NACS survey: Americans say that low gas prices are good for the economy

New National Survey Also Finds That Prices Would Have to Increase to $3.37 per Gallon Before Consumers Begin to Curtail Driving

ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans overwhelmingly say that low gas prices are good for the economy and that gas prices would have to increase by more than $1 per gallon before they cut back on driving, according to results of the NACS Consumer Fuels Survey released today (4/6/2017).

Overall, 84% of consumers say that low gas prices are good for the economy, a 1-point drop from 2016, according to survey results announced by NACS, the association that represents convenience stores. Convenience stores sell an estimated 80% of the fuel purchased in the United States.

Americans also say that gas prices would have to increase to $3.37 per gallon before they reduce the amount they drive and reach $4.43 per gallon before they seek out alternatives to driving or drive drastically less.

“These findings are in line with what we traditionally find in our monthly surveys: Consumers say that prices have to increase by about a dollar per gallon from its current price before they consider cutting back. Gradual price increases also gradually push up the price at which they would drive less and it would take a sudden, unexpected price increase before most drivers would consider driving less,” said NACs Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard.

Gas prices tend to increase during the first few months of the year as the petroleum industry undergoes the spring transition to summer-blend fuel. This transition requires the production of unique fuel blends across the United States at a time of increased demand. Since 2000, this transition has led to an average price increase of 53 cents between early February and the seasonal peak, which most often occurs in late May.

By a more than two-to-one margin drivers understand the dynamics of the spring transition: 48% say that they agree that prices increase over the spring months because different fuel blends must be made and distributed for summer months. Only 21% disagree with that statement.

Other findings from the NACS survey include:

  • Consumers say that prices are more likely to increase because of world events as opposed to a local store trying to increase profits: 29% say OPEC is to blame when oil prices increase, compared to only 4% who blame gas stations.
  • A majority of Americans (57%) agree that most gas stations are small businesses evedn if they sell the fuel from a national brand. One in four Americans (26%) disagree with that statement. Overall, 58% of gas station in the United States are one-store operations.
  • Consumers say that convenience stores share their values: 66% agree that convenience stores share their values and do business the right way compared to 34% who disagree with that statement.
  • Consumers say that gas station profits are slim: 43% agree that gas stations make about 5 cents per gallon in profit, compared to 21% who disagree. Gross margins on fuel average about 20 cents per gallon and after expenses most retailers average about 5 cents per gallon in profit.

The survey results were released today as part of the 2016 NACS Retail Fuels Report (www.nacsonline.com/gasprices), which examines conditions and trends that could impact gasoline prices. The online resource is annually published to help demystify the retail fueling industry by exploring, among other topics, how fuel is sold, how prices affect consumer sentiment, why prices historically increase in the spring and which new fuels are likely to gain traction in the marketplace.

The survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,114 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed January 4-6, 2017. NACS has surveyed consumers about their perceptions related to gas prices since 2007 and has conducted monthly consumer sentiment surveys since 2013.

NACS (nacsonline.com) advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily — half of the U.S. population — and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and food service sales. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.

Contact:

(703) 684-3600 (phone)
(703) 836-4564 (fax)

Source: NACS

CBRE marks the tenth consecutive year of being recognized for ENERGY STAR performance

CBRE recognized for its ongoing commitment to protect the environment

Los Angeles, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) with a 2017 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for its continued leadership in protecting our environment through superior energy efficiency. This marks the tenth consecutive year that CBRE has been recognized for ENERGY STAR performance.

Since its inception, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped prevent a total of more than 2.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, providing societal benefits by reducing damage from climate change. ENERGY STAR and its partners save American businesses and consumers 503 billion kilowatt hours and $34 billion on their energy bills annually.

“During the past decade we have worked diligently to expand our efforts to use the tools of the EPA to benchmark our portfolio, educate and train our staff on energy efficiency and provide consistently positive outcomes for our clients and their properties,” said David Pogue, CBRE’s Global Director of Corporate Responsibility. “Since we began our efforts in 2006, we have relied upon the resources of EPA ENERGY STAR, making it the foundation of our practice. It is as important to our success today as it was the day we started. We are proud to be associated with EPA.”

CBRE assists owners and occupiers with energy efficiency programs at properties it manages around the world and ENERGY STAR is a powerful tool that is driving sustainability and has become an industry recognized symbol of highly efficient space. Since CBRE first developed its environmental sustainability program in 2006, ENERGY STAR has remained the operational framework for advancing energy efficiency practices in the company’s managed portfolio.

These efforts have produced strong results:

  • Since 2007, CBRE has successfully improved its average ENERGY STAR score, achieving a cumulative increase of 9.5% and was in the top quartile of performance in 2016;
  • CBRE experienced a cumulative 16% reduction in average normalized site energy intensity over the past 10 years, including a savings of 19,836,450,762 kBtu, the equivalent of reducing 9,791,731 passenger vehicle miles driven in an entire year;
  • CBRE has 1,975 buildings representing more than 314.5 million square feet participating in the program, significantly more than from any other third-party management firm;
  • CBRE’s 288 labeled ENERGY STAR buildings under management represent nearly 3.5% of the total U.S. office buildings labeled.

CBRE offers a wide range of sustainability initiatives under its environmental sustainability program, which includes global commitments in 11 key areas of environmentally sound performance. These include resource management, occupancy, communications and training, public policy and procurement. The program provides best practices and initiatives that strengthen CBRE’s own environmental commitment, reflect the best environmental practices in our clients’ properties, and provide vital training and education to CBRE professionals.

About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR has 16,000 partners working to protect the environment through greater energy efficiency, including manufacturers, retailers, public schools, hospitals, real estate companies, and home builders. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have saved American families and businesses $430 billion on their energy bills and 4.6 trillion kilowatt-hours of energy, while achieving broad emissions reductions—including 2.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. ENERGY STAR® is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For 25 years, EPA’s ENERGY STAR program has been America’s resource for saving energy and protecting the environment. Join the millions already making a difference at energystar.gov.

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2016 revenue). The company has more than 75,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Robert McGrath
Senior Director, Global Media Relations
+1 212 9848267

Source:  CBRE Group, Inc.

7‑Eleven acquires 1,108 convenience stores from Sunoco LP

World’s Largest Convenience Retailer Acquires 1,108 Convenience Stores

IRVING, TEXAS, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — 7‑Eleven, Inc., the premier name and largest chain in the convenience-retailing industry, is pleased to announce it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Sunoco LP. As part of the agreement, 7‑Eleven will acquire approximately 1,108 convenience stores located in 18 states.

“This acquisition supports our growth strategy in key geographic areas including Florida, mid-Atlantic states, Northeast states, and Central Texas,” said Joe DePinto, President and Chief Executive Officer of 7‑Eleven Inc. “It also provides 7‑Eleven entry into Houston, the 4th largest city in the United States, and a strong presence in Corpus Christi and across South Texas.

7‑Eleven, Inc. has 8,707 stores in the United States and Canada. This acquisition will be one of the largest in 7‑Eleven, Inc.’s history, and it will bring 7‑Eleven, Inc.’s total number of stores to 9,815 in the U.S. and Canada.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of this year.

About 7‑Eleven, Inc.:

7‑Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience-retailing industry. Based in Irving, Texas, 7‑Eleven® operates, franchises or licenses more than 62,000 stores in 17 countries, including 10,900 in North America. Find out more online at www.7‑Eleven.com, via the 7Rewards® customer loyalty platform on the 7‑Eleven mobile app, or on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ from expectations and, consequently, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as prediction of future events. 7‑Eleven does not undertake or accept any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in their expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, except as required by law.

Contact: 1-800-255-0711

Source: 7‑Eleven, Inc.

Kiwi breweries and India Pale Ales win big at New World Beer & Cider Awards

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kiwi breweries and India Pale Ales (IPA) were the big winners at this year’s New World Beer & Cider Awards. New Zealand breweries won 10 out of the 12 classes while IPA took home nearly 20 per cent of the awards’ Gold medals.

Chair of the independent judges, beer writer and author Michael Donaldson says with so many strong entries selecting a Champion in each class was very difficult for the judging panel. A standout was the hotly contested IPA class with more than 70 entries from 45 breweries, which finally came down to technical excellence.

“IPA is the fastest growing sector in the brewing industry, so it’s a highly competitive class in any awards. There are so many techniques to brewing an IPA, different ways to use hops, malt structure, bitter-sweet balance, level of alcohol, all of these create varied flavour profiles which the judges have to assess.

“When it came to selecting the Champion from our five finalists, what stood out for the judges was the technical excellence of Epic’s Armageddon IPA. And it’s not for the first-time Armageddon has triumphed. This is the second year running that Armageddon has won best IPA in this competition, not to mention their other local and international awards. It’s now the benchmark for quality in the IPA category.”

Donaldson says the diversity of the winners illustrates the strength of the local brewing industry.

“We’ve got long-established brewers such as Hawke’s Bay Independent, whose Pure Lager was a revelation in the lager class, craft darlings ParrotDog, who produce a gem of a pilsner to win that class as well as relative newcomers such as Spark’s Brewing, whose Outlander Extra Stout has only been around for a couple of years but has already made a name for itself as one of the best in the country.”

He reserved special praise for Bach Brewing and Good George Brewing, who both took two Champion titles this year.

“Bach Brewing’s Witsunday Blonde IPA is a complex but approachable beer while their Driftwood Pale Ale packs in great flavour without being too high in alcohol. Good George showed there are plenty of ways to use hops, with a restrained dose in their very approachable Amber Ale to something different in their Drop Hop Cider.”

Donaldson says with the local craft brewing industry growing strongly there’s never been more competition for retail shelf space.

“These awards make Gold medal winners available in all New World stores nationwide. They help shoppers explore outside their comfort zone and give them the confidence to try the unfamiliar. When they choose a Gold medal beer or cider they can be sure it’s a very good drop.”

Steve Anderson, Managing Director, Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd, says the New World Beer & Cider Awards are the only New Zealand awards that can give winners an instant boost in sales and brand visibility.

“All Gold medal winners are guaranteed distribution in New World stores,” says Anderson. “So being awarded a Gold medal in our competition guarantees a nationwide audience.”

