CBRE Group Inc. named in FORTUNE 500 list of US’s largest companies for 7 years in a row

Los Angeles, 2014-6-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group Inc. has been named to the FORTUNE 500 list of the largest U.S.-based companies for the seventh straight year. CBRE was the highest-ranked commercial real estate firm in the 2014 rankings and remains the only commercial real estate services firm ever included on this prestigious list.

The FORTUNE 500 ranks U.S.-based companies by total revenue. CBRE was ranked at #363 on the list in 2014, up from 387 in 2013.

“CBRE continues to climb the ranks of Fortune 500 companies by combining global scale and service offering depth with unparalleled market insight to deliver great outcomes for our clients,” said Bob Sulentic, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBRE.

Earlier this year, CBRE was the highest ranked commercial real estate services firm on FORTUNE’s list of the Most Admired Companies. CBRE was also named the top global brand in commercial real estate by The Lipsey Company for the 13th consecutive year.

CBRE provides a broad range of commercial real estate services on a global basis. The company was responsible for more than $223.2 billion of property sales and lease transactions in 2013, and managed more than 3.5 billion sq. ft. (including properties managed by affiliates) of commercial properties and corporate facilities as of December 31, 2013.

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 (in terms of 2013 revenue).  The Company has approximately 44,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through approximately 350 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at

For Further Information

Robert Mcgrath
T +1 212 9848267
Corey Mirman
T +1 212 9846542

CBRE Group, Inc. recognized as top three outsourcing services provider in the world for 2014 according to IAOP Global Outsourcing 100©

CBRE Maintains Position as Top Commercial Real Estate Services Firm in IAOP Global Outsourcing 100 ©

​Los Angeles, 2014-6-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) today announced that it has been recognized as a top three outsourcing services provider in the world for 2014, and is once again the highest-ranked commercial real estate services company, according to the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals’ (IAOP) Global Outsourcing 100©. CBRE is the first commercial real estate services firm to be ranked in the top three.

The Global Outsourcing 100 ranks the top outsourcing service providers across all industries. The rankings are determined by an independent panel of judges based on characteristics such as size and growth rate, customer references, demonstrated competencies, and management capabilities. The IAOP panel credited CBRE with particular strengths in global presence, employee management and executive leadership.

“We are very proud of our continued strong performance on the IAOP ranking – the premier benchmark against which all outsourcing service providers are measured. Our number three ranking this year is testament to the success of our people in creating sig​nificant value and delivering superior results for clients around the world.  We thank our clients for entrusting us with their real estate portfolios,” said Bill Concannon, CBRE’s chief executive officer of Global Corporate Services.

Debi Hamill, IAOP CEO, added that “the companies named on these lists have demonstrated their expertise following a rigorous, independently judged process and represent the top in the industry.”

CBRE provides a broad range of commercial real estate services on a global basis. The company was responsible for more than $223.2 billion of property sales and lease transactions in 2013, and managed more than 3.5 billion sq. ft. (including properties managed by affiliates) of commercial properties and corporate facilities as of December 31, 2013. The Company signed a record 210 long-term outsourcing contracts with occupiers in 2013, and signed another 63 in the first quarter of 2014.

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 (in terms of 2013 revenue).  The Company has approximately 44,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through approximately 350 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at

About IAOP
The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals® (IAOP®) is the global, standard-setting association and advocate for outsourcing professionals and the organizations they support. With more than 120,000 members and affiliates worldwide, IAOP helps companies increase their outsourcing success rate, improve their outsourcing ROI, and expand the opportunities for outsourcing across their businesses. To learn more, visit

For Further Information

Robert Mcgrath
T +1 212 9848267

SM Investments Corporation to issue US Dollar Bonds with maturity of up to ten years

Manila, Philippines, 2014-6-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Investments Corporation (SM) announced today that its Board of Directors approved the issuance of US Dollar Bonds with maturity of up to ten years. SM appointed Citi and Standard Chartered Bank as Joint Lead Managers and Joint Bookrunners. The offering is intended to be used for general corporate purposes, including refinancing of existing debts.

The Board of Directors also authorized the management to negotiate with Citi and Standard Chartered Bank and finalize the amount, terms and pricing of the Bond issue subject to the prevailing market conditions.

— End —

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
Tel. No. 857-0117

DeCA named Mildred Ives its new chief technology officer

FORT LEE, Va., 2014-6-4 — /EPR Retail News/ —  Mildred Ives has been named DeCA’s new chief technology officer, effective May 19.

She fills the position previously occupied by Jeff Perry, who is now the agency’s chief information officer. He had been CTO since 2011 and continued acting in that position until Ives’ selection.

As chief technology officer, Ives oversees the daily operation of DeCA’s technical infrastructure, network, data centers, service desk, desktop support and sustainment of the major applications.

Ives comes to DeCA from the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., where she was chief of its IT service delivery since 2008. She managed Homeland Security’s science and technology directorate, which includes applications, engineering, and operations and maintenance branches. She oversaw activities such as software design, development, testing and project implementation.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5–percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773

Famous British department store House of Fraser joins Tesco direct

  • Famous British department store joins the newly launched ‘Tesco Partners’
  • For the first time, customers can earn Clubcard points on every purchase
  • Over 50 Tesco Partners now available on Tesco direct

Cheshunt, England, 2014-6-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the first time, Tesco customers will be able to earn Clubcard points on House of Fraser homeware products as the famous department store joins Tesco direct (  In total, over 2,000 products from popular House of Fraser brands such as Linea and Pied A Terre will now be available.

House of Fraser joins over 50 Tesco Partners on Tesco direct, which offers customers easy access to a great selection of brands, Clubcard points on every purchase and a convenient delivery service, including Click & Collect.

Tesco has also introduced the ‘Tesco Partners Guarantee’, which means that customers can buy with complete confidence as Tesco manages the entire process.

Ian Caminsky, Partnership Director at Tesco said, “We want to offer our customers a fantastic shopping experience, however, whenever and wherever they choose to shop with us. And we want to reward them for their loyalty, so we’re really pleased that we’re now able to offer customers Clubcard points on all of their Tesco direct purchases. We’re also delighted to welcome House of Fraser to Tesco Partners, as we know customers love their fantastic homeware range.”

Andy Harding, Executive Director, Multichannel for House of Fraser, said “This partnership is an exciting opportunity to share a truly inspirational shopping experience with even more customers. We bring over 160 years of department store retail experience, so there is huge potential to create a great working relationship between our businesses.”

There are over 50 Partners now available on Tesco direct, including Mamas & Papas, Early Learning Centre and Maplin.

For more information visit

Images of a selection of the House of Fraser products available can be seen here.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01992 644645We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.

Walmart to host 14,000 shareholders at its annual Shareholders meeting in Bentonville

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2014-6-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — This week, Walmart will host 14,000 shareholders, including thousands of associates from 27 countries, at its annual Shareholders meeting in Bentonville. This year’s Shareholders theme is serving customers through innovation.

“This is a special week at Walmart. We celebrate and thank our 2.2 million associates from around the globe who are always coming up with new and exciting ways to serve our customers,” said Susan Chambers, executive vice president of global people at Walmart. “Mr. Sam always said our associates are our greatest source of ideas, and one of the best parts of this week is hearing their ideas and insights on how we can serve our customers even better.”

Finding new ways to serve customers or making current methods of serving them better has been a hallmark of Walmart for more than 50 years. With a focus on the integration of digital and physical retail, Walmart is better positioned than other retailers to serve customers wherever, whenever and however they want.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Shareholders and seeing where everything started for Walmart,” said Samantha Reed, an associate from Mishawaka, Ind. “One of my favorite parts of my job is interacting with my customers. This week I hope to hear from other associates in the U.S. and around the world how they best serve customers.”


Serving customers in new ways

Walmart Global eCommerce

  • Walmart Global eCommerce is finding new ways to make shopping faster, easier and more convenient for customers. Today, more and more customers are relying on technology to do their shopping. In the U.S., more than half the visits to are occurring on mobile devices. To put that in context, five years ago it was only at 1 percent. In the UK, one-third of online sales for Asda are coming from smartphones.

Walmart U.S.

  • Walmart is creating and building smaller format stores to help customers with their quick fill-in trips. This move provides even more access and convenience for customers who have limited shopping options, which typically means limited choice and higher prices. By combining digital retail with physical stores, both small and large, Walmart is able to help even more customers save time and money on their shopping.

Walmart International

  • At a time when convenience is more important to our customers than ever, we’re innovating to help customers save time. For instance, in the U.K., the online grocery market has doubled in the last five years and is projected to do the same in the next five years. Asda is offering its customers more ways to shop, including via click and collect delivery. By the end of this year, Asda will have close to 600 access points, and in the future it’s projected a third of all of Asda’s e-commerce sales will come from collection.

Sam’s Club

  • Finding ways to save people money isn’t a new idea, but Sam’s Club has created new ways to make it even easier for members to save money. The new Cash Rewards program allows Plus Members to earn $10 in cash rewards for every $500 they spend.

“It’s an honor to come to Shareholders and represent all of the associates at my supercenter in Toledo who work hard every day to take care of our customers,” said Ron Bennett from Toledo, Ohio. “I love talking to customers. I love for them to feel appreciated. The smile we put on their face is awesome.”

“Our associates do great things every day for our customers,” added Chambers. “Serving our customers through innovation is going to create even more opportunity for our associates. In the last year alone in the U.S. we promoted more than 190,000 people at Walmart and Sam’s Club, hired more than 42,000 veterans and paid more than $500 million in bonuses to our hourly associates. We see opportunity come to life every day for our associates.”

