Starbucks® introduces the new Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino

Starbucks® introduces the new Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino

SEATTLE, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Just in time for Frappuccino® beverage season, Starbucks® stores in the United States and Canada are blending something new for customers with the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino® blended beverage along with returning favorite S’mores Frappuccino® blended beverage. Both beverages are available in participating Starbucks stores in the United States and Canada starting today (May 2), along with new food and two new Teavana ready-to-drink craft teas.

Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino

Summer evenings were the inspiration for Starbucks new Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino® blended beverage.

“We started by thinking of the heydays of summer,” said Jennica Robinson from Starbucks beverage development team. “We were inspired by thoughts of dark starry nights, looking up at the sky with a cool summer breeze.”

The beautiful layered beverage starts with scoops of extra-dark cocoa blended with coffee, milk and ice, infused with cooling mint sugar crystals and cut with a layer of whipped cream.  It is then topped with more whipped cream and a dusting of dark cocoa.

“Mint is instantly cooling,” said beverage development manager Ryan Coombes “It contrasts with the dark cocoa and whipped cream for a balanced, refreshing beverage.”

The new beverage also taps into the dark food trend popular in social media, such as black macarons and charcoal ice cream.

“People are gravitating toward vibrant colors,” Coombes said. “Jet black is filling the void in unexpected places.”

Frappuccino Happy Hour Returns on Friday

Starbucks® Frappuccino® Happy Hour returns to stores starting this Friday, May 5, through Sunday, May 14. Customers can visit a participating Starbucks store in the United States and Canada from 3 to 6 p.m. local time and enjoy half-off Frappuccino blended beverages, any flavor and any size.

Refreshment on-the Go

For quick refreshment, Starbucks has added new Dulce de Leche Frappuccino® bottled coffee drink to its ready-to-drink lineup, with a smooth blend of sweet caramelized milk and coffee. Available in the United States where groceries are sold.

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

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation

MEDIA CONTACT

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

 

Starbucks adds more protein, fruits and vegetables to its grab-and-go lunch menu

Starbucks adds more protein, fruits and vegetables to its grab-and-go lunch menu

SEATTLE, Country, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — In response to customer feedback and just in time for summer, Starbucks has added more protein, fruits and vegetables to the company’s grab-and-go lunch menu. The top customer requests asked for protein-packed options, chicken and turkey raised without antibiotics, and more fruits and vegetables.

Inspired by the popular Protein Bistro Box, Starbucks now offers six Protein Boxes for customers to choose. The new Starbucks® Protein Boxes are an excellent source of protein with at least 20 grams of protein per box and feature chicken and turkey raised without antibiotics and include at least one cup of fruits and vegetables combined.

New varieties

BBQ Chicken & Power Slaw Protein Box – Includes a flatbread sandwich made with chicken raised without antibiotics mixed with smoky BBQ sauce, topped with Pepper Jack cheese, chili-peach jam and a side of apples and carrots. (22 grams of protein)

Smoked Turkey & Swiss Protein Box – Includes a flatbread sandwich with turkey raised without antibiotics, pickled peppers, tangy cream cheese spread, lettuce and a side of apples and carrots. (24 grams of protein)

Enhancements to Protein Boxes

The Eggs & Cheese with Apples & Grapes Protein Box (formerly known as the Protein Bistro Box) now includes two cage-free eggs instead of one for the ultimate protein boost. (23 grams of protein)

The Chicken Wrap with Peanut-Coconut Sauce Protein Box (formally known as Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wrap) has more chicken, now raised without antibiotics, and is offered as one wrap instead of three pinwheels. (20 grams of protein)

The PB&J with Fruits & Veggies Protein Box (formally known as PB&J on Wheat Bistro Box) has 50 percent more peanut butter and jam. (20 grams of protein)

The Cheese & Fruit with Brie, Cheddar & Gouda Protein Box (formally known as Cheese and Fruit Bistro Box) now includes an additional slice of both Cheddar and Gouda cheeses as well as more grapes and apples. (20 grams of protein)

A dozen options for a good source of protein

Starbucks offers additional protein-rich food and beverage options in stores across the U.S.

Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap – A whole wheat wrap filled with cage-free egg whites, spinach, feta cheese and tomatoes. (19 grams of protein)

Egg and Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich – Buttery grilled cheese with melted cheddar atop a perfectly cooked fluffy egg, served on hearty multigrain toast. (12 grams of protein)

Chicken Artichoke Panini – The iconic flavors of the thin, ancient grain flatbread are spread with signature sundried tomato pesto and topped with grilled chicken breast, tender roasted artichoke hearts and provolone cheese. (28 grams of protein)

Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl – A blend of grilled chicken, black beans, roasted corn, jicama, tomatoes, feta, spring greens and protein-rich quinoa is topped with a mild chili vinaigrette in this zesty choice. (19 grams of protein)

Protein Bistro Box – A hard-boiled cage-free egg, sliced tart apples, grapes and white cheddar cheese served with multigrain muesli bread and honeyed peanut butter. (13 grams of protein)

Classic Almonds – Pure California almonds finished with a dash of salt. (9 grams of protein)

Moon Cheese – Cheddar cheese in a crunchy format and easy to take on the go. (5 grams of protein)

Flat White – An espresso beverage made with two ristretto shots, combined with a thin layer of velvety steamed whole milk and finished with a latte art dot. (12 grams of protein)

Latte Macchiato – This drink features steamed whole milk that is perfectly aerated and free-poured, creating dense foam reminiscent of meringue. It is then marked by slowly-poured full espresso shots, creating a signature espresso dot. (12 grams of protein)

Caffé Latte – Dark, rich espresso balanced with steamed milk and a light layer of foam. (12 grams of protein)

Cappuccino – Dark, rich espresso lies in wait under a smoothed and stretched layer of thick foam. (8 grams of protein)

Protein Power Berry – Sweet and tart strawberry and raspberry juices are swirled into a creamy protein smoothie. (14 grams of protein per 8-ounce serving)

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

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation

MEDIA CONTACT

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

Colruyt reopens newly renovated Jemappes store

Halle, Belgium, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, Colruyt Jemappes will open its doors after a few weeks of renovation work. The store has been completely rearranged and restyled into a new-generation Colruyt store.

“During closure, we completely rearranged the store”, says store manager Geoffrey Severino. “Customers can now shop even more efficiently in a more congenial store. The fresh-market has been enlarged. And we have replaced the plastic flaps with an air curtain. When making renovations, we always aim at simplicity and the lowest costs, as our customers expect of us.”

Brand-new butcher’s department
For fresh quality meat, customers can visit the brand-new butcher’s department. Head butcher Christophe Hautecoeur: “Our customers have a nice overview of the range of meat, cold cuts and salads. And they can see the butchers at work in an open workshop. Customers can easily talk to them if they have questions or special orders.”

Special open evening 
Store manager Geoffrey Severino, head butcher Christophe Hautecoeur and their 39 employees are looking forward to welcoming their customers at the revamped Colruyt Jemappes as of Wednesday 3 May. Geoffrey Severino: “The evening before, on Tuesday 2 May from 5 to 8 pm, everyone is invited for a store preview. During this special open house, customers will be offered snacks and a drink. Everyone is most welcome!”

SOURCE: Colruyt Group

For more information, please contact:
Pascal Waroquier (regional manager) at 02 345 2345 40
Silja Decock (press officer Colruyt Group) at 0473 92 45 10

Retail decoration: Spanish firm Panespol launches new ideas LAB to meet creatives’ wild designs

Alicante, Spain, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Spanish design surfaces company Panespol® has launched a new bespoke service for architects and designers who need made-to-measure 3D objects for retail decoration.

Claiming to provide any shapes, materials, and reasonable sizes, as well as special effects, tricks, and delivery to sharp deadlines, the Panespol® LAB service has been made possible by smart technology updates and the firm’s own patents in polymer materials, although it will work in all materials, even natural plants from forests.

“We know that designers and architects are tired of recycling ideas because no one has an out-of-the-box production capacity for big orders on out-of-the-ordinary projects,” says Panespol®.

“Now they can be as specific and demanding as they like, and can dream big and have someone make it all happen, and do all the work from conception to final delivery.”

The Alicante-based firm, founded in 2001, has become known worldwide for the quality of its wall coverings in light, hard-wearing, fireproof, and ecological imitations that can be mounted by one person without building skills. It supplies chains such as Inditex (Bershka, Stradivarius), Burger King, Pizza Hut, Urban Jungle, and even Ikea.

This new LAB service was showcased to much acclaim at the recent retail fair Euroshop, held in Düsseldorf from March 5 to 9, where Panespol® mounted an interactive stand featuring some of the ‘off-the-wall’ shapes it can produce on demand.

Contact:

Press: Peter Wix
innovation@panespol.com

Panespol: Sonia Bernabeu (International)
sonia@panespol.com

The Home Depot® to announce its 1Q 2017 financial results on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ATLANTA, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Home Depot®, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, announced today (May 2, 2017) that it will hold its First Quarter 2017 Earnings Conference Call on Tuesday, May 16, at 9 a.m. ET.

A webcast will be available by logging onto http://ir.homedepot.com/events-and-presentations and selecting the First Quarter Earnings Conference Call icon. The webcast will be archived and available beginning at approximately noon on May 16.

The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,281 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. In fiscal 2016, The Home Depot had sales of $94.6 billion and earnings of $8.0 billion. The Company employs more than 400,000 associates. The Home Depot’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

SOURCE: The Home Depot

Email: investor_relations@homedepot.com
IR Coordinator: 770-384-2871

Bags & travel retailer Duifhuizen goes cross-border

OUD-BEIJERLAND (THE NETHERLANDS), 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Duifhuizen, specialist retailer of bags & travel items, has made its range more accessible to international customers. Apart from its 26 brick-and-mortar shops in The Netherlands and its two online shops, duifhuizen.nl and duifhuizen.be, the retailer has now also gone live with an English online shop: www.duifhuizen.com. They expect to attract potential customers from all over the world and to offer country-specific content in future.

OPPORTUNITIES

Duifhuizen can see plenty of cross-border opportunities. “We’ve noticed a continuous rise in our customers from abroad”, says E-commerce manager Mark van der Stokker. The English online shop was set up in order to better serve those customers. In preparation of the launch, thorough research was done on the shop’s target audience. Additionally, the procurement department continuously looks for specific brands and products that are of interest to international consumers.

A CHANGE OF NAME

Recently, all Duifhuizen online shops have had a big make-over. The design and functionality of the English online shop are near-identical to the Dutch online shop in order to keep the same look & feel. However, there has been a small change in name. For the international audience, the retailer has changed the name Duifhuizen tassen & koffers to Duifhuizen bags & travel. “Duifhuizen is a tricky name to pronounce for those who do not know the Dutch language. We didn’t want to make it any more difficult by adding tassen en koffers. ‘Bags & travel’ rolls off the tong a bit more easily”, Mark explains.

COUNTRY-SPECIFIC CONTENT

By launching duifhuizen.com the retailer focuses on customers from around the world. “In future we’re looking to focus more on country-specific content. We know where our visitors are coming from and have the means to provide them with targeted content on the moments that count”, Mark says. “Take Mother’s Day for example. This day is celebrated earlier in the UK than it is in The Netherlands. On the English online shop we’ve timely adjusted our content in order to offer the English customer the best service at the most relevant moment.”

AMBITION

The first step for Duifhuizen.com was to be more accessible for the international customer and it achieved that goal, the retailer says. Mark: “From this point on we have the possibility to further explore our options, such as expanding our range of local payment and delivery options in a way that is most convenient for our international customers. Additionally, we will try to interact locally and overcome the obstacles on our path in terms of logistics. It’s easy to see there are still plenty of challenges ahead. But we’re ready to face them, one by one.”

Duifhuizen bags & travel

Willem Beukelszstraat 13

3261 LV Oud-Beijerland

The Netherlands

Website: www.duifhuizen.com

E-mail: customerservice@duifhuizen.com

Schnuck Markets recalls fresh ground beef purchased the morning of May 2 from its Des Peres, Mo. store

DES PERES, Mo., 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Schnuck Markets, Inc. is voluntarily recalling fresh ground beef purchased the morning of May 2 from its Des Peres, Mo. store located at 12332 Manchester Road (63131). The recall was initiated after a store teammate discovered metal shavings in the grind.

This recall includes fresh ground beef labeled as:

90/10 Fresh Ground Sirloin

               73/27 Ground Beef

               90/10 Fine Ground

               80/20

               Fine Ground Chuck

               Ground Round

Any Des Peres Schnucks customer who purchased fresh ground beef between 7:30 and 11:30 a.m. the morning of May 2 may return the product to the Des Peres store for a full refund or exchange.

This is an isolated incident and no other stores are affected.

SOURCE: Schnucks

Customers with questions may contact the Schnucks Consumer Affairs department at 314-994-4400 or 1-800-264-4400.

