Citycon’s Iso Omena shopping centre opens first phase of extension


Citycon’s Iso Omena shopping centre opens first phase of extension Citycon’s Iso Omena shopping centre opens first phase of extension


Helsinki,  Finland, 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Once the total extension project is completed in 2017, Iso Omena will have a GLA of over 100,000 square metres, offering premises for over 200 different shops, restaurants and service units. This will make Iso Omena one of the largest shopping centres in Finland. A total of approximately 60 new shops, restaurants and service units will be opened in the first phase with an additional 40 units opening in the second phase. Tenants have shown a strong interest in the premises of Iso Omena, 95 percent of the GLA in the first phase has already been leased.

The extension will significantly increase the offering of fashion, entertainment, restaurants and services available at Iso Omena. In the first phase, retail brands such as Superdry, BikBok, Brothers, Gina Tricot, Carlings, Björn Borg, Peak Performance and Efva Attling will open new stores. H&M will also open an extended 3,000 square metre store in the new part of the shopping centre.

One of the unique features of the new Iso Omena is the extensive restaurant concept M.E.E.T (meet, eat, enjoy, together) that is the first of its kind in Finland. M.E.E.T will be opened in two phases, now and in the spring 2017, and when completed it will include 40 different restaurants. The new restaurant world can be compared to the Helsinki City Centre when it comes to the diversity of the offering. New restaurants to be introduced in Iso Omena in the first phase include e.g. artisan pasta restaurant Makaronitehdas, Goodwin steak house, the Mexican style restaurant Eatos and viking restaurant Harald. The selection of cafés will also grow: additions include La Torrefazione, Choco lab, and the Choux Company.

The third floor of the shopping centre will house a service square for the City of Espoo, a novel concept for providing public services. The service square will be bringing a library, a health centre and other public services together into a single space of 6,000 square metres. The accessibility of the municipal and healthcare services will significantly improve for the residents in the area with the extended opening hours and increased traffic connections.

New additions for the second phase include a seven screen Finnkino cinema, Zara, and a large selection of different restaurants, as well as various shops and services targeted at families and children. Iso Omena’s current grocery stores Prisma and Citymarket, recently renovated in spring 2016, will be joined by grocery store Lidl, which will be opened on the same level.

“Iso Omena’s selection is unique in Finland. In addition to a strong fashion offering and other specialty shops, we have a diverse selection of restaurants, entertainment and both public and private services. The quality of architecture and building materials has been in focus in the shopping centre extension project. Iso Omena is about much more than just buying things: it offers the surrounding community a place for spending time and socialising,” explains Sanna Yliniemi, Commercial Director at Citycon.

The final station of the first phase of the western metro line and the feeder bus terminal will be located under Iso Omena. They will strengthen the role of Iso Omena as a significant traffic hub for all of southern Espoo with an expected 35,000 daily commuters. In addition to excellent public transport connections, Iso Omena will have 3,000 parking spaces.

The Iso Omena shopping centre has been awarded a LEED® Platinum certificate for its extension, the highest rating level within the environmental certification system.

Citycon takes over full ownership of Iso Omena

For the first phase of the Iso Omena extension, NCC Property Development acted as Citycon´s development partner with a 50 per cent stake of the total investment. In accordance with the agreement, Citycon purchased NCC Property Development’s share for approximately EUR 80 million. Citycon is now the sole owner of the Iso Omena shopping centre.

“Citycon’s strategy is to focus on owning and managing shopping centres in urban areas in growing cities. Iso Omena’s location is excellent: Matinkylä is an important public transportation hub with strong purchasing power in one of the fastest growing residential areas in Finland. Iso Omena meets all of Citycon’s investment criteria and is expected to provide strong growth also in the future,” says Nils Styf, Chief Investment Officer at Citycon.

