sales 2.5% – 3.5%
Net Income $451 million – $456 million
Earnings per Diluted Share $3.35 – $3.40
Capital Expenditures $230 million – $250 million

Included in this forecast are additional expenses related to the first year of operations for the new Casa Grande, Arizona distribution center. The forecast also considers the impact of the additional 53rd week in fiscal 2016. Anticipated capital expenditures include spending to support 115 – 120 new store openings.

Planned Management Succession
The Company also announced today that Anthony F. Crudele has notified the Company that he plans to retire from his position as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Treasurer during the first quarter of fiscal 2017 after completing his year-end reporting responsibilities. Kurt D. Barton, the Company’s Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller, will succeed Mr. Crudele as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. As part of the planned succession, Mr. Crudele and Mr. Barton will work together over the next seven months to ensure a smooth transition of duties.

Mr. Barton joined the Company in August 1999 and has served as the Company’s Corporate Controller since 2009. Mr. Barton has direct responsibility for the Company’s accounting, financial reporting, tax, purchasing, master data management, accounts payable and inventory control functions and is an integral part of the Company’s corporate finance and strategy team. Mr. Barton was promoted to Senior Vice President earlier this year. Mr. Barton also served as Director, Internal Audit from 2002 to 2009 and held other leadership roles in accounting during his tenure with the Company. Mr. Barton, a Certified Public Accountant, began his career in public accounting in 1993, spending six years at Ernst & Young, LLP.

Greg Sandfort, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “All of us at Tractor Supply would like to congratulate Tony on his planned retirement and thank him for his many contributions to the Company. Tony has played an integral role in the Company’s growth and success over the last 11 years. His accomplishments include improving the Company’s forecasting and use of data to drive decisions, developing a more disciplined capital allocation program, leading our continuous improvement process (Tractor Value System) and enhancing the strategic planning process as well as building an effective working relationship with the investment community.”

Mr. Sandfort added: “During his tenure, Tony developed a strong finance and accounting team, and we are fortunate to be in a position to promote Kurt Barton to succeed Tony as CFO. Kurt has been with Tractor Supply for 17 years and served as the Company’s Corporate Controller since 2009. Kurt is a talented financial leader with a track record of creating value. Kurt’s energy and enthusiasm for the business is evident, and he has a deep understanding of the business and strong relationships across the organization. I congratulate Kurt on his upcoming promotion and look forward to working with him as we continue to drive the growth of the Company.”

Commenting on his planned retirement, Anthony Crudele stated, “It has been a privilege and honor to be part of the Tractor Supply family and leadership team over the past 11 years. I am proud of the culture we have continued to build and the opportunity to have contributed to the Company’s success. Tractor Supply is a unique company with a deep rooted culture of Mission and Values and a great team of people who care about the business and each other. Having worked closely with Kurt and the finance team, I have the utmost confidence that he and the team will continue to move the business forward and I know I am leaving the organization in good hands.”

Conference Call Information
Tractor Supply Company will be hosting a conference call at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time today to discuss the quarterly and full year results. The call will be broadcast simultaneously over the Internet on the Company’s website at IR.TractorSupply.com.

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

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

About Tractor Supply Company
At June 25, 2016, Tractor Supply Company operated 1,542 stores in 49 states. The Company’s stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers and others who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses. Stores are located primarily in towns outlying major metropolitan markets and in rural communities. The Company offers the following comprehensive selection of merchandise: (1) equine, livestock, pet and small animal products, including items necessary for their health, care, growth and containment; (2) hardware, truck, towing and tool products; (3) seasonal products, including heating, lawn and garden items, power equipment, gifts and toys; (4) work/recreational clothing and footwear; and (5) maintenance products for agricultural and rural use.

Forward Looking Statements
As with any business, all phases of the Company’s operations are subject to influences outside its control. This information contains certain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding sales and earnings growth, estimated results of operations, capital expenditures, marketing, merchandising and strategic initiatives and new store and distribution center openings and expenses in future periods. These forward-looking statements are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are subject to the finalization of the Company’s quarterly financial and accounting procedures, and may be affected by certain risks and uncertainties, any one, or a combination, of which could materially affect the results of the Company’s operations.

