Rakuten opens registrations for “Rakuten NBA Special” monthly subscription service

Offering nine NBA live games per week for a monthly fee of 972 yen

Tokyo, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rakuten, Inc. announced that from today (OCTOBER 16, 2017) it will begin accepting registrations for “Rakuten NBA Special,” a monthly subscription service offering fans access to selected live NBA games through Rakuten TV, Rakuten’s video-on-demand service. The service is part of the recently announced partnership between Rakuten and the National Basketball Association (NBA) that saw Rakuten become the league’s exclusive distribution partner in Japan for all live NBA games.

Launching on October 18 with the opening games of the 2017-18 season, the Rakuten NBA Special will offer fans the opportunity to enjoy selected live NBA games with Japanese commentary. Fans who subscribe to the service with their Rakuten membership ID on the dedicated Rakuten NBA Special site on Rakuten TV will be able to watch nine games per week (one game per weekday and two games each on Saturdays and Sundays), a total of more than 200 games a year*1, both live and on-demand*2, for 972 yen (tax included) per month*3.

In addition to select regular season games featuring all 30 teams of the NBA, Rakuten NBA Special subscribers will also have access to the NBA All-Star game, selected playoff games, the NBA Conference Finals and The Finals. The service will launch with the opening games of the 2017-18 season between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets (tip-off at 11:00 JST, October 18) and the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics (tip-off at 9:00 JST, October 18).

Through its comprehensive media partnership with the NBA in Japan, Rakuten aims to expand the fan base of the NBA and contribute to the development of basketball in the country.

*1 A minimum of 200 games per season will be made available through Rakuten NBA Special.
*2 Games will be available for on-demand viewing for a period of one month (tentative) after the original live stream concludes.
*3 For Rakuten TV, one month refers to the period from the first day to the last day of the month. In the first month, the period is from the day of registration to the end of the month. From the second month, subscriptions will automatically renew on the first of every month.

Overview of the Rakuten NBA Special service

Overview: A subscription package offering nine NBA games per week (one game per weekday and two games each on Saturdays and Sundays)
Service launch: October 18, 2017 9:00 am
Official website: https://tv.rakuten.co.jp/nba/
Monthly fee: 972 yen (tax included)
Payment: Credit card or smartphone carrier payment (Docomo, AU, SoftBank)
* Users who pay by credit card can use Rakuten Super Points to pay the first month’s fees. Users who pay by smartphone carrier payment cannot use Rakuten Super Points.

Source: Rakuten, Inc.

New-York based biotech startup HistoWiz named the global winner of the Create@Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest

Finalists from 25 regional contests across China and international markets showcased innovations

Shanghai, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — HistoWiz, a New-York based biotech startup that automates histology by building an intelligent tissue platform for cancer researchers, presented its winning business idea at Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Shanghai on Saturday and was named the global winner of the Create@Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest (CACSC). This was a highly competitive event with the winners from all 13 of regional competitions in China and 12 overseas markets across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the United States that had taken place in 2017 coming together for the global final. The solutions offered by the finalists ranged from big data, artificial intelligence, new retail to smart devices.

Following an intensive pitch process, HistoWiz impressed judges with their business concepts and great commercial potential. The judges also noted the importance of technological support to allow HistoWiz to turn these ideas into reality. From inception in 2013, the company now has over 1,000 paying customers from top academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies around the world, and has accumulated the world’s largest online pathology database with access to a growing network of top pathologists.

As the 2017 global champion, HistoWiz will be included in the Alibaba Innovation Center’s global strategic customer support program. The program aims to empower promising startups with the most advanced technology such as cloud computing and big data, as well as comprehensive and in-depth access to Alibaba Group resources. The company will also be invited to join the 2018 Computing Conference in Hangzhou, the flagship event hosted by Alibaba Group and a major worldwide exhibition in the field of cloud computing.

“We are thrilled to win the 2017 Create@Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest global championship. Winning this competition will help us enter the Chinese market and partner with local hospitals to provide automated histology service and pathology expertise to Chinese patients. Our intelligent tissue platform will be hosted on Alibaba Cloud. Alibaba Cloud’s scalable infrastructure will help us process and store hundreds of terabytes of pathology image data which can be used to develop automated cancer diagnostic tools,” said Ke Cheng, Founder and CEO of HistoWiz.

In its third year, the Create@Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest supports startups from around the globe with Alibaba Cloud’s strong ecosystem and innovative suite of cloud computing infrastructure services. Over 2,000 startups participated in regional competitions globally in 2017. The expanded international and regional format consisted of competitions held in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States, showcasing innovation across a wide range of industries and markets.

Yeming Wang, Deputy General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Global said, “My congratulations to HistoWiz for winning this final round, but also to all of our other finalists. The expansion of this contest has meant that we really have been able to attract a glittering array of talent and innovation from all parts of the world. There has been fierce competition throughout due to the high quality of entrants, which it has been a privilege to witness. Alibaba Cloud is excited about what we have seen and look forward to continuing a relationship with many of these companies using different parts of our ecosystem.”

As part of the program, finalists of each regional contest receive free credits for Alibaba Cloud services as well as customized technology solutions designed by Alibaba Cloud architects. These benefits are intended to help them scale their businesses rapidly and smoothly. In addition, the startups will gain better access to overseas markets and benefit from networking with various venture capital investors within Alibaba Group’s ecosystem.

For more information about this year’s Create@Alibaba Cloud program, please visit https://cacsc.aliyun.com/.

About Alibaba Cloud

Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud (www.alibabacloud.com), the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, is among the world’s top 3 IaaS providers according to Gartner and China’s largest provider of public cloud services in 2016 by revenue, according to IDC. Alibaba Cloud provides a comprehensive suite of cloud computing services to businesses worldwide, including merchants doing business on Alibaba Group marketplaces, startups, corporations and government organizations. Alibaba Cloud is the Official Cloud Services Partner of the International Olympic Committee.

Media Contacts:
Yinan Qian
Alibaba Group
+86 186 0004 0770
yinan.qyn@alibaba-inc.com

Sindy Shi
Alibaba Group
+86 150 2192 5635
ruoyun.sry@alibaba-inc.com

Source: Alibaba Group

CVS Health and Epic announce initiative to help lower drug costs for patients

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) and Epic today (October 16, 2017) announced a strategic initiative to help lower drug costs for patients and improve outcomes by providing prescribers with expanded visibility to lower cost alternatives through enhanced analytics and data sharing. CVS Health will use Epic’s Healthy Planet population health and analytics platform to generate insights surrounding dispensing patterns and behaviors around medication adherence.

The collaboration will bolster prescription decision-making for patients and their care teams, including physicians, pharmacists and health insurers. Real-time benefit information and facilitated, point-of-prescribing electronic prior authorization will help improve and simplify patient access to necessary medications and ensure their prescribers are aware of prescription insurance formulary status and less expensive alternatives as appropriate.

“This collaboration with Epic will enable us to continue to drive leading edge technology innovation beyond the pharmacy to the full health care system,” said Stephen Gold, Chief Information Officer, CVS Health. “Together, our two companies will also examine opportunities to streamline and improve data sharing and linkages across the health care system to enhance communication and connectivity among patients, their physicians, the pharmacy and health insurers.”

“At CVS Health we recognize that EHRs offer health care providers easier and more comprehensive access to their patients’ information than ever before,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “This new relationship will help us further expand how we work with Epic and providers on their EHR system to develop meaningful tools and programs that will ultimately help us take even better care of the patients we support.”

CVS Health currently works with Epic, the most widely used EHR, to support the company’s MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and CVS Specialty’s care management programs.