To be a part of the action and learn more about the company’s business, tune in to its Shareholders Meeting webcast on June 6 at 7 a.m. CDT, and follow us @walmartnewsroom using #WMTShares.

About Walmart 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 250 million customers and members visit our 10,994 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and ecommerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of approximately $473 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting, on Facebook at and on Twitter at Online merchandise sales are available at and

Walgreens launches nationwide program offering talking prescription devices to customers with visual impairments

Initiative adds to Walgreens other accessible prescription information services; leadership of blindness organizations praise company’s program

DEERFIELD, Ill., 2014-6-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG), today announced the launch of a nationwide program offering talking prescription devices to customers with visual impairments. The initiative introduces a new service that complements other accessible prescription information Walgreens currently provides.

Walgreens is the first in the industry to offer this exclusive talking prescription device, called the Talking Pill Reminder, at its retail locations chainwide. The device attaches to prescription containers and will be provided free of charge with prescription medications that Walgreens dispenses to its pharmacy customers who are blind or who have visual impairments. The Talking Pill Reminder can be recorded to speak the information on the customer’s prescription medication label, and also has an audible alarm to remind patients when to take a medication.

The Talking Pill Reminder is available to customers of Walgreens retail pharmacies across the country and through Walgreens prescription mail service. The devices also are available in Walgreens drugstores for purchase for a retail price of $9.99.

“Adherence to medication can be critical in treating illness today, and this is an innovation that will help our visually impaired customers correctly identify and take medications as prescribed,” said Jeff Koziel, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy operations. “As part of our mission to help customers get, stay and live well, we’re proud to have worked closely with other leading organizations to make the Talking Pill Reminder available across all of our more than 8,100 stores nationwide.”

The initiative is the result of a collaboration between Walgreens, The American Council of the Blind (ACB) and the ACB affiliates in California and Illinois. All partnering organizations praised the Walgreens announcement.

“Accessible prescription information is critical to people who are blind, and with today’s announcement, Walgreens assumes a significant leadership role in serving its customers with visual impairments,” said ACB President Kim Charlson.

Illinois Council of the Blind representative Ray Campbell commended Walgreens initiative, saying, “So many of our members and ACB members across the country value Walgreens excellent customer service. The company’s rollout of the Talking Pill Reminder gives them yet another reason to make Walgreens their pharmacy of choice.”

California Council of the Blind President Donna Pomerantz said, “Standard prescription labels put customers who are blind at risk for mixing up medications or taking them incorrectly. For this reason, Walgreens initiative is a matter of basic safety, and we congratulate the company on its efforts in this important area.”

In addition to providing the Talking Pill Reminder, Walgreens also offers large print patient information sheets to customers who have visual impairments.

Walgreens accessibility initiative will help people with visual impairments who have difficulty or are unable to read a standard prescription medication label.

About Walgreens
As the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2013 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens ( vision is to be the first choice in health and daily living for everyone in America, and beyond. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,231 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers, provider practices, and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 750 locations throughout the country.

American Council of the Blind (ACB), the California Council of the Blind (CCB) and the Illinois Council of the Blind (ICB)

The American Council of the Blind is a national consumer-based advocacy organization working on behalf of blind and visually impaired Americans throughout the country, with members organized through seventy state and special interest affiliates. The California and Illinois Councils of the Blind are state affiliates of the ACB, with local chapters throughout those states. The ACB, ICB and CCB are dedicated to improving the quality of life, equality of opportunity, and independence of all people who have visual impairments. Their members and affiliated organizations have a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs which will enhance independence for people who are blind and visually impaired. More information about the ACB, ICB and CCB can be found by visiting, and

Fisher-Price division HIT Entertainment names Amazon exclusive U.S. home to its popular preschool franchise Fireman Sam®

HIT Entertainment Names Amazon As Exclusive U.S. Home for Globally Prominent Kids Franchise Across All Entertainment Content and Consumer Products

NEW YORK, 2014-6-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading preschool entertainment companies and a division of Fisher-Price, today announced that Amazon will be the exclusive U.S. home to the popular preschool franchise Fireman Sam®, bringing TV episodes, eBooks, as well as physical products from apparel to toys to lunch boxes to, all of which will be available with fast, free shipping and free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime. In addition to merchandise, the popular Fireman Sam TV episodes will be available to stream or download in Amazon Instant Video, Prime Instant Video, and FreeTime Unlimited. Amazon’s Fireman Sam content hub debuts on June 3rd, and HIT and Amazon will introduce Fireman Sam consumer products in the US for the first time later this year.

“With the ever evolving experience that families have with digital media, our consumers expect more and our business demands it,” said Sid Mathur, VP HIT Entertainment, The Americas. “Working with Amazon, we have the perfect platform to create a new experience that gives fans one place to experience the franchise. This new agreement takes Fireman Sam fans through the entire consumer journey from first engaging with the brand through content on their Kindle Fire or Amazon Fire TV to fulfilling the demand for a deeper brand experience via books, toys and more.”

“We’re thrilled to exclusively bring the popular Fireman Sam merchandise and digital content to Amazon customers,” said Peter Larsen Vice President, Product Management, Amazon. “We’re always looking for ways to make parents’ lives easier and now there’s no more

convenient place in the world for kids to experience their favorite Fireman Sam content. We’re excited to be working with such a forward-thinking partner in this space.”

Amazon and HIT Entertainment have created a great online avenue to conveniently find and purchase popular kids products in a massively digital world. With the Fireman Sam launch, Amazon and HIT Entertainment are creating a new brand distribution model, pairing the entire offerings of a globally loved children’s property with a global retail platform. Building on its successes with Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Mom and FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon continues to provide more services and products with families in mind.

Everybody’s ultimate hero next door Fireman Sam has been racing to the rescue of his friends and colleagues in all sorts of perilous situations for over 25 years.  Based in the Welsh village of Pontypandy, Fireman Sam is a pillar of the community and the hero of every rescue.  The series continues to be top rated globally airing in more than 60 languages with market awareness in more than 100 countries. Fireman Sam is a top rated boys’ preschool show in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Benelux, Israel and Poland, and the #5 preschool toy license in the UK (NPD). On YouTube, Fireman Sam has secured more than 65 million global views.

Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking.  Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

About HIT Entertainment 
HIT Entertainment is one of the world’s leading preschool entertainment companies, specializing in building powerful brands based on engaging stories.  HIT Entertainment’s world-class portfolio includes  Thomas & Friends®, Mike the Knight™, Fireman Sam®, Bob the Builder, Barney®, Angelina Ballerina®, Pingu® and Rainbow Magic®.

HIT Entertainment excels at creating and building globally successful brands which capture the hearts and imaginations of preschoolers and their families.  This is achieved through exceptional storytelling in multiple formats, enhanced by creating high quality character-based products and experiences with best-in-class partners. HIT Entertainment’s lines of business span television and home entertainment production, content distribution, digital media, publishing, consumer products and live events and attractions.  HIT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAT), has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. For more information visit

Noelle Dong \ HIT Entertainment PR
T: 646.467.5336 \, Inc.
Media Hotline, 206-266-7180

Argos launches new home and furniture brand ‘Heart of House’ as part of its drive to develop and grow its own-brand business

Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-6-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Argos is launching a new home and furniture brand designed to respond to modern living as part of its drive to significantly develop and grow its own-brand business.

The new brand – ‘Heart of House’ – will be available to  customers this summer with a choice of 1,200 products across furniture, homewares and upholstery, making it Argos’ first cross-category brand in this market.

Products will offer customers high levels of quality and style at very competitive prices, including ‘super white’ porcelain, Egyptian cotton towels, and 200 thread count bedding fabrics. Robust furniture guarantees will also offer customers protection of up to two years on cabinetry and five years on upholstery frames.

Heart of House customers will be able to buy products through Argos’ websites and apps and take advantage of its convenient Check & Reserve service uniquely available at 734 Argos stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The brand will be supported by a multi-million pound launch campaign later this year.

John Walden, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, said: “This is a significant launch for Argos and heralds the introduction of our first cross-category, high quality private brand.

“Significant levels of research and planning have gone into the development of the brand.  Customers told us they were looking for a brand which offered great products for the home at great prices.  Heart of House will offer quality products which stand up to the rigours of everyday life but which are stylish and enable customers to easily coordinate and create the latest looks at home.

“We plan to develop Heart of House as a significant brand in its own right, which our customers recognise, connect to and desire.”

The launch is part of Argos’ transformation strategy to continue increasing its appeal amongst broader customer groups.  Argos is committed to developing and growing its own brands to represent a third of its total sales by 2018.

Heart of House joins a broad range of brands for the home available at Argos for customers with a variety of needs for cost, quality and style.

Argos is one of the UK’s leading home and furniture retailers, offering around 4,500 furniture products and around 7,500 homeware products.  Home and furniture accounts for around a fifth of total Argos sales.




Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact the Argos Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email: Follow us on Twitter at @argos_PR.

About Argos
Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 43,000 products through, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the telephone.

Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with 738 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2014.  Argos serves around 123 million customers a year through its network of 734 stores.

In the financial year to February 2014, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business.

Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

LVMH joins European Commission to promote best environmental practices by businesses in conjunction with Green Week 2014

PARIS, 2014-6-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the third consecutive year, LVMH is joining the European Commission to promote best environmental practices by businesses in conjunction with Green Week 2014. The theme this year is “Circular Economy”, with a focus on building awareness among a broad public of the need to protect the environment.

From June 3-5, the European Commission is sponsoring Green Week, a high-profile event for all stakeholders in preserving the environment. The 2013 edition attracted some 2,100 participants from government, business and industry, NGOs, academia and the media.