These factors include, without limitation, general economic conditions affecting consumer spending, the timing and acceptance of new products in the stores, the timing and mix of goods sold, purchase price volatility (including inflationary and deflationary pressures), the ability to increase sales at existing stores, the ability to manage growth and identify suitable locations, failure of an acquisition to produce anticipated results, the ability to successfully manage expenses and execute our key gross margin enhancing initiatives, the availability of favorable credit sources, capital market conditions in general, the ability to open new stores in the manner and number currently contemplated, the impact of new stores on our business, competition, weather conditions, the seasonal nature of our business, effective merchandising initiatives and marketing emphasis, the ability to retain vendors, reliance on foreign suppliers, the ability to attract, train and retain qualified employees, product liability and other claims, changes in federal, state or local regulations, potential judgments, fines, legal fees and other costs, breach of information systems or theft of employee or customer data, ongoing and potential future legal or regulatory proceedings, management of our information systems, failure to develop and implement new technologies, the failure of customer-facing technology systems, business disruption including from the implementation of supply chain technologies, effective tax rate changes and results of examination by taxing authorities, the ability to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, and changes in accounting standards, assumptions and estimates.

Forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of the Company are based on knowledge of its business and the environment in which it operates, but because of the factors listed above, actual results could differ materially from those reflected by any forward-looking statements. Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made are qualified by these cautionary statements and those contained in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There can be no assurance that the results or developments anticipated by the Company will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to or effects on the Company or its business and operations. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Contact:

Anthony F. Crudele
Chief Financial Officer

Christine Skold
Vice President, Investor Relations
(615) 440-4000

Investors:
John Rouleau/Rachel Schacter
ICR

Media:
Alecia Pulman/Brittany Rae Fraser
ICR
(203) 682-8200

Source: Tractor Supply Company

NACS appoints Kashae Williams as state association advocacy manager

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kashae Williams has joined NACS in the newly created role of state association advocacy manager. She will be responsible for liaising between NACS and state and ethnic-American trade associations that represent convenience and fuel retailers and fuel marketers across the country. Williams will help NACS provide support to these groups in areas to include advocacy, communications and research.

Williams comes to NACS from the Council of University Transportation Centers and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association where she served as program manager.  She also spent time at the Society of American Military Engineers as an operations specialist.

Williams has a master of public policy from George Mason University and a B.A. in international relations from Wesleyan College.

Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

For media interviews/comments contact Jeff Lenard.

Source: NACS

Wegmans Food Markets delivers two tractor trailers with 40 pallets of food to FeedMore

ROCHESTER, NY,  2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — At 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 21, two tractor trailers from Wegmans Food Markets will deliver 40 pallets of food to FeedMore. The donation of 35,498 pounds of nonperishable food will include pantry staples like cereal, soup, peanut butter, pasta, canned tuna, canned vegetables, baking ingredients, and meal starters and side dishes.

“While donations during the summer months are typically lower, for the food-insecure folks we help, hunger is a year-round issue,” said Doug Pick, FeedMore chief executive officer.  “We are thankful for our growing partnership with Wegmans and grateful for their dedication to our mission of providing our region’s vulnerable populations with one of the most basic necessities.  We believe that Wegmans will be a tremendous asset to our community for years to come.”

When the Wegmans tractor trailers arrive at FeedMore, Short Pump Store Manager Todd Strassner will be on hand along with a team of employees from both the Midlothian and Short Pump locations to help unload the trucks and stock the shelves.

“We’re proud to partner with FeedMore in serving the needs of our new neighbors in Greater Richmond because food banks build healthier communities,” said Strassner. “We recognize that food banks see increased need during the summer months when many children who have access to free or reduced-cost meals at school are home.”

Helping feed the hungry is a community giving priority for the Rochester, N.Y. based supermarket chain.  When Wegmans Midlothian opened in May, the store began daily donations of perishable food to FeedMore, including produce, bread and dairy items. Wegmans Short Pump will also begin perishable food donations when it opens on Aug. 7.

“One of our values is to make a difference in every community we serve, and it’s a privilege to begin contributing even before the new store opens,” said Strassner.

Where: 1415 Rhoadmiller Street in Richmond. Media is welcome to attend.

Last year, Wegmans donated 14.5 million pounds of food to area food banks across all of its market areas.

About FeedMore
FeedMore is Central Virginia’s core hunger-relief organization comprised of programs like the Central Virginia Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, the Mobile Pantry and Kids Cafe. Spanning nearly one-third of the state, across 34 counties and cities, FeedMore serves nearly 200,000 individuals in the region’s most vulnerable populations –children, families and seniors. Working together to efficiently and effectively fight hunger, FeedMore’s multi-tiered approach and comprehensive programs are dedicated to nourishing the community while empowering lives. For additional information, please visit FeedMore.org, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About Wegmans
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 89-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 19 consecutive years, ranking #4 in 2016.

