Amazon expands its career re-training program Career Choice to include robotics and photovoltaic certifications

  • Amazon’s career re-training program pre-pays 95 percent of tuition for courses in high-demand fields regardless of relevancy to Amazon
  • Amazon continues to expand Career Choice with additional on-site classrooms at its fulfillment centers, more eligible fields of study and open-sourcing the program to other companies

SEATTLE, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) today (Jun. 13, 2017) announced milestones for its innovative career re-training program, Career Choice, which pre-pays 95 percent of the cost of tuition for employees to pursue courses in in-demand fields, regardless of the relevancy to jobs at Amazon. The company has now helped more than 10,000 employees pursue career re-training through Career Choice, built on-site dedicated Career Choice class rooms at 25 fulfillment centers, and recently expanded the program to include in-demand fields, such as robotics and photovoltaic certifications.

“The Career Choice program is unique in that it helps train employees for high-demand roles that often go unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers, which means employees may actually leave Amazon to go on to be nurses or pharmacy technicians,” said Dave Clark, Amazon Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations. “We help remove the barriers for employees by doing the homework for them to find the high-demand careers in their area. We exclusively fund those areas of study and work with local colleges to offer courses onsite at fulfillment centers in our dedicated classrooms. More than 10,000 associates have taken advantage of this innovative benefit so far and we expect participation to double by 2020, with more than 20,000 employees pursuing new careers through the program.”

Amazon has also expanded eligible coursework through the Career Choice program to help address national skill gaps. New areas of study include robotics, engineering and technology, computer science, photovoltaic (PV) design principles and practices learning, as well as hands-on installations to become a certified PV installer by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). More than 500 employees are currently enrolled in robotics related courses in the U.S.

“The Career Choice program has made it possible for me to go to school for my nursing certification at the local community college and I’m so excited. Amazon is helping me reach my goals and the Career Choice program will change my life. One day soon, I’ll be caring for patients in my community in the job I’ve always wanted,” said Ericka Gooch, a fulfillment associate at Amazon’s Baltimore fulfillment center and the 10,000th Career Choice participant.

Last year, Amazon began open-sourcing the Career Choice program and sharing its best practices and lessons learned to help other companies implement similar programs. To date, hundreds of businesses have sought information on the program for their own employees. To learn more about Career Choice and how it can be applied at other businesses, contact CareerChoice@amazon.com.

In addition to the Career Choice program, Amazon provides employees with highly-competitive pay, health insurance, disability insurance, retirement savings plans and company stock. The company also offers up to 20 weeks of paid leave and innovative benefits such as Leave Share and Ramp Back, which give new parents flexibility with their growing families. Leave Share lets employees share their Amazon paid leave with their spouse or domestic partner if their spouse’s employer doesn’t offer paid leave. Ramp Back gives new moms additional control over the pace at which they return to work. Just as with Amazon’s health care plan, these benefits are egalitarian – they’re the same for fulfillment center and customer service employees as they are for Amazon’s most senior executives.

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:
Amazon-pr@amazon.com
www.amazon.com/pr

Source: Amazon.com

Amazon.com to open its first Robotics facility in the Centennial State with its second Colorado fulfillment center

New Amazon Robotics facility will employ more than 1,500 full-time associates

SEATTLE, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today (Jun. 12, 2017) announced plans to open its second Colorado fulfillment center in Thornton, which will be the first Amazon Robotics facility in the Centennial State. Amazon will create more than 1,500 new full-time associate roles at this facility.

“We are excited to continue growing in Colorado with the new Amazon Robotics fulfillment center in Thornton,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s Vice President of North American Operations. “This facility will utilize Amazon Robotics, vision systems, and more than 20 years’ worth of software and mechanical innovations. We are grateful for the support we have received from state and local leaders who have helped make this project possible.”

Amazon employees will work alongside innovative technologies at the 855,000-plus square-foot fulfillment center picking, packing, and shipping smaller customer items, such as books, electronics and toys.

“We are pleased to continue working with Amazon as it grows and creates jobs in Colorado,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Our talented workforce will have the opportunity to learn new, valuable skills with Amazon and work alongside innovative technology. We look forward to the great jobs with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits that Amazon will bring to the state.”

“The City of Thornton is extremely excited Amazon chose to locate this state-of-the art facility in Thornton. Amazon’s commitment to the communities where their fulfillment centers are located is impressive,” said Thornton Mayor Heidi Williams. “They will be the largest employer in Thornton and represent the cutting edge of innovation in the e-commerce market. This highlights what a great location Thornton is for Fortune 500 companies and will continue to advance Thornton’s employment center in the northern part of the City.”

Full-time employees at Amazon receive competitive hourly wages and a comprehensive benefits package, including healthcare, 401(k) and company stock awards starting on day one. Amazon also offers regular full-time employees maternity and parental leave benefits and access to innovative programs like Career Choice, where it will pre-pay up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program’s launch, more than 9,000 employees have pursued degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few.

To learn more about working at an Amazon fulfillment center, visit www.amazondelivers.jobs.

The project is being developed by Trammell Crow Company and Clarion Partners, LLC.

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:
Amazon-pr@amazon.com
www.amazon.com/pr

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

Starbucks to raise fund for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation

Starbucks to raise fund for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation

 

Seattle, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks is partnering with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation to spread a simple message – be kind.

Starting tomorrow (June 13), Starbucks will donate 25 cents from each one of its colorful Cups of Kindness beverages sold at participating Starbucks® stores in the United States and Canada through June 19 to Born This Way Foundation. Funds raised will go toward programs that support youth wellness and empowerment by fostering kindness, improving mental health resources, and creating more positive environments.

“We’re healthier and happier when we live our lives with compassion and our communities are stronger when we treat one another with generosity and respect,” said Lady Gaga. “Born This Way Foundation and I are so excited to partner with Starbucks to help inspire positivity and love through the Cups of Kindness collection.”

Cups of Kindness Collection

The new Starbucks Cups of Kindness collection features four vivid iced beverages hand-picked by Lady Gaga, including the new Matcha Lemonade and Violet Drink. The refreshing, nondairy drinks come in a rainbow of colors and are all under 150 calories for a grande size.

“I adore the entire collection and I instantly fell in love with the Matcha Lemonade,” she said.

New Matcha Lemonade:  This vibrant green drink is made with finely ground Teavana® matcha green tea, combined with crisp lemonade then shaken with ice to create a refreshingly sweet, delicious drink.

New Violet Drink: The sweet blackberries and tart hibiscus of Very Berry Hibiscus Starbucks Refreshers™ Beverage swirl together with creamy coconutmilk and ice, creating a refreshing (and violet-hued) sip.

Ombré Pink Drink: A refreshing beverage that combines light, fruity Cool Lime Starbucks Refreshers™ Beverage with cool, creamy coconutmilk and a splash of Teavana® Shaken Iced Passion Tango™ Tea and a lime wheel, for a bright burst of hibiscus notes.

Pink Drink: A light and refreshing beverage that features the sweet strawberry flavors of Strawberry Acai Refreshers with accents of passion fruit and acai combined with coconutmilk, and topped with a scoop of strawberries. Included in Cups of Kindness collection in United States only.

“Over the years we’ve admired the amazing work that Lady Gaga has led through Born This Way Foundation,” said Holly Hinton, director of Music and Artist Programming. “We are proud to introduce the Cups of Kindness collection to raise awareness and fund the Foundation’s efforts to spread kindness, support youth and make the world a better place.”

One program that will benefit from the Cups of Kindness initiative is Born This Way Foundation’s Channel Kindness, a platform featuring stories of kindness as documented by young people from around the United States. These youth reporters, ages 16 to 24, have been recruited to identify and document the acts of generosity, compassion, and acceptance that shape communities.

Starbucks has committed to a minimum $250,000 contribution to Born This Way Foundation.

MEDIA CONTACT:

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

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation

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Tesco launches the latest in its ‘Food Love Stories’ adverts to highlight its ongoing campaign to tackle food waste

Tesco launches the latest in its ‘Food Love Stories’ adverts to highlight its ongoing campaign to tackle food waste

 

CHESHUNT, England, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tesco has today [Wednesday 14 June] launched the latest in its series of ‘Food Love Stories’ adverts to highlight its ongoing efforts to tackle food waste.

For the first time, the ‘Food Love Stories, brought to you by Tesco’ campaign showcases Community Food Connection, the retailer’s surplus food redistribution scheme, and Bo’ness Academy, one of 5,000 charities that benefit from the scheme across the UK.

Bo’ness Academy receives surplus food each week from the Tesco Bo’ness store, and turns it into wholesome homemade snacks and cakes for their on-site community café, providing an opportunity for the school children at the Academy to learn new cooking skills, and for the school to give back to the local community. Many of the visitors to the café each week are retired, and it gives them the opportunity to socialise and enjoy good food and company.

Alessandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer at Tesco said:

“‘Food Love Stories’ is all about how passion for good food can bring people together. So we’re delighted that our new campaign showcases the work of the pupils and teachers at Bo’ness Academy, who turn surplus food from Tesco into delicious food for their local community.

“By the end of the year, no food fit for human consumption will go to waste from our UK stores. Bo’ness Academy is just one of over 5,000 local organisations across the UK benefiting from working with our Community Food Connection programme to use surplus food.”

FareShare Chief Executive Lindsay Boswell, said:

“It’s fantastic that Tesco’s new ‘Food Love Stories’ advert will go out on primetime national TV and help raise the profile of surplus food. There’s no reason at all for good quality, in date food to be thrown away when it could go to a charity who needs it, and the fantastic community café at Bo’ness shows just what a difference that food can make.”

The launch of the advert comes as the Community Food Connection programme reaches a new milestone of 10 million meals of surplus food donated to local charities and community groups right across the UK. The scheme, run in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare, enables Tesco stores to donate unsold food to feed people in need through a technology platform developed by Irish Social Enterprise, FoodCloud.

The scheme is currently live in over 1,700 stores, and will be rolled out to all Tesco stores by the end of this year.

The advert is the latest in Tesco’s ongoing Food Love Stories campaign, which introduces a new food love story each month to demonstrate the special role food plays in people’s lives. The advert will air on TV from tonight, with spots on Emmerdale, Gogglesprogs, Blacklist and The Voice Kids and will feature an original recipe from the charity; ‘Bo’ness Academy Nothing Wasted Banana Bread’. The recipe was developed by the school, following their experiences cooking with surplus food from Tesco.

Notes to editors:

No Time for Waste

  • Community Food Connection is part of Tesco’s ongoing work to tackle food waste wherever it occurs – from farm to fork. Tesco believes that no food that could be eaten should be wasted. That’s why we’ve committed that no food that is safe for human consumption will go to waste from the Tesco UK retail operations by the end of 2017.

Food Love Stories

  • For more information on the Food Love Stories campaign, visit the ‘Food Love Stories, brought to you by Tesco’ website.
  • Other Food Love Stories this month include; Birdie’s ‘Everybody Welcome’ jerk chicken, Lucy’s ‘Dad’s Favourite’ Pesto Pork and Ray and David’s ‘Simple’ Semi-Freddo
  • For the ‘Bo’ness Nothing Wasted Banana Bread’ and ‘Birdie’s everybody welcome jerk chicken’ recipe, please visit www.tesco.com/foodlovestories

Community Food Connection

  • If you are a charity or community group that uses food to support people, you can sign up to Community Food Connection and could collect good quality, surplus food from Tesco stores for free.
  • Community Food Connection is run in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare
  • FareShare is the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, currently accessing 5% of what is available from the food industry.
  • For more information visit www.fareshare.org.uk/fareshare-foodcloud .

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

Source: Tesco

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Sears Holdings Corporation updates on its strategic restructuring program

  • Announces incremental actions to streamline its operations and deliver cost savings
  • On track to achieve $1.25 billion in annualized cost savings in 2017

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sears Holdings Corporation (“Holdings,” “we,” “us,” “our,” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: SHLD) today (June 13, 2017) announced important actions related to its previously disclosed strategic restructuring program, which is designed to deliver $1.25 billion in annualized cost reductions. These actions include the elimination of approximately 400 full-time positions at our corporate offices and support functions globally, in addition to certain positions at our field operations as well as the store closures we initiated last week. Combined with the restructuring actions announced since the beginning of the fiscal year, Sears Holdings has actioned nearly $1.0 billion in annualized cost savings to date and is on track to deliver $1.25 billion in annualized savings through actions taken in fiscal year 2017. The Company will continue to take all necessary action to drive improvements in our organization to achieve our profitability objective with a greater focus on Best Members, Best Categories and Best Stores.

“We are making progress with the fundamental restructuring of our operations that we initiated in February,” said Edward S. Lampert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sears Holdings. “We remain focused on realigning our business model in an evolving and highly competitive retail environment. This requires us to optimize our store footprint and operate as a leaner and simpler organization.”

Organizational Restructuring

As part of the Company’s ongoing efforts to simplify its organizational structure and enabling greater consolidation of the Sears and Kmart corporate and support functions, approximately 400 full-time positions at our corporate offices and support functions will be eliminated. The majority of these positions are related to the corporate workforce at Sears Holdings’ headquarters in Hoffman Estates. In addition, certain positions at our field operations will be impacted by these restructuring actions. While the total number of people who are directly affected represents a small fraction of our total headcount, we are conscious of the impact on individual employees. We are providing eligible associates severance compensation and transition assistance. As part of the organizational restructuring, the company first eliminated open positions and reduced contract employees in an effort to minimize the impact on full-time employees.

Transformation Progress to Date

Today’s announcement is in addition to the significant actions the Company has already taken. Since the beginning of the calendar year 2017, we have taken decisive steps to improve our operational performance, enhance our financial flexibility and drive our strategic transformation, including:

  • Significant progress on our strategic $1.25 billion restructuring program, with nearly $1.0 billion in annualized cost savings already actioned to date, including the actions announced today;
  • Paydown of approximately $418 million of term loans outstanding under our revolving credit facility and extension of the maturity of $400 million of our $500 million 2016 Secured Loan Facility up to twelve months;
  • Entered into an agreement with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MLIC”) to annuitize $515 million of pension liability to reduce the overall size of the Company’s pension plan, future cost volatility and plan administrative expenses;
  • Monetization of certain real estate properties that generated over $200 million in proceeds;
  • Continued growth of our Shop Your Way ecosystem through strategic partnerships and value offerings, including recently announced partnerships with Citi and Time Inc.

Path Forward

We will continue to take all necessary action to drive improvements in our organization to achieve our profitability objective with a greater focus on Best Members, Best Categories, Best Stores strategy. Going forward, we will focus our investments to drive the growth of our valuable assets, such as our Shop Your Way platform; our Kenmore, Craftsman at Sears and DieHard brands; the nation’s largest product repair services provider, Sears Home Services; and Sears Auto Centers, a leading provider of automotive maintenance and repair services and parts. In addition, we continue to evaluate strategic options across our portfolio to unlock value from our assets through partnerships, joint ventures or other means.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements about our liquidity, our ability to achieve our cost-savings and profitability objectives, our ability to successfully achieve our plans to generate liquidity through monetization of our real estate, additional debt financing actions, asset securitizations or other potential transactions or otherwise, our intention to explore potential partnerships or other transactions involving our Kenmore and DieHard brands and our Sears Home Services and Sears Auto Centers businesses, the impact of the agreement with MLIC, and other statements that describe the Company’s plans. Whenever used, words such as “will,” “expect,” and other terms of similar meaning are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements, including these, are based on the current beliefs and expectations of our management and are subject to significant risks, assumptions and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Detailed descriptions of risks, uncertainties and factors relating to Sears Holdings are discussed in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While we believe that our forecasts and assumptions are reasonable, we caution that actual results may differ materially. We intend the forward-looking statements to speak only as of the time made and do not undertake to update or revise them as more information becomes available, except as required by law.

About Sears Holdings Corporation

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

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
Sears Holdings Public Relations
(847) 286-8371

SOURCE: Sears Holdings Corporation

Sainsbury’s introduces 28 new craft beers and ciders at its Northern Ireland stores

Sainsbury’s introduces 28 new craft beers and ciders at its Northern Ireland stores

 

  • Sainsbury’s Northern Ireland stores welcome 28 new locally made craft beers and ciders
  • Craft brewery MourneMountains to launch three new products in Sainsbury’s

London, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s will be introducing 28 new craft beers and ciders to the shelves of its Northern Ireland stores this week. As part of plans to extend the regional product offering in supermarkets, Sainsbury’s is bringing on board 6 small producers based in Northern Ireland, including Mourne Mountains Brewery, Hilden Brewery and Armagh Cider Company. The new lines, of which three will only be available in Sainsbury’s, are set to launch in up to 13 of Sainsbury’s stores in Northern Ireland this week.

As the craft beer movement continues to flourish, Sainsbury’s has been working to grow their supply base in Northern Ireland and extend the range. Sainsbury’s will be stocking a nearly 40-strong range of locally made beers, ciders and spirits available in Northern Ireland, offering a wider choice and giving customers the chance to try products produced nearby.

Sainsbury’s now works with 7 Northern Irish breweries, ciders producers and distillers all of whom will be launching new products with Sainsbury’s as part of this expanded range. These new additions will allow customers to choose from a wide array of locally made beers, from Pilsner and Gluten Free Lagers, to IPA, Blonde Ale and Stout styles.

