ICSC and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index: Weekly retail sales slipped by 1.3% for the week ending May 17

NEW YORK, 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Mother Nature once again kept the chill on retail sales as rain and snow left consumers soggy and constrained their ability to shop this past week. As a result weekly retail sales slipped by 1.3% for the week ending May 17, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. On a year-over-year basis sales remained positive but slowed to 2.4% for the week.

“This past week’s slippage was mainly due to Mother Nature as a very slow moving storm left heavy snow in the Rockies and flooding in the East,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. “Weather Trends International (WTI) reported that ‘It was the coldest second week of a retail May in four years and the wettest in more than 23 years.’ But despite the weather, business at more retail segments were positive than negative relative to the same week in the prior year—which is an encouraging sign,” Niemira added.

For May, ICSC research forecasts that monthly comparable-store sales will increase by 3.0% to 3.5%. Please note that next week’s report will be released on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

Week Ending           Index 1977=100          Year/Year Change            Weekly Change
17-May-14                     560.9                             2.4%                              -1.3%
10-May-14                     568.4                             3.9%                              -0.1%
03-May-14                     569.2                             2.0%                              -2.1%
26-April-14                     581.1                            3.1%                               1.6%

[Editor’s notes: The complete report will be available at 7:45 a.m. at http://www.icsc.org/research/publications. In addition, historical data from this index is available under the Research section on ICSC’s website. To view the data, visit and click on the “Weekly Chain Sales Tracking” link and enter the following member id number (1177584) and password (press2002pass) to obtain access to report and historical data.

The Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot is produced by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs. This index measures U.S. nominal same-store or comparable-store sales excluding restaurant and vehicle demand. The weekly index is constructed as a sales-weighted geometric average growth rate to preserve long-term consistency and is statistically benchmarked to a broad-based monthly retail industry sales aggregate that currently represents a sampling of leading retail chain stores, which also is compiled by ICSC. A representative sample of those major retailers has been used as a control group to extrapolate the weekly sales index. As such, the weekly index statistically represents industry sales and is not just a sum of sales for a handful of retailers. The standard period used for the index is Sunday through Saturday, even though some retailers use a different weekly accounting period. The weekly sales index is presented on an adjusted basis to account for normal seasonality and to counter other data anomalies. Weekly seasonal adjustment is at best difficult for chain store sales given that retailers can and often do shift promotions to counter typical shifts in the calendar. Nonetheless, the approach to weekly seasonal adjustment used follows from the Piser Method, which was popular in the early 1930s and became the standard for weekly adjustment.

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a bank holding company and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs provides a wide range of services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world.

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 60,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials.  As the global industry trade association, ICSC links with more than 25 national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world.  For more information, visit www.icsc.org.

ICSC Contacts:

Michael Niemira
+1 201-401-2477
mniemira@icsc.org

Jesse Tron
+ 1 646-728-3814
jtron@icsc.org

Malachy Kavanagh
+ 1 646-728-3495
mkavanagh@icsc.org

Goldman Sachs Contact:
Leslie Shribman
+1 212-902-5400

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CAMPBELL LENNOX named managing director TOYS“R”US Australia

Mr. Lennox Will Oversee the Company’s 34 Stores, e-Commerce Operations and More Than 1,700 Employees in Australia

WAYNE, NJ, 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us, Inc. today announced the appointment of Campbell Lennox as Managing Director, Toys“R”Us, Australia, effective May 26. Mr. Lennox will oversee all operations and business activities for the company’s 34 store locations and e-commerce site, as well as provide leadership for the more than 1,700 employees throughout the country. His responsibilities will include marketing, merchandising, store operations and customer service excellence. Mr. Lennox will report to Monika Merz, President, Toys“R”Us, Asia Pacific.

Mr. Lennox joins the company with over 20 years of retail and management experience, including a series of roles of increasing responsibility in operations and merchandising. He most recently served as General Manager, Merchandise Operations for Harvey Norman, an omnichannel retailer, incorporating an integrated retail, franchise, property and digital platform. In this role, he led a team, including the merchandising organization, administration and an operations group consisting of four state managers and 40 regional managers, in integrating the in-store and online shopping experience and ensuring a strong in-stock position through efficient supply chain management.

Ms. Merz said, “We are delighted to welcome Campbell to Toys“R”Us. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the Australian retail market, a strong track record of driving profitable sales, creating a customer-centric culture and building highly-engaged teams. We look forward to his contributions to our Australian business.”

Mr. Lennox stated, “The Toys“R”Us brand is known worldwide as being synonymous with bringing joy to children of all ages, and I’m looking forward to joining the team in driving the Australian business and providing a compelling shopping experience for our customers.”

Earlier in his career, Mr. Lennox served in leadership roles with some of Australia’s most notable companies such as Woolworths Limited, Kmart and Shell Australia. He holds an MBA from Southern Cross University and an Advanced Diploma of Management from the Australian Institute of Management.
About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 873 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 700 international stores and over 190 licensed stores in 35 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.comBabiesrus.comeToys.com and FAO.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys“R”Us, Inc. employs approximately 70,000 associates annually worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys“R”Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys“R”Us, Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at Facebook.com/ToysrusFacebook.com/Babiesrus and Facebook.com/FAO and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus and Twitter.com/Babiesrus.

# # #

Media Contacts: 
Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Linda Connors
973-617-4398
Linda.Connors@toysrus.com

Meijer debuts new commercial featuring photos of local children riding its iconic penny pony Sandy

Retailer’s youngest shoppers co-star with iconic penny pony

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2014-5-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today Midwest retailer Meijer announced the debut of a new commercial featuring photos of local children riding its iconic penny pony, Sandy. The 30-second commercial will begin airing within the retailer’s five-state footprint – Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky – in June and a 60-second version of the commercial is online now. Meijer shoppers can also watch the ad on TV walls in the store’s electronics department.

Meijer selected 28 photos for the TV spot from more than 3,200 submitted during the Star with Sandy photo contest hosted on its Facebook page earlier this year. Four additional youngsters were chosen for the 60-second version. For a list of individuals featured in the commercial please visit the Meijer Newsroom and view the finalists’ photo submissions here.

“Ever since Meijer first opened its doors in 1934, we’ve been a family store – family-owned and dedicated to providing families with the best shopping experience possible,” said Nicole Laughlin, vice president of brand development for Meijer. “For decades, a ride on Sandy has been a very important part of that Meijer experience for millions of families. That’s something we’re incredibly proud of.”

For many families, Sandy is the highlight of their routine shopping trips and a reward for their children’s good behavior. Amanda Stark, of Grand Rapids, Mich., was thrilled to learn her 2-year-old son, Braevin, would appear in the commercial.

“At least once a month when we go grocery shopping it’s a good incentive for Braevin. I tell him that if he’s good that he will be able to ride Sandy,” Stark said. “I’m just so proud of him that he won.”

Sandy, the iconic mechanical pony, debuted at the opening of Thrifty Acres in 1962. The late Fred Meijer was inspired by a supermarket in Nebraska that offered 10-cent pony rides, but wanted to provide a more reasonable option. The price of one penny per ride has since become symbolic of the affordable shopping experience at Meijer.

“My dad believed in making things affordable for our customers and that included Sandy,” Meijer Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Riding Sandy is a memory shared by so many children and parents who shop at our stores. But the real magic happens when those children grow up and bring their own kids back for a ride.”

Sandy has been a fixture at the front of all Meijer stores across the Midwest for decades, and is often the last thing a child remembers on the way out of the store and a source of joy for shoppers of all ages.

“I’ve been shopping at Meijer for years. It’s a family tradition,” said Sheri Miller, of Shipshewana, Ind. Her 6-year-old daughter, Katie, will co-star in the commercial. “Katie never leaves without riding Sandy. It’s her favorite part of the store.”

About Meijer
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 207 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As the inventor of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. For more information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/meijer and @twitter.com/meijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

Contact: Christina Fecher, 616-735-7968, christina.fecher@meijer.com

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Meijer debuts new commercial featuring photos of local children riding its iconic penny pony Sandy

Meijer debuts new commercial featuring photos of local children riding its iconic penny pony Sandy

 

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. granted equity inducement award of 223,964 restricted stock units to its EVP & CFO Edward Record

PLANO, Texas, 2014-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — In accordance with the New York Stock Exchange rules regarding equity inducement awards, J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) announced that on May 20, 2014, an equity inducement award of 223,964 restricted stock units (RSUs) was granted to Edward Record, the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, in connection with the commencement of his employment. The Company previously disclosed these awards in connection with the announcement of Mr. Record’s appointment in February.

The RSUs will vest in thirds on the first, second and third anniversaries, respectively, of the grant date, provided Mr. Record remains continuously employed with the Company through those dates. The award fully vests if Mr. Record is terminated for any reason other than cause, and if his employment terminates in certain cases within two years following a change of control at the Company.

Media Relations: 
(972) 431-3400 or jcpnews@jcp.com

Investor Relations: 
(972) 431-5500 or jcpinvestorrelations@jcpenney.com

About JCPenney:
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP), one of the nation’s largest apparel and home furnishing retailers, is dedicated to becoming America’s preferred retail destination for unmatched style, quality and value. Across approximately 1,100 stores and at jcpenney.com, customers will discover an inspiring shopping environment that features the most sought after collection of private, national and exclusive brands and attractions. For more information, please visit jcpenney.com.

Target Corporation announces $418 million net earnings on its First Quarter 2014 report

First quarter Adjusted EPS of $0.70; GAAP EPS of $0.66

  • First quarter Adjusted EPS of 70 cents was above the mid-point of Target’s prior guidance of 60 cents to 75 cents.
  • Target’s U.S. comparable sales decreased (0.3)% in the first quarter, near the high end of the expected range. Canadian Segment sales were $393 million, up from $86 million last year.
  • The Company returned $272 million to shareholders through dividends in first quarter 2014, representing 65% of net earnings

MINNEAPOLIS, 2014-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) today reported first quarter net earnings of $418 million, or $0.66 per share. Adjusted earnings per share1 were $0.70 in first quarter 2014, a decrease of 13.9 percent from $0.82 in 2013. The tables attached to this press release provide a reconciliation of non-GAAP to GAAP measures. All earnings per share figures refer to diluted earnings per share.