Citycon Oyj (Nasdaq Helsinki: CTY1S) is a leading owner, developer and manager of urban grocery-anchored shopping centres in the Nordic and Baltic regions, managing assets that total EUR 4.7 billion and with market capitalisation of close to EUR 2 billion. For more information about Citycon, please visit


Nils Styf
Chief Investment Officer
Tel.: +46 733 506 039

Sanna Yliniemi
Commercial Director
Tel.: +358 41 456 3421

Source:  Citycon


BJ’s Restaurants announces the opening of its restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — BJ’s Restaurants, Inc.(NASDAQ:BJRI) today (Aug. 10, 2016) announced the opening of its restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The new BJ’s Restaurant opened on Monday, August 8, 2016, on Route 19 at South Hills Village.  The restaurant is approximately 7,300 square feet, seats approximately 225 guests and features BJ’s extensive menu, including BJ’s signature deep-dish pizza, award-winning handcrafted beer and famous Pizookie® dessert.  BJ’s unique, contemporary décor provides the perfect environment for all dining occasions.  Hours of operation are from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

“We are excited to open our third restaurant in the state of Pennsylvania,” commented Greg Trojan, President and CEO.  “This restaurant is located in the southern suburb of Pittsburgh and joins our two successful Pennsylvania restaurants located in McCandless, a northern suburb of Pittsburgh, and our recent opening in Lancaster.  This is our eighth restaurant opened this year and we remain on track to open a total of 18 to 19 new locations by the end of the year.  We are looking forward to our next two restaurant openings later this month in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Cleveland, Ohio.”

BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. currently owns and operates 178 casual dining restaurants under the BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse®, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery®, BJ’s Pizza & Grill® and BJ’s Grill® brand names.  BJ’s Restaurants offer an innovative and broad menu featuring award-winning, signature deep-dish pizza complemented with generously portioned salads, appetizers, sandwiches, soups, pastas, entrees and desserts, including the Pizookie® dessert.  Quality, flavor, value, moderate prices and sincere service remain distinct attributes of the BJ’s experience.  All restaurants feature BJ’s critically acclaimed proprietary craft beers, which are produced at several of the Company’s Restaurant & Brewery locations, brewpub locations in Texas and qualified independent third party craft brewers.  The Company’s restaurants are located in the 23 states of Alabama, Arizona,Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada,New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas,Virginia and Washington. Visit BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. on the Web at

Certain statements in the preceding paragraphs and all other statements that are not purely historical constitute “forward-looking” statements for purposes of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby.  The “forward-looking” statements contained in this press release are based on current assumptions and expectations and BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update or alter its “forward-looking” statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  Investors are referred to the full discussion of risks and uncertainties associated with forward-looking statements contained in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its recent reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K.

For further information, please contact:

Greg Levin
BJ’s Restaurants, Inc.
(714) 500-2400

(212) 835-8500

Source:  BJ’s Restaurants, Inc.

Colruyt Group updates on its recycling initiatives

Halle, Belgium, 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Colruyt Group has managed to recycle an increasing share of its industrial waste, leaving less and less residual waste. In the first six months of 2016, the recycling rate has risen to a record 82.1%, which is an increase of more than two percent over six months ago. In reality, this means that for every thousand kilos of industrial waste, 821 kilos are recycled. With this, we have already surpassed the 80% recycling target that was our goal for 2017.

Sorting at the source
These improved recycling results are mainly due to the type of sorting at the source, i.e. by the store employees. For example, the Colruyt stores made a special effort in the spring to sort the fermentable waste and the bread waste even better, thereby sending back 700 tonnes less residual waste. “We had a very strong information campaign for this, and it’s amazing to see how well the store employees picked it up. Now all we have to do is keep it up, so we’re supplying even more nifty sorting tips”, says Francoise Decoster at the environmental department.

Food Banks
Another positive point is that food waste has decreased considerably. Since the spring of this year, fourteen stores in Belgium have been donating their unsellable yet still perfectly edible foods directly to local organisations, overseen by the Food Banks. This way, between 2 and 3 tonnes of food per store per month were donated.

Francoise Decoster: “That means that less food surplus is returned to our distribution centres to be fermented. In and of itself, fermentation has its use, because it generates green energy. But using the food surplus for human consumption is even better.”

Second sorting
Finally, the percentage of residual waste will continue to decrease thanks to new sorting installations in Colruyt Group’s return centres, where the residual waste of all the stores, manufacturing and distribution centres, and office buildings is collected. There, this residual waste is once again thoroughly sorted in order to extract recyclables such as plastic, hard plastic, cardboard, wood, metal, and glass.

