SPAR Croatia successfully converts 40 Billa stores into SPAR

Croatia, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Earlier this year, SPAR Croatia’s acquisition of all Billa stores in the country was approved and within just two months, 40 Billa stores were converted to SPAR. The deal also included the takeover of the former Billa logistics centre.

The acquired stores are located throughout Croatia, from Istria to Dalmatia and from Slavonia to the capital, Zagreb. The sales areas of the stores vary from 500 to 1,500m².

All 1,900 Billa employees were incorporated into SPAR Croatia’s personnel. “We welcome our new colleagues and are delighted with the increase in the number of SPAR Supermarkets in Croatia,” said Helmut Fenzl, CEO of SPAR Croatia.

“The acquisition of Billa is an important strategic step and represents a new phase in the development of SPAR in the country.” With a market share of about 9%, SPAR is one of the major players in the Croatian food retail market.

More than just a new logo

The conversion of a Billa store involves more than just a new logo on the façade. It means strict planning, exact organisation, a complete system integration and of course, rapid induction of new SPAR employees. Teams of people from various departments such as Sales, Organisation, Controlling and IT from a number of Aspiag countries (Austria SPAR International AG) have to come together to ensure that all store conversions run as smoothly as possible. All cash desks have to be replaced and the scales re-installed and configured. About 8,000 articles need to be added to the system and 10,000 price labels per store reprinted and attached. It’s a challenging team effort but one that definitely pays off in the long run.

Integration of new SPAR colleagues

To introduce former Billa employees to the SPAR world, a programme of internal trainings were held. Helmut Fenzl, CEO of SPAR Croatia, and Danijel Vidiš, Managing Director of SPAR Croatia, presented the SPAR organisation and the SPAR story to the new colleagues as part of their welcome session. They also informed employees of the work and procedures involved in the acquisition process. SPAR Croatia currently employs over 4,000 people in SPAR and INTERSPAR stores, including former Billa stores.


SPAR International
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International

SPAR Poland accelerates its expansion this summer with new store openings

SPAR Poland accelerates its expansion this summer with new store openings


Poland, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — It’s been a busy summer for SPAR Poland with the opening of four new stores in the space of just one week and the planning of more at an advanced stage.

SPAR in Poland is systematically increasing its number of franchise stores. The four new stores are located in Tychy (243m2), Zabrzeg (467m2), Konin (450m2) and Szydłów (200m2). Four more store openings are in the pipeline and in early September, a new EUROSPAR Supermarket in Kokoszyce, is due to be rolled out – making for a fitting end to a busy summer of expansion.

This year alone, SPAR Poland has opened 21 stores, proving the potential for growth in what is the biggest market in central Europe. Apart from growing store numbers, SPAR Poland has also been focusing on developing its own brand product range, in particular its premium range. In response to the demand for healthy snack options for instance, it recently introduced a new selection of premium dried fruit and nuts. A new range of pet food products has also been introduced – filling a gap in the market for this category.

Another new development has been the refresh of the core SPAR product line’s packaging design, which is now in line with the design style developed by SPAR International.


SPAR International
Tel: +3120 626 6749

Source: Spar International


Walgreens donates $200,000 and kicks off customer donation program to American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

  • Company donates food and medical items to emergency shelter in Houston
  • Walgreens generator provides emergency power to City of Victoria
  • Company donates $200,000 to American Red Cross, while nationwide customer donation program begins Tuesday

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Walgreens is supporting relief efforts in Southeast Texas through a number of initiatives in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Walgreens is donating food items, first aid and medical equipment including blood pressure cuffs, glucometer strips, catheters and transport wheelchairs to the American Red Cross emergency shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Walgreens is working with United Airlines to transport the first aid and medical items from Chicago to Houston on a flight with relief supplies.

In preparation for Hurricane Harvey, Walgreens staged portable generators throughout southeast Texas and deployed them to a number of stores. Walgreens provided one of those generators to the City of Victoria, Texas to support its city facilities.

“Our hearts go out to the people in Southeast Texas who are going through tremendous personal losses from Hurricane Harvey and the flooding that has followed,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of Pharmacy and Retail Operations. “We stand ready to continue to support our customers and employees who live in the region.”

Walgreens has committed to a $200,000 donation to the American Red Cross relief efforts, and customers also can donate to the American Red Cross at approximately 8,000 Walgreens and Duane Reade locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Customers can make donations for relief efforts at store checkouts beginning today.

More than 300 out of approximately 500 Walgreens stores in southeast Texas and Louisiana are now open. Local Walgreens field leaders and store teams are working to reopen the other stores and restore pharmacy services as soon as possible.

About Walgreens

Walgreens (, one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 10 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,175 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.

Phil Caruso

Source: Walgreens

Colruyt: OKay and OKay Compact recall pita meat due to presence of salmonella

Halle, Belgium, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — During microbiological quality controls in our laboratory, salmonella was found in pita meat. For this reason, OKay and OKay Compact decided to remove this product from the shelves in consultation with the FASFC (Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain).

Colruyt and OKay ask their customers not to consume this product and to return it to the store. The product will be refunded. Meanwhile, the product has been removed from the shelves in all the stores.

Possible symptoms of Salmonella infection

Possible symptoms of Salmonella infection are fever, stomach cramps and diarrhoea. These symptoms usually occur within 12 to 48 hours after the infection.

The symptoms usually last 4 to 7 days and most people recover without specific treatment. Young children, pregnant women, people with decreased immunity and elderly people are risk groups. For them, the symptoms may be more serious and result in hospitalisation.

If you have eaten this pita meat and have these symptoms, consult your family doctor.

Product description:

Pita meat 500 g

Article number: 37578
Best before date: 2/9/2017
Sales period: 25/8 to 29/8/2017
Type of packaging: transparent plate with foil
Manufacturer: Colruyt Group Fine Food Meat, Bilkenveld 3, 1500 Halle

Customers can call 02 345 2345 for more information.


I have bought this product. What do I do?
Do not consume the article. Return it to your store and we will refund it.

What if I have already eaten it?
Possible symptoms of Salmonella infection are fever, stomach cramps and diarrhoea. These symptoms usually occur within 12 to 48 hours after exposure.

The symptoms usually last 4 to 7 days and most people recover without specific treatment. Young children, pregnant women, people with decreased immunity and elderly people are risk groups. For them, the symptoms may be more serious and result in hospitalisation.