 

HBC Chief Financial Officer Paul Beesley to leave the company

TORONTO & NEW YORK, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — HBC or the “Company” (TSX: HBC) today (May 2, 2017) announced that the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Paul Beesley, has made the decision to resign in early July in order to return home to Canada to be closer to his family. Mr. Beesley will continue in his role over the next two months to ensure a smooth transition. The Company has engaged a leading executive search firm to assist in recruiting a new CFO.

Mr. Beesley moved to New York to join HBC as CFO in May 2014. During his tenure, the Company has formed two real estate joint ventures with leading partners in the U.S. and Canada, expanded its revolving credit facilities to include operations across four countries, obtained a US $1.25 billion 20 year fixed rate mortgage on its Saks flagship property, and undertaken various other transactions to lower financing costs and reduce interest rate risk.

“Paul has made many contributions to HBC during his tenure, including significantly strengthening the Company’s capital structure,” said Jerry Storch, CEO of HBC. “In addition, he was instrumental in the implementation of the Company’s growth and acquisition strategy. We thank Paul for his contributions and wish him much happiness and success in his next endeavour.”

Paul Beesley commented: “I’ve had a very rewarding experience at HBC, and am proud of the work we have undertaken to position the Company for the future. HBC is a best-in-class retailer, and I will continue to follow the company closely after my departure. I am looking forward to returning to Canada this summer to be with my family.”

Mr. Beesley’s last day with HBC is July 7, 2017.

About HBC
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.

SOURCE: Hudson’s Bay Company

INVESTOR RELATIONS:
Hudson’s Bay Company
Elliot Grundmanis, 646-802-2469
elliot.grundmanis@hbc.com
or
MEDIA CONTACT:
Andrew Blecher, 646-802-4030
andrew.blecher@hbc.com

News Provided by Acquire Media

NRF calls on the House Financial Services Committee to reject efforts to repeal debit card swipe fee reform

WASHINGTON, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (May 2, 2017) called on the House Financial Services Committee to reject efforts to repeal debit card swipe fee reform as it considers approval of the Financial Choice Act.

“Debit card swipe fee reform has brought competition and transparency to the debit card payments market,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “Repealing reform would only undermine transparency and competition, further lining banks’ pockets.”

“Swipe fees are a major concern, especially for small retailers,” French said. “If debit swipe fee reform is repealed, costs to retailers will only increase, meaning higher prices for consumers and less opportunity for retailers to grow their businesses, provide jobs and support community efforts. Rather than repeal a successful provision of law that has brought competition into the payments market, we encourage Congress to support the future of payments and make sure competition is protected.”

French’s comments came in a letter to the committee, which began debate this morning on the Financial Choice Act, legislation sponsored by Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, that would repeal debit swipe fee reform as part of a larger rollback of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Committee approval of the bill could come today or Wednesday, with a vote by the full House expected later this month.

The committee is moving forward today even though only a single hearing has been held on the nearly 600-page bill. No retailers were allowed to testify at last week’s hearing despite the impact of the swipe fee issue on the industry. Nonetheless, dozens of retailers held more than 100 meetings on the issue with lawmakers on Capitol Hill the same day. NRF submitted a statement for the record and is running digital ads and has delivered more than 7,000 email petitions addressing consumer benefits and competition that urge Congress to preserve debit card reform.

Debit reform was enacted as part of Dodd-Frank in response to the card industry’s practice of price-fixing the debit card “swipe” fees banks charge merchants to process transactions. The fees previously averaged 1-2 percent of the purchase amount, and virtually all banks that issue cards charged the same.

Under reform regulations that took effect in October 2011, large banks are limited to 22 cents per transaction, down from about 45 cents in the past. The limit saved retailers about $8.5 billion in the first year alone, with close to $6 billion of the savings passed along to consumers, according to a study by economist Robert Shapiro. Banks that set the fees competitively and independently are exempt from the limit, but virtually none have done so. Banks with under $10 billion in assets are also exempt.

Reform also required that merchants be given at least two choices in the networks that route debit transactions to the bank for processing, typically one controlled by Visa or MasterCard and a competing, independent network that offers advantages such as lower fees, better service or better security.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF.com

Contact:
J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

Marks & Spencer appoints Jill McDonald to the new role of Managing Director, Clothing, Home & Beauty

LONDON, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer announces that Jill McDonald, currently CEO at Halfords, has been appointed to the new role of Managing Director, Clothing, Home & Beauty. Jill’s role will have overall profit and loss accountability for all aspects of the M&S non-Food business, from design and sourcing through to supply chain and logistics, and will report directly in to  M&S’s CEO, Steve Rowe.

Jill will join M&S in the autumn, on a date to be confirmed, and will be part of the M&S Operating Committee, the team accountable for the day-to-day running of the business and the development and execution of strategy.

As a result of this appointment, M&S is also announcing a change of responsibility for CEO Steve Rowe, who will relinquish his Clothing, Home & Beauty accountabilities to Jill on her arrival, and for CFO Helen Weir, who will hand over responsibility for the Clothing, Home & Beauty Supply Chain & Logistics.

Steve Rowe, M&S CEO, said: “I am pleased with the progress we have made in Clothing & Home over the last year and the time is now right for this appointment.

“Jill is an excellent addition to the M&S senior leadership team and we are delighted that she is joining us. Jill’s first-class customer knowledge and great experience in running dynamic, high achieving teams make her exactly the right person to lead this all-important part of our business from recovery in to growth.”

Jill McDonald said: “M&S has a unique, special relationship with its customers and I am very motivated by working closely with customers to drive and shape results. I have long been an M&S customer and professional fan, so working with the brand was a career opportunity that I just couldn’t turn down. I am looking forward to joining Steve and the team later this year to build on the plans that are already underway.”

M&S also announces today that, on Jill’s arrival, Jo Jenkins will move to the new role of Clothing & Beauty Director, reporting into Jill, and with expanded accountabilities for all clothing across womenswear, menswear and kidswear.

Marks & Spencer makes this announcement in accordance with LR9.6.11R(3)&(4).

For further information, please contact:

M&S Corporate Press Office
0208 718 1919

Source: Marks & Spencer

New partnership will integrate access to AWS services into Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform

  • Unique offering will allow customers to deploy AWS services from within Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform both on-premises and in the cloud
  • Alliance will also bring closer product alignment to enable new AWS services to be available with Red Hat Enterprise Linux faster than ever

BOSTON, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (05/02/2017), Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, and Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company and the world’s leading cloud computing provider (NASDAQ:AMZN), announced an extended strategic alliance to natively integrate access to AWS services into Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. Through this unique offering, Red Hat will make AWS services accessible directly within Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, allowing customers to take advantage of the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud whether they’re using Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform on AWS or in an on-premises environment. Customers will be able to seamlessly configure and deploy a range of AWS services such as Amazon Aurora, Amazon Redshift, Amazon EMR, Amazon Athena, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, and Elastic Load Balancing with just a few clicks from directly within the Red Hat OpenShift console. For more information, visit https://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/cloud-computing/openshift.

Since 2008, Red Hat and AWS have collaborated to make it easy to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux on AWS. Tens of thousands of customers across industries run a wide range of mission-critical enterprise applications – such as SAP applications, Oracle databases, analytics applications, and many more – with Red Hat Enterprise Linux on AWS. As enterprises increasingly explore deploying applications inside of containers, they have asked both companies to make it seamless to deploy and manage Red Hat OpenShift-based containers on AWS. With this alliance, AWS and Red Hat will give customers the ability to easily build and extend container-based enterprise applications with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform using a range of AWS compute, database, analytics, machine learning, networking, mobile, and various application services. This will enable Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform customers to be more agile as they’ll be able to use the same application development platform to build on premises or in the cloud. Red Hat and AWS will also work together to provide a single support path backed by both companies, so customers can run their applications in production with confidence.

In addition to providing an easier way for developers to deploy their applications in containers, Red Hat and AWS are working together to more rapidly enable new AWS services with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. By aligning closely on development and release dates, the companies will more quickly deliver AWS innovations to the tens of thousands of customers who have migrated or built new workloads using Red Hat Enterprise Linux on AWS.

AWS and Red Hat will continue to offer the complete suite of Red Hat JBoss Middleware offerings as fully supported services on AWS, allowing customers to run Red Hat JBoss Middleware as containerized application components with the functionality, elasticity, and security customers have come to expect from AWS. To further enhance Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform performance on AWS, the companies will collaborate on development to further strengthen the integration between AWS and Kubernetes, the container orchestration platform that powers Red Hat OpenShift.

“Container adoption is taking off in the enterprise, and this alliance is designed to accelerate that by giving customers access to AWS services directly within Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform,” said Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO, Red Hat. “By bringing together the incredible pace of innovation and breadth of functionality that AWS provides with the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise-grade container platform, we’re enabling customers to bring the combined advantages of these offerings across their hybrid environments with the backing of our joint support.”

“Given that Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, our enterprise customers have been passionate about seamlessly running Red Hat Enterprise Linux and various other Red Hat solutions on AWS,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS. “With AWS’s pace of innovation continuing to accelerate, we’re excited about deepening our alliance with Red Hat so that customers can enjoy AWS’s unmatched functionality as quickly as it comes out, whether they’re using Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.”

Availability

Red Hat and AWS will demonstrate these integrations this week at Red Hat Summit 2017 in Boston, Mass. with expected general availability in Fall 2017. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is available for AWS via Red Hat Cloud Access or on-demand. Red Hat JBoss Middleware on OpenShift is available today for AWS via Red Hat Cloud Access.

About Red Hat, Inc.

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to provide reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As a connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT. Learn more at http://www.redhat.com.

About Amazon Web Services

For 11 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 90 fully featured services for compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, developer, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), security, hybrid, and enterprise applications, from 42 Availability Zones (AZs) across 16 geographic regions in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the UK. AWS services are trusted by millions of active customers around the world – including the fastest growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies – to power their infrastructure, make them more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit https://aws.amazon.com.

About Amazon

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

Red Hat’s Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: risks related to the ability of the Company to compete effectively; the ability to deliver and stimulate demand for new products and technological innovations on a timely basis; delays or reductions in information technology spending; the integration of acquisitions and the ability to market successfully acquired technologies and products; fluctuations in exchange rates; the effects of industry consolidation; uncertainty and adverse results in litigation and related settlements; the inability to adequately protect Company intellectual property and the potential for infringement or breach of license claims of or relating to third party intellectual property; risks related to data and information security vulnerabilities; changes in and a dependence on key personnel; the ability to meet financial and operational challenges encountered in our international operations; and ineffective management of, and control over, the Company’s growth and international operations, as well as other factors contained in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K (copies of which may be accessed through the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov), including those found therein under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”. In addition to these factors, actual future performance, outcomes, and results may differ materially because of more general factors including (without limitation) general industry and market conditions and growth rates, economic and political conditions, governmental and public policy changes and the impact of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. The forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of the date of this press release and these views could change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Shadowman logo, and OpenShift are trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.

Contacts

Red Hat, Inc.
Stephanie Wonderlick
+1 571-421-8169
swonderl@redhat.com

Media Hotline:

+1 206-266-7180
Amazon-pr@amazon.com
www.amazon.com/pr

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

Amazon Original Kids Series Dino Dana to take viewers to a whole new level of dinosaur adventures starting May 26 on Prime Video

From the Creator of Dino Dan and Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures, Comes the Next Chapter of Dinosaur Adventures in the Emmy Award-Winning Franchise

SEATTLE, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon today (May 2, 2017) announced its brand-new Amazon Original Kids Series, Dino Dana, is scheduled to premiere on Friday, May 26 on Prime Video in the US and UK. A follow-up to the 2015 Emmy award-winning series Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures, Dino Dana is a preschool program that takes viewers on a whole new level of dinosaur encounters. Combining live-action with CGI animation, the series features 11 new prehistoric creatures and, for the first time, two sisters. After a chance encounter with Trek and his Dino Field Guide, Dana (Michela Luci), a “paleontologist in training,” begins to see dinosaurs all around her, leading to plenty of action and adventure. Every episode shares interesting dinosaur facts and applies them to kid-relatable experiences. Created by J.J. Johnson (Dino Dan, Annedroids), the series is executive produced by Sinking Ship partners Johnson, Blair Powers and Christin Simms with animation executive produced by Matthew J.R. Bishop.

“We’re thrilled to be collaborating yet again with the very talented team at Sinking Ship on Dino Dana,” said Tara Sorensen, Head of Kids Programming at Amazon Studios. “We look forward to introducing this playfully imaginative and substantive kids show to our Prime Video customers in the US and UK.”

“Dino Dana continues our mission of presenting our audience with a range of dynamic female lead characters,” says J.J. Johnson, Partner and Executive Producer at Sinking Ship Entertainment. “Perpetual thanks to our collaborators at Amazon who continually encourage us to push boundaries and tell stories that will resonate with all kids.”

