METRO GROUP: the Wholesale and Food Business to be called METRO; the Consumer Electronics division to be called CECONOMY

  • New company names published: It is intended that, in the future, the METRO GROUP Wholesale and Food Specialist Company will be called METRO, the METRO GROUP Consumer Electronics Company will be called CECONOMY
  • Two focused, independent companies present their equity stories at the Capital Markets Day
  • After effective date of the demerger, both companies expected to qualify for the MDAX
  • Management teams confirm planned dividend continuity
  • Separation at ratio of 1:1: it is proposed that each shareholder of the former METRO AG will receive one share of the new METRO AG in addition to the METRO (future CECONOMY) share

Düsseldorf, 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Through its planned demerger, METRO GROUP is launching two strong, successful and strategically focused companies. For the first time, the Wholesale and Food Specialist and the company focused on Consumer Electronics are set to present their strategies as independent entities. At the Capital Markets Day in Düsseldorf, company names and brand positioning will be presented for the first time: It is intended that, in the future, the Wholesale and Food Business will operate under the corporate brand METRO, while the Consumer Electronics division will operate under the brand CECONOMY.

“Today, two dynamic companies with the best positioning in their sectors will introduce themselves. Each of these companies has established a strong and future-proof strategic, operative and financial position – and as independent companies we will set our course for sustainable and healthy growth,” said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG, at the Capital Markets Day in Düsseldorf. “Our Wholesale and Food business is already one of the leading international companies, and we will gain momentum in all 35 countries in which we operate our store-based and delivery business.”

Pieter Haas, designated CEO of the future CECONOMY, said: “We are the number one in European Consumer Electronics and we have created an excellent starting position for our upcoming independence through a comprehensive realignment. We currently generate €22 billion in annual sales and have nearly two billion customer contacts each year. All our stores are now fully digitised and integrated into our multichannel strategy. We combine the emotional shopping experience in our stores with the benefits of digital technologies. With our products and services, we are present for our customers on all channels and we are their partner and daily companion in an increasingly digitising world. We are ready! I am convinced that our best years are yet to come.”

Wholesale and Food business: Realignment offers ideal conditions for continued appreciation in value

The new METRO AG is an internationally leading specialist in wholesale and food retail and primarily comprises METRO Cash & Carry and Real, in addition to delivery specialists and other companies. METRO is active in 35 countries with local wholesale companies and delivery specialists (Classic Fine Foods, Rungis Express, Pro à Pro, Midban). This business has attained an excellent position in its markets, both through its leading role in the self-service wholesale trade, but also through a growing presence in the delivery business. In financial year 2014/15, METRO Cash & Carry introduced a new operating model to increase growth and sales. It gives far more entrepreneurial freedom to the individual countries and allows for greater customer focus. METRO profited from the focus on increased customer value; for 13 quarters in a row, like-for-like sales have increased and profitability has improved substantially.

The second activity under the new roof is Real, a leading large-scale full-range supplier (hypermarket) in the food retail sector in Germany. Real operates 285 hypermarkets in Germany. Following a phase of consolidation, Real has created the economic framework for future growth, particularly by implementing new market concepts, an agreement with the trade union and procurement cooperation with Markant and PHD. As a benchmark for the distribution of dividends, the future METRO AG confirmed a targeted range of 45 to 55% of the company’s earnings per share.

Largest supplier of consumer electronics in Europe is well-positioned for further growth and increased profitability

Separation of the companies at a ratio of 1:1 – MDAX qualification expected for both companies

While it is intended that the former METRO AG will continue to exist as future CECONOMY AG and will constitute the Consumer Electronics business, it is planned that the Wholesale and Food Specialist will be spun off as an independent, stock-listed company and will operate under the established name of METRO. The separation of METRO GROUP into two independent companies will be proposed to the shareholders at a ratio of 1:1. Hence, each shareholder of the former METRO AG will receive one share of the new METRO AG in addition to the CECONOMY share. These new shares are entitled to participate in dividends for the financial years starting 1 October 2016. The future CECONOMY will hold 10% of the future METRO AG. 1% of the share capital is paid in return for the transfer of the assets to be spun off; the disposal is blocked for seven years. The remaining 9% also constitutes a purely financial participation and does not involve any managerial role at the future METRO AG. This participation is subject to a customary holding period of six months. CECONOMY is the holding company of Media-Saturn, the European number one in consumer electronics on the basis of its sales of €22 billion (financial year 2015/16), market share, selling space and its 65,000 employees. Media-Saturn is active in 15 European countries and is the market leader in nine of them. All of the more than 1,000 stores have now been made multichannel ready and have been converted to digital technology. In combination with its strong web presence, the company currently reports 5.8 million customer contacts per day. In the past two years, Media-Saturn has increased sales and improved profitability. Media-Saturn intends to utilize its solid financial structure and experienced management to increase internet and online-induced sales in particular, expand its services business and lead consolidation in the sector. In principle, the company intends to base its dividend payment on a payout ratio of 45 to 55% of the earnings per share.