The theme this year is “Circular Economy”. Unlike the current so-called “linear” economy, which is resource-intensive and generates large volumes of waste, a circular economy creates loops for resource and energy cycles. It builds sustainability into products, both in their design and their use, thus avoiding depletion of resources and limiting waste creation.

As part of its support for the event, LVMH is sharing best practices on resource conservation, recovery, reuse and recycling with its 110,000 employees. Information sheets on best practices will be published daily until June 5 (attached to this article).

In 2013 the LVMH Group celebrated 20 years of exemplary environmental responsibility and continues with the rollout of its environmental framework program “LIFE–LVMH Indicators For the Environment”. EU Environment Commissioner saluted the Group’s engagement, stating: “Private sector initiatives are crucial if we are all to make real progress in improving the environment. LVMH Group and its Maisons have demonstrated their long-term commitment to the environment and can provide inspiration to many others.”

The Green Week 2014 – LVMH factsheets:

Circular economy: the definition


LVMH joins European Commission to promote best environmental practices by businesses in conjunction with Green Week 2014

LVMH joins European Commission to promote best environmental practices by businesses in conjunction with Green Week 2014

John Lewis partnered with children’s charity to host series of book readings by well-known TV personalities at John Lewis shops

LONDON, 2014-6-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — TV and film star, Peter Capaldi burrowed into a good book today to launch ‘Story Time’ with Barnardo’s and John Lewis, a fun and engaging storytelling campaign which aims to highlight the importance of interaction and communication to a child’s early development whilst raising money to support the UK’s most vulnerable children.

John Lewis has partnered with the children’s charity to host a series of book readings by well-known TV personalities at John Lewis shops across the country starting Saturday 21 June and running throughout the summer. Events are free to attend but you can join Peter Capaldi in supporting the Story Time by texting ‘JL’ to 70500 to donate £5 to Barnardo’s.

Commenting on the ‘Story Time’ initiative, dedicated Barnardo’s supporter, Peter Capaldi said; ‘Being read to as a child is something most of us take for granted but for many of the children Barnardo’s supports, storytelling and communicating are skills that their parents don’t have.

‘I would encourage people across the country to embrace storytelling, bury your head in a good book and donate as much as you can through ‘Story Time’ in aid of Barnardo’s. You’ll be helping the charity reach out to parents of some of the UK’s most vulnerable children and ensuring they build the confidence and knowledge to help their little one thrive.’

To celebrate John Lewis’s 150th anniversary and Barnardo’s reaching the same anniversary in 2016, the ‘Story Time’ sessions will be reading from the most loved books of the last 150 years, today revealed as:

1.    Winnie The Pooh  –  A.A. Milne  (1926)
2.    Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll  (1865)
3.    The Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle (1969)
4.    The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)
5.    The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson (1999)
6.    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (1964)
7.    Black Beauty – Anna Sewell (1877)
8.    Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)
9.    BFG – Roald Dahl (1982)
10.  The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis  (1950)

Launching ‘Story Time’ Peter Capaldi read from The Gruffalo and there are a host of further TV personalities taking part in the ‘Story Time’ events including:

  • Actress Emilia Fox at John Lewis Oxford Street, 28 June
  • Julie Wilson Nimmo (Balamory’s Miss Hoolie) at John Lewis Glasgow, 21 June
  • Illustrator Nick Sharratt at John Lewis, Edinburgh, 21 June
  • TV Presenter Alex Winters at John Lewis Cheadle, 21 June.

Emma Marchant, John Lewis community investment manager said:

‘Charity support at John Lewis goes right back to 1919 when the Partnership’s founder John Spedan Lewis established the Donations Committee. Since then charity support by our Partners (employees) and customers has gone from strength to strength and now nearly 100 years after our Donations Committee was established we’re delighted to be partnering with Barnardo’s in our 150th year.

‘We have a summer of Story Time sessions in our shops reading from classics over 100 years old like Alice In Wonderland to modern favourites like The Gruffalo all raising money for Barnardo’s.’

Also commenting on the partnership, Barnardo’s deputy director of fundraising, Allan McLaren said:

‘We are delighted to be partnering with John Lewis to celebrate its 150th anniversary and raise as much as possible to support the vulnerable children who desperately need our help.

‘Through initiatives such as Story Time, John Lewis will help us support the children who need it most by teaching their parents how to successfully engage with their children from birth, helping them develop to the full and flourish in childhood.’

John Lewis’s work with Barnardo’s this year builds on a donation last year of £125,000 raised with suppliers to support Barnardo’s work in Birmingham.

To join Peter Capaldi in supporting the Story Time with Barnardo’s and John Lewis text ‘JL’ to 70500. This will donate £5 to support Barnardo’s and their work supporting the UK’s most vulnerable children.  Plus, you can find out what Story Time sessions are going on near you at

Notes to editors
John Lewis and Barnardo’s commissioned YouGov to poll 2652 adults to discover the nation’s favourite books of the last 150 years. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,652 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8 – 9 April 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

John Lewis’s commitment to community investment is at the very heart of our organisation and one of our seven guiding principles within our Partnership Constitution, which pledges that ‘The Partnership aims … to contribute to the well-being of the communities where we operate.’  This last year our Partnership-wide charity and community contributions totalled £14.3 million.

Our Community Matters green token scheme reached its fifth anniversary this year donating more than £4m of our profit to supporting good causes in our communities.

John Lewis operates 41 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores and ten John Lewis at home) as well as It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 91,000 staff are Partners in the business.

John Lewis, ‘Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2014’¹, ‘The Nation’s Best Retailer’² and ‘Best Retailer 2013’³, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. stocks over 250,000 products, and 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.

¹ Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014
² Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2013
³ Which? Awards 2013

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:

Barnardo’s works with more than 200,000 children, young people and their families each year. Barnardo’s runs more than 900 services across the UK. We believe in children and we believe every young person has a right to thrive. Our vision is to realise Thomas Barnardo’s dream of a world where no child is turned away from the help that they need. We work to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and every year we help thousands of families to build a better future. But we cannot do it without you. Visit to find out how you can get involved and show you believe in children. Follow Barnardo’s media team on Twitter @BarnardosNews.


For further information please contact:

Laura Tattam
Senior Press Officer
Telephone: 020 7592 5715

John Lewis to open its first ever airport shop at Heathrow Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal

LONDON, 2014-6-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — 5.30am tomorrow morning, John Lewis will open its first ever airport shop at Heathrow Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal. Doors will open as the first passengers en route to Washington travel through the newly refurbished Terminal.

The 3,600 sq ft shop, the largest space allocated to a fashion-led brand, is located on the top floor of the departure lounge and is part of the first impression for passengers passing through security.

The shop curates the best of John Lewis home, fashion, gifting and seasonal ranges; it will showcase own-brand products, designer collaborations and exclusives.  Major brands on offer include Weekend Collection by John Lewis, JOHN LEWIS & Co, Croft as well as recognised international brands such as Orla Kiely home, Charbonnel and Walker, Hackett and Barbour.

The shop opening comes at an exciting time for John Lewis, as the business marks its 150th Anniversary this year. Heathrow is the retailer’s 42nd shop and will bring the brand to a wider set of international customers.

Paula Nickolds, buying and brand director at John Lewis said: ‘This opening is a significant step forward in developing our international strategy. Terminal 2 will serve 20 million passengers each year and will offer John Lewis access to one of the most concentrated, valuable and influential markets in the world. We hope to bring the John Lewis brand to a wider set of international customers – showcasing our offer within a dynamic environment, building brand awareness and credibility as a worldwide brand.’

John Lewis currently delivers to 33 countries outside the UK and Ireland which equates to 75% of Terminal 2 destinations. The retailer is also expanding its international wholesale business developing a specific offer focused on bed, bath and tableware in partnership with five Shinsegae department stores in South Korea, with plans to roll out the offer to more of their stores.

In a further development, last month John Lewis announced a ‘Click & Commute’ shop to open in St Pancras station. Opening in the Autumn, the shop will be the retailer’s first convenience format, providing an opportunity to pilot a new way to shop for its existing customers and showcase the brand to those less familiar. If successful, the format could be rolled out to other transport hubs and high street locations.

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 42 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, 10 John Lewis at home and a shop at Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 91,000 staff are Partners in the business.

John Lewis – John Lewis, ‘Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2014’¹, ‘Best Overall Retailer’² and ‘Best Retailer 2013’³, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. stocks over 250,000 products, and 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.

¹ Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014
² Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2014
³ Which? Awards 2013

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:

For further information please contact:Emma Moran
Senior Press Officer, Branches and Retail Development, John Lewis
Telephone: 020 7592 6058

IKEA launched its first global “Life at Home Report” aimed at improving life at home

New York is One of Eight Cities Studied for Insights on How People Start Their Days

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. 2014-6-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA, the Life Improvement Store, is today launching its first global Life at Home Report, aiming to improve life at home through a better understanding of how the start of the day impacts a person’s well-being. The findings are based on IKEA research, published studies, as well as a new consumer study of more than 8,000 respondents from around the world. The report takes a deep look at people’s morning routines from waking up to walking out the door, and how their morning habits impact their days.

The survey was conducted in eight major cities; Berlin, London, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Shanghai and Stockholm. The results reveal some surprising global differences and similarities of how people start their days. For example:
• Urban people on average spend 1 hour and 37 minutes from waking up to taking off in the morning. In Shanghai, this only takes 56 minutes, whereas in Mumbai it generally takes 2 hours and 24 minutes.
• In many cities, time for self-reflection in the morning is important for personal well-being. For instance, 57 percent of the people in New York agreed, whereas in Berlin only 9 percent share this view. The most common place for self-reflection is in the shower or bath.
• We use mobile technology and social media approximately 11 minutes every morning and 32 percent state that it’s very important for their well-being.

