Starbucks Augusta Soluble Plant to undergo a $120 million expansion

Starbucks Augusta Soluble Plant to undergo a $120 million expansion


Seattle, 2017-Jul-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — A $120 million expansion of the Starbucks Augusta Soluble Plant announced today (July 6, 2017) will nearly double the size of the operation and create up to 100 new jobs at the Georgia facility in the year after construction is completed.

The expansion, which will add 140,000 square feet to the current 180,000-square-foot plant, will get underway this summer and be completed in fall 2019. It is prompted by Starbucks growth and consumer demand.

The plant currently employs 185 Starbucks partners. The 80 to 100 jobs created in the year following the expansion will cover a range of positions, according to Tim Filipowski, the plant director. Currently one in six Augusta partners are armed forces veterans or military spouses.

“Because of the technical nature of our business here, we have recruited heavily for automation specialists, operators, mechanics and technicians,” said Filipowski. “Generally, the folks coming out of the service have some or all of those experiences.”

The plant maintains a close relationship with Fort Gordon, which is 20 minutes away. In addition to hosting job fairs at the base, where 12,000 soldiers are stationed, Starbucks conducts regular plant tours for service members, maintains an Adopt a Unit program and supports the annual Fisher House Golf Tournament, which generates funds to aid families of patients receiving care at military and Veterans Administration medical centers.

In 2013, Starbucks set a goal to hire 10,000 service members, veterans and military spouses by 2018. The company reached that goal earlier this year and announced a new target of 25,000 by 2025 at the Starbucks Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

A continuing investment in Augusta

Walter Sprouse, executive director of the Augusta Economic Development Authority of Richmond County, an industrial recruitment agency, said the connection between Starbucks and the Fort Gordon community is mutually beneficial.

“We have a lot of people who get out of the service after, say, three years or six years or 20 years, and these are smart people,” Sprouse said. “They’re excellent workers. About 150 a month come out of the military. Half of them go home, but the other half want to stay here. That’s 75 to 100 well-trained people per month entering the workforce. Starbucks did their research. They’ve found so many qualified workers.”

Starbucks opened the plant in Georgia’s second largest city in July 2012. It is the first company-owned facility in the world to produce Starbucks soluble products. The plant’s two roasters generate Starbucks VIA® Instant, as well as the coffee base for Frappuccino® blended beverages and many of Starbucks bottled and canned beverages. The expansion will add six new whole bean roasters, allowing the plant to offer packaged coffee to Starbucks stores and retail locations in the Northeast and Southeast United States.

Starbucks plans to add 12,000 stores globally by 2021, bringing the total number to 37,000. Last month, Starbucks announced it was expanding its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center in Minden, Nev. Between the two expansions, Starbucks will be investing $170 million and creating more than 200 manufacturing jobs.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said the expansion affirms the region’s reputation as a gateway to the Southeastern market.

“As Georgia grows its reputation as the gateway to the Southeastern market, companies like Starbucks continue to strategically locate and expand operations here.” said Deal.

“This decision to expand in Augusta reflects Georgia’s ability to retain dynamic companies and support industry leaders in long-term growth. With this facility expansion, Starbucks will continue to enjoy the benefits of manufacturing in the top state for business, while creating new jobs in the Augusta area, including additional opportunities for veterans. We value our continued relationship with Starbucks and look forward to the company’s continued success in Georgia.”

“This is a further testament to the skilled workforce in our community,” said Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr. “We’re very pleased to have this commitment to continued investment by Starbucks.”


Phone: 206 318 7100

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation


Weis Markets the title sponsor of this year’s Dundalk Heritage Fair

Weis Markets the title sponsor of this year’s Dundalk Heritage Fair


Dundalk, MD, 2017-Jun-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Weis Markets recently donated $20,000 to the Dundalk Heritage Fair and will be the title sponsor of this year’s fair. Three Weis Markets managers presented the Dundalk Heritage Fair Association with a sponsorship check Friday, June 16.

“Weis Markets is committed to giving back to the communities it serves and is pleased to continue the great partnership with the Dundalk Community Fair,” said Rob Santoni, Jr., Weis Markets Store Manager.