The annual general meeting of METRO AG will vote on this demerger on 6 February 2017. The decision to separate the businesses requires a majority of three-quarters of the share capital of METRO AG represented at the annual general meeting. All three anchor shareholders of METRO AG – together holding almost 50% of the vote – have already indicated their support for the demerger. These anchor shareholders have also agreed to a holding obligation (so-called lock-up) conforming to usual market conditions and other restrictions on disposal.

Right after the effective date of the demerger, all shares of the new METRO AG are expected to be admitted for trading in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange; a secondary listing on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange is planned. The Management Board of the former METRO AG expects that both companies will meet the MDAX criteria and will be listed in this market segment. The aim is to achieve Investment Grade Rating for both companies. As a result of the demerger, costs for taxes in the single-digit millions and transaction costs amounting to approximately €100 million are expected to be incurred.

Composition of the Management Boards and the Supervisory Boards

With effect from the date of the separation, probably in mid-2017, the future METRO AG will be managed by a Management Board that will be reduced from five to four members and headed by the Chairman of the Management Board Olaf Koch. The current Board members Pieter Boone (COO) and Heiko Hutmacher (Human Resources) will be joined by Christian Baier, previously CFO of METRO Cash & Carry, as the new CFO. It is intended that the Management Board of CECONOMY will consist of three persons: Besides designated Chairman of the Management Board Pieter Haas and CFO Mark Frese (both Board members at the old METRO AG), it is planned that Dr. Dieter Haag Molkenteller will serve as the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer.

As a result of the demerger of METRO AG, the 20-person strong Supervisory Boards of the companies will also be reconstituted. Some of the current members of METRO AG’s Supervisory Board are expected to be appointed to the new Supervisory Board. As reported, it is planned that the Supervisory Board of the new company METRO AG will be chaired by METRO’s current Chairman of the Supervisory Board Jürgen B. Steinemann. The following persons are designated to become further members of the Supervisory Board and representatives of the shareholders: Gwyn Burr, Dr. Florian Funck, Peter Küpfer, Mattheus P. M. (Theo) de Raad and Dr. Fredy Raas. The remaining shareholder representatives have not yet been appointed at this stage.

As previously reported, it is proposed that Jürgen Fitschen will chair the Supervisory Board of CECONOMY. The independent management consultant Dr. Bernhard Düttmann will be nominated for election at the next annual general meeting in place of Jürgen B. Steinemann who will be stepping down. Dr. jur. Hans-Jürgen Schinzler will remain a member after the spin-off. Regine Stachelhaus will be newly recommended for election to the Supervisory Board. She will be nominated in place of Prof. Dr. Ann-Kristin Achleitner who will withdraw. In place of Gwyn Burr, who will move to the new METRO AG, Julia Goldin, Member of the Executive Board of Lego A/S, Billund/Denmark is nominated for election. In place of Mattheus P.M. (Theo) de Raad, who will also move, British national Jo Harlow, Member of the Board of InterContinental Hotels, is nominated for election. Further proposals have not been finalised at this point.

METRO GROUP is one of the most important international retailing companies. It generated sales of some €58 billion in financial year 2015/16. The company operates at more than 2,000 locations in 30 countries and employs some 220,000 people. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands, which act independently on the market: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry, the international leader in the self-service wholesale trade; Media Markt and Saturn, the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing; and Real hypermarkets.

More information at

This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Metro management and other information currently available to METRO. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. METRO does not intend, and does not assume any liability whatsoever, to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Corporate Communications
Metro-Straße 1
40235 Düsseldorf

Phone +49 (0) 211 68 86-42 52
Fax +49 (0) 211 68 86-20 01


Kesko’s homepage ranked Finland’s best corporate website for the second consecutive time

Helsinki, 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko’s homepage at has been ranked Finland’s best corporate website for a second consecutive time. The Swedish Comprend’s 20th Webranking survey ranks corporate websites on 50 criteria derived from company stakeholders’ needs and wishes.

The 50 largest Finnish listed companies were included in the survey. On a Europe-wide scale, the survey covered over 800 companies and the 100 largest companies globally. Kesko’s score was 92.2/100, which was several points higher from last year.

“This is a great proof of Kesko’s systematic development of digital services. Kesko aims to build the trading sector’s best digital services for the K-Group customers for shopping to be fun”, says Channel Director Harri Utoslahti.

Kesko ranked above the Finnish average on all website sections: homepage, about us, press, reporting, share, investor relations, governance, CSR, careers and website functionalities. In this year’s survey, Kesko was the only company to score full points for the company information section.

In the retail sector, the survey covered 41 European companies among which Kesko was ranked the best.

You can read more about the survey at Kesko’s website address is

Kesko and K-retailers form the K-Group, whose sales total over €13 billion. The K-Group is the third largest retail operator in northern Europe and it employs approximately 45,000 people. Kesko operates in the grocery trade, the building and technical trade and the car trade. Its divisions and chains act in close cooperation with retailer entrepreneurs and other partners. Kesko’s net sales are €10 billion and it employs approximately 30,000 people. Kesko has over 1,500 stores engaged in chain operations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Poland. Kesko is a listed company and its shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. The company’s domicile and main premises are in Helsinki. Kesko is the world’s most sustainable trading sector company (The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World).