If you have eaten this pita meat and have these symptoms, consult your family doctor.

Where can I get more information?
Call our customer service at 02 345 23 45.

This message was drawn up in consultation with the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC).


Hanne Poppe
Press officer Colruyt Group
Tel.: 0473 92 45 10

Source: Colruyt Group

Newly revamped Colruyt Laken opens

Halle, Belgium, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — On Wednesday 30 August, the renovated Colruyt store in Laken will open its doors after a few months of renovation work. The store has been completely rearranged and restyled into a new‑generation Colruyt store.

New-generation store

“While the store was closed, we completely rearranged it and expanded the fresh-market”, says store manager Eric Jeangout. “Customers can now shop even more efficiently in a more congenial store. For instance, we have replaced the plastic flaps at the entrance of the fresh-market with an air curtain. When making renovations, we always aim at simplicity and the lowest costs, as our customers expect of us.”

Broad range of fresh meat in the fresh-market

Customers can find a broad selection of fresh quality meat in a refrigerated counter. The meat is packed in a transparent packaging with a label so they can see the ingredients, quality and price.

We also added two extra cash registers. There are 14 now in total. “We can now serve our customers even more smoothly” the store manager explains.

Special open house

From Wednesday 30 August, store manager Eric Jeangout and his 41 co-workers will be on hand to welcome their customers in the revamped Colruyt Laken.
Eric Jeangout: “The evening before, on Tuesday 29 August from 5 to 8 p.m., everyone is invited for a store preview. During this special open house, customers will be offered snacks and a drink. Everyone is most welcome!”

For more information, please contact:

Fabrice Rosier
(regional manager)
02 345 2345

Hanne Poppe
(press officer Colruyt Group)
0473 92 45 10

Source: Colruyt Group

SSP America to develop and operate food & beverage options at Newark Liberty International Airport

SSP portfolio showcases in-house brands tailored specifically for EWR

London, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — SSP America, a division of SSP Group, a leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, has been awarded a contract by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Westfield to develop and operate two grab & go concepts and one classic American diner at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).  The contract will see SSP America introduce a mix of bespoke, in-house solutions specifically tailored for the EWR location.

SSP America’s Vice President Business Development Paul Loupakos commented, “Our win with EWR is an excellent example of how SSP America can work with our airport partners to create food & beverage options that meet the specific needs of their passengers.  Our concepts for EWR have been tailored specifically for the airport and will result in a better passenger experience that draws higher throughput and ultimately maximizes revenue for the Port Authority.  We are delighted with our win and look forward to building a lasting partnership with Newark Liberty International and Westfield.”

“We are excited to work with SSP America to enhance the traveler experience at Newark Liberty,” said Iris Messina, Vice President of Leasing for Westfield. “It’s all about options for the modern traveler, and we’re helping to curate a dining collection that caters to every traveler’s want and need.”As the 16th busiest airport in North America, Newark Liberty International Airport welcomes over 37 million passengers per year, and employs more than 20,000 people.  The airport contributes an estimated $25.3 billion in economic activity to the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region, generating about 177,000 total jobs and $9.2 billion in annual wages and salaries.

SSP America’s line-up includes two grab & go market concepts and one classic American diner concept:

Gateside Fresh Market (two units—Terminal A):  Gateside Fresh Market is the traveler’s grab & go haven for healthy eating. At EWR, Gateside Fresh Market will take an ever-present ethos of using the freshest foods possible to bring travelers a market laden with hand-picked, nutrition-packed, wholesome nourishment that today’s consumers seek.   From artisan sandwiches packed with premium fillings, to whole fruits, top-shelf salads and a wide range of snacks and drinks, multiple grab & go options abound for hungry passengers with no time to waste.

Liberty Diner (Terminal B):  Created specifically for Newark Liberty International Airport, Liberty Diner will create a unique and inviting environment that pays full, glorious tribute to the iconic style of the traditional American diner.  Serving classic American dishes—from breakfast favorites of bacon, eggs, pancakes and waffles available all throughout the day, to double-fisted burgers, chocolate shakes, meatloaf sandwiches and expertly grilled sirloin steaks—Liberty Diner’s ample 3,853 square feet space, will sit proudly and majestically in Terminal B’s international, global showroom attracting all passenger demographics with its inviting atmosphere, abundant seating and guaranteed street pricing. Liberty Diner will serve as a gleaming star attraction—relaxed, receiving and retro—the way American casual dining began.

Source: SSP

Amazon announces all-new Alexa feature that lets you synchronize music on multiple Amazon Echo devices in your home

  • New multi-room music feature lets you group multiple Amazon Echo devices for synchronized music streaming in every room
  • New Alexa developer tools extend multi-room audio to other connected speakers and audio systems

SEATTLE, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon today (Aug. 29, 2017) announced an all-new Alexa feature that lets you control and synchronize music across multiple Amazon Echo devices in your home. Starting today, you can target music to a specific Echo device or a group of devices—just ask. Soon, this ability will be extended to control multi-room music on other connected speakers using simply your voice.

“In just the last few months, we’ve added dozens of new features to Alexa that enhance your entertainment experience—control of Amazon Fire TV and your home entertainment systems via Echo; music lyrics, Amazon Video, and movie trailers on Echo Show; and activity-based music searches—and we’re just getting started,” said Toni Reid, Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “Today, we’re making Alexa even smarter with an all-new feature that lets you play music synchronized on multiple Echo devices to provide room-filling music throughout your home.”

Multi-Room Music on Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show

You can now synchronize your music playback across Echo devices to play songs from Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora, with support for Spotify and SiriusXM coming soon. Simply use the Alexa App to create groups with two or more Echo devices by naming the group, such as “downstairs.” Once you’ve created the group, simply say “Alexa, play John Mayer downstairs.”

Customers in the US, UK, and Germany can start using multi-room music today on their Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show devices.

New Tools Let Device Makers Create Additional Voice-Controlled Music Experiences with Alexa

Amazon also announced two new sets of tools for developers to bring multi-room music control to their speakers.

Alexa Voice Service (AVS) Multi-Room Music SDK

Amazon is introducing new tools that enable AVS device makers to integrate with Amazon Alexa Multi-Room Music. Doing so will allow customers to play their music across supported Echo and AVS devices—for example, a customer with three Echo devices and two standalone AVS speakers can play synchronized music across all five devices. These tools will be available early next year.