Dino Dana will be part of Prime Video’s growing line-up of award-winning and critically-acclaimed Originals for kids and families which already includes Sinking Ship Entertainment’s Emmy-nominated series Annedroids and Bookaboo. Prime members will be able to stream the series using the Amazon Prime Video app for compatible TVs, connected devices, including Amazon Fire TV and mobile devices, or online at www.amazon.com/kidsoriginals, at no additional cost to their membership. Members can also download select titles to mobile devices for offline viewing. Dino Dana will also be available as part of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, the all-you-can-eat subscription service designed from the ground up for kids. FreeTime Unlimited is available exclusively on Amazon devices, including Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets, and a year-long subscription is included with every Fire Kids Edition. Eligible customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at www.amazon.com/prime. For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices, visit www.amazon.com/howtostream.

About Amazon Video

Amazon Video is a premium on-demand entertainment service that offers customers the greatest choice in what to watch and how to watch it. Amazon Video is the only service that provides all of the following:

  • Prime Video: Thousands of movies and TV shows, including popular licensed content plus critically-acclaimed and award-winning Amazon Original Series and Movies from Amazon Studios like Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, Love & Friendship, and kids series Tumble Leaf, available for unlimited streaming as part of an Amazon Prime membership. Prime Video is also now available to customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe at www.primevideo.com.
  • Amazon Channels: Over 100 channel subscriptions that Prime members can add to their membership, including HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, Cinemax, PBS KIDS, Acorn TV and more, plus Anime Strike – the first curated on-demand subscription by Amazon Channels. To view the full list of channels available, visit www.amazon.com/channels.
  • Rent or Own: Hundreds of thousands of titles, including new release movies and current TV shows available for on-demand rental or purchase for all Amazon customers.
  • Instant Access: Customers can instantly watch anytime, anywhere through the Amazon Video app on compatible TVs, mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire tablets, or online. For a list of all compatible devices, visit www.amazon.com/howtostream.
  • Premium Features: Top features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and mobile downloads for offline viewing of select content.

In addition to Prime Video, the Prime membership includes unlimited fast free shipping options across all categories available on Amazon, more than two million songs and thousands of playlists and stations with Prime Music, secure photo storage with Prime Photos, unlimited reading with Prime Reading, unlimited access to a digital audiobook catalog with Audible Channels for Prime, a rotating selection of free digital games and in-game loot with Twitch Prime, early access to select Lightning Deals, exclusive access and discounts to select items, and more. To sign-up for Prime or to find out more, visit: www.amazon.com/prime.

About Amazon

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

Media Hotline:

206-266-7180
www.amazon.com/pr

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

Shopify announces First-Quarter 2017 Revenue Grows 75% Year on Year

  • First-Quarter Revenue Grows 75% Year on Year
  • First-Quarter Gross Merchandise Volume Grows 81% Year on Year
  • Shopify reports in U.S. dollars and in accordance with U.S. GAAP

Ottawa, Canada, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP)(TSX:SHOP), the leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses, today announced strong financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.

“With our excellent start to the year, it is clear we are becoming the de facto platform for sellers,” stated Russ Jones, Shopify’s CFO. “In addition to merchant growth and their adoption of both new channels and merchant solutions, we also continue to see expansion of merchants’ GMV.  Retail is shifting headlong toward the vision we laid out two years ago — of inspiring entrepreneurship with multi-channel commerce — and we fully expect to continue leading this industry transition for years to come.”

First-Quarter Financial Highlights

  • Total revenue in the first quarter was $127.4 million, a 75% increase from the comparable quarter in 2016. Within this, Subscription Solutions revenue grew 60% to $62.1 million.  This increase was driven by the continued rapid growth in Monthly Recurring Revenue (“MRR”) as a record number of merchants joined the platform in the period.  Merchant Solutions revenue grew 92% to $65.3 million, driven primarily by the growth of Gross Merchandise Volume (“GMV”).
  • MRR as of March 31, 2017 was $20.7 million, up 62% compared with $12.8 million as of March 31, 2016.  Shopify Plus contributed $3.5 million, or 17%, of MRR compared with 11% of MRR as of March 31, 2016.
  • GMV for the first quarter was $4.8 billion, an increase of 81% over the first quarter of 2016.  Gross Payments Volume (“GPV”) grew to $1.8 billion, which accounted for 38% of GMV processed in the quarter, versus $1.0 billion, or 37%, for the first quarter of 2016.
  • Gross profit dollars grew 80% to $72.2 million as compared with the $40.1 million recorded for the first quarter of 2016.
  • Operating loss for the first quarter of 2017 was $14.5 million, or 11% of revenue, versus $9.7 million, or 13% of revenue, for the comparable period a year ago.
  • Adjusted operating loss4 for the first quarter of 2017 was 3.4% of revenue, or $4.3 million; adjusted operating loss for the first quarter of 2016 was 8.1% of revenue, or $5.9 million.
  • Net loss for the first quarter of 2017 was $13.6 million, or $0.15 per share, compared with $8.9 million, or $0.11 per share, for the first quarter of 2016.
  • Adjusted net loss4 for the first quarter of 2017 was $3.5 million, or $0.04 per share, compared with an adjusted net loss of $5.1 million, or $0.06 per share, for the first quarter of 2016.
  • At March 31, 2017, Shopify had $395.7 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, compared with $392.4 million on December 31, 2016, and compared with $189.5 million on March 31, 2016.

Business Highlights

  • Over one thousand Shopify Partners and Developers from around the world gathered in San Francisco in April to discuss the future of Shopify, commerce, and technology at our partner conference, Shopify Unite. New product development discussions included several announcements scheduled for availability in the second quarter, such as:
    • Shopify Point-of-Sale Card Reader. The first piece of hardware designed in-house by Shopify, the new chip-and-swipe reader offers portability and EMV support to merchants looking to sell at markets, pop-up shops or permanent retail locations. Emblazoned with the Shopify logo, the new reader seamlessly connects a merchant’s in-person sales with those made on their online store and other channels.
    • Shopify Pay. Shopify Pay allows merchants to offer their customers the option to securely save their shipping and credit card information for future purchases from any participating Shopify store. Shopify Pay is designed to increase conversion by reducing checkout to a simple 2-step entry: an email address and a unique 6-digit order notification via SMS.
    • Wholesale Channel for Plus. Using this channel, Shopify Plus merchants can create a separate, password-protected storefront, managed within their existing store. Merchants can invite buyers to purchase products at assigned wholesale prices, creating a more efficient way to manage customer bulk ordering in one place, without two systems or workarounds.
    • New Application Programming Interfaces (“APIs”) for partners.  Shopify Partners can now leverage  new APIs across a number of areas to build useful apps that integrate more directly with Shopify.  These include the Custom Storefront API, which enables partners to build for specific audiences, experiences and opportunities; the Marketing Events API, which allows developers to automatically add tracking to their marketing apps, helping merchants understand the impact of their marketing efforts; and the Draft Orders API, which lets developers expand how orders are created and completed.
  • Mobile traffic to merchants’ stores continued to grow, reaching 69% of traffic and 59% of orders at the end of March 2017 versus 62% and 51%, respectively, at the end of March 2016.
  • Shopify Capital reached $49 million in aggregate cash advances to U.S. merchants using Shopify Payments by the end of the first quarter. By April 30, 2017, aggregate cash advances had reached more than $60 million.

Financial Outlook

The financial outlook that follows constitutes forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws and is based on a number of assumptions and subject to a number of risks. Actual results could vary materially as a result of numerous factors, including certain risk factors, many of which are beyond Shopify’s control. Please see “Forward-looking Statements” below.

In addition to the other assumptions and factors described in this press release, Shopify’s outlook assumes the continuation of growth trends in our industry, our ability to manage our growth effectively and the absence of material changes in our industry or the global economy. The following statements supersede all prior statements made by Shopify and are based on current expectations.  As these statements are forward-looking, actual results may differ materially.

These statements do not give effect to the potential impact of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures or business combinations that may be announced or closed after the date hereof.  All numbers provided in this section are approximate.

For the full year 2017, Shopify currently expects:

  • Revenues in the range of $615 million to $630 million
  • GAAP operating loss in the range of $69 million to $73 million
  • Adjusted operating loss in the range of $14 million to $18 million, which excludes stock-based compensation expenses and related payroll taxes of $55 million

For the second quarter of 2017, Shopify currently expects:

  • Revenues in the range of $142 million to $144 million
  • GAAP operating loss in the range of $18 million to $20 million
  • Adjusted operating loss4 in the range of $6 million to $8 million, which excludes stock-based compensation expenses and related payroll taxes of $12 million

Quarterly Conference Call

Shopify’s management team will hold a conference call to discuss its first-quarter results today, May 2, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. ET.  The conference call will be webcast on the investor relations section of Shopify’s website at https://investors.shopify.com/events/Events-Presentations/default.aspx.  An archived replay of the webcast will be available following the conclusion of the call.

Shopify’s First-Quarter 2017 Interim Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes and its First-Quarter 2017 Management’s Discussion and Analysis are available on Shopify’s website at www.shopify.com, and will be filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov.

About Shopify

Shopify is the leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Merchants can use the software to design, set up, and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces and physical retail locations. The platform also provides merchants with a powerful back-office and a single view of their business. The Shopify platform was engineered for reliability and scale, making enterprise-level technology available to businesses of all sizes. Shopify currently powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in approximately 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Tesla, Nestle, GE, Red Bull, Kylie Cosmetics, and many more.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement its consolidated financial statements, which are prepared and presented in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), Shopify uses certain non-GAAP financial measures to provide additional information in order to assist investors in understanding its financial and operating performance.

Adjusted operating loss, non-GAAP operating expenses, adjusted net loss and adjusted net loss per share are non-GAAP financial measures that exclude the effect of share-based compensation expenses and related payroll taxes.

Management uses non-GAAP financial measures internally for financial and operational decision-making and as a means to evaluate period-to-period comparisons. Shopify believes that these non-GAAP measures provide useful information about operating results, enhance the overall understanding of past financial performance and future prospects, and allow for greater transparency with respect to key metrics used by management in its financial and operational decision making.  Non-GAAP financial measures are not recognized measures for financial statement presentation under U.S. GAAP and do not have standardized meanings, and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other public companies. Such non-GAAP financial measures should be considered as a supplement to, and not as a substitute for, or superior to, the corresponding measures calculated in accordance with GAAP. See the financial tables below for a reconciliation of the non-GAAP measures.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including statements regarding Shopify’s financial outlook and future financial performance. Words such as “expects”, “anticipates” and “intends” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements are based on Shopify’s current projections and expectations about future events and financial trends that management believes might affect its financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs, and on certain assumptions and analysis made by Shopify in light of the experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments and other factors management believes are appropriate. These projections, expectations, assumptions and analyses are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results, performance, events and achievements to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Although Shopify believes that the assumptions underlying these forward-looking statements are reasonable, they may prove to be incorrect, and readers cannot be assured that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of numerous factors, including certain risk factors, many of which are beyond Shopify’s control, including but not limited to: (i) merchant acquisition and retention; (ii) managing our growth; (iii) our history of losses; (iv) our limited operating history; (v) our ability to innovate; (vi) a disruption of service or security breach; (vii) payments processed through Shopify Payments; (viii) our reliance on a single supplier to provide the technology we offer through Shopify Payments; (ix) a breach involving personally identifiable information; (x) serious software errors or defects; (xi) exchange rate fluctuations; (xii) achieving or maintaining data transmission capacity; and (xiii) other one-time events and other important factors disclosed previously and from time to time in Shopify’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the securities commissions or similar securities regulatory authorities in each of the provinces or territories of Canada. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release represent Shopify’s expectations as of the date of this news release, or as of the date they are otherwise stated to be made, and subsequent events may cause these expectations to change. Shopify undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law.

CONTACT:

INVESTORS:
Katie Keita
Director, Investor Relations
613-241-2828
IR@shopify.com

MEDIA:
Erin Hochstein
Public Relations Manager
226-972-1767
press@shopify.com

Source: Shopify Inc.

The TJX Companies, Inc. to hold 1Q FY2018 financial results conference call on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TJX) today (May 2, 2017) announced that it plans to release its first quarter Fiscal 2018 sales and earnings results on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, before 9:30 a.m. ET.

At 11:00 a.m. ET that day, Ernie Herrman, TJX’s Chief Executive Officer and President, will hold a conference call to discuss the Company’s first quarter Fiscal 2018 results, operations and business trends. A real-time webcast of the call will be available to the public at tjx.com. A replay of the call will also be available by dialing (866) 367-5577 through Tuesday, May 23, 2017, or at tjx.com.

About The TJX Companies, Inc.

The TJX Companies, Inc. is the leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S. and worldwide. As of January 28, 2017, the end of the Company’s fiscal year, the Company operated a total of 3,812 stores in nine countries, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, and Australia, and three e-commerce sites. These include 1,186 T.J. Maxx, 1,035 Marshalls, 579 HomeGoods and 12 Sierra Trading Post stores, as well as tjmaxx.com and sierratradingpost.com in the United States; 255 Winners, 106 HomeSense, and 57 Marshalls stores in Canada; 503 T.K. Maxx and 44 HomeSense stores, as well as tkmaxx.com, in Europe; and 35 Trade Secret stores in Australia. TJX’s press releases and financial information are also available at tjx.com.