Contact Information:

Jessica Howe
FeedMore Public Relations Manager
804-237-8604
jhowe@FeedMore.org

Jo Natale
Wegmans Vice President of Media Relations
585-429-3627
jo.natale@wegmans.com

Source: Wegmans

The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program donates $25,000 to the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program

CAMP HILL, Pa., 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program announced today a $25,000 donation to the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program, a Detroit-based nonprofit that empowers Detroit youth to be positive and productive members of society through education, athletics, mentorship and intervention. The donation, which was announced during today’s episode of RACHAEL RAY, will support program operations as it works towards helping its students stay on the right path through mentorship and academics. The Rite Aid Foundation also provided the organization with $5,000 worth of school, office, first aid and cleaning supplies.

“It’s clear that Rachael Ray shares Rite Aid’s core value of being a caring neighbor, which is why we are thrilled to partner with her in supporting the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program,” said Ken Martindale, CEO of Rite Aid stores, president of Rite Aid Corporation and president of The Rite Aid Foundation. “This unique organization is truly making a difference in the lives of every child who walks through its doors and we hope our donation will help them continue serving Detroit youth through the coming year.”

The Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program (DBG) is a free after school educational resource for Detroit youth. The organization currently serves 110 students between the ages of 5 and 18, with more than 600 on a waiting list. To date, the organization has seen a 100% high school graduation rate and most of those students go on to college. For more information, visit DBGYP.org.

“Thanks to the generous donation provided to us by The Rite Aid Foundation we are able to help our members learn, grow and realize their full potential,” said Khali Sweeney, Founder of Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program. “Partners like The Rite Aid Foundation and Rachael Ray are helping us positively impact each and every child we have the opportunity to work with, promoting our children’s long-term health and the stability of the overall community.”

In Michigan, Rite Aid employs more than 4,300 at its 274 stores and distribution center, including 183 associates at its 11 stores in the city of Detroit.

KidCents was developed by The Rite Aid Foundation to provide Rite Aid customers an opportunity to do even more to help the kids in the communities Rite Aid serves. Through KidCents, members of Rite Aid’s wellness+ with Plenti program can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and give their change to one of more than 360 nonprofit organizations focused on improving the health and wellbeing of children.

Nonprofit organizations interested in participating in The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program can visit www.kidcents.com/apply to submit an application. To be eligible, an organization must be classified as exempt from federal tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code and meet the KidCents program guidelines. For more information, visit www.kidcents.com.

Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $25 million to non-profit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $75 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2016 annual revenues of $30.7 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.

Since 2007, Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program, – now housed at 6445 E. Vernor Highway – has provided a safe haven for children ages 5 to 18. Much more than just boxing, Founder and Program Director Khali Sweeney developed a place for students to learn how to study through tutoring, a gym that teaches discipline through boxing and a community center that instills pride in all who participate through voluntary service. For more information, visit DBGYP.org.

You can also like them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/downtownboxing and follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/dtownboxingprog.

Now in its 10th season, RACHAEL RAY is a daily, one-hour, syndicated show and among the top-ranked daytime programs on television and was the No. 1 syndicated strip launched in the 2006-07 season. RACHAEL RAY won the Outstanding Talk Show-Entertainment Emmy® in 2009 and 2008 and was nominated for one 2015 Daytime Emmy® award, five 2014 Daytime Emmy® awards, a 2013 Daytime Emmy® award, three 2012 Daytime Emmy® awards, two 2011 Daytime Emmy® awards, and three 2010 Daytime Emmy® awards. RACHAEL RAY is distributed and produced by CBS Television Distribution in association with Harpo Productions, Scripps Networks and Watch Entertainment. Janet Annino is the Executive Producer. CBS Television Distribution is a unit of CBS Corp.

Contact:

Media:
Kristin Kellum
717-975-5713

Source: Rite Aid

PAK’nSAVE donates $5,000 to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation

Auckland, New Zealand, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — PAK’nSAVE has concluded its superhero-themed birthday celebrations by donating $5,000 to one of the country’s most important charities, the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

Throughout last week, the home of New Zealand’s lowest prices became the headquarters of Super Stickman and his sidekicks – all in the name of raising funds for very worthwhile cause.

Anyone who dressed up as a superhero and took their photo in-store with Super Stickman went into the draw to win a $1000 grocery gift card, and earned a donation for the Foundation.

Steve Bayliss, Group General Manager Marketing, Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd, says the customer response was impressive, with a wide array of costumes worn in-store and photos uploaded to Facebook.

“As expected, our stores were visited by a lot of Superboys and Spidergirls, and it’s certainly brought a lot of colour and character to our aisles during these wintry school holidays,” says Bayliss.