Through this new strategic relationship CVS Health and Epic will explore a number of new areas including:

  • Prescription Drug Savings: Collaboration around real-time benefit information and facilitated, point-of-prescribing electronic prior authorization to help inform patients and prescribers in real time about covered drugs that are clinically effective and available at the lowest out-of-pocket cost for the patient;
  • Improved Prescribing Decisions: Development of a comprehensive clinical database to enhance medication counseling and help optimize medication selection for CVS Health patients;
  • Shared Care Plan for Pharmacists: Improve pharmacist access to clinical information and allow contribution to the care plan to improve continuity of care;
  • Digital Front Store Capabilities: Creation of a digital front store to enable inclusion of purchases of over-the-counter medications and durable medical equipment into the patient’s electronic health record.

“CVS Health is one of the leaders in using data to dissolve domain silos, while offering new sources of intelligence and expertise that can better inform care delivery, reduce administrative overhead, and lower costs for patients,” said Alan Hutchison, Epic Vice President of Population Health.

“Working in collaboration with CVS Health allows for enhanced and efficient data integration and decision support for clinicians while relieving administrative burden,” said Gregory Rosencrance, M.D., chairman of Cleveland Clinic Medicine Institute. “These promising advances put the patient at the center of care while improving the cost and quality of care they receive.” CVS Health is a member of Cleveland Clinic’s clinically integrated network and Quality Alliance.

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

Contact:

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

Joe Goode
(401) 770-9820
joseph.goode@cvshealth.com

SOURCE: CVS Health

MANGO launches second capsule collection of sustainable fashion as part of the Take Action programme

  • MANGO’s goal is that 50% of the cotton used in its collections will be of sustainable origin by 2022.
  • MANGO launches new sustainable fibres in the Committed collection as part of the Take Action programme.

Barcelona, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — MANGO is continuing its commitment to sustainability and is strengthening its Take Action programme, the project which includes all the initiatives aimed at creating a business model based on sustainability criteria and more environmentally-friendly processes.

Daniel López, MANGO Vice-Chairman, says that “The future of fashion starts here.The views of consumers and sustainability awareness have evolved exponentially in recent years, in the same way that fashion has. MANGO is committed to making its business model more sustainable.”

Following the success of the first collection launched last year, the firm is launching it second capsule collection of sustainable fashion, MANGO Committed.An ecological offering designed for women and men and produced using sustainable materials.In the latest edition, as well as organic and recycled cotton, the range of sustainable fibres has been extended to include recycled wool, modal and lyocell.

Highlighted among designs with a clear vintage military inspiration are feminine outfits with an oversized masculine fit.Garments include details such as plastron pockets and aged copper rivets.The predominant tones are greens combined with tile, grey and ochre. Among the many models in the woman’s collection, key garments include the tile power suit and the maxi puffer jacket.

The selection of designs for the men’s line also feature utility details and opt for neutral tones such as navy, army green, ecru and tobacco, with hints of tile.The key garments in the line are the corduroy suit, the workwear style dungarees and the tobacco overcoat.

Josh Olins shot the campaign images in Iceland during October, in striking landscapes such as the Haukadalur geyser or the Gullfoss waterfall, where nature can be seen in its purest form.The campaign stars the models Liya Kebede and Clement Chabernaud, with styling by Aleksandra Woroniecka .

MANGO TAKE ACTION

The launch of the MANGO Committed fashion collection represents a step forward within the series of initiatives through which the firm is maintaining its commitment to sustainability in several areas.MANGO is aware of the importance of carrying out its day-to-day activities adopting environmentally-friendly and sustainable development criteria in all areas of its business.This is why, for some years now, it has worked on various initiatives which are now included in the Take Action project.

The goal of the company is to increase the percentage of sustainable fibres used in its collections, with a commitment for 50% of MANGO cotton to be of sustainable origin by 2022.

Also, in design terms, the new Committed collection features 45% more models compared to last season.This capsule collection is produced in nearby countries, Spain, Morocco and Turkey, making it possible to reduce emissions further.

In late 2015, Second Chances went into operation, a project for collecting used clothing and footwear in containers located in selected stores (available in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and Portugal).So far, MANGO has collected 3 tonnes of garments, and the forecast is to reach 10 tonnes by the end of 2018.

Contact:

Tel: +34 938 602 222
email: press@mango.com

Source: Mango

Office Depot recognizes companies for their Commitment to Greener Purchasing

Boca Raton, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Office Depot, Inc. (NASDAQ:ODP), a leading provider of office supplies, business products and services delivered through an omnichannel platform, today (October 16, 2017) announced that it is recognizing forward-thinking companies from across the country for their leadership in greener purchasing.

“One of the unique ways Office Depot promotes sustainability is by celebrating our customers who buy greener,” said Steve Calkins, president, business solutions division for Office Depot. “By recognizing these organizations for achieving their sustainability goals, they’ll continue to make greener purchasing decisions in the future and we believe that other organizations will follow.”

Leadership in Greener Purchasing award winners include private sector organizations American Electric Power (Columbus, OH), Best Buy Co., Inc. (Richfield, MN), DaVita (Denver, CO), Oracle (Redwood City, CA), Rush Enterprises, Inc. (New Braunfels, TX), Marsh & McLennan Companies (New York City), and Ogletree Deakins; and public sector customers City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, Los Angeles City College, University of California, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania and Washington State Department of Licensing.

In addition, University of Pennsylvania (Penn) received the Office Depot Special Recognition for Greener Spend Analysis Award. This award recognizes the exemplary efforts specific to analyzing green spend data. Office Depot and University of Pennsylvania also worked together on the ‘Power Down Challenge’ energy savings initiative, which allowed Office Depot to identify top technology items that could both improve energy efficiency and lower the environmental footprint for the campus community.

“Penn Purchasing Services works with its suppliers and the Penn community to actively identify and promote products and processes that make a positive sustainability impact,” said Mark Mills, Penn’s director of purchasing. “We are pleased to work with a company such as Office Depot, which gives us access to the kinds of detailed data we need to make intelligent and practical decisions related to sustainability. Office Depot has been instrumental in helping Penn green its office supplies spend, and we look forward to continued collaboration moving forward.”

Award winners were selected from among Office Depot’s largest customers based on their expenditure on products with eco-attributes such as recycled content, energy-efficiency, non-toxicity, etc., and/or ecolabels such as FSC®, EPEAT, GREENGUARD Certification, GreenSeal® and EcoLogo. Customer purchases with the highest level of meaningful eco-attributes and ecolabels were given extra weight in the selection process.

Office Depot uses a wide range of approaches to increase customer uptake of greener products, including The Green Book® digital catalog to simplify the green shopping experience for contract customers, a GreenerOffice™ web store with over 14,000 products with environmental attributes, and regular promotions on greener products. Last year, sales of greener products accounted for 30 percent of the company’s total product assortment. Office Depot also has one of the industry’s leading sets of Green Solutions and reporting tools, many of which were developed in collaboration with specific customers.

For more information about Office Depot’s sustainability initiatives, please see Office Depot’s Corporate Sustainability Report.

About Office Depot, Inc.

Office Depot, Inc. is a leading provider of office supplies, business products and services delivered through an omnichannel platform.

The company had 2016 annual sales of approximately $11 billion, employed approximately 38,000 associates, and served consumers and businesses in North America and abroad with approximately 1,400 retail stores, award-winning e-commerce sites and a dedicated business-to-business sales organization – with a global network of wholly owned operations, franchisees, licensees and alliance partners. The company operates under several banner brands including Office Depot, OfficeMax and Grand & Toy. The company’s portfolio of exclusive product brands include TUL, Foray, Brenton Studio, Ativa, WorkPro, Realspace and Highmark.

Office Depot, Inc.’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “ODP.”

Office Depot is a trademark of The Office Club, Inc. OfficeMax is a trademark of OMX, Inc. ©2017 Office Depot, Inc. All rights reserved. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

CONTACT:

Rebecca Rakitin
Office Depot, Inc.
561-438-1450
Rebecca.Rakitin@officedepot.com

Source: Office Depot, Inc.