“First quarter financial performance in both our U.S. and Canadian Segments was in line with expectations, reflecting the benefit of continued recovery from the data breach and early signs of improvement in our Canada operations,” said John Mulligan, Interim President and CEO, CFO of Target Corporation. “While we are pleased with this momentum, we need to move more quickly. As a result, we have made changes to our management team and are investing additional resources to drive U.S. traffic and sales, improve our Canadian operations and advance our ongoing digital transformation. We have updated our 2014 earnings expectations to reflect the impact of these investments and believe that they position Target for accelerated profitable growth as a leading omnichannel retailer.”

Fiscal 2014 Earnings Guidance

In second quarter 2014, the Company expects Adjusted EPS, reflecting operating results in its U.S. and Canadian Segments, of 85 cents to $1.00. This measure excludes approximately (2) cents related to the expected reduction of the beneficial interest asset2, as well as any net expenses related to the data breach. For full-year 2014, Target now expects Adjusted EPS, reflecting operating results in its U.S. and Canadian Segments, of $3.60 to $3.90, compared with prior guidance of $3.85 to $4.15. This measure excludes approximately (7) cents related to the expected reduction of the beneficial interest asset2, as well as any net expenses related to the data breach. At this time, the Company is unable to estimate future expenses related to the data breach that occurred in fourth quarter 2013. Expenses may include payments associated with potential claims by the payment card networks for alleged counterfeit fraud losses and non-ordinary course operating expenses (such as card re-issuance costs), REDcard fraud and card re-issuance expense, payments associated with civil litigation, governmental investigations and enforcement proceedings, expenses for legal, investigative and consulting fees, and incremental expenses and capital investments for remediation activities. These costs may have a material adverse effect on Target’s results of operations in second quarter and full-year 2014 and future periods.

U.S. Segment Results

In first quarter 2014, sales increased 0.2 percent to $16.7 billion from $16.6 billion last year, reflecting the contribution from new stores partially offset by a (0.3) percent decrease in comparable sales. Segment earnings before interest expense and income taxes (EBIT) were $1,072 million in first quarter 2014, a decrease of 13.5 percent from $1,239 million in 2013.

First quarter EBITDA and EBIT margin rates were 9.5 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively, compared with 10.4 percent and 7.5 percent in the U.S. Segment in 2013. First quarter gross margin rate was 29.5 percent compared with 30.7 percent in 2013, driven primarily by additional promotional markdowns this year. First quarter SG&A expense rate was 20.0 percent in 2014 compared with 20.3 percent in the U.S. Segment in 2013. This decrease reflects disciplined control of expenses across the organization, including the benefit from Target’s expense optimization efforts, partially offset by a smaller contribution from the credit card portfolio, which raised the SG&A rate by approximately 0.2 percentage points. 3See the “Non-Segment Impacts to Consolidated GAAP Earnings per Share” section of this release for information about certain expenses that were included in the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Operations as SG&A, but were not part of its U.S. Segment results.

Canadian Segment Results

In first quarter 2014, the Canadian Segment generated sales of $393 million, compared with $86 million in first quarter 2013 when Target opened its first 24 Canadian stores. Segment EBIT was $(211) million in the first quarter 2014 compared with $(205) million in 2013.

First quarter 2014 gross margin rate of 18.7 percent reflects the continued impact of efforts to clear excess inventory, including long lead-time receipts. This compares to first quarter 2013 gross margin rate of 38.4 percent, which benefitted from a lack of clearance markdowns due to the short time stores had been open. SG&A expense rate of 55.4 percent in first quarter 2014 compares with 223.9 percent last year, reflecting increased scale in the Canadian Segment and pre-opening costs in last year’s results.

Non-Segment Impacts to Consolidated GAAP Earnings per Share

During fourth quarter 2013, Target experienced a data breach in which an intruder gained unauthorized access to its network and stole certain payment card and other guest information. The Company incurred $18 million of net expense in first quarter 2014, reflecting $26 million of total expenses partially offset by the recognition of an $8 million insurance receivable. This expense does not include any accrual for the potential claims by the payment card networks for counterfeit fraud losses. The amount accrued to date for probable losses on potential payment card network claims consists solely of operating expense reimbursement obligations. At this time the Company is unable to reasonably estimate a range of possible losses on the payment card networks’ potential claims in excess of the amount accrued.

In first quarter 2014, Target announced that, beginning in early 2015, the entire REDcard portfolio will be enabled with MasterCard’s chip-and-PIN solution, and existing co-branded cards will be reissued as MasterCard co-branded chip-and-PIN cards. The Company recorded $13 million of expense in first quarter 2014 related to the decision to convert existing co-branded cards to MasterCard.

Interest Expense and Taxes

Target’s first quarter 2014 net interest expense decreased to $170 million from $629 million in 2013. The year-over-year variance is primarily the result of a $445 million early debtretirement charge in first quarter 2013.

The Company’s effective income tax rate was 34.7 percent in the first quarter, compared with 36.0 percent in first quarter 2013. The decrease of 1.3 percentage points was due to a variety of factors, none of which was individually significant.

Capital Returned to Shareholders

In first quarter 2014, the Company paid dividends of $272 million. Target did not repurchase any shares of its common stock during the quarter, reflecting current performance and the Company’s desire to maintain its strong investment-grade credit ratings.

Accounting Considerations

In first quarter 2013, Target sold its entire U.S. consumer credit card receivables portfolio to TD Bank Group. The net impact of the transaction increased first quarter 2013 GAAP EPS by 36 cents, which includes the benefit of a $225 million beneficial interest asset that was recognized at the close of the sale. This asset effectively represents a receivable for the present value of future profit-sharing Target expected to receive on the receivables sold at the time of the transaction. The Company estimates the asset will be reduced over the four-year period following the close of the transaction, with larger reductions in the early years. The beneficial interest asset was reduced in first quarter 2014 by $18 million, compared with a $17 million reduction in first quarter 2013. Since the close of the transaction, the beneficial interest asset has been reduced by $117 million.

Miscellaneous

Target Corporation will webcast its first quarter earnings conference call at 9:30 a.m. CDT today. Investors and the media are invited to listen to the call through the Company’s website at www.target.com/investors (click on “events & presentations”). A telephone replay of the call will be available beginning at approximately 11:30 a.m. CDT today through the end of business on May 23, 2014. The replay number is (855) 859-2056 (passcode: 37688688).

Statements in this release regarding second quarter and full-year 2014 earnings guidance and the impact of the data breach on the Company’s results of operations are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements speak only as of the date they are made and are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially. The most important risks and uncertainties are described in Item 1A of the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014.

In addition to the GAAP results provided in this release, the Company provides Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the three months ended May 3, 2014 and May 4, 2013, respectively. This measure is not in accordance with, or an alternative for, generally accepted accounting principles in the United States. The most comparable GAAP measure is diluted earnings per share. Management believes Adjusted EPS is useful in providing period-to-period comparisons of the results of the Company’s ongoing retail operations. Adjusted EPS should not be considered in isolation or as a substitution for analysis of the Company’s results as reported under GAAP. Other companies may calculate Adjusted EPS differently than the Company does, limiting the usefulness of the measure for comparisons with other companies.

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,916 stores – 1,789 in the United States and 127 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit target.com/corporateresponsibility.

media contact

Eric Hausman
Public Relations
p: (612) 761-2054

John Hulbert, Investors
p: (612) 761-6627

Target Corporation partners with luxury fashion brand Altuzarra

Limited-edition collection to include apparel, accessories and shoes for the modern, sophisticated woman

MINNEAPOLIS, 2014-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) today announced it is partnering with Altuzarra – a luxury fashion brand known for merging femininity, sophistication and practicality – on a limited-edition collection of women’s ready-to-wear, accessories and shoes. The collection will be available Sept. 14 at most Target stores in the United States and Canada, as well as Target.com. Additionally, an edited assortment of the Target collection will be available globally at NET-A-PORTER.COM.

“As a designer, I believe firmly in the transformative power of fashion. It has the ability to not only change how you look, but also how you feel,” said Joseph Altuzarra, the brand’s designer and creative director. “I’ve admired the elegance that Target brings to fast fashion. By working together on this capsule collection, we hope to instill a sense of power, confidence and beauty in women everywhere.”

The Altuzarra brand is celebrated for embodying a combination of French sophistication and American ease, appealing to refined, independent women. This fall, Altuzarra’s aesthetic arrives at Target, empowering women to discover the transformative power of fashion at affordable prices. The collection features a mix of iconic Altuzarra silhouettes with designs created specifically for Target. It includes nearly 50 items, ranging in price from $17.99 to $89.99 for apparel and lingerie, and $29.99 to $79.99 for shoes and accessories.

“We’re always on the hunt for designers who we believe will inspire our guests,” said Trish Adams, executive vice president of apparel and home, Target. “Joseph’s passion for making women feel confident in their fashion choices is unrivaled, and this fall, Target’s guests can experience his signature style at prices that are almost too good to be true.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of this collaboration with Target and Altuzarra,” states Alison Loehnis, president, NET-A-PORTER.COM. “The collection is everything we have come to expect from Joseph’s aesthetic – chic, sophisticated and modern. We are so excited to offer NET-A-PORTER customers an opportunity to own these fabulous pieces.”