Claire McAlinney, Sainsbury’s regional buyer for Northern Ireland said: Small-batch produced beer and cider is having a real renaissance in Northern Ireland at the moment and it’s been great working with so many of these skilled producers to bring locally made craft beers and ciders to Sainsbury’s customers in Northern Ireland.

The range will launch from this week in up to 13 stores across Northern Ireland. Please see below for a full list of new products.

Whitewater Bees Endeavour 500ml
Whitewater Maggies Leap Ipa 500ml
Hercules Brewing Yardsman Bpa 500ml
Hercules Brewing Yardsman Ipa 500ml
Hercules Brewing Yardsman Lager 500ml
Hilden Brewery Barneys Brew 500ml
Hilden Brewery Belfast Blonde 500ml
Hilden Brewery Headless Dog 500ml
Hilden Brewery Hilden Halt 500ml
Hilden Brewery Twisted Hop 500ml
Mourne East Coast Ipa 330ml
Mourne Gold Pale Ale 330ml
Mourne Mist Pilsner 330ml
Carsons Crisp Cider 500ml
Maddens Mellow Cider 500ml
Doyles Autumn Berry Cider 500ml
Doyles Honey Cider 500ml
Doyles Summer Fruit Cider 500ml
Doyles Sweet Cider 500ml
Tempted Irish Dry Cider 500ml
Tempted Irish Medium Cider 500ml
Tempted Irish Sweet Cider 500ml
Mcgraths Irish Craft Blonde 330ml
Mcgraths Irish Craft Pale Ale 330ml
Mcgraths Irish Craft Red 330ml
Mcgraths Irish Craft Stout 330ml
Foxes Rock Ipl 500ml Abv
Foxes Rock Gluten Free Lager 500ml

Contact:

press_office@sainsburys.co.uk
020 7695 7295

Source: Sainsbury

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Waitrose extends its FareShare trial to 25 branches in total this month

LONDON, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — A further 22 branches will use the IT platform to let local groups know about surplus food

Charities will be offered volunteers and money to buy equipment such as freezers

As Waitrose extends its successful FareShare trial to 25 branches in total this month, it has today (12 June 2017) announced it will make funds and Partner (employee) volunteers available to local groups using the IT platform to collect surplus food from the retailer.

In a supermarket first, as part of the tie up, groups which collect surplus food will be offered funds from the Waitrose Community Matters (green tokens) scheme which donates money to local good causes, as well as volunteers from its shops.

Through the partnership, FareShare will help organisations make the most of Waitrose money and volunteers, to provide exactly what charities need to maximise support to vulnerable people. This could include funds to buy kitchen equipment or storage, or volunteers to help serve food – going a step beyond simply donating produce.

Since launching the trial in March in three shops initially, an equivalent of 4250 meals have been donated to 12 charities. The FareShare scheme helps shops easily communicate with local groups, letting them know what surplus food is available and when it can be collected.

Laura Strangeway, Sustainability Manager, said ‘In the five years we’ve been donating surplus food prior to these trials, we’ve found one of the main challenges is letting local charities know what food we have available for them to collect and when. And, with many local groups being very small, they can have limited resources to make the most of the food donations we can offer. The ease of FareShare – coupled with the additional equipment and manpower we’re offering – should make it much easier for groups to help many more people in the local community.’

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, said ‘So far the trial has got off to a great start, with charities lining up to collect good quality surplus food from their local Waitrose store for free. We’re delighted by the support Waitrose Partners have shown for the scheme. Quite rightly, they believe there’s no reason food should be thrown away when it could go to feed hungry people, and already that food is doing a tremendous amount of good.’

Notes to Editors
If a group that uses food to support people is interested in receiving surplus goods please direct them here.

The three trial branches since March have been Bracknell, Southampton and Sherbourne. The trial has extended to a total of 25 branches, with 10 branches adopting the FareShare IT platform on 12 June and 12 more on 19 June. Subject to the success of the trials, Waitrose plans to extend FareShare to all its branches by summer 2018.

The new branches involved:

Branches using the FareShare IT platform from 12 June:
Bath
Cheltenham
Chester
Clifton
Great Malvern
Lichfield
Menai Bridge
Newark
Portishead
Truro

Branches using the FareShare IT platform from 19 June:
Andover
Basingstoke
Edgware Road
Egham
Guildford
High Wycombe
Hove
Milngavie
Sevenoaks
South Woodford
Southend
St Saviour

Waitrose – winner of the Best Food and Grocery Retailer category at Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards – currently has 355 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 65 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the Middle East.

FareShare is the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, delivering good quality, in date surplus food from the food and drink industry to charities and community groups supporting vulnerable people. The charity ensures only groups who can safely collect, store and prepare food are linked with a local shop. This guarantees all Waitrose surplus food will go to organisations who can safely provide meals to vulnerable people.

Enquiries
For further information please contact:

Laura Blumenthal, Press Officer, Corporate
Telephone: 01344826774
Mobile: 07525271595
Email: laura.blumenthal@waitrose.co.uk

Source: Waitrose

SONIC® to expand across the U.S. with five new franchise agreements

SONIC® to expand across the U.S. with five new franchise agreements

 

Five franchise groups acquire existing locations and will build new drive-ins

OKLAHOMA CITY, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — SONIC® Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC) today (Jun 13, 2017) announced five new agreements for franchise development in greater Washington, D.C., New York City, the Ohio River Valley, Alabama, Virginia and Washington. A mainstay in the South and Central Plains, SONIC continues to expand in all areas of the country to meet ever-growing consumer demand.

Together, the new franchise groups bring more than 50 years of experience operating QSR and fast-casual restaurant brands combined with other retail and financial backgrounds to provide a solid foundation for future success with SONIC:

  • Men of Grace, LLC will develop new drive-ins in the greaterWashington, D.C. market including locations in Northern Virginia;
  • Current franchisee Northfork Holdings acquired 21 existing drive-ins in the Ohio River Valley, Tennessee and Missouri, with an additional 21 drive-ins planned over the next decade;
  • SD-Missouri acquired drive-ins in Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee andGeorgia, and plans to build an additional 20 drive-ins in markets in which they currently operate;
  • Eng LLC has signed an agreement to develop drive-ins in the five New York City boroughs over the next several years;
  • Olympic Cascade LLC will build 11 drive-ins in the state of Washingtonover the next 10 years.

“SONIC’s franchisee relationships are unparalleled in the QSR industry, making the brand an attractive option for multi-unit franchisees seeking to build out their portfolio,” said Drew Ritger, Jr., senior vice president for development for SONIC. “With nearly 94 percent of the system franchise owned, a 64-year history and our unique menu, SONIC is a great choice for entrepreneurs interested in building their business with an established, franchise-centric brand that enjoys high consumer demand and room for growth.”

Always a drive-in at heart, SONIC works with franchisees to find a building solution to match their needs and the needs of their guests. SONIC offers franchisees flexibility with multiple drive-in formats, including: the traditional drive-in model with 14 to 29 dining stalls and a drive-thru; conversions, renovating existing restaurant buildings to create unique drive-ins; the counter service model, offering customizable footprints to fit a variety of indoor spaces including travel plazas; and indoor dining formats that allow guests to experience SONIC in multiple ways – either in their cars, at the drive-thru or seated at a table inside.

Individuals interested in pursuing a SONIC franchise are encouraged to visit sonicfranchises.com for more information on qualifications and brand support. Multi-unit opportunities are available in a number of markets including Atlanta, Ga., Indianapolis, Ind., and Philadelphia.

About SONIC, America’s Drive-In

SONIC, America’s Drive-In is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain serving approximately 3 million customers every day. Nearly 94 percent of SONIC’s 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. For 64 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. Since the 2009 launch of SONIC’s Limeades for Learning campaign in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, SONIC has donated nearly $8.5 million to public school teachers’ classrooms nationwide to fund essential learning materials and innovative teaching resources to inspire creativity and learning in their students. To learn more about Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit sonicdrivein.com and please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about SONIC’s Limeades for Learning initiative, please visit Limeadesforlearning.com.

Contact:

Christi Woodworth
APR
405-225-5600
Vice President for Public Relations
christi.woodworth@sonicdrivein.com

Source: SONIC Drive-In

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CVS Health with Drug Store News and Mack Elevation to hold health innovation summit

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (June 13, 2017), CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), in partnership with Drug Store News and Mack Elevation, will hold an innovation summit that brings together leaders from major health care, technology and consumer brands including Facebook, Under Armour, Google and IBM, among others, for a discussion about emerging trends that are helping reshape the health care industry.

During the all-day summit, which will be held at the Omni Hotel in Providence, R.I., attendees will explore theories about where the industry is headed and how today’s innovations are shaping tomorrow’s health care solutions. Specific focus areas include connected health technology, social media’s impact on the industry and empowered health care for consumers. This summit hopes to establish a collaborative platform for senior representatives from each company to share predictions and brainstorm new approaches that could impact how consumers take care of their health and access convenient, holistic health and wellness products and services in the future.