Tops Friendly Markets to hold its annual March Out Hunger campaign

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y., 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, western Vermont, and north central Massachusetts, is pleased to announce its annual March Out Hunger campaign. Proceeds from this annual event, now in its 16th year, will benefit Catholic Charities Samaritan Center Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels of Chemung County. Over the past year, these two agencies have seen a significant increase in demand by residents who are struggling to put food on their tables. Last year March Out Hunger Collected 9,726 items and this year’s goal is 10,000!

The March Out Hunger walk will kick off at noon on Tuesday, October 24 from the Tops Friendly Markets located at 299 South Main Street in Elmira. At this time TOPS encourages all local businesses to bring their donations which we will then walk over to the Samaritan Center which is two blocks from the starting point. If you are unable to participate in the walk, TOPS encourages businesses and community groups alike to get involved by hosting food drives and dropping their donations off at TOPS. Non-perishable food items such as canned proteins (chicken, tuna, peanut butter, canned beans, etc.), single-serve, easy-to-prepare items for Meals on Wheels’ Blizzard Bags (stews, mac & cheese, pasta, meat dishes, chili, etc.), canned food items, fruit juice boxes, pudding cups, and boxed foods (cereals, mac & cheese, rice & beans, etc.) are accepted seven days a week at any Chemung County TOPS location from 7:00 am – 10:30 pm.

“TOPS Markets is dedicated to helping the local communities in the markets we serve, and our mission is centered on eradicating hunger and improving the quality of life for children. With the help and compassion of the community, we know we can make a significant impact by supporting the March Out Hunger campaign. Together we truly can make a difference,” said Kathy Romanowski, public and media relations specialist for TOPS.

ABOUT TOPS FRIENDLY MARKETS:

Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 171 full-service supermarkets with five additional by franchisees under the Tops banner. Tops employs over 15,000 associates and is a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, western Vermont, and north central Massachusetts. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company’s website at www.topsmarkets.com.

Contact:
Kathy Romanowski
716-635-5577

Source: TOPS FRIENDLY MARKETS

Colruyt partners with the Belgian NGO to support cooperative of small coffee growers in North Kivu

Colruyt partners with the Belgian NGO to support cooperative of small coffee growers in North Kivu

 

Halle, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — A container of green coffee arrived today (13 October 2017) at Colruyt Group’s roasting centre in Ghislenghien. It comes from North Kivu, a region plagued by many difficulties, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Colruyt Group has joined forces with the Belgian Vredeseilanden (Rikolto) NGO to support Kawa Kabuya, a cooperative of 2,200 small coffee growers. How? By guaranteeing a significant purchase volume for 3 years, 60% of which is paid for by pre-financing the harvest. Thanks to this financial lifeline, the cooperative can maintain its exports and invest in its activities. Colruyt Group and Vredeseilanden (Rikolto) prove once again that a long-term trade agreement is a real added-value for small Third World producers.​

A long-term supply agreement
This delivery of green beans from Kivu is the first to be made under the terms of the new supply agreement signed in March 2017 between Colruyt Group and Kawa Kabuya. The agreement covers a period of at least three years. It guarantees the cooperative an outlet for 28.5 tonnes of green coffee beans per year, about 20% of its production, at a price higher than the market rate (+$0.50 per pound). Beyond the commercial agreement, Colruyt Group wants to support the cooperative in its development efforts. Made possible notably thanks to the pre-financing of the harvest.

Pre-financing the harvest
Philippe Toussaint, project manager sustainable purchases Colruyt Group explains, “Like many Third World cooperatives, Kawa Kabuya pays its small producers when they deliver their crops, in other words several months before the coffee is sold. As it doesn’t have liquid reserves, it has to use bridging loans to finance this operation. However, in this troubled region, credit is very expensive. We remove the financial obstacle to progress by settling 60% of the amount of our purchase before the harvest.”

Sector project
The origin of this agreement goes back to 2016 when Vredeseilanden (Rikolto) put Colruyt Group in touch with Kawa Kabuya. After a test at the end of 2016, Colruyt Group decided in March 2017 to integrate the cooperative’s Arabica into its range. Already on the shelves in Colruyt Best Prices and OKay, this coffee will also be available in Spar from January 2018. This involves giving this quality product the very best commercial opportunities around which Colruyt Group can develop one of its sector projects. The objective is to get the cooperative’s 2,200 small growers into a virtuous circle of economic strengthening.

The best coffee in the Congo
The financial boost provided by pre-financing the harvest aims to give the cooperative the means to invest. For example, by applying for certifications which will enable it to position its coffee better on the international market. It must be said that Kawa Kabuya has strong reasons for targeting this outlet: it produces the best coffee in the Congo. It won the African Fine Coffees Association’s Taste of Harvest competition in 2105, 2016 and 2017. Recognition of the efforts undertaken by the cooperative’s small growers who are working resolutely to revive quality coffee growing in the Kivu highlands.

Technical support
This revival has been supported by Vredeseilanden (Rikolto) since 2011. The NGO is conducting an extensive capacity-building programme in Kivu. Its objective is to add value to this region in order to develop the culture of more profitable coffee export,  and thus help to eradicate poverty in this region which has been plagued by many problems. It acts to support and train coffee growers with a view to high quality production, to organise them into cooperatives and connect them to international buyers.

Objective: quality
Kawa Kabuya was created within this context in 2014 in Butembo. Its coffee growers are scattered across the western heights of Lake Edward and gathered around 45 micro-washing stations (MWS). The MWS is at the heart of the of the system set up by Vredeseilanden (Rikolto). Each one ensures the initial treatment of the harvest. So these operations, essential to the quality of the beans, are carried out centrally in each sector by a well-trained workforce with the proper equipment. This guarantees optimum quality.

Collibri Foundation
Colruyt Group will not just stay there in Kivu. Wherever it is involved in a sector, it launches complementary training projects through its educational fund, the Collibri Foundation, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation. The foundation is currently in contact with potential partners to set up training for young people in the region.

CONTACT:
Hanne Poppe
press@colruytgroup.com
+32 (0)2 363 55 45
+32 (0)473 92 45 10

SOURCE: Colruyt Group

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Citycon to release its Q3 financial results on Thursday, 19 October

Helsinki, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Citycon will publish its Interim Report for 1 January – 30 September 2017 on Thursday, 19 October approximately at 9 am Helsinki time (Helsinki time is EET, which is CET +1). The report will be available on Citycon’s website immediately after publication.

Citycon’s investor, analyst and press conference call and live audiocasting will begin one hour later at 10 am Helsinki time. The audiocast can be participated by calling in and followed live on the following website: https://citycon.videosync.fi/q3_2017

Conference call numbers are:
Participants from Europe +44 203 194 0552
Participants from the US +1 855 716 1597

The audiocast will be recorded and it will be available afterwards on Citycon’s website.

Citycon Oyj (Nasdaq Helsinki: CTY1S) is a leading owner, developer and manager of urban grocery-anchored shopping centres in the Nordic and Baltic regions, managing assets that total EUR 5 billion and with market capitalisation of EUR 2 billion. For more information about Citycon, please visit www.citycon.com

For further information, please contact:
Eero Sihvonen
Executive Vice President and CFO
Tel. +358 50 557 9137
eero.sihvonen@citycon.com

Source: CITYCON OYJ

Topaz awards €10,000 to Bray Hockey Club as part of its Cash for Clubs initiative

DUBLIN, IRELAND, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ —

Bray Hockey Club Scoops top prize of €10,000 

This year, over 3,000 clubs registered for the Topaz’ Cash for Clubs initiative. Since its launch in 2015, Cash for Clubs has €400,000 in prizes to clubs across the island of Ireland.

Bray Hockey Club, Co. Wicklow, is the grand prize winner of Cash for Clubs 2017. After signing up to the community initiative, members and friends of the Wicklow club simply fuelled up at their local Topaz in Brennanstown, Co. Wicklow, and donated their collected tokens to their club. Bray Hockey Club was then randomly drawn as this year’s lucky grand prize winner, scooping the top prize of €10,000.