“The most impressive entry, however, was that sent in by Sade Murray, who not only got dressed up herself but also got five kids in costume and to pose with Super Stickman.”

“As a result of this superhero effort, Sade has won the $1000 gift card from PAK’nSAVE, which she says will be used to feed the children she looks after through her home-based child care business.”

In addition, Bayliss says PAK’nSAVE will donate $5000 to the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation.

“This year’s birthday celebration was all about recognising the work the Foundation does to combat a disease that affects far too many Kiwis and their families.”

“While they may not see themselves as heroes, but in our view, just one life saved is an act of heroism, and hopefully our $5000 will go a little way towards helping the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation achieve just that.”

NZ Breast Cancer Foundation chief executive Evangelia Henderson says the $5000 donation will be used to support more of the work the Foundation does.

“This includes helping to fund research into breast cancer treatments, provide support services for those with the disease, and the ongoing promotion of breast cancer awareness.”

CONTACT DETAILS:
Foodstuffs North Island Support Centre (Auckland)
Address:
60 Roma Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland 1041
PO Box 27-480, Mt Roskill, Auckland 1440
DX Box CX 15021, Mt Roskill, Auckland 1440

Phone:+64 9 621 0600
Fax:+64 9 621 0601

###

PAK'nSAVE donates $5,000 to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation
PAK’nSAVE donates $5,000 to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation

Source: Foodstuffs North Island Limited

Foodstuffs North Island Limited appoints David Stewart as General Manager Merchandise

Auckland, New Zealand, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Foodstuffs North Island Limited has announced the appointment of David Stewart as General Manager Merchandise – a transition that follows six successful years as Chief Financial Officer with the co-operative.

Foodstuffs North Island’s CEO Chris Quin says Stewart has done an “outstanding job” as a CFO, first for Foodstuffs Auckland Ltd, and most recently Foodstuffs North Island.

“Our co-op is in excellent financial health,” says Quin. “Our auditors have confirmed to the board that the performance of our commercial operation’s team is right up there with the best, and there’s no doubt that David’s leadership has been a key factor in this.”

“We’re now entering an exciting time for the merchandise team, and under David’s direction we will continue to employ effective and integrated merchandise practices that will enrich our customer’s retail experience.”

“David’s strategic thinking, commercial acumen and strong leadership will be hugely beneficial in making shopping easier for customers, saving them time while innovating to provide inspiration about what to buy via the channel that’s most convenient for them.”

For his part, Stewart says he’s enjoying the shift in focus away from raw figures to consumer trends.

“In essence, my new role is all about ensuring we’re stocking the products our customers want,” says Stewart. “That means identifying early on where they may be shifting their spending habits to, and working with suppliers on new product innovations.”

“We know, for example, that shoppers are thinking more about healthy options and increasingly looking for products that have been sourced sustainably. We’ve got to respond to those demands while at the same time continuing to offer great value and range.”

Stewart’s appointment is effective immediately, though his last official duty as CFO won’t be until 11 August 2016, when he delivers the Foodstuffs North Island Group’s financial results at its AGM in Wellington.

In the meantime, the hunt is on for a new CFO for an organisation with more than $7.5bn in annual store sales, assets worth over $2.5bn, and current capital expenditure in excess of $100m.

“David Ison, currently the business’ Group Financial Controller, will be our acting CFO until the recruitment search is over. He has very strong financial expertise and has played a critical role in steering the financial integration of the legacy businesses.”

Quin praised outgoing GM Merchandise Baden Ngan Kee for his hard work and dedication.

“Under Baden’s leadership, the merchandise team has excelled, keeping on top of consumer trends and delivering innovative solutions across our banners at a time of increasing focus on e-commerce.”

CONTACT DETAILS
Foodstuffs North Island Support Centre (Auckland)
Address:
60 Roma Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland 1041
PO Box 27-480, Mt Roskill, Auckland 1440
DX Box CX 15021, Mt Roskill, Auckland 1440

Phone:+64 9 621 0600
Fax:+64 9 621 0601

Source: Foodstuffs North Island Limited

Harris Teeter announces opening of its Falls Church, VA location on July 27, 2016

Matthews, NC, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Harris Teeter is proud to welcome shoppers to its West Broad location on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 8 a.m. as the company celebrates its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony and in-store sampling.

In each of its stores, Harris Teeter strives to offer customers an excellent shopping experience, which begins with customer service and features high-quality products, variety and selection.  Harris Teeter also works to be a true community partner by supporting local schools and youth sports organizations, among other non-profit organizations.