The Weis Markets locations on Holabird Ave. and Wise Ave. will play significant roles during the Heritage Fair and July Fourth festivities. Weis managers will be present at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday June 30 at 7 p.m.  and will also take part in the Fourth of July Parade and provide post-race refreshments after the 6k road race prior to the parade.

“This is Dundalk’s Super Bowl” said Bill Siegmund, Store Manager of the Essex location.  “I am proud to play a role in the festivities as a member of the Weis family.”

Source:  Weis Markets


Nordstrom appoints Stacy Brown-Philpot as new director and reelects eleven existing members of the Board

SEATTLE, 2017-May-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Seattle-based Nordstrom, Inc., announced on May 16, 2017 the reelection of eleven existing members of the Board of Directors, and the appointment of Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO of TaskRabbit, as a new director.

Former board director, Enrique ‘Rick’ Hernandez, Jr., announced earlier this year that he would not be seeking re-election.

With the addition of Mrs. Brown-Philpot, the Nordstrom Board will consist of 12 directors. Nordstrom directors serve one-year terms and the company requires annual elections of all board members.

Mrs. Brown-Philpot has served as Chief Executive Officer of TaskRabbit, an on demand home services platform, since April 2016. Prior to that, she was the company’s Chief Operating Officer from 2013 – 2016. From May 2012 – December 2012, Mrs. Brown-Philpot was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at GV, the venture capital investment arm of Alphabet, Inc. Before that, she spent nearly a decade at Google in various roles including Senior Director of Global Consumer Operations. Mrs. Brown-Philpot has also served as a senior analyst at Goldman Sachs and senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She has been on the Board of Directors of HP Inc. since 2015. Mrs. Brown-Philpot will serve as a member of the Finance Committee and Technology Committee on the Nordstrom Board.

“Stacy brings a breadth of unique innovation, operational, and entrepreneurial experience to our Board,” said Phil Satre, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Nordstrom. “We’re thrilled to have her join us and look forward to adding her e-commerce expertise as we work to improve the omnichannel shopping experience for our customers.”

About Nordstrom

Nordstrom, Inc. is a leading fashion specialty retailer based in the U.S. Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, today Nordstrom operates 354 stores in 40 states, including 122 full-line stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico; 221 Nordstrom Rack stores; two Jeffrey boutiques; and two clearance stores. Additionally, customers are served online through, and HauteLook. The company also owns Trunk Club, a personalized clothing service serving customers online at and its seven clubhouses. Nordstrom, Inc.’s common stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN.

Trina Schurman
Nordstrom, Inc.
(206) 303-6503

Gigi Ganatra Duff
Nordstrom, Inc.
(206) 303-3030

SOURCE: Nordstrom, Inc.

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. to host 4Q 2016 earnings conference call on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

MOORESVILLE, N.C., 2017-Feb-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — In conjunction with the Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) fourth quarter 2016 earnings press release, you are invited to listen to its conference call to be broadcast live over the internet on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time with: Robert A. Niblock, chairman, president and chief executive officer; Michael P. McDermott, chief customer officer; and Robert F. Hull, Jr., chief financial officer.  Supplemental slides will be available fifteen minutes prior to the start of the conference call.

What: Fourth Quarter 2016 Earnings Conference Call Webcast

When: 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Where: Visit Lowe’s Investor Relations website at
Click on Webcasts and then on Lowe’s Fourth Quarter 2016 Earnings Conference Call

How: Listen live online and view the supplemental slides by following the directions above

A webcast replay of the call can be accessed from 12:00 p.m. ET on March 1, 2017 through May 23, 2017 by visiting and clicking on Webcasts and then on Lowe’s Fourth Quarter 2016 Earnings Conference Call.

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving more than 17 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2015 sales of $59.1 billion, Lowe’s and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,355 home improvement and hardware stores and employ over 285,000 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

Media Inquiries:
Tel: 704-758-2917

SOURCE: Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

RILA and NRF oppose the attempt of banks and credit card companies to convince SCOTUS to reinstate unfair settlement terms of MDL1720

Arlington , VA, 2017-Feb-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (2/22/2017), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and National Retail Federation (NRF) filed a joint brief opposing the attempt of large banks and credit card companies to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the unfair settlement terms of MDL1720 – the lawsuit challenging the anti-competitive behavior of major financial services industry players in setting credit card fees. The case is captioned “Photos, Etc. Corp, et al. v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., et al.”