Being at the heart of local communities across the country, Topaz recognises the vital role that clubs of all shapes and sizes play in providing opportunities for people of every age to learn new skills, socialise and be active. Given the challenges clubs across Ireland face when it comes to vital fundraising, Topaz introduced the ‘Cash for Clubs’ scheme in 2015 to give clubs the opportunity to generate much-needed funds by harnessing the support of their members and the local community.

Sarah O’Connor, Bray Hockey Club Treasurer said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be the winners of this year’s Cash for Clubs grand prize! €10,000 will go such a long way and will enable us to invest in new equipment and the development of our facilities. We are incredibly grateful and excited for what we can achieve, so a massive thanks to Topaz!”

MJ Tierney, Head of Marketing at Topaz, added: “We are delighted to be awarding the €10,000 grand prize to such a deserving club. Topaz strives to be an intrinsic part of communities across Ireland, providing a daily service across the 32 counties, and the Cash for Clubs initiative enables us to reward local clubs of all shapes and sizes. We would like to congratulate all our winners this year, and Bray Hockey Club especially, who have been lucky enough to win the €10,000 grand prize.

“Cash for Clubs offers an all-inclusive platform, which ensures everyone is a winner and rewards the tireless work of clubs across the country that demonstrate commitment to their communities, day in and day out. We are excited to see the positive impact that the grand prize will make to Bray Hockey Club over the coming months.”

Details on all of the winners from this year’s Cash for Clubs initiative across Ireland are available online.  To see all the prize winner details for 2017, visit www.playorpark.ie/cash-for-clubs and www.facebook.com/TopazEnergy

Source: Topaz

Nordstrom opens its new, relocated store at Westfield UTC

SEATTLE, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Leading fashion retailer Nordstrom, Inc. opened the doors to its new, relocated store at Westfield UTC today (Oct. 12, 2017). The two level, 145,000 square-foot store features the company’s latest interior and exterior design concepts, a full-service restaurant and bar, designer boutiques and an expanded beauty experience. The store is a relocation from its previous home at the other end of the mall, which opened in 1984.

“Our La Jolla customers have been very supportive of our business over the past 33 years,” said Kathy Keegan, store manager at Nordstrom La Jolla at UTC. “We love serving this community and relocating and opening a new store allows us to better serve customers on their terms through an updated shopping experience.”

What’s New
The store showcases the company’s newest design concepts, which incorporates natural light with a single-surface floor throughout to help create a sense of discovery for customers to experience new brands. New additions include eight designer boutiques housing apparel and handbags from Chloe, Gucci, Saint Laurent and Valentino; SPACE, a boutique curated by Vice President of Creative Projects Olivia Kim with advanced and emerging designers like Comme des Garçons, Simone Rocha, Molly Goddard, Jacquemus and Y/Project; Bazille, a full-service restaurant and bar serving bistro-cuisine; an expanded beauty experience with Beauty Concierge for questions and booking appointments, and new brands including Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford, Hourglass, Le Labo, Byredo, Atelier Cologne and more; as well as services like Buy Online & Pick-Up In-Store, Curbside Pickup, Reserve & Try In-Store, Style Boards, and Same-Day Delivery which bridge the convenience of online shopping with the personal experience of the store.

Brands & Services
Nordstrom La Jolla at UTC offers customers a comprehensive offering of popular, luxury and designer brand names for men, women and children. Customers can shop designer fashion from Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Isabel Marant, and shoes by Gucci and Valentino. The store also offers apparel from A.L.C., Alice + Olivia, Rag & Bone, Self-Portrait, Veronica Beard, Frame Denim, Rebecca Taylor, as well as limited-distribution brands TOPSHOP, Madewell, and J. Crew. For men, the store offers TOPMAN, Wings & Horns, Norse Projects, John Varvatos, A.P.C. and more.

To enhance the in-store experience, Nordstrom provides special services to make shopping convenient, easy and fun for customers, including Personal Stylists, Beauty Stylists, alterations and tailoring, certified shoe and bra fitters, prosthesis services, shoeshine, coffee bar and more.

Opening Events
Opening day festivities kicked off with a Beauty Bash at 8 a.m. just outside the store’s mall entrance. Customers learned the latest tips and tricks for fall from the top names in beauty and fragrance. In what has become Nordstrom opening tradition, more than 550 employees welcomed and applauded the first customers through the doors at 10 a.m.

Promises2Kids and Voices for Children were the beneficiaries of a sold-out opening gala earlier in the week. Nordstrom hosted and underwrote the gala for more than 1,400 guests that raised $140,000 for the nonprofits work on behalf of local foster youth.

Nordstrom, Inc. is a leading fashion retailer based in the U.S. Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, today Nordstrom operates 360 stores in 40 states, including 122 full-line stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico; 227 Nordstrom Rack stores; two Jeffrey boutiques; and two clearance stores. Additionally, customers are served online through Nordstrom.comNordstromrack.com and HauteLook. The company also owns Trunk Club, a personalized clothing service serving customers online at TrunkClub.com and its seven clubhouses. Nordstrom, Inc.’s common stock is publicly traded on the NYSEunder the symbol JWN.

CONTACT:           
John Bailey
Nordstrom, Inc.
(206) 303-3018

SOURCE: Nordstrom, Inc.

Britain’s shoppers can now save money on fuel as well as food when they shop at Tesco

Britain’s shoppers can now save money on fuel as well as food when they shop at Tesco

 

DUBLIN, IRELAND, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ —

Bray Hockey Club Scoops top prize of €10,000 
This year, over 3,000 clubs registered for the Topaz’ Cash for Clubs initiative. Since its launch in 2015, Cash for Clubs has €400,000 in prizes to clubs across the island of Ireland.

Bray Hockey Club, Co. Wicklow, is the grand prize winner of Cash for Clubs 2017. After signing up to the community initiative, members and friends of the Wicklow club simply fuelled up at their local Topaz in Brennanstown, Co. Wicklow, and donated their collected tokens to their club. Bray Hockey Club was then randomly drawn as this year’s lucky grand prize winner, scooping the top prize of €10,000.

Being at the heart of local communities across the country, Topaz recognises the vital role that clubs of all shapes and sizes play in providing opportunities for people of every age to learn new skills, socialise and be active. Given the challenges clubs across Ireland face when it comes to vital fundraising, Topaz introduced the ‘Cash for Clubs’ scheme in 2015 to give clubs the opportunity to generate much-needed funds by harnessing the support of their members and the local community.

Sarah O’Connor, Bray Hockey Club Treasurer said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be the winners of this year’s Cash for Clubs grand prize! €10,000 will go such a long way and will enable us to invest in new equipment and the development of our facilities. We are incredibly grateful and excited for what we can achieve, so a massive thanks to Topaz!”

MJ Tierney, Head of Marketing at Topaz, added: “We are delighted to be awarding the €10,000 grand prize to such a deserving club. Topaz strives to be an intrinsic part of communities across Ireland, providing a daily service across the 32 counties, and the Cash for Clubs initiative enables us to reward local clubs of all shapes and sizes. We would like to congratulate all our winners this year, and Bray Hockey Club especially, who have been lucky enough to win the €10,000 grand prize.

“Cash for Clubs offers an all-inclusive platform, which ensures everyone is a winner and rewards the tireless work of clubs across the country that demonstrate commitment to their communities, day in and day out. We are excited to see the positive impact that the grand prize will make to Bray Hockey Club over the coming months.”

Details on all of the winners from this year’s Cash for Clubs initiative across Ireland are available online.  To see all the prize winner details for 2017, visit www.playorpark.ie/cash-for-clubs and www.facebook.com/TopazEnergy

Source: Topaz

###

Carrefour launches My Carrefour omni-channel data intelligence platform in Brazil

Carrefour launches My Carrefour omni-channel data intelligence platform in Brazil

 

Boulogne-Billancourt‎, France, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour launches in Brazil the My Carrefour omni-channel data intelligence platform  which concentrates the company’s retail services in a single democratic, free and national benefits program, composed of offers, coupons and other exclusive and personalised advantages.    The new program translates the company’s omni-channel strategy in the country, which puts the customer at the centre of everything, offering more and more services that facilitate their day-to-day life. The My Carrefour application also concentrates Carrefour’s sale of food online, implemented as from this month initially for São Paulo (SP).