Speakers at the event include: Aaron Calloway, Sr. Client Partner, Facebook; Futurist and Economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn; Steve Laughlin, Vice President and General Manager – Global Consumer Industry, IBM; Chris MacAulay, Connected Fitness Media, Under Armour; Dan Mack, Mack Elevation; and Ryan Olohan, National Industry Director, Healthcare, Google; as well as speakers from CVS Health.

“At CVS Health, we are committed to identifying innovative new solutions to further enhance the health care experience for our customers and patients,” said Helena Foulkes, Executive Vice President of CVS Health and President, CVS Pharmacy. “Today’s summit successfully brought together some of the brightest minds from industry-leading consumer brands, health and technology giants, and innovative start-ups that all share our interest in exploring what the future of health care should look like and how we can all play a role in helping people on their path to better health.”

In addition to serving as a “think tank” to assist the broader industry in uncovering emerging trends that could improve health care for consumers in the future, the summit also will address current trends that are having a real impact on the quality of health care today. Specifically, the shift consumers are making from “sick care” to “self care” will be discussed as a trend that is already impacting some of the changes CVS Pharmacy recently announced it is making in its retail business. As more consumers are looking for technology, wearables, health services, food and supplement selections and over-the-counter products that help them care proactively for their health and wellness, retailers and service providers alike have a huge opportunity to empower their customers and answer this need with new and unexpected options.

“We are seeing a strong customer movement from ‘sick care to self care’ in consumer health care, which signals a shift toward preventive health and proactive wellness versus acute care or treatment,” said George Coleman, Vice President of Merchandising for CVS Pharmacy. “This summit will shed new light on a variety of innovative solutions that could not only help us enhance the customer experience at CVS Pharmacy, but would also impact the entire health care ecosystem in the near future.”

To build on today’s collaborative discussions, CVS Health has plans to continue networking and hosting similar forums with local and national partners in the future to remain a catalyst for innovation within the consumer health care industry.

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,700 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 90 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com

Press Contact:
Erin Pensa
CVS Pharmacy
T: 401.770.4786
E: epensa@cvs.com

SOURCE: CVS Health

ALDI announces $3.4 billion investment to expand 2,500 stores nationwide by the end of 2022

Growth plan calls for 25,000 additional jobs

Batavia, Ill., 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — ALDI continues to disrupt the U.S. grocery industry by providing customers with a smarter way to shop. Building on its already-aggressive growth strategy and $1.6 billion program to remodel 1,300 stores by 2020, the grocery retailer just announced a $3.4 billion capital investment to expand to 2,500 stores nationwide by the end of 2022. With this growth, ALDI will be the third largest grocery store by count in the U.S. and serve 100 million customers per month.

In a turbulent retail environment, ALDI is bucking the trend plaguing many retailers by accelerating its growth of new stores with a total capital investment of $5 billion in new and remodeled stores over the next five years. Named to Forbes’ list of America’s Best Large Employers, ALDI will add 25,000 new jobs in stores, warehouses and offices with industry-leading compensation and generous benefits packages.

“We pioneered a grocery model built around value, convenience, quality and selection and now ALDI is one of America’s favorite and fastest growing retailers,” said Jason Hart, CEO. “We’re growing at a time when other retailers are struggling. We are giving our customers what they want, which is more organic produce, antibiotic-free meats and fresh healthier options across the store, all at unmatched prices up to 50 percent lower than traditional grocery stores.”

ALDI has continued to evolve its selection of products to include more fresh foods, gluten-free options and award-winning products throughout the store. ALDI also continues to increase its offering of fresh and sustainable seafood, specialty wines and cheeses, organic items from its SimplyNature line, and awardwinning Little Journey baby products. ALDI was the first grocery store to offer all of its exclusive products free of certified synthetic colors, added trans fat and added MSG.

“We have passionate fans who know ALDI offers a smarter way to feed their families in a modern, convenient and easy-to-shop environment,” added Hart. “If you’ve never shopped with us, we invite you to come in and discover the ALDI that millions already know and love.”

About ALDI Inc.
A leader in the grocery retailing industry, ALDI operates more than 1,600 U.S. stores in 35 states. More than 40 million customers each month save up to 50 percent* on their grocery bills, benefiting from the ALDI simple and streamlined approach to retailing. ALDI sells the most frequently purchased grocery and household items, primarily under its exclusive brands, which meet or exceed the national name brands on taste and quality. ALDI is so confident in the quality of its products, the company offers a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the purchase price. For the seventh year in a row, ALDI was recognized as a value leader among U.S. grocery stores by Market Force Information® survey of U.S. consumers. For more information about ALDI, visit
aldi.us.

*Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.

Contact:
Nisa Kiang
(312) 988-2266
nkiang@webershandwick.com

Shenetta Johnson
(312) 988-2396
sjohnson2@webershandwick.com

Source: ALDI Inc.

NRF condemns House Ways and Means proposal to phase in Border Adjustment Tax over five years

Brady Suggestion Remains a ‘Massive Middle Class Tax Hike’

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (June 13, 2017) condemned a proposal by House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady to phase in a Border Adjustment Tax over five years.

“Phasing in a job-killing plan like the Border Adjustment Tax does nothing to fix its many flaws,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “It is a massive middle class tax hike based on unproven economic theory, and doing it more slowly won’t make it any less harmful to millions of American workers. If Chairman Brady is truly listening to his colleagues in the House and the Senate, he will drop the proposal altogether and move on with a new tax reform plan that can win majority support in Congress and gain the President’s signature.”

The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world and NRF has led the retail industry in advocating for comprehensive tax reform that would broaden the tax base and lower the rate. Retail benefits from few of the tax breaks that lower tax bills for other industries, and most retail companies pay at or close to the full 35 percent rate.

The “Better Way” tax reform plan proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, includes a provision that would, in effect, create a 20 percent border tax on imported goods by ending retailers’ ability to deduct the cost of merchandise that they import. That means retailers would be taxed at nearly the full selling price of imported merchandise rather than just their profit.

The border adjustment tax would have significant implications for retailers and other industries that rely on complicated global supply chains, including automobiles, technology, food and fuel. Analysis by NRF and many of its member companies indicates that the proposed tax would drive up costs, erode profits and exceed any benefits from a lower corporate tax rate. It would require consumer price increases of 15 percent or more to retain profitability, effectively creating a new tax paid by consumers.

The BAT would also put at risk millions more retail-supported jobs than it would theoretically create for manufacturing. A BAT could cause retailers to see tax bills three to five times the amount of their profits, threatening to drive some merchants out of business. The small retailers that make up 98 percent of the retail industry and provide 40 percent of its jobs would be at the biggest risk.

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 econom

Contact:
Robin Roberts
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source; NRF

US Foods unveils its Summer Scoop™ 2017 product lineup

As diners take food choices more personally than ever, restaurants must keep up to win

ROSEMONT, Ill., 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (June 12, 2017) US Foods unveiled its Summer Scoop™ 2017 (Summer Scoop) product lineup entitled, “It’s a Matter of Choice.” Designed to help restaurants meet the evolving demands of the discerning diner, Summer Scoop features 24 versatile products that cater to a variety of opposing tastes.

Whether dining with family or a group of friends, the individual preferences of diners vary widely based on their ethics, lifestyle or personal approach. In fact, 44 percent of adults now say food restrictions, food allergies or avoidance of certain ingredients dictate what they eat.1

“From socially conscious consumers to the specialized diets of food tribes, it’s becoming harder for groups of diners to visit a restaurant and find something on the menu that appeals to each of them,” said Stacie Sopinka, vice president of product development and innovation, US Foods. “Within a party of four, it’s not uncommon to find at least one diner who is gluten-free or vegetarian while the others want to explore bolder, trending flavor combinations. When restaurants can expand the choices they offer consumers with a few simple additions to their existing menu, they win.”

Summer Scoop offers versatile, on-trend products that are the recipe for bringing people together and helping independent operators succeed.

Picking Your Protein

Summer Scoop features a variety of meat and meatless options to help operators deliver on protein trends:

  • Patuxent Farms® Chick-Arrones™ – a first-to-market appetizer or topper, this delicious protein dish is made from chicken thighs and chicken skin that is fried up to a crunchy perfection. Designed to soak up sauce, restaurants can use this product in a variety of menu options. Toss them in a Korean BBQ sauce over vegetable fried rice or in a buffalo wing sauce with a side of blue cheese for a cost-effective menu alternative to standard chicken wings.
  • Molly’s Kitchen® Meatless Breaded Boneless Wings – according to Datassential TIPS, 40 percent of consumers are likely to try alternative proteins.2 Molly’s Kitchen® meatless breaded boneless wings are 100 percent vegetarian and feature a meat-free protein that delivers the texture and flavor of real chicken.
  • Molly’s Kitchen® Meatless Crumbles – versatile and true to flavors of traditional ground beef – minus the meat – this product provides a flavorful substitute for vegetarian diners.