“We do research about people’s lives at home simply because we want to get insights that make it possible for us to contribute to a better life. We are curious about how people live their lives at home, what they do, what their expressed wishes and needs are, but also what their latent needs are. We are very excited to share these valuable insights with the world,” says Mikael Ydholm, research manager IKEA Group.

As an interactive part of the Life at Home Report, IKEA has developed a new tool called the “Data Mixing Board”, designed to help users mix and compare data and break down the results in different cities and different segments. As the U.S. city included in the survey, the results showed some interesting insights specifically about New Yorkers:

Early Bird Myths
• 56 percent of New Yorkers don’t see themselves as morning people. However, 51 percent of people in New York wake up before 7 a.m.

Groom or Gloom
• New Yorkers spend more time grooming on average than the other surveyed cities, taking 16 minutes instead of 14. New York women clock in at 19 minutes while New York men spend, on average, 12 minutes.
• Only 13 percent of New Yorkers think they are most attractive in the morning.

• 40 percent of New Yorkers have worked from their bed. Thankfully, only 16 percent have worked from their bathroom.

Tomorrow’s Mornings
• To prepare for the day ahead, 24 percent of New Yorkers pack lunch the night before and 35 percent pick out clothes for the next day.

To further explore the IKEA Life at Home Report, go to

The data included in the report consists of existing IKEA consumer research, other published studies, interviews with various specialists and experts, as well as a new survey conducted in eight major cities around the world. The survey was collected through online panels in Berlin, London, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Shanghai and Stockholm. All in all, 8,292 answers were collected among people from 18 to 60 years of age. The survey was carried out in cooperation with Swedish business intelligence agency United Minds, and has been complemented with reputable published studies and findings from external research sources.

IKEA strives to be ‘The Life Improvement Store,’ and since its 1943 founding in Sweden, has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 340 IKEA stores in 43 countries/territories, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings company, incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, go to

Press Contact: Alexandra Rogers

Delhaize Group divests Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid’s operations to Bi-Lo Holdings for $246 million

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 2014-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Delhaize Group (Euronext Brussels: DELB, NYSE: DEG) announces today that it has completed the divestment of the Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid´s operations to Bi-Lo Holdings for a cash amount of $246 million, subject to customary post-closing adjustments.

Delhaize Group also completed, in a separate transaction, the sale of its distribution center in Plant City, Florida to C&S Wholesale Grocers for an amount of $28 million.

» Delhaize Group
Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in nine countries on three continents. At the end of the first quarter of 2014, Delhaize Group´s sales network consisted of 3 520 stores. In 2013, Delhaize Group posted €21.1 billion in revenues and €179 million in net profit (Group share). At the end of 2013, Delhaize Group employed approximately 160 000 people. Delhaize Group’s stock is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG).

This press release is available in English, French and Dutch. You can also find it on the website Questions can be sent to

» Contacts

Investor Relations: + 32 2 412 2151
Media Relations: + 32 2 412 8669

Statements that are included or incorporated by reference in this press release and other written and oral statements made from time to time by Delhaize Group and its representatives, other than statements of historical fact, which address activities, events and developments that Delhaize Group expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including, without limitation, the financial flexibility that will result from the sale of Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid’s to Bi-Lo Holdings; the ultimate value of the transaction to Delhaize Group after working capital adjustments, the expected effect of the portfolio optimization, , strategic options, future strategies and the anticipated benefits of these strategies, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified as statements that include phrases such as “guidance,” “outlook,” “projected,” “believe,” “target,” “predict,” “estimate,”, “forecast,” “strategy,” “may,” “goal,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “foresee,” “likely,” “will,” “should” or other similar words or phrases. Although such statements are based on current information, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those projected depending upon a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, changes in the general economy or the markets of Delhaize Group, in strategy, in consumer spending, in inflation or currency exchange rates or in legislation or regulation; competitive factors; adverse determination with respect to claims; inability to timely develop, remodel, integrate, open, convert or close stores; and supply or quality control problems with vendors. Additional risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements are described in Delhaize Group’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F and other filings made by Delhaize Group with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which risk factors are incorporated herein by reference. Delhaize Group disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments.

Neringa Janavičiūtė named new head of MAXIMA GRUPĖ

VilniusLithuania, 2014-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — As of June 3, MAXIMA GRUPĖ, running the retail companies in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and Bulgaria, will have a new leader. The Company will be headed by the long-standing employee Neringa Janavičiūtė. She will replace the current Director General Mindaugas Bagdonavičius, who has held the position since 2008.

In April this year Mindaugas Bagdonavičius became a Chairman of the Board of “Vilniaus prekyba”, the holding company controlling MAXIMA GRUPĖ. He will continue his work in this position and will also be responsible for the activity of AKROPOLIS group companies. He will also coordinate the development of a retail business in Spain.

“MAXIMA GRUPĖ has created a wide and successful international chain of retail stores. At present, with the regard to the Company’s long term strategy, we have decided to better define the Company‘s activity, responsibilities, and priorities“, ‒ says Mindaugas Bagdonavičius, Chairman of the Board of “Vilniaus prekyba”.

Neringa Janavičiūtė has worked in „Vilniaus prekyba” companies since 1994, having started her career as Executive of Commerce. Later she headed sales and marketing departments in the companies of MAXIMA group. In 2002, Neringa Janavičiūtė was head of the company “Vilniaus Akropolis” and she was entrusted with opening of “Akropolis”, the first largest shopping mall in the Baltic States. For the past six years she held the position of Marketing Director in MAXIMA group companies and was a member of the Board of Directors.

„I appreciate the trust bestowed upon me, and am prepared to contribute to further success of the Company‘s activity. My key objectives include continuing the work that has been started in relation with the growth of the Group’s companies, strengthen their internal competencies, management, and reputation, and ensure the attainment of MAXIMA GRUPĖ‘s strategic goals“, ‒ says Neringa Janavičiūtė.

MAXIMA GRUPĖ was established in 2007. It is a company, controlling retail companies in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and Bulgaria. At the end of 2013 there were 508 MAXIMA X, MAXIMA XX, MAXIMA XXX, ALDIK, and T-MARKET stores operating in these countries. There were 230 shops in Lithuania, 144 in Latvia, 71 in Estonia, 42 in Bulgaria, and 21 in Poland. In all its companies and countries of operation MAXIMA GRUPĖ employs over 30 thousand people. In 2013 MAXIMA GRUPĖ’s consolidated turnover grew 5.9% and accounted for 2,519 billion euros without VAT.



Ski and outdoor retailer Ekosport to upgrade to Intershop 7 to power its international online shop

  • Leading ski and outdoor retailer to upgrade online shop across 15 countries
  • Intershop confirms growth plans for French market

Jena, Germany / Paris, France, 2014-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Leading ski and outdoor specialist Ekosport has chosen Intershop’s omni-channel commerce platform Intershop 7 to power its international online shop. The sports retailer, based in France, will replace an internally built e-commerce platform with the Intershop solution, rolling out the new website simultaneously in 15 countries including France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and UK. The new website will be launched in late summer.

Simultaneously to the announcement of this new license client Intershop confirms its ambitious growth strategy for the French market. France is next to Germany, the UK, Benelux and the USA one of five strategic core regions, Intershop is focusing on. Intershop plans to double its local team and its French customer base by the end of the year, and is actively looking for new partners to help implement Intershop’s market-leading commerce platform for B2C and B2B customers in the mid-size and enterprise market. The company is also strengthening its management team in France with the appointment of Kamel Tansaout, who joined Intershop in March to head up a sales team based in Paris.

“There are huge opportunities as organizations continue to upgrade and reinvent their e-commerce channels and seek to deliver true omni-channel commerce experiences to their customers. For French organizations in particular, internationalization is a big issue, recognizing that they have to grow across borders to stay competitive,” comments Kamel Tansaout.

Intershop is currently strengthening its product business, putting a greater focus on distributing Intershop’s technology to small and mid-sized client segments and on gaining new clients through strong partnerships. These are supported by local, flexible sales entities in strategic markets like France.

Axel Köhler, Senior Vice President Global Sales and Marketing, comments the new marketing initiative in France: “As the only independent platform vendor and with a proven technology that stands out with its flexibility, scalability and innovative features, we are optimistic to gain a bigger market share in the dynamic French e-commerce market.”

About Intershop
Intershop Communications AG (founded in Germany 1992; Prime Standard: ISH2) is the leading independent provider of omni-channel commerce solutions. Intershop offers high-performance packaged software for internet sales, complemented by all necessary services including online marketing. Intershop also acts as a business process outsourcing provider, covering all aspects of online retailing up to fulfillment. Around the globe more than 500 enterprise customers, including HP, BMW, Deutsche Telekom, and Mexx run Intershop solutions. Intershop is headquartered in Jena, Germany, and has offices in the United States, Europe, Australia, and China. More information about Intershop can be found online

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

Intershop Public Relations

Heide Rausch

Phone: +49 3641 50-1000
Fax: +49 3641 50-1309

BRC survey reveals customers using less cash than ever as retailers make it easier and more convenient to shop and pay

LONDON, 2014-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Customers are using less cash than ever as retailers make it easier and more convenient to shop and pay. New data reveals that a growing proportion of smaller payments previously made in cash are now being made in other ways. The availability of contactless cards, handy express stores and self-service tills as well as online sales have contributed to the increased use of debit cards to 50 per cent of retail sales value in 2013, up by 11 % over the last five years. Over the same time period there has been a decline in the average debit card transaction value, and in the use of cash by 14 per cent.