The program starts off as a platform that adheres to its retail formats and channels: supermarkets, hypermarkets, proximity stores, petrol stations and e-commerce (website and application). The food e-commerce will already be made available to 200 districts of the Paulista capital – pertaining to the central, western and southern zones – and the service will have six  delivery period options, one of the biggest on the Brazilian market. Integrated in Carrefour’s digital platform, the service invests in the speed of the purchase process and the quality of the logistics process.

In all, there are more than 6,000 food products at competitive prices, added to the more than 50,000 non food items already marketed by the Carrefour.com website – an assortment with hundreds of marketplace options already in operation.  The geographical expansion of the new service of online sale of food products will take place gradually, over the next few months to the other districts of the city and, in future, to the rest of the country.

In addition to this differential, My Carrefour offers democratic and practical benefits even to non registered customers.  Those who opt to register in the free program, as well as a discounted price for various products marked with the purple label, will have access to different coupons issued according to their purchase profile and accepted in the Carrefour stores and site.  For those who opt not to register, it will still be possible to take advantage of the special price dynamic simply by providing their CPF at any checkout.

Registration in My Carrefour is also simple and practical, by means of the My Carrefour application (Android and IOS), on the site, and in the supermarkets and hypermarkets by means of tablets available at the entrance of the stores. In the 103 hypermarkets spread around Brazil, registration totems, benefits consulting and coupon printing will also be provided.   Integrated in My Carrefour, the network’s couponing platform issues digital coupons (application, website and e-mail), which are read at the till directly on the screen of the cell phone, and printed, delivered together with the tax coupon of the physical stores – which can be reprinted within the validity period.

In addition to redeeming the coupons in the different formats and channels of the network, such as Carrefour Express stores for example, the customer will also have access to special offer combos. And at the Carrefour petrol stations, coupon discounts are conferred per litre of fuel. In addition to the ads and point-of-sale communications of the physical and online stores, including the My Carrefour application, the program’s principal special offers can be conferred in the application and in the offer catalogues.

The My Carrefour application also offers the customer various other features, such as: store locator; bar code reader, enabling the price of the products to be checked remotely; digital bar code to speed up the identification process on the cash register; relevant promotional coupons based on purchasing history and preferences, including the physical store of interest; purchase history in the physical store and online to monitor expenses; and suggestions of offers based on these stored lists of purchases.

The sale of food online enables the list of purchases to be set up rapidly, with intuitive navigation by category and the option of building a list based on previous purchases in the application or physical store, a feature available thanks to the data intelligence system.  With deliveries between 07h and 21h on the day following the purchase, the service provides reusable packaging and fixed-price delivery. The quality of the purchase experience is the great attraction, made possible above all by the adoption of the so-called dark store strategy, a distribution centre concept whose operation is exclusive and dedicated, with a privileged location within the large urban centres.

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

. By phone:

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

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

. By e-mail: presse_groupe@

Source: Carrefour Group

###

Barilla and Carrefour team up to educate customers on reducing food waste

Barilla and Carrefour team up to educate customers on reducing food waste

 

Boulogne-Billancourt‎, France, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Carrefour is actively involved in reducing and reusing food waste. Various actions involving customers, suppliers, stores and employees were carried out to achieve this objective. The Group wants to go even further and has announced a target of reducing its food waste by 50% by 2025 compared to 2016 levels. This commitment will be achieved through its own actions but also by strengthening the relationship that Carrefour maintains with its suppliers and customers. One of the latest examples comes from Italy, where Carrefour has established a partnership with Barilla.

This partnership was forged from an observation: as consumers, we have often have vegetables which could go to waste in our refrigerators as well as pasta which is an easy-to-cook food and which can be eaten accompanied by various vegetables. Barilla and Carrefour are working together to educate their customers and show them that it is easy to combine these two categories of foods rather than throwing them away.

Both companies have promoted this initiative through an in-store display and animation campaign featuring simple, anti-waste pasta recipes using vegetables which were developed by chefs working with Barilla. The message Barilla and Carrefour want to convey is that even the vegetables left over at the end of the week can be easily used.

The operation was well received in the pilot store in Milan and will be extended to more than forty stores by the end of the year in Italy.

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

. By phone:

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

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

. By e-mail: presse_groupe@

Source: Carrefour Group

###

AWS and Microsoft announce new deep learning library called Gluon

  • New open source deep learning interface allows developers to more easily and quickly build machine learning models without compromising training performance
  • Jointly developed reference specification makes it possible for Gluon to work with any deep learning engine; support for Apache MXNet available today and support for Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit coming soon

SEATTLE & REDMOND, Wash., 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Oct. 12, 2017), Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced a new deep learning library, called Gluon, that allows developers of all skill levels to prototype, build, train and deploy sophisticated machine learning models for the cloud, devices at the edge and mobile apps. The Gluon interface currently works with Apache MXNet and will support Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK) in an upcoming release. With the Gluon interface, developers can build machine learning models using a simple Python API and a range of pre-built, optimized neural network components. This makes it easier for developers of all skill levels to build neural networks using simple, concise code, without sacrificing performance. AWS and Microsoft published Gluon’s reference specification so other deep learning engines can be integrated with the interface. To get started with the Gluon interface, visit: https://github.com/gluon-api/gluon-api/.

Developers build neural networks using three components: training data, a model and an algorithm. The algorithm trains the model to understand patterns in the data. Because the volume of data is large and the models and algorithms are complex, training a model often takes days or even weeks. Deep learning engines like Apache MXNet, Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, and TensorFlow have emerged to help optimize and speed the training process. However, these engines require developers to define the models and algorithms up-front using lengthy, complex code that is difficult to change. Other deep learning tools make model-building easier, but this simplicity can come at the cost of slower training performance.

The Gluon interface gives developers the best of both worlds—a concise, easy-to-understand programming interface that enables developers to quickly prototype and experiment with neural network models, and a training method that has minimal impact on the speed of the underlying engine. Developers can use the Gluon interface to create neural networks on the fly, and to change their size and shape dynamically. In addition, because the Gluon interface brings together the training algorithm and the neural network model, developers can perform model training one step at a time. This means it is much easier to debug, update and reuse neural networks.

“The potential of machine learning can only be realized if it is accessible to all developers. Today’s reality is that building and training machine learning models requires a great deal of heavy lifting and specialized expertise,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, VP of Amazon AI. “We created the Gluon interface so building neural networks and training models can be as easy as building an app. We look forward to our collaboration with Microsoft on continuing to evolve the Gluon interface for developers interested in making machine learning easier to use.”

“We believe it is important for the industry to work together and pool resources to build technology that benefits the broader community,” said Eric Boyd, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft AI and Research. “This is why Microsoft has collaborated with AWS to create the Gluon interface and enable an open AI ecosystem where developers have freedom of choice. Machine learning has the ability to transform the way we work, interact and communicate. To make this happen we need to put the right tools in the right hands, and the Gluon interface is a step in this direction.”

“FINRA is using deep learning tools to process the vast amount of data we collect in our data lake,” said Saman Michael Far, Senior Vice President and CTO, FINRA. “We are excited about the new Gluon interface, which makes it easier to leverage the capabilities of Apache MXNet, an open source framework that aligns with FINRA’s strategy of embracing open source and cloud for machine learning on big data.”

“I rarely see software engineering abstraction principles and numerical machine learning playing well together — and something that may look good in a tutorial could be hundreds of lines of code,” said Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. “I really appreciate how the Gluon interface is able to keep the code complexity at the same level as the concept; it’s a welcome addition to the machine learning community.”