For more information, please visit simplysustain

Patti Verdoodt
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10


Colruyt Group updates on its recycling initiatives
Colruyt Group updates on its recycling initiatives


Source: Colruyt Group

Coop Bau+Hobby nimmt weitere Profi-Marken ins Sortiment auf

BASEL, SWITZERLAND, 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Bisher waren Profimarken wie Bosch Blau und Makita dem Fachhandel vorbehalten. Dies hat sich nun geändert. Ab sofort verkauft Coop Bau+Hobby eine grosse Auswahl der beliebten Profimarken Bosch Blau und Makita dauerhaft in ihren Verkaufsstellen und auf Damit stärkt Coop Bau+Hobby seine Marktführerschaft unter den Schweizer Baumärkten.

Die eigenen vier Wände verschönern, selber einen eigenen Tisch zimmern, den Gartensitzplatz neu gestalten oder die Hauswand selber schleifen und streichen: Immer mehr Schweizerinnen und Schweizer legen mit Hammer und Meissel selber Hand an. Coop Bau+Hobby unterstützt seine Kundinnen und Kunden bei ihren vielfältigen Heimwerkarbeiten mit einem sehr umfangreichen Sortiment von Elektrowerkzeugen und Zubehör renommierter Marken wie Einhell, Ryobi, Bosch Grün und AEG. Damit ist Coop Bau+Hobby bereits heute Schweizer Marktführer in diesem Bereich.

Profi-Marken auch für Heimwerker
Seit dieser Woche führt Coop Bau+Hobby alle gängigen Maschinen der Marken Makita und Bosch Blau in ihren Baumärkten und auf Bisher waren die beiden Marken exklusiv im Fachhandel erhältlich. Die Profimarken Bosch Blau und Makita bieten besonders ambitionierten Handwerkern top Elektrohandwerkzeuge. Mit der Einführung von Bosch Blau und Makita rundet Coop Bau+Hobby ihr Sortiment ab bietet für jedes Budget und jeden Anspruch alles im Bereich Elektrohandwerkzeug unter einem Dach an.

Bilder zum Download


Urs Meier, Leiter Medienstelle
Tel. +41 61 336 71 10

Ramón Gander, Mediensprecher
Tel. +41 61 336 71 67

Nadja Ruch, Mediensprecherin
Tel. +41 61 336 71 87

Source: Coop

SSP America announces the appointment of Heather Barry as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

LONDON, 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — SSP America a division of SSP Group, a leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, has appointed Heather Barry as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships.

In her new role, Heather will be responsible for SSP America’s development and strategic airport business diversity plans and program efforts across the company’s North American operations. These efforts will provide SSP America with operational and performance initiatives designed to enhance and advance SSP’s DBE/ACDBE (minority/women) business efforts.

Known throughout the aviation industry as a highly effective public administrator, Heather brings over 18 years of airport leadership as well as legislative experience to the SSP America team.

Heather most recently served as Director of Business Affairs at Denver International where she established and led the gateway’s Commerce Hub, part of the DEN Executive Office, which works to promote a transparent and competitive business environment by creating opportunities for the wider aviation business community.  Heather also served as DEN’s Director of Government Affairs and External Relations, and, served in senior legislative positions under two, consecutive Denver Mayors— Guillermo (Bill) Vidal and John W. Hickenlooper.

Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts, Communications Degree from the University of Washington and a Masters of Public Administration from The Evergreen State College, as well as professional certifications from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.  She is the recipient of the Airport Minority Advisory Council, Organization of the Year, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration Award for Minority and Small Business Advocacy.

Pat Murray, Executive Vice President of Business Development for SSP America, said: “Today, SSP America has more than 75 strategic relationships with joint venture partners, ACDBEs, subtenant operators and community organizers. We are delighted to welcome Heather Barry to our growing SSP America development team. Heather brings a highly unique skillset to SSP America having both extensive, first-hand airport business development as well as City Hall experience.  SSP America is proud to maintain lasting, quality relationships with all of our airport and business partners; Heather’s unparalleled experience in this position will add even further depth and innovation to these partnerships as SSP continues to grow across our North American operations.”

If you are a journalist and have a press enquiry, please call:
Templemere Public Relations
+44 (0) 1306 735574

Source: SSP

Topaz survey reveals what Irish parents think when it comes to choosing the right car seat for their child

New Topaz research reveals Ireland’s priorities for keeping kids safe on the road

DUBLIN, IRELAND, 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Topaz, Ireland’s largest fuel and convenience retailer, has today (10 Aug 2016) revealed the results of a new survey exposing what Irish parents really think when it comes to choosing the right car seat for their child.