“It gives us great pleasure to be able to support the local brewing industry, and in turn give our shoppers ready access to such fantastic, award-winning brews. That said, we know from previous years that there’s always huge demand for the winning beers and ciders, so anyone who’s keen to try them should get to their local New World to avoid missing out.”

More than 500 beers and ciders were entered by 81 local and international breweries. The entries were blind-judged by a panel of 19 independent expert judges using a collaborative method based on technical excellence, balance, mouthfeel, and most importantly, drinkability.

Champion and Gold winners will be available in New World stores nationwide from Monday 3 April. To see all the medal winners, please visit newworld.co.nz/goodstuff

Contact:

Tel: +64 4 472 6435
Fax: +64 4 472 6412

Source: Foodstuff NZ

Arizona Diamondbacks and PetSmart expand the Dog Days of Summer ticket package

Permanent PetSmart Facilities, Including PetSmart Patio, Dog Parks, The Adopt Spot™ Pop-Up Adoption Center, Make Chase Field the Most Dog-Friendly Stadium in the U.S.

PHOENIX, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Arizona Diamondbacks and the nation’s leading pet specialty retailer, PetSmart, announced today (April 6, 2017) the expansion of the Dog Days of Summer ticket package where four people and their dog can take in a D-backs game on the PetSmart Patio featuring 30 Doggie Suites, all-you-can-eat classic baseball fare and doggie ice cream sundaes complete with kibble toppings, indoor and outdoor dog parks, a pop-up dog adoption center and more.

First launched last season for all Sunday home games, the Dog Days of Summer ticket package is again available this season for Sunday and now also Monday home games at Chase Field — totaling 21 games where dogs can take in a ball game with their pet parents. The launch of the PetSmart Patio for the 2017 season begins April 9.

“The Dog Days of Summer package was extremely popular last season, as evidenced by the quick sellouts, so we wanted to expand to Monday home games to give more pet parents the opportunity to enjoy this unique D-backs game experience with their dogs on the PetSmart Patio, just above left-center field,” said Derrick Hall, D-backs President & CEO. “The seats are great and we witnessed hundreds of people enjoying games with their dogs last season and expect even more pups to come out for our 2017 season.”

New this year is enhanced in-game exposure for the pets available for adoption at The Adopt Spot @ Chase, a pop-up adoption center supported by PetSmart Charities and staffed by its local adoption partners including the Arizona Animal Welfare League, Arizona Humane Society and HALO who bring adoptable pets to the Dog Days of Summer home games to help them find their new pet parents among the D-backs fan base. Several MVPs, or “Most Valuable Pups,” will get shout-outs on the big screen to help promote adoptions at the game. Last season under this program nearly 60 pups in total went home with their forever families from the 11 D-backs Sunday home games.
“We are thrilled to continue and expand our collaboration with the D-backs to make Chase Field the most dog-friendly baseball stadium in America, give more pet parents the exciting opportunity to take in America’s favorite pastime with their dog, and, most importantly, to help dogs find their forever home among the dog-loving fans at these D-backs games,” said Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer, PetSmart. “We can’t wait for the season to start on the PetSmart Patio April 9.”

Seven PetSmart’s PetsHotel dog and cat boarding facilities in the local Phoenix area are also now the “official pet lodging provider” for the D-backs’ coaches, staff and players. Pet guests feel at home with around-the-clock care from PetSmart’s pet-loving staff. It’s the ultimate staycation destination for pets, while D-backs are on the road.

Dog Days of Summer Ticket packages start at $160 and include tickets for four people and one dog, as well as all-you-can-eat for all fans. A PetSmart doggie bag of treats, chews, water bowl and complimentary dog bed is also included. To purchase the package, go to www.dbacks.com/petsmart, use DOGDAYS as the promo code.

About PetSmart®

PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. We employ approximately 55,000 associates, operate more than 1,500 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as pet-focused services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart® Doggie Day Camp® and pet adoption. PetSmart, together with non-profits PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, invite more than 3,000 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 7.3 million adoptions – more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. The company’s portfolio of digital resources for pet parents includes PetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com, OnlyNaturalPet.com, Pet360.com, petMD.com, Pawculture.com, AllPaws, an online pet adoption platform that helps potential pet parents find the perfect pet to adopt based on their home, family and lifestyle, as well as BlogPaws, the world’s first pet blogger and influencer network. Through these digital platforms, PetSmart offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in the U.S. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, PetSmart launched its Buy a Bag, Give a Meal™ program in March 2017. For every bag of cat or dog food purchased March 1 – Dec. 31, 2017, PetSmart will donate a meal to pets in need and expects to donate more than 60 million meals in 2017.
Follow PetSmart on Twitter: @PetSmart
Find PetSmart on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PetSmart
See PetSmart on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/PetSmart

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together.  In addition to finding homes for almost 500,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities provides funding to non-profits aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support:  Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores.  In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 90 cents of every dollar donated and has become the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, donating about $300 million to date. PetSmart Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization, has received the Four Star Rating from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 14 years in a row — placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization.  To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org

Follow PetSmart Charities on Twitter: @PetSmartChariTs
Find PetSmart Charities on Facebook: Facebook.com/PetSmartCharities
See PetSmart Charities on YouTube: YouTube.com/PetSmartCharitiesInc

Contacts:
Danielle Bickelmann
Golin for PetSmart
972-341-2503
dbickelmann@golin.com

PetSmart Media Line
623-587-2177

D-backs Communications
602.462.6519
Katie Krause
210.279.6793

Source: PetSmart Inc.

PetSmart’s Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program to benefit GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank program and Feeding America®

America’s Largest Domestic Hunger-Relief Organization and the Nation’s Largest Pet Food Donation Network are Assisting PetSmart Charities in Distributing the Bulk of the Expected 60 Million-Plus Meals* to Pets in Need; PetSmart Reporting Just-Launched Philanthropic Program Has Already Generated 7 Million MealsCITY,

PHOENIX, AZ, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, announced today (April 6, 2017) that it is teaming up with GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank program and Feeding America®, two renowned national nonprofit organizations, to help deliver the bulk of the more than 60 million pet food meals* expected to be generated from PetSmart’s just-launched Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program.

Last month, in celebration of PetSmart’s 30th anniversary, the pet retailer launched the unprecedented Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program**, where it will give a meal to a pet in need for any and every bag of dog or cat food purchased March 1 – Dec. 31, 2017, in its more than 1,500 stores and online at PetSmart.com and PetSmart.ca, including through its automatic subscription-based service available at PetSmart.com

Rescue Bank will help distribute the donated pet food to animal welfare organizations across the U.S. and Feeding America will disperse the donated pet food to select food banks across the nation – all to help feed pets in need. This collaboration marks Rescue Bank’s largest single partnership with a pet brand, and this is the largest pet food donation for Feeding America to date.

PetSmart Charities of Canada is also partnering with animal welfare organizations in Canada to distribute the anticipated 3.6 million meals* to pets in need in that country.

“When our partners at PetSmart shared this big idea to give back a meal for every bag purchased, we were overwhelmed by the generosity and thrilled to take on the challenge of distributing such a huge volume of pet food – an expected 60 million meals — to help pets in need across the U.S. and Canada. So we immediately started looking for leading national partners who might be able to help,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., and president of PetSmart Charities.

“PetSmart’s program is unique in that it’s targeting a crucial necessity to feed pets in need in shelters and rescues, where a high percentage of them live, and also provide pet food assistance to families and individuals who are served by their local food pantries. We are thrilled to be working with Rescue Bank and Feeding America, important partners to help us get the pet food to the pets who need it in local communities across America,” said Haworth.

Rescue Bank annually distributes more than 40 million pet meals to its network of 1,900 shelter and rescue groups around the country. Pet food, especially cat food, is consistently the largest request Rescue Bank receives from its shelter and rescue partners.

“As a leader in supporting the animal rescue community with much-needed supplies and services, we couldn’t be more pleased to help PetSmart Charities donate pet food to thousands of rescue organizations across the U.S.,” said Elizabeth Asher, Rescue Bank’s executive director. “Pet food is a large operating expense for local animal welfare organizations. These donations help defray overall costs and allow them to focus on other ways to save more pets’ lives and improve the quality of life for pets in need.”

Feeding America is a network of 200 food banks that provides food and groceries through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs to more than 46 million Americans each year. According to the American Pet Products Association’s 2015-16 national pet owner survey, nearly 45 percent of the U.S. households have dogs and about 35 percent have cats as pets.

“As more families struggle with difficult choices like paying the rent or buying food, some have to choose between keeping their pet and putting food on the table,” said Bill Thomas, chief supply chain officer, product development at Feeding America. “We know that pets provide comfort to families and individuals, and those who are struggling financially more than likely will also need food for their pets. We are excited to partner with PetSmart Charities to help provide pet food assistance to these families in need.”

“We are tremendously proud of this new philanthropic program and pleased to report that this initiative has already generated 7 million meals to be donated to pets in need,” said Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer, PetSmart. “We are excited to begin distributing the much-needed pet food this spring and to continue with a steady stream of food donations thanks to pet parent purchases of dog and cat food bags in our stores and online and to PetSmart Charities and its alignment with these great pet food distribution partners, Feeding America and Rescue Bank.”

Eligible human services organizations that wish to be considered to receive pet food donations from the PetSmart Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program through PetSmart Charities are encouraged to connect with their local food bank using the food bank locator at www.feedingamerica.org; animal welfare organizations are asked to apply online at RescueBank.org. For Canadian animal welfare organizations interested in the donated pet food, please contact Dani Mailing, Regional Relationship Manager at PetSmart Charities of Canada via email: dmailing@petsmartcharities.org. For more information on the Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program, please visit PetSmart.com/giveameal.

About PetSmart®

PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. We employ approximately 55,000 associates, operate more than 1,500 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart®  PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as pet-focused services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart® Doggie Day Camp® and pet adoption. PetSmart, together with non-profits PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, invite more than 3,000 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 7.3 million adoptions – more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. The company’s portfolio of digital resources for pet parents includes PetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com, OnlyNaturalPet.com, Pet360.com, petMD.com, Pawculture.com,  AllPaws, an online pet adoption platform that helps potential pet parents find the perfect pet to adopt based on their home, family and lifestyle, as well as BlogPaws, the world’s first pet blogger and influencer network. Through these digital platforms, PetSmart offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in the U.S.  In celebration of its 30th anniversary, PetSmart launched its Buy a Bag, Give a Meal™ program in March 2017.  For every bag of cat or dog food purchased March 1 – Dec. 31, 2017, PetSmart will donate a meal to pets in need and expects to donate more than 60 million meals in 2017.