Important Information at Website

Archived versions of the Company’s conference calls are available in the Investors section of tjx.com after they are no longer available by telephone as are reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP financial measures and other financial information. The Company routinely posts information that may be important to investors in the Investors section at tjx.com. The Company encourages investors to consult that section of its website regularly.

Contact:
Debra McConnell
Global Communications
(508) 390-2323

Source: The TJX Companies, Inc.

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. closes an extension of its $730 million ABL Tranche A credit facility in advance of its Dec 2018 maturity date

YORK, Pa., 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:BONT) announced today (May 01, 2017) that it has successfully completed the closing of an extension of its $730 million ABL Tranche A credit facility in advance of its December 2018 maturity date.  The Tranche A revolving facility is now due to mature in April 2022. Pricing and all other terms of the ABL facility are essentially unchanged, and the total commitment under the facility (Tranche A and Tranche A-1) remains at $880 million.

Nancy Walsh, Bon-Ton’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, commented, “We are excited to have successfully completed the extension of our ABL credit facility, securing our borrowing capacity and extending our debt maturities.  We appreciate the ongoing support of our existing bank group, and welcome our new lenders to the ABL facility.  Over the last two years, we have taken meaningful steps to improve our balance sheet by repaying and refinancing debt.  We now have increased financial flexibility to execute our long term strategic initiatives.”

About The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 261 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 25 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates. The stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings. The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. is an active and positive participant in the communities it serves. For further information, please visit http://investors.bonton.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information included in this press release contains statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which may be identified by words such as “may,” “could,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” “intend” or other similar expressions and include the Company’s fiscal 2017 guidance, involve important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect results in the future and, accordingly, such results may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of the Company.   Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to: risks related to retail businesses generally; a significant and prolonged deterioration of general economic conditions which could negatively impact the Company in a number of ways, including the potential write-down of the current valuation of intangible assets and deferred taxes; risks related to the Company’s proprietary credit card program; potential increases in pension obligations; consumer spending patterns, debt levels, and the availability and cost of consumer credit; additional competition from existing and new competitors or changes in the competitive environment; inflation; deflation; changes in the costs of fuel and other energy and transportation costs; weather conditions that could negatively impact sales; uncertainties associated with expanding or remodeling existing stores; the ability to attract and retain qualified management; the dependence upon relationships with vendors and their factors; a data security breach or system failure; the ability to reduce or control SG&A expenses, including initiatives to reduce expenses and improve efficiency; operational disruptions; unsuccessful marketing initiatives; the ability to expand our capacity and improve efficiency through our new eCommerce fulfillment center; changes in, or the failure to successfully implement, our key strategies, including initiatives to improve our merchandising, marketing and operations; adverse outcomes in litigation; the incurrence of unplanned capital expenditures; the ability to obtain financing to fund working capital, capital expenditures, losses and general corporate purposes; the impact of regulatory requirements including the Health Care Reform Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; the inability or limitations on the Company’s ability to favorably adjust the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets; and the financial condition of mall operators.  Additional factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ from those contained in these forward-looking statements are discussed in greater detail under Item 1A of the Company’s Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT:
Investor Relations
Jean Fontana
ICR, Inc.
646.277.1214
jean.fontana@icrinc.com

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

Florida Retail Federation (FRF) concerned for the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday omission

TALLAHASSEE, FL, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Below is a quote from FRF President & CEO R. Scott Shalley regarding the legislature’s recent decision NOT to fund the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday:

“The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) applauds Legislative leaders for their work on the 2017 tax package. We are, however, concerned to learn that the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday has been omitted from the current proposal.

The entire State of Florida was affected by hurricanes in 2016. This Tax Holiday provides an extra incentive to consumers to ensure that Floridians are prepared and protected from dangerous storms. Proper preparation saves money and lives. We strongly encourage legislative leaders to reconsider this decision and include the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday in their final tax package.”

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year as the statewide trade association representing retailers — the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide three out of every four jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year. In fact, more than three out of four of Florida’s budget dollars come from retail-related activity.

CONTACT:

James Miller
james@frf.org
(850)701-3015

Source: Florida Retail Federation

Coach, Inc. 3Q- FY2017: Our solid performance was very much in line with our expectations and our strategic initiatives

Coach, Inc. 3Q- FY2017: Our solid performance was very much in line with our expectations and our strategic initiatives

 

  • Coach Brand North America Comparable Store Sales Increased 3% in the Third Quarter
  • Third Quarter GAAP EPS was $0.43 Versus $0.40 a Year Ago, Up 7%; Non-GAAP EPS was $0.46 Versus $0.44 a Year Ago, Up 4%
  • Maintains Fiscal 2017 Guidance

NEW YORK, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Coach, Inc. (NYSE:COH) (SEHK:6388), a leading New York design house of modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brands, today (May 2, 2017) reported third quarter results for the period ended April 1, 2017.

Victor Luis, Chief Executive Officer of Coach, Inc., said, “Our solid performance this quarter was very much in line with our expectations and our strategic initiatives. In a volatile and complex global environment, we delivered continued positive comparable store sales for the Coach brand in North America and gross margin expansion in each segment, while tightly controlling costs. We continued to drive growth in our directly-operated Europe and Mainland China businesses, which represent the most significant geographic opportunities for our brands. And, despite our deliberate pullback in the North America wholesale channel and the impact of calendar shifts, we delivered earnings growth. Importantly, we announced a new leadership structure and strengthened our Coach brand team, a critical step in Coach, Inc.’s evolution as a customer-focused, multi-brand organization.”

Overview of Third Quarter 2017 Consolidated, Coach, Inc. Results:

  • Net sales totaled $995 million for the third fiscal quarter, a decrease of 4% on a reported basis and 3% on a constant currency basis. As planned, the Company’s strategic decision to elevate the Coach brand’s positioning in the North American wholesale channel through a reduction in promotional events and door closures negatively impacted sales growth by approximately 150 basis points in the quarter.
  • Gross profit totaled $706 million, a decrease of 1% on a reported and non-GAAP basis. Gross margin for the quarter expanded 190 basis points from prior year to 70.9% on both a reported and non-GAAP basis.
  • SG&A expenses totaled $555 million on a reported basis, a decrease of 4%, and represented 55.7% of sales compared to 56.0% in the year-ago quarter. On a non-GAAP basis, SG&A expenses were $544 million, a decrease of 3%, or 54.6% of sales as compared to 54.3% in the year ago period, reflecting in part the Company’s continued investment in Stuart Weitzman.
  • Operating income for the quarter on a reported basis totaled $151 million, an increase of 13%, while operating margin was 15.2% versus 13.0%. On a non-GAAP basis, operating income was $162 million, an increase of 7%, while operating margin was 16.3% versus 14.7%.
  • Net interest expense was $4 million in the quarter as compared to $7 million in the year ago period.
  • Net income for the quarter on a reported basis totaled $122 million, with earnings per diluted share of $0.43. This compared to reported net income in the third quarter of FY16 of $112 million with earnings per diluted share of $0.40. On a non-GAAP basis, net income for the quarter totaled $130 million compared to $124 million a year ago, an increase of 5%, with earnings per diluted share of $0.46, up 4% versus prior year.

Coach Brand Third Quarter of 2017 Results:

  • Net sales for the Coach brand totaled $915 million for the third fiscal quarter, a decrease of approximately 4% on a reported and constant currency basis, consistent with expectations. As planned, the strategic actions in the North America wholesale channel negatively impacted sales growth by about 150 basis points.

Third fiscal quarter sales results in each of Coach’s primary segments were as follows:

  • Total North American Coach brand sales decreased 5% on a reported and constant currency basis to $474 million versus $499 million last year. Both North American aggregate and bricks and mortar comparable store sales rose approximately 3% despite the negative impact of the shift in timing of Easter. Total North American direct sales declined 2% for the quarter, reflecting the change in the fiscal calendar on non-comparable sales. As planned, sales at North American department stores declined approximately 40% on both a POS and net sales basis.
  • International Coach brand sales totaled $430 million compared to $448 million a year ago, a decrease of approximately 4% on a reported basis, including approximately 70 basis points of pressure related to foreign currency translation. Greater China sales declined 2% versus prior year in dollars and increased 2% on a constant currency basis, driven by strong growth and positive comparable store sales in Mainland China, offset by continued softness in Hong Kong and Macau. In Japan, sales rose 2% in dollars and decreased 1% in constant currency. Sales for the remaining directly-operated businesses in Asia decreased low-double digits on a reported and constant currency basis, due primarily to weakness in Korea where macroeconomic and geopolitical headwinds have pressured spending from domestic consumers and tourists. Sales in the directly operated channels in Europe remained strong, growing at a double-digit rate in constant currency, while total sales decreased modestly in dollars and rose slightly in constant currency, reflecting the impact of the planned shift in wholesale shipment timing. As expected, international wholesale declined on a net sales basis due to shipment timing with the fourth quarter, while POS sales also declined.
  • Gross profit for the Coach brand totaled $656 million, a decrease of 2% on a reported and non-GAAP basis. Gross margin for the quarter increased 180 basis points over prior year, including approximately 20 basis points of benefit from currency, to 71.7% on both a reported and non-GAAP basis.
  • SG&A expenses totaled $509 million for the Coach brand on a reported basis, down 5% versus prior year, and represented 55.6% of sales compared to 56.3% of sales in the prior year’s third quarter. On a non-GAAP basis, SG&A expenses were $500 million, a decrease of 4%, and represented 54.6% of sales versus 54.8% in the year ago period.
  • Operating income for the Coach brand on a reported basis was $147 million, an increase of 14%, while operating margin was 16.1% compared to operating margin of 13.6% a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, operating income was $156 million, an increase of 8%, while operating margin was 17.1% compared to operating margin of 15.1% on a non-GAAP basis a year ago.

Stuart Weitzman Third Quarter of 2017 Results:

  • Net sales for the Stuart Weitzman brand totaled $80 million for the third fiscal quarter compared to $79 million reported in the same period of the prior year, an increase of 1%, impacted by wholesale shipment timing.
  • Gross profit for the Stuart Weitzman brand totaled $50 million, an increase of 8% versus prior year, on a reported and non-GAAP basis. Gross margin for the quarter was 62.1%, an increase of approximately 390 basis points over prior year, on a reported and non-GAAP basis, reflective, in part, of channel mix, the benefit of currency, and lower promotional levels.
  • SG&A expenses for the Stuart Weitzman brand were $46 million on a reported basis, compared to $41 million in the prior year, and represented 57.3% of sales compared to 52.3% of sales in the prior year’s third quarter. On a non-GAAP basis, SG&A expenses were $44 million compared to $39 million in the prior year due to an increase in store occupancy costs as well as the Company’s strategic investments in team and infrastructure. As a percentage of sales, SG&A was 55.2% compared to 48.9% of sales a year ago.
  • Operating income for the Stuart Weitzman brand was $4 million or 4.7% of sales as reported compared to $5 million or 5.9% of sales in the prior year’s third quarter. On a non-GAAP basis, operating income was $6 million or 6.9% of sales versus $7 million or 9.3% of sales in the prior year.

Mr. Luis continued, “At Stuart Weitzman, we’re executing on our plan, driving global awareness and brand relevance, and gaining traction with the millennial consumer. The response to spring newness has been particularly strong, and we continue to expect sales to increase at a double-digit pace for both the fourth quarter and the year. We’re also making key brand investments in management and creative talent, as well as infrastructure to support long-term, multi-category growth. To this end, we’re especially excited about the arrival of Giovanni Morelli, who joins the brand this week as Creative Director.”

During the third quarter of FY17, the Company recorded the following under its previously announced plans:

  • Operational Efficiency Plan: charges of approximately $6 million, primarily related to organizational efficiency and technology infrastructure costs.
  • Acquisition-Related Costs: charges of approximately $5 million associated with the acquisition of Stuart Weitzman (which primarily includes charges attributable to contingent payments and integration-related activities).

These actions taken together increased the Company’s consolidated reported SG&A expenses by about $11 million, negatively impacting reported net income by $8 million after tax or about $0.03 per diluted share in the third quarter.

“While the retail environment remains uncertain, our strategic vision for our brands and our company remains clear. The traction we’ve achieved to date on our transformation plan and the success of our integration of Stuart Weitzman give us continued confidence in our direction. Moreover, with our new leadership structure, Coach, Inc. is well positioned to continue its journey as a global house of brands and to focus on opportunities to drive long-term and sustainable growth,” Mr. Luis concluded.

Fiscal Year 2017 Outlook:

The following fiscal 2017 guidance is provided on a non-GAAP, 52-week basis versus 52-week basis.

The Company is maintaining its operational outlook for fiscal 2017 as outlined in January.

The Company continues to expect revenues for fiscal 2017 to increase low-single digits, including the impact of currency.