Debit cards now account for 32 per cent of the number of transactions compared to 30 per cent last year. As everyday use of digital technology increases, customers are becoming accustomed to using the latest developments in ways to pay. However, cash remains the dominant method of payment, with 53 per cent of transactions still made in cash, although this has declined by 3 per cent over the last year and 10 per cent over the last 5 years.

The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Payments Survey 2013 published today (Monday) covers 60 per cent or £191 billion in retail sales in 2013. It tells a different story for credit cards as customers are spending the same amount in total but for fewer items, suggesting more considered purchasing. During 2013 the share in transaction volumes fell by 13 per cent (from 11 per cent to 9 per cent). The average transaction value was up by 12 per cent on last year. This reverses a decline in average transaction values over the previous three years.

The survey shows that banks are still levying unjustifiably high charges on retailers handing card payments. The average cost to a retailer to process a credit or charge card payment is now 40.9 pence, up 18.3 per cent in the last five years. Credit and charge cards account for only 9 per cent of transactions but almost half (48.7 per cent) of costs. At the same time, the cost to process a cash payment is now 1.3 pence and has decreased 38 per cent in the last five years. Cash accounts for 53 per cent of transactions but 9 per cent of costs. Debit cards costs have increased by 4 per cent in the last five years and cost 8.8 pence per transaction. They account for 32 per cent of transactions but 37 per cent of costs.

Helen Dickinson, Director General of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Customers are taking advantages of new ways to shop and pay. The availability of contactless cards, handy express stores and self-service tills as well as online sales has increased the use of debit cards for smaller payments in place of cash. This is very much in line with the attention customers have paid to price and value during the recent economic uncertainty as they have sought to minimise payments from their budgets for everyday items.

“The recent pattern of spending on larger but fewer products on credit cards shows that customers are now feeling more confident than they did a year ago and reflects the wider consumer outlook of cautious growth.

“Cash use down 14 per cent in the last five years is a milestone in the development of our digital economy. It shows that customers are embracing digital shopping whether online or on the high street and retailers are adapting and evolving to meet the demand with excellent services. However, it is important to note that cash still remains dominant in the overall number of transactions.

“It is really disappointing that the average cost of accepting both credit and debit cards have increased over five years, while cash costs have gone down. Interchange fees cost the retail industry and its customers almost £1 billion in 2013. The much-welcomed European proposals to cap how much banks can charge retailers to process card payments are close to final approval, but in the meantime, we continue to work with the UK Government and Payment System regulator to implement caps on UK fees without further delay, as has happened in other European countries”.

The survey can be downloaded by clicking on the link shown to the right.

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900.

General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani and CFO Michael Berman to present at NAREIT REITWeek 2014 investor conference on June 4

Chicago, Illinois, 2014-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — General Growth Properties, Inc. (the “Company”) (NYSE: GGP) today announced that Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive officer, and Michael Berman, chief financial officer, will present at the NAREIT REITWeek 2014 investor conference in New York on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

The live audio-­only webcast will be available online in the investors section of the Company’s website and at An online replay will be available for approximately two weeks after the event.

General Growth Properties, Inc. 
General Growth Properties, Inc. is an S&P 500 company focused exclusively on owning, managing, leasing, and redeveloping high quality retail properties throughout the United States. GGP is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol GGP.


Kevin Berry
(312) 960-5529

David Keating
(312) 960-6325

Kimco management to present in the REITWeek 2014 NAREIT’s Investor Forum on June 3, 2014

NEW HYDE PARK, New York, 2014-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM) announced today that its management will participate in the REITWeek 2014 NAREIT’s Investor Forum on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 in New York. Kimco management will provide a general overview of the company followed by a question and answer session. The webcast information is as follows:

Event: Kimco Realty Corporation Management Presentation at REITWeek 2014 NAREIT’s Investor Forum

When: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 from 2:15 P.M. – 2:45 P.M. EDT

Where: Live webcast can be accessed by clicking on the following link: Kimco REITWeek 2014 or by entering in your browser.

If you are unable to participate during the live webcast, audio from the conference will be available until September 3, 2014 at the link above.

Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) headquartered in New Hyde Park, New York, that owns and operates North America’s largest publicly traded portfolio of neighborhood and community shopping centers. As of March 31, 2014, the company owned interests in 835 shopping centers comprising 122 million square feet of leasable space across 42 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and South America. Publicly traded on the NYSE since 1991, and included in the S&P 500 Index, the company has specialized in shopping center acquisitions, development and management for more than 50 years. For further information, please visit, the company’s blog at, or follow Kimco on Twitter at


David F. Bujnicki
Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Toys“R”Us, Inc. supports nonprofit organization dedicated to finding childhood cancer cure Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Company Renews Commitment to Help Fight Pediatric Cancer with Nationwide Fundraising and Awareness Program, In-Store Events and User-Generated Social Media Initiative

Wayne, NJ, 2014-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us, Inc. today announced it has reaffirmed its support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Beginning this Sunday, June 1 through Thursday, July 31, monetary donations will be collected at all Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores nationwide and online at To celebrate its fourth consecutive year of partnership with ALSF, Toys“R”Us is debuting a new campaign theme and consumer engagement initiative, #Stir4ACure, which invites social media users to spread awareness for the charity by sharing who or what they stir for – whether it’s a cure, a family member or all children fighting cancer. By joining the effort, participants can show support for the cause and for Alexandra “Alex” Scott, the inspiration behind ALSF who “stirred for a cure” for all kids like her before losing her life to cancer at the age of 8.

Diagnosed just before her first birthday, Alex Scott began hosting lemonade stands at only 4 years old with a mission to find a cure for pediatric cancer. Before she died in 2004, Alex raised $1 million through stands hosted in her name. Inspired by Alex’s determination, her parents, Liz and Jay Scott, continued her dream and established ALSF in 2005. The organization now funds research projects and provides resources to assist families affected by this disease. Alex’s mission has evolved into a national movement, with thousands of kids continuing to host lemonade stands in her honor and “stirring” the most important ingredients of all into their lemonade – hope and support for the 263,000 new children affected by cancer worldwide each year. To date, Alex’s legacy has helped raise more than $75 million, showing that at any age, kids can have a lasting impact on the world.

“Because of our partnership with Toys“R”Us, we have been able to fund countless, critical pediatric cancer research projects over the last four years, many of which have gone on to directly impact and give hope to the thousands of children and families fighting cancer in the U.S.,” said Liz Scott, Alex’s mom and Co-Executive Director for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. “We are thankful to the entire “R”Us family and its customers who have joined Alex’s mission, and we know that together we can #Stir4ACure to help turn her dream into a reality.”

“Over the last four years, Alex’s resolve and courageousness has been an inspiration to us all at Toys“R”Us, as well as our customers, who have embraced the cause and helped us to contribute nearly $6 million to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund. “This year, we hope to raise even more funds that will be vital to ALSF in advancing its research efforts, as well as generate additional awareness for the organization, encouraging kids and families across the country to #Stir4ACure.”

Toys“R”Us Engages Customers and Kids to #Stir4ACure

To commemorate this year’s partnership, Toys“R”Us is inviting kids and families to show their support for ALSF through the company’s #Stir4ACure initiative. Beginning today, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users can #Stir4ACure by visiting, where they’ll find a downloadable, print-out pledge, on which they are encouraged to write down who or what they stir for. To further spread the word about the cause, participants are then asked to share photos of their signs on their social media channels, using #Stir4ACure.

Throughout the campaign, the Toys“R”Us FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages will feature posts highlighting an ALSF hero and their own inspirational story and personal connection to the cause. The company’s official social media channels will also provide ongoing fundraising updates, opportunities to get involved, fun activities and more. Pinterest users can follow Toys“R”Us at, where the company will showcase a dedicated Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Pinboard featuring user-generated photos from the #Stir4ACure program and Alex’s Lemonade Stands hosted at Toys“R”Us stores across the country, as well as lemon recipes and lemonade stand decor.

Alex’s Lemonade Stands Come to Life in Toys“R”Us Stores

On Friday, June 20, select Toys“R”Us stores across the country will host in-store lemonade stands where kids and families will have the opportunity to meet ALSF volunteers, sample lemonade, make a donation and learn more about the organization.

In addition, all Toys“R”Us locations nationwide will hold in-store events on Saturday, June 21 from noon to 3pm, providing kids and families with the opportunity to donate and receive information about ALSF. Children in attendance will enjoy special giveaways (quantities limited) and activities, plus a take-home pledge to review with their parents, inviting their family to set up their own official Alex’s Lemonade Stand and participate in the company’s #Stir4ACure social media program.

To kick off the 2014 campaign, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys“R”Us, Inc., has provided a $100,000 grant to ALSF. Since the partnership began in 2011, Toys“R”Us and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, along with donations from customers, together have provided nearly $6 million to the organization.

To download high-resolution images related to the Toys“R”Us campaign benefitting ALSF, please visit:

Charitable Giving at Toys“R”Us

The philanthropic mission of Toys“R”Us, Inc. and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund is to keep children safe and help them in times of need. The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund contributes millions of dollars annually to various children’s organizations, including those providing disaster relief to victims of large-scale crises, as well as those supporting America’s military families. The Fund also provides grants to leading special needs organizations and has donated $1 million as the first Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. In addition to financial and product donations, Toys“R”Us, Inc. hosts in-store and online fundraising campaigns annually that raise millions of dollars for the company’s signature philanthropic partners.

About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $80 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 450 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit

# # #

Media Contacts:

Toys“R”Us, U.S.
Adrienne O’Hara

Nicole Hayes

Apple® to acquire subscription streaming music service Beats Music, and Beats Electronics for $3 billion

CUPERTINO, California, 2014-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Apple® today announced it has agreed to acquire the critically acclaimed subscription streaming music service Beats Music, and Beats Electronics, which makes the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software. As part of the acquisition, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple. Apple is acquiring the two companies for a total of $3 billion, consisting of a purchase price of approximately $2.6 billion and approximately $400 million that will vest over time.