Riikka Toivonen
Head of Financial Communications
tel. +358 105 323 495

Source: Kesko Group

K-Group recruits nearly 50 new specialists to build the leading digital services in the trading sector

HELSINKI, 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko’s 70 digital recruits this year will be complemented by nearly 50 more new digital specialists. New talents are sought to build the leading digital services in the trading sector and to lead IT’s new development teams and digital projects.

The K-Group is now seeking experts in digital business and new technology. Professionals in this field are sought especially for the development of mobile services, analytics, process automation and modern e-commerce solutions.

“We offer IT professionals interesting challenges with latest technology and the opportunity to build the best digital services in the trading sector with top experts,” says Arto Hiltunen, Kesko’s Chief Information Officer.

K-Group is building customer experience into a superior competitive advantage

Kesko’s strategic objective is to offer the K-Group customers the best digital services in the trading sector with which to strengthen the customer experience and the competitiveness of the K-Group’s business operations. This year, 50 digital experts have been recruited by the building and technical trade division and 20 by the K Digital Unit. The search now launched will add 50 new specialists to the K IT Unit.

“We have an excellent team where people really enjoy working. We are looking for new reinforcements in order to accelerate the speed of changes. This is an excellent opportunity to actually contribute to the digital transition. Our work has an impact on the daily lives of all Finnish people,” says Hiltunen.

The K IT Unit underpins digitalisation in all K-Group business operations and operating countries. In our work, we use the leading technology suppliers and the most innovative start-ups of the market, as well as the extensive number of expert business partners.

The about 45,000 exceptionally nice people of the K-Group work daily to make shopping fun for customers in our stores in the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries, Poland and Russia. We help our more than 1,500 stores serve their customers in the grocery trade, the building and technical trade, and the car trade. We do our work with a big heart while paying attention to society and the environment. We are already the most responsible food retailer in the world and always eager to try out something new. We are doing this to offer good choices both on the shelves of the local stores and online.

Arto Hiltunen
Kesko Corporation
tel. +358 50 306 4065

Source: Kesko

Stein Mart, Inc. declares quarterly dividend of $0.075 per common share

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Stein Mart, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMRT) announced today (Dec. 15, 2016 ) that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.075 per common share, payable on January 13, 2017 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 30, 2016.

About Stein Mart
Stein Mart, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMRT) is a national retailer offering designer and name-brand fashion, accessories and home decor at everyday discount prices. Stein Mart provides real value that customers will love every day both in stores and online. The Company currently operates 290 stores across 31 states. Stein Mart is adding new modern brands to its stores to offer discriminating shoppers even more of the fashion and savings they want. For more information, please visit


Linda Tasseff
Investor Relations
(904) 858-2639

Source: Stein Mart, Inc./globenewswire

Bon-Ton Family of Department Stores to spread holiday joy with gift cards give away on December 18

The first 400 people in every store receive a free gift card valued between $5 and $500

MILWAUKEE, 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:BONT) which operates Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Bergner’s, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers stores, is spreading the joy this holiday season by giving customers a special bonus when they shop at their hometown store.  Starting at 7 a.m. this Sunday, December 18, each store will give the first 400 customers (while supplies last) a gift card valued between $5 and $500 with one guaranteed $500 winner at every store location. In total, the retailer will give away a total of $1 million in gift cards. An entrance at each store will be identified with signs and open at 6:45 a.m. for customers to line-up out of the cold weather before the store opens.

“At Bon-Ton we appreciate our customers and we are sharing the joy with them this holiday season during our $1 million gift card giveaway,” says Kathryn Bufano, President & CEO, The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. “As the hometown department store, giving our customers a special surprise when they walk in to our store lets them know we care.”

The gift cards have no exclusions or expiration and can be given as a gift or used as tender and combined with coupons to shop immediately in any Bon-Ton family of department stores. With just seven shopping days remaining, customers can also take advantage of Bon-Ton’s Last Minute Gift Sale that also begins Sunday with special bonus buys, deals and a $50 off $100 coupon, available on the company’s mobile app (some exclusions apply), to use for last minute holiday gifts.

In compliance with state laws, four North Dakota Herberger’s store locations will open at Noon and begin handing out gift cards to customers; Bismarck, ND at Kirkwood Mall, Dickinson, ND at Prairie Hills Mall, Minot, ND at Dakota Square and Fargo, ND at West Acres. There is a limit of one gift card per customer, and customers must be 18 or older to receive a gift card. In addition, clearance centers, furniture galleries and Carson’s Riverside Plaza store are excluded from this promotion.

About The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 267 stores, which includes 9 furniture galleries and five clearance centers, in 26 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates. The stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings. The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. is an active and positive participant in the communities it serves. ?

For store locations and information, visit Join the conversation and be inspired by following Bon-Ton on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and the fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog, #LoveStyle.