In addition, the Company is maintaining its operating margin forecast for Coach, Inc. of between 18.5-19.0% for fiscal 2017. This guidance incorporates the negative impact of both Stuart Weitzman and the strategic decision to elevate the Coach brand’s positioning in the North American wholesale channel, including a reduction in promotional events and the closure of about 25% of doors.

Interest expense is now expected to be in the area of $20 million for the year while the full year fiscal 2017 tax rate is still projected at about 26%.

Taken together, the Company continues to project double-digit growth in both net income and earnings per diluted share for the year.

Fiscal Year 2017 Outlook – Non-GAAP Disclosure:

The Company is not able to provide a full reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP because certain material items that impact these measures, such as the timing and exact amount of charges related to our Operational Efficiency Plan and acquisition related charges, have not yet occurred or are out of the Company’s control. Accordingly, a reconciliation of our non-GAAP financial measure guidance to the corresponding GAAP measures is not available without unreasonable effort. The Company has identified the estimated impact of the items excluded from its fiscal 2017 guidance.

This fiscal 2017 non-GAAP guidance excludes (1) expected pre-tax charges of around $20 million to $35 million attributable to the Company’s Operational Efficiency Plan (which will primarily include the costs of replacing and updating the Company’s core technology platforms, organizational efficiency costs, as well as network optimization costs) and (2) expected pre-tax Stuart Weitzman acquisition-related charges of around $20 million (which primarily include the impact of contingent purchase price payments, subject to achieving a certain revenue target, and office lease termination charges).

Conference Call Details:

Coach will host a conference call to review these results at 8:30 a.m. (ET) today, May 2, 2017. Interested parties may listen to the webcast by accessing www.coach.com/investors on the Internet or dialing into 1-877-510-8087 or 1-862-298-9015 and providing the Conference ID 44859438. A telephone replay will be available starting at 12:00 p.m. (ET) today, for a period of five business days. To access the telephone replay, call 1-800-585-8367 or 1-404-537-3406 and enter the Conference ID above. A webcast replay of the earnings conference call will also be available for five business days on the Coach website.

The Company expects to report fourth quarter financial results on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. To receive notification of future announcements, please register at www.coach.com/investors (“Subscribe to E-Mail Alerts”).

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, the statements under “Fiscal Year 2017 Outlook,” as well as 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,” “maintaining,” “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.

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.

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Apranga Group reports EUR 15.6 million retail turnover in April 2017

Vilnius, Lithuania, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — The retail turnover (including VAT) of the Apranga Group amounted to EUR 15.6 million in April 2017, and was the same as in April 2016.

In January through April 2017, the retail turnover of Apranga Group (including VAT) reached EUR 63.4 million, and increased by 6.2% year-to-year.

In January-April 2017, the retail turnover of the Apranga Group in Lithuania increased by 4.2% year-to-year, in Latvia increased by 2.7% and in Estonia by 19.6%.

Currently Apranga Group operates the chain of 184 stores (107 in Lithuania, 47 in Latvia and 30 in Estonia) covering the gross area of 84.7 thousand sq. m., or by 7.2% more than a year ago.

Rimantas Perveneckas
Apranga Group Director General
+370 5 2390801

CONTACT FOR INVESTORS:
Saulius Bačauskas
APB Apranga Finance and Economics Director
Tel. +370 5 2390 808, +370 5 2390 843
Fax. +370 5 2390 800
E-mail: s.bacauskas@apranga.lt

Source: Apranga Group

SPAR Guangdong celebrates the opening of two new hypermarkets in Guzhen Huayi and Wuhua County

SPAR Guangdong celebrates the opening of two new hypermarkets in Guzhen Huayi and Wuhua County

 

Guangdong, China, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — SPAR China Partner, SPAR Guangdong, celebrated the opening of two new hypermarkets recently, one in the town of Guzhen Huayi and the other in Wuhua County.

The Guzhen Huayi Hypermarket has a retail selling area of 7,000m2 and offers customers a wide range of imported products in an elegant and modern shopping environment with excellent service, extensive seating and free wifi. To celebrate this opening, SPAR Guangdong launched a series of promotional activities.

The Wuhua Aoyuan Hypermarket is the third SPAR Hypermarket in the area and is located in a large shopping centre with a selling area of 13,000m2. The hypermarket features a variety of fresh products, imported foods, a large non-food range and general merchandise, catering to the varied needs of customers. A special area has been designed to showcase SPAR Own Brand products – with a wide range of premium international items also on offer, complementing the well developed locally sourced range. The SPAR Hypermarket also offers convenience-based services such as free wifi, a lottery and mobile phone service.

SPAR Guangdong will expand its store network even further over the coming years with the aim of achieving a total sales area of 40,000m2, creating more than 2,000 jobs.

Contact:

SPAR International
Email: info@spar-international.com
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

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New research underscores need for continued monitoring of pharmaceutical marketing practices to help drive down overall drug spending

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today (May 2, 2017) lauded findings from new research showing that policies limiting pharmaceutical sales activities at academic medical centers resulted in a modest, but significant change in prescribing behavior. The research, published today in an issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) focused on conflicts of interest in medicine, found that when these policies were implemented there was a decrease in prescribing of drugs detailed by pharmaceutical sales representatives and an increase in prescribing of non-detailed drugs, the majority of which (more than 95 percent) were generics. This research underscores the need for continued monitoring of pharmaceutical marketing practices and the ongoing adoption of programs and policies that increase the availability and utilization of generic drugs in the marketplace, as a way to help drive down overall drug spending.

“Physician visits from drug sales representatives help keep expensive brand name drugs top-of-mind for physicians, which can ultimately impact their prescribing behavior,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health and a study co-author. “At a time when the cost of prescription drugs and pharmacy care is under increased scrutiny, this new data shows that policies to restrict pharmaceutical sales calls can lead to increased prescribing of equally effective, less expensive generic drugs.”

Researchers at the UCLA Medical Center and Carnegie Mellon University compared prescribing practices of physicians at academic medical centers in five states before and after implementation of restrictive pharmaceutical detailing policies over a six-year period. De-identified pharmacy claims data was provided by CVS Health for eight drug classes used to treat common, chronic conditions for which lower-cost generics are available, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The study found that when more restrictive policies to limit on-site pharmaceutical marketing activity were adopted by the medical centers, there was a decrease in market share of 1.67 percentage points for brand name drugs previously detailed by pharmaceutical representatives and an increase in market share of lower cost, mostly generic, alternatives by 0.84 percentage points across the majority of drug classes.

“This research is instructive as we look at ways to help curb overall health care spending and points to a tremendous opportunity for increasing utilization of generic medicines as a measured approach to help control overall pharmacy spend,” added Dr. Brennan. “In fact, when high cost brand name drugs are prescribed more often, research suggests that overall health care spending can rise exponentially, much of which is likely avoidable.”

Clinically equivalent and often more cost effective than their brand name counterparts, generic drugs help control pharmacy spend and increase access to important therapies for patients who could be deterred by the high cost of some branded drugs. In fact, according to the Association for Accessible Medicines, the use of generic drugs produces annual savings in excess of $200 billion. Additionally, in a separate editorial also published in today’s issue of JAMA, authors cite research showing that the overuse of high cost brand name medications resulted in about $73 billion in costs to the U.S. health care system between 2010-2012, about a third of which was paid for by patients.

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), including CVS Caremark, the PBM of CVS Health, also help drive value for payors and patients with formularies that favor generic drugs. In fact, in 2016, generic drugs had the largest deflationary impact on CVS Caremark drug trend the year-over-year growth in prescription spending due to higher dispensing rates combined with lower overall inflation and falling prices for most generics. In addition, increasing drug competition by addressing the backlog of generic medicines awaiting FDA approval and promoting policies that do not delay market entry of generic drugs will help increase the number of lower cost generic drugs available in the marketplace.

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its nearly 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 Contacts:

Christine Cramer
CVS Health
(401) 770-3317
christine.cramer@cvshealth.com

Christina Beckerman
CVS Health
(401) 770-8868
christina.beckerman@cvshealth.com

SOURCE: CVS Health

CVS Health announces increased Net revenues by 3.0% to $44.5 billion during First Quarter

First Quarter Year-over-year Highlights:

  • Net revenues increased 3.0% to $44.5 billion
  • GAAP diluted EPS from continuing operations of $0.92; Adjusted EPS of $1.17
  • Generated cash flow from operations of $3.5 billion; free cash flow of $3.1 billion

2017 Guidance:

  • Confirmed full year GAAP diluted EPS from continuing operations of $5.02 to $5.18
  • Confirmed full year Adjusted EPS of $5.77 to $5.93
  • Provided second quarter GAAP diluted EPS from continuing operations of $1.15 to $1.19
  • Provided second quarter Adjusted EPS of $1.29 to $1.33
  • Confirmed full year cash flow from operations of $7.7 to $8.6 billion; free cash flow of $6.0 to $6.4 billion

WOONSOCKET, RHODE ISLAND, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ —  CVS Health Corporation (NYSE: CVS) today (May 2, 2017) announced operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2017.

President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Merlo said, “2017 is off to a solid start as we posted results this quarter that surpassed our expectations. At the same time, we generated $3.1 billion of free cash and continued to return value to our shareholders through high-return investments in our business as well as dividends and share repurchases. However, while we are pleased with our financial performance versus our expectations, we won’t be satisfied until the company returns to sustainable, healthy earnings growth.”

Mr. Merlo continued, “We continue to expect 2017 to be a rebuilding year, but our goals remain clear, and we fully intend to return to healthy levels of growth. We remain confident in our model as well as our position in the evolving health care landscape, and our ability to generate significant levels of cash will continue to play an important role in driving shareholder value over the longer term.”

Revenues

Net revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2017 increased 3.0%, or $1.3 billion, to $44.5 billion, up from $43.2 billion in the three months ended March 31, 2016.

Revenues in the Pharmacy Services Segment increased 8.5% to $31.2 billion in the three months ended March 31, 2017. This increase was primarily driven by growth in pharmacy network claim volume as well as brand inflation and growth in specialty pharmacy, partially offset by increased generic dispensing and price compression. Pharmacy network claims processed during the three months ended March 31, 2017, increased 10.5%, on a 30-day equivalent basis, to 376.8 million, compared to 340.9 million in the prior year. The increase in pharmacy network claim volume was primarily due to an increase in net new business. Mail choice claims processed during the three months ended March 31, 2017, increased 4.5%, on a 30-day equivalent basis, to 63.7 million, compared to 61.0 million in the prior year. The increase in the mail choice claim volume was primarily driven by continued adoption of our Maintenance Choice® offerings and an increase in specialty pharmacy claims.

Revenues in the Retail/LTC Segment decreased 3.8% to $19.3 billion in the three months ended March 31, 2017. The decrease was largely driven by a 4.7% decrease in same store sales, continued reimbursement pressure and an increase in the generic dispensing rate.

Pharmacy same store sales decreased 4.7% and were negatively impacted by approximately 480 basis points due to recent generic introductions. Same store prescription volumes declined 1.4%, on a 30-day equivalent basis, in the three months ended March 31, 2017. The previously-discussed marketplace changes that restrict CVS Pharmacy from participating in certain networks had an approximately 460 basis point negative impact on same store prescription volumes, while the absence of leap day versus the prior year had an approximately 120 basis point negative impact on same store prescription volumes. Adjusting for both the network changes and leap day, same store prescription volumes would have been 580 basis points higher, and would have increased 4.4% in the quarter on a 30-day equivalent basis.

Front store same store sales declined 4.9% in the three months ended March 31, 2017. The absence of leap day versus the prior year had a 100 basis point negative impact on front store same store sales, while the shift of the Easter holiday to the second quarter in 2017 from the first quarter in 2016 had a 75 basis point negative impact. Front store sales were also negatively impacted by softer customer traffic and efforts to rationalize promotional strategies, partially offset by an increase in basket size.

For the three months ended March 31, 2017, the generic dispensing rate increased approximately 140 basis points to 87.0% in our Pharmacy Services Segment and increased approximately 180 basis points to 87.5% in our Retail/LTC Segment, compared to the prior year.

Operating Profit

For the three months ended March 31, 2017, consolidated operating profit decreased $392 million, or 18.0%. The decrease was due to the previously-announced restricted networks that exclude CVS Pharmacy as well as continued price compression in the Pharmacy Services Segment and continued reimbursement pressure in the Retail/LTC Segment. The decrease also reflects a charge of $199 million associated with the closure of 60 retail stores in connection with our enterprise streamlining initiative. This was partially offset by a $46 million decrease in acquisition-related integration costs in the three months ended March 31, 2017 versus the same quarter last year.

Net Income and Earnings Per Share

Net income for the three months ended March 31, 2017 decreased 16.9%, to $953 million. This was primarily driven by the decline in operating profit, partially offset by lower interest expense of $31 million related to refinancing activity in the prior year as well as the improvement in the effective income tax rate, from 39.4% to 37.3%. The decrease in the tax rate was largely driven by $19 million in discrete tax benefits related to the required adoption of new accounting guidance for share-based compensation.

GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations (“GAAP diluted EPS”) for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was $0.92, compared to $1.04 in the prior year. Adjusted earnings per share (“Adjusted EPS”) for the three months ended March 31, 2017 and 2016, was $1.17 and $1.18, respectively. Further detail is shown in the Adjusted Earnings Per Share reconciliation later in this release.

Guidance

The Company confirmed its previous EPS and cash flow guidance for the full year and provided guidance for the second quarter of 2017. The Company continues to expect to deliver GAAP diluted EPS of $5.02 to $5.18 and Adjusted EPS of $5.77 to $5.93 for the full year 2017. The Company expects to deliver GAAP diluted EPS of $1.15 to $1.19 and Adjusted EPS of $1.29 to $1.33 in the second quarter of 2017. The Company also confirmed its 2017 cash flow from operations guidance of $7.7 to $8.6 billion and free cash flow guidance of $6.0 to $6.4 billion. These 2017 guidance estimates assume the completion of $5.0 billion in share repurchases.

Real Estate Program

During the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company opened 27 new retail stores and closed 60 retail stores. In addition, the Company relocated 10 retail stores. As of March 31, 2017, the Company operated 9,676 retail stores, including pharmacies in Target stores, in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Brazil.

As previously disclosed, the Company intends to close a total of approximately 70 retail stores during 2017 and expects to take a cumulative charge of approximately $220 million primarily associated with the remaining lease obligations of such stores. The Company closed 60 of the 70 retail stores in the three months ended March 31, 2017 and took a charge of $199 million. The Company expects to close approximately ten additional stores during the remainder of 2017.

Teleconference and Webcast

The Company will be holding a conference call today for the investment community at 8:30 am (EDT) to discuss its quarterly results. An audio webcast of the call will be broadcast simultaneously for all interested parties through the Investor Relations section of the CVS Health website at http://investors.cvshealth.com. This webcast will be archived and available on the website for a one-year period following the conference call.

About the Company

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its nearly 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.

Forward-Looking Statements

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

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

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

The Company defines Adjusted Earnings per Share, or Adjusted EPS, as income from continuing operations excluding the impact of certain adjustments such as the amortization of intangible assets, acquisition-related transaction and integration costs, adjustments to legal reserves in connection with certain legal settlements, charges in connection with store rationalization, losses on early extinguishments of debt, and losses on settlements of defined benefit pension plans, divided by the Company’s weighted average diluted shares outstanding. The Company believes that this measure enhances investors’ ability to compare the Company’s past financial performance with its current performance.

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

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

Investor Contact:
Nancy Christal
Senior Vice President
Investor Relations
(914) 722-4704

Media Contact:
Carolyn Castel
Vice President
Corporate Communications
(401) 770-5717

Source: CVS Health

Al Meera announces growth in its financial results for 1Q 2017

Al Meera announces growth in its financial results for 1Q 2017

 

DOHA, Qatar, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ —  Al Meera Consumer Goods Company (Q.S.C.) announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2017, three months ended 31 March 2017. Sales reached QAR 644.1 million, compared to QAR 641.0 million for the same period in 2016, and Gross Margin increased from QAR 99.7 million in 2016 to QAR 105.2 million in 2017, a growth of 5.5%.

The Earnings per Share (EPS) amounted to QAR 2.03 in first quarter of 2017 versus QAR 2.47 for the first quarter of 2016.

“Al Meera continues to achieve growth in sales and gross profit reflecting our Board of Directors’ clear vision, sound policies, and strategic decisions. The achieved growth over last year shows  that Al Meera market strategy is in line with the current market conditions, and the company’s expenses are kept in line with its expansion plan with the opening of four new community malls that aims to cater to all our customers’ needs”.

He added: “As a Company that puts its customers, stakeholders and the community first, the success and growth we have achieved has inspired us to continue our faithful contribution to the community in which we operate. Which is why, the first quarter of 2017 has witnessed a number of strategic and community development initiatives that have won the recognition of the industry and consumers alike, and we are looking forward to more fruitful results in the next quarter.”

Growth and expansion

On its expansion strategy front, the first quarter of 2017 marked the launch of Umm Salal Ali shopping center, one of the previously announced 5 out of 14-store expansion phase. Built on a land area of 4014 m2, and featuring a 1750 m2 Supermarket, the store has been equipped to serve residents in the area with fresh sections that Al Meera customers enjoy shopping from, in addition to 9 shops, a small food court, a dedicated parking space and other facilities that further augment visitors’ experience at the shopping center.

The milestone achievement was soon followed by the opening of Al Meera’s latest store in Al Wakra (East), bringing Al Meera’s distinctive shopping experience, state-of-the-art technologies and facilities that have become synonymous with the Retailer’s community shopping centers, to one more of the country’s regions that are witnessing significant urban development and a population boom in Qatar, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.

Currently, Al Meera has 7 branches under construction, of which 5 are expected to open during 2017. In this sense, the company keeps on delivering its promises to the communities it serves wherever they were in the State of Qatar.

Al Meera’s CSR

On the social level, Al Meera invested in its keenness on spreading a culture of sports among the various segments of the society, as the company celebrated Qatar’s 6th National Sport Day (NSD) by supporting various competitions and events held at the Cultural Village Foundation (Katara), in partnership with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), the Community College of Qatar (CCQ), and Qatar University (QU). Al Meera’s role in the 2017 National Sport Day activities revolved around offering sports enthusiasts and event participants, fresh fruit, healthy snacks and water at different locations throughout Katara.

The Company’s strong belief in the key role of sports and exercise in leading happy and healthy lives, were also manifested in its participation in the 10th International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Aspire Dome as the Official Supplier of the event. This year’s event was staged at the highest level (World/Challenge Cup) and involved an array of international gymnasts from 30 countries across its various competitions.

Al Meera’s unwavering commitment to its Corporate Social Responsibility program and its years-long expertise in community development was reflected in the Company’s draft of the global management project “Social responsibility and its impact on local and international companies”, which was presented at Qatar Uuniversity’s CSR Exhibition, in the presence of HE Salah Bin Ghanim Al-Ali, the Minister of Culture and Sports and QU’s President Dr. Hasan Al Derham, among other dignitaries. Al Meera also received the CSR Responsible Leadership Award, in recogonition of its leading part in that field, at a special ceremony held at Qatar University (QU), to launch the CSR Report ‘the National Book’ Qatar 2016.

Contact:

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

Source: Al Meera

###

Al Meera ready to welcome the Holy Month with high quality products at the best price

Al Meera ready to welcome the Holy Month with high quality products at the best price

 

DOHA, Qatar, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Al Meera Consumer Goods Company (Q.S.C) announced yesterday its ‘1438 consumer goods at cost price’ distinctive offer, that comes as part of the Company’s Ramadan campaign under the slogan ‘an abundance of good, in the month of goodness’; which will be launched in a few days, as a tribute to the Islamic Year 1438. The announcement was made during a press conference, held at the Al Meera Headquarters Board Room, in the presence of special guests and members of the media. The Ramadan offer comes in the context of Al Meera’s readiness to welcome the Holy Month, and its constant efforts to provide consumers in Qatar with high quality products at the best price.

The campaign comes as an extension of last year’s Ramadan offer, and gives patrons of 35 of Al Meera branches, as well as Géant Hypermarket, the opportunity to purchase 1438 high quality products that have been carefully selected to cater to the specific needs of shoppers in the holy month.

The special offer is complemented by Al Meera’s provision of adequate quantities of “Tamween” items for Qatari nationals at 34 branches of its shopping centers across the country, during the Holy Month. In addition to that, Al Meera is currently working with its local suppliers on providing its customers with attractive offers on a variety of consumer products and home appliances at its stores.

Moreover, Al Meera will make use of special labels to designate around the products that will be priced by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, in order to protect and inform consumers during Ramadan, and is continuously collaborating with its local and overseas suppliers to supply and import the best products from the company’s various sources prior to the Holy Month, including Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, the United States and the United Kingdom, among others.

Al Meera will also support Ramadan programs and initiatives carried out by charities and associations, and is coordinating with the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to distribute some necessary items to the main mosques in the country during the blessed month.

On this occasion, Mr. Cobus Lombard, Al Meera’s Acting CEO, Sales and Operations Director added:

“Our Ramadan campaign, is our humble gift to the community that we serve and our loyal customers who have continued to support us year after year, and it comes as part of our CSR program, which aims to contribute to improving the shopping experience of the members of our community in all aspects and through various means. This year, consumers will be able to enjoy our special Ramadan offer and our trademark shopping experience in more shopping centers and neighbourhoods, following the opening of several new Al Meera stores in previously underserved regions in the country, living up to our motto of being everyone’s ‘Favourite Neighbourhood Retailer’.”

Commenting on the announcement of the campaign, Sheikh Thani Bin Thamer Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Al Meera, said:

“At Al Meera, we put our customers first in everything we do and we spare no effort to provide consumers in Qatar with the best shopping experience while providing them with premium quality products at affordable prices. What’s more important is that we always listen to our customers, which is why, in light of the good reception to last year’s Ramadan campaign among consumers, we decided to continue this remarkable tradition this year and offer our valued patrons with even more products at cost price.”

Since its inception in 2005, Al Meera has continued to affirm its commitment to Qatar’s social and cultural values and has taken many steps to make a real difference in the shopping experience of community members across the country. Over the years, the Company has developed a number of remarkable activities that have become an integral part of its annual commitment to the various segments in society.

In the first quarter of 2017, Al Meera has exerted great effort to live up to its role-model status in the realm of corporate social responsibility, with a lineup of humanitarian, social and environmental initiatives that were successfully met with great acclaim and engagement from all segments of society.

Harmonized with Al Meera’s dedication to providing the best shopping experience, the Company most recently launched a joint campaign with Qatar National Bank (QNB) that will be active in all Al Meera stores and Geant hypermarket, where shoppers can earn 1 bonus Life Rewards point for every QAR 2 redeemed (with a minimum spend of QAR 250).

In February 2017, in line with the country’s trend towards urban development outside of Doha, Al Meera celebrated the opening of its new branch in Umm Salal Ali, one of the previously announced 5 out of 14-store expansion phase, to its network in Qatar. Soon after, Al Meera brought its exceptional shopping experience to consumers in Al Wakra (East) with the opening of its third store to date in Al Wakra.

In addition, the Leaibab 2 branch is expected to be opened within a few days, bringing the Company’s five-store expansion phase to fruition by the beginning of Q2 2017. Moreover, during the second quarter of 2016, initial works were taking place on six new shopping centres, across various regions in the country, covering Al Khor, Umm Qarn, Rawdat Aba El Heran, Al Sailiya, Leaibab 1 and Azghawa, which will see completion during 2017. Upon the accomplishment of finalizing their construction, Al Meera stores will be expected to reach 50 branches in Qatar by the end of 2017.

In parallel with the progress made in its expansion strategy, the Company recently took part in Qatar Development Bank’s (QDB) “Moushtarayat 2017” Exhibition and Conference, through which it educated suppliers and local SMEs on the steps they need to take in order to partner with Al Meera, claim their space on its store shelves, and become a part of its growing supply chain, towards Qatar’s economic diversification and the realization of the country’s National Vision for the year 2030.

Al Meera also participated in the 10th International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Aspire Dome as the Official Supplier of the event, in the framework of its relentless support to cultivating a culture of sports in society.

In addition to that, Al Meera partook in Qatar University’s CSR Exhibition, and took home the Responsible Leadership Award.

Other initiatives sponsored and supported by Al Meera included the events of the 12th Gulf Consumer Protection Week, the World Down Syndrome Day in association with Qatar Society for Rehabilitation of Special Needs, Mother’s Day at the Center for Empowerment and Elderly Care (Ehsan).

Contact:

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

Source: Al Meera

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The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. welcomes Norm Veit as its new EVP, Chief Information Officer

YORK, Pa., 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: BONT) today (May 2, 2017 ) announced the appointment of Norm Veit to the position of Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer of the Company, effective Monday, May 1, 2017.  Mr. Veit will have responsibility for IT strategy and operations.

Veit brings more than 35 years of valuable experience to Bon-Ton, having held a variety of leadership roles in retail companies throughout his career. He most recently served as Chief Information Officer and EVP, Distribution, Real Estate & Facilities for Nine West Holdings, Inc. In this role, Veit was responsible for the company’s global IT strategy and operations, revamping retail systems to improve efficiency, enhancing the customer shopping experience, and all corporate real estate and facilities operations. Previous assignments at Nine West include Sr. Vice President Corporate MIS and Vice President, MIS. Mr. Veit has his Business Administration degree from Temple University.

Commenting on Mr. Veit’s appointment, Bill Tracy, Chief Operating Officer, said, “We are delighted to have Norm join our executive leadership team. He brings extensive knowledge in IT operations as well as strategic planning to Bon-Ton. We also look forward to benefitting from his retail systems expertise and his capabilities to enhance customer shopping experience.”

About The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 261 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 25 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates. The stores offer a broad assortment of national and private brand fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings. The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. is an active and positive participant in the communities it serves. For further information, please visit http://investors.bonton.com.