Choosing Sides

Designed for vegetarians, paleo diets or those looking for bolder flavor combinations, Summer Scoop offers restaurants simple sides or small dishes that appeal to a variety of tastes. Product highlights include:

  • Cross Valley Farms® Spiral Cut Kohlrabi – a hearty, spiralized vegetable noodle, Kohlrabi has grown 1,165 percent on menus in the past four years.3 Light and neutral in taste, Kohlrabi can take on the distinct flavors of any unique dish as a pasta substitute or cold vegetable dish addition.
  • Molly’s Kitchen® Battered Elote Corn Bites – a shareable appetizer or side dish inspired by authentic, Mexican street corn, Elotes has nearly doubled its presence on menus over the past four years.3 This product features charred corn kernels with lime, garlic, green onion, cilantro, chili and smoked paprika mixed with a blend of five cheeses and fried to perfection in corn masa batter.

Baked Expectations

As gluten-free offerings have grown 450 percent on menus over the past four years,3 gluten-free diners are seeking more authentic flavor experiences while indulgent diners are looking for rich, decadent desserts with authentic ingredients like real butter and sugar. Summer Scoop highlights include:

  • Chef’s Line® Gluten Free Italian Pizza Crust – made in Italy, this crust is completely gluten-free and is comparable in flavor and texture to traditional wheat-based pizza crusts. As gluten-free goes mainstream, 14 percent of pizza menus now feature a gluten-free option.3
  • Chef’s Line® Kouign Amann – a signature caramelized croissant rosette inspired by the hyper-regional specialty baked goods found in the Brittany region of France, this pastry is made with croissant dough laminated to 65 layers and filled with salted sugar and real butter. The pastry takes its cues from popular donut and croissant hybrids.

Enhanced Online Ordering Capabilities

In addition to these new products, Summer Scoop features enhancements to US Foods Online, an online platform designed to make ordering easy. Customers can now view personalized product recommendations, order status, details and history. Online ordering is fast, efficient and cost-effective. Learn more about US Foods Online at usfoods.com/order.

For more on the full Summer Scoop lineup, visit usfoods.com/food/scoop and join the conversation on social media with #USFScoop. You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and watch our chefs in action on YouTube.

About US Foods

US Foods is one of America’s great food companies and a leading foodservice distributor, partnering with approximately 250,000 chefs, restaurants and foodservice operators to help their businesses succeed. With nearly 25,000 employees and more than 60 locations, US Foods provides its customers with a broad and innovative food offering and a comprehensive suite of e-commerce, technology and business solutions. US Foods is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill. and generates approximately $23 billion in annual revenue. Discover more at www.usfoods.com.

1 Packaged Facts Report, 2014
2 Datassential TIPS, 2014
3 Datassential MenuTrends, 2016

Contact:
Sara Matheu
847-720-2392
Sara.Matheu@usfoods.com

Source: US Foods

His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew visits world’s first Automated Retail Distribution Centre at Asda’s new facility in Warrington

His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew visits world’s first Automated Retail Distribution Centre at Asda’s new facility in Warrington

 

Colleagues work alongside state of the art automated technology at the site, which serves supermarkets across Manchester and Liverpool, along with Cheshire, Lancashire and North Wales

LEEDS, England, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, made an official visit to the world’s first Automated Retail Distribution Centre to see the cutting edge technology at the new £100 million Asda facility in Warrington.

HRH was shown around the distribution centre, which is a major investment into the UK retail market by parent company Walmart, by the site manager Tom James, alongside Asda’s Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer, Roger Burnley.

Tom and Roger lead the tour, in which the Prince was looking to learn about how automation is becoming a major part of retail and also what benefits the centre has to the business and the local area.

The warehouse is 97% automated and sees 600 colleagues work alongside robotic technology to process around four million cases per week, serving 140 Asda stores across the North of England and beyond.

The technology ensures that Asda stores in the North West are receiving the correct amount of product for the 18 million customers that visit stores each week, with 100% accuracy.

The automated nature of the facility means that it is also one of the most ergonomically friendly distribution centres in Europe, as colleagues have standing work stations and are assisted by robots and 4.5km of conveyer belts.

The new facility puts Asda and the North of England at the forefront of retail distribution innovation and is set to vastly improve retail productivity and efficiency. At optimum capacity, the site can process 4.9 million cases and up to 8000 lines of product, which makes it the biggest distribution centre in Europe.

Walmart is closely monitoring the operation, with future plans to replicate similar facilities across its vast operations in North America, with the potential to improve efficiency across its US estate by learning from the Warrington site.

It features nine state-of-the-art robotic cranes, which each control 27,000 individual pallet locations and are all able to lift pallets as high as 27 meters, which is higher than any fork lift truck currently can do.

Located on the site of a former World War Two American air base at Burtonwood, the warehouse has a one million square foot capacity because of the unique way its robots can access stock.

The strategic location of the site was selected due to its close proximity to Liverpool’s deep sea port, Manchester Airport and the local rail and motorway networks, which enable direct and efficient delivery and receipt of goods.

Colleagues at the new Asda Warrington Automated Distribution are trained to use and work with the hi-tech machinery. Two colleagues at the new site are Mary Winstanley and Kate Veregan, who explained to the Duke that the centre can receive up to 3000 pallets of product each day, which is split up and sent to different stores across the north of England through 250 delivery drivers.

Roger Burnley, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer at Asda, said: “Our Warrington site really is impressive. Our colleagues do a fantastic job to ensure the depot works at its maximum efficiency to send product to stores across the North of England.

“His Royal Highness was genuinely interested in how the operation works, and was impressed at the innovations we’re pioneering at Warrington. It was great to be recognised for our state of the art technology, which ultimately provides Asda customers with a better shopping experience.”

Tom James, Warrington Depot General Manager, said: “It isn’t often you get a visit from Royalty, but it was extremely exciting to be able to meet his Royal Highness Prince Andrew and show him around our Depot in Warrington. I have walked the tour route a thousand times but I still enjoy seeing the amazement on visitors faces as they walk around, especially when its royalty!”

Source: ASDA

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Asda and Social Investment Scotland to host the Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy for the second year

Asda and Social Investment Scotland to host the Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy for the second year

 

  • Asda’s only Social Enterprise Supplier Academy returns following huge success last year
  • Academy will support eight Scottish social enterprises to develop route to market
  • Social Investment Scotland secures almost £1m in carrier bag charge revenues to help fund the Academy and continue small loans programme

LEEDS, England, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Asda has teamed up with Social Investment Scotland (SIS) for a second year running to host the Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy, with the aim of further increasing the availability of social enterprise products for ethically-minded consumers on supermarket shelves.

Funded through the proceeds from Asda’s carrier bag charge in Scotland totalling around £1,000,000, SIS will help Asda run the programme whilst continuing to provide small loans through SIS Community Capital, the fund set up in partnership with Asda in 2015.

The Academy will support Scottish social enterprises to strengthen their understanding of supermarket retail and refine their commercial and marketing skills, building on the success of Asda’s existing supplier development academy to support Scottish SMEs.

The successful eight social enterprises chosen to attend this year’s academy include: Bala Sport; Feel the Warmth; Ginerosity, Mbikudi; Punjabi Junction; Silver Stag; Social Stuff/Squad Scarves and The Justice Brand.

Each organisation will benefit from both grant funding to cover their participation and specially developed training modules delivered over 4 days at Asda House in Leeds to include everything from understanding consumer purchasing to branding and packaging design.

Participants will receive access to mentoring provided by Asda’s senior team and to finance through social investment loans from SIS as well as insights from guest speakers including Michael Sheen.

Asda’s partnership with Social Investment Scotland represents a significant commitment by the retailer to develop the UK’s social enterprise sector and create a long term sustainable impact within communities across the country.

The programme – consisting of both the Academy and SIS Community Capital – will support a growing number of social enterprises to sell products directly to members of the general public. While there are no guarantees that Academy participants will receive a listing with Asda, the skills and support delivered through the Academy will significantly improve their prospects and, more importantly, equip them with the tools to secure deals with other retailers.

Since launching SIS Community Capital two years ago, the fund has distributed over £829,000 in loans to twenty-four local charities and community projects across Scotland. The most recent organisations to benefit from this investment include Aspire Community Solutions, Bothy Stores and Dot Coach CIC.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney, said: “Social enterprises do tremendous work to help the most vulnerable people by improving their confidence and boosting skills, while tackling inequalities in society and growing the economy.

“I am pleased to see that the money raised through the carrier bag charge is being used to fund this Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy for the second year – it was a great success last year.