“The Gluon interface solves the age old problem of having to choose between ease-of-use and performance, and I know it will resonate with my students,” said Nikolaos Vasiloglou, Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Georgia Institute of Technology. “The Gluon interface dramatically accelerates the pace at which students can pick up, apply, and innovate on new applications of machine learning. The documentation is great, and I’m looking forward to teaching it as part of my computer science course and in seminars that focus on teaching cutting edge machine learning concepts across different cities in the US.”

“We think the Gluon interface will be an important addition to our machine learning toolkit because it makes it easy to prototype machine learning models,” said Takero Ibuki, Senior Research Engineer at DOCOMO Innovations. “The efficiency and flexibility this interface provides will enable our teams to be more agile and experiment in ways that would have required a prohibitive time investment in the past.”

The Gluon interface is open source and available today in Apache MXNet 0.11, with support for Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK) in an upcoming release. Developers can learn how to get started using Gluon with MXNet by viewing tutorials for both beginners and experts available by visiting: https://mxnet.incubator.apache.org/gluon/.

About Amazon Web Services

For 11 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 90 fully featured services for compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, developer, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), security, hybrid and enterprise applications, from 44 Availability Zones (AZs) across 16 geographic regions in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the UK. AWS services are trusted by millions of active customers around the world — including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies — to power their infrastructure, make them more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit https://aws.amazon.com.

About Amazon

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

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Media Hotline:

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

Microsoft Media Relations
WE Communications for Microsoft
(425) 638-7777
rrt@we-worldwide.com

Source: Amazon Web Services Inc.

Amazon creates more than 120,000 holiday position across its U.S. network

  • Every year, thousands of holiday positions lead to regular, full-time roles with the company
  • Amazon has created tens of thousands of new full-time jobs this year across its U.S. fulfillment network that offer highly competitive wages and benefits

SEATTLE, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) today (Oct. 12, 2017) announced it is creating more than 120,000 positions this season across its U.S. network of fulfillment centers, sortation centers and customer service sites. Last year, thousands of holiday positions were transitioned to regular, full-time roles after the holidays and the company expects to continue that trend this year.

“We prepare year round for the holidays and we’re excited to hire for over 120,000 positions this season to help delight our customers,” said Dave Clark, Amazon Senior Vice President of Global Customer Fulfillment. “We look forward to welcoming back holiday employees who return year-after-year to Amazon and welcome new faces to the team, many of whom will continue on with regular, full-time roles with the company after the holidays.”

Amazon positions are available in the following states:

— Alabama — Nevada
— Arizona — New Hampshire
— California — New Jersey
— Colorado — New York
— Connecticut — North Carolina
— Delaware — Ohio
— Florida — Oklahoma
— Georgia — Oregon
— Illinois — Pennsylvania
— Indiana — South Carolina
— Kansas — Tennessee
— Kentucky — Texas
— Maryland — Utah
— Massachusetts — Virginia
— Michigan — Washington
— Minnesota — Wisconsin
— Missouri

New employees will join the more than 125,000 regular, full-time employees at Amazon’s more than 75 fulfillment centers across the country to help pick, pack and ship customers’ holiday orders. So far this year, Amazon has created tens of thousands of new full-time roles in its fulfillment and customer service centers. Throughout the year on average, 90 percent of associates across the company’s U.S. fulfillment network are regular, full-time employees.

In addition to highly competitive wages, 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 does not 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 are the same for fulfillment center and customer service employees as they are for Amazon’s most senior executives. In addition, our hourly fulfillment center employees are eligible for Amazon’s innovative Career Choice program that pre-pays 95 percent of the cost of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether those skills are related to jobs at Amazon. To date, more than 10,000 employees have taken the next step in pursuing their passion with career re-training through the Career Choice program.

With more than 200,000 employees in the U.S., Amazon ranks #1 on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, #2 on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies, #1 on The Harris Poll’s Corporate Reputation survey, and #2 on LinkedIn’s U.S. Top Companies list. Amazon was also recently included in the Military Times’ Best for Vets list of companies committed to providing opportunities for military veterans.

Candidates interested in available positions can learn more and apply online at www.amazon.com/peakjobs.

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.

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

Source: Amazon

Sears partners with Operation Homefront to provide veterans new, mortgage-free homes

Donations to Heroes at Home campaign will also fund Critical Financial Assistance program

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of its longstanding commitment to supporting America’s veterans, Sears announced it has teamed with Operation Homefront to provide veterans and their families with new, mortgage-free homes, and to support their critical financial needs this holiday season.

Now through Nov. 18, Sears members and customers can donate to Operation Homefront when they check out at any Sears store or via a link at sears.com/heroesathome. Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families.

“Oooooh say can you see….by the dawn’s early light. Yes. That’s what freedom sounds like. And it’s our turn to give back. Our veterans have protected the freedoms that allow all of us to make the most of every day – to live life now,” said Kelly Cook, chief marketing officer for Sears and Kmart. “This amazing program with Operation Homefront will help military families in need and change lives for the better in big ways and small.”

In addition to mortgage-free houses, donations will fund Operation Homefront’s Critical Financial Assistance program – grants to provide urgent assistance with rent, utilities, home and car repairs, groceries and more. Operation Homefront offers financial education to those receiving assistance, to break the cycle of recurring financial crisis and achieve long-term self-sustainability. The program has provided more than $22 million in critical financial assistance since 2011.

“Operation Homefront is thrilled to be teamed with Sears for its Heroes at Home campaign this holiday season,” said Brig Gen (ret) John I. Pray, Jr., president & CEO of Operation Homefront. “Thanks to amazing partners like Sears, we have been able to provide nearly 600 military and veteran families with mortgage-free homes and fulfill over 35,000 requests for critical financial assistance. The need is great and we look forward to working with all those who are interested in ensuring military families have the opportunity to thrive, not simply struggle to get by, in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.”

More for veterans @Sears this holiday season
Sears also introduced a limited-edition Christmas ornament for the holiday season that gives back to Heroes at Home with every purchase. These moose and bear collectible ornaments are a fun, meaningful addition to any holiday décor. With every qualifying in-store or online purchase, Sears will donate $1*.

Every day Sears offers active, reserve or retired military personnel or military spouses 20 percent off regular priced tools, lawn and garden, fine jewelry and work boots, or five percent off sale prices with a valid military ID or military spouse ID.**

Join Sears on social media to hear about the latest Sears news – “like” Sears on Facebook and follow Sears on Twitter. For more information about Heroes at Home, to make a donation, visit sears.com/heroesathome.

*Minimum donation $13,000.

*In-store only. Must be active, reserve, or retired military personnel and present valid military ID. Not combinable with any other coupons, discounts, or during Family and Friends or Member events. Excludes Patio, Grills, Sears Hometown, Outlet, Appliance Showroom and Hardware stores.

About Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a leading integrated retailer providing merchandise and related services and is part of Shop Your Way, a social shopping experience where members have the ability to earn points and receive benefits across a wide variety of physical and digital formats through shopyourway.com. Sears, Roebuck offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through Sears-branded and affiliated full-line and specialty retail stores. Sears, Roebuck also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com and specialty catalogs. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading brands including Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard — among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 6,000 expert technicians who make nearly 11 million service calls annually. For more information, visit the Sears, Roebuck website at www.sears.com or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com.

About Operation Homefront
Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Brian Hanover
Sears PR
847-286-6080
Brian.Hanover@searshc.com

Chloe Zuanich
Havas Formula for Sears
312.229.0605
sears@havasformula.com

SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

John Lewis releases fifth anniversary edition of the John Lewis Retail Report

London, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — In the fifth anniversary edition of the John Lewis Retail Report*, we take a look back at the year breakfast was reinvented, Millennial Pink found its way into wardrobes and homes, voice activation went mainstream and superfoods moved from our plates into our beauty products.