Connected Speaker APIs

These new tools enable device makers with connected audio systems to control music playback using Alexa. A customer can then use any Alexa-enabled device – for example an Echo Dot – to play music throughout their home on their connected audio systems. Amazon is excited to be working with leading brands on this offering, including Sonos, Bose, Sound United, and Samsung.

“Alexa set the standard for voice in smart homes, so working with Amazon to bring voice control to Sonos for the first time was an obvious choice,” said Antoine Leblond, VP of Software, Sonos. “This has been a close collaboration from the beginning as we’ve worked together to combine the magic of Alexa with the seamless multi-room audio capabilities that Sonos pioneered. We’re proud of the work we’ve done together as Amazon’s first multi-room partner – all you’ll need is an Alexa-enabled device and playing music out loud on Sonos will be as easy as saying ‘Alexa, play music in the living room.’”

“Sound United is constantly striving to provide consumers with the best possible user experience. With AI voice services simplifying how we control our home environments and products, we’re excited Denon, Marantz, and HEOS customers will be some of the first to experience Alexa multi-room audio compatibility and the power of voice control,” said Kevin Duffy, CEO and president, Sound United. “Soon, users will be able to play their favorite song, alter the volume, or change an input in any room where our connected products are placed, simply by asking Alexa to do so.”

“We’re thrilled to integrate Alexa multi-room audio with Samsung speakers,” said Jun Young Kim, Vice President of AV Business Team,Samsung. “With Alexa multi-room audio and Samsung, customers will simply be able to ask Alexa to play their favorite music in any room of the house – using only their voice. Listening to great music on Samsung speakers has never been easier.”

The Connected Speaker APIs are available in developer preview starting today.

Device makers can learn more about the new AVS developer tools here.

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, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNews.

Media Hotline:

Source:, Inc.

Amazon announce Original Series Lore will premiere on Friday, October 13 on Prime Video

  • From Executive Producers Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, Gale Anne Hurd, Brett-Patrick Jenkins, Glen Morgan, Jon Halperin and Mark Mannucci, the anthology series is based on the award-winning, critically acclaimed podcast from Aaron Mahnke
  • Series features Robert Patrick, Adam Goldberg, Kristin Bauer, Holland Roden, Colm Feore and Campbell Scott

SEATTLE, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon announced today (Aug. 29, 2017) the Amazon Original Series Lore will premiere on Friday, October 13 on Prime Video. Based on the popular podcast of the same name, which has an average of five million monthly listens, the anthology series presents the frightening and often disturbing tales based on real people and events that have led to our modern-day myths and legends. All six episodes of the series, from Executive Producers Ben Silverman (The Office), Howard T. Owens (The Biggest Loser), Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead), Brett-Patrick Jenkins (Face Off), Glen Morgan (X-Files), Jon Halperin and Mark Mannucci (A Year in Space), will be available to Prime members globally on October 13.

Lore, featuring Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood), Adam Goldberg (Fargo) Holland Roden(Teen Wolf), Colm Feore (House of Cards) and Campbell Scott (The Amazing Spider-Man), combines documentary footage, narration, historical mixed media and cinematic scenes to bring to life terrifying, but true stories. Celebrating the origins of the horror genre, Lore explores the real-life tales behind pop culture’s most legendary horror myths, such as vampires, changelings, werewolves, séances and possessed dolls.

Launched in March 2015 by Aaron Mahnke, the podcast Lore has generated a massive audience, was named “Best of” in 2015 and 2016 by Apple, and was listed as one of the “15 podcasts you need to hear in 2016” by Entertainment Weekly. The first book in Mahnke’s three-book series, The World of Lore, will be published on October 10 by Del Rey Books.

“Lore is a unique hybrid series that presents meticulously-researched true life tales through a variety of mediums, in order to surprise and delight, and even unsettle,” said Conrad Riggs, Head of Unscripted, Amazon Originals. “We are thrilled to once again provide Prime members unprecedented access into a world they thought they knew.”

Lore will feature fan-favorite episodes from the podcast, including the tale of a boy given a doll that seems to have a sinister life of its own; a family whose home appears to be inhabited by a spirit from the other side; and a German village that hunts for a murderous creature.

Lore is produced by Propagate Content and Valhalla Entertainment. Mahnke is Co-Executive Producer.

Prime members will be able to stream the series exclusively via the Amazon Prime Video app for TVs, connected devices including Fire TV, mobile devices and online at Members can also download the series to mobile devices for offline viewing at no additional cost to their membership. The series will be a global release and available on for Prime Video members in more than 200 countries and territories.

Customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices, visit

About Amazon Video

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

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

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

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 and follow @AmazonNews.

About Valhalla Entertainment

Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment has an overall deal with Universal Cable Productions to develop new television and digital programs. Their current slate includes the upcoming 8th season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, which reigns as the most watched drama series in the coveted 18-49 demographic, as well as its companion series, Fear the Walking Dead, which received a two season order prior to its debut in 2015 and set a new ratings record for a cable premiere with 13.3 million viewers. In addition, Hurd serves as a Consulting Producer on Talking Dead, which is the second highest rated basic cable show on Sunday nights, behind only The Walking Dead. USA Network’s drama series, Falling Water, was renewed for a second season and is also distributed internationally by Amazon. Valhalla’s newest series for Bravo, All That Glitters, will follow the friendship and rivalry of renowned magazine editors Anna Wintour and Tina Brown as they rose to prominence during the 80s and 90s. With 70 hours of television airing in 2017 alone, Valhalla Entertainment remains a constant staple in the industry.

About Propagate

One of the world’s fastest-growing independent content creation companies, Propagate’s portfolio includes Apple’s first original series, “Planet of the Apps” featuring Gwyneth Paltrow,, Jessica Alba and Gary Vaynerchuk, and Twitter’s first entertainment series, “#WhatsHappening,” featuring successful podcast comedian Phoebe Robinson. Other projects include “Lore” for Amazon, based on the hit podcast and co-produced with Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment; “Chris Webber’s Full Court Pranks” for TruTV; “The High Court” forComedy Central featuring comedian Doug Benson; “Unprotected” for Oxygen; “My Partner Knows Best” for Lifetime; “Evil Genius” for HISTORY; “My So-Called Simple Life” for FYI; and “Animal ER” for National Geographic Wild. Scripted projects include “Charmed,” “In the Country We Love,” “Jumpmen,” and “Exhibit A,” all for CBS; “Let’s Stay Together” for ABC; and “Red Team” for Amazon.