Season after season, the Altuzarra brand continues to grow in popularity, with a strong celebrity following including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Bosworth, Cameron Diaz, Michelle Dockery and Cate Blanchett, among others. Born in Paris and raised by a Chinese-American mother and French father, Joseph attended Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and remained in the United States to begin his design career in New York City. His multicultural influences and early work with prominent designers led him to establish his namesake line in 2008. From there, Joseph quickly became a fashion force, receiving numerous prestigious awards and nominations. In January 2010, he was the recipient of the Ecco Domani Fashion Fund Award and Fashion Group International’s Rising Star of the Year Award. He also received the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2011 and the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear Design in 2012. Most recently, he received a nomination for the 2014 CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year.

More information about Altuzarra for Target is available on ABullseyeView.com. Guests can join in on the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #AltuzarraforTarget.

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,916 stores – 1,789 in the United States and 127 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit target.com/corporateresponsibility.

About NET-A-PORTER.COM
NET-A-PORTER.COM was launched in June 2000 and has since established itself as the world’s premier online luxury fashion destination. Presented in the style of a fashion magazine, NET-A-PORTER.COM features collections from over 350 of the world’s most coveted designers, including Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Miu Miu and Stella McCartney. In 2013, NET-A-PORTER added beauty as a new category. With its acclaimed editorial format, express worldwide shipping to 170 countries (including same-day delivery to Manhattan and London), luxurious packaging and easy returns, NET-A-PORTER.COM offers an unparalleled shopping experience.

media contact

Jessica Carlson
p: (612) 761-6724

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Target Corporation partners with luxury fashion brand Altuzarra

Kristi Argyilan appointed SVP Media and Guest Engagement at Target

MINNEAPOLIS, 2014-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) announced it has further strengthened its marketing organization with the hiring of Kristi Argyilan as senior vice president, media and guest engagement.

Argyilan joins the company effective June 2 and will be responsible for leading and integrating the company’s paid, earned, owned and shared media initiatives. Argyilan comes to the Target from IPG Mediabrands where she was most recently the president, Magna Global, North America. She has also held senior positions with advertising and integrated marketing agencies including Arnold, Hill Holiday, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

“Kristi is known nationally as a transformational, digitally savvy marketer. As Target continues to accelerate our efforts to innovate and evolve, her expertise in leveraging today’s dynamic media mix will help us connect with Target’s guests in new and different ways,” said Jeff Jones, executive vice president, chief marketing officer at Target.

“Across our industry, leaders are working to modernize how they connect paid, owned, earned and shared media, and I believe Target has a tremendous opportunity to lead in this evolving space,” says Argyilan.“I’m honored to have been tapped to lead these efforts during what is a remarkable time for Target.”

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,924 stores – 1,797 in the United States and 127 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit target.com/corporateresponsibility.

media hotline

p: (612) 696-3400
e: press@target.com

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Kristi Argyilan

Kristi Argyilan

Darty plc announces trading update for the fourth quarter period from 1 February 2014 to 30 April 2014 and for the financial year ended 30 April 2014

London, UK, 2014-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Darty plc today announces a trading update for the fourth quarter period from 1 February 2014 to 30 April 2014 and for the financial year ended 30 April 2014, based on unaudited management accounts. Reflecting the evolving structure of the Group, all trading data for the prior quarters for the financial year ended 30 April 2014 are restated in an appendix to this statement, as is the segmental analysis for the 12 months ended 30 April 2013.

Summary

Good progress during the quarter, building on actions taken in the year in delivering our strategy ‘Nouvelle Confiance’:

  • ‘4Ds’ plan to Drive trading, Digitalise Darty, Develop the brand and Deliver cost efficiency
    • Further outperformance in our core markets in what is traditionally a seasonally quiet quarter. Continued growth of web-generated sales in our core businesses confirming customer demand for our multi-channel offer
    • Overall total revenue and like-for-like sales in France were broadly flat. Overall group gross margin was flat; gross margin in France was down 40 basis points
  • Steps taken to capture future growth opportunities and further strengthen Darty’s leadership position in France through the:
    • opening of our first four franchise stores as we expand into smaller catchment areas
    • completed acquisition of Mistergooddeal.com to extend the ‘low price/pay-as-you-go services’ offer
  • Further elimination of losses in our non-core markets with the completion of the disposal of Darty Turkey

Download pdf to learn more.

The Defense Commissary Agency: Scholarships for Military Children program awards $1.2 million to six hundred children from the military community

FORT LEE, Va., 2014-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Six hundred children from the military community are receiving about $1.2 million in financial assistance thanks to this year’s Scholarships for Military Children program.

Since its start in 2001, the Scholarships for Military Children program has awarded about $14.5 million in scholarships to more than 8,000 children of active duty, Guard and Reserve, and retired service members worldwide. This year, the scholarship amount per recipient increased from $1,500 to $2,000.

The Defense Commissary Agency participates in the program by accepting applications from eligible children and submitting their packages to Scholarship Managers, a national, nonprofit, scholarship management services organization.

DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu thanked the agency’s industry partners, who help bolster the scholarship program with their corporate donations, at the 2014 Commissary Roundtable event on May 1 in Richmond, Va.

“You’ve always put your best foot forward when taking care of military families,” Jeu said to an audience of commissary employees and industry members. “Scholarships [for Military Children] are one of those examples of supporting military families.”

Commissary vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers and the general public fund the program through donations. All donations are applied solely to funding the scholarships, said Jim Weiskopf, vice president of Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that assists family members with temporary lodging when they visit hospitalized service members. The Fisher House Foundation sponsors the administration of the scholarships program.

Two of this year’s 600 scholarship recipients, Caitlin Truong and Luis Beltran, spoke during the luncheon.

Truong, the daughter of an Army reservist, is a senior at Clover Hill High School in Midlothian, Va. During her high school years, she has been the captain of the dance team and president of the French Club. She is a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Tri-M music honor society and Clover Hill’s nationally ranked mixed show choir. She has also volunteered more than 400 hours at her local YMCA. Truong will attend Virginia Tech University in the fall, majoring in business.

“I’m truly honored to be one of this year’s recipients for the military children program scholarships,” Truong said. “This is a way to help fund my education for the future and a path toward a good job – I’m so excited!”

Truong, the daughter of an Army reservist, is a senior at Clover Hill High School in Midlothian, Va. During her high school years, she has been the captain of the dance team and president of the French Club. She is a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Tri-M music honor society and Clover Hill’s nationally ranked mixed show choir. She has also volunteered more than 400 hours at her local YMCA. Truong will attend Virginia Tech University in the Fall, majoring in business.

Beltran, the son of an Army master sergeant, is a senior at Colonial Heights High School in Colonial Heights, Va. He is a member of the National Honor Society and National Science Honor Society, volunteers through the Youth Advisory Council and plays on the varsity tennis team. Beltran is also secretary of the Beta Club and Junior Optimist Octagon International Club. He will attend Virginia Commonwealth University in the Fall, where he plans to major in biomedical engineering.

“This [scholarship] means I can help my parents pay for college; they’ve done so much for me that I’d like to do anything I can to help them,” Beltran said. “I am deeply honored.”

This year’s essay topic asked applicants to write about the hardships of military service aside from deploying to a war zone. Truong wrote her essay on the financial issues facing military families that result in them qualifying for assistance programs; Beltran addressed the impact of congressional budget cuts in his essay.

In making selections, Scholarship Managers reviews applicants’ grade-point averages, extracurricular and volunteer activities, and their essays.

To see winners of the 2014 Scholarships for Military Children program, go to http://www.militaryscholar.org/sfmc/winners14.html.

NOTE: You can view photos of the Scholarships for Military Children luncheon held May 1 on Flickr at http://www.militaryscholar.org/sfmc/winners14.html.

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
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

Hy-Vee Homefront to hold next Round Up fundraiser in its stores over Memorial Day weekend, May 23 – 26, 2014

Next ‘Round Up’ fundraiser in Hy-Vee stores Memorial Day weekend from May 23-26

WEST DES MOINES, IA, 2014-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Hy-Vee Homefront, Hy-Vee’s veteran support initiative, will hold its next Round Up event in all of its stores over Memorial Day weekend, May 23 – 26, 2014. Customers will be able to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar amount, or more if they choose, with the additional amount going in full to Hy-Vee Homefront. The Homefront Round Up funds help support three veterans’ organizations: Puppy Jake FoundationHope For The Warriors® and Operation First Response.

“Hy-Vee customers have shown their true colors through their generosity with this campaign, and we are excited to prolong that passionate support through another Round Up campaign,” said Brad Waller, AVP of Community Relations at Hy-Vee. “Helping our veterans has long been a focus for Hy-Vee, and the continued interest from our customers, communities and suppliers affirms what we already knew—this is the right thing to do.”

The first Round Up event was held over the Veterans Day holiday in 2013. Since that time, the initiative has distributed the first round of funds raised, which include customer donations and a company match. The total amount raised and distributed thus far is $279,120.

Funds raised from Homefront events until Veterans Day 2014 will go to support Puppy Jake Foundation, Hope For The Warriors and Operation First Response. The funds have been used to finance important veterans’ initiatives and programming, increase the number of veterans served and extend the reach of veteran services to new individuals and communities.

“Puppy Jake Foundation was honored and thrilled to be selected as a recipient of the Hy-Vee Homefront Round Up initiative,” said Becky Beach, president and founder of the Puppy Jake Foundation. “The Foundation was speechless with the level of contributions received from the effort thus far. It is obvious that Hy-Vee and its customers share a deep sense of community commitment and desire to honor those that have given so freely to our country.”

“Hope For The Warriors is thankful to Hy-Vee for recognizing the needs of military families in the Midwest and throughout the nation,” said Robin Kelleher, Hope For The Warriors president. “The Homefront initiative has provided Hope For The Warriors with the funds needed to support thousands of military families. Through this effort, customers and employees joined us in our mission to restore self, family and hope.”

“The Operation First Response Board of Directors and staff would like to give our heartfelt gratitude to Hy-Vee and their customers,” said Peggy Baker, President of Operation First Response. “Without their generosity we could not serve our mission. We consider Hy-Vee a significant part of our team, enabling us to honor our veterans’ sacrifices.”