SOURCE: The Bon-Ton Stores

NCR executive Andrea Ledford named 2017 Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year – Sustainable Workforce

Recognized for Making Workforce Quality and Engagement a Strategic Advantage

Duluth, Ga, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), a global leader in omni-channel solutions, today ( May 2, 2017) announced that Executive Vice President of the Chief Administration Office and Chief Human Resources Officer Andrea Ledford has been named 2017 Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year – Sustainable Workforce by HRO Today.

“Andrea is driving corporate strategy as the global leader of critical areas of the business, including Human Resources, Brand Communications and Public Affairs, Corporate Real Estate, Security and the NCR Foundation,” said NCR Chairman and CEO Bill Nuti. “Andrea and her team recognize that people, talent and culture are at the heart of business success today and in the future.”

Ledford and her team are cultivating incredible experiences for employees such as:

  • NCR’s brand transformation from the inside out that reflects our reinvention from a hardware-driven business to an omni-channel leader.
  • The creation of innovative work environments in key, strategic locations around the globe – from India to Atlanta – that enable employee collaboration and teamwork and ultimately drive customer delight.
  • The successful design and implementation of innovative, first-in-class programs and processes that are increasing employee engagement and retention, growing our leaders and decreasing attrition. These include a new learning model driving critical business changes for services and sales teams; a high-touch, impactful employee experience from the recruitment and interview stage through the first year on the job; and a cloud-based HR solution providing employees with easier access to information.

Ledford was among an esteemed group of 18 finalists who are providing the vision to establish HR practices that are driving talent initiatives, contributing to business growth, and creating a culture that can lead in a global marketplace.

Prior to her current position, Ledford served as NCR’s Vice President of Human Resources for the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, Middle East and Africa. Her background also includes HR leadership roles with other global technology companies.

About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in omni-channel solutions, turning everyday interactions with businesses into exceptional experiences. With its software, hardware, and portfolio of services, NCR enables nearly 700 million transactions daily across retail, financial, travel, hospitality, telecom and technology, and small business. NCR solutions run the everyday transactions that make your life easier.

NCR is headquartered in Duluth, Ga., with over 30,000 employees and does business in 180 countries. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.

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

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

Source: NCR Corporation

Brixmor Property Group 1Q2017: despite retail bankruptcies and store closings, our portfolio continued to benefit from healthy tenant demand

  • Achieves Highest First Quarter New and Renewal Leasing Volume
  •  Continues to Drive Robust Cash Leasing Spreads

NEW YORK, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Brixmor Property Group Inc. (NYSE: BRX) (“Brixmor” or the “Company”) announced today (May 1, 2017) its operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2017. For the three months ended March 31, 2017, net income attributable to common stockholders was $0.23 per diluted share compared with $0.20 per diluted share in the comparable 2016 period.

Key highlights for the three months ended March 31, 2017 include:

  • Grew FFO per diluted share 4.4% year-over-year, excluding non-cash GAAP adjustments and lease termination fees
  • Generated same property NOI growth of 3.2%
  • Executed 1.9 million square feet of new and renewal leases at comparable rent spreads of 16.4%
  • Increased leased occupancy by 10 basis points year-over-year to 92.5%
  • Increased small shop leased occupancy by 90 basis points year-over-year to 84.8%
  • Added $42.5 million of value enhancing reinvestment projects to the in process pipeline at an expected average incremental NOI yield of 10%
  • Completed four anchor space repositioning projects and three outparcel developments for a total investment of $14.5 million at an average incremental NOI yield of 14%
  • Completed $104.5 million of acquisitions and $35.5 million of dispositions
  • Issued $400.0 million of 3.90% Senior Notes due 2027 and utilized proceeds to prepay a portion of the Company’s Tranche A Term Loan maturing July 31, 2018

“While the overall retail environment brought an increase in announced retail bankruptcies and store closings, our portfolio continued to benefit from healthy tenant demand, resulting in 1.9 million square feet of new and renewal leases executed in the first quarter at blended comparable rent spreads of 16.4%,” commented James Taylor, Chief Executive Officer and President. “Importantly, our leasing and redevelopment activity continues to demonstrate the upside embedded in our portfolio given our locations, below market rent basis and accretive redevelopment potential, all of which represent distinct competitive advantages in today’s environment.”

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Net Income

  • For the three months ended March 31, 2017 and 2016, net income attributable to common stockholders was $71.6 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, and $60.5 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, respectively.

NAREIT FFO

  • For the three months ended March 31, 2017 and 2016, NAREIT FFO was $161.6 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, and $161.3 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, respectively.

Same Property NOI Growth

  • Same property NOI for the three months ended March 31, 2017 increased 3.2% from the comparable 2016 period.
  • Same property base rent for the three months ended March 31, 2017 contributed 250 basis points to same property NOI growth.

Dividend

  • The Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.26 per common share (equivalent to $1.04 per annum) for the second quarter of 2017.
  • The dividend is payable on July 17, 2017 to stockholders of record on July 6, 2017, representing an ex-dividend date of July 3, 2017.

PORTFOLIO AND INVESTMENT ACTIVITY

Value Enhancing Reinvestment Opportunities

  • During the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company completed four anchor space repositioning projects and added five new projects to its in process pipeline. At March 31, 2017, the anchor space repositioning in process pipeline was comprised of 17 projects with an aggregate net estimated cost of approximately $33.1 million at expected average incremental NOI yields of 13 to 15%.
  • During the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company completed three outparcel developments and added three new projects to its in process pipeline. At March 31, 2017, the outparcel development in process pipeline was comprised of seven projects with an aggregate net estimated cost of approximately $9.6 million at an expected average incremental NOI yield of 13%. In addition, the new development in process pipeline was comprised of one project, with a net estimated cost of approximately $32.6 million at an expected NOI yield of 10%.
  • During the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company added two new redevelopment projects to its in process pipeline. At March 31, 2017, the redevelopment in process pipeline was comprised of 11 projects with an aggregate net estimated cost of approximately $142.1 million at an expected average incremental NOI yield of 9%.

Acquisitions

  • As previously announced, during the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company acquired Arborland Center, a 404,000 square foot grocery-anchored regional shopping destination located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for $102.0 million. Arborland Center is located in a high barrier-to-entry trade area situated between the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University and is anchored by a range of best-in-class retailers including Kroger, Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, Ulta, DSW and Starbucks.
  • In addition, during the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company acquired two outparcels for a combined purchase price of $2.5 million.

Dispositions

  • During the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company generated approximately $35.5 million of gross proceeds on the sale of Killingly Plaza located in Killingly, Connecticut, North Park shopping center located in Macon, Georgia and Perry Marketplace located in Perry, Georgia.

Mark Horgan, Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer, added, “The transaction market continues to reflect strong demand for grocery-anchored community and neighborhood shopping centers across both coastal and non-coastal markets.  Consistent with our capital recycling strategy of clustering ownership in successful retail nodes, we added critical mass in the Ann Arbor MSA with the acquisition of Arborland Center, growing our ownership in that market to four assets with over 1.0 million square feet of GLA. Additionally, we are increasing the rate of our disposition activity, exiting three single market assets during the first quarter and we expect to close on more in the coming quarters.”

CAPITAL STRUCTURE

  • During the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company’s Operating Partnership, Brixmor Operating Partnership LP, issued $400.0 million aggregate principal amount of 3.90% Senior Notes due 2027 at 99.009% of par value. Proceeds from the offering were utilized to prepay $390.0 million of the Company’s $1.0 billion Tranche A Term Loan maturing July 31, 2018.
  • As a result, the Company extended its weighted average maturity to 5.0 years, while reducing maturing debt in 2018 to $629.5 million from $1,019.5 million at December 31, 2016.

CONNECT WITH BRIXMOR

CONFERENCE CALL AND SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION

The Company will host a teleconference on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 10:00 AM ET.  To participate, please dial 888.317.6003 (domestic) or 412.317.6061 (international) at least ten minutes prior to the scheduled start of the call (Passcode: 0206262).  The teleconference can also be accessed via a live webcast at www.brixmor.com in the Investors section. A replay of the teleconference will be available through midnight ET on May 16, 2017 by dialing 877.344.7529 (domestic) or 412.317.0088 (international) (Passcode: 10102384) or via the web through May 2, 2018 at www.brixmor.com in the Investors section.

The Company’s Supplemental Disclosure will be posted at www.brixmor.com in the Investors section.  These materials are also available to all interested parties upon request to the Company at investorrelations@brixmor.com or 800.468.7526.

NON-GAAP DISCLOSURES

NAREIT FFO

NAREIT FFO is a supplemental non-GAAP performance measure utilized to evaluate the operating performance of real estate companies. The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“NAREIT”) defines FFO as net income (loss) in accordance with GAAP excluding (i) gain (loss) on disposition of operating properties, and (ii) extraordinary items, plus (iii) depreciation and amortization of operating properties, (iv) impairment of operating properties and real estate equity investments, and (v) after adjustments for joint ventures calculated to reflect FFO on the same basis.

The Company presents NAREIT FFO as it considers it an important supplemental measure of its operating and financial performance.  The Company believes NAREIT FFO assists investors  in analyzing Brixmor’s comparative operating and financial performance because, by excluding gains and losses related to dispositions of previously depreciated operating properties, real estate-related depreciation and amortization of continuing operations, impairment of operating properties and real estate equity investments, and after adjustments for joint ventures calculated to reflect FFO on the same basis, investors can compare the operating performance of a company’s real estate between periods.

NAREIT FFO should not be considered as an alternative to, or more meaningful than, net income (determined in accordance with GAAP) or other GAAP financial measures, as an indicator of financial performance and is not an alternative to, or more meaningful than, cash flow from operating activities (determined in accordance with GAAP) as a measure of liquidity.

Non-GAAP performance measures have limitations as they do not include all items of income and expense that affect operations and, accordingly, should always be considered as supplemental financial results to those presented in accordance with GAAP. Computation of NAREIT FFO may differ in certain respects from the methodology utilized by other REITs and, therefore, may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by such other REITs. Investors are cautioned that items excluded from NAREIT FFO are relevant to understanding and addressing financial performance.  A reconciliation of NAREIT FFO to Net income is presented in the attached table.

Same Property NOI

Same property NOI is a supplemental, non-GAAP performance measure utilized to evaluate the operating performance of real estate companies.  Same property NOI is calculated (using properties owned for the entirety of both periods excluding properties under development), as total property revenues (base rent, ancillary and other, expense reimbursements and percentage rents) less direct property operating expenses (operating costs, real estate taxes and provision for doubtful accounts). Same Property NOI includes the Company’s unconsolidated joint venture at pro rata share.  Same property NOI excludes corporate level income (including management, transaction and other fees), lease termination fees, straight-line rental income, amortization of above- and below-market rent and tenant inducements, straight-line ground rent expense and income / expense associated with the captive insurance entity.

Same property NOI eliminates disparities in NOI due to the acquisition, disposition or stabilization of development properties during the period presented, and therefore, provides a more consistent metric for comparing operational performance. Management uses same property NOI to review operating results for comparative purposes with respect to previous periods or forecasts, and also to evaluate future prospects.

Same property NOI should not be considered an alternative to, or more meaningful than, net income (determined in accordance with GAAP) or other GAAP financial measures as an indicator of financial performance and is not an alternative to, or more meaningful than, cash flow from operating activities (determined in accordance with GAAP) as a measure of liquidity.

Non-GAAP performance measures have limitations as they do not include all items of income and expense that affect operations, and accordingly, should always be considered as supplemental financial results to those presented in accordance with GAAP.  Computation of same property NOI may differ in certain respects from the methodology utilized by other REITs and, therefore, may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by such other REITs.  Investors are cautioned that items excluded from same property NOI are relevant to understanding and addressing financial performance.  A reconciliation of same property NOI to Net income is presented in the attached table.

ABOUT BRIXMOR PROPERTY GROUP

Brixmor Property Group, a real estate investment trust (REIT), is a leading owner and operator of high-quality, open-air shopping centers. The Company’s more than 500 retail centers comprise 86 million square feet in established trade areas across the nation and are supported by a diverse mix of highly productive non-discretionary and value-oriented retailers, as well as consumer-oriented service providers. Brixmor is committed to maximizing the value of its portfolio by prioritizing investments, cultivating relationships and capitalizing on embedded growth opportunities through driving rents, increasing occupancy and pursuing value-enhancing reinvestment opportunities. Headquartered in New York City, Brixmor is a partner to more than 5,500 best-in-class national, regional and local tenants and is the largest landlord to The TJX Companies and The Kroger Company.

SAFE HARBOR LANGUAGE

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  These statements include, but are not limited to, statements related to the Company’s expectations regarding the performance of its business, its financial results, its liquidity and capital resources and other non-historical statements.  You can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “outlook,” “believes,” “expects,” “potential,” “continues,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “seeks,” “approximately,” “projects,” “predicts,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “anticipates” or the negative version of these words or other comparable words. Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including those described under the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, as such factors may be updated from time to time in our periodic filings with the SEC, which are accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.  Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual outcomes or results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included in this release and in the Company’s filings with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.