Today’s survey results launch coincides with the announcement that Topaz are teaming up with Mothercare Ireland to give their customers the opportunity to avail of an expert car fitting service FREE of charge. The initiative will kick off this Friday 5thAugust at the Topaz Taney Road, Goatstown in Dublin and will be visiting selected sites until the 28th of August. Topaz are calling on their customers nationwide to check if their child’s car seat is the right fit with Mothercare Ireland’s fitting experts, who’ll be providing their top tips on saying yes to the perfect car seat.

The findings from the first ever Topaz ‘Check It Fits’ survey has revealed some very interesting facts when it comes to parents and families mindset when it comes to purchasing and fitting a child’s car seat.

To be sure – or not to be sure!
A key topic that split respondents was whether they can truly say they feel car seat confident. When asked if they were sure if they knew how to fit a car seat correctly, 29% of those surveyed admitted that while they feel they would be able to give it a go, they wouldn’t know for sure if they have fitted the seat correctly.
Just over half of us on the other hand would feel we’re experts at fitting a car seat and 6% wouldn’t even know where to start! That’s not all – just under 40% of us feel they would need to be guided by a store assistant in purchasing a car seat that’s the perfect fit.

Making a car seat choice that’s as good as new
The survey findings further solidify that it’s a family affair that’s firmly in Ireland’s driving seat. 28% of respondents noted that it would be Mum who would be the main driver for a family journey with 68% of us driving our Dads to take the steering wheel on a family road trip. Sometimes all it takes is a little teamwork to drive the right decision, with three quarters of Irish parents making that crucial call together on what car seat to buy for their child.

27% would accept nothing less than the latest car seat product on the market and perhaps it’s unsurprising then that only 5% would choose style over substance when purchasing a car seat for their newborn.

Now it’s time to Check It Fits with Topaz and Mothercare Ireland!
Throughout the month of August, Topaz and Mothercare Ireland will be embarking on a journey to help Irish motorists ensure their child’s safety with the rollout of the Check it Fits campaign. The Check It Fits roadshow will be touring the country over the coming weeks and encouraging the nation to check your child’s car seat is the right fit before taking it on the road.

Details of the full rollout will be announced by Topaz Energy on Facebook as theCheck It Fits roadshow comes to a forecourt near you, with Mothercare Ireland’s car fitting experts on hand to make sure your car seat is good to go.

Marketing Director of Mothercare Ireland, Laura Ward said: “I am delighted to be at Topaz City Avenue today to announce that we’re teaming up with Topaz and taking our Check It Fits activations back on the road. Like parents across the country, safety is a priority for us and we’re asking customers across the Topaz and Re.Store network to join us at selected forecourts nationwide and check if your child’s car seat is the right fit for your vehicle.

We hope that the results of this survey will encourage people nationwide to take some time out and spend just a few minutes with our car fitting experts in their local Topaz this August before taking their brand new seat for a spin.

MJ Tierney, Topaz Brand Manager said: “We’re delighted to partner with Mothercare Ireland as they continue to provide this invaluable car fitting service to families across the country free of charge. Whether you’re fitting a car seat for the very first time or you’re a rookie at the seat fitting game like myself, each seat fits differently and it’s crucially important for child safety to ensure that your car seat is fitted correctly.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for Topaz to partner with a fantastic brand like Mothercare to bring the Check It Fits campaign directly to our customers, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to local communities by offering vital services at forecourts nationwide’.


Topaz Head Office Tel: +353 (0)1 202 8888
Topaz Home Heat: Tel: 1850 250 650
Topaz Fax: +353 (0) 1 282 8320


Topaz survey reveals what Irish parents think when it comes to choosing the right car seat for their child
Topaz survey reveals what Irish parents think when it comes to choosing the right car seat for their child


Source: Topaz

Walgreens drugstores installs safe medication disposal kiosk in Iowa

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Walgreens today (10 August 2016) is launching its safe medication disposal kiosk program in Iowa with the installation of drug take-back kiosks at eight Walgreens drugstores in the state. The launch is part of Walgreens effort, announced in February, to install safe medication disposal kiosks at more than 500 of its drugstores around the country.

Walgreens will be joined today by Governor Terry Branstad, Attorney General Tom Miller, House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow, Senate Republican Leader Charles Schneider and Steve Lukan, Director, Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, to kick off the program.

The kiosks provide a safe and convenient way year-round to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications at no cost.