For more information about Hy-Vee Homefront, the organizations benefited and how you can get involved, please visit www.hy-vee.com/homefront/default.html.

ABOUT HY-VEE, INC
With 237 retail stores across eight Midwestern states and sales of more than $8 billion, Hy-Vee ranks among the top 25 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States. Supermarket News, the authoritative voice of the food industry, has honored the company with a Whole Health Enterprise Award for its leadership in providing services and programs that promote a healthy lifestyle. For more information, visit www.hy-vee.com.

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Tesco becomes the first retailer in the UK to remove sweets and chocolates from checkouts

  • First major retailer in the UK to remove confectionery from checkouts across the full range of store formats, including smaller Metro and Express stores
  • Move follows research that found nearly two-thirds of shoppers said removing confectionery from checkouts would help them make healthier choices
  • News coincides with publication of Tesco’s second ‘Tesco and Society’ report, which details the progress the retailer has made against three big ambitions for society

Cheshunt, England, 2014-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tesco has today announced, following new customer research, that it will become the first retailer in the UK to remove sweets and chocolates from checkouts across the full range of store formats.

The research found nearly two-thirds (65%) of customers said removing confectionery from checkouts would help them make healthier choices when shopping.

67% of parents told Tesco that having no confectionery near the checkout would help them make healthier choices for their children.

Tesco removed sweets and chocolates from checkouts at larger Tesco stores 20 years ago, but for the first time they will be removed from checkouts at all stores, including Tesco Metro and Express convenience stores.

The retailer has committed to remove all sweets and chocolates by the end of December 2014.

Tesco Chief Executive Philip Clarke said:

“We all know how easy it is to be tempted by sugary snacks at the checkout, and we want to help our customers lead healthier lives.

“We’ve already removed billions of calories from our soft drinks, sandwiches and ready meal ranges by changing the recipes to reduce their sugar, salt and fat content. And we will continue to look for opportunities to take out more.

“We’re doing this now because our customers have told us that removing sweets and chocolates from checkouts will help them make healthier choices.”

Tesco was the first UK supermarket to remove sweets and chocolates from large stores, in 1994. Last year Tesco set out its ambition to use its scale for good, which included a commitment to help customers make healthier choices.

Tesco will be trialling a variety of healthier products at checkouts before implementing the full change across all stores at the end of the year.

Katie O’Donovan from Mumsnet said:

“Popping into a shop with a small child in tow can sometimes feel like navigating an assault course. If you’ve made it to the checkout in one piece it can be really frustrating to then be faced with an unhealthy array of sweets designed to tempt your child. It’s really positive to see a supermarket responding to the views of their customers and trying to make life that little bit easier.”

Ends

Notes to editors

  • Today Tesco is also publishing its second Tesco and Society report, which details progress the retailer is making against its three ‘big ambitions’ – improving health, reducing food waste and creating opportunities. The full Tesco and Society 2 report will be available on Tescoplc.com from 10:00 on Thursday 22nd May.
  • Removing sweets and chocolates from checkouts is part of a much wider ongoing effort from Tesco to help customers live healthier lives. Tesco is:
    • Making food on the shelves healthier. Tesco has removed three billion calories from soft drink ranges, 600 million from sandwiches and 92 million from ready meals. An additional 63 million portions of fruit and veg have been added to Tesco ready meals and soups. In January 2014, Tesco launched a new Healthy Living range. The new range helps customers control the amount of salt, sugar and fats they eat, without compromising on flavour.
    • Improving children’s relationship with food. Tesco is working with farmers and suppliers to help schoolchildren understand where the food they eat comes from and help them make healthier choices. Over 100,000 children have so far been taken to farms, fisheries and factories to show where cows are milked, where lettuce comes from, and how fish are prepared for sale as part of the ‘Eat Happy’ project.
    • Increasing awareness of Diabetes through a partnership with Diabetes UK. Tesco colleagues have raised over £10 million for Diabetes UK through a wide variety of fundraising work. This year Tesco helped run the biggest Type 2 diabetes campaign in history, reaching millions of people with posters and adverts. Thousands of Type 2 diabetes risk assessments have been conducted in Tesco pharmacies and online, and information about diabetes has been distributed to over a million customers.

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.

Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment hired more than 42,000 veterans during its first year

The Walmart Foundation pledges another $20 million to expand veteran employment and transition support programs

BENTONVILLE, Ark.,  2014-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — During the first year of Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment it hired more than 42,000 veterans.  The commitment, launched last Memorial Day, guarantees a job offer to any honorably discharged veteran within his or her first 12 months off active duty. Walmart projects it will hire more than 100,000 veterans in five years.

The Walmart Foundation also announced it is doubling down on its commitment to veterans by pledging an additional $20 million through 2019 to support veteran employment and transition programs. In 2011, the Walmart Foundation pledged $20 million through 2015 to help veterans and their families get through those challenges with assistance from programs that provide job training, transition support and education. It met that goal one year early.

“We have a generation of veterans who have built a legacy of incredible service and sacrifice to our nation,” said Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and CEO and U.S. Navy veteran. “We have hired veterans at every career stage and in every part of our company, from stores and distribution centers to the home office and Walmart.com. Veterans bring invaluable skills including leadership, commitment and hard work, which make our workforce even stronger.”

“In addition to the good jobs we offer, our Foundation’s commitment is helping even more veterans build the skills they need to succeed in their careers,” Simon added.

“Walmart provides a great opportunity for veterans to transition from military to civilian life,” said Casey Mormen, an Army veteran who was hired in January 2014, in the Warren, Michigan store. “People don’t realize how hard it is for veterans to find employment, and I received a call almost immediately after applying. I started as a fitting room associate and have already been promoted to a department manager. I truly believe that you can go as far as your hard work will take you at Walmart, and the leadership team supports you along the way.”

More than one million service members are due to exit the military in the next five years, and many of them will face significant challenges with unemployment and transition back to civilian life. To help address those challenges, the Walmart Foundation is increasing its support for veterans and military families.

Organizations that will benefit from the Foundation include:

  • Swords to Plowshares, is receiving a $1.35 million grant. A San Francisco-based veteran service organization, it helps veterans break through the cultural, psychological and economic barriers they encounter upon their return to civilian life. With its first $750,000 Walmart Foundation grant, Swords expanded its innovative model across California. This additional funding will support capacity building and fund a pilot program to expand its service model to Texas.
  • National Veterans Outreach Program founded by American GI Forum is receiving a $1 million grant this year from the Walmart Foundation. It is a San Antonio-based community services agency that oversees veteran programs including job training, counseling and family services throughout Texas. In 2012, NVOP used a $750,000 Walmart Foundation grant to establish the TX-Vet program, which provides transition assistance, job readiness and placement services to unemployed or underemployed veterans 34 years of age and under in the state of Texas. This year’s grant will allow NVOP to continue the work while expanding the program to a 17-month period.
  • Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) – Through a $450,000 grant from Sam’s Club, IVMF will expand entrepreneurial training and support for female veterans through Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE). Joining the U.S. Small Business Administration to expand V-WISE’s reach, the grant will support planning and costs for 300 program graduates to attend the inaugural V-WISE Graduate Conference in San Antonio in November 2014.

“We hope to have a multiplying effect on the programs and resources available to veterans and their families,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, President of the Walmart Foundation. “Through continued, collaborative work with our nonprofit partners, we will support innovative public/private community-based initiatives that address the challenges many of our veterans face when returning to the civilian workforce and their communities. There is no better tribute to our men and women who serve than supporting them when they return home.”

For more information about Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment please visit:www.walmartcareerswithamission.com and follow on Twitter @WalmartVeterans.

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 http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

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Michael A. Tummillo named Lowe’s SVP/General Merchandising Manager, Building And Maintenance

MOORESVILLE, N.C., 2014-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) announced today that Michael A. Tummillo has been promoted to senior vice president and general merchandising manager-building and maintenance, replacing Michael P. McDermott, who was recently named chief merchandising officer.  Tummillo is responsible for the Lumber & Building Materials, Millwork, Tools & Hardware and Rough Plumbing & Electrical divisions.  He reports to McDermott.

Tummillo served most recently as merchandising vice president, rough plumbing and electrical, where he also focused on product needs of the professional customer.  He joined Lowe’s in 2004 as vice president of credit services then was promoted to an expanded role that included credit, project and event sales.  Prior to Lowe’s, Tummillo spent a number of years at GE card services and GE financial assurance–at one time supporting the Lowe’s private label credit portfolio.

“Mike has a deep understanding of the business and the challenges our professional and DIY customers face every day,” said McDermott.  “During his time at Lowe’s, Mike has demonstrated the kind of strategic thinking and leadership across functions which will position him for success as he takes on responsibility for the broader building and maintenance merchandising team.  I have great confidence that Mike will deliver our strategic goals in this important segment of the business.”

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 100 home improvement company serving approximately 15 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2013 sales of $53.4 billion, Lowe’s has more than 1,830 home improvement and hardware stores and 250,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit lowes.com.

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BRC/SPRINGBOARD FOOTFALL AND VACANCIES MONITOR APRIL 2014: Footfall in April 0.1% lower than a year ago

LONDON, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Footfall in April was 0.1% lower than a year ago, down on the 1.8% rise in March. High streets reported the largest decline, falling 1.4%, substantially down from the 2.6% rise in March while shopping centres experienced a 0.9% decline in footfall. Footfall in out-of-town locations fared the best with a 4.0% increase year-on-year. Northern Ireland reported the greatest increase in regional footfall, up 12.8% year-on-year.

The national town centre vacancy rate in the UK was 10.6% in April 2014, a decrease from January’s rate of 11.0%.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “Hopefully the flat footfall growth witnessed in April will prove short-lived, coming as it does after a favourable expansion the month before.