Follow PetSmart on Twitter:@PetSmart
Find PetSmart on Facebook:www.facebook.com/PetSmart
See PetSmart on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/PetSmart

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together.  In addition to finding homes for almost 500,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities provides funding to non-profits aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support:  Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 90 cents of every dollar donated and has become the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, donating about $300 million to date. PetSmart Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization, has received the Four Star Rating from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 14 years in a row — placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org

Follow PetSmart Charities on Twitter: @PetSmartChariTs
Find PetSmart Charities on Facebook: Facebook.com/PetSmartCharities
See PetSmart Charities on YouTube: YouTube.com/PetSmartCharitiesInc

About PetSmart Charities™ of Canada

PetSmart Charities of Canada is a registered Canadian charity with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. In addition to finding homes for more than 25,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores, PetSmart Charities of Canada provides funding to registered charities aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support: Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities of Canada using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 89 cents of every dollar donated and has become a leading funder of animal welfare in Canada, donating nearly $12 million to date. PetSmart Charities of Canada is a member of Imagine Canada, and a registered Canadian charity independent from PetSmart, Inc. To learn more, visit www.petsmartcharities.ca

About Rescue Bank

Rescue Bank, a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org, operates on the national food bank model to community-based animal welfare groups that typically lack access to resources. Rescue Bank recognizes that these smaller, less-visible groups represent a substantial portion of America’s animal rescue resource.

Rescue Bank works with name-brand suppliers to deliver donated pet food for both the ongoing needs of more than 1,800 animal welfare organizations and the immediate needs of communities after disasters such as hurricanes, floods and fires. Since establishing its national network in 2011, Rescue Bank has delivered over 200 million meals of nutritious, wholesome pet food.

For more information visit http://rescuebank.org or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/RescueBank.

About Feeding America

Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in theUnited States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs thatimprove food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; andadvocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry.  Individuals, charities, businesses andgovernment all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

*The actual number of meals donated is based on dog and cat food bags sold.  The meal donation estimate is based on historic sales for similar time periods. No guaranteed amount. Rescue Bank and Feeding America will help distribute a large portion of the pet food donation in the U.S.

**For every bag of dog or cat dry food purchased at a PetSmart store, PetSmart.com or PetSmart.ca between 3/1/17 – 12/31/17, PetSmart will donate a meal (5 oz dog food; 1.5 oz cat food) to PetSmart Charities to help feed a pet in need. Visit www.PetSmart.com/giveameal for more information.

Contacts:

Danielle Bickelmann
Golin for PetSmart
469-680-2503
dbickelmann@golin.com

PetSmart Media Line
623-587-2177

Source: PetSmart Inc.

ScanSource Communications and Imago ScanSource merge into ScanSource Imago; announces new leadership team

Greenville, South Carolina, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — ScanSource Communications and Imago ScanSource today ( April 05, 2017) announced its new leadership team in the next stage of the integration of the two businesses. In support of that, the business unit will now operate under the name ScanSource Imago.

The dedicated sales leadership team is in place to support ScanSource Imago’s European operations. Paul Emery, Vice President, UK and Ireland, will be responsible for ScanSource Imago’s sales operations in the UK and Ireland. John Vickerage has been named Area Vice President of Northern Europe, with overall responsibility for sales in DACH, Benelux, Nordics, Baltics and Eastern Europe, and Nicolas Jouan has been appointed Area Vice President of Southern Europe, with responsibility for sales in France. Phil Boyd, Vice President of Merchandising, will lead the teams responsible for managing the vendor relationships.

In 2014, ScanSource acquired Imago, Europe’s leading value-added distributor of video and voice communications equipment and services. The integration of ScanSource Communications and Imago ScanSource will allow enhanced scale and focus on the growth of the business unit as a collective, across geographies and technologies. Resellers will have access to a greater line card of communications solutions – voice, video and data products – from a single source. ScanSource Imago will also deliver a greater range of value-added expertise, including services to assist resellers in delivering a broader range of communications solutions and services. ScanSource’s vendor partners will also have access to a greater number of resellers, new opportunities created by integrating the companies, as well as larger teams looking after their businesses, ensuring more avenues to promote and sell their products.

James Vickerage, president of ScanSource Imago, commented, “This announcement is an exciting next step in ScanSource Imago’s European journey. The continued integration of the companies allows us to build on the strengths of both organizations, while offering significant growth opportunities for our partners across Europe. I’m pleased with the strong leadership team we have in place, as they bring extensive experience from a business, operations and local market perspective.”

For more information about ScanSource Imago, please visit www.scansourceimago.com.

About ScanSource, Inc.

ScanSource, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCSC) is a leading global provider of technology products and solutions, focusing on point-of-sale, barcode, physical security, video, voice, data networking and technology services.  ScanSource’s teams provide value-added solutions and operate from two segments, Worldwide Barcode, Networking and Security and Worldwide Communications and Services. ScanSource is committed to helping its resellers and sales partners choose, configure, and deliver the industry’s best solutions across almost every vertical market in North America, Latin America, and Europe.  In August 2016, ScanSource entered the recurring revenue telecom and cloud services market through its acquisition of Intelisys, the industry’s leading technology services distributor. Founded in 1992, ScanSource is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina and was named one of the 2016 Best Places to Work in South Carolina. ScanSource ranks #685 on the Fortune 1000. For more information, please visit www.scansource.com.

Contact:

Melissa Andrews
Public Relations Manager
Phone: 864.286.4425

Source: ScanSource, Inc.

BlueStar appoints Mr. Laurent Berger as EVP of sales for Europe

Hebron, KY, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — BlueStar is pleased to announce that Mr. Laurent Berger has been appointed as executive vice president of sales for Europe. Mr. Berger has been working at BlueStar for a number of years, and has been an instrumental part of the significant growth BlueStar has achieved in the European market. Recognized for his dedication and commitment, BlueStar and its partners will benefit from Mr. Berger’s leadership in Europe.

“Laurent´s market vision and experience have helped our company to identify new opportunities, as well as to structure our go-to-market proposal. With him in the executive team, we have a stronger and more efficient organisation,” says Mr. Keith Robinson, EMEA managing director at BlueStar.

“We have worked hard to become a global leader while building considerable momentum in Europe. I look forward to continuing our value add proposition and bring success for our partners to a new level within EMEA,” says Berger.

ABOUT BLUESTAR
BlueStar is the leading global distributor of solutions-based ADC, Mobility, Point-of-Sale, RFID, Digital Signage, and Security technology. BlueStar works exclusively with value-added resellers, providing them with complete solutions, business development and marketing support. The company brings unequalled expertise to the market, offers award-winning technical support and is an authorized service centre for a growing number of manufacturers. BlueStar is the exclusive distributor for the In-a-Box Solutions Series, delivering hardware, software and critical accessories in one bundle with technology solutions across all verticals. For more information, please contact BlueStar at +31 880 233 633 or visit www.bluestarinc.com.

Contact:

BlueStar
+31 880 233 633

Source: BlueStar

Coach appoints Ian Bickley to the new role of President, Global Business Development and Strategic Alliances

NEW YORK, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Coach, Inc. (NYSE:COH) (SEHK:6388), a leading New York design house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands, today (Apr. 6, 2017) announced that Ian Bickley, currently President, International Group for the Coach brand, will be elevated to the new role of President, Global Business Development and Strategic Alliances for Coach, Inc., effective July 2, 2017. In this role, Mr. Bickley will continue to report directly to Mr. Luis and will be responsible for strategic partnerships across brands. Mr. Bickley will have oversight of the company’s global real estate development and will partner with the brand presidents in leading strategic distributor relationships, licensing partnerships and collaborations. Mr. Bickley will also be a key leader in the further development of Coach, Inc.’s multi-brand strategy.

“Ian has been a tremendous leader and contributor to the growth of our business during his 24-year tenure with Coach. His extensive global relationships and industry experience make him the perfect fit for this important strategic role in the next chapter of our multi-brand evolution,” said Mr. Luis, “I’m delighted we can further leverage Ian’s strengths across our portfolio of brands.”

“Coach, Inc. is now better positioned to continue its journey as a global house of brands. Ian’s new appointment, together with the addition of Joshua Schulman to our seasoned group of leaders, will enable the company to focus on strategic and long-term growth opportunities across brands and businesses,” Mr. Luis concluded.

Coach, Inc. is a leading New York design house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands. The Coach brand was established in New York City in 1941, and has a rich heritage of pairing exceptional leathers and materials with innovative design. Coach is sold worldwide through Coach stores, select department stores and specialty stores, and through Coach’s website at www.coach.com. In 2015, Coach acquired Stuart Weitzman, a global leader in designer footwear, sold in more than 70 countries and through its website at www.stuartweitzman.com. Coach, Inc.’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol COH and Coach’s Hong Kong Depositary Receipts are traded on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the symbol 6388.

Neither the Hong Kong Depositary Receipts nor the Hong Kong Depositary Shares evidenced thereby have been or will be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to, or for the account of, a U.S. Person (within the meaning of Regulation S under the Securities Act), absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. Hedging transactions involving these securities may not be conducted unless in compliance with the Securities Act.

This information to be made available in this press release may contain forward-looking statements based on management’s current expectations. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements that can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “can,” “should,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “continue,” “project,” “guidance,” “forecast,” “anticipated,” “moving,” “leveraging,” “targeting,” “assume,” “plan,” “pursue,” “look forward to,” “on track to return,” “to achieve” or comparable terms. Future results may differ materially from management’s current expectations, based upon a number of important factors, including risks and uncertainties such as expected economic trends, the ability to anticipate consumer preferences, the ability to control costs and successfully execute our transformation and operational efficiency initiatives and growth strategies and our ability to achieve intended benefits, cost savings and synergies from acquisitions, etc. Please refer to Coach, Inc.’s latest Annual Report on Form 10-K and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a complete list of risks and important factors.