Media Hotline:


Source:, Inc.

Kmart now offering flu shots and other back-to-school immunizations for the whole family

Kmart now offering flu shots and other back-to-school immunizations for the whole family


Pharmacies nationwide will offer no cost* flu shots

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Knocking back-to-school shopping off the to-do list isn’t the only thing families can do at Kmart this summer — they can also knock out the flu. Kmart is kicking off flu season with pharmacies fulfilling the promise of a one-stop, convenient health destination, offering flu shots and other back-to-school immunizations for the whole family.1

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, which can cause mild to severe illness, or even more serious outcomes.2 The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. By visiting a Kmart Pharmacy, customers can receive $0 [no cost] flu shots with most insurance plans* and with no appointment needed.

“Our message is simple this season – Kmart is offering a convenient, early start to knocking out the flu,” said Jennifer Speares Lehman, registered pharmacist and director for Kmart Pharmacy. “Many forget that back-to-school season means flu season isn’t far behind. As people prepare, we want to remind customers that Kmart can provide flu and other back-to-school immunizations to fulfill your family’s health needs.”

The CDC estimates that less than half of adults were vaccinated last flu season, with childhood rates just below 60 percent.3 Even more concerning is a poll sponsored by CityMD, an urgent care center network, that found 52 percent of adults aged 18-34 didn’t plan to get the flu shot during last year’s season, and 25 percent blamed cost as the main deterrent.4

The physical burden of flu is bad enough; however, the cost of catching flu can be staggering. A 2016 study from the University of North Carolina estimated that American adults sick with flu cost the economy about $5.8 billion annually in medical visits, medication and lost productivity.5 While catching the flu can be costly, Kmart believes knocking it out with a flu shot shouldn’t be, offering $0[no cost] flu shots with most insurance plans*.

Kmart’s commitment to its members doesn’t stop with administering flu shots. In an effort to offer a well-rounded health experience with Kmart’s “Care Beyond the Counter” approach, the pharmacy team helps customers select over the counter healthcare items. This is another reason why Kmart Pharmacy is ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.6

Please visit for more information and additional resources. To find a nearby Kmart Pharmacy location, visit

About Kmart

A subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), Kmart makes shopping fun for everyone. Most recognized for the iconic Bluelight Special and family-friendly in-store events for its customers and Shop Your Way® members, Kmart also boasts ridiculously awesome savings and amazing finds on quality products and exclusive brands including Jaclyn Smith, Adam Levine, Joe Boxer, Route 66 and Smart Sense. In addition to its unique offerings and thrilling deals, Kmart offers a variety of financial services including year-round layaway and leasing options. Kmart Pharmacy also features best-in-class patient care for its members and customers and is ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction. For more information, visit, download the Kmart mobile app or follow the conversation on social with #LifeIsRidiculouslyAwesome.

*No copayment unless required by your plan. Cash Price of the Trivalent flu shot is $27.99.

1 Vaccine administration is dependent on state pharmacy laws and regulations.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2017. “About Flu.”
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2016. “Flu Vaccination Coverage, United States, 2015-16 Influenza Season.”
4 CityMD 2016. “More than Half of Millennials Not Planning to Get Flu Shot.”
5 Ozawa, Sachiko, et al. 2016 “The Economic Burden of US Adult Vaccine Avoidance: $8.95 Billion In 2015.”
6 American Customer Satisfaction Index 2017. “Health and Personal Care Stores.”


Kristin McManus

Bridgette Potratz
Zeno Group for Kmart


Sainsbury’s kicks off Argos Click & Collect service in convenience stores nationwide

Sainsbury’s kicks off Argos Click & Collect service in convenience stores nationwide


London, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Customers will be able to pick up their Argos and Tu orders from over 100 Sainsbury’s Local stores by the end of 2017. One year after the acquisition of Argos, this furthers Sainsbury’s strategy of serving customers whenever and wherever they want to shop. 100th Argos digital store in a Sainsbury’s supermarket opened in Barnstaple, North Devon on 19 August.

Sainsbury’s today (29 August 2017) announced it is launching the popular Argos Click & Collect service in 100 Sainsbury’s Local convenience stores nationwide.  The initiative will enable customers to order Argos products and Tu clothing online and collect their purchases closer to where they live or work.  The launch follows a successful three month trial in six Sainsbury’s Local stores.

Announcing the launch, Sainsbury’s Group CEO, Mike Coupe, said:
“As customer shopping habits change, people increasingly want flexibility, speed and choice. More customers than ever are ordering online and choosing to collect from a store, which makes their lives easier and frees up their valuable time.  Offering the Argos Click & Collect service in Sainsbury’s Local stores makes it even more convenient for our customers to buy our products.”

He added, “Argos’ leading digital capability is an important differentiator for Sainsbury’s and is key to our future strategy. Over half of all Argos sales originate online and around 80 per cent of customers then opt to collect their purchases from one of our stores, that day or the next.”

The launch of the Argos Click & Collect service to 100 Sainsbury’s convenience stores is due to be complete by the end of 2017.

The acquisition of Home Retail Group in September last year enabled Sainsbury’s to accelerate its strategy to be a multi-product, multi-channel retailer, serving customers quickly and conveniently whenever and wherever they want to shop.  Less than one year on from the  acquisition, Sainsbury’s opened its 100th Argos digital store in a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Barnstaple, North Devon and the plan to open 250 Argos digital stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets is on track for March 2019, six months ahead of the original schedule.

Source: Sainsbury’s


Benefit Cosmetics raised $4.7 million during its third Bold is Beautiful campaign

Benefit Cosmetics raised $4.7 million during its third Bold is Beautiful campaign


Paris, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Benefit Cosmetics organized its Bold is Beautiful charity initiative for the third consecutive year in May. During the month, all proceeds from brow wax services at Benefit Brow Bars are donated to charities that help empower women. This year Benefit Cosmetics raised over $4.7 million in 17 countries!