“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”

“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Jimmy Iovine. “The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special.”

Iovine has been at the forefront of innovation in the music industry for decades, and he has been an instrumental partner for Apple and iTunes® for more than a decade. He has produced or collaborated with some of the most successful artists in the history of the iTunes Store®, helping make it the world’s number one music retailer. Iovine and Dr. Dre are sound pioneers, artists and entrepreneurs.

Beats Electronics has brought the energy, emotion and excitement of playback in the recording studio back to the listening experience and has introduced an entirely new generation to premium sound entertainment. Beats Music was developed by a team of people who have each spent their entire career in music and provides music fans with an incredible curated listening experience.

“Music is such an important part of Apple’s DNA and always will be,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The addition of Beats will make our music lineup even better, from free streaming with iTunes Radio to a world-class subscription service in Beats, and of course buying music from the iTunes Store as customers have loved to do for years.”

In just five years since launch, the Beats “b” has become the brand of choice in the music and sports worlds, and is the market leader in the premium headphone market. Music superstars including Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj have designed their own customized Beats headphones and speakers. Fashion designers and street artists such as Alexander Wang, Futura and Snarkitecture have collaborated on special limited products, while renowned athletes including LeBron James, Serena Williams and Neymar use Beats as a critical part of their training and game day process. Beats has quickly become part of pop culture in the US and with the acquisition the Beats product lineup will be offered in many more countries through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

Subject to regulatory approvals, Apple expects the transaction to close in fiscal Q4.

Formally established in 2008 as the brainchild of legendary artist and producer Dr. Dre and Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records Jimmy Iovine, Beats Electronics (Beats) comprises the Beats by Dr. Dre family of premium consumer headphones, earphones, and speakers as well as patented Beats Audio software technology and streaming music subscription service Beats Music. Through these offerings, Beats has effectively brought the energy, emotion and excitement of playback in the recording studio to the listening experience and has introduced an entirely new generation to the possibilities of premium sound entertainment.

Beats Music is a subscription streaming music service that focuses on providing a personalized music experience for each user through a unique blend of digital innovation and musical passion. Programmed by a trusted team of well-respected music experts with over 300 years of experience across all genres, Beats Music delivers the right music for any situation, any time, and any preference, personalized to your tastes. The result is an artist-friendly digital music service that does more than simply offer access to music, but one that establishes an emotional connection to it as well.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Press Contacts:
Tom Neumayr
(408) 974-1972

Sarah Joyce
(310) 795-4757

Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iTunes and iTunes Store are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Apple Media Helpline (408) 974-2042

ShopRite and Procter & Gamble partner to bring Caroline’s Carts to more than 250 ShopRite stores

Woodbridge, NJ, 2014-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — ShopRite and Procter & Gamble have partnered to bring Caroline’s Carts, specialized shopping carts created for special needs children, to more than 250 ShopRite stores across the Northeast. Starting in the month of June, Caroline’s Carts will be available at all ShopRite stores. A special event with Drew Ann Long, founder of Caroline’s Carts, took place at the ShopRite of Woodbridge today to unveil the unique cart and introduce it to ShopRite customers. Drew Ann Long created the custom cart for her daughter Caroline, launching Caroline’s Carts in 2013.

ShopRite is a Founding Partner of the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games. P&G has extended its support of this partnership by helping ShopRite to bring Caroline’s Carts to all of its stores.

Also in attendance at the unveiling were representatives from Procter & Gamble; Marc Edenzon, President & CEO of Special Olympics NJ; and Special Olympics Ambassadors Nadia Comaneci and Bart Connor.

About ShopRite
ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative, based in Keasbey, NJ and the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States.  With more than 250 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than five million customers each week.  A long-time supporter of key community efforts, ShopRite is dedicated to fighting hunger in the communities it serves.  Through its ShopRite Partners In Caring program, ShopRite has donated $33 million to 1,700 worthy charities and food banks since the program began in 1999.  As a title sponsor of the LPGA’s ShopRite Classic, ShopRite has raised more than $26 million for local schools, hospitals and community groups.  Progressive Grocer named ShopRite its 2011 Retailer of the Year and Supermarket News awarded ShopRite its 2011 Retail Excellence Award.  For more information, please visit

About Caroline’s Carts
Caroline’s Cart is a shopping cart created for special needs children and adults. It provides parents and caregivers a viable option to transport a child through a store while grocery shopping, without simultaneously having to maneuver a wheelchair and a traditional grocery cart. It is named after Caroline, the special needs daughter of Drew Ann and David Long, founders of Parent Solution Group and is manufactured by Technibilt.  Caroline’s Cart is not just for children/adults that do not walk.  Caroline’s Cart has been widely used for children with Autism, providing a safe solution while in the store.  The Long family believes that all families deserve to have this option, so they can enjoy the freedom of shopping with their special needs child. For more information, please visit

Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company products to be available in Target

MINNEAPOLIS, 2014-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Jessica Alba is about to be an everyday fixture in the aisles of Target and pages of

Starting June 15, an assortment of The Honest Company, which Jessica co-founded with former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World, Christopher Gavigan, will be available at Target. Ranging from diapers and biodegradable wipes to organic skin care and laundry detergent, The Honest Company offers non-toxic, eco-friendly and beautiful products that are better for the environment, families and wallets.

We call that a triple threat.

Below, hear more on the upcoming launch of The Honest Company at Target from Jessica and Christopher.

News of The Honest Company joining the Target family comes after the Bullseye’s recently announced Made to Matter collection, which features new and exclusive products from 16 leading natural, organic and sustainable brands.

Not that we needed another reason to shop at Target, but now we’ve got one…and that’s the honest truth.

Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company products to be available in Target

Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company products to be available in Target


Wincor Nixdorf launches new version of its global software platform 5.5

Paderborn, Germany, 2014-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Retail software needs to integrate the online and offline worlds and meet all the requirements of functionality, architecture and international orientation of retail companies. This is because today’s consumers interact with a retail company via various touchpoints, for example, they gather information online but make their purchases in stores – or vice versa. They might order online, but expect to return goods in a brick and mortar outlet. They expect an actual brand and shopping experience, whatever channel they use. And in the process, they expect information to be consistent, goods to be available and service to be of the same high quality everywhere. Against this backdrop, Wincor Nixdorf is introducing the next release of its global software platform

Retail companies will benefit from the new version – 5.5 – to connect their sales channels seamlessly and control them more efficiently. A cross-channel merchandise management solution and a customer relationship management solution have been newly integrated. 5.5 thus ensures a consistent link between sales, merchandise and customer data flows so that, for example, order processing and item availability can be coordinated across channels.

In order to improve customer service in the store, 5.5 provides numerous functions on mobile devices running iOS and Android operating systems. Full-featured POS functionality on tablet PCs or user-friendly merchandise management on smartphone are just two examples of how staff flexibility and customer service can be improved. “With 5.5, we met the challenge of introducing lots of innovative features, especially in the area of omnichannel and mobility, while keeping what made so strong and successful in the last years, namely a robust, feature-rich and truly international software product that satisfies the most demanding major retail organizations around the globe,” says Nicolas Pelletier, Head of Product Line Retail Software at Wincor Nixdorf. “In addition, we noticeably extended our software portfolio with best-in-class applications delivering additional value to both retailers and consumers.”

Wincor Nixdorf takes care of integrating its software products in the customer’s landscape, and manages all operations required during the lifetime of the solution. Proven, global standardized processes ensure the rapid transfer of the solution to the entire store network while ensuring complete process transparency. “You can have the best software, but it will not be successful on the market without delivery and operations excellence. With our global Professional Services organization, and our Store Lifecycle Management operations model, we have a unique offering in terms of integration and operations services,” explains Nicolas Pelletier. 5.5 is part of Wincor Nixdorf’s comprehensive, modular TP Application Suite, which addresses the entire range of sales-related processes required by large, international retailers. The TP Application Suite is a set of integrated software applications installed in over 70 countries and on more than 200,000 point of sales systems. Wincor Nixdorf ensures support for its solutions around the world through its closely-meshed delivery and service network.

Nicolas Pelletier: “Through a considerable and sustainable investment in product management and R&D, we have once again enhanced the relevance of our retail software platform, thus ensuring that it does justice to the omnichannel and mobility requirements of retail companies within the context of global implementation.”


Tesco starts online grocery home delivery service in Shetland

  • Customers welcome savings in time and petrol
  • New service creates 30 new jobs
  • Click & Collect to launch on June 4

Cheshunt, England, 2014-5-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tesco reached a major milestone in the history of its online grocery home delivery service this week by taking shopping ordered on the net to customers in Shetland for the first time.

The new service is operated out of Tesco’s store in Lerwick which has recently been especially extended.

The first customer to receive their shopping straight to their door, delivered by one of three new specially adapted Mercedes vans was Alison Smedley of Hillswick.

Alison said:

“When I found out online grocery home delivery was coming to Shetland, I was very excited as I realised how much time and money I would save. I think it’s a fantastic service

“Driving to Lerwick and back takes me at least two hours and I end up having to spend the day in town, I’m also saving  on the petrol it takes to make the trip.

“It’s brilliant timing for me as I have a new baby on the way in the next few weeks. “

The new service gives me the opportunity to spend more time with  my family to do the things we enjoy doing together.”

Another customer, Kelly Tait from Clousta said:

“I’m delighted, it’s given me more time to be a mammy. There’s nothing worse than dragging bairns around Tesco. This will save me time and money and I can get what I need. The guys who delivered were super. I can’t fault it.”