“As we saw with our retail sales data released last week, purchases of big ticket items such as furniture, gardening, DIY and materials for revamping the home performed well, off the back of a pick-up in the housing market. Out of town retail locations have directly benefited as a result, whilst footfall on our high streets has dipped reflecting weaker sales of clothing, footwear and beauty products.

“The decline in the vacancy rate is heartening; however every tenth shop still remains unoccupied. This reinforces the need for an overhaul of the business rates system, which would increase retailers’ confidence about investing in property, create more jobs and help revive high streets.”

Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at Springboard, said: “The 0.1 per cent drop in footfall in April is disappointing following the increase of 1.8 per cent in March, particularly as the month included the whole of Easter bank holiday period (in contrast with the split over two months last year) and benefited from mild weather, which tends to support activity in retail destinations.

“However, whilst footfall in high streets and shopping centres fell annually, in out of town locations footfall continued to increase with a rise of 4 per cent (the fourth month in a row that footfall in retail parks has increased). The disparity in performance between urban and out of town locations is at least in part due to rising house prices which tends to make consumers more enthusiastic about investing in home products, the greatest choice of which is found in retail parks. Indeed, this reflects sales in April which rose by 5.7 per cent, with furniture and floorcoverings being the best performing category and reporting the highest growth since April 2006.

“In overall terms however, the fact that footfall has dropped last month from an increase of 1.0 per cent in April 2013 against a backdrop of an improved economic situation, strongly suggests a new cautiousness amongst consumers. But despite this cautiousness, vacancy rates have dropped slightly over the last three months from 11 per cent to 10.6 per cent, suggesting that retailers are starting to take space in anticipation of an upturn in consumer demand.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

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Garden designer Adam Frost won gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the Homebase Garden – ‘Time to Reflect’

Milton Keynes, UK,  2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Award-winning garden designer, Adam Frost, secures another Gold medal at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the Homebase Garden – ‘Time to Reflect’, in association with Alzheimer’s Society. This is the third Gold medal won by the UK’s leading garden centre at this prestigious show.

The garden is a celebration of memories and creates the perfect environment to reflect on the important moments in time that make us who we are.

This year’s Chelsea Flower Show garden was extra special, as it was built with the assistance of the students from the first-ever Homebase Garden Academy. The award-winning garden is the culmination of all the time the Academy has spent with Adam learning about planting and landscaping, as well as working towards the RHS Level 1 Award.

Celebrating his success, Adam said: “This is my sixth Gold medal at Chelsea and I’m incredibly proud of this achievement. The garden is based on personal memories but is really a celebration of all memories – reminding us how important it is to stop and reflect, as well as making time to create new ones.

Matthew Compton, Head of Garden at Homebase added: “Winning Gold is a fantastic achievement but it’s really the icing on the cake to what has been an incredible journey for the Garden Academy.“This year has really stood out and nothing is more satisfying then helping young enthusiastic gardeners get their career in horticulture started – and this is only the beginning.”

“We hope the stories of everyone involved in making this year’s garden a great success inspire not only the next generation of gardeners through our Academy – but everyone to get outside and enjoy their garden.”

To apply for a place on the Garden Academy, visit homebasegardenacademy.com before Sunday 15 June 2014.

ENDS

Note to News Editors: For more information contact, Media Relations, tel: 0845 120 4365, email: media.relations@homebase.co.uk

For all the latest news and images visit www.homeretailgroup.com/news-and-media

Follow us on twitter @Homebase_PR

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 323 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland serving around 60 million customers a year, and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2014, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 18,000 people across the business.

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

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Garden designer Adam Frost won gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the Homebase Garden – ‘Time to Reflect’

Garden designer Adam Frost won gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the Homebase Garden – ‘Time to Reflect’

Adam Frost

Adam Frost

Sir Michael Parkinson, Arlene Phillips and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador Fiona Phillips, reminisce about their memories in the ‘Time to Reflect’ garden.

Sir Michael Parkinson, Arlene Phillips and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador Fiona Phillips, reminisce about their memories in the ‘Time to Reflect’ garden.

Laura Muir announced kids can go free to Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix

LONDON, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Laura Muir (coach: Andy Young) today announced that kids can go free to Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, which takes place at Hampden Park on July 11-12 and will showcase some of the world’s greatest athletes in action.

To mark the occasion, the European U23 bronze medalist joined children from St Pauls RC Primary School in Glasgow, to promote one of the biggest sporting events in the calendar this year.

The first 1,000 people buying a ticket for each day will receive a free children’s ticket to see the Scottish contingent of Muir, world 4x400m bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), 3000m steeplechaser Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan), world 1500m finalist Chris O’Hare, Paralympic silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and Stef Reid (Rana Reider) go head-to-head with the best in the world in the first visit to the UK of the IAAF Diamond League this year.

Muir, who is currently studying for a veterinary degree in the city, was quizzed by children between the ages of 10-11 asked a range of questions from how many races she’s competed in to what inspired her to take up athletics 10 years ago.

Twenty-one-year old Muir said: “Inviting thousands of children to go free to watch world-class athletes compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is a fantastic opportunity to inspire the next generation as well as make for a fantastic family day out.

“This will be the final time fans will be able to see the best Scottish athletes in action on the world stage before the Commonwealth Games, so it would be great to have a full crowd at Hampden cheering us all on.

“The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix is going to be one of the highlights of the sporting year and it’s great to be a part of two of the biggest athletics events in the same city in 2014.”

After winning European U23 1500m bronze, the Dundee Hawkhill Harrier is aware of the pressure on her as one of Scotland’s leading hopes this summer, but believes the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give her a feel for the atmosphere in the stadium and a gauge of the competition she might come up against two weeks later.

“I got to sample the Scottish crowd earlier this year at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match and I know this summer the Hampden crowd is going to be magnified even further.

“However, the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will give me that opportunity to take in the crowd and also compete against the best in the world. The UK always bring together the best fields for the Diamond League events, and I’m sure that will be no different come July.”

Double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar), Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) and Yohan Blake, the second fastest man of all time over 100m have all confirmed for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, with more of the biggest names in athletics to follow soon.

To purchase tickets for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix, please visit britishathletics.org.uk

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Laura Muir announced kids can go free to Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix

Laura Muir announced kids can go free to Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix

Sainsbury’s invites their children’s book publishers to nominate up to two books for their first “Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards”

LONDON, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s, the UK’s third largest supermarket and a major player in children’s book retailing, has today announced details of the first “Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards”.

Sainsbury’s is inviting all their current children’s book publishers to nominate up to two books for each of the three award categories: Baby and Toddler, Picture Books; and Fiction for age 5-9 years.

The judging panel will be chaired by Louise Ward, Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Buyer and will comprise acclaimed author Phil Earle, award winning illustrator Sarah McIntyre and Sainsbury’s  children’s book buying team. The judges will shortlist three books per category. The winning author of each category will receive a prize of £1,000 and all winning titles and shortlisted books will be promoted in Sainsbury’s stores in the key trading period leading up to Christmas 2014.

Sainsbury’s sells children’s books in more than 300 supermarket stores across the UK.  In 2011 Sainsbury’s re-launched its range of own-brand children’s books and in 2013 was awarded the title “Children’s Bookseller of the Year” at The Bookseller Industry Awards.

Phil Carroll, Sainsbury’s Books Buying Manager announced the Awards saying; “We are really proud of our success in children’s books which has been made possible because of the great relationships we have with our publishers, authors and illustrators.

“We came up with the idea of doing our own awards as a way of highlighting to our customers the very best children’s books.”

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on 6 June 2014 and the nine shortlisted books will be announced in early October 2014.

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Sainsbury’s invites their children’s book publishers to nominate up to two books for their first “Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards”

Sainsbury’s invites their children’s book publishers to nominate up to two books for their first “Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards”

Sainsbury’s reduces fat content in its beef mince by an impressive 244 tonnes a year

LONDON, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of its commitment to being the best retailer for food and health, Sainsbury’s has reduced the fat content in its beef mince by an impressive 244 tonnes a year.

All labels across its mince range – including pork, lamb and turkey – have been updated to make it easier for customers to understand the fat content of each product.

The reduction in fat in the beef mince has been achieved by selecting leaner cuts of meat, meaning that 2 billion calories annually will be removed from customers’ baskets. All the mince labels now clearly state whether they are 5%, 10%, 15% or 20% fat, whereas previous packaging stated ‘lean’ or ‘extra lean’.

As part of its 20×20 Sustainability Plan, Sainsbury’s has pledged to continue to reduce salt, saturated fat, fat and sugar on own brand products and will continue to lead the way on clear nutritional labelling, enabling our customers to make informed choices about their diet.

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Sainsbury’s reduces fat content in its beef mince by an impressive 244 tonnes a year

Sainsbury’s reduces fat content in its beef mince by an impressive 244 tonnes a year

AHOLD REPURCHASED 2,327,071 AHOLD COMMON SHARES FOR € 32.98 MILLION BETWEEN May 12 AND MAY 16, 2014

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold has repurchased 2,327,071 Ahold common shares in the period from May 12, 2014 up to and including May 16, 2014.

The shares were repurchased at an average price of € 14.1715 per share for a total consideration of € 32.98 million. These repurchases were made as part of the € 500 million share buyback program announced on February 28, 2013 as increased by € 1.5 billion to a total amount of € 2 billion announced on June 4, 2013.

The total number of shares repurchased under this program to date is 102,775,818 common shares for a total consideration of € 1,324.25 million.

During the share buyback program, Ahold publishes a press release every Monday with a weekly update. Click here to view all the relevant information of these these weekly updates. Separate weekly press releases are available upon request. Please send an email to communications@ahold.com if you would like to receive one or more of these weekly releases.

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Intershop to attend EcommerceDay 2014 on May 21 in Paris

Paris, France, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Intershop is to attend EcommerceDay, the one day event packed with updates on major trends in e-commerce and digital marketing, taking place on 21st May 2014 at the Hotel Concorde Opera Paris.