Contact:
Analysts & Media:
Andrea Shaw Resnick
212-629-2618
Global Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Christina Colone
212-946-7252
Senior Director
Investor Relations

Source: Coach, Inc.

Diebold Nixdorf becomes the first ATM manufacturer ready to support the Microsoft® Windows 10 operating system

NORTH CANTON, Ohio, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Diebold Nixdorf (NYSE: DBD), a global leader in driving connected commerce, today (April 6, 2017) announced it is the first automated teller machine (ATM) manufacturer ready to support the Microsoft® Windows 10 operating system. The move to the latest operating system and application platform is an opportunity for financial institutions to benefit from greater security against modern cyber threats, meet regulatory compliance standards, and enhance the consumer experience with future-looking services and transactions.

“We are not only the first ATM manufacturer readily available to support Windows 10, but have been shipping processors that are Windows 10 compatible since mid-2014,” said Ulrich Näher, Diebold Nixdorf senior vice president, systems. “This is a true testament to our company’s ‘future-proof’ development mentality and protecting our customers’ investments – that meet the needs of today and anticipate those of tomorrow.”

In addition to following the Intel® and Microsoft support guidelines, Diebold Nixdorf’s migration to a 64-bit operating system provides customers with the best experience, allowing them to take full advantage of the memory and processor features, such as advanced security. Diebold Nixdorf is the only known manufacturer to invest in this approach, but has done so to proactively prepare financial institutions for a future where 32-bit versions of Windows 10 will not be available. All current applications can continue to run in 32-bit, as needed.

“We have been working diligently with other industry groups to ensure our customers are better prepared and to make this migration as easy as possible,” said Alan Kerr, Diebold Nixdorf senior vice president, software. “Ultimately, this is about more than just migrating to the latest operating system—it’s about improving and modernizing consumer experiences to advance connected commerce in the financial services industry. The scale and flexibility of our software solutions enable us to serve as a true partner to financial institutions of all sizes as we navigate these changes and drive the future of consumer transactions.”

The release of Diebold Nixdorf’s Windows 10 supported foundational software packages will provide financial institutions and partners with the most time to test and certify their respective applications prior to the end of support for Windows 7. Migration to Windows 10 will be necessary to complete by Jan. 14, 2020.

About Diebold Nixdorf

Diebold Nixdorf, Incorporated (NYSE: DBD) is a world leader in enabling connected commerce for millions of consumers each day across the financial and retail industries. Its software-defined solutions bridge the physical and digital worlds of cash and consumer transactions conveniently, securely and efficiently. As an innovation partner for nearly all of the world’s top 100 financial institutions and a majority of the top 25 global retailers, Diebold Nixdorf delivers unparalleled services and technology that are essential to evolve in an ‘always on’ and changing consumer landscape.

Diebold Nixdorf has a presence in more than 130 countries with approximately 25,000 employees worldwide. The organization maintains corporate offices in North Canton, Ohio, USA and Paderborn, Germany. Shares are traded on the New York and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges under the symbol ‘DBD’. Visit www.DieboldNixdorf.com for more information.

Media Relations:

Renee Murphy
+1-330-490-5825
renee.murphy@dieboldnixdorf.com

Investor Relations:

Steve Virostek
+1-330-490-6319
steve.virostek@dieboldnixdorf.com

SOURCE: Diebold Nixdorf

Food Evolution recalls Mediterranean-style chicken cous cous salad products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens

WASHINGTON, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Food Evolution, LLC., a Schiller Park, Ill. establishment, is recalling approximately 150 pounds of Mediterranean-style chicken cous cous salad products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today ( April 5, 2017). The product contains tree nuts, specifically pecans, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label.

The ready-to-eat Mediterranean-style chicken cous cous salad items were packaged on March 31, 2017 and have a use-by date of April 7, 2017. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 12.01 oz. clear plastic containers containing “Mediterranean Style Cous Cous Salad with Sweet Basil Dressing, Distributed by Roundy’s Supermarkets, Inc.”

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “P-34309” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to Roundy’s Supermarket locations in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The problem was discovered by Roundy’s Supermarkets. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers and members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Bret Schultz, President of Food Evolution LLC, at (312) 561-7108.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

USDA Recall Classifications
Class I This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
Class II This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.
Class III This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.

Contact:

Congressional and Public Affairs
Allie Ryan
(202) 720-9113
Press@fsis.usda.gov

Source: USDA

USDA FSIS expands hours of its Meat and Poultry Hotline and Ask Karen chat services

WASHINGTON, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today (April 3, 2017) announced that it is increasing the delivery of safe food handling and preparation information by expanding the hours of its Meat and Poultry Hotline and Ask Karen chat services.  As detailed in the Agency’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, FSIS is focusing on the reduction of foodborne illness, and one way to contribute to that reduction is to increase public awareness of safe food handling information.

FSIS’ Meat and Poultry Hotline has been educating consumers since 1985. The toll-free telephone service assists in the prevention of foodborne illnesses by answering consumers’ questions about the safe storage, handling and preparation of meat, poultry and egg products. Beginning today, the hotline will be open for two additional hours, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

“Our hotline provides a valuable service in educating consumers about how to safely prepare food,” said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. “By keeping the hotline open an additional two hours, we are expanding our reach to allow more consumers, including those on the West Coast, to have their food safety questions answered.”

The hotline is accompanied by Ask Karen, a 24-hour online service that provides answers to thousands of frequently asked questions and also allows consumers to email or live-chat with a food safety specialist during operating hours.

For 32 years the Meat and Poultry Hotline has answered questions about food manufacturer recalls, food poisoning, food safety during power outages, and the inspection of meat, poultry and egg products. From novice cooks roasting their first turkey to experienced food handlers asking about foodborne bacteria, the Meat and Poultry Hotline has answered more than 3 million calls since its inception.

“Our hotline staff are experts in their field and have backgrounds in nutrition, food technology and public health,” said Almanza. “Experts are available to talk with people in English and Spanish, so we are able to help address the food safety needs of diverse communities.”

Consumers can contact the Meat and Poultry Hotline to speak to a live food expert at 1-888-674-6854, or visit Ask Karen to chat or email (in English or Spanish), Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time/7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time.

USDA is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.

Contact:

USDA Office of Communications
press@oc.usda.gov
(202) 720-4623

Source: USDA

Sheetz launches its new loyalty card program

ALTOONA, Pa., 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sheetz, one of America’s fastest growing family-owned and operated convenience store chains, marked the start of its new loyalty card program this week giving customers the opportunity to become official Sheetz Freakz. MySheetz Card® holders will now receive points on nearly every in-store purchase* and can choose customized rewards to get more of what they love most.

Racking up points with every swipe of their MySheetz Card, customers will climb the Sheetz Rewardz ranks from Fan to Friend to Freak. Cardholders will receive 5 points per dollar, and the more points earned, the better the reward. Free items can be loaded onto the MySheetz Card by registering it online at Sheetz.com. Points can also be redeemed on the new Sheetz app, available on Apple and Android devices.  The app includes a redesigned interface that allows customers to use mobile payment, order online and view nutrition information.

Customers who register their MySheetz Card will enjoy birthday rewards, surprise offers, and random freebies.

“The number one request from our customers has been to earn rewards on all of their purchases,” said Joe Sheetz, CEO of Sheetz, Inc. “We heard them and responded with bigger, better and more rewards— it’s our way of showing the love to our most loyal customers.”

Exclusive My Sheetz Card perks include:

  • Gas rewardz:3 cents off every gallon of gas every day
  • Customized rewardz: Customers get more of what they love
  • Tasty Treatz: Points can be redeemed for items ranging from (but not limited to) free fountain drinks, MTO items, self-serve Sheetz Bros. Coffeez®, Shweetz® donuts and regular cookies
  • Exclusive offers: Birthday rewards, surprise offers, random freebies, and invitations to special events
  • On-the-spot savings: Special discounts and combo offers
  • Sheetz Shwag: T-shirts, hats, mugs, cups, and more

Current card holders will not lose already earned points. Customers with enough credits for a free item in the Sheetz club program will automatically have a free item loaded onto their card. Any additional credits will be converted into points.

MySheetz Cards are available at all Sheetz locations. For additional questions and to register your MySheetz Card, customers can go to https://www.sheetz.com/mysheetz-card

*Points will not be earned on fuel, cigarettes, tobacco, lottery, 1/2 gallon and gallon milk, financial cards, and Sheetz Gift cards. Points expire one year from the last day of the month the point was earned.

About Sheetz, Inc.

Established in 1952 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sheetz, Inc. is one of America’s fastest-growing family-owned and operated convenience store chains, with more than 17,500 employees and more than $5.6 billion in annual revenue. The company operates more than 545 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and North Carolina. Sheetz provides an award-winning menu of M•T•O® sandwiches and salads, which are ordered through unique touch-screen order point terminals. All Sheetz convenience stores are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, Top 12 Best places to work for Women, and Top 35 Best Workplaces for Millennials, Sheetz is committed to offering employees sustainable careers built on an inspiring culture and community engagement. For more information, visit www.sheetz.com or follow us on Twitter (@sheetz), Facebook (www.facebook.com/sheetz), and Instagram (www.instagram.com/sheetz).

Contact:
Jennifer Donahoe
jdonahoe@planitagency.com
(410) 962-6426

SOURCE: Sheetz, Inc.

Hudson’s Bay Company announces the appointment of Dr. Wolfgang Link as CEO of HBC Europe

Dr. Link to establish and drive European strategy including direction of HBC’s €1 billion capital commitment in Germany

TORONTO & NEW YORK & COLOGNE, Germany, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Hudson’s Bay Company (TSX: HBC) today (April 6, 2017) announced the appointment of Dr. Wolfgang Link as Chief Executive Officer of HBC Europe, effective May 1, 2017. Dr. Link will lead the company’s expansion and growth strategy for the European business including Galeria Kaufhof, Galeria Inno, and the entrance of Hudson’s Bay and Saks OFF 5TH. Reporting to HBC’s Chief Executive Officer, Jerry Storch, Dr. Link will oversee the European management team.