Christine Hojnacki

Source: The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc./globenewswire

CVS Health outlined strategies to drive growth and shareholder value at its 2016 annual Analyst Day

  • CVS Health executives highlight how the company is making care more affordable, accessible and effective, and sees compelling opportunities in a robust health care market
  • Company’s unique suite of leading assets help drive superior health outcomes at lower costs
  • Guidance for GAAP diluted EPS from continuing operations updated for charges related to streamlining initiative that is expected to deliver $3 billion in cumulative savings over 5 years; Guidance for Adjusted EPS reaffirmed for 2016 and 2017

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) held its annual Analyst Day in New York City today (December 15, 2016), outlining strategies for how the company will drive long-term growth and shareholder value. In his opening remarks, CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo stated, “By making care more affordable, accessible and effective, we can deliver value to all health care stakeholders, allowing us to be a partner of choice as they look to achieve their health care goals. Despite all the changes happening in health care, success will ultimately be determined by how effective you are at executing on these three objectives. And we remain confident that CVS Health is well-positioned to deliver on all three.”

“We continue to have the most extensive suite of enterprise assets”, continued Merlo. “On a standalone basis, each one would be market leading. Yet what really sets them apart is our ability, largely through technology, to integrate pharmacy care from the payor, to the provider, to the patient.” Borrowing a colloquial phrase widely used in telecommunications to refer to the final leg of delivering services to customers, Merlo declared, “We own the last mile of service in the delivery of health care. If you think about all of our enterprise assets, each one delivers care directly to the health care consumer. And keep in mind that retail pharmacy is quite often the front door to health care, with the highest frequency of patient interaction. The face-to-face interactions between patients and our 30,000 pharmacists and clinicians provide us with an unmatched ability to help change consumer behavior and drive better health outcomes at a lower cost. With increasing consumerism and what we call the “retailization” of health care, improving clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction is of significant value to our health care partners.”

Also at the meeting, Dave Denton, executive vice president and chief financial officer, reviewed the company’s expectations for 2016 and 2017 while also discussing the company’s long-term growth targets and plans to maximize shareholder value.

“Over the past three years, our strong earnings growth, solid working capital management, disciplined capital investments and sound debt management have enabled us to generate a significant amount of cash that has been made available for enhancing shareholder value, and we have done just that. We have a proven track record of success in meeting our long-term growth targets and we are targeting, on average, 10% growth in Adjusted EPS longer-term. We also expect $7 billion to $8 billion of cash to be available annually for enhancing shareholder value.”

“Given the recent changes in the marketplace and our outlook for 2017, we have put a plan in place to return to more robust levels of growth,” Denton added. “One element of this plan relates to our multi-year enterprise streamlining initiative, which aims to further improve productivity and to solidify the company’s low-cost provider status. We expect to deliver approximately $700 to $750 million in annual savings across the enterprise by 2021, with cumulative savings of nearly $3 billion over the next five years. This will also free up capital for strategic investments that can help drive the continued growth and success of the enterprise,” Denton concluded.

2016 and 2017 Guidance

GAAP diluted EPS from continuing operations for 2016 and 2017 has been updated to reflect an estimated $35 million asset impairment charge and an estimated $230 million lease obligation charge, respectively, for store rationalization related to the enterprise streamlining initiative. GAAP diluted EPS is now expected to be in the range of $4.82 to $4.88 in 2016 and $5.02 to $5.18 in 2017. The company reaffirmed its previous Adjusted EPS outlook for both 2016 and 2017. The company expects to deliver Adjusted EPS of $5.77 to $5.83 in 2016 and $5.77 to $5.93 in 2017. The Adjusted EPS guidance assumes the completion of $5 billion in share repurchases during 2017. The company reaffirmed its previous cash flow outlook for 2016, and expects to deliver cash flow from operations of $9.1 billion to $9.3 billion and free cash flow of $6.8 billion to $7.0 billion this year. In 2017, the company expects to deliver cash flow from operations of $7.7 billion to $8.6 billion and free cash flow of $6.0 billion to $6.4 billion.

The company also announced that its Board of Directors has approved an 18 percent increase in the annual dividend in 2017, an increase that translates to $2.00 per share, up 30 cents per share over 2016. This is the company’s fourteenth consecutive year with a dividend increase. In addition, as stated on the company’s third quarter earnings call, with a new $15 billion share repurchase authorization, the company now has more than $18 billion authorized to be used for share repurchases over the next few years.

In other presentations, Jon Roberts, president of CVS Caremark, addressed how CVS Health’s pharmacy benefit management business continues to be the PBM of choice with another successful selling season and is continually innovating to meet the latest health care challenges. Alan Lotvin, executive vice president of CVS Specialty, discussed how the unique integrated PBM-specialty model is best-positioned to meet the diverse and complex needs of patients, payors, and providers. Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy, outlined how the retail pharmacy business can be the best partner for all PBMs and health plans by leveraging the company’s enterprise assets and offering a menu of bundled services that can provide significant value to payors. She also highlighted growth strategies for the front store, long-term care pharmacy and MinuteClinic businesses.

Audio and Video Webcast

The company simultaneously broadcast an audio and video webcast of the meeting through the Investor Relations section of the CVS Health website at This webcast and supporting materials will be archived and available on the website for a one-year period following the meeting.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 80 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. By their nature, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements for a number of reasons as described in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including those set forth in the Risk Factors section and under the section entitled “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements” in our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release contains certain non-GAAP financial measures, namely Adjusted EPS and Free Cash Flow. In accordance with SEC regulations, you can find the definitions of the Non-GAAP items mentioned, as well as the reconciliations to comparable GAAP measures, further in this press release.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The following provides reconciliations of certain non-GAAP financial measures presented in this Form 8-K to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. The Company uses the non-GAAP measures “Adjusted EPS” and “Free Cash Flow” to assess and analyze underlying business performance and trends. Management believes that providing these non-GAAP measures enhances investors’ understanding of the Company’s performance.