Shetland’s Grocery Home Delivery and  Click &Collect (which starts on June 4) are also great news as 30 full and part-time positions have been created as part of the scheme.  Alan Woodworth, one of the new Customer Delivery Assistants said:

“ It’s going really well so far and our customers seem very pleased with the new service we’re providing. I’ve managed to have a bit of a laugh and there have been lots of “thank-yous” between customers and colleagues.  I’m enjoying going out and about around Shetland”

Lerwick Tesco store manager Paul Clelland accompanied the first deliveries. He said:

“The feedback from customers has been amazing – we know that this service has been hugely anticipated and that’s why I’m so pleased that it has got underway.

“Getting to speak to our first customers on the doorstep has been a  wonderful experience. You realise what it means to them and we’re glad to be making things that little bit easier.”

“We’re also really pleased to welcome new colleagues to our  team. Having completed their training, our drivers are keen to get out into the community to deliver customers’ shopping and to start making things just that bit more convenient for them.”


To find out more and book a grocery delivery slot go to

You can see pictures from our first deliveries at

Slots for delivery in Lerwick, Scalloway, Burra and the South Mainland are available seven days a week, North Mainland and Muckle Roe 4 days a week, and the West and Central Mainland four days a week.

The vans will travel from our store in Lerwick as far as Sandvoe and Isbister in the north, to Virkie and Sumburgh in the south, and to Walls and Sandness in the west. The service is expected to be extended later this year to include deliveries to the outer isles.

For more information please contact Richard Holligan on:
07834 620767

We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.

Tesco forms Joint Venture with China Resources Enterprise Limited to create the leading multi-format retailer in China

Cheshunt, England, 2014-5-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Following its previous announcement and subsequent confirmation of the satisfaction of all conditions, Tesco has completed the formation of a Joint Venture with China Resources Enterprise, Limited (“CRE”) to create the leading multi-format retailer in China (the “Joint Venture” or “JV”).

The JV combines Tesco’s best-in-class retail practices, international sourcing and multichannel capabilities with CRE’s strong local knowledge and brand, to create a business which is the largest food retailer in China.

Philip Clarke, CEO of Tesco:
“We’re very pleased to have completed this historic agreement. The partnership creates a strong platform in one of the world’s largest markets. We can now combine our strengths to build a profitable multichannel business, offering our customers in China the best of modern retail.”

Hong Jie, CEO of CRE:
“We are very excited about the completion of this agreement; it also marks a major milestone for our business development. We believe that this partnership is one that combines the strength of both parties and enables the JV to become the leading multi-format retailer in Greater China, through improved operations, better growth and enhanced profitability.”

Notes to Editors:

  • There have been no material changes to the terms of the investment agreement as previously advised in the circular of CRE dated 25 February 2014.
  • The Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) approved unconditionally the transactions contemplated by the investment agreement on 12 May 2014.


For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.

Sainsbury’s opened its 200th convenience store in Shepherd’s Bush Road in Hammersmith London

LONDON, 2014-5-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s opened its 200th convenience store in London today, creating 25 local jobs. Shepherd’s Bush Road Local in Hammersmith represents 16 years of continuous growth since Sainsbury’s opened its first convenience store, also in Hammersmith, in 1998.

Over 6,000 people are employed in Sainsbury’s convenience stores across Greater London, and the retailer recently opened a new convenience training centre in London to train 200 new managers and 500 team leaders.

The store was opened by the Bush Family Project and Children’s Centre and offers a broad range of convenience goods for local residents looking to top-up their main food shop.

Simon Twigger, Sainsbury’s Director of Convenience, said: “We’re delighted to open our 200th store in London. We know that people want to shop locally and frequently, and that is why our stores are conveniently located in the places that people want and need them.

“We have a strong presence in London – it’s where our convenience business started, and our Local stores are going from strength to strength. Not only do they provide choice for local people, but they boost the local economy, providing jobs and attracting extra footfall.”

New store manager Yash Desai said: “I am really looking forward to opening our new Hammersmith shop and welcoming customers for the first time. I have a great team in place and our aim is to provide a fresh range of products, excellent customer service and to be part of the local thriving business community.”

Sainsbury’s Locals now account for 27% of the UK’s convenience market growth, with sales of over £1.5 billion and year-on-year growth of nearly 20%. The company is currently opening about two convenience stores every week and has over 630 convenience stores nationwide.

Over five million customers shop in Sainsbury’s Locals each week, and in September, Sainsbury’s was named Convenience Retailer of The Year for the third year running at the Retail Industry Awards.

Sainsbury’s is accelerating the expansion of its convenience store business in London and the South East with plans to open 50 new stores by early 2014. This will create over 1,000 local jobs.

Notes to editors

  • The shop is at 48/50 Shepherds Bush Road, London, W6 7PH
  • The new Hammersmith Sainsbury’s has chosen Shepherd’s Bush Family Project and Children’s Centre as its Local Charity partner. It helps families who are homeless or have other unmet housing needs and suffer social and economic hardship in Shepherds Bush and the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham


Sainsbury’s opened its 200th convenience store in Shepherd’s Bush Road in Hammersmith London

Sainsbury’s opened its 200th convenience store in Shepherd’s Bush Road in Hammersmith London

Belk, Inc. announces operating results for fiscal first quarter ended May 3, 2014

  • Online sales grow 42 percent
  • Company repurchases $94.3 million in stock

CHARLOTTE, N.C., 2014-5-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Belk, Inc., the nation’s largest family owned and operated fashion department store company, today announced operating results for its fiscal first quarter ended May 3, 2014.

Tim Belk, chairman and chief executive officer of Belk, Inc., said, “First quarter sales comparisons were challenging due to our large increases last year and the soft selling environment this year.  We did, however, manage to retain most of last year’s gains while experiencing continued growth in our online business.  Although the investments we are making in the Company will continue to impact our short term profitability, we are building a solid foundation for long term growth and success.  We recently increased our regular dividend and completed a stock repurchase to reflect our commitment to drive strong returns for our shareholders.”

Net Sales

Net sales for the 13-week period were $955.1 million compared to $955.8 in the prior-year period. On a comparable store basis, net sales decreased 0.2 percent. Juniors, women’s contemporary and better merchandise categories in general performed well during the quarter.

The company’s online sales from increased 42.4 percent for the period. Online sales positively affected the company’s comparable store sales by 1.8 percent for the period.

Net Income

First quarter net income totaled $19.3 million compared to $28.2 million in the prior-year period. The decrease was primarily the result of higher expenses associated with the company’s investments in strategic initiatives during the period. Net income excluding non-comparable items totaled $19.4 million compared to $28.4 million in the prior year period. A reconciliation of net income to net income excluding non-comparable items is provided at the end of this release. (See attached PDF file.)

Belk, Inc. Stock Self Tender Offer Results Announced

On March 26, 2014, Belk’s Board of Directors approved a self-tender offer to purchase shares of the company’s common stock at a price of $48.10 per share. The tender offer was initiated on April 24, 2014, and on May 21, 2014, Belk accepted for purchase 1,961,011 shares of common stock for approximately $94.3 million.

New Stores, Store Expansions and Remodels

During the first quarter, the company replaced its former store in High Point, N.C. with a new fashion store at The Palladium at Deep River Shopping Center on March 12, and opened its first Texas flagship store at Galleria Dallas in Dallas, Texas, on April 9. Another new flagship store is scheduled to open in fall 2014 at Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville, Ala., along with a new store at Denham Springs/Livingston Parish, La.  Other flagship store expansion and remodeling projects set for completion this fall include Greensboro, N.C. (Friendly Center), Mt. Pleasant, S.C. (phase 2 main store remodel) and Hoover, Ala. (Riverchase Galleria). Belk has also announced the openings of two new stores in 2015 in Bristol, Tenn. (The Pinnacle) and Jacksonville, Fla. (Marketplace at the Fountains), along with a major expansion and remodel of its flagship store in Columbia, S.C. (Columbiana Centre).

Private Brand Launches

Belk recently launched CYNTHIA Cynthia Rowley for the home, an exclusive collection of home fashion merchandise in 70 Belk locations and on that includes fine linens, bedding, tabletop, decorative pillows and other home décor items.

Marketing Partnership Announced

Belk recently announced a six-year sponsorship agreement with the Southeastern Conference and the SEC Network, a new multiplatform national network devoted to the conference and operated by ESPN. Belk will be the official retail department store of the SEC, giving the company exclusive access to all SEC championship events, including the SEC FanFare events held in conjunction with the SEC Football Championship Game and Men’s Basketball Tournament. The agreement also gives Belk prime exposure on the forthcoming SEC Network, which will launch August 14, 2014 from the ESPN studios in Charlotte, N.C.

Belk Donates to American Red Cross for Tornado and Storm Relief Efforts in Southern U.S.

Belk contributed $100,000 to the American Red Cross to aid victims of the recent tornadoes and storms that affected communities throughout the southern U.S.  The company is also working with local American Red Cross chapters in its market area to provide store discounts to those impacted by the storm.

Investments in Strategic Initiatives

Belk has planned investments totaling more than $700 million over a three-year period that began in fiscal 2014 for key strategic initiatives focused on:

  • A comprehensive Omnichannel initiative that will enable Belk to connect seamlessly with customers regardless of where they are, offer multiple ways to provide what they want, enhance their in-store shopping experience, and create more personalized customer interactions;
  • Creating compelling shopping environments and driving sales by investing in a flagship strategy, opening stores in existing and new markets, and expanding and remodeling existing stores and key merchandise departments;
  • Supply chain initiatives that align distribution capabilities to maximize sales and service;
  • Information technology that delivers new business capabilities for growth and profitability; and
  • Excelling in customer service.