Store Address West Broad
301 West Broad
Falls Church, VA 22046
Grand Opening Date Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Grand Opening Time 8 a.m., ribbon cutting, store open immediately following
Store Hours 24 hours/7 days a week
Pharmacy Hours Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Check-Out Lanes 10 checkouts and 8 express checkouts

Contact:

!-800-432-6111

###

Harris Teeter announces opening of its Falls Church, VA location on July 27, 2016
Harris Teeter announces opening of its Falls Church, VA location on July 27, 2016

 

Source: Harris Teeter

Hy-Vee, Inc. voluntarily recalls limited quantity of Hy-Vee No-Salt-Added Black Beans due to potential presence of plastic and/or metal pieces

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ —  Hy-Vee, Inc., based in West Des Moines, Iowa, is voluntarily recalling a limited quantity of Hy-Vee No-Salt-Added Black Beans across its eight-state region due the potential presence of plastic and/or metal pieces within the product. The presence of small pieces of plastic and/or metal has the potential to cause a choking hazard and may cause adverse health consequences, including injury.

The voluntary recall is limited to 15-ounce cans of Hy-Vee No-Salt-Added Black Beans with the code “Best By 04 APR 2019 258F2 095 16 XXXX” and UPC number of 0075450105190. The product was sold at Hy-Vee stores in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin between April 22, 2016, and July 18, 2016.

To date, no injuries have been reported in connection with this product.

The potential for contamination was discovered after Faribault Foods, Inc., Hy-Vee’s supplier, announced it was issuing a recall after one consumer reported finding a partial ink pen in one container. The product was manufactured at the company’s Faribault, Minnesota, facility, which supplies several major retailers across the United States. Faribault Foods, Inc. has determined this to be an isolated incident.

Out of an abundance of caution, Hy-Vee is recalling the product from all of its stores. No other Hy-Vee food items are impacted by this recall.

Customers who purchased this product should discard it or return it to their local Hy-Vee store for a full refund.

Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 240 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $9.3 billion annually. Hy-Vee ranks among the top 25 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States. Supermarket News, the authoritative voice of the food industry, has honored the company with a Whole Health Enterprise Award for its leadership in providing services and programs that promote a healthy lifestyle. For more information, visit www.hy-vee.com.

Consumers with questions may contact Hy-Vee Customer Care representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-772-4098.

Source: Hy-Vee, Inc.

Barnes & Noble the most powerful retail brand in Tenet Partners’ 2016 Top 100 Most Powerful Brands Reports

New York, NY , 2016-Jul-22 — /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 that it was named the most powerful retail brand in Tenet Partners’ 2016 Top 100 Most Powerful Brands Reports (www.tenetpartners.com). Tenet Partners is a leading brand innovation and marketing firm, and its annual study of approximately 10,000 consumers and influential business decision-makers found that Barnes & Noble’s brand familiarity is at its highest point since 2010, while the Company’s brand favorability remained constant year-over-year. Barnes & Noble ranked number 32 in the overall Top 100 list, a full 13 points ahead of the closest retail competitor and 22 points ahead of Amazon.

“Barnes & Noble is proud to be named the most powerful retail brand in America by Tenet Partners, which is a clear reflection of how important our bookstores are to consumers across the nation,” said Ron Boire, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. “As a company we’re on the cutting edge of experiential retailing, providing our customers with experiences and products that no other retailer in their community can match. We’ve also got the best employees in retail and today’s acknowledgement is largely due to the hard work and dedication of our booksellers.”

In the 2016 Top 100 Most Powerful Brands report, Tenet Partners highlighted Barnes & Noble’s marketing and advertising efforts as a key driver of the Company’s brand power, including the highly successful “You Never Know Who You’ll Meet at Barnes & Noble” 2015 holiday advertising campaign featuring Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

The Company has also rolled out several successful events in 2016 including its B-Fest teen book festival (BN.com/B-FEST) and an expanded Summer Reading Program (BN.com/SummerReading), and is currently mid-way through its annual Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble celebration (BN.com/getpop-cultured). Additionally, stores nationwide will host Harry Potter “Countdown to Midnight Magic” parties on July 30 at 8 p.m. in preparation for the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on July 31 at midnight, which the Company expects to be its biggest book of the year (BN.com/harrypotterevents).

Barnes & Noble also recently announced it 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 Loudoun in Ashburn, VA.

For more information on everything that’s happening at Barnes & Noble, visit BN.com or follow Barnes & Noble on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook.

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.