The Company defines Adjusted Earnings per Share, or Adjusted EPS, as income from continuing operations excluding the impact of the amortization of intangible assets, acquisition-related integration costs, loss on early extinguishment of debt, charge in connection with store rationalization, charge related to a disputed 1999 legal settlement and loss on settlement of defined benefit pension plan divided by the Company’s weighted average diluted shares outstanding. The Company believes that this measure enhances investors’ ability to compare the Company’s past financial performance with its current performance.

The Company defines Free Cash Flow as net cash provided by operating activities less net additions to properties and equipment (i.e., additions to property and equipment plus proceeds from sale-leaseback transactions). Management uses this non-GAAP financial measure for internal comparisons and finds it useful in assessing year-over-year cash flow performance.

These non-GAAP financial measures are provided as supplemental information to the financial measures presented in this press release that are calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. Adjusted EPS should be considered in addition to, rather than as a substitute for, income before income tax provision as a measure of our performance. Free Cash Flow should be considered in addition to, rather than as a substitute for, net cash provided by operating activities as a measure of our liquidity. The Company’s definitions of Adjusted EPS and Free Cash Flow may not be comparable to similarly titled measurements reported by other companies.

The Company has not provided a reconciliation of the long-term Adjusted EPS and cash available for enhancing shareholder value targets announced today to GAAP EPS and net cash provided by operating activities. The Company is unable to reasonably estimate the GAAP items excluded from the multi-year, long-term Adjusted EPS and cash available for enhancing shareholder value targets.

Adjusted Earnings Per Share Guidance


The following reconciliation of estimated income before income tax provision to estimated adjusted earnings per share contains forward-looking information. All forward-looking information involves risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking information for a number of reasons as described in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including those set forth in the Risk Factors section and under the section entitled “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements” in our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. See also “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” above for more information on how we calculate Adjusted EPS.

Free Cash Flow Guidance


The following reconciliation of net cash provided by operating activities to free cash flow contains forward-looking information. All forward-looking information involves risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking information for a number of reasons as described in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including those set forth in the Risk Factors section and under the section entitled “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements” in our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. See also “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” above for more information on how we calculate Free Cash Flow.


Nancy Christal
Investor Relations

Carolyn Castel
Corporate Communications

Source: CVS Health

NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey: 156 million Americans consider taking advantage of Super Saturday sales

Washington, 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The biggest shopping day of the holiday season is approaching, with 66 percent of Americans – an estimated 155.7 million people – planning to or considering taking advantage of Super Saturday sales to complete their holiday gift list, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

For the first time in survey history, consumers were asked if they are planning to or considering shopping on Super Saturday, December 17. The survey found that more people said they planned to shop on Super Saturday than those who said they planned to shop over Thanksgiving Weekend, in an earlier survey.

“While many consumers got a head start with holiday shopping by taking advantage of extraordinary sales over Thanksgiving weekend, more shopping and great deals are yet to come,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We expect retailers will once again be competitive on price and value options in the final stretch, especially on Super Saturday.”

Though millions of people got a jump start on their holiday shopping, millions more still have plenty of items on their lists. Similar to previous years, only one in 10 have finished their holiday shopping – 24 million people; that means 90 percent of holiday shoppers have gifts, food, décor and/or other holiday items still to buy. The average holiday shopper has completed 52.5 percent of their shopping, down from last year’s 53.5 percent.

The survey revealed of those consumers that have completed half or less of their holiday shopping say it is because they are still deciding what to buy (44.7 percent) or waiting for requests from loved ones (27.2 percent). While 27 percent have other financial priorities before December and 25 percent said they are too busy with other activities which have delayed/restricted their time to shop for the holidays.

When it comes to when consumers are planning to purchase their last holiday gift, more than 38 percent said sometime before December 18th, up from 33 percent last year. Although 12 percent of consumers said that they are planning to wait until December 23rd.

Last-minute shoppers are planning to purchase their gifts online (52 percent), department stores (42 percent), discount stores (27 percent), clothing or accessories stores (21 percent), electronics stores (18 percent), local/small business (14 percent) and grocery/supermarket stores (13 percent).

“Even though there is still a lot of shopping left for the season, we are seeing Millennials continue the trend of an optimistic outlook heading into the final stretch,” Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “Although they tend to be most conservative holiday spenders, nearly half of those 18 to 24 say they are planning to spend ‘more’ this year compared to last, significantly higher than their older counterparts.”

As far as the kind of gifts consumers have purchased this season, the survey found 50 percent purchased clothing or clothing accessories, 36 percent toys, 34 percent gift cards/gift certificates, 33 percent books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games, and 23 percent consumer electronics or computer-related accessories.

Also popular this year are gifts of experience such as tickets to a sporting event, cheese of the month club or an adventure outing like whitewater rafting. The survey found that 23 percent of consumers are planning to give a gift of experience, up from 22 percent last year. While 38 percent of consumers would love to receive a gift of experience, up from 37 percent last year.