About Belk, Inc. 
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. ( is the nation’s largest family owned and operated department store company with 299 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence.  Its website offers a wide assortment of national brands and private label fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership and has been committed to community involvement since its inception. In the fiscal year ended Feb. 1, 2014, the company and its associates, customers and vendors donated more than $20.9 million to communities within Belk market areas.

Belk offers many ways to connect via digital and social media, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus and Belk Blog, and provides exclusive offers, fashion updates, sales notifications and coupons via email or mobile phone text messages. Customers can also download the latest Belk mobile apps for the iPad, iPhone or Android.


To provide clarity in measuring Belk’s financial performance, Belk supplements the reporting of its consolidated financial information under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) with the non-GAAP financial measure of “net income excluding non-comparable items.” Belk believes that “net income excluding non-comparable items” is a financial measure that emphasizes the Company’s core ongoing operations and enables investors to focus on period-over-period operating performance. It is among the primary indicators Belk uses in planning and operating the business and forecasting future periods, and Belk believes this measure is an important indicator of recurring operations because it excludes items that may not be indicative of or are unrelated to core operating results. Belk also excludes such items when evaluating company performance in connection with its incentive compensation plans. In addition, this measure provides a better baseline for modeling future earnings expectations and makes it easier to compare Belk’s results with other companies that operate in the same industry. Net income is the most directly comparable GAAP measure. The non-GAAP measure of “net income excluding non-comparable items” should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for GAAP net income.

Certain statements made in this news release, and other written or oral statements made by or on behalf of the Company, may constitute forward-looking statements. Statements regarding future events and developments and the Company’s future performance, as well as our expectations, beliefs, plans, estimates or projections relating to the future, are forward-looking statements. You can identify these forward-looking statements through our use of words such as “may,” “will,” “intend,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “continue” or other similar words.

Forward-looking statements include information concerning possible or assumed future results from merchandising, marketing and advertising in our stores and through the Internet, general economic conditions, and our ability to be competitive in the retail industry, our ability to execute profitability and efficiency strategies, our ability to execute growth strategies, anticipated benefits from our strategic initiatives to strengthen our merchandising and planning organizations, anticipated benefits from our website and our eCommerce fulfillment center, the expected benefits of new systems and technology, and the anticipated benefits under our Program Agreement with GE Capital Retail Bank (“GECRB”). These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results to differ significantly from the results we discuss in such forward-looking statements.

We believe that these forward-looking statements are reasonable. However, you should not place undue reliance on such statements. Any such forward-looking statements are qualified by the following important risk factors and other risks which may be disclosed from time to time in our filings that could cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to the date initially made.

Risks and uncertainties that might cause our results to differ from those we project in our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to:

• Economic, political and business conditions, nationally and in our market areas, including rates of economic growth, interest rates, inflation or deflation, consumer credit availability, levels of consumer debt and bankruptcies, tax rates and policy, unemployment trends, a health pandemic, catastrophic events, potential acts of terrorism and threats of such acts and other matters that influence consumer confidence and spending;

• Our ability to anticipate the demands of our customers for a wide variety of merchandise and services, including our predictions about the merchandise mix, quality, style, service, convenience and credit availability of our customers;

• Unseasonable and extreme weather conditions in our market areas;

• Seasonal fluctuations in quarterly net income due to the significant portion of our revenues generated during the holiday season in the fourth fiscal quarter and the significant amount of inventory we carry during that time;

• Competition from other department and specialty stores and other retailers, including luxury goods retailers, general merchandise stores, Internet retailers, mail order retailers and off-price and discount stores, in the areas of price, merchandise mix, quality, style, service, convenience, credit availability and advertising;

• Any significant damage to our brand or reputation which could negatively impact sales, diminish customer trust and generate negative sentiment;

• Our ability to prevent a security breach that results in the unauthorized disclosure of Company, employee or customer information;

• Loss of key management or qualified employees or an inability to attract, retain and motivate additional highly skilled employees;

• Our ability to successfully implement our new information technology platform that will impact our primary merchandising, planning and core financial process;

• Our ability to manage multiple significant change initiatives simultaneously;

• Our ability to effectively use advertising, marketing and promotional campaigns to generate high customer traffic in our stores and through online sales;

• Variations in the amount of vendor allowances received;

• Our ability to successfully operate our website, and our fulfillment facilities and manage our social community engagement by providing a broader range of our information online, including current sales promotions and special events;

• Our ability to successfully develop and maintain a relevant and reliable Omnichannel experience for our customers;

• Our ability to find qualified vendors from which to source our merchandise and our ability to access products in a timely and efficient manner from a wide variety of domestic and international vendors; and to deliver in a timely and cost-efficient manner;

• Increases in the price of merchandise, raw materials, fuel and labor or their reduced availability;

• The income we receive from, and the timing of receipt of, payments from GECRB, the operator of our private label credit card business, which depends upon the amount of purchases made through the proprietary credit cards, changes in customers’ credit card use, and GECRB’s ability to extend credit to our customers;

• Our ability to manage our expense structure;

• Our ability to continue to open new stores, or to remodel or expand existing stores, including the availability of existing retail stores or store sites on acceptable terms and our ability to successfully execute our retailing concept in new markets and geographic regions;

• Our ability to manage risks associated with owning and leasing real estate;

• The efficient and effective operation of our distribution network, and information systems to manage sales, distribution, merchandise planning and allocation functions;

• The effectiveness of third parties in managing our outsourced business;

• Changes in federal, state or local laws and regulations; and

• Our ability to comply with debt covenants, which could adversely affect our capital resources, financial condition and liquidity.

For a detailed description of the risks and uncertainties that might cause our results to differ from those we project in our forward-looking statements, we refer you to the section captioned “Risk Factors” in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014 that we filed with the SEC on April 15, 2014. Our other filings with the SEC may contain additional information concerning the risks and uncertainties listed above, and other factors you may wish to consider. Upon request, we will provide copies of these filings to you free of charge.

Our forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of such statements.

For further information: Ralph Pitts, Belk, Inc., 704-426-8402,

IKEA in Merriam to install largest rooftop solar array in Kansas before the store’s opening in Fall 2014

MERRIAM, KS, 2014-5-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced solar energy plans for its Kansas City-area store opening Fall 2014 in Merriam, KS. Pending permits, rooftop panel installation will begin next month, with completion before the store’s opening, making the project the largest rooftop solar array in the State of Kansas.

The 92,000-square-foot solar array will consist of a 869.25-kW system, built with 2,850 panels, and will produce approximately 1,348,000 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent to reducing 930 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to the emissions of 196 cars or providing electricity for 128 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at For the development, design and installation of IKEA Merriam’s customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with Chicago-based SoCore Energy, one of the largest commercial solar developers in the Midwest, with more than 100 commercial-scale U.S. installations.

Under construction on 19 acres along the eastern side of Interstate-35 and Johnson Drive, the 359,000 square-foot future IKEA Merriam and 1,200 parking spaces will be built in the city of Merriam, eight miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri. IKEA Merriam will be the second U.S. store for IKEA with a geothermal component to its heating and cooling system. (Denver-area IKEA Centennial opened with geothermal in 2011.) Incorporating geothermal and solar will significantly reduce the energy IKEA Merriam will draw from the power grid.

“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment with solar panels on the future Merriam store,” said Rob Parsons, IKEA Merriam store manager. “As is the case with geothermal, solar energy will reduce greatly the new store’s energy needs and carbon footprint as well as contribute to our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many.”

This installation will represent the 41st solar project for IKEA in the U.S, contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation goal of 40 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015, reinforcing its confidence and investment in solar photovoltaic technology. Consistent with the goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 550,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns approximately 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada, with 49 more being built in the U.S.

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flatpacks goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 selling only L.E.D. bulbs. IKEA also has installed electric vehicle charging stations at 13 stores, with roll-out planned for more locations.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 350 IKEA stores in 44 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, see, @IKEAUSANews, @DesignByIKEA or IKEAUSA onFacebook, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Sigma: Amcal Pharmacy honored with Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers Award – Pharmacy for 2014

Victoria, Australia, 2014-5-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amcal Pharmacy has won the prestigious Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers Award – Pharmacy for 2014, ahead of other well-known pharmacy brands.

“We are extremely pleased to receive the Canstar Blue award on behalf of our Amcal pharmacies this year. Amcal pharmacists pride themselves on providing expert advice for all Australians, and have consistently featured high in ratings, so to receive this award from our customers this year is great recognition”, said Mark Hooper, Sigma Chief Executive Officer.

Amcal achieved the highest five star rating in five categories including overall customer satisfaction, service satisfaction, availability, availability of health management programs, and the provision of advice. Amcal also achieved four stars for value for money, range of health related products, and the range of beauty related products.

“It is great for Amcal to win the Canstar Blue most satisfied customers award again, they are obviously meeting the needs of their customers,” said Megan Doyle, Canstar Blue Business Unit Leader & Group Strategy Manager

“To achieve such consistently high ratings across all categories, but in particular relating to health management programs, validates our strategy of introducing structured professional services in Amcal pharmacies to assist Australian’s to better manage their health and wellbeing, said Mr Hooper.”

Amcal’s win this year follows two years of success in this award for our other pharmacy brand, Guardian, with Guardian again featuring high in customer satisfaction ratings.

“Pharmacy is the third pillar of the healthcare system, so Sigma is proud to have both Amcal and Guardian being held in such high regard for leading the way in the future of pharmacy.”

For more information please contact:

Gary Woodford
Manager Corporate Affairs
Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited
Mob: 0417 399 204