Jerry Storch, HBC’s CEO, stated: “We are pleased to welcome Wolfgang to the HBC family during this new phase of development for our European business, as we prepare to launch two new banners in the region. Wolfgang is an accomplished leader with a proven track record in the retail sector in Germany and throughout Europe. His experience in both digital and traditional channels and profound knowledge of the European market were key in selecting him for this role, and will help foster the expansion and success of HBC Europe, including our significant investment in Germany.”

Richard Baker, Governor and Executive Chairman of HBC, said: “We are committed to our long term strategy in Europe and to the €1 billion capital investment over five to seven years in Germany that we previously announced. Building on the excellent market position of Galeria Kaufhof in Germany and of Galeria Inno in Belgium, we have laid the foundation for expansion in the region. I am pleased to welcome Dr. Wolfgang Link to take our HBC Europe business to the next level.”

Dr. Wolfgang Link commented: “It is an honor for me to join HBC, a proven global leader known for best-in-class retail with exceptional banners. Among Germans, Galeria Kaufhof is the epitome of a great department store, and the same is true in Belgium of Galeria Inno. With the introduction of Saks OFF 5TH in Germany, and both Hudson’s Bay and Saks OFF 5TH in the Netherlands, exciting steps are ahead of us. I look forward to working with the strong HBC Europe management team.”

Dr. Link will join HBC after a decade with Toys”R”Us, where he served as a member of the global executive board and President of Toys”R”Us Europe since 2013. In that role, he was responsible for the company’s business operations in nine countries, including Germany, France, Spain the UK and the Netherlands, with more than 300 stores across Europe as well as country-specific online stores. Before joining Toys”R”Us in 2007 as President, Central Europe, Dr. Link served as Managing Director for the MEDIMAX specialist stores and ElectronicPartner Group Holdings, where he was responsible for the operation of more than 200 specialty stores in Germany, Hungary and Turkey. In addition, Dr. Link served many years in a variety of leadership roles at the METRO Cash and Carry Group, in corporate headquarters in Dusseldorf and in the country business units in Austria and Spain.

Don Watros, President of HBC International, will remain head of the Galeria Kaufhof Supervisory Board and will continue to pursue international opportunities in addition to supporting the company’s North American integration and cost saving initiatives.

Olivier Van den Bossche will be leaving HBC Europe at the end of April to pursue other opportunities.

“We appreciate Olivier’s work to build HBC’s presence in Europe and support the integration of Galeria Kaufhof and Galeria INNO to our business. In addition, he has helped lay the foundation for Hudson’s Bay and Saks OFF 5TH to enter Europe. We wish him the best in his next endeavor,” said Don Watros.

“I have enjoyed working with Olivier both professionally and personally. He is an excellent retailer who has made an indelible mark on our business,” said Jerry Storch.

About Hudson’s Bay Company

Hudson’s Bay Company is one of the fastest-growing department store retailers in the world, based on its successful formula of growing through acquisitions, driving the performance of high quality stores and their all-channel offerings and unlocking the value of real estate holdings. Founded in 1670, HBC is the oldest company in North America. HBC’s portfolio today includes ten banners, in formats ranging from luxury to premium department stores to off price fashion shopping destinations, with more than 480 stores and 66,000 employees around the world.

In North America, HBC’s leading banners include Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gilt, and Saks OFF 5TH, along with Home Outfitters. In Europe, its banners include GALERIA Kaufhof, the largest department store group in Germany, Belgium’s only department store group Galeria INNO, as well as Sportarena.

HBC has significant investments in real estate joint ventures. It has partnered with Simon Property Group Inc. in the HBS Global Properties Joint Venture, which owns properties in the United States and Germany. In Canada, it has partnered with RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust in the RioCan-HBC Joint Venture.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Hudson’s Bay Company
Andrew Blecher
212-391-3179
Andrew.blecher@hbc.com

Hudson’s Bay Company
Jen Vargas
646-634-6863
Jen.Vargas@hbc.com

FOR THE GERMAN MEDIA:
HBC Europe / GALERIA Kaufhof
Steffen Kern
+49 221 2235595
presse@kaufhof.de

Hering Schuppener Consulting
Dirk von Manikowsky
+49 211 430 79-265
hbc@heringschuppener.com

Source: Hudson’s Bay Company

Sears Holdings’ superior energy efficiency achievements earns recognition

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sears Holdings has been named a 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award winner for continued leadership in protecting our environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. Sears Holdings’ accomplishments will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., on April 26, 2017.

Sears Holdings, an ENERGY STAR partner since 1998, will be honored for long-term commitment to energy efficiency. The company’s related accomplishments in 2016 included:

  • Energy Savings: Sears Holdings continues to have success year-over-year in reducing its energy consumption. In 2016, the company’s total weather normalized source energy usage decreased by over 2.3 billion kBtu, and the average weather normalized source energy intensity declined to 108.1 kBtu/sqft; both represent more than 8 percent reductions compared to 2015. In addition, Sears Holdings has reduced electricity usage by more than 746 million kWh since 2008. This is the equivalent of powering 77,468 homes or taking 110,815 cars off the road for one year.
  • Product Selection:  Sears’ Kenmore brand introduced new ENERGY STAR certified products in many categories in 2016, again receiving numerous Best Buy designations from a leading consumer publication. The brand partnered with ENERGY STAR in 2016 in introducing Kenmore branded televisions. “Connected Living” continues to evolve and grow at Sears Holdings. Additionally, Sears introduced and promoted ENERGY STAR certified Kenmore smart room air conditioners and water heaters at The Connected Solutions interactive shops inside Sears stores. Sears’ Lighting team also continues to pursue active partnerships with utility program sponsors and enhanced its lighting portfolio to include more ENERGY STAR certified LED lightbulbs.
  • Training:  Sears conducted its Home Appliance business sales associate product training road show in 2016 to educate its associates on ENERGY STAR. Additionally, Sears’ utility partners and the EPA participated in these sessions.
  • Marketing:  In 2016, Sears continued to leverage its digital and social media assets as a communication tool to speak to its sustainability and energy efficiency messages. Additionally, Sears released its annual Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability report and prominently highlighted its partnership with EPA ENERGY STAR and the benefits of ENERGY STAR certified products.
  • Partnership: Sears Holdings’ collaborative relationship with more than 60 utility partners helps differentiate its efforts to reduce energy consumption through the promotion of ENERGY STAR certified products. Sears optimizes these relationships to help drive traffic to its stores, drive program success and support awareness of the ENERGY STAR brand. In 2016, Sears also supported the ENERGY STAR Retail Products Platform business model and the launch of the national pilot with nine participating utilities.

“We truly value Sears Holdings’ partnership with ENERGY STAR and are honored to receive the Partner of the Year Award for the eighth consecutive year in Retail and sixth consecutive year in Energy Management,” said Mark Semisch, Chief Compliance Officer for Sears Holdings. “We remain committed to continuing our work to help increase energy efficiency and to protect the environment through our dedicated efforts.”

In 2015 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners saved American businesses and consumers 503 billion kilowatt hours and $34 billion dollars on their energy bills, while achieving broad emission reductions.

The 2017 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Awards are bestowed upon a diverse set of organizations that have demonstrated continued leadership in energy efficiency. Winners hail from small, family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 organizations representing energy-efficient products, services, new homes and buildings in the commercial, industrial and public sectors.

For a complete list of 2017 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit www.energystar.gov/awardwinners.

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

About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR has 16,000 partners working to protect the environment through greater energy efficiency, including manufacturers, retailers, public schools, hospitals, real estate companies, and home builders. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have saved American families and businesses $430 billion on their energy bills and 4.6 trillion kilowatt-hours of energy, while achieving broad emissions reductions—including 2.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

ENERGY STAR® is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For 25 years, EPA’s ENERGY STAR program has been America’s resource for saving energy and protecting the environment. Join the millions already making a difference at energystar.gov.

CONTACT:
Sears Holdings Public Relations
(847) 286-8371
Kristinn Sharpe
Communications Director
ENERGY STAR
(202) 343-9062
Sharpe.Kristinn@epa.gov

SOURCE: Sears Holdings Corporation

Visa Checkout reaches more than 20 million enrolled accounts

  • Visa Checkout adds new merchants and markets as part of rapid expansion;
  • Samsung Pay agrees to integrate with Visa Checkout’s Open Platform

SAN FRANCISCO, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), today (Apr. 6, 2017) announced that Visa Checkout, the easier way to use a Visa card online, is sustaining tremendous growth, reaching more than 20 million enrolled accounts. Visa Checkout enables millions of consumers to pay in just a few clicks on any device around the web with some of the world’s top merchants.

“Visa Checkout continues to simplify the online checkout process for consumers, while helping merchants increase sales and convert items in the cart to completed purchases,” says Sam Shrauger, senior vice president, digital solutions, Visa Inc. “Reaching 20 million enrolled accounts is a huge achievement and further affirms Visa Checkout’s purpose of bringing the trust and security of your Visa card to the evolving digital world.”

More Merchants Join the Visa Checkout Roster

As consumer adoption of Visa Checkout grows, so too does interest among brand name merchants in joining the platform. Among the merchants who have recently adopted Visa Checkout to improve their online shopping experience in order to increase conversion rates with additional customers include HSN, Alaska Airlines, Avis Budget, Cole Haan, Emirates Airline, FIFA, Marriott, Sam’s Club and Walmart. These new merchants join a growing list of 300,000 merchants, including Best Buy, Starbucks, Papa John’s and StubHub, among others.

“At HSN, we are focused on developing innovative solutions that result in an unparalleled shopping experience,” said Ryan Ross, EVP of Marketing, Digital Commerce and Creative for HSN. “The Visa Checkout integration helped to attract new customers and drive incremental sales across all our platforms as we continue to lead the future of Boundaryless Retail at HSN.”

Continued Expansion of Visa Checkout Around the World

In addition to reaching 20 million enrolled consumers, Visa Checkout is announcing it will continue to expand to new markets in 2017 with planned expansion to Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine. They join Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China1, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States (and territories) as markets that will or currently offer Visa Checkout.

Visa Checkout and Samsung Pay Join Forces to Offer Consumers More Ways to Pay

Given the growing rate of eCommerce and mCommerce, merchants and consumers are looking for ways to further simplify the checkout experience. Last week, Visa and Samsung announced a joint partnership that will allow Samsung Pay users in the U.S. who link their Samsung Pay account with a Visa Checkout account to shop seamlessly at the more than 300,000 merchants that accept Visa Checkout.