Consumers receiving gift cards this holiday season will watch for a really good sale or promotion to maximize the value of the gift card (41 percent) and 22 percent will use their gift card as quickly as possible, up from 20 percent last year. While 19 percent of consumers say they will save their gift card for a rainy day or sometime when they feel they need to treat themselves.

Although consumers are getting ready to complete their holiday shopping within the next week, 48 percent of consumers are planning to take advantage of in-store after-Christmas sales (up from 47 percent last year) and 44 percent are planning to shop online (up from 43 percent last year).

The survey, which asked 6,890 consumers about holiday shopping plans, was conducted December 1 – 7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Full data results will not be published on News media and analysts who require additional information can contact

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & 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.

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.


Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

NRF Foundation announces top five finalists for its Next Generation Scholarship program

WASHINGTON, 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation Foundation today (December 15, 2016) announced this year’s top five finalists for its Next Generation Scholarship program, which provides financial support to college students pursuing careers or majors relevant to retail. The finalists will travel to New York City, where they will interview with a panel of retail executives who will award four $10,000 scholarships and one $25,000 scholarship.

The top recipient will be announced on stage in front of hundreds of retail CEOs and insiders at the NRF Foundation Gala on January 15 during Retail’s BIG Show.

“Each year we are impressed by the caliber of students that apply for this scholarship and their level of creativity and passion towards retail,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “Through their essays, this year’s finalists demonstrated excitement, innovation, leadership, and passion that is very crucial in shaping the future of the retail industry.”

The finalists are:

  • Jill Davis, University of Georgia
  • Makaela Hill, Indiana University
  • Margaret Kwon, The New School – Parsons School of Design
  • Danielle Mennella, LIM College
  • Kaley Suero, University of Pennsylvania

In addition to the top finalist awards, the NRF Foundation provides all 20 semi-finalists with travel scholarships to attend the NRF Student Program at Retail’s BIG Show and the NRF Foundation Gala.

The semi-finalists are:

  • Elizabeth Dumont, Auburn University
  • Savannah Kleiner, Butler University
  • Victoria Shibly, Columbia College Chicago
  • Hannah Patrick, Drexel University
  • Matthew Talbot, East Carolina University
  • Sarah Botscheller, Kent State University
  • Megan Miller, Lasell College
  • Gabrielle Martinez, Mississippi State University
  • Ariana Frankel, Santa Clara University
  • Crystal Paris, Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta
  • Alyssa McKinzie, Texas A&M University
  • Traum-Anh Nguyen, Texas State University-San Marcos
  • Christian Sopoco, Texas Woman’s University
  • Laura Martinez, University of Alabama
  • Brenna McKeown, University of Florida
  • Samantha Pineda, University of Georgia
  • Brenna Schlauderaff, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Lisa Liu, University of Pennsylvania
  • Leah Jenkins, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Rita Roloff, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Over 500 students are expected to attend the January 13-15 Student Program, which exposes students to executives from some of the industry’s most popular brands such as Disney, The Home Depot, Macy’s, West Elm and Nike. Students will hear from retail recruiters offering opportunities for internships, training programs and entry-level career positions and will learn to leverage their networks to advance their careers through an executive mentor session.

To learn more about the scholarship, visit

About the NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters.


Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

Co-op to deliver new, high-value services to growers with Decisive Farming’s technology and service platforms

Saskatoon, SK, 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Co-op, one of the largest ag retailers in Western Canada, is partnering with Decisive Farming to provide growers with precision agriculture, crop marketing and data management services.

The partnership allows 125 Co-op Agro Centres to deliver new, high-value services to agricultural customers with Decisive Farming’s leading technology and service platforms.

“It’s a win for us, Co-op and their loyal growers,” said Remi Schmaltz, CEO for Decisive Farming. “Our variable-rate services have a proven track record and Co-op can offer these same services to its growers without capital investment, years of in-field trials or having to build software and apps from the ground up.”

Decisive Farming’s patented flagship product, Optimize RX, uses soil analysis and GIS mapping to help farmers efficiently seed and fertilize their crops, maximizing yield and return on investment. The company’s cloud-based software app, My Farm Manager, connects key service providers, sensors and data, helping users manage and optimize their entire farming operation.

“We’ve built a successful business that shows results for growers. It’s exciting to see this approach expand through the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS), which is also known for delivering results for customers,” said Schmaltz.

Put to the test

During the 2016 growing season, Co-op Grow Team agronomists tested Decisive Farming’s Optimize RX program at eight sites in Western Canada, which provided opportunities for growers and agronomists to become familiar with the program.

“This is an exciting initiative that will enable Co-op Grow Team agronomists to bring advanced soil testing and variable-rate technology to more growers in Western Canada,” said Trish Meyers, Knowledge and Innovation Manager with Federated Co-operatives Limited, which is part of the CRS, along with approximately 200 independent retail co-operatives.

Effective and efficient

During the growing season, Co-op Grow Team agronomists will use Decisive Farming’s My Manager data management software to order precision ag services that provide valuable insights, enabling growers and agronomists to make informed decisions.