As well as reviewing the last twelve months, this year’s special five-year edition looks back over the extensive changes in the UK and in retail since 2013. For instance:

  • Black Friday has replaced Cyber Sunday as the biggest spending day of the year
  • There are now almost 50 times more smart home products stocked at John Lewis, compared to 2013
  • The proportion of visits from mobiles and tablets to johnlewis.com has increased from 42% to 64% in the last five years.

As with previous years, we have analysed extensive internal data to provide an insight into the products which fell out of favour, the trends that soared and the themes which dominated the year.

What we left behind:

  • Spiralizers: Online searches dropped by 53% compared to last year
  • Office suits for women: This traditional look is becoming a thing of the past with matching suit jackets and skirts seeing a 10% decline
  • Push-up bras: Customers favour non-padded options today, with sales up 20%
  • Sat Navs: With smartphones taking the driving seat, we plan to remove these from our stocklist.

2017 was the year of the unicorn and Millennial Pink

Faced with economic uncertainty and an eventful year in politics, customers sought out products to help them escape from reality:

  • Online searches for pool inflatables increased 99% compared to last year
  • Unicorns were emblazoned on everything, from wallets to water bottles (searches increased 70%)
  • Searches for mermaid-themed products increased 22% on last year.

Meanwhile, the iconic blush shade ‘Millennial Pink’ dominated colour palettes in homes and wardrobes as a result of its phenomenal popularity on the social media feeds of famous influencers including Rihanna and Beyoncé.

  • 63,000 searches for ‘pink’ on johnlewis.com since January 2017
  • Bedroom accessories in this shade saw a 28% increase in sales
  • Men’s pink t-shirts saw a 74% sales increase and pink shirts were up 39% on last year
  • Sales of women’s pink jackets increased by 55% compared to last year

Breakfast was reinvented

This is also the year that the UK lost its appetite for a traditional greasy fry-up, replacing it with a more wholesome alternative. Fat-free Eaziglide frying pans were best sellers, egg gadgets and avocado tools saw sales rises of 25% and 40%. Breakfast classics such as teapots, butter dishes, egg cups and coffee machines all experienced sales increases.

We redefined how customers interact with shops

Nowadays, experience is as important as the product. John Lewis offered more try-before-you-buy, exclusive experiences in the last twelve months than ever before, including sleepovers in shops, live cooking demonstrations with Jamie Oliver, high tea in a Wedgewood pop-up tearoom and yoga and boxing workouts on the rooftop of John Lewis Oxford Street. Millennials are driving this appetite for unique shopping experiences, with younger John Lewis customers twice as likely to do a leisure activity or have a beauty treatment while out shopping than more mature customers.

Mobile shopping is now second nature

Today, almost everyone uses a phone to browse and buy: over a third of online traffic to JohnLewis.com comes from mobiles. In 2017 there was a tipping point in behaviour, as purchases on smartphones increased a staggering 69%, compared to last year. One reason for the growing dominance of mobile shopping is that it allows for a bite-size shopping experience, with customers filling time by browsing for inspiration or buying an urgent item within a matter of minutes.

Peter Cross, Director of Customer Experience at John Lewis, said: ‘How we shop continues to change at pace. Shops now need to combine the very best products with the latest, most immersive experiences. For many customers, their phones are the ‘remote control’ for their lives with their shopping, banking, social networks and to-do list in one place.

‘Five years on, this report is as intriguing as ever – as much for highlighting what we bought as highlighting what we haven’t. It’s our job to make sure that customers in 2020 will be as engaged and excited by the products and experiences we offer as they are today. In the face of all this change we will make sure that John Lewis remains trusted by millions of customers across the country for expert advice and guaranteed quality, which is never knowingly undersold.’

*The John Lewis Retail Report is created every year and is based on its shopping data from August 2016 to September 2017.

Notes to editors

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 48 John Lewis shops across the UK (34 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. John Lewis,  ‘Best In-Store Experience 2017’, ‘Best Furniture Retailer 2017,’ ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2017’1, stocks around 350,000 separate lines in its department stores and johnlewis.com across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK.  John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

1Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2017

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter 
www.johnlewis.com/facebook 
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

Enquiries:

For further information please contact:

John Lewis
Lexi Finnigan
Corporate Communications Manager
Telephone: 0207 592 6994
Email: pressoffice@johnlewis.co.uk

Source: John Lewis

Louis Vuitton unveils the second collection designed with New York artist Jeff Koons

Paris, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Louis Vuitton has unveiled the second collection of bags and accessories designed with New York artist Jeff Koons. Featuring masterpieces by Monet, Turner, Gauguin and others, this second Masters series will be available at Louis Vuitton stores and from the Maison’s online store starting October 27th.

Recognized as one of the world’s most influential living artists, Jeff Koons has situated this second series in the Masters collection within the heritage of Louis Vuitton, using the power of art to connect the present with a shared cultural history.

The Speedy, Neverfull and Keepall bags become canvases on which works by Masters are transposed, including Nymphaeus by Claude Monet, Ancient Rome: Agrippina with the Ashes of Germanicus by Joseph William Turner, Reclining Girl by François Boucher, Te Nave Nave Fenua  (Delightful Land) by Paul Gauguin and Luncheon on the Grass by Edouard Manet. In addition, The Triumph of Pan by Nicolas Poussin will be available exclusively at the new Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme flagship.

As for the first chapter, Jeff Koons has revisited the celebrated Louis Vuitton Monogram and added colorful finishes to each creation. The bags also have a tag in the shape of the artist’s emblematic Rabbit.

With this collection, Jeff Koons proposes a new way to experience art by taking it beyond museums, affirming Louis Vuitton’s longstanding philanthropic and curatorial engagement with art.

Contact:

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

ARKET opens its first store in Germany

ARKET opens its first store in Germany

 

The first ARKET store in Germany, 004005-940, is now open. The new store is located on Weinstraße 6 in Munich, and is following the brand’s launch in London and online, as well as store openings in Copenhagen and Brussels earlier this autumn

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Housed in a new four-floor building in the centre of the city, between the famous 12th-century town square and the landmark ‘Frauenkirche’ cathedral, ARKET will be a modern-day market offering essential products for men, women, children and the home.

The store occupies the entire building, a space of approximately 1,000 square metres, and includes
a café based on the New Nordic Food Manifesto. The café is located at the ground level with outdoor seating in a laneway courtyard, next to Munich’s historic breweries and beer gardens.

“This is a unique opportunity for us. We feel very lucky to be able to open the first ARKET store in Germany in this interesting corner location. It is a beautiful space, it feels very modern but has a depth of character already, with natural light flooding the store from all directions”

Ulrika Bernhardtz, Creative Director, at the time of the store’s announcement earlier this year.

ARKET means ‘sheet of paper’ in Swedish. Its mission is to democratise quality through widely accessible, well-made, durable products designed to be used and loved for a long time. The collections are composed of ARKET’s own products alongside a selection of the best examples from other brands.

For more information, please contact press@arket.com

Source: H&M

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SilverScript Insurance Company announces its new Medicare Prescription Drug Plan options for 2018

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — SilverScript Insurance Company, a CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) company, today (October 12, 2017) announced its new Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) options for 2018. Medicare beneficiaries in the continental U.S. can choose from two SilverScript plans that offer a $0-deductible in 47 states on formulary drugs in all five drug tiers. Drug tiers indicate the level of cost-sharing for a covered drug, for example, beneficiaries typically pay lower copays for drugs in lower tiers. In addition, beneficiaries will have $0 copays for 90-day supplies of Tier 1 drugs when using CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy and lower premiums than 2017 in 48 states.

“For 2018 we have worked to reduce premiums for the majority of SilverScript plans across the country and to provide beneficiaries in our plans with continued access to a $0-deductible for drugs on all tiers,” said Todd Meek, president, SilverScript Insurance Company, CVS Health.