“By making safe medication disposal kiosks available in select Iowa stores and expanding to other states this year, Walgreens is taking an important first step to reduce the misuse of medications throughout the country and curb the rise in overdose deaths,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations. “Everyone has a role to play in minimizing prescription drug abuse, and we are committed to being part of a comprehensive solution to reverse this epidemic.”

Safe medication disposal kiosks are currently available in more than 300 Walgreens pharmacies across 23 states and Washington, D.C. The kiosks are available during regular pharmacy hours (24 hours a day at most kiosk locations) and offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.

Drug abuse continues to be a public health and safety risk. More Americans die every day from drug overdoses than from motor vehicle crashes, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 15 million Americans misused a prescription drug in 20141, and that same year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a national total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths, which include deaths from prescription and illicit drugs. That is a 6.5 percent increase from 2013 and a 140 percent increase since 2000.2

In addition to offering a year-round solution for individuals to dispose of their medications, Walgreens continues to participate in DEA sponsored National Prescription Drug Take Back Days, serving as a collection point in communities for law enforcement to collect unwanted, unused or expired medications for safe disposal. The company is also collaborating with the American Pharmacists Association Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies to continue to offer a substance abuse education program for pharmacists and student pharmacists.

States where Walgreens Safe Medication Disposal Program has been implemented:

Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin*

*Installation has begun in the state and is expected to be complete in August.

Select Iowa Walgreens with Safe Medication Disposal Kiosks:

Ankeny – 901 N. Ankeny Blvd.

Cedar Rapids – 3325 16th Ave. SW

Clive – 12753 University Ave.

Council Bluffs – 2508 W. Broadway

Davenport – 1525 E. Kimberly Road; 1660 W. Locust St.

Des Moines – 3140 SE 14th St.

Sioux City – 1900 Hamilton Blvd.

About Walgreens
Walgreens (, one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,173 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens omnichannel business includes and More than 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.

1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths –United States, 2000-2014


Michael Polzin


Walgreens drugstores installs safe medication disposal kiosk in Iowa
Walgreens drugstores installs safe medication disposal kiosk in Iowa

Source: Walgreens

Howard and Sheri Schultz honored with the Aspen Institute’s 2016 Public Service Award

Howard and Sheri Schultz honored with the Aspen Institute’s 2016 Public Service Award
Howard and Sheri Schultz honored with the Aspen Institute’s 2016 Public Service Award


Seattle, 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — In recognition of their work on behalf of youth and veterans, Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo of Starbucks and Sheri Schultz, co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation (SFF) have been honored with the Aspen Institute’s 2016 Public Service Award.

The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan forum promoting values-based leadership and the exchange of ideas. One of the nonprofit’s priorities is finding ways to engage nearly six million people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not in school and not working.

“The fastest growing population in America is called opportunity youth. At one time they were named at-risk youth, but we realized they are tremendous assets for a community,” said Sheri Schultz. “We wanted to get under the surface to understand what we could do to change that problem.”

Hiring opportunity youth and creating meaningful career paths for them is a key focus of SFF and Starbucks which, together with about 40 leading companies, are behind the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. Launched a year ago, the coalition brings the private and public sectors together to work with community-based organizations to train and hire 100,000 young Americans by 2018.

The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative’s effort has resulted in Starbucks and other major companies hiring thousands of young people, primarily through hiring fairs in Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Seattle. Mock interviews, resume workshops, and community resources features of the events that serve the interests of 70 percent of the attendees who may not be prepared for their first job.

“For the promise of American and the American Dream to avail itself to all of us, the country cannot be divided and leave so many people behind because of a lack of hope and opportunity,” said Howard Schultz. “I wish you could walk through these job fairs with us and see the talent, the passion and also the waste that we have in our system as a result of not utilizing all of this talent to the best of their ability. All they want, more than anything else, is a door to be opened and an opportunity to present itself.”

Grounded in its Mission and Values, Starbucks has a series of initiatives aimed at creating pathways to opportunity for its partners (employees) and the communities it serves around the globe.

In addition to its commitment to hiring opportunity youth, Starbucks is investing in at least 15 new stores with on-site job training for youth in low-income communities. Two such stores have opened in Queens, New York and Ferguson, Missouri, with a third opening next week in Phoenix.

Starbucks is well on its way toward hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses, a commitment made in 2013. The company also plans to have at least 25,000 Starbucks College Achievement Plan graduates by 2025, and recently announced the expansion of a similar college benefit program for its partners in Korea.