The Second Circuit vacated the MDL1720 settlement after finding that the settlement was developed by conflicted counsel and granted the banks and card networks “permanent immunity” from scrutiny of their anti-competitive practices. In their request for an appeal of the lower court’s decision, the proponents of the settlement claimed to speak for the merchant community.

In the brief filed today, RILA and NRF, the trade associations that actually represent the retail community on a day-to-day basis, explained that the merchant community broadly opposes the settlement and are, in fact, “united in the view that this deal is a bad one, unworthy of resuscitation.”

“Merchants and consumers continue to suffer from the anti-competitive practices of banks and card networks. The plaintiffs’ suggestion that they represent the interests of the broader merchant community defies common sense given the unprecedented level of merchant objection expressed at the Second Circuit and in today’s brief.The Supreme Court should not grant certiorari in this case but, instead, should allow the Second Circuit’s decision to stand, thereby providing the potential for a more reasonable outcome for all parties,” said Deborah White, RILA senior executive vice president and general counsel.

According to the brief:

“Vacating this settlement and correcting the structural flaws that led to it in the first place may allow the parties to go back to the drawing board to reach a settlement with terms that are more fair.”

“Faced with the choice between a “confiscat[ory]” release that “permanently immunizes” defendants’ anti-competitive conduct and no settlement at all—thereby preserving merchants’ future right to pursue these claims— merchants prefer the latter, further demonstrating why certiorari should not be granted.”

The brief concludes:

“For the reasons stated above and in Merchant Respondents’ Brief in Opposition, the petition for a writ of certiorari should be denied.”

The full brief, drafted by Debra L. Greenberger and Andrew G. Celli, Jr. of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, LLP, can be read here.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.


Christin Fernandez
Vice President, Communications
Phone: 703-600-2039

Source: RILA

NGA recognized Niemann Foods, Inc. CEO and Harps Food Stores Chairman with top awards during the 2017 NGA Show

Las Vegas, NV, 2017-Feb-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Grocers Association (NGA) recognized two industry leaders with top awards during the 2017 NGA Show. The following individuals were honored with the below industry awards:

The Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award was presented to Rich Niemann, Jr., President and CEO of Niemann Foods, Inc. Niemann began his career with Niemann Foods, Inc. in 1977, following his graduation from the University of Illinois. He has been the President and CEO of the company since 2005. Niemann serves on the NGA Board of Directors as the Immediate Past Chairman and has held positions on numerous boards, including the Illinois Food Retailers Association.

“A passionate leader, who has his eye always to the future, Rich is continuously inspiring others in the independent supermarket industry to find new and innovative ways to better serve their communities. NGA is proud to honor such a distinguished individual for his service and dedication to his stores, his community, and our industry,” said NGA President and CEO Peter Larkin.

Since 2009, the Thomas K. Zaucha Award, presented by Mondelēz International and named after NGA’s first President and CEO, has been presented annually to recognize an independent grocer that exemplifies persistence, vision, and creative entrepreneurship. This award is one of the most prestigious honors awarded to independent grocers.

The Thomas F. Wenning Pinnacle PAC Award was presented to Roger Collins, Chairman of Harps Food Stores. Collins started with Harps in 1986 as the Vice President of Finance and CFO. He was promoted to Executive Vice President in 1995 and CEO in 2000. Collins stepped down as CEO in 2016 but remains as Chairman. He has served on both the board and executive committee of NGA, the National Cooperative Bank, and Associated Wholesale Grocers, as well as the Board of Regents for the NGA Research and Education Foundation. In 2015, Collins was awarded the Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award by NGA.

“As a supporter of the Grocers PAC and NGA’s government relations efforts, Roger understands the importance of cultivating relationships with policymakers who will be champions for the independent supermarket industry. He has been a strong advocate for the independent grocer on all levels of government,” said Greg Ferrara, senior vice president of government relations and public affairs, NGA.

The Thomas F. Wenning Pinnacle PAC Award was established in 2014 to honor Tom Wenning for his 40 years of service to NGA and the independent supermarket industry and is presented to an NGA member who helps advance the role and presence of the independent grocer and NGA in government and political affairs.