CONTACTS:

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

Alan McNamara
Senior Director
Corporate Communications
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3379
amcnamara@bn.com

Source: Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Food retailer O’KEY Group H1 2016: net retail revenue increased by 10.1% YoY

Moscow, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — O’KEY Group S.A. (LSE: OKEY), one of the largest food retailers in Russia, announces operating results for the Second Quarter and the First Half of 2016. All materials published by the Group are available on its website www.okeyinvestors.ru.

Key highlights for Q2 2016:

 Group net retail revenue increased by 5.8% y-o-y from RUB 37,608 million to RUB 39,825 million
 Traffic increased 11.3% y-o-y with average ticket declining 5.0% y-o-y  Trade LFL revenue increased 2.3% y-o-y while LFL traffic grew 4.1% and average LFL ticket declined 1.8%
 Retail revenue net of sales in the discounter chain grew by 2.4% to RUB 38,559 million
 Traffic net of discounters rose 3.7% y-o-y with average ticket net of discounters declining 1.3% y-o-y
 In Q2 2016, the Group opened one hypermarket and 7 discounters
 Total selling area increased by 6.4% to 602,208 m2 , selling area of hypermarkets increased by 1.7% to 521,068 m2, selling area of supermarkets declined by 9.9% to 48,457 m2 and selling area of discounters reached 32,683 m2

Key highlights for H1 2016:

 Group net retail revenue increased by 10.1% y-o-y from RUB 74,880 million to RUB 82,412 million
 Traffic increased 12.6% y-o-y with average ticket declining 2.3% y-o-y
 Trade LFL revenue increased 5.5% y-o-y while LFL traffic grew 4.5% and average LFL ticket rose by 1.0%
 Retail revenue net of sales in the discounter chain rose by 7.1% to RUB 80,191 million
 Traffic net of discounters rose 5.8% y-o-y with average ticket net of discounters growing 1.2% y-o-y
 In H1 2016, the Group opened one supermarket (closed four supermarkets), opened one hypermarket (closed one) and added 13 discounter stores

Commentary

Heigo Kera, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of O’KEY Group, said,
In Q2 2016, we demonstrated solid growth of the key operating indicators in spite of the weak macroeconomic environment and intensifying competitive pressure. We delivered strong LFL growth driven by sustained increase in traffic as our customers increasingly appreciate the recent changes in the sales mix, enhanced assortment and more appealing value proposition. However, the average ticket declined as trading down among our customer base continued while food inflation slowed down.

In H2 2016, we will continue to maintain competitive pricing and further improve our value proposition. We continue development of our food private labels and plan to add overall 200-300 SKUs to our That’s What You Need and O’KEY lines. We are also redesigning and relaunching our non-food private labels with increased focus on product quality. In Q3 we will open two more hypermarkets (in Moscow and Tyumen) with elements of a new store concept, a more modern look and feel, new approaches to organization and zoning of the floor space and easier navigation».

Armin Burger, Chief Executive of the Discounter Chain, added,
During the quarter, we continued expansion of our discounter chain the DA! brand, having opened 7 additional stores in Moscow and neighboring regions. We are seeing steady increase in customer traffic adjusted for seasonal trends. In Q2 2016, my team continued to enhance assortment, adding more private label items across all categories, and worked on improving organisation of the floor space. Overall, the hard discounter project is finding its target audience, the rational customers appreciating value-for-money we are offering in our chain».

Revenue
In Q2 2016, net retail revenue increased 5.8% y-o-y to RUB 39,825 million primarily driven by strong improvement in traffic as a result of the Company’s focus on enhancing value proposition, rebalancing assortment, changing the sales mix, as well as the growing contribution from discounter stores.

In Q2 2016, LFL sales grew 2.3% as a result of the 4.1% improvement in LFL traffic and in spite of the 1.8% decline in LFL ticket as consumer purchasing power remains under pressure in a tough macroeconomic environment. May results were impacted by 2016 holidays calendar as Easter coincided with Spring and Labor Day, as well as unusually hot weather in the North-West region resulting in lower consumer spending in big cities compared to May 2015. In June, the Group delivered much stronger results though growing from higher base as June 2015 numbers already reflect the impact of the turnaround initiatives which management of the Group introduced a year ago.

Additional information
The Group will report its First Half 2016 Reviewed Operating and Financial Results on 17 August 2016. Management of the Group will be holding a conference call to provide an update and discuss the results.