Benefit Cosmetics raised $4.7 million during its third Bold is Beautiful campaign, waxing brows for 445,911 people, double the number the previous year. All proceeds have been donated to the 34 charities that collaborate with Benefit Cosmetics.

Benefit also toured the UK and Ireland with pink pop-up charity shops offering items for sale donated by celebrities, influencers and partner brands. This initiative raised over $38,000 more for charities.

In addition to record fundraising, in Australia Benefit set a world record for the most eyebrow waxes performed in eight hours, averaging 54 brow waxes per hour!


LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton
22, avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris – France
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 13 22 22
Fax: +33 (0)1 44 13 22 23

Source: LVMH


Michaels to hire more than 15,000 seasonal positions for the holiday season

IRVING, Texas, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Michaels Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIK) today (2017-08-29) announced it will hire more than 15,000 seasonal positions across its U.S. and Canadian stores and distribution centers this holiday season. Last year, more than 50% of seasonal positions transitioned to regular roles after the holidays.

“At Michaels, we believe anyone can make something great, including decisions around where they choose to work. As Michaels Team Members, we work hard and have fun as we help customers turn their inspiration and creativity into reality,” said Bryan Venberg, Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Stores. “During the busy holiday season this is even more important, and we’re excited to hire more than 15,000 seasonal Team Members this year to support our customers as they make their holiday projects come to life.”

Seasonal Michaels Team Members receive competitive wages, flexible schedules and a 30% discount in a creative atmosphere that makes working fun. Being on Michaels store team is an experience filled with hard work, creativity and teamwork. Each Team Member helps customers create something amazing – no small task. Seasonal positions are being offered in the 1,366 stores across 49 states in the U.S. and Canada.

Candidates interested in seasonal positions can learn more and apply online at

About The Michaels Companies, Inc.:

A Fortune 500® Company, The Michaels Companies, Inc. is North America’s largest specialty provider of arts, crafts, framing, floral, wall décor, and seasonal merchandise for the Maker and do-it-yourself home decorator.

As of July 29, 2017, the Company owned and operated 1,366 stores in 49 states and Canada under the brands Michaels, Aaron Brothers, and Pat Catan’s. The Michaels Companies, Inc., also owns Artistree, a manufacturer of high quality custom and specialty framing merchandise, and Darice, a premier wholesale distributor in the craft, gift and decor industry. The Michaels Companies, Inc. produces a number of private brands including Recollections®, Studio Decor®, Bead Landing®, Creatology®, Ashland®, Celebrate It®, ArtMinds®, Artist’s Loft®, Craft Smart®, Loops & Threads®, Make Market®, Foamies®, LockerLookz®, Imagin8®, and Sticky Sticks®. Learn more about Michaels at

ICR, Inc.
Jessica Liddell

Julia Young

Source: The Michaels Companies, Inc.

Marks & Spencer in franchise talks with Al-Futtaim for M&S’s retail business in Hong Kong and Macau

London, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) today announced it has opened talks with its long-established franchise partner Al-Futtaim, for the potential purchase and franchising of M&S’s owned retail business in Hong Kong and Macau. A successful conclusion to these discussions would see Al-Futtaim become the new sole franchisee for M&S in Hong Kong and Macau.

Al-Futtaim has worked in partnership with M&S since 1998 when it opened the first M&S store in Dubai. Today, Al-Futtaim operates 43 Marks & Spencer stores across seven markets in the Middle East, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia. Most recently Al-Futtaim has extended the reach of M&S’s popular chilled food to three markets, and will shortly be opening the first standalone M&S Food store in the Middle East.

The talks follow M&S’s strategic review of its International business in November 2016, where M&S proposed to have a greater focus on its established franchise and joint venture partnerships and operate with fewer wholly-owned markets. In Hong Kong, where M&S has traded since 1988, the business is profitable, has strong brand awareness, an established store estate of 27 stores and a loyal customer base.

M&S and Al-Futtaim have now entered into discussions on the potential purchase and franchise which includes commencing a period of due diligence, which is expected to take several months to complete. M&S employees will be kept informed of any developments throughout the process and M&S stores in Hong Kong and Macau will continue to trade as normal.

Paul Friston, Marks & Spencer’s International Director, said: “In November we set out our plans to create a more sustainable, profitable and customer-centric International business for M&S by focussing on our established partnerships. Al-Futtaim is a key partner to M&S in Asia and the Middle East and we are both committed to putting the customer at the heart of everything we do. With significant scale and retail expertise in the region, we are looking forward to discussing the potential extension of our partnership to Hong Kong and Macau as we continue to grow and develop our business together.”

Stephen Rayfield, Senior Managing Director – Fashion & Lifestyle Division at Al-Futtaim said: “As long-term partners of Marks & Spencer, I’m delighted that we are now working together to explore the potential expansion of our partnership to Hong Kong and Macau.

“M&S and Al-Futtaim share values, and an approach that focuses the customer at the heart of our businesses. Al-Futtaim looks forward to building on our solid foundations as we continue to enrich our customers’ lives and aspirations through the provision of quality products and services in Hong Kong and Macau – these are among Marks & Spencer’s most successful and important international markets.”

Notes to Editors

  • Marks & Spencer entered Hong Kong in 1988 and now has 27 stores in Hong Kong and Macau.
  • The potential purchase relates to M&S’s owned retail business in Hong Kong and Macau only. M&S’s Hong Kong sourcing based operation will remain wholly-owned.

About Marks & Spencer

  • Established in 1884, Marks & Spencer is one of the UK’s leading retailers.
  • Marks & Spencer is committed to making every moment special for its customers, through its high quality, own-brand food, clothing and home products that it offers in over 1,400 Marks & Spencer stores worldwide and online.
  • Internationally, Marks & Spencer trades in 50 markets, with over 400 stores and an online presence in 25 markets.
  • For more information please visit:

About Al-Futtaim

  • Al-Futtaim has worked in partnership with Marks & Spencer since 1998 and operates 27 M&S stores in the Middle East region and 16 in South East Asia.
  • Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim is one of the most progressive regional business houses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Al-Futtaim operates through more than 200 companies across four operational divisions: automotive, financial services, real estate and retail, and employs in excess of 42,000 people across 29 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
  • Al-Futtaim has also acquired a strategic interest in RSH Limited which operates in the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Middle East.
  • Since 2008, Al-Futtaim has also owned Robinson Group, Singapore’s signature department store chain and specialty stores.
  • For more information please visit: 

For further information, please contact:

M&S Corporate Press Office
+44208 718 1919

Source: Marks & Spencer

H&M group and WWF announce new initiative to help Turkey tackle its water challenges

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — During a high-level session at World Water Week in Stockholm, H&M group and WWF today (29 AUG, 2017) announced a new initiative to help Turkey tackle its water challenges, particularly pollution, and ensure sustainable, clean water supplies for businesses, people and nature.