The omni-channel commerce company is holding one-to-one sessions for visitors to learn how commerce is breaking new ground, why it pays to think about tomorrow and also about Intershop solutions. Attendees can meet Intershop experts during the day and be inspired by how the Intershop commerce suite can manage varying brands, different regions, multiple touch points and multiple business models.

Aimed at e-retail, manufacturer, distributor and wholesale professionals alike, the Company will also be speaking between 2pm and 3pm in the Tosca Salon. The presentation, entitled, “A living omni channel experience; helping B2B and B2C organizations gain speed, flexibility and autonomy” will be delivered by Toufik Boudellal, Presales Consultant at Intershop.

Book an informal chat with Intershop at http://www.intershop.fr/evenement/ecommerceday-456.

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 at www.intershop.com.

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

Intershop Public Relations

Heide Rausch

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

Electrical retailer Trony goes online with the Intershop omni-channel commerce platform

  • Online presence within six months
  • Sophisticated back-end integration ensures customers are served by the stock of the warehouse or store geographically closest
  • Integrated with Trony logistics chain
  • Trony directors to present at Netcomm E-Commerce Forum in Milan, 20th May

Jena, Germany, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Trony has taken its business online for the first time at www.trony.it/online with the Intershop omni-channel commerce platform. The electrical retailer required an e-commerce solution for the Italian market that could seamlessly co-ordinate online stock availability with its 200 stores and warehouses. This ensures a superior customer experience for Trony’s online customers and logistics efficiency for the retailer.

Based on Intershop 7, Trony selected Intershop for its ability to implement a complex system over just a six-month period. A B2C site and microsites, the project included Click and Collect functionality and a full integration with Trony’s logistics chain.

Alessandro Bergamasco, Direttore IT co-direttore e-commerce at Trony explains, “Intershop’s functionality was the right fit for our specifications around product presentation, payment process, back-end management, flexible integration, microsite and adaptability to the graphics requests.”

Jochen Moll, Member and Spokesman of Intershop’s Board of Management said, “As a trusted e-commerce advisor for Trony with a reliable software platform, we were well placed to launch Trony’s e-commerce initiative. Working in partnership with SMC Consulting, Intershop offered the most comprehensive solution that could quickly be implemented over six months to meet dynamic market demands.”

At 2pm on 20th May, Alessandro Bergamasco, Direttore IT co-direttore e-commerce and Michele Pivello, Direttore Marketing co-direttore e-commerce at Trony will present on their omni-channel commerce project at the Netcomm E-Commerce Forum in Milan. Intershop and SMC Consulting will explain to stand visitors how commerce is breaking new ground, why it pays to think about tomorrow and even more about Intershop omni-channel commerce solutions. Make an appointment with them at www.intershop.com/event-details/netcomm.

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 at www.intershop.com.

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

Intershop Public Relations

Heide Rausch

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

National Association of Convenience Stores survey: Americans to travel more this summer

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans plan to put the severe winter weather in their rearview mirrors and travel more frequently this summer, according to the results of a consumer survey released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

One in four consumers (25%) say that they will spend more money this summer than they would otherwise because of the harsh winter weather, as opposed to 16% who say that they will spend less money. Consumers is in the Midwest are most likely to spend more money more this summer, with one in three consumers (33%) saying that they will spend money than otherwise expected this summer.

Convenience store owners also are optimistic about summer spending, with most saying that they expect sales to increase at both the pump and inside the store.

“We expect to see sales up at least 8% to 10% over last summer’s numbers, and we will be back to pre-recession sales numbers before the end of 2014,” said Theron Soderlund, president of TMS Enterprises, which operates the Country Corner convenience store on Orcas Island, WA.

Convenience stores sell 80% of the gas purchased in the country and will see plenty of traffic at the gas pumps this summer, especially when the weather is nice. Store owners surveyed by NACS said that weather conditions are the best determinant of sales, with two of three calling it important. The economy was the second-most important factor affecting sales, cited by nearly half of all retailers.

“People are tired of waiting on the economy to improve, but there are positive signs that it is improving,” said Sonja Hubbard, CEO of Texarkana, TX-based E-Z Mart Stores Inc. Sales also may be enhanced by more hours of daylight, which Hubbard said is a significant factor that drives strong summer sales.

Renewed housing starts and construction is also driving stronger sales at stores. “We are seeing construction crews in the mornings and afternoons that have been almost nonexistent for three years,” noted Sunderland.

Americans are expected to average more than two summer vacation trips of at least two nights away from home, and the bulk of this travel will be by car. More than 8 in 10 consumers (84%) say that they will drive for a summer vacation.

While gas prices are near highs for the year, consumers see driving as cost effective. A majority half of consumers (54%) cite affordability as the reason to travel by car, followed by the freedom to choose where to stop (52%).

Fully half of all consumers (50%) say that the gas price influences where they stop on their summer vacations, but they also are influenced by in-store offers. Four in 10 consumers (39%) say that seek out quality food options for stops, and 36% say that they seek out stores that have clean bathrooms.

It’s not surprising that clean bathrooms are a priority, given that consumers cite them as their top reason to stop. More than three in four consumers (77%) say that they stop to use the bathroom, 74% say that they stop to get gas and 67% say that they stop to get food or drinks. Services are also important: nearly 1 in 5 consumers (18%) say that they expect to use an ATM at a convenience store while travelling. Younger consumers, those ages 18 to 34, are the group most likely to buy a snack (68%), buy a sandwich (33%) or use the ATM (25%).

To capture more summer sales, retailers are particularly focusing on new deli programs, cookouts, fresh fruits and expanded beverage options.

“There is a continued interest in a store prepared food, and customers are buying more freshly made sandwiches and meals,” said Tom Moser, general manager of Westminster, MD-based Tevis Oil Inc., which operates Jiffy Mart stores.

“We’re doing new things like grilling outside a couple of times per week — and we’re seeing a lot of new faces so far this year,” added Robin Gabriel, president of DCT Inc., which operates a Shell station in Hinsdale, IL. Healthy snacks are also seeing strong sales in 2014, noted James Quakenbush, president of Lacombe Chevron Travel Center Inc. in Lacombe, LA.

Potentially strong sales over the summer months has retailers hopeful that the weak first quarter will be followed by strong summer sales.

“Consumers are feeling a little bit better,” said Leo Vercollone, president of Verc Enterprises in Duxbury, MA, and one of the many retailers who indicated that they very optimistic about the industry’s economic prospects this summer. “After all, we held our own this winter, when the weather couldn’t have been worse.”

The NACS consumer survey was conducted May 1-2 by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC and incorporates responses from 1,183 gas customers. NACS also surveyed dozens of retailer member companies, which range in size from one-store owners to large chains operating hundreds of stores, from May 8-14.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

Toys“R”Us® introduces recyclable, reusable tote bag featuring a child’s artwork to benefit Save the Children®

Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Provides $100,000 Grant to Kick Off Program; $1 from the Purchase of Each Bag Will Help Keep Kids Safe in the Wake of a Disaster

WAYNE, NJ, 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Toys“R”Us® has introduced an exclusive 100% recyclable, reusable tote bag featuring a young child’s artwork in its stores nationwide, from which a portion of proceeds will benefit Save the Children®, a global humanitarian organization that ensures the urgent needs of children are met in a crisis situation. Whether families are preparing their disaster emergency kit or looking for a keepsake alternative for gifting, these tote bags can serve as the perfect go-to carryall. One dollar from the purchase of each bag will be donated directly to Save the Children’s Domestic Emergency Fund, which serves to provide a safe environment for children and families when disasters strike. In conjunction with the reusable bag program, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund has provided a $100,000 grant to the Domestic Emergency Fund to further strengthen Save the Children’s disaster preparedness programs and relief efforts in the United States, reinforcing the company’s commitment to children and families during times of crisis.

“Save the Children continues to serve as the company’s primary disaster response partner due to its strong focus on the unique physical and emotional needs of children in times of crisis. Through this collaboration, Toys“R”Us has helped victims of numerous devastating events in the U.S. and around the world,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman of the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund. “With the beginning of hurricane season fast approaching, this reusable bag program provides customers with an easy way to support Save the Children’s efforts to be emergency ready and to help keep kids safe when disasters strike.”

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Toys“R”Us, engaging the millions of families who shop its stores to help us make a significant impact in children’s lives,” said Kathy Spangler, Vice President of U.S. Programs, Save the Children. “Together, Save the Children and Toys“R”Us have a shared mission of prioritizing the interests of children, when they need hope, comfort and safety most.”

Dedicated Safety Site Provides Tips to Ready Families for an Emergency

Being prepared before disasters strike can make all the difference in the safety and welfare of families. To help, Toys“R”Us and Save the Children have compiled disaster planning tips and checklists on the company’s dedicated safety site, Toysrusinc.com/Safety, where families can learn more about fundamental supplies for at-home and to-go emergency kits, determining a safe location if loved ones are separated and how to develop a communication strategy. In addition, the company’s “Safety Experts Say” blog will feature commentary from Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais, Senior Director of U.S. Emergencies, Save the Children, sharing her personal experience in disaster-affected areas and offering information about how Save the Children’s Domestic Emergency Fund directly affects families in shelters and community recovery sites.

Online Registry Provides Essential Supplies in Times of Crisis

Customers can also visit Toysrus.com/SaveTheChildren to view an official registry of products that can be purchased and sent directly to Save the Children to be used for kids during times of crisis. Items such as toys and games are distributed in “Child Friendly Spaces” within shelters and recovery centers to provide a sense of normalcy, in addition to basic supplies, such as diapers, wipes, clothing and hygiene items. By purchasing from this registry, contributors can help Save the Children support the smallest victims in the wake of devastating events.