Tel: (703) 516-0700
Fax: (703) 516-0115

Source: NGA

Staples Survey revealed optimism among small business owners as they kick off 2017

Majority Believe Business Tax Reform Should be Top Priority in 2017

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., 2017-Jan-05 — /EPR Retail News/ — On the heels of an unprecedented year, the Staples National Small Business Survey (NASDAQ: SPLS) has revealed optimism among small business owners as they kick off 2017. The survey, commissioned by Staples and conducted by Wakefield Research, discovered that 85% of American small business owners are “optimistic” about the small business climate in the new year, while 67% think business tax reform should be the top policy priority for 2017.

Signaling further short- and long-term positivity, 67% of respondents plan to hire employees in 2017, while 91% would be likely to encourage their children to start their own business given the current state of the small business environment.

Staples fielded the survey to explore the outlook of small business owners across the country as they gear up for success in the year ahead. Additional results include:

  • 97% of small business owners plan to increase investment in their companies in 2017
  • 72% plan to increase staff compensation in 2017
  • 93% believe running your own business is the best kind of job satisfaction there is

“We’ve been a small business champion for more than 30 years, and are pleased that small business owners are hopeful and confident as we head into the new year,” said Frank P. Bifulco, Jr., executive vice president global marketing, Staples. “We conducted the survey to better understand the pulse of small business owners and to further identify those priority product and service areas in which we can help our customers achieve success in 2017.”

To help small business owners both in-stores and at, Staples Print and Marketing Services offers everything from business cards and logo design to marketing materials and signage. Additionally, the Staples Small Business Hub is a resource with expert tips, information and industry advice.

Survey Methodology
This 2017 small business survey was designed by Staples and conducted online by Wakefield Research, among 502 U.S. small businesses owners, from December 14 to December 21, 2016. For the purpose of this survey, small businesses owners were defined as those who had up to 10 full-time employees.

About Staples, Inc.
Staples helps small business customers make more happen by providing a broad assortment of products, expanded business services and easy ways to shop – in stores, online, via mobile or through social apps. Staples Business Advantage, the business-to-business division, caters to mid-market, commercial and enterprise-sized customers by offering a one-source solution for the products and services they need, combined with best-in-class customer service, competitive pricing and a state-of-the-art ecommerce site. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples, Inc. operates throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. More information about Staples(NASDAQ: SPLS) is available at

Carrie McElwee

Source: Staples, Inc.

Weis Markets welcomes R. Gregory Zeh, Jr. as VP/chief information officer

Sunbury, PA, 2016-Oct-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Weis Markets today (October 11, 2016) announced R. Gregory Zeh, Jr. has joined the Company as vice president/chief information officer (CIO).

As CIO, Mr. Zeh will provide strategic vision and leadership in the development and implementation of solutions that provide business value, engaging customer experiences, and effective management of technology risks. Mr. Zeh will oversee the Company’s day-to-day information technology functions, working in support of marketing and merchandising, supply chain and in-store management retail applications. He reports to Kurt Schertle, the Company’s Chief Operating Officer.

During his 25 year career, Mr. Zeh has worked in increasingly senior information technology and finance positions in the food retail and services industries including as vice president/chief information officer at Price Chopper Supermarkets. Prior to joining the company, he was chief financial officer of Mazzone Management Group, LTD.

Mr. Zeh is a graduate of the University at Albany State/University of New York. He is actively involved in community service through his active participation in the volunteer fire service. He is currently Vice President of the Shaker Road-Loudonville Fire Department and a past chief of the Town of Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company.

About Weis Markets

Founded in 1912, Weis Markets, Inc. is a Mid-Atlantic food retailer operating 192 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. For more information, please visit: or


1000 South Second Street
PO Box 471
Sunbury, Pennsylvania 17801

Source: Weis Markets, Inc.

Enrique (“Rick”) Hernandez, Jr. elected non-executive Chairman of McDonald’s Corporation’s Board of Directors

OAK BROOK, IL, 2016-Jun-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) Board of Directors today announced that Enrique (“Rick”) Hernandez, Jr. has been elected non-executive Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors following the company’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting held today. Hernandez, 60, has served