This partnership is made possible through Visa Checkout’s open platform and streamlined set of APIs, allowing both consumers and merchants to experience the benefits. Consumers with fingerprint authentication-enabled Samsung devices will be able to click the Visa Checkout/Samsung Pay co-branded button and touch the fingerprint sensor, without entering their username and password. Merchants can continue to use their existing Visa Checkout integration and get the benefit of this partnership.

“We are very excited to be working with Visa to offer simple, fast and secure checkout experiences to millions of Samsung Pay users on their mobile devices or desktop,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. ”Our partnership benefits not only Samsung Pay users but also hundreds of thousands of online merchants who are looking for effective ways to increase their checkout conversion rates.”

The rapidly expanding list of merchants continue to make it easier for consumers to buy online, on any device, using Visa Checkout. For a list of some of the participating merchants, and to learn more about Visa Checkout’s benefits for merchants, issuers and consumers alike, visit www.visacheckout.com.

About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit https://usa.visa.com/ and @VisaNews.

1 Cross-border transactions only in China

Contact:
Andy Gerlt
415-805-5153
agerlt@visa.com

Source: Visa Inc.

PayPal and Visa partnership to enhance payment experience online, in app and in store for consumers and merchants in Asia Pacific

Digital partnership will enhance the payment experience online, in app and in store

SINGAPORE, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — PayPal (Nasdaq: PYPL) and Visa (NYSE:V) today (April 4, 2017) announced an extension of their U.S. partnership in Asia Pacific that will see them work collaboratively to accelerate the adoption of secure, reliable and convenient digital and mobile payments for consumers and merchants in markets throughout the region.

This partnership makes it easier for Visa issuing banks in Asia Pacific to offer their cardholders the ability to checkout anywhere PayPal is accepted online. It also expands the use of PayPal to retailers that accept Visa in physical locations.

The agreement is an extension of the strategic partnership between PayPal and Visa in the United States, announced in July 2016 and provides joint growth opportunities based on the following:

  • Customer Choice: PayPal and Visa will create a more seamless experience for consumers who choose to pay with their Visa card at retailers that accept PayPal. Through collaboration with Visa bank partners, consumers will be able to easily add Visa cards into PayPal from other banking apps.
  • Digital collaboration: Visa and PayPal agree to extend participation in the Visa Digital Enablement Program (VDEP). VDEP provides Visa’s partners with access to tokenisation technology, which enables payment on mobile phones or any connected device. This will expand the use of PayPal to retailers that accept Visa in physical locations.
  • Joint service propositions for emerging markets: PayPal and Visa will work together to expand access to enable the use of electronic payments in emerging markets in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Easier and faster access to funds: Visa will provide the option for PayPal to leverage Visa Direct (Visa’s push payments solution), allowing PayPal customers to move funds to their Visa accounts in real time across multiple markets.

“We could not be more proud of our extended partnership agreement with Visa in the Asia Pacific markets,” said Dr. Rohan Mahadevan, Senior Vice President for PayPal Asia Pacific. “This is a strong signal that our decision to partner in 2016 was the right thing to do for PayPal, Visa and our millions of merchants and consumers in this region. We look forward to partnering with Visa to offer more choice and better experiences together online, in app and in store within Asia Pacific.”

“Visa and PayPal are aligning our businesses to bring best in class payment services to the entire ecosystem,” said Chris Clark, Group Executive, Asia Pacific, Visa. “From emerging markets where we’ll give consumers greater access to electronic payments to driving more seamless ways to pay in developed markets, Visa and PayPal will deliver new commerce experiences across the region.”

About PayPal

Fueled by a fundamental belief that having access to financial services creates opportunity, PayPal (Nasdaq: PYPL) is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Our open digital payments platform gives PayPal’s nearly 200 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways, whether they are online, on a mobile device, in an app, or in person. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid. Available in more than 200 markets around the world, the PayPal platform, including Braintree, Venmo and Xoom, enables consumers and merchants to receive money in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds in 56 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 25 currencies. For more information on PayPal, visit https://www.paypal.com/about. For PYPL financial information, visit https://investor.PayPal-corp.com.

About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.

Contact:

PayPal
Yvonne Koh
YvonneKoh@paypal.com
+65 6510 6438
+65 8333 8718

Visa
Jillian Friant
jfriant@visa.com
+65 6671 5388
+65 9030 8381

SOURCE: Visa; PayPal

CVS Health appoints Thomas M. Moriarty to the newly created role of chief policy and external affairs officer

CVS Health appoints Thomas M. Moriarty to the newly created role of chief policy and external affairs officer

 

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today (April 6, 2017) announced that current executive vice president and general counsel Thomas M. Moriarty has been appointed to the newly created role of chief policy and external affairs officer for the nation’s largest pharmacy innovation company.

Moriarty will continue to report directly to President and CEO Larry Merlo, and will bring together corporate communications, legal, government affairs and public policy under one operating unit to manage the company’s external affairs in Washington, D.C. and state capitals across the country. In his expanded role, Moriarty will manage at the epicenter of corporate strategy and counsel, bringing an integrated set of capabilities to impact and shape national and state-specific public policy for CVS Health and its businesses. From this vantage point, Moriarty and his team will help promote the company’s role in reshaping a health care industry that is more accessible and affordable, and that delivers better outcomes for patients.

“Tom has been an integral member of the CVS Health executive team as chief strategy officer and general counsel, and brings a tremendous wealth of public policy expertise to his expanded responsibilities that allow us to bring greater value to the health care system,” said Larry Merlo, president and chief executive officer. “Tom’s new role will deliver an integrated approach to policy development and external engagement so the company can contribute to the public dialogue and bring forth innovative solutions to important legislative and regulatory proposals. As we work to navigate the changes in healthcare and policy over the next few years, I am pleased to have Tom leading this effort.”

“The public policy and health care landscapes in the coming months and years will be some of the most important of our time for our communities and country in terms of patient care and strengthening the delivery system,” said Moriarty. “As a company that touches more than 100 million consumers and patients at multiple points along the health care continuum each year, we have learned valuable lessons on how to drive better patient outcomes and lower health care costs. We look forward to sharing our company’s insights on important policy initiatives as we work collaboratively with elected officials and health care policy experts at the local, state and national levels.”

Moriarty joined CVS Health in 2012, and since that time has held several senior roles, including general counsel, chief strategy officer, and chairman of Red Oak Sourcing.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,700 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 90 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, 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 https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact:
Joe Goode
401-770-9820
Joseph.Goode@CVSHealth.com

SOURCE: CVS Health

###

Visa Checkout now with 20 million enrolled accounts; More merchants join the Visa Checkout roster

  • Visa Checkout adds new merchants and markets as part of rapid expansion;
  • Samsung Pay agrees to integrate with Visa Checkout’s Open Platform

SAN FRANCISCO, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), today (Apr. 6, 2017) announced that Visa Checkout, the easier way to use a Visa card online, is sustaining tremendous growth, reaching more than 20 million enrolled accounts. Visa Checkout enables millions of consumers to pay in just a few clicks on any device around the web with some of the world’s top merchants.

“Visa Checkout continues to simplify the online checkout process for consumers, while helping merchants increase sales and convert items in the cart to completed purchases,” says Sam Shrauger, senior vice president, digital solutions, Visa Inc. “Reaching 20 million enrolled accounts is a huge achievement and further affirms Visa Checkout’s purpose of bringing the trust and security of your Visa card to the evolving digital world.”

More Merchants Join the Visa Checkout Roster

As consumer adoption of Visa Checkout grows, so too does interest among brand name merchants in joining the platform. Among the merchants who have recently adopted Visa Checkout to improve their online shopping experience in order to increase conversion rates with additional customers include HSN, Alaska Airlines, Avis Budget, Cole Haan, Emirates Airline, FIFA, Marriott, Sam’s Club and Walmart. These new merchants join a growing list of 300,000 merchants, including Best Buy, Starbucks, Papa John’s and StubHub, among others.

“At HSN, we are focused on developing innovative solutions that result in an unparalleled shopping experience,” said Ryan Ross, EVP of Marketing, Digital Commerce and Creative for HSN. “The Visa Checkout integration helped to attract new customers and drive incremental sales across all our platforms as we continue to lead the future of Boundaryless Retail at HSN.”

Continued Expansion of Visa Checkout Around the World

In addition to reaching 20 million enrolled consumers, Visa Checkout is announcing it will continue to expand to new markets in 2017 with planned expansion to Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine. They join Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China1, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States (and territories) as markets that will or currently offer Visa Checkout.

Visa Checkout and Samsung Pay Join Forces to Offer Consumers More Ways to Pay

Given the growing rate of eCommerce and mCommerce, merchants and consumers are looking for ways to further simplify the checkout experience. Last week, Visa and Samsung announced a joint partnership that will allow Samsung Pay users in the U.S. who link their Samsung Pay account with a Visa Checkout account to shop seamlessly at the more than 300,000 merchants that accept Visa Checkout.

This partnership is made possible through Visa Checkout’s open platform and streamlined set of APIs, allowing both consumers and merchants to experience the benefits. Consumers with fingerprint authentication-enabled Samsung devices will be able to click the Visa Checkout/Samsung Pay co-branded button and touch the fingerprint sensor, without entering their username and password. Merchants can continue to use their existing Visa Checkout integration and get the benefit of this partnership.

“We are very excited to be working with Visa to offer simple, fast and secure checkout experiences to millions of Samsung Pay users on their mobile devices or desktop,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. ”Our partnership benefits not only Samsung Pay users but also hundreds of thousands of online merchants who are looking for effective ways to increase their checkout conversion rates.”

The rapidly expanding list of merchants continue to make it easier for consumers to buy online, on any device, using Visa Checkout. For a list of some of the participating merchants, and to learn more about Visa Checkout’s benefits for merchants, issuers and consumers alike, visit www.visacheckout.com.

About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit https://usa.visa.com/ and @VisaNews.

1 Cross-border transactions only in China

Contact:
Andy Gerlt
415-805-5153
agerlt@visa.com

Source: Visa Inc.