Disclaimer
These materials contain statements about future events and expectations that are forward-looking statements. These statements typically contain words such as “expects” and “anticipates” and words of similar import. Any statement in these materials that is not a statement of historical fact is a forward-looking statement that involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. None of the future projections, expectations, estimates or prospects in this announcement should be taken as forecasts or promises nor should they be taken as implying any indication, assurance or guarantee that the assumptions on which such future projections, expectations, estimates or prospects have been prepared are correct or exhaustive or, in the case of the assumptions, fully stated in this announcement. We assume no obligations to update the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in factors affecting these statements.

COMPANY OVERVIEW
O’KEY is one of the largest retail chains in Russia. Its primary retail format is the modern Western European style hypermarket under the “O’KEY” brand reinforced by O’KEY supermarket. The Group is developing the innovative discounter format under the “DA!” brand. O’KEY is the first among Russian food retailers to launch e-commerce operations in St. Petersburg and Moscow based on hypermarket assortment.

The Group opened its first hypermarket in St. Petersburg in 2002 and has demonstrated continuous growth ever since. As of 20 July 2016, O’KEY operates 157 stores across Russia: 71 hypermarkets, 37 supermarkets and 49 discounters.

For further information please contact:
Nikolay Minashin
Head of Investor Relations
Ph. +7(495)663-6677, ext. 127
e-mail: Nikolay.Minashin@okmarket.ru www.okeyinvestors.ru

Source: O’key Group

London & Cambridge Properties owned The Arcadian to support the Birmingham Comedy Festival

LONDON, 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Arcadian owned by LCP is lending its support to the Birmingham Comedy Festival for the fifth consecutive year.

One of the city’s most popular annual arts events, the festival runs from Friday October 7 to Sunday October 16, 2016, and will see a host of established and fast-rising names taking to stages across the city.

The Arcadian, which is owned and managed by leading commercial property company London & Cambridge Properties (LCP), is home to the multi-award-winning Glee Club – renowned as one of the country’s top comedy venues.

A spokesperson for the Birmingham Comedy Festival said: “We’re delighted that The Arcadian is again supporting the Birmingham Comedy Festival. As home to The Glee, it’s at the core of the festival, while its varied range of restaurants, cafes and bars make it an ideal destination for a night out.

“The Glee is also the host of our official launch event, the Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award.”

It is the fifth consecutive year that The Arcadian has signed up as official sponsor for the ten-day event.

Lina Higuita, centre manager at Arcadian centre manager, said: “We are only too pleased to lend our support once again to this excellent event that takes place on our doorstep. It always attracts a great crowd of visitors from across the country.”

This year’s festival line-up will be officially announced over the summer. For more information, visit www.bhamcomfest.co.uk

The Arcadian, which is owned and managed by West Midlands-based LCP, is a unique entertainment venue in Birmingham city centre, located in the heart of vibrant South side, Chinatown and the Theatre District.

For more information about The Arcadian visit ww.thearcadian.co.uk

Media Enquiries:

If you have any media enquiries please email kyates@lcpproperties.co.uk

Source: London & Cambridge Properties

NCR and Wells Fargo to cooperate on research and development in ATM and retail banking customer experience

Wells Fargo to tap dedicated NCR R&D resources for reimagined ATM and banking store customer experiences

DULUTH, Ga., 2016-Jul-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) today announced a collaboration agreement with Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) to drive unparalleled consumer innovation and dramatically reinvent self-service technology in Wells Fargo’s retail stores.

As part of the agreement, NCR and Wells Fargo will establish a team, focused on research and development in ATM and retail banking customer experience, to create the next generation of technology that drives customer engagement.

NCR’s rich heritage in designing end-to-end solutions that drive seamless omni-channel distribution for customers in a number of industries, combined with Wells Fargo’s leadership in delivering unparalleled omni-channel experience, promises best-in-class customer service options across store, ATM, digital and contact center channels.

“Aligning our development strategy with NCR allows us to shape the future of technology in our stores and ATMs to benefit Wells Fargo customers,” said Jonathan Velline, head of ATM Banking and Store Strategy for Wells Fargo. “We have a long history of innovation, and we expect this collaboration with NCR to add to our legacy, deliver the next generation of technology in our physical channels and further enhance customer experience.”

Over the past eight years, NCR and Wells Fargo have worked together to bring a number of industry-leading technologies to life. These technologies range from cash- and check-processing innovations to high-touch concierge solutions delivered through self-service devices, to next-generation materials that improve the longevity and usability of the physical channels.

This agreement builds on that heritage of collaborative innovation and expands the relationship to a more strategic level, co-locating team members from both companies to develop the technologies that will shape the future of retail banking stores and ATMs. It reflects a shared commitment to design and deliver delightful consumer experiences at every touchpoint, and embodies the mission of the NCR CxBanking solution framework: to enable financial institutions to connect and transact seamlessly with the consumers and small businesses who require their services.