Building on the success of previous partnerships in China and Bangladesh, the project will focus on improving water management methods and policies in the Büyük Menderes river basin, which is home to large-scale agriculture and industry, including textile operations, as well as rich biodiversity.

Like many other river basins, Büyük Menderes suffers from declining water quality and could face increased water stress in future due to climate change and development.

“Turkey’s textile industry is booming but it faces serious risks from pollution, poor water management and weak regulations: collective action is needed now to mitigate these risks,” said Daniel Robertsson, Head of corporate Engagement at WWF Sweden and responsible for the H&M WWF partnership. “WWF and H&M group have already had helped to strengthen water management in China and Bangladesh and we believe our partnership will contribute to similar improvements in Turkey.”

The initiative will involve collaboration with policy makers and other companies in Turkey and will focus on promoting clean production technologies in the textile sector as well as demonstrating the value of water stewardship. H&M will also influence its suppliers to invest in clean production and better water management.

“Being one of Turkey’s largest textile buyer, H&M group has a strong incentive to influence the development of more sustainable water use in the country’s textile industry,” said Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability at H&M group. “In addition to the work we do on a regular basis to improve water management practices in all of our facilities, we will engage our suppliers in cleaner production programmes in the basin and try to inspire others by sharing best practices.”

WWF and H&M group first joined forces in 2011, focusing on water stewardship. As a new report entitled Making Water Our Business makes clear, the partnership has begun to transform H&M group’s internal water management as well as engaging suppliers, policy makers, NGOs, communities and other companies to collectively advocate for more sustainable water use in specific river basins in Asia.

About the partnership:

WWF and H&M entered a partnership in 2011, focusing on water stewardship. H&M and WWF improved H&M’s water management globally and engaged suppliers, policy makers, civil societies and companies to collectively advocate for more sustainable water use in prioritized river basins in Asia. In 2016, the partnership grew to also include climate action and a strategic dialogue. In 2017, water stewardship work expanded to Turkey.


Head of Media Relations
Camilla Emilsson Falk
+46 8 796 39 95

Source: H&M

ALDI supports Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts with $150,000 donation

National Grocery Retailer Also Distributing 1,000 Disaster Relief Packages to Hard-Hit Areas

Batavia, Ill., 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — ALDI announced today (August 29, 2017) it will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross and $50,000 to the city of Rosenberg, Texas, to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. In addition, the company is also working with Feeding America to distribute 1,000 disaster relief boxes filled with canned fruits and vegetables, granola bars, peanut butter and utensils.

Hundreds of ALDI employees packed the boxes during a service day at the company’s headquarters in Batavia, Ill., to support individuals and families displaced from their homes due to natural disasters. ThemJune event was part of the company’s long-standing partnership with Feeding America to prepare essentials that could be quickly deployed when needed. Each box contains more than 35 ALDI products. ALDI is further assisting by arranging transportation of these supplies to the Southeast Texas Food Bank in Beaumont, Texas.

“It’s important to help build strong communities in the places we operate and to support our neighbors in times of need,” said Karla Waddleton, vice president of the ALDI Rosenberg division which includes Houston and surrounding areas. “We’re committed to helping families, employees and friends recover and rebuild.”

For additional information, including when ALDI stores impacted by the storm will reopen, visit:

About ALDI Inc.
A leader in the grocery retailing industry since 1976, ALDI operates nearly 1,700 U.S. stores in 35 states. More than 40 million customers each month benefit 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 are designed to 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 a Market Force Information ® survey of U.S. consumers. For more information about ALDI, visit

Nisa Kiang

Melisa Yunlu

Source: ALDI Inc.

BRC: Overall Shop Price deflation was 0.3 per cent in August

London, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ —


Period Covered: 07 – 11 August 2017

  • Overall Shop Price deflation was 0.3 per cent in August, a slight deceleration from the 0.4 per cent fall in July. Except for June of this year, this is the shallowest deflation rate since November 2013.
  • The deflation rate for prices of Non-Food products was 1.3 per cent, the slowest rate of deflation since April 2013. Electronics posted the slowest rate of deflation on record (the SPI started in 2006).
  • Food prices increased by 1.3 per cent in August on the same month last year, a slight increase on July, when Food price inflation stood at 1.2 per cent.
  • This is the second month we have seen an easing in the inflation rate of Fresh Food. It slowed to 0.8 per cent in August from 1.0 per cent in July.
  • In contrast, the inflation rate of Ambient Food prices accelerated to 1.9 per cent in August from 1.6 per cent in July. This is the highest inflation rate for Ambient Food since December 2013.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium:

“Non-Food deflation reached its lowest rate in more than four years in August as overall Shop Prices edged closer to inflation.

“The reality is that with protection from hedging policies coming to an end, Non-Food retailers are running out of options for protecting shoppers from the significant increases in the price of imported goods since the EU referendum in June last year. We expect Non-Food prices to continue trending towards year on year inflation.

“Food inflation also moved upward, driven by an acceleration of Ambient Food inflation, although the slowdown in Fresh Food inflation for a second month kept a lid on overall increases in the price of the weekly grocery shop. The seasonal availability of fruit and vegetables from UK suppliers is currently shielding shoppers from the impact of higher import prices. However, as Winter approaches and our dependence shifts to imported goods, that will change.

“While the dynamics of individual elements of the index play out in different ways from month to month, the fact is that the overall pressures on prices are still weighted upwards. That will put an increasing strain on already stretched family budgets. Therefore, it is imperative that the Government puts the UK’s households at the top of its agenda as it enters into negotiations on our future trading relationship with the EU. It should do all it can to avoid a situation where further tariffs and administrative costs lead to price increases on top of those already being faced by consumers.”

Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, Nielsen:

” Food inflation continues to be kept in check by lower increases in fresh and seasonal  foods and as fresh is typically over 40% of the shopper spend in supermarkets, this is helping to offset the rising cost of living in household bills. Whilst consumer sentiment is on the turn and shoppers are becoming cautious about spending on big ticket items, prices are still very competitive on the high street and spend on food and drink has been strong over the summer, albeit disrupted by the changeable weather in August ”

BRC Press Office
TELEPHONE: + 44 (0) 20 7854 8924
OUT OF HOURS: +44 (0) 7557 747 269

Source: BRC

Apple and Accenture to transform how businesses engage with customers through innovative solutions for iOS

Accenture to Create Dedicated iOS Practice Within Select Accenture Digital Studios; Apple to Co-Locate Experts with These Teams

Cupertino, California and New York, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Apple and Accenture are partnering to help businesses transform how their people engage with customers through innovative business solutions for iOS. The partnership will take full advantage of the power, simplicity and security of iOS, the leading enterprise mobility platform, and Accenture’s capabilities as a leader in industry and digital transformation to help companies unlock new revenue streams, increase productivity, improve customer experience and reduce costs.

Accenture will create a dedicated iOS practice within Accenture Digital Studios in select locations around the world. Experts from Apple will be co-located with this team. Working together, the two companies will launch a new set of tools and services that help enterprise clients transform how they engage with customers using iPhone and iPad. The experts will include visual and experience designers, programmers, data architects and scientists, and hardware and software designers.

“Starting 10 years ago with iPhone, and then with iPad, Apple has been transforming how work gets done, yet we believe that businesses have only just begun to scratch the surface of what they can do with our products,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Both Apple and Accenture are leaders in building incredible user experiences and together we can continue to truly modernize how businesses work through amazing solutions that take advantage of the incredible capabilities of Apple’s technologies.”

Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO, said, “Based on our experience in developing mobile apps, we believe that iOS is the superior mobile platform for businesses and are excited to be partnering with Apple. By combining Accenture’s vast digital capabilities and industry expertise with Apple’s market leadership in creating products that delight customers, we are in a perfect position to help our clients transform the way they work.”

The new iOS tools and services will take full advantage of the latest Apple technologies and tap into Accenture’s leading digital and analytics capabilities.

  • New ecosystem services to help clients address the full range of iOS integration requirements to connect to back-end systems, leveraging Accenture’s systems integration expertise and the unique iOS advantages built by Apple with key partners like SAP and Cisco.
  • Internet-of-Things (IoT) services featuring new tools, templates and predesigned code to help clients take greater advantage of the data from IoT platforms in their iOS apps, putting more power into the hands of workers.
  • Migration services to help clients to quickly and easily transfer their existing legacy applications and data to modern iOS apps.

For more information regarding the Apple and Accenture partnership, please visit or

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 411,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at

Press Contacts:
Ryan James
(408) 862-5585

Peter Y. Soh
(703) 947-2571

Apple Media Helpline:
(408) 974-2042

Source: Apple Inc.

Meijer named as one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion

Meijer named as one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion


Retailer achieves high score of 90 percent, earns first time placement on the 2017 Disability Equality Index®

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Meijer is pleased to announce that it has been recognized by the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) and American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) as one of the Disability Equality Index (DEI®) Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion, receiving a high score of 90 percent. This is the first award of its kind for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer.

“This is a significant achievement for our company,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. “We have worked hard to diversify our workforce and create a culture where everyone is part of one team. We believe this approach helps all of us better serve our customers and contributes to dynamic growth of Meijer.”

The Meijer Diversity & Inclusion team was on hand recently to receive the award during the US Business Leadership Network’s (USBLN) annual conference in Orlando, Fla.

The companies participating in the 2017 DEI® represent 21 different sectors of the American economy, and have a total U.S. workforce of approximately 7.2 million workers, or approximately 5 percent of all American workers.

The recognition of being a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” is reserved for those companies that have scored 80 or above on the DEI®. The full company list can be accessed here:

The DEI® is a joint initiative of the AAPD and the USBLN®. Developed by the DEI® Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates, the DEI® is a national, transparent benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive a score on a scale of zero to 100, on their disability inclusion policies and practices.

About Meijer:

Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 235 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the “one-stop shopping” concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, garden centers and electronics offerings. For more information on Meijer, please visit Follow Meijer on Twitter and or become a fan at

Jennifer Rook

Source: Meijer


CBRE: Asian outbound investment into global real estate continues; posting significant YoY gains in H1 2017

  • Asian Investors Continue to Favor Big Ticket Deals and Diverse Geographic Mix When Deploying Capital into Global Real Estate
  • London, New York, Hong Kong the Leading Global Destinations for Asian Investors

Los Angeles, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Global real estate continues to serve as an attractive asset class for investors, with Asian outbound investment into the sector posting significant year-on-year gains in the first half of 2017, according to the latest research from CBRE.

Approximately US$45.2 billion of Asian outbound capital was directly invested into global property in the first half of 2017, representing a 98.4% rise year-on-year against US$22.8 billion allocated in the first half of 2016.

Strength in Asian outbound investment was led largely by the preference of investors for big ticket deals in the global real estate sector. In the first half of 2017, 74% of committed investments were deployed into transitions valued at US$250 million and over, versus 56% in the corresponding period in 2016.

Geography-wise, Asian investors remain bullish on Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the Americas, which drew US$21.9 billion—driven largely by a single US$13.2 billion from the logistics portfolio purchase—and US$11.3 billion in capital, respectively. The top five global destinations for Asian investment in H1 2017 were London (10%), New York (8%), Hong Kong (5%), Shanghai (4%) and Singapore (4%).

Intra-Asia investments continue to grow, finishing the first half at US$10.4 billion and representing a 23% growth in total capital. Pacific markets were less attractive to Asian Investors, dropping 25% year-on-year to US$1.6 billion.

“The appetite of Asian investors for high quality cross-border real estate assets remains solid and sustainable for the foreseeable future. The type of transactions and the geographic and sectoral diversity is where we see the most significant change in 2017, said Tom Moffat, Executive Director, Capital Markets, CBRE Asia.

In the first half of 2017, institutional investors from Asia continued to act as more influential players in the international real estate sector, supported by several marquee transactions in EMEA and the Americas. CBRE estimates that approximately 64% of all EMEA capital deployments and 35% of Americas capital deployments originating from Asia were committed by institutional investors.