“This is an exciting project for social enterprises in Scotland and one which will help the expansion and development of the sector. I commend Asda and Social Investment Scotland for their foresight and work on this important initiative.

“I am keen to hear more about the academy as it continues to develop and look forward to hearing about the work it will do in opening up more opportunities for social enterprises to grow and expand.”

Charlotte Cool, Asda’s Vice President for Corporate Affairs, said: “At Asda we take great pride in supporting the communities we serve. Our partnership with SIS represents an exciting move beyond traditional grant-making programmes, providing tangible benefits for people across the UK.

“We provide support to local suppliers around the UK to grow their business, many of whom have introduced their products to many Asda stores. By harnessing the power of our retail experience and expertise, along with our 645-strong store estate and online shopping division, we can help social enterprises to access the large retail market.

“The potential benefits are multiple – customers get more choice and social enterprises get the support they need to move from small to medium to large business, which in turn could create more jobs, increase investment in local producers and build positive social impact.”

Nick Kuenssberg, chair, Social Investment Scotland, said: “This current and future undertaking by Asda is a truly significant move. The potential to roll this programme out in England and Wales represents a major development in the size and scope of Social Investment Scotland’s ambition.”

Alastair Davis, CEO, Social Investment Scotland, said: “Asda’s commitment to investing in Scotland’s social entrepreneurs is a huge milestone in the development of the social enterprise sector and we’re delighted to be their sole partner in helping them deliver this goal for a second year running.

“Given the breadth of Asda’s footprint across Scotland’s communities, its support in helping to increase the number of social enterprises retailing to the public is a potential game changer.

“By promoting social enterprise products as viable alternatives to their commercial counterparts, we have a fantastic opportunity to significantly increase the revenues raised by the sector and, in turn, create much more sustainable and long term social impacts for our communities up and down the country.”

Michael Sheen, Patron of Social Enterprise UK, said: “It was a huge honour to spend a day being inspired by a room full of social entrepreneurs as part of the Asda and Social Investment Scotland collaboration.

“I attended so that I could listen and learn from people who have real skin in the game in transforming our communities and doing so by getting great products into stores across the UK. I want to be part of helping the general public to become more aware of what social enterprise is, so growing the market for products we can see on our high streets should help spread the word that there is a better way to do business!

“I hope Asda and SIS can continue to build on this partnership and expand across the U.K. And encourage us all to buy social!”

Source: ASDA

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Brewgooder secures national deal with Asda to stock its Clean Water Lager in stores across the UK and Northern Ireland

Brewgooder secures national deal with Asda to stock its Clean Water Lager in stores across the UK and Northern Ireland

 

LEEDS, England, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Brewgooder, the world’s first craft beer brewery, is to donate 100% of its profits to clean water projects in developing countries, is celebrating securing a national deal with Asda to stock its Clean Water Lager in 357 stores across the UK including 16 in Northern Ireland.

Brewgooder craft lager is the brainchild of Belfast-born Alan Mahon who established the business in Edinburgh in March 2016.

“It’s of huge personal significance that Brewgooder is now stocked in Asda in Northern Ireland,” explained Alan.

“We’ve been waiting with baited breath to tell our story at home and we’re delighted Asda shoppers in Northern Ireland will be able to taste our beer for themselves. As one of the leading supermarkets, Asda is a fantastic route to market and with the volume of product involved, it will accelerate our impact and the number of clean water projects we can support.”

Since October 2016, when it was first listed in Scottish Asda stores, the Brewgooder brand has established itself as the front running social enterprise beer brand selling nearly 100,000 cans in stores in just six months. As a result Brewgooder has facilitated two wells in Malawi including the Nora Docherty Well in Dedza, servicing more than 5,000 people with clean water. A further four wells are in the pipeline due to the increased listing.

Alan continued, “Seeing first-hand the impact our wells are having on communities was motivating and inspiring and it’s thanks to support from Asda that we have truly been able to make a difference. Giving people the unique opportunity to enjoy a great product while at the same time helping others is a powerful combination and by working closely with our customers and consumers we are helping to transform thousands of lives for generations to come.”

Michael McCallion, Senior Buyer for Northern Ireland & Scotland, said,

“Brewgooder was one of the first suppliers to take part in Asda’s Social Enterprise Supplier Academy, a UK first which launched last year in partnership with Social Investment Scotland (SIS). It’s fantastic to see the success the craft beer has had since its participation in the Academy, not only doubling their supermarket listings in just eight months, but also supporting business growth, job creation and acceleration of their clean water impact.

“The product extension into Northern Ireland really is the cherry on the top!”

Brewgooder, Clean Water Lager, 4.5% Craft Lager, four pack is available in Asda NI stores now.

Source: ASDA

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Asda introduces large punnets of strawberries in response to this year’s impressive harvest

Asda introduces large punnets of strawberries in response to this year’s impressive harvest

 

  • Asda sees 30% increase in strawberry crop yield versus expected levels due to mild May
  • Supermarket launches 700g punnet of strawberries to ensure UK growers don’t have to waste surplus berries
  • A predicted 3.6 million strawberries will be eaten from Asda’s shelves this month

LEEDS, England, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Asda has seen a spike in strawberry crop growth this last month thanks to May’s mild weather resulting in an increased number of the nation’s favourite red berry.

Growers for the supermarket have seen an increase in crop production of 30% versus the predicted harvest, which they’re attributing to the high number of mild days Britain saw throughout May. As a response to the impressive number of strawberries harvested by Asda’s growers this last month, the supermarket is introducing a new 700g punnet of berries, alongside its existing 300g pack.

The launch of the large punnets will benefit UK growers who have seen a surplus of strawberries in the recent days, making sure as many of the berries end up on the supermarket shelf as possible and do not go to waste.

Barrie Jones, Asda Senior Strawberries Buyer, comments: “The mild weather in May means we’ve the growers we work with have had to harvest much of our strawberry crop a lot earlier than expected. We initially thought there would be a mountain of strawberries on the farm leftover which supermarkets couldn’t sell, so it’s great that we’ve been able to work with our growers to come up with a solution to tackle the results of the Great British weather.”

With almost 100,000 of the new punnets – the equivalent of 70 tonnes – rolling onto Asda shelves from this weekend, the supermarket is championing British-grown berries, which are harvested when at the optimum level of ripeness, ensuring full flavour and juiciness is retained.

Charlie Mills, Fresh Produce Manager at Asda, comments: “This week alone, 3,500 tonnes of strawberries have been picked from their plants. We know our customers love British strawberries, so we want to ensure we’re providing shoppers with a bounty of berries as we head into summer.”

Asda predicts an approximate total of 3.6 million strawberries – the equivalent of 7,500 tonnes – will be eaten over the next few months.

Charlie continues: “We’re continuing our investment into working closely with our growers to ensure we’re reducing food waste as we battle the increasing number of good fruit and veg thrown away each year.”

Asda’s 700g punnet of strawberries will be available in-store from Saturday 10 June for £2.50.

Source: ASDA

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Bunnings Warehouse opens in Hemel Hempstead; its third store in the UK and Ireland

Bunnings Warehouse opens in Hemel Hempstead; its third store in the UK and Ireland

 

Perth, Australia, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The third Bunnings Warehouse store in the UK and Ireland opened its doors to customers on Friday 9 June in Hemel Hempstead, Buckinghamshire.

The new store, on the site of the former Homebase at Apsley Mills Retail Park, continues the momentum of establishing the Bunnings Warehouse format in the UK’s £38 billion-a-year home improvement and garden market.

The Hemel Hempstead store is over 64,000 square feet and employs 111 people – including 53 in newly created full and part-time roles.

It also stocks more than 27,000 different home improvement and garden lines, including paint mixing services from Johnstone’s Trade, Crown and Dulux and a new tool shop offering world-leading brands such as Ryobi and DeWalt.

The company, part of Australia’s Wesfarmers Group, plans to invest up to £500million rolling out Bunnings Warehouse stores across the UK and Ireland over the next three to five years.

To celebrate the opening, Olympic gymnast champion and Hemel local Max Whitlock MBE hosted a welcome breakfast for team members.

Max said: “It’s great that Bunnings has chosen Hemel Hempstead as the location for its third store in the UK. Hemel is where it all began for me so I’m delighted to be back opening the store. I’m sure it will be a huge success.”

The new store’s Complex Manager, Darren Reid, added: “Our team members have worked really hard to get the store ready for opening and are looking forward to sharing their expertise and enthusiasm with customers in Hemel. We’re ready to welcome people to the new store!”

And the fun doesn’t stop there. The new store will also be hosting two grand opening weekend events with a raft of free family activities on 17/18 and 24/25 June. Customers can enjoy face-painting, balloon modelling and even join Peppa Pig & George for a Story Time session (see in store for details).