“Wells Fargo is one of the most innovative banks globally, and our work with them has created breakthroughs in amazing, personalized customer experiences,” said Bill Nuti, Chairman and CEO, NCR Corporation. “In addition, Wells Fargo will have access to our global innovation community, customer engineers and executive leadership to provide support in Wells Fargo’s lab. Through this relationship, we’ll work hand-in-hand to drive market-leading efficiencies, greater solution quality and improved speed-to-market.”

About NCR
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in omni-channel solutions, turning everyday interactions with businesses into exceptional experiences. With its software, hardware and portfolio of services, NCR enables more than 550 million transactions daily across retail, financial, travel, hospitality, telecom and technology, and small business. NCR solutions run the everyday transactions that make your life easier.

NCR is headquartered in Duluth, Ga., with over 30,000 employees and does business in 180 countries. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.  All other trademarks or registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

NCR encourages investors to visit its website, which is updated regularly with financial and other important information about NCR.

Website: www.ncr.com
Twitter: @NCRCorporation
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ncrcorp
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/ncr-corporation
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/ncrcorporation

Investor Contact
Gavin Bell
NCR Corporation
212.589.8468
gavin.bell@ncr.com

Media Contact:
Scott Sykes
NCR Corporation
212.589.8428
scott.sykes@ncr.com

Source: NCR Corporation

Almeera Donates QR300,000 to Qatar Charity

QATAR, 2016-Jul-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Since the beginning of the this year, the value of donations collected from the remaining dirhams while purchasing at Almeera branches, reached approximately QR 75,000 donated to Qatar Charity. While the total value of donations since activating the dirhams donation service (through cashiers at 41 Almeera branches in Qatar) reached more than three hundred thousand Qatari Riyals, helping  Qatar Charity while supporting community development projects at home and abroad.

The donation comes as a part of wider contribution facilitated by a series of agreements that has been entered by Qatar Charity since 2012 with malls, allowing the donations of the remaining Dirhams (coins) from shoppers while purchasing. Donated coins are added to customer billings and accredited to the account of Qatar Charity later on. Over the time, the value of this project proves its viability, while seeing the results of those donations, proving the great influence that small change can do on the beneficiaries among the poor and needy.

Fruitful Cooperation
For his part, Mr. Ali Atiq Al Abdullah Executive Director for Local Development in Qatar Charity stated that the continuation of this project testifies the impact of the donations even if it is little.

In 2015, the donations of (25 and 50 dirhams) coming from shoppers in the account of Qatar Charity reached around QR 230,000. Since the beginning of this year and so far, the donation reached up to QR 75,000. Bringing the total donations to QR 300,000 coming from dirhams. It is a large amount for many of the projects that supports the lives of needy and poor families, which their daily income may not exceed a few riyals.

Al Abdullah praised and thanked Al Meera for their continuous cooperating and effective contributions to QC on humanitarian and charitable work. Last Ramadan, Al Meera had provided six additional sites to QC for donation collection desks, making it easier for the donors to donate. Further, Al Abdullah added that the money collected were devoted to Qatar Charity projects at home and abroad, especially projects of (feeding and watering) which has the great reward from (Allah swt), being vital to the beneficiaries assuring their basic needs.

For his part, deputy CEO of Al Meera , Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Qahtani said:

“We are delighted about our contribution to support many community activities, initiatives and events that reflect the commitment of Al Meera  towards the society in our beloved country. Our partnership with Qatar Charity is of much interest to us as we consider that the most important thing to various institutions is to recognize the deep need for synergies between them in order to spread innovative giving concepts. In Al Meera, we always strive to achieve balance between our work in the retail sector and our duty toward the less fortunate groups around us, and are always ready to renew cooperation with Qatar Charity and Other associate humanitarian institutions to extend a helping hand to those in need of it.”

Small Change, Big Change
Donors can easily contribute to the project at different branches of Al Meera by asking the cashiers to add a donation with the change value to their bills. Donations made at all sale points are collected and transferred by the end of each month to Qatar Charity.

Believing in the important role of community partnerships and collaboration, and the social responsibility of corporates, Qatar Charity had signed several similar agreements with a number of banks, companies and institutions to achieve communal values, contributing to community development and charitable giving for many of those in need around the world.

Contact:

Tel: 40119111/40119112
Fax: +974 40119186
Email: admin@almeera.com.qa

Source: Al Meera