For more than a decade, Toys“R”Us and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund have provided nearly $4.3 million to help Save the Children’s immediate relief and response efforts, as well as ensure the safety and emotional support of children in shelters and community recovery sites. In 2010, Toys“R”Us received the Corporate Recognition for Humanitarian Assistance honor for its disaster response work with Save the Children from InterAction, a coalition of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organization focused on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

To View Images of the Toys“R”Us Reusable Tote Bag Benefitting Save the Children, Click Here.

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 Save the Children

Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we are dedicated to ensuring every child has the best chance for success. Our pioneering programs give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. Our advocacy efforts provide a voice for children who cannot speak for themselves. As the leading expert on children, we inspire and achieve lasting impact for millions of the world’s most vulnerable girls and boys. By transforming children’s lives now, we change the course of their future and ours.

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Media Contacts: 
Toys“R”Us, U.S.
Jessica Offerjost
973-617-4766
Jessica.Offerjost@toysrus.com

Nicole Hayes
973-617-4371
Nicole.Hayes.@toysrus.com

Meijer launches “Meijer Free Thursday Nights” and continues “Meijer Free Tuesdays” admission to the Grand Rapids Art Museum each week

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 2014-5-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — A generous gift from Meijer will launch “Meijer Free Thursday Nights” and continues the popular “Meijer Free Tuesdays,” a full night and day of free general admission to the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) each week, beginning this Thursday. The gift supports free admission for the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Tuesday and free general admission Thursday Nights from 5-9 p.m. through 2016, encouraging new and returning visitors to explore the galleries and take advantage of tours and other programs the museum offers on these dates.

“We are especially grateful to Meijer for their expanded support of GRAM and our service to the whole community,” GRAM Director & CEO Dana Friis-Hansen said. “The extension of Meijer Free Tuesdays and now, the addition of Meijer Free Thursday Nights, the museum will serve a broader range of the community as well as visitors with dynamic art exhibitions, ever-changing collection galleries, and exciting learning initiatives.”

“Our father was passionate about art, and believed it should be available for everyone to enjoy and discover,” said Hank Meijer, co-chairman of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. “We are pleased to honor him by offering Meijer Free Tuesdays and Thursday Nights at the Grand Rapids Art Museum so that others can learn, interpret and discover culture through a different lens.”

On select Tuesday afternoons, GRAM will offer docent (volunteer educator)-led tours of the galleries. Visit the calendar at artmuseumgr.org for specific dates and times.

Guests arriving over the summer can see the following exhibitions on view and concert series:

Admission to GRAM is regularly $8 per person, and free for GRAM members and children ages 5 and under. Special exhibition pricing may apply.

View more current and upcoming exhibitions, programs, and events at artmuseumgr.org.

About Meijer
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 207 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer can be found at www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

About the Grand Rapids Art Museum
Focusing on art, design, and creativity, GRAM provides diverse platforms for experiences, ideas, and dialogue that enrich the human spirit and build practical learning skills. Through dynamic exhibitions, collections, learning initiatives, and community collaborations, GRAM increasingly serves as a cultural beacon and civic anchor. Established in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, the Art Museum is internationally known for its distinguished design and LEED® Gold certified status. Established in 1910 as the Grand Rapids Art Association, GRAM has grown to include more than 5,000 works of art, including American and European 19th and 20th century painting and sculpture and more than 3,000 works on paper. Embracing the city’s legacy as a leading center of design and manufacturing, GRAM has a growing collection in the area of design and modern craft.

Contact: Leslie Haviland, 616-831-2917, lhaviland@artmuseumgr.org; Christina Fecher, 616-735-7968, christina.fecher@meijer.com

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Peter Glusker joins Target as SVP new business integration and operations

MINNEAPOLIS, 2014-5-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) announced today that Peter Glusker will join Target as senior vice president, new business integration and operations, effective May 19. In this role, Mr. Glusker will lead the integration of new acquisitions into Target and develop strategies that ensure a consistent and great guest experience.

“Over the past year, Target has acquired companies including CHEF’S Catalog, Cooking.com and DermStore, which complement and extend our assortment and content for guests,” said Casey Carl, president of Multichannel, Target. “We’re excited to welcome Peter to Target, where he will focus on unlocking the full value of these and future strategic acquisitions.”

Mr. Glusker joins Target from Gilt Groupe, where he served as vice chairman and CEO of Gilt Groupe Japan. Previous roles at Gilt Groupe included head of business development and international operations. Prior to that, Mr. Glusker held digital media leadership roles with CBS Corporation and Viacom Inc.

“I was drawn to this opportunity because I see a new level of energy coming from Target – from a renewed commitment to speed and innovation to the desire to try things that have never been done before,” said Mr. Glusker. “I’m looking forward to joining this incredible company at such an exciting time in retail.”

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,916 stores – 1,789 in the United States and 127 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit target.com/corporateresponsibility.

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Peter Glusker joins Target as SVP new business integration and operations

Peter Glusker joins Target as SVP new business integration and operations

Price Chopper opens new supermarket at Lake George-Warrensburg N.Y.

Flag Raising, National Anthem and Ribbon Cutting Mark Grand Opening

Schenectady, N.Y., 2014-5-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — On Sunday morning, the American Legion raised the American Flag to the National Anthem performed by Warrensburg High School Band in celebration of the grand opening of the newest Price Chopper Supermarket located at 16 Lake George Plaza Road in Lake George, N.Y.

Price Chopper Executive Chairman of the Board Neil Golub, President and CEO Jerry Golub, Store Manager Bryan LaLone and other company officials were joined by Dennis Dickinson, the town supervisor for the town of Lake George and Kevin Geraghty, the town supervisor for the town of Warrensburg and shoppers for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“We are so pleased to offer a brand-new, state-of-the-art supermarket here in the Lake George-Warrensburg area,” said Jerry Golub. “As a homegrown business, we are proud of our small town roots and look forward to providing Price Chopper quality, value and customer service to all who enter our doors. And we appreciate the opportunity to become a valued neighbor by helping to nourish the community around us, both literally and figuratively,” he added.

Twenty-five full-time and 98 part-time jobs were created because of this new 30,500-square-foot Price Chopper located just off Northway Exit 23, between the towns of Lake George and Warrensburg.

Price Chopper’s traditional preview party was held at the store from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday evening and raised monetary donations, matched in full by Price Chopper and by up to $2,500 from the real estate developer, Vanguard-Fine, LLC. The proceeds were divided amongst the evening’s beneficiaries — North Country Ministry, the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Company and Warrensburg Youth Sports Programs. Attendees were treated to hot and cold buffet stations and an opportunity to enter a drawing for a $250 Price Chopper gift card.

In addition to a quality selection of groceries, including a wide variety of gluten-free and locally produced and manufactured products, other highlights available at the new Lake George-Warrensburg Price Chopper include:

A fresh, self-service Seafood Department, featuring a wide variety of fresh fish and shellfish from around the world that Price Chopper will fry or steam free of charge; seasoned, marinated, stuffed and coated ready-to-cook entrees; and a menu of fried seafood dinners, including Price Chopper’s popular signature fried haddock dinner.

A fresh Meat Department, featuring Certified Angus Beef; all natural pork and Grade A poultry; along with Chiappetti brand All Natural fresh lamb, veal, and Grass Fed Beef in addition to an assortment of marinated, seasoned, stuffed and panko-dredged ready-to-cook entrees and a variety of processed meat products, including local favorites like Hatfield and Bilinski Sausage.

A fresh Produce Department, featuring superior quality fresh fruit and vegetables harvested from regional farms during the Northeast growing season and from farms around the world, including conventional and organic produce, “first of the season” items, specialties and exotics.

Central Market Florist, Price Chopper’s signature floral department and part of the largest custom florist network in the Northeast, offers high quality bouquets, a seasonal selection of fresh cut flower bunches and floral arrangements for any occasion, as well as seasonal outdoor nursery products for gardening and home enhancement needs, blooming and foliage plants, balloons, plant care items and holiday wreaths.

A fresh Bakery Department, offering hand-decorated donuts; a variety of traditional and crusty artisan breads and bagels; a variety of choose-your-own artisan rolls; cakes, cupcakes, pies, muffins, and elegant special occasion desserts.

A fresh Deli Department, featuring a wide variety of sliced-to-order deli meats and cheese, including Price Chopper’s own brand; premium Dietz & Watson cold cuts; fresh home-style and specialty salads with no preservatives added; an assortment of imported, domestic and local cheeses.

Food Service featuring several flavors of Price Chopper’s award-winning, slow-roasted, all-natural rotisserie chicken; Bella Roma pizza, made fresh with hand-stretched dough; subs and sandwiches made fresh on just-baked breads and rolls; hand-breaded fried chicken; and a hot and cold soup bar.

NuVal, the revolutionary nutritional scoring system that gives thousands of fresh and packaged foods a score of 1 to 100-the higher the number, the higher the nutritional value. NuVal scores are found on store signage and in the upper right-hand corner of shelf tags.

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About Price Chopper
Based in Schenectady, NY, the Golub Corporation owns and operates 134 Price Chopper grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The American owned, family-managed company prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, leadership in community service, and cooperative employee relations. Golub’s 22,000 teammates collectively own more than 51% of the company’s privately held stock, making it one of the nation’s largest privately held corporations that is predominantly employee-owned. For additional information, visit www.pricechopper.com .

Ray Wirta appointed CBRE Group Chairman Of The Board

Richard Blum Steps Down as Chairman, Continues on the Board Ray Wirta Selected as Next Chairman

​Los Angeles, CA, 2014-5-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) today announced that Richard (Dick) Blum has stepped down as Chairman of the Board and that Ray Wirta has been selected by the Board to succeed Mr. Blum as Chairman. Mr. Wirta was Vice Chairman of the Board. The succession occurred following the annual shareholders’ meeting on Friday, May 16, 2014, during which all directors were reelected.

Mr. Blum, who has served as CBRE’s Chairman since 2001, will remain a member of the Board of Directors, and through investment partnerships, continues to be a major shareholder.