New leadership team at ScanSource Communications and Imago ScanSource

Greenville, South Carolina, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — ScanSource Communications and Imago ScanSource today (April 05, 2017) announced its new leadership team in the next stage of the integration of the two businesses. In support of that, the business unit will now operate under the name ScanSource Imago.

The dedicated sales leadership team is in place to support ScanSource Imago’s European operations. Paul Emery, Vice President, UK and Ireland, will be responsible for ScanSource Imago’s sales operations in the UK and Ireland. John Vickerage has been named Area Vice President of Northern Europe, with overall responsibility for sales in DACH, Benelux, Nordics, Baltics and Eastern Europe, and Nicolas Jouan has been appointed Area Vice President of Southern Europe, with responsibility for sales in France. Phil Boyd, Vice President of Merchandising, will lead the teams responsible for managing the vendor relationships.

In 2014, ScanSource acquired Imago, Europe’s leading value-added distributor of video and voice communications equipment and services. The integration of ScanSource Communications and Imago ScanSource will allow enhanced scale and focus on the growth of the business unit as a collective, across geographies and technologies. Resellers will have access to a greater line card of communications solutions – voice, video and data products – from a single source. ScanSource Imago will also deliver a greater range of value-added expertise, including services to assist resellers in delivering a broader range of communications solutions and services. ScanSource’s vendor partners will also have access to a greater number of resellers, new opportunities created by integrating the companies, as well as larger teams looking after their businesses, ensuring more avenues to promote and sell their products.

James Vickerage, president of ScanSource Imago, commented, “This announcement is an exciting next step in ScanSource Imago’s European journey. The continued integration of the companies allows us to build on the strengths of both organizations, while offering significant growth opportunities for our partners across Europe. I’m pleased with the strong leadership team we have in place, as they bring extensive experience from a business, operations and local market perspective.”

For more information about ScanSource Imago, please visit www.scansourceimago.com.

About ScanSource, Inc.

ScanSource, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCSC) is a leading global provider of technology products and solutions, focusing on point-of-sale, barcode, physical security, video, voice, data networking and technology services.  ScanSource’s teams provide value-added solutions and operate from two segments, Worldwide Barcode, Networking and Security and Worldwide Communications and Services. ScanSource is committed to helping its resellers and sales partners choose, configure, and deliver the industry’s best solutions across almost every vertical market in North America, Latin America, and Europe.  In August 2016, ScanSource entered the recurring revenue telecom and cloud services market through its acquisition of Intelisys, the industry’s leading technology services distributor. Founded in 1992, ScanSource is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina and was named one of the 2016 Best Places to Work in South Carolina. ScanSource ranks #685 on the Fortune 1000. For more information, please visit www.scansource.com.

Contact:

Melissa Andrews
Public Relations Manager
Phone: 864.286.4425

Source: ScanSource, Inc.

Pradera European Retail Parks Fund to acquire 25 retail parks in eight European countries

London, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Pradera, one of Europe’s leading specialist retail property fund and asset managers, has today (05 April 2017) announced the first closing of the Pradera European Retail Parks SCSp, a Luxembourg fund. In a EUR 900 million transaction agreed with IKEA Centres, the Fund has signed a contract to acquire 25 prime retail parks next to IKEA stores in eight European countries.

Pradera was able to complete the deal with equity investment from LJ Partnership, the private wealth partnership, which took a significant minority stake in the business in May 2016.

The portfolio of retail parks situated next to IKEA stores comprises around 500 units with a GLA of around 538,000 sqm.  Completion on 17 assets located in Germany, France and Poland is expected on 4 April 2017, with a further eight retail parks in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Switzerland due to complete on 31 August.

David Fletcher, Chief Executive of Pradera, explained that the properties being acquired from IKEA provide an excellent portfolio for the Fund, which has been established to invest in income-producing retail parks across Europe, stating: “As the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, IKEA is a strong anchor in these locations. These parks have been developed and managed by IKEA Centres and are let to major tenants including Media Markt, OBI, Decathlon and Leroy Merlin. They greatly benefit from the drawing power that IKEA stores brings to these locations.”

The new Fund comes at the start of a year in which Pradera looks to expand further, having launched a successful joint venture with Macquarie in Asia last year. Pradera Retail Asia already has over EUR 900 million of assets under management in China.

Colin Campbell, Chairman of Pradera, commented: “The acquisition of this portfolio and the creation of Pradera European Retail Parks SCSp demonstrates the significant synergies between Pradera and LJ Partnership. Pradera was able to source and secure the portfolio, enabling clients and associates of LJ Partnership to participate in an investment they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.”

Andrew Williams, CEO of LJ Partnership, said: “We are delighted to have backed the acquisition process through our partnership with Pradera. LJ Partnership’s strategy of partnering with best in class managers continues to deliver excellent investment opportunities; execution and management capability and returns profiles.”

PRESS ENQUIRIES:

James Carnegie
Good Relations Property
+44 20 7861 2573
jcarnegie@goodrelationsproperty.co.uk

Source: radera European Retail Parks

Starbucks® introduces new Toasted Coconut Cold Brew for a limited time

Starbucks® introduces new Toasted Coconut Cold Brew for a limited time

 

Seattle, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — The inspiration behind Starbucks latest addition to its Cold Brew lineup came from an unexpected source – jalao, a treat most commonly found in the Dominican Republic. Traditional jalao is made with coconut shavings and honey, flavors that perfectly complement Starbucks® Nariño 70 Cold Brew.

Starting today (April 4), customers can taste for themselves with the new Starbucks® Toasted Coconut Cold Brew, available at participating Starbucks® stores in the United States and Canada for a limited time. The beverage starts with Starbucks signature Nariño 70 Cold Brew, lightly sweetened with toasted coconut syrup and finished with a delicate float of coconutmilk which cascades throughout the cup.

“We really liked the simplicity of the coconut and honey flavors of jalao, we knew the toasted coconut flavors would go really well with the inherent sweet, chocolate notes of our Cold Brew,” said Christal Canzler, Starbucks senior beverage developer. “Pairing it with a splash of coconutmilk gave it just the right amount of refreshing creaminess.”

Since its launch in 2015, customers have embraced the refreshing and smooth flavor of Starbucks® Nariño 70 Cold Brew, a blend of Latin American and African coffees crafted in small batches daily and slow-steeped for 20 hours. Starbucks has expanded its Cold Brew platform with new flavors (including Vanilla Sweet Cream and Spiced Sweet Cream), Nitro Cold Brew, and bottled Starbucks® Cold Brew coffee in grocery and convenience channels.

Cold Brew on-the-go

Starbucks also recently introduced more ways for customers to enjoy cold brew on-the-go with new Cocoa & Honey with Cream Starbucks® Cold Brew joining black, unsweetened Starbucks® Cold Brew which launched last year. Both will be available in grocery stores in the United States this summer.

MEDIA CONTACT:

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

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation

###

Customers in the U.S. now have new lighter-roast brewed coffee to discover with 2017 Starbucks® Blonde Roast Limited-Edition

Customers in the U.S. now have new lighter-roast brewed coffee to discover with 2017 Starbucks® Blonde Roast Limited-Edition

 

Seattle, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks first opened its doors as a coffee roaster in 1971, quickly making its mark with its medium- and dark-roasted coffees. But its master roasters have never shied away from the full roast spectrum – and in 2012 introduced Starbucks® Blonde Roast, its shorter roast time bringing out softer, more mellow coffee flavors.

“Blonde Roast isn’t just the same coffee roasted lighter,” said Anthony Carroll, senior manager of coffee quality. “Each coffee bean requires a balance of temperature and time to reach its individual peak of aroma, acidity, body and flavor.”

Customers in the United States now have a new lighter-roast brewed coffee to discover with 2017 Starbucks® Blonde Roast Ltd., available for a limited time. The blend was recently introduced to Canada as Starbucks Blonde® Espresso as a second core espresso option and quickly gained a loyal following.

“We first set out to create a blonde roast that would bring out the lighter side of espresso beverages,” Carroll said. “To our surprise, the recipe was also exceptional as a brewed coffee with its creamy body and bright sweetness.”

The result is a balanced blend of Latin American coffees, which give it a round, smooth body, and East African beans with complex acidity and citrus notes.

“We found that it was both a great, lighter profile for espresso beverages and the perfect juicy, lush and verdant brewed option for spring,” Carroll said.

MEDIA CONTACT:

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

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation

###

Tesco further improves the service it provides customers

CHESHUNT, England, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tesco has today (5 Apr 2017) made changes to the way it runs some of its stores, as it looks to further improve the service it provides customers.

Last year, Tesco announced changes to help simplify how its stores are operated with the aim of improving customers’ shopping trip.

The changes have made a real difference and Tesco is now looking at further improvements to the service model within its UK stores. In particular, moving from night-to-day replenishment in 69 stores, with eight of those stores reducing their trading hours. Tesco is also bringing together different service desks so that customers can get everything they need in one place.

Where similar changes have been made, Tesco has started to see the benefits of this simpler way of serving customers – it’s freeing up more time to focus on great service and is ensuring stores are at their best when they are at their busiest.

Tesco UK and ROI CEO, Matt Davies said:

“We’re committed to improving the way we serve our customers and this week have discussed making further changes in a number of UK stores with our colleagues.

“These changes will help us run these stores more simply and deliver the best possible service for customers. We appreciate these changes will impact the roles of some of our colleagues and we will work with them to ensure they are fully supported throughout this period.”

Tesco will look to implement the changes over the coming months.

The stores changing from 24 hour opening to 6am – midnight opening are:

  • Galashiels Extra
  • Holyhead Extra
  • Ilkeston Extra
  • Kilmarnock Extra
  • Falkirk Grahams Road
  • Folkestone
  • Edgware Road Metro
  • Worksop

Note to editors

  • Tesco announcement, made in January 2016, on 76 stores closing 24 hour trading here.

We are a team of 480,000 in 11 markets dedicated to serving shoppers a little better every day.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01707 918 701

Source: Tesco

Carrefour launches Romania’s first Vărăști Carrefour Farming Cooperative

Carrefour launches Romania’s first Vărăști Carrefour Farming Cooperative

 

Romania, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour Romania has just launched the Vărăști Carrefour Farming Cooperative – a first for the country. It is the first cooperative of its kind to be supported by a retailer. The initiative bridges the gap between Romanian customers and farmers, selling extremely high-quality products and establishing a more equitable relationship between all the parties involved. And in this way, Carrefour Romania is contributing both in the mid-term and in the long-term to the development of the country’s agricultural sector.