SOURCE: Brixmor Property Group Inc.

Dunkin’ Donuts adds new Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee to its coffee lineup

Dunkin’ Donuts adds new Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee to its coffee lineup

 

  • The authentic taste of Dunkin’ Donuts’ signature Original Blend coffee now served frozen
  • Dunkin’ Donuts will give guests the chance to enjoy free samples of Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee with special nationwide tasting event on May 19

CANTON, MA,, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Just ahead of summer, Dunkin’ Donuts is now serving the taste of its signature coffee, frozen. Now a permanent addition to its coffee lineup, new Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee is available beginning today at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide. Crafted to deliver the authentic taste of Dunkin’ Donuts’ Original Blend coffee, Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee is made with a special extract featuring 100% Arabica coffee to bring forward the signature flavor of the brand’s premium coffee, blended with ice and dairy for a rich, sweet and creamy beverage to keep guests energized any time of day.

“This is the frozen beverage for people who love coffee. With Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee, we’ve captured the same taste and quality that millions of Dunkin’ Donuts guests enjoy each day, now blended frozen,” according to Chris Fuqua, Senior Vice President of Dunkin’ Donuts Brand Marketing & Global Consumer Insights & Product Innovation. “As one of the world’s leading coffee brands, Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee represents an important addition to our coffee menu, and we’re excited to keep our guests running with this new frozen beverage inspired by our iconic Original Blend coffee.”

To meet the personal preferences of any coffee drinker, Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee can be customized with any Dunkin’ Donuts flavor swirl or flavor shot as well as the choice of cream or whole or skim milk. The coffee extract featured in Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee was created specifically to complement all varieties of Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee flavors, including Coconut Crème Pie and Butter Pecan, both available now for a limited time.

Dunkin’ Donuts will welcome the summer season by giving everyone a chance to experience the smooth, rich frozen taste of its newest coffee beverage for free. The brand announced today that on Friday, May 19, Dunkin’ Donuts will offer all guests a complimentary sample (3.5-ounce) of Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee from 10 AM to 2 PM at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide, while supplies last.

Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee joins Dunkin’ Donuts’ existing menu of high-quality coffee choices perfect for staying energized during warmer weather, including iced coffee and espresso beverages, Cold Brew coffee, and ready-to-drink bottled iced coffees.

The brand also offers a selection of blended frozen beverages, including COOLATTA® beverages available in flavors such as Strawberry, and Vanilla Bean, a Strawberry Banana smoothie made with real fruit and yogurt, as well as Frozen Dunkaccino and Hot Chocolate-Frozen.

To learn more about Dunkin’ Donuts, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com, or subscribe to the Dunkin’ Donuts blog to receive notifications at https://news.dunkindonuts.com/blog.

About Dunkin’ Donuts

Founded in 1950, Dunkin’ Donuts is America’s favorite all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods. Dunkin’ Donuts is a market leader in the hot regular/decaf/flavored coffee, iced coffee, donut, bagel and muffin categories. Dunkin’ Donuts has earned a No. 1 ranking for customer loyalty in the coffee category by Brand Keys for 11 years running. The company has more than 12,200 restaurants in 45 countries worldwide. Based in Canton, Mass., Dunkin’ Donuts is part of the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) family of companies. For more information, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com.

Contact:

Lindsay Cronin
Dunkin’ Brands
781-737-5200
Lindsay.Cronin@dunkinbrands.com

Source: Dunkin’ Donuts

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Baskin-Robbins announces Polka Dot Cake and Elegant Rosette Cake just in time for Mother’s Day

Baskin-Robbins announces Polka Dot Cake and Elegant Rosette Cake just in time for Mother’s Day

CANTON, Mass., 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of specialty ice cream shops, is excited to celebrate moms of all styles with the new Polka Dot Cake and the returning Elegant Rosette Cake. The Polka Dot Cake is adorned with colorful polka dots and shows mom just how much she is loved in a fun and playful way. The Elegant Rosette Cake features a cascading bouquet of flowers. Both cakes are customizable with mom’s favorite ice cream flavor and her choice of white or chocolate cake, and are available for in-store or online at www.BaskinRobbins.com/OnlineOrdering.

In addition, Baskin-Robbins is celebrating moms all month long with its May Flavor of the Month, Mom’s Makin’ Cookies™. This returning favorite features mom’s secret recipe of brown-sugar-flavored ice cream filled with chocolate chip cookie pieces, chocolate flavored chips, and a delicious cookie-dough-batter flavored ribbon. This mom-approved flavor can be enjoyed in a cup, cone, in a Warm Cookie Sundae for an extra boost of cookie flavor, or in a Mother’s Day ice cream cake for double the fun.

“We know how special Mother’s Day is to our guests and we’re excited to help them celebrate with an ice cream and cake lineup that they can enjoy with their moms all month long,” said Jeanne Bolger, Director of Culinary Innovation for Baskin-Robbins. “Our new Polka Dot Cake, Elegant Rosette Cake and Mom’s Makin’ CookiesTM ice cream flavor are all festive and fun options that are sure to put a smile on any mom’s face.”

Additionally, Baskin-Robbins is celebrating grads nationwide this graduation season with the return of the Cap & Diploma Cake. This full sheet cake is topped with a cap and diploma highlighted by rose buds, features a chocolate fudge drizzle border and can be customized with a grad’s favorite ice cream, cake and school colors!

Finally, on Wednesday, May 31, guests are invited to stop into their local Baskin-Robbins shop where they can purchase all regular and kid-sized scoops for just $1.50 in honor of Baskin-Robbins’ May Celebrate 31 promotion.* This offer is available on any of Baskin-Robbins flavors, including seasonal favorites like Sweet ‘N Salty Frozen Yogurt, Pink Bubblegum and Watermelon Splash.

For more information about Baskin-Robbins’ wide variety of premium ice cream flavors and frozen desserts, visit www.BaskinRobbins.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BaskinRobbins), Twitter (www.twitter.com/BaskinRobbins) or Instagram (www.instagram.com/BaskinRobbins).

* Offer valid on May 31st. Participation may vary. Scoop offer good on every size scoop. All listed flavors are optional amongst Baskin-Robbins’ stores. Waffle cones and toppings are extra. Cannot be combined with other offers. Plus applicable tax.

About Baskin-Robbins
Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, providing guests with a wide array of ice cream flavors and delicious treats at more than 7,800 retail shops in more than 50 countries around the world. The brand was founded by two ice cream enthusiasts whose passion for ice cream led to the creation of many iconic ice cream flavors including Pralines ‘n Cream, Jamoca® Almond Fudge and Very Berry Strawberry. Today, Baskin-Robbins has more than 1,300 ice creams in its flavor library, and also offers custom ice cream cakes, frozen beverages and the Polar Pizza™ Ice Cream Treat. Its franchised ice cream shops serve as places where people can connect and create special memories while they explore a wide array of flavors, including a new Flavor of the Month every month. Headquartered in Canton, Mass., Baskin-Robbins is part of the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) family of companies. For more information, visit www.BaskinRobbins.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Justin Drake
Phone: 781-737-5200
Email:press@dunkinbrands.com

Source: Baskin-Robbins

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Rakuten Kobo introduces new updated version of the original crowd-pleasing waterproof eReader

Just in time for summer, Kobo empowers passionate readers
to enjoy worry-free reading wherever they go.

Toronto, ON, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Relaxing takes many forms, and many agree that reading is key, especially when it takes place near water whether in the bath, on the dock, by the pool, or at the beach.

In the service of relaxation and just in time for the summer reading season, Rakuten Kobo, a global leader in eReading, today ( May 2, 2017) announces its newest addition to the family, the new Kobo Aura H2O—an updated version of the original crowd-pleasing waterproof eReader. The new device allows booklovers to easily read in direct sunlight due to its anti-glare E Ink display, for a print-on-paper like reading experience. ComfortLight PRO reduces blue-light spectrum, so while nail-biting thrillers may keep you up at night, the new Kobo Aura H2O will not.

The new Kobo Aura H2O  will be available in black and will retail for $199.99 CAD (MSRP) in Canada at www.kobo.comFile (pre-orders will be available as of May 15) and select retailers starting on May 22; the device will also be available as of May 22 in the US, the UK, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan, and Turkey; as of June in Sweden; as of July in Australia and New Zealand, with Philippines, Mexico and Brazil to follow later this year.

Typically, technology and water don’t play well together, but this summer, they do. The new Kobo Aura H2O is the season’s must-have accessory to let avid readers enjoy their favourite stories in more places—relaxing in the bath, by the pool, or while on seaside excursions. The device is waterproofed* with HZO Protection™ for worry-free reading near water. The coating technology applied to the device’s interior allows it to be fully submerged without the need for port covers.

For night owls, ComfortLight PRO reduces blue-light exposure through the course of the day, so they can read even longer without it affecting their sleep. This innovative technology was introduced with the launch of Kobo Aura ONE last year, winning the seal of approval from Colleen Carney, Associate Professor and Director of the Sleep and Depression Laboratory at Ryerson University, who said devices that eliminate blue light work well for those who enjoy reading before bed; for more from Dr.Carney,

Not sure which book to take on your daily adventures? Take them all. With 8GB of storage, the new Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 stores up to 6,000 eBooks. A forgotten charger on cottage trips is no longer a cause for concern; with weeks of battery life, readers can enjoy countless hours of reading before needing a charge . The Freescale SoloLite processor ensures page turns are quick and seamless. What’s more, the 6.8” Carta E-Ink touchscreen displays print-quality text beautifully (265ppi).

No two booklovers are alike, and a customizable reading experience is a must. With TypeGenius, readers have many options to choose what suits them best, such as weight and sharpness settings, and the ability to choose from 50 font sizes and 11 font types. In addition, they can adjust margins, highlight passages, write notes, or look up a word with the built-in dictionary—all with the tap of a finger.

Michael Tamblyn, CEO of Rakuten Kobo, says: “The new Kobo Aura H2O enables book lovers to read anywhere and everywhere they go—to make the most out of every day and while on their summer holidays. No splash, intentional or not, will dampen their reading experience. When I head out to enjoy the summer with my family, beach bags are always jam-packed with snacks, sunscreen, and countless other necessities, including books. This device makes it possible to take your entire library with you, without having to choose which story to take along; take them all and make the most of that much-needed ‘me’ time.”

Kobo Aura Edition 2—a refreshed version of a beloved classic

In addition, sales of the Kobo Aura Edition 2, an eReader in a lightweight design that is already available overseas, will also commence in Japan on May 23.

The Kobo Aura Edition 2 encourages readers to lose themselves in their favourite stories on its 6” Carta E Ink touchscreen (1024 x 768 resolution; 212 ppi). The device’s lightweight and comfortable design makes it easy and comfortable to hold for hours of reading, and offers access to millions of books 24/7 through a Wifi connection. With a print-on-paper look (11 font types and 40 font sizes), booklovers can read in direct sunlight without glare; battery life of up to 2 months; 4 GB of memory of on-board memory to store up to 3,000 eBooks; and with the built-in, adjustable ComfortLight, reading is made easy regardless of lighting conditions.

For more information: www.kobo.comFile.

*Meets requirements of IPX8 rating. Waterproof for up to 60 minutes in up to 2 metres of water.

Source: Rakuten Inc.

FMI comments on the House Financial Services Committee consideration of The Financial CHOICE Act of 2017

ARLINGTON, VA, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Food Marketing Institute (FMI) President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin issued the following statement regarding the House Financial Services Committee consideration of The Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 (H.R. 10).

“H.R. 10 allows the country’s largest banks to take $10 billion a year out of the hands of Main Street grocers and their customers. At a time when Main Street is looking for ways to create jobs and grow the nation’s economy, it will be unproductive and quite harmful if the House Financial Services Committee approves a bill that would repeal the common sense debit reforms passed in 2010. Main Street grocers, their customers and the American economy deserve better than the negative impact this harmful bill will have.”

“As drafted, this bill would repeal debit reforms that have proven to be successful. These reforms provide competition in debit network routing, helping to keep prices low for grocers and their customers. Repealing the law would allow the country’s largest banks to increase their profits by doubling the average interchange collected on every debit transaction.”

Today (May 2, 2017), U.S. merchants already pay the highest swipe fees in the world. In 2015, the European Union limited debit interchange to 0.2%. So when a U.S. grocer pays 24 cents on a $20 transaction, a European grocer pays four cents on the same $20 purchase. Earlier this year, MasterCard announced it would reduce the swipe fees Canadian small businesses pay by 12%, furthering the divide between fee levels paid by U.S. merchants compared to our northern neighbors. Increasing these hidden fees even more will make it more difficult for U.S. merchants to grow, hire more employees and compete on the global stage. FMI strongly opposes H.R. 10 in its current form.

Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit www.fmi.org and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit www.fmifoundation.org

Contact:

phone: 202-452-8444
fax: 202-429-4519

Source: FMI