This approach allows for high-quality precision ag, crop marketing and data management services to be delivered consistently while keeping everyone informed on progress and results.

With on-farm data provided in near real-time, growers can capitalize on opportunities to farm more efficiently, while providing upstream traceability reporting and improving environmental, social and economic sustainability.

“Together, Co-op and Decisive Farming will provide producers with agronomic solutions that increase both their profitability and long-term sustainability,” said Meyers.

“With the latest precision ag technology and experienced Co-op Grow Team agronomists at their fingertips, western Canadian farmers will be well equipped to grow today and into the future.”

PHONE: 306.244.3311
FAX: 306.244.3403

Source: Co-op

Auntie Anne’s® donated more than $3 million to fund childhood cancer research through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation partnership

Partnership with childhood cancer organization began in 2011

LANCASTER, Pa., 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Since establishing a partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) in September 2011, Auntie Anne’s®, the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise, has donated more than $3 million to fund childhood cancer research. Funds have been raised through in-store fundraising campaigns, coin canisters, local events, and the annual Auntie Anne’s C.A.R.E.S. Charity Golf Tournament. These donations have funded more than 60,000 hours of cancer research.

”When Anne Beiler started a pretzel stand in 1988, she said, ‘Caring for other people is the purpose of Auntie Anne’s,’” said Heather Neary, president of Auntie Anne’s. “Nearly thirty years later, that commitment to giving back in the communities where we work and live continues to motivate us. The success of our partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is a true testament to the hard work and dedicated service of our entire system, from corporate associates and franchisees to store managers and crew. We’re honored to help ALSF cure childhood cancer, one cup at a time.”

“For the last five years, Auntie Anne’s has been an invaluable partner in the fight against childhood cancer. We are always amazed by the commitment their customers and employees demonstrate in carrying out our daughter’s mission to find a cure,” said Liz Scott, Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Alex’s mom. “Every dollar counts and gives hope to families desperately seeking cures.”

In 2016, Auntie Anne’s has raised nearly $700,000 for ALSF, including more than $520,000 during its in-store fundraising campaign over the summer. Guests who visited Auntie Anne’s between July 18 and September 11 could show their support in the fight to end childhood cancer by purchasing paper pretzel ribbon icons for $1. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the ribbons were donated to ALSF. As a token of appreciation to guests who helped “give hope” via the ribbon campaign, Auntie Anne’s provided a $1 off coupon for their next purchase of any pretzel product or drink.

An additional $35,000 was raised for ALSF during the 21st Annual Auntie Anne’s C.A.R.E.S. Charity Golf Tournament on July 21. The tournament featured more than 200 golfers and raised a total of $140,000 for four deserving organizations. Each organization, including ALSF, received $35,000. Since 1996, the tournament has raised more than $1.8 million for charitable organizations.

About Auntie Anne’s®:

With more than 1,600 locations in 48 states and more than 25 countries, Auntie Anne’s mixes, twists and bakes pretzels to golden brown perfection all day long in full view of guests. Auntie Anne’s can be found in malls and outlet centers, as well as in non-traditional spaces including universities, airports, Walmarts, travel plazas, military bases, and food trucks. For more information, visit, or follow on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $120 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 550 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit

Source: Auntie Anne’s

Chipotle Mexican Grill names Paul T. Cappuccio, Robin S. Hickenlooper, Ali Namvar and Matthew Paull to its Board of Directors

DENVER, 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has named four new members to its Board of Directors: Paul T. Cappuccio, Robin S. Hickenlooper, Ali Namvar and Matthew Paull, effective December 14, 2016. The new Directors will serve an initial term through Chipotle’s 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, and the Board of Directors currently consists of twelve members.

“Chipotle has enjoyed extraordinary success for most of our 23-year history, and it is important to us that we structure the company to enjoy similar success in the future,” said Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Chipotle. “The addition of these new directors strengthens our Board of Directors, and gives us the oversight, accountability and leadership we need as we continue our efforts to reestablish Chipotle as the leader we have been for much of our history.”

Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. CEO William A. Ackman said, “We are pleased that Chipotle has taken the important step of refreshing its Board which will position the company for continued growth and long-term success. We look forward to working with the Board and management to create sustained value for all shareholders for many years to come.”

In connection with the appointments, Chipotle and Pershing Square have agreed to various provisions continuing at least until prior to the 2019 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The full agreements with Pershing Square will be filed in a Current Report on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).


Mr. Cappuccio has served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Time Warner since 2001. In this capacity, he oversees the worldwide management of Time Warner’s legal functions, collaborating with all of its operating businesses. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Cappuccio was Senior Vice President and General Counsel at America Online. Before joining AOL, he was a Partner at the Washington, DC office of law firm Kirkland & Ellis, where he specialized in telecommunications law, appellate litigation, and negotiation with government agencies. From 1991 to 1993, Mr. Cappuccio was Associate Deputy Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice, where he advised Attorney General William P. Barr on matters relating to judicial selection, civil litigation, antitrust and civil rights. Prior to his service at the DOJ, Mr. Cappuccio served as law clerk at the United States Supreme Court for Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy, and as a law clerk to Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, Calif. He earned his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1986, and a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1983. Mr. Cappuccio brings significant large public company experience to the board, including significant transactional, financial, strategic, and corporate governance experience.