Sectoral diversity also continues to be a major theme within asset strategies, with Asian outbound investors rebalancing real estate portfolios internationally. Office and logistics represent the most attractive commercial real estate sectors for Asian investors, accounting for 44% and 34% of all committed capital throughout H1 2017, respectively. Residential (7%), hotels (7%), retail (6%) and alternative sectors like aged-care housing (2%) remained niche investments globally.

Outbound investment from China remains the region’s largest despite heightened regulation, with a new group of investors more active over the first half. Chinese sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) emerged as the largest single outbound investor class in the first half of 2017, driving total capital deployment to US$25.6 billion versus US$10.1 billion year-on-year. China-based property companies and conglomerates have also been considerable buyers of offshore real estate assets in the first six months of 2017.

A new round of capital controls was issued by the State Council and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on August 18, with a focus on offshore real estate investments. According to CBRE, this regulatory move may not affect the medium to longer term appetite for outbound investment, but potentially re-shape investment strategies going forward.

“Our data shows that China remained the largest source of cross-border commercial real estate investment capital (both new and capital already circulating offshore) from Asia in H1 2017. New regulations should help to ensure that future outbound investment is more financially sound and strategically focused, but the impact of Chinese capital on key global real estate markets should continue for some time,” said Robert Fong, Director of Research, CBRE Asia Pacific.

Additional key findings include:

– Non-China investors more active: Outbound investors from Singapore (US$6.8 billion), Hong Kong (US$6.6 billion) and South Korea (US$2.9 billion) remain active outbound investors and continue to deploy capital as Chinese investors rebalance portfolios.

– Number of portfolio deals rising: Asian outbound investors are now more likely to deploy capital via portfolio transactions. In the first half of 2017, 26 portfolio deals were committed versus 13 in the first half of 2016.

– Destinations becoming more diverse: Asian outbound investors are now looking beyond gateway cities when deploying capital into real estate. In the first half of 2017, the top five urban destinations comprised of 31% of all total Asian outbound capital compared to 54% in the first half of 2016.

– China outbound diversity: Chinese capital continues to be deployed differently relative to the region. In the first half of 2017, the primary destinations of outbound investment were office (Americas), logistics (EMEA) residential (Japan) and hotels (Australia), representing the pull of diverse and quality real estate assets globally.

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


Robert McGrath

SOURCE: CBRE Group, Inc.

CBL & Associates Properties prices $225 million aggregate principal amount of 5.950% Senior Notes Due 2026

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (NYSE: CBL) announced today (8/29/2017) that its majority-owned operating partnership subsidiary, CBL & Associates Limited Partnership (the “Operating Partnership”), priced $225 million aggregate principal amount of its 5.950% Senior Notes Due 2026 (the “notes”) under its existing shelf registration statement. The notes constitute an additional issuance of the 5.950% Senior Notes due 2026, $400 million aggregate principal amount of which the Operating Partnership issued on December 13, 2016. Upon the consummation of this offering, the aggregate principal amount outstanding of the 5.950% Senior Notes due 2026, including the notes from this offering, will be $625 million. The notes mature on December 15, 2026. Settlement is scheduled for September 1, 2017, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

The Operating Partnership expects to use the net proceeds from the offering of approximately $218.9 million, after deducting the underwriting discount and other offering expenses payable by the Operating Partnership, to reduce amounts outstanding under its unsecured revolving credit facilities and for general business purposes.

Wells Fargo Securities, Jefferies, US Bancorp, Goldman, Sachs & Co. LLC and Stifel are serving as Joint Book-Running Managers for the offering of the notes. BB&T Capital Markets, FTN Financial Securities Corp. and Regions Securities LLC and Ramirez & Co., Inc. are serving as Co-Managers for the notes.

The issuer has filed a registration statement on Form S-3 relating to these securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A preliminary prospectus supplement relating to the offering and an accompanying prospectus have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or other jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction.

The offering of these securities will be made only by means of a prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus. A copy of the prospectus supplement and prospectus relating to the offering, when available, may be obtained by contacting Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, 608 2nd Avenue South, Suite 1000, Minneapolis, MN 55402, Attn: WFS Customer Service, calling toll-free: 1-800-645-3751 or emailing:; Jefferies LLC, 520 Madison Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, New York 10022, attention of High Grade Syndicate Desk by calling toll-free at 1-877-877-0696 or emailing; or U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc., 214 North Tryon Street, 26th Floor, Charlotte, NC 28202, Attention: High Grade Syndicate or by calling toll-free: (877) 558-2607.

About CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.

Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN, CBL is one of the largest and most active owners and developers of malls and shopping centers in the United States. CBL owns or holds interests in 107 properties, including 70 enclosed regional malls, open-air centers and outlet centers. The properties are located in 26 states.

Forward-Looking Statements

Information included herein contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Such statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which cannot be predicted with accuracy and some of which might not even be anticipated. Future events and actual events, financial and otherwise, may differ materially from the events and results discussed in the forward-looking statements. The reader is directed to the Company’s various filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included therein, for a discussion of such risks and uncertainties.

Katie Reinsmidt
Executive Vice President – Chief Investment Officer

Source: CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.

Co-op cuts the cost of women’s sanitary products

MANCHESTER, England, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Co-op has today (29 August 2017) announced it will cut the cost of women’s sanitary products to cover the cost of the so-called ‘Tampon tax.’

A five per cent reduction will come into effect on 30 August 2017 ahead of Government proposals* to remove the VAT.

All 71 own label and branded sanitary products sold by the Co-op will be cut. Even bigger savings are available for the Co-op’s 4.5 million members who get a 5% reward** every time they buy a Co-op own-brand sanitary product.  membership is open to anyone.

Andy Phelps, Director of Trading, Co-op, said:
“As a community retailer we feel it’s important to do right by our customers. That’s why we are covering the cost of the five per cent VAT on sanitary products for women who shop with us.”

Notes to editors:


**Millions of Co-op members receive a 5% reward on own-brand products and services with the Co-op’s membership scheme. As a member, every time Co-op branded products or services are purchased, 5% of what they pay will go into their membership account to be redeemed. In addition, a further 1% goes towards supporting community projects

Media Contact:

Craig Noonan
Head of Retail PR
M: 07702505439
T: 0161 6924284