“This is an opportune time for me to step down after serving 12 years as Chairman. CBRE is in a very strong position, producing record revenues and profits and serving its clients extremely well,” Mr. Blum said. “During my time as Chairman, it was a pleasure to lead a talented Board and work with a highly motivated management team. Ray is highly qualified to lead the Board through its next chapter. He was the Company’s CEO from 1999 to 2005, a time when it took the leading market position globally. I look forward to continue serving on the Board and remaining a major shareholder.”

When Mr. Blum was elected Chairman in 2001, CBRE had about $1.4 billion in total revenue, $115 million of normalized EBITDA and 9,300 employees. In 2013, revenue exceeded $7.2 billion and normalized EBITDA surpassed $1 billion. The Company employs 44,000 people around the world, and is the industry leader, with a culture of ethics and corporate responsibility and a respected global brand.

Mr. Wirta is currently President of the Investment Properties Group at the Irvine Company and Chief Executive Officer of The Koll Company. Both companies are U.S. property owner-operators. Mr. Wirta will remain in those positions while serving as CBRE’s non-Executive Chairman leading the Board’s activities. Mr. Wirta said: “I am proud to succeed Dick as CBRE’s Chairman. The Company is in a great position and has significant opportunities ahead to build on its global leadership and create added value for clients, shareholders and employees.”

“I have tremendous appreciation for the growth and strategic gains CBRE has enjoyed during Dick’s time as Chairman,” said Bob Sulentic, president and chief executive officer of CBRE. “Ray is one of the most accomplished executives in our industry and, like Dick, is a strong strategic thinker. I look forward to continuing to work with both of them and the rest of the Board as we execute our growth strategy and further strengthen CBRE’s premier market position.”

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 www.cbre.com.

For Further Information:

Steve Iaco
Director, Sr. Managing
T +1 212 9846535
email

SM Investments Corporation sponsors the 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia from May 21 to 23, 2014 in Manila

Pasay City, Philippines, 2014-5-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Philippine conglomerate SM Investments Corporation is a partner of the 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA) to be held from May 21 to 23, 2014 in Manila.

Headquartered in Geneva, WEF is a private-led international institution that aims to improve the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship.

This is the first time that the Philippines will host the regional forum for East Asia. WEF cited the Philippines as “writing one of the greatest economic comeback stories in recent years”. The Philippines is poised to be the strongest performing Southeast Asian economy in 2014, with GDP growth projected to surpass 6.5%.

“The Philippines continues to provide great opportunities for investments. We have been committed investors in the country for over five decades. The WEF will further highlight the opportunities that the emerging Philippines offers. We look forward to the discussions which will uncover more opportunities in the region,” SM Vice Chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson said.

The WEF event will serve as an ideal platform for participants to deliberate the opportunities of the ASEAN Economic Community to promote greater inclusion across East Asia and to instil more resilient decision-making in the face of unpredictable economic and natural disruptions.

WEF noted that ASEAN is one of the fastest-growing regional economies in the world, and is one year away from launching the ASEAN Economic Community, a common market which will comprise 600 million people and have a combined GDP of nearly US$ 2 trillion. It further noted that fresh demand in Europe and the United States, along with recently concluded trade agreements, are expected to boost production and consumption in East Asia. Almost all of the 10 ASEAN economies are expecting growth above 5% in 2014.

In parallel with the WEF regional meeting, SM and BDO Unibank, Inc. are also joint gold sponsors in the 10th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Investors Seminar (AFMIS), a key gathering hosted by the Philippine government on May 20, 2014. This year, the AFMIS aims to tackle ASEAN’s growth prospects, the ongoing initiatives of the ASEAN Finance Process to the ASEAN Economic Community, and the milestones and investment opportunities for individual economies and various country sectors. The AFMIS is held yearly since 2004 to promote ASEAN as an investment destination.

SM for its part is strongly committed to the Philippines, having established a foothold in the retail, property and banking businesses for over 50 years. The company continues to invest heavily in these sectors while it hones other investments to achieve sustainable growth and support the country’s development footprint.

# # #

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
E-mail: cora.guidote@sminvestments.com
Tel. No. 857-0117

GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Limited announced its unaudited results for the three months ended 31 March 2014

  • Net profit up 252.6% Key Momentum Stems from Management Focus, Omni Channel Strategy and Supply Chain
  • Service Upgrade Achieved in 200 Cities to Provide 3 Deliveries/Day, Precise Delivery & Installation with Delivery

Hong Kong, 2014-5-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Limited (HKSE: 493, “GOME” or “The Company”, together with its subsidiaries, “The Group”) today announced the Group’s unaudited results for the three months ended 31 March 2014 (“the reporting period”).

Initial Success under Management Focus, Omni Channel Strategy and Supply Chain Guided by the GOME “O2M Omni-Channel Retailer” strategy, for the first three months of 2014, the Group continued to focus on China’s home appliances market and recorded sales revenue of RMB 13.351 billion, up 8.2% year-on-year. Riding on its advantage in exclusive differentiated products, consolidated gross profit margin rose to 18.2%, up 0.6 of a percentage point year-on-year. Meanwhile, the cost-efficiency supply chain helped to lower the operating expenses ratio by 0.7 of a percentage points to 16.4%. For the first quarter of 2014, the Group recorded net profit of RMB 268 million, representing a significant increase of 252.6% year-on-year, with a net profit margin of 2.0%, up 1.4 percentage points year-on-year.

During the reporting period, the Group sustained profitability growth. Same store sales, sales revenue per square meter and other indicators all achieved year-on-year increases, including an increase in same store sales of 8.1% year-on-year.

Full Integration of Procurement, Logistics and Online IT Platforms On the e-commerce front, leveraging the full integration of supply chain value platforms that include strong procurement, logistics and IT, etc., the recognition and customer satisfaction of the Group’s online channel continued to improve with GMV and UV growing at 40% and 45% year-on-year, respectively. The consolidated gross profit margin of the e-commerce business rose to 7.2%, up 1.1 percentage points as compared to the end of last year. Moving forward, the Group will rapidly develop its NVNO client base and its cooperation with social network platforms, and will continue to provide a comprehensive customer experience.

Service Upgrade Achieved in 200 Cities to Provide “3 Deliveries/Day, Precise Delivery, and Installation with Delivery”

During the reporting period, riding on its low-cost high-efficiency supply chain advantages, with strengths in procurement, logistics and IT, the Group established three industry service benchmarks that include low prices, logistics and IT. The Group expects to realize the highest standard in logistics service in the industry – “3 Deliveries/Day; Precise Delivery; Installation with Delivery” – in 200 cities in China by the end of 2014 and to gradually expand its presence to more than 400 cities, building nationwide coverage with a personalized service system which will ultimately enhance the customer experience.

GOME’s service updates are supported by four infrastructure facilities – (1) a leading national distribution network with 428 logistics warehouses ; (2) a customer service system supported by comprehensive SAP information technology; (3) a comprehensive assessment system with ample data processing capabilities; (4) a 1,588-store network of distribution points to achieve seamless online and offline logistics, further enhancing the customer experience.

Mr. Wang Junzhou, CEO of GOME, said, “Our open supply chain is a solid foundation that supports the grand blueprint of ‘building another GOME’. The remarkable performance achieved in the first quarter of 2014 has strengthened the Group’s confidence in fully implementing its ‘O2M Omni-Channel Retailer’ strategy. Under the leadership of the Board and the management, we believe that GOME will seize opportunities in the mobile Internet era. GOME will set three benchmarks in the home appliance retail industry, provide customers with comprehensive services of the highest standards. We will gradually become China’s largest and most professional Omni-Channel Retailer, and will generate maximum
returns for shareholders and consumers.”

-End-

About GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Limited
GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Limited was listed on The Hong Kong Stock Exchange in July 2004 (HKSE: 00493). The GOME Group was founded in China in 1987 and is engaged in the electrical appliances and consumer electronics retail business in China. It is the largest electrical appliances and consumer electronics retail chain and the largest overall retail chain enterprise in China.

Please visit our website for more information: www.gome.com.hk.

For further enquiries, please contact:

Hong Kong

Hill+Knowlton Strategies Asia
Samantha Wang
Tel: (852) 2894 6266 / 9418 0271
Email: samantha.wang@hkstrategies.com

Candy Chan
Tel: (852) 2894 6246 / 9715 8681
Email: candy.chan@hkstrategies.com

Beijing

Helen Song
Tel: 86-10-59288815
Email: songjie6@gome.com.cn

The Defense Commissary Agency to unveil “Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival” June 6 through July 6 at 236 installations worldwide

FORT LEE, Va., 2014-5-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Defense Commissary Agency will unveil the Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival June 6 through July 6 at 236 installations worldwide.

This inaugural event will allow patrons to see discounted prices on produce at commissary farmers markets, savings on workout equipment at exchanges, and fitness events hosted by base morale, welfare and recreation activities.

With the theme “Shop Healthy! Eat Healthy! Be Healthy!,” the festival reinforces the health and wellness goals of the military community.

The festival combines commissary farmers markets, exchange sidewalk sales, MWR fitness events, demos, music, free nutritious food samples, prize giveaways, discount coupon offers, health and wellness information, and children’s programs.

It’s no coincidence that health and wellness is a dominant theme, especially as the Department of Defense continues to roll out its Healthy Base Initiative. HBI is a project of DOD’s Operation Live Well, an initiative to boost the nutrition and fitness of service members, retirees, their families and military civilians.

For DeCA, the Lifestyle Festival also gives the agency an opportunity to showcase its worldwide farmers market program, an event that has offered plenty of tasty fruits and vegetables for the past three years.

There will be a few locations that conduct their festivals as early as the middle of May in order to accommodate existing calendar conflicts. An overall schedule listing installations and dates can be found here on DeCA’s website. You should also check your store’s Web page for more information on farmers market dates and other scheduled events. You can also contact your local installation media for specific festival event schedules.

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
kevin.robinson@deca.mil