“The country is in need of both an economic and moral transformation,” said Howard Schultz. “I think on a parallel track corporate America is need of its own transformation recognizing that chasing profits as a primary goal is a shallow objective and you’re not going to be able to create a great and enduring company unless there is more to the reason the company exists. There has to be a balance between profit and social impact.”

Media contact:

Phone: 206 318 7100

Source: Starbucks


Starbucks to debut Almondmilk as non-dairy alternative starting September 6

Starbucks to debut Almondmilk as non-dairy alternative starting September 6
Starbucks to debut Almondmilk as non-dairy alternative starting September 6


Seattle, 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — On My Starbucks Idea, the company’s platform for crowd sourcing customer and barista suggestions, thousands of ideas are submitted and voted on each year. Next month, one of the site’s top customer product requests is arriving in Starbucks stores.

Starting September 6, Starbucks Almondmilk will be available in more than 4,600 stores as a non-dairy alternative, in addition to soy milk and coconut milk. Almondmilk will initially be available in company-operated and -licensed stores in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, New York, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, kicking off a nationwide roll out that will be complete by the end of September. It will be available for use in Starbucks handcrafted beverages, including hot or iced drinks and Frappuccino® blended beverages.

“We created our own almond milk recipe to complement our hot, iced and Frappuccino® blended beverages,” said Yoke Wong, manager on Starbucks beverage R&D team. “It was designed so that when steamed, it creates a rich foam for hot beverages and is delicious and creamy when served in cold beverages.”

Starbucks introduced its first non-dairy milk alternative in 2004 with the launch of soy milk, followed by coconut milk in February 2015. This summer Starbucks introduced the Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato, the first signature beverage recipe to use coconut milk. Starbucks also saw a cultural phenomenon with Pink Drink, a customer-driven beverage customization made with a Strawberry Acai Refreshers substituting water with coconut milk. Pink Drink, the subject of more than 100,000 Instagram posts, inspired several colorful beverage creations.

Almondmilk is sure to inspire other customizations from Starbucks customers who consider it their preferred non-dairy option. More than half (58 percent) of all U.S. adults consume non-dairy milk, and almond milk is the most popular option with 60 percent of the non-dairy market, according to Mintel Data, which tracks grocery shopping habits.*

“The almond butter in our almondmilk adds body and complements the roasty notes of espresso,” Wong said. “Because it’s unflavored, customers can customize to their taste preferences.”

Starbucks Almondmilk has light almond notes without any added flavoring. An 8-ounce serving has just 3 grams of sugar, compared with 12-13 grams of naturally occurring sugar in 2 percent dairy milk. It can be used in any handcrafted Starbucks beverage for an additional 60 cent charge.

*Mintel: U.S. Non-Dairy Milk, April 2016

Starbucks is following the latest industry approach by spelling non-dairy milk alternatives as one word, almondmilk, rather than two words.

Media contact:

Phone: 206 318 7100

Source: Starbucks


Hippeas organic chickpea puffs joins Starbucks assortment of grab-and-go snacks

Hippeas organic chickpea puffs joins Starbucks assortment of grab-and-go snacks
Hippeas organic chickpea puffs joins Starbucks assortment of grab-and-go snacks


Seattle, 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — When Livio Bisterzo and his team set out to make a “better for you” snack, they pushed the boundaries as far as they could go. What resulted is a new product called Hippeas, organic chickpea puffs that are gluten-free, vegan, kosher, 100 calories per pack, 3 grams of protein and a good source of fiber.

“We worked really hard to create a snack for the health and socially conscious consumer,” said Bisterzo, founder, Green Park Brands. “We also wanted to create a snack that delivers on taste.”

Hippeas recently became the latest product to join Starbucks assortment of grab-and-go snacks. Two flavors – Vegan White Cheddar and Far Out Fajita – are available in more than 7,500 Starbucks locations across the U.S.

Bisterzo has been in the health and natural food industry for seven years. In May 2015, he  started working with a food innovation company to create Hippeas. After several rounds of product development and consumer testing, they landed on a finished product.

“We started working with chickpeas as the hero ingredient and worked very hard to get the right shape, taste, bite and texture,” said Bisterzo. “We knew that we needed to create a product that didn’t steer too far away from what customers are used to and one they would be proud to pick up from the shelf.”