Mrs. Hickenlooper, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Liberty Global, has served in senior corporate development roles at Liberty since 2010. She also serves as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Liberty Media. Prior to joining Liberty, she worked in the strategic planning and business development group at Del Monte Foods and in investment banking at Thomas Weisel Partners. Mrs. Hickenlooper holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University. Mrs. Hickenlooper brings to the board significant corporate development and financial expertise.

Mr. Namvar is a Partner at Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P., a registered investment advisor with more than $11 billion in assets under management and currently Chipotle’s largest investor. Mr. Namvar joined Pershing Square in 2006 and has been a major contributor to the firm’s growth. He brings more than a decade of experience investing in publicly traded, branded consumer products and restaurant companies. Mr. Namvar has played an instrumental role in a number of Pershing Square investments over the years, including its significant equity stakes in Fortune Brands, Beam, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Wendy’s International, Kraft Foods and Mondelez International, among others. Prior to joining Pershing Square, Mr. Namvar served as a Vice President at the Blackstone Group in its corporate advisory practice, where he advised corporate boards and investment firms on a wide range of shareholder value-enhancing transactions. Prior to joining Blackstone, Mr. Namvar worked in the investment banking division at Goldman Sachs. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University, New York, and earned his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Namvar brings to the board a significant understanding of strategy, governance and finance within the restaurant industry.

Mr. Paull was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of McDonald’s Corp. from 2001 until he retired from that position in 2008. Before joining McDonald’s in 1993, Mr. Paull was a Partner at Ernst & Young, where he managed a variety of financial practices over the course of his 18-year career, and consulted with a number of notable multinational companies. Mr. Paull currently serves as a member of the board of Air Products, where he chairs the Audit and Finance Committee and is a member of the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee and the Executive Committee, a member of the board of Canadian Pacific where he chairs the Audit Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee, a member of the board of KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp., and was a former member of the board of WMS Industries and Best Buy Co. Mr. Paull previously served on Chipotle’s Board when it was owned by McDonald’s. He currently serves on the advisory board of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. Mr. Paull holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois. Mr. Paull brings to the board significant experience in the restaurant industry and financial expertise, including deep understanding of financial markets, corporate finance, accounting and controls, and investor relations.


Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in an interactive style allowing people to get exactly what they want. Chipotle seeks out extraordinary ingredients that are not only fresh, but that are raised responsibly, with respect for the animals, land, and people who produce them. Chipotle prepares its food using whole, unprocessed ingredients and without the use of added colors, flavors or other additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,200 restaurants. For more information, visit

Chris Arnold

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Macerich to announces 4Q 2016 Earnings Release on February 6, 2017

SANTA MONICA, Calif., 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ —

WHAT: Macerich (NYSE: MAC) Schedules Fourth Quarter 2016 Earnings Release

WHEN: Earnings Results will be released after market close on Monday, February 6, 2017.  Management will hold a conference call at 11:00 am Pacific Time (2:00 pm Eastern Time) on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 to discuss quarterly results.

WHERE: Interested parties can listen to a live webcast of the call on the Macerich website at (Investing Section).

WHO: Arthur Coppola, Chairman and CEO, and Thomas O’Hern, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will host the call.

REBROADCAST: A replay of the webcast will be available for one year following the live webcast in the Investing Section of the Company’s website at  In addition, an audio replay of the earnings conference call will be available by telephone beginning at 5:00 pm Eastern Time on February 7, 2017 and will be available until February 21, 2017 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time at toll free 1-844-512-2921, PIN 2684267 or International (toll) 1-412-317-6671.

ABOUT MACERICH: Macerich, an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust, which focuses on the acquisition, leasing, management, development and redevelopment of regional malls throughout the United States.

Macerich currently owns 56 million square feet of real estate consisting primarily of interests in 50 regional shopping centers. Macerich specializes in successful retail properties in many of the country’s most attractive, densely populated markets with significant presence in the Pacific Rim, Arizona, Chicago and the Metro New York to Washington, DC corridor. Additional information about Macerich can be obtained from the Company’s website at

Jean Wood
Vice President
Investor Relations

John Perry
Senior Vice President
Investor Relations

Thomas O’Hern
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

SOURCE: Macerich

CarMax reaches agreement with the Federal Trade Commission regarding its advertising practices related to recalls

RICHMOND, Virginia, 2016-Dec-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — CarMax has reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to resolve an inquiry surrounding its advertising practices related to recalls. As part of the agreement, CarMax is not paying any fines to the FTC and will be modifying some language about recalls in its advertising.

“CarMax has led the industry in recall transparency. As soon as centralized recall information was made available by NHTSA, we believe we were the first to incorporate it into our advertising and sales process. We share vehicle specific open recall information in-store and online to ensure our customers know about open recalls prior to purchase. We will continue to make enhancements to our comprehensive recall disclosure program,” said Cliff Wood, Chief Operating Officer for CarMax.

More information about CarMax’s recall policy can be found here.

Contact Information:

Media Inquiries:
(855) 887-2915

Customer Relations:
(800) 519.1511

Marketing Vendor Inquiries:

Source: CarMax