About Bunnings UK and Ireland

Bunnings is the leading retailer of home improvement and outdoor living products in Australia and New Zealand. As of 12 December 2016, in Australia and New Zealand, Bunnings operates out of 357 trading locations (of which 248 are warehouse stores), employing over 40,000 team members.

In February 2016 Bunnings acquired Homebase, the second largest home improvement and garden retailer in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Bunnings Warehouse opened its first two stores in St. Albans in February/April 2017, with additional stores confirmed in Hemel Hempstead, Milton Keynes and Folkestone. As of May 2017, it also operates as Homebase out of 252 trading locations, employing over 12,000 team members in the UK and Ireland.

Contact::

T (61 8) 9327 4211
F (61 8) 9327 4216
To contact us, please email us at info@wesfarmers.com.au

Source: Wesfarmers Limited

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NACS Consumer Fuels survey: Americans much more likely than in past years to hit the roads this summer

ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — American drivers are much more likely than in years past to be hitting the roads as summer drive season begins, according to the latest NACS Consumer Fuels survey.

Nearly three in ten (29%) consumers say they will drive more in the coming month, an 11-point jump increase from a year ago (18% in June 2016), and a record high for the month of June. NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells an estimated 80% of the fuel sold in the country, has conducted monthly surveys related to economic issues since January 2013.

Nearly three in five (58%) of gasoline consumers report feeling optimistic about the U.S. economy this month, down 2 points from last month. Consumer optimism has tracked between 57% and 61% for the past seven months. Consumers in the South are most optimistic (62%), though optimism remains high across all regions.

Relatively low gas prices are fueling both consumer optimism and the anticipated increase in driving. Fully four in five (80%) Americans say that gas prices impact their feelings about the economy.

“Continued strong optimism over the economy and an expected increase in summer driving is great news for convenience stores and other retailers who cater to summer travelers,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives.

However, there are some looming concerns. While the median gas price reported by consumers remained $2.35 for the second month, nearly half of all consumers say that gas prices rose over the past month. Price increases were seen most in the West, where 53% say gas prices are higher than they were last month. By comparison, just 43% of gas consumers in the South report that higher gas prices are this month.

Given concerns over rising prices, consumers are slightly more open to considering behavior. Consumers say that if gas prices increased to $3.40 per gallon, they would try reduce the amount that they drive. This $1.05 difference between current prices and a price that would change behavior is the lowest recorded in more than a year.

The survey was conducted online by PSB (Penn Schoen Berland); 1,100 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed June 6-9, 2017. Summary results are available at nacsonline.com/fuelssurvey.

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

Source: NACS

Intershop helps QBank develop its integration capabilities with various tools and platforms

Jena, Germany, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — QBank continues to develop its integration capabilities with various tools. The company’s latest launch is the integration for the German e-commerce system, Intershop.

Intershop and QBank have been partners for about a year, and now they have taken the next step in offering an integrated solution between their platforms. This enables them to offer their customers a better and easier solution for managing product related images and videos. It will also decrease their time-to-market.

“We continue to meet high demands for integration solutions for various types of platforms and tools. The partnership with Intershop will give us a stronger position within the intense communications segment of e-commerce in Europe,” says Carl Petruson, CEO at QBank.

„Excellent customer experience is mandatory for digital commerce and digital assets are an important building block needed to achieve it. That’s why we are happy that we have now combined Intershop’s integrated web content management and product information management capabilities with best-of-breed digital asset management functionality of QBank,” says Nils Breitmann, Enterprise Architect at Intershop.

For more information about the QBank Connector for Intershop visit https://www.qbankdam.com/en/integration/intershop.

About Intershop

Intershop Communications AG (founded in Germany 1992; Prime Standard: ISH2) is the leading independent provider of omni-channel commerce solutions. Intershop offers high-performance packaged software for internet sales, complemented by all necessary services. Intershop also acts as a business process outsourcing provider, covering all aspects of online retailing up to fulfillment. Around the globe more than 300 enterprise customers, including HP, BMW, Würth, and Deutsche Telekom run Intershop solutions. Intershop is headquartered in Jena, Germany, and has offices in the United States, Europe, Australia, and China. More information about Intershop can be found online at www.intershop.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial and operational performance of Intershop. Actual events or performance may differ materially from those contained or implied in such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties that could lead to such difference could include, among other things: Intershop’s limited operating history, the unpredictability of future revenues and expenses and potential fluctuations in revenues and operating results, significant dependence on large single customer deals, consumer trends, the level of competition, seasonality, risks related to electronic security, possible governmental regulation, and general economic conditions.

Contact:
Intershop Public Relations
HEIDE RAUSCH
Head of Corporate Communication
Phone: +49 3641 50-1000
Fax: +49 3641 50-1309
mailto: pr@intershop.de

Source: Intershop Communications AG

Wegmans Montvale announces recipients of its Employee Scholarship Program

MONTVALE, NJ., 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Five graduating seniors from the Montvale area received $500 scholarship grants from Wegmans Food Markets in a symbolic nod to the company’s annual announcement of recipients for its Employee Scholarship Program, which helps employees along the path to higher education. Since the program began in 1984, more than 35,000 Wegmans employees have been awarded scholarships totaling $110 million.

The local recipients are students from Park Ridge, Pascack Hills, Pascack Valley, Pearl River, and St. Joseph Regional high schools. Wegmans partnered with each school to select a student who exemplifies the family-owned company’s values: Caring, Respect, High Standards, Empowerment, and Making a Difference.

Congratulations go to the following students:

Park Ridge High School: Jacob Zelikovsky
Pascack Hills High School: Evan Michaels
Pascack Valley High School: Mary Kate Viconte
Pearl River High School: Jaclyn Burns
St. Joseph Regional High School: Steven Foster

“Helping young people succeed is one of our most important giving priorities,” said Wegmans Montvale Store Manager Paul Jordan. “As a new neighbor in the community, we’re happy to award honorary scholarships this year and look forward to celebrating a new class of Wegmans employee scholarship recipients from Montvale next year.”

The local recipients join 2,019 Wegmans employees that were granted new scholarships this year, with an expected payout of $5.1 million to the program’s current and new recipients for the 2017/2018 academic year.

To receive a scholarship, Wegmans employees must meet work-performance criteria. Eligibility is also based on a minimum number of work hours over a specified time period. Part-time employees can receive up to $6,000 over four years and full-time employees can receive up to $8,800 over four years, with no limit placed on the number of scholarships awarded and no restrictions on a student’s course of study from an accredited college.

The Montvale Wegmans opens Sunday, Sept. 24. Hiring is currently underway for part-time and select full-time positions. Applicants may apply online at www.wegmans.com/careers or call 201-391-0100 for more information.

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 92-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 20 consecutive years, ranking #2 in 2017.

Press Contact:
Valerie Fox
Media Relations Coordinator
585-720-5713
valerie.fox@wegmans.com

Source: Wegmans Food Markets

Wegmans Hanover announces recipients of its Employee Scholarship Program

HANOVER, NJ., 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Five graduating seniors from the Hanover area received $500 scholarship grants from Wegmans Food Markets in a symbolic nod to the company’s annual announcement of recipients for its Employee Scholarship Program, which helps employees along the path to higher education.

The local recipients are students from Hanover Park, Morristown, Parsippany, Parsippany Hills, and Whippany Park high schools. Wegmans partnered with each school to select a student who exemplifies the family-owned company’s values: Caring, Respect, High Standards, Empowerment, and Making a Difference.

Congratulations go to the following students:

Hanover Park High School: Alex LoRusso
Morristown High School: Becky Garcia
Parsippany High School: Michelle Inn
Parsippany Hills High School: Kimberly DeStefano
Whippany Park High School: Julia Hark

“Our employee scholarship program is a point of pride at Wegmans, and it’s a pleasure to award these honorary scholarships as we prepare to open our store,” said Wegmans Hanover Store Manager Tim Lockwood. “Since the program began in 1984, more than 35,000 Wegmans employees have been awarded scholarships totaling $110 million.”

The local recipients join 2,019 Wegmans employees that were granted new scholarships this year, with an expected payout of $5.1 million to the program’s current and new recipients for the 2017/2018 academic year.

To receive a scholarship, Wegmans employees must meet work-performance criteria. Eligibility is also based on a minimum number of work hours over a specified time period. Part-time employees can receive up to $6,000 over four years and full-time employees can receive up to $8,800 over four years, with no limit placed on the number of scholarships awarded and no restrictions on a student’s course of study from an accredited college.

The Hanover Wegmans opens Sunday, July 23. Hiring is currently underway for part-time and select full-time positions. Applicants may apply online at www.wegmans.com/careers or call 973-490-2500 for more information.

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 92-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 20 consecutive years, ranking #2 in 2017.