The Vărăști Farming cooperative is less than 30 km from Bucharest and extends over 60 ha (including 15 ha of solaria), with annual production of some 5000 tonnes of vegetables. These include tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, courgettes, beans, aubergines, cabbages, celery, onions, garlic, dill, parsley, lovage, spinach, orache, wild garlic, nettles, radishes, fresh onions, fresh garlic and astrantia.  There are 5 founder members behind this project: Carrefour alongside 4 local producers. The Cooperative brings together vegetables grown by 80 families of farmers from the local region. Customers will find products grown by the Cooperative throughout the Carrefour Group’s store network in Romania.

To ensure that the vegetables and plant products produced by the Cooperative get to customers as quickly as possible, Carrefour has built a 300 m² warehouse in Vărăști in which local farmers can store their produce. From there, the vegetables are transported to the central warehouse and then distributed to Carrefour stores throughout the country. Carrefour has also provided these farmers with plastic, foldable crates which are returnable. This means they no longer have to purchase cardboard or wooden ones each time. Furthermore, the price labels on the shelves will include details of where the products have come from. This way, customers can play a part in the commercial chain, choosing to directly support the Vărăști Carrefour Farming Cooperative through the purchases they make.

For all request about the Carrefour Group (sales, financial results, governance, international,…), please contact the Carrefour Group media relations office:

. By phone:

Switchboard: +33 (0)1 41 04 26 00

For journalists: +33 (0)1 41 04 26 17

. By e-mail: presse_groupe@

Source: Carrefour Group

###

Amazon Web Services to open an infrastructure region in Sweden in 2018

New AWS Infrastructure Region will enable customers to run workloads in Sweden and serve end-users across the Nordics with even lower latency

SEATTLE, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today (Apr. 4, 2017) announced that it plans to open an infrastructure region in Sweden in 2018. The new AWS EU (Stockholm) Region will comprise of three Availability Zones at launch. Currently, AWS provides 42 Availability Zones across 16 infrastructure regions worldwide, with another five Availability Zones, across two AWS Regions in France and China, expected to come online this year. For more information on AWS’s global infrastructure, go to https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/.

“For over a decade, we’ve had a large number of Nordic customers building their businesses on AWS because we have much broader functionality than any other cloud provider, a significantly larger partner and customer ecosystem, and unmatched maturity, reliability, security, and performance,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS. “The Nordic’s most successful startups, including iZettle, King, Mojang, and Supercell, as well as some of the most respected enterprises in the world, such as IKEA, Nokia, Scania, and Telenor, depend on AWS to run their businesses, enabling them to be more agile and responsive to their customers. An AWS Region in Stockholm enables Swedish and Nordic customers, with local latency or data sovereignty requirements, to move the rest of their applications to AWS and enjoy cost and agility advantages across their entire application portfolio.”

This announcement has been welcomed by Sweden’s Innovation and Enterprise Minister, Mikael Damberg, describing the decision as good news for the country. “I am very happy to welcome AWS to Sweden. Their decision to establish a new region in our country is a recognition of Sweden’s competitive position within the European Union (EU), with the highest levels of renewable energy, in the power grid, in the EU, as well as a world leading digital infrastructure and IT industry,” said Mr Damberg. “The AWS investment in Sweden will strengthen our position in the global digital shift. For us, trade in a modern globalized economy is not only about goods, but also about services, sharing of knowledge, and the free flow of data.”

AWS has been steadily increasing its investment in the Nordics to serve its growing base of customers. In 2011, AWS opened a Point of Presence (PoP) in Stockholm to enable customers to serve content to their end users with low latency. In 2014 and 2015 respectively, AWS opened offices in Stockholm and Espoo, Finland. Today, AWS has teams of account managers, solutions architects, business developers, partner managers, professional services consultants, technology evangelists, start-up community developers, and more, helping customers of all sizes as they move to AWS. When launched, the AWS EU (Stockholm) Region will enable organizations to provide even lower latency to end users across the Nordics. Additionally, local AWS customers with data sovereignty requirements will be able to store their data in Sweden with the assurance that their content will not move unless they move it.

Organizations across the Nordics – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden – have been increasingly moving their mission-critical applications to AWS. Hot Nordic startups like Bambora, iZettle, Quinyx, Tidal, Tink, Tradeshift, Trustpilot, and Vivino, as well as leading gaming firms like King, Mojang, and Supercell have built their businesses on top of AWS, enabling them to scale rapidly and expand their geographic reach in minutes. Enterprises in the Nordics, like ASSA ABLOY, Finnair, F-Secure, Gelato, Husqvarna, IKEA, Kesko, Modern Times Group, Nokia, Sanoma, Scania, Schibstedt, Telenor, Wärtsilä, WirelessCar (Volvo), WOW Air, and Yleisradio (Yle), are also using AWS to drive cost savings, accelerate innovation, and speed time-to-market.

One Nordic enterprise that is using AWS to innovate is ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door opening solutions, with over 47,000 employees and annual sales of USD $8.3 billion worldwide. The company’s hospitality division is using AWS to power their Mobile Access solution, allowing hotels to offer their guests the ability to check-in via mobile phone and to use their device as their room key. “AWS has been critical to our ability to innovate and quickly develop new solutions for our customers,” said Jan Hedström, Cloud Operations Manager at ASSA ABLOY. “With AWS, we have been able to develop and test new business ideas the same day they come up, allowing the project teams to build fruitful partnerships with internal stakeholders, such as business owners and project managers. This also allows us to bring new services, such as our Mobile Access solution, to customers worldwide, such as major hotel chains, who are using the solution to enhance their guests’ stay.”

Another well-known Nordic enterprise using AWS to transform their organization is Scania, a world leading manufacturer of heavy vehicles.Scania has a long history of research and development and is bringing advanced technologies to their trucks, buses, coaches, and engines to help them reach their goal of becoming the leader in sustainable transport solutions. Scania is training hundreds of their employees on the latest AWS technologies, enabling them to develop and build reliable, secure, and scalable solutions quickly. Scania is now planning to use AWS for their connected vehicle systems, allowing truck owners to track their vehicles, collect real-time running data, and run diagnostics to understand when maintenance is needed, reducing vehicle downtime. ”In a connected world, a flexible, scalable, and reliable cloud infrastructure, such as what we get from AWS, is critical for our ability to develop, experiment, innovate, and stay ahead of the competition,” said Michael Müller, Director Infrastructure Services, at Scania. “For us, cloud is more than a technology, it is a fundamental part of our strategy moving forward. Through connectivity, powered by the cloud, we can enhance vehicle performance and customer profitability. This makes AWS much more than just a service provider, they are an important business partner supporting our future growth.”

WirelessCar, part of the Volvo Group, is a Swedish company using AWS to innovate quickly. WirelessCar connects two million vehicles in more than 35 countries. It moved its delivery engine, a test environment for WirelessCar software, from its on-premises data center to AWS. WirelessCar delivers global, high quality, and secure services, that enable vehicles to respond to remote user commands, intelligently plot routes, and communicate with the manufacturer about service requirements. “We run our entire delivery engine on AWS, from test and development through to deployment,” said Martin Rosell, Managing Director at WirelessCar. “Using AWS we are able to provide our developers with a more flexible, agile, and scalable platform. Before moving to AWS we added major features only a few times per year. Now, we are able to add features on-demand and in continuous deployment mode. This rapid pace of innovation has allowed us to scale our business according to customer needs and has also brought greater transparency to our operations. With AWS’s pay-as-you go pricing, we will be able to work out the precise cost of each of our services and make better, more informed business decisions as a result.”

As well as innovative enterprises, many of the most well-known and fastest growing startups in the Nordics are using AWS to build and rapidly expand their businesses around the world. One former startup which is now a leading mobile gaming company, Finland-based Supercell, used AWS to run their business from day one. Supercell is ‘all-in’ on AWS and their games – Boom Beach, Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and Hay Day – make use of almost every service available on AWS and attract more than 100-million players on iOS and Android devices every day. “Using AWS we have been able to focus our resources on improving the gaming experience for our players, instead of wasting time on procuring and maintaining the infrastructure,” said Sami Yliharju, Head of IT Infrastructure at Supercell. “Our games generate about five terabytes of log data every day, which we analyze to better understand player behavior and improve the game experience. This would be very hard to maintain with an on-premises setup, especially as we have seen explosive growth. With AWS doing the heavy-lifting, we have been able to iterate faster to quickly and seamlessly deliver new games and features to our millions of users around the world.”

Trustpilot, another Nordic startup, leveraged AWS to expand its business globally. The company provides over 150,000 e-commerce businesses, across 24 countries, with TrustScores. A TrustScore is a consumer rating that is based on more than 27 million online reviews. “Trustpilot chose to go ‘all-in’ on AWS from day one to enable us to support our rapid growth,” said Rudy Martin, VP of Operations at Trustpilot, which serves over 1.6 billion website impressions per month. “Retail is a seasonal business which experiences peaks during the holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, and when there are special events, such as Black Friday sales. These peaks are reflected in the increased demand for reviews to help the consumer make an informed purchasing decision. AWS enables us to easily scale our infrastructure to manage these peaks in traffic, which can sometimes exceed 250 percent of our usual daily traffic load.”

In addition to established enterprises and rapidly growing start-ups, AWS also has a vibrant ecosystem in the Nordics, including partners that have built cloud practices and innovative technology solutions on AWS. AWS Partner Network (APN) Consulting Partners in the Nordics helping customers to migrate to the cloud include Accenture, Capgemini, Crayon Group, CSC, Cybercom, Dashsoft, Enfo Group, Evry, Jayway, Nordcloud, Proact IT Group, Solita, Tieto, Wipro, and many others. Among the APN Technology Partners and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in the Nordics using AWS to deliver their software to customers around the world include Basware, eBuilder, F-Secure, Queue-it, Xstream, and many others. For the full list of the members of the AWS Partner Network, please visit: https://aws.amazon.com/partners/

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