Bisterzo has fielded thousands of comments from customers who are happy to have Hippeas as their new go-to snack.

“We wanted our snack to be culturally relevant, address many consumer trends and resonate with consumers,” said Bisterzo. “I believe that we delivered on the right product at the right time.”

Carolyn Chinn, merchandising lead for Starbucks Retail Branded Partnerships, is constantly seeking new snacks that customers will enjoy.

“We listen to the feedback we receive from customers, including the need to provide food items that meet certain dietary needs,” said Chinn. “Our goal is to have products that are fantastic by any standard and, if they are also gluten-free, vegan or meet other needs, that’s even better.”

While Bisterzo is extremely pleased with the Hippeas product, he is equally proud of the brand’s social mission. Hippeas has partnered with Farm Africa and will be giving back by supporting chickpea farmers in eastern Africa.

“The recognition the brand is getting, the opportunities coming our way and the ability to give back are incredible. I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” he said.

Media contact:

Phone: 206 318 7100

Source: Starbucks


Walmart to acquire for approximately $3 billion

BENTONVILLE, Ark. and HOBOKEN, N.J., 2016-Aug-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and, Inc. today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for Walmart to acquire Jet for approximately $3 billion in cash, a portion of which will be paid over time. Additionally, $300 million of Walmart shares will be paid over time as part of the transaction.

The acquisition will build on and complement the significant foundation already in place to serve customers across the Walmart app, site and stores and position the company for even faster e-commerce growth in the future by expanding customer reach and adding new capabilities. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, has been approved by the Boards of Directors for both companies and is expected to close this calendar year.

“We’re looking for ways to lower prices, broaden our assortment and offer the simplest, easiest shopping experience because that’s what our customers want,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “We believe the acquisition of Jet accelerates our progress across these priorities. will grow faster, the seamless shopping experience we’re pursuing will happen quicker, and we’ll enable the Jet brand to be even more successful in a shorter period of time. Our customers will win. It’s another jolt of entrepreneurial spirit being injected into Walmart.”

Jet is among the fastest growing and most innovative e-commerce companies in the U.S., with an experienced leadership team led by co-founder and CEO Marc Lore, together with fellow co-founders Mike Hanrahan and Nate Faust. Among other things, Lore previously co-founded and led Quidsi, the parent company of e-commerce sites, and With the help of Faust and Hanrahan, Lore grew Quidsi into a prominent and successful business that was ultimately sold. The acquisition of Jet will infuse Walmart with fresh ideas and expertise, as well as an attractive brand with proven appeal, especially with Millennials, the first generation of true digital natives. Among other things, Jet has:

  • Demonstrated ability to scale with speed, reaching $1 billion in run-rate Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and offering 12 million SKUs in its first year.
  • A growing customer base of urban and millennial customers with more than 400,000 new shoppers added monthly and an average of 25,000 daily processed orders.
  • Best-in-class technology that rewards customers in real time with savings on items that are bought and shipped together, thereby reducing the supply-chain and logistics costs often buried in the price of goods.
  • A select group of more than 2,400 retailer and brand partners tailored to create an attractive and distinctive assortment for consumers.

“We started Jet with the vision of creating a new shopping experience,” Lore said. “Today, I couldn’t be more excited that we will be joining with Walmart to help fuel the realization of that vision. The combination of Walmart’s retail expertise, purchasing scale, sourcing capabilities, distribution footprint, and digital assets – together with the team, technology and business we have built here at Jet – will allow us to deliver more value to customers.”

Walmart and Jet will maintain distinct brands, with focusing on delivering the company’s Everyday Low Price strategy, while Jet will continue to provide a unique and differentiated customer experience with curated assortment. Walmart and Jet will leverage innovative technology solutions from both companies to develop new offerings to help customers save time and money.

Walmart believes it will obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to complete the transaction and both companies intend to make all necessary filings in the near future.

As a reminder, Walmart will release its second quarter earnings on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016.

Financial advisors to Walmart on this transaction were Allen & Company and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,527 stores under 63 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting on Facebook at and on Twitter at Online merchandise sales are available at and

Forward Looking Statements
The statements in this press release regarding the impact of this acquisition and the anticipated closing date are believed to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended (the “Act”), that are intended to enjoy the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by the Act. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors.

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Steve Schmitt
(479) 258-7172

Media Relations contact:
Randy Hargrove
(800) 331-0085

Source: WalMart Stores, Inc.