SilverScript Choice and SilverScript Plus
SilverScript Choice is a basic plan that offers comprehensive coverage with competitive premiums, $0 deductible on all covered drugs in 47 states, and $0 copays for 90-day supplies of Tier one drugs nationwide when filled through the CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy. New to the SilverScript Choice Plan this year, beneficiaries managing diabetes can take advantage of significant savings on long-acting insulin drugs. In fact, for 2018, three injectable insulin medications will be covered in Tier 2; down tiered from Tier 3 in 2017. This may represent a potential savings of up to 60-75 percent (compared to 2017 copays for 30-day supplies) for each prescription filled for these drugs during Medicare’s Initial Coverage Stage.

SilverScript Plus is an enhanced plan that provides additional coverage in the Coverage Gap (or Donut Hole). The Plus plan is designed for people who take several medications on a regular basis and are likely to reach the Coverage Gap during the 2018 plan year. SilverScript Plus offers lower monthly premiums than in 2017, $0 deductible on all covered drugs, and $0 copays for 90-day supplies of both Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs nationwide through the CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy. SilverScript Plus beneficiaries can also save on their drug costs by using a preferred pharmacy in a network that includes more than 37,000 retail pharmacies, including national leading chains, plus thousands of regional and local independent pharmacies across the country.

SilverScript Awarded 4-star High Performer Rating Issued by CMS
SilverScript maintained its 4-star performance rating from CMS for 2018, surpassing industry standards in delivering value, clinical outcomes and customer service. CMS annually evaluates and rates plan performance of Medicare Part D prescription drug plans based on quality, value and service measures. Plans are scored on a scale of one to five, with five stars being the highest achievable rating.

“We are proud to achieve a 4-Star rating from CMS, and we are focused on continued improvement as we strive to maintain our performance and quality rating,” added Mitch Betses, executive vice president, member services, CVS Health. “As an objective tool, the CMS Star Ratings system is a helpful way for Medicare eligible individuals, who are making annual coverage elections, to easily identify which prescription drug plans will offer high quality service and value and be assured of industry-leading coverage.”

Enrollment during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period for the 2018 plan year runs from October 15, 2017 through December 7, 2017. Consumers interested in learning more about the SilverScript plan options can visit www.silverscript.com, or call toll-free 1-866-552-6106, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY users call 1-866-552-6288.

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

Media Contacts:
Christine Cramer
CVS Health
401-770-3317
christine.cramer@cvshealth.com 

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

SOURCE: CVS Health

CVS Health celebrates its 30,000 pharmacists this month of October

WOONSOCKET, RI, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) is celebrating its 30,000 pharmacists as part of American Pharmacists Month, an annual observation held every October. The company’s pharmacy teams are playing an increasingly important role in helping people on their path to better health by improving access to care and lowering costs for the millions of patients they serve every day.

“As our nation’s health care landscape changes, our pharmacists are being called upon to play a broader role in a patient’s overall health care team,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. “Pharmacists not only provide one-on-one trusted counsel to patients each and every day, they are also delivering vital health care services, such as providing immunizations, and offering medication reviews to ensure patients are getting the most out of their entire medication regimen.”

As medication experts, CVS Health pharmacists are helping identify potential barriers to medication adherence and offering solutions to help encourage patients to stay adherent. They also work in a variety of settings beyond the counter at CVS Pharmacy.

“Our pharmacists are not only the familiar faces you see behind the counter at your local CVS Pharmacy,” added Merlo. “Whether through Omnicare, CVS Caremark, CVS Specialty or Coram, our pharmacists are providing expert clinical care to patients with a wide range of medication regimens, from simple to complex.”

CVS Pharmacy recently rolled out a new prescription management system, called ScriptPath, which will help its pharmacy team provide even more guidance to patients through an innovative and first-of-its-kind Prescription Schedule. The Prescription Schedule enables the pharmacist to recommend a consolidated dosing schedule – narrowed down to four dosing times a day – which will do even more to improve patient understanding and medication adherence which can lead to better health outcomes.

In addition, pharmacists are providing convenient and accessible access to flu shots and other vaccinations at every CVS Pharmacy location nationwide seven days a week with no appointment needed, including evenings and weekends. In some states, such as California and Oregon, pharmacists are able to prescribe hormonal contraceptives, giving patients greater access to care at times and locations that are convenient for them.

CVS pharmacists also provide telephonic medication adherence and clinical support to CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) members and CVS Specialty patients. They review and check all medications that are submitted for mail delivery and also provide counseling and support to members through programs such as Pharmacy Advisor, which help improve medication adherence and outcomes for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

CVS pharmacists are also working to reduce prescription drug abuse through the company’s Pharmacists Teach program. This community outreach program connects pharmacists with high school students to share vital information about the dangers of improper drug use. Thousands of CVS pharmacists have volunteered their time to deliver this program to more than 295,000 students across the country, at no cost to the school, and the company has begun expanding the program to a parent audience.

CVS Health will celebrate National Pharmacy Technician Day on October 17 to recognize the company’s more than 50,000 pharmacy technicians for the valued support they provide to CVS pharmacists and pharmacy teams across the organization.

About CVS Health

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

MEDIA CONTACT:

Amy Lanctot
(401) 770-2931
Amy.Lanctot@CVSHealth.com

Source: CVS Health

Asda research reveals 40% of Brits would rather give up chocolate than cheese

LEEDS, UK, 2017-Oct-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — A fromage frenzy is sweeping the nation – 40% of Brits reveal they would rather give up chocolate than cheese. Half of Brits would sacrifice social media for cheese. Nearly one in five admit they can’t live without cheese and find themselves regularly craving it.

It’s one of the most divisive questions that splits the nation, involving two of the most addictive foods known to man – chocolate or cheese?

Now the debate has been settled, and there is clearly a fromage frenzy sweeping the country, with 40% of Brits revealing they would rather give up chocolate than cheese, according to the research from Asda to mark National Chocolate Week.

In fact, our love of cheese runs so deep, nearly half (47%) of Brits would rather sacrifice social media than ever be faced with the prospect of giving up cheese. This is followed by beer (46%), clothes shopping (45%), dining out (37%) and even hugs (27%).

Whether indulging in a mild mozzarella or salivating over a sharp stilton, nearly half of Brits (49%) admit it’s one of their favourite foods. Nearly one in five (16%) even go so far as declaring they can’t live without cheese and regularly find themselves craving it.

For those who think choosing between chocolate and cheese is an impossible predicament, Asda has come to the rescue with the launch of a genius chocolate and cheese hybrid creation, just in time for Christmas. The new Wensleydale with Chocolate and Orange Trucklecombines Award winning creamy Wensleydale with zesty orange and delicious milk and white chocolate.

An Asda spokesperson said: “It’s clear that we’re in the throes of a cheese revolution, with a new wave of innovative artisan suppliers encouraging us to think beyond conventional cheddar. Brits are experimenting more than ever and pushing the boundaries when it comes to cheese thanks to the vast array of thoughtfully crafted products available on supermarket shelves.”

Asda’s Wensleydale with Chocolate and Orange Truckle will be available in store from 23rd November with an RRP of £1.00.

Things Brits would sacrifice for cheese:
1) Social media
2) Beer
3) Clothes shopping
4) Wine
5) Dining out
6) TV
7) Phone
8) Books
9) Hugs
10) Internet

About Asda Stores Ltd.

Founded in the 1960s in Yorkshire, Asda is one of Britain’s leading retailers. It has more than 172,000 dedicated Asda colleagues serving customers from 609 stores, including 32 Supercentres, 330 Superstores, 34 Asda Living stores, 197 Supermarkets, 26 depots and seven recycling centres across the UK. Its main office is in Leeds, Yorkshire and its George clothing division is in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. More than 18 million people shop at Asda stores every week and 98 per cent of UK homes are served by www.ASDA.com. Asda joined Walmart, the world’s number one retailer, in 1999.

Contact:

email asda@mischiefpr.com
call 020 3128 6600

Source: Asda