Press Contact:
Valerie Fox
Media Relations Coordinator
585-720-5713
valerie.fox@wegmans.com

Source: Wegmans Food Markets

Text to give option now available throughout Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give tournament

Text to give option now available throughout Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give tournament

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ —

Who: Community members

What: This year, the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give has a text to give option to benefit the Simply Give program throughout tournament week. Donations can be made in any denomination by texting “SimplyGive” to 444999. Text messaging and data rates may apply. You will receive up to five automated text messages. The Meijer LPGA Classic will once again will once again benefit the retailer’s Simply Give program that restocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest. The three previous Meijer LPGA Classics have generated more than $2.1 million for food pantries in the communities it serves.

Where: Blythefield Country Club: 5801 Northland Dr NE Belmont, MI 49306

Tickets to The Meijer LPGA Classic tickets are available at meijerLPGAclassic.com.
To view a video recapping the 2016 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, please visit meijerLPGAclassic.com.
For additional details on the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, please contact the representatives per the information above.

Contact:

Christina Fecher
616-540-6108
Christina.Fecher@meijer.com

Source: Meijer

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Weingarten Realty Investors to release 2Q 2017 earnings on Thursday, July 27, 2017

HOUSTON, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) announced today (6/13/2017) that its second quarter 2017 earnings will be released after the market closes on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Senior Management will host our quarterly earnings conference call on Friday, July 28, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. Central Time.

Event: Weingarten Realty’s Second Quarter 2017 Earnings Results

When: 10:00 AM CST, Friday, July 28, 2017

Dial#: 1.888.771.4371 / Conference ID #43147577

Listen via Webcast

This call will be webcast live at www.weingarten.com and can be accessed under the Investor Relations tab of the Company’s website. In addition, an audio archive will be available on the Company’s website shortly after the call concludes. The complete earnings release and supplemental data package will be located in the Investor Relations section of the website on the Quarterly Earnings page. For those without Internet access, the second quarter 2017 earnings release and supplemental data package will be available by mail upon request. To receive a copy, please call Investor Relations at (800) 298-9974.

About Weingarten Realty Investors

Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI) is a shopping center owner, manager and developer. At March 31, 2017, the Company owned or operated under long-term leases, either directly or through its interest in real estate joint ventures or partnerships, a total of 218 properties which are located in 18 states spanning the country from coast to coast. These properties represent approximately 44.4 million square feet of which our interests in these properties aggregated approximately 28.4 million square feet of leasable area. To learn more about the Company’s operations and growth strategies, please visit www.weingarten.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements included herein that state the Company’s or Management’s intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations or predictions of the future are “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 which by their nature, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. The Company’s actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Reference is made to the Company’s regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for information or factors that may impact the Company’s performance.

Weingarten Realty Investors:
Michelle Wiggs
713-866-6050

Source: Weingarten Realty Investors

PetSmart delivers the first of nearly 90 initial semi-truck loads of pet food through its historic Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program

  • PetSmart Expects to Distribute more than 60 Million Meals and Reports Philanthropic Program Has Already Generated More Than 20 Million Meals to Date
  • PetSmart Charities Teams up with Feeding America® and Rescue Bank® to Distribute the Pet Food to  Rescues, Shelters and Food Banks in the U.S.

PHOENIX, Ariz., 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — PetSmart announced today (June 13, 2017) it has begun to deliver the first of nearly 90 initial semi-truck loads of pet food through its historic Buy a Bag, Give a Meal* program, where it is giving a meal to a pet in need for any and every bag of dog or cat food purchased through Dec. 31, 2017, in its more than 1,500 stores and online at PetSmart.com and PetSmart.ca. Through this philanthropic program, PetSmart said it expects to make pet food deliveries throughout the rest of 2017 and well into 2018 to distribute the expected 60 million-plus* meals to hundreds of locations across North America at local shelters and rescues, as well as to food banks and pantries where pet food is a rare offering.

Nonprofit partner PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, is the recipient of the significant pet food donation and is teaming up with GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank program and Feeding America. These renowned national nonprofit organizations are helping to effectively distribute the pet food directly to pets in need across the U.S.

The Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program was launched March 1, 2017. Since then, as shoppers buy pet food bags at PetSmart, the retailer donates a meal to a pet in need and has already generated more than 20 million meals to date. With the 60 million meal goal, the program is the largest philanthropic initiative in PetSmart’s 30-year history. As a point of reference, using a standard six-inch pet food bowl, 60 million meals would span from New York City to Los Angeles and back again – covering more than 5,500 miles.

Throughout the past two weeks, the first three of nearly 90 semi-trailer trucks loaded with the donated pet food were delivered to pets in need. The initial shipment included 750,000 meals of pet food split evenly between dog and cat food and was delivered to Feeding America affiliates, Food Bank of the Rockies in Denver, and Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona in Tucson. A third truck load was delivered to Rescue Bank facility, St. Paws, and adjacent shelter, National Mill Dog Rescue, in Peyton, Colo., a suburb of Colorado Springs.

The pet food meals are expected to be on the shelves of hundreds of food pantries across the Denver and Tucson metro areas, while also feeding hungry pets at rescues and shelters in the Colorado Springs region.

“We are thrilled to be getting these initial meals to pets in need across Colorado and the Southern Arizona area,” said Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer, PetSmart. “We know pets in need are not only in shelters and rescues across North America, but also with their families who are served by food pantries and meal programs. We are pleased to work with PetSmart Charities and its partners, Feeding America and Rescue Bank, and very excited to reach pets in need in 67 additional cities across 28 states beginning in August.”

“When our partners at PetSmart shared this big idea to give back a meal for every bag purchased, we were overwhelmed by the generosity and thrilled to take on the challenge of distributing such a huge volume of pet food – an expected 60 million meals – to help pets in need across North America,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities. “Our organization is dedicated to helping pets in need like no other. We delivered more than $34 million in funding support directly to animal welfare organizations in 2016 alone and with this massive pet food donation with our partners, Rescue Bank and Feeding America, we look forward to the impact these meals will have on pets in need in cities across the U.S.”

PetSmart Charities™ of Canada is also partnering with four renowned animal welfare organizations in Canada to distribute the anticipated 3.6 million meals* to pets in need across the country. Canadian deliveries from the Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program are expected to begin this fall.

To help PetSmart with the production of the massive amount of donated pet food, it is manufacturing the bulk of the donated pet food through its vendor partner, American Nutrition, Inc., a leading manufacturer of American-made pet food and treats. Rescue Bank distributes pet meals to its network of more than 1,900 shelter and rescue groups across the country. Pet food, especially cat food, is consistently the largest request Rescue Bank receives from its shelter and rescue partners. As well, the annual pet food budget for a shelter or rescue can be a significant line item, and the donated food can offset pet food costs and allow these nonprofit organizations to redirect the funds to help pets even more.

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

Eligible human services organizations in the U.S. that wish to be considered to receive pet food donations from PetSmart’s Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program are encouraged to connect with their local food bank using the food bank locator at www.feedingamerica.org. Animal welfare organizations are asked to apply online at www.RescueBank.org.
For more information on the Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program, please visit PetSmart.com/giveameal or Petsmart.ca/giveameal in Canada.

About PetSmart®

PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. We employ approximately 55,000 associates, operate more than 1,500 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as pet-focused services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart® Doggie Day Camp® and pet adoption. PetSmart, together with non-profits PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, invite more than 3,000 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 7.4 million adoptions – more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. The company’s portfolio of digital resources for pet parents includes PetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com, OnlyNaturalPet.com, Pet360.com, petMD.com, Pawculture.com, AllPaws, an online pet adoption platform that helps potential pet parents find the perfect pet to adopt based on their home, family and lifestyle, as well as BlogPaws, the world’s first pet blogger and influencer network. Through these digital platforms, PetSmart offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in the U.S. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, PetSmart launched its Buy a Bag, Give a Meal™ program in March 2017. For every bag of cat or dog food purchased March 1 – Dec. 31, 2017, PetSmart will donate a meal to pets in need and expects to donate more than 60 million meals in 2017*.

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

*Ends 12/31/17.  5 oz. dog food, 1.5 oz. cat food donated to PetSmart Charities to feed dogs and cats in need.  See details at petsmart.com/giveameal. The actual number of meals donated is based on dog and cat food bags sold.  The meal donation estimate is based on historic sales for similar time periods. No guaranteed amount. Rescue Bank and Feeding America will help distribute a large portion of the pet food donation in the U.S.

About PetSmart Charities®

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

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

About PetSmart Charities™ of Canada

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

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

Rescue Bank works with name-brand suppliers to deliver donated pet food for both the ongoing needs of more than 1,900 animal welfare organizations and the immediate needs of communities after disasters such as hurricanes, floods and fires. Since establishing its national network in 2011, Rescue Bank has delivered over 200 million meals of nutritious, wholesome pet food.

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

About Feeding America

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

Source: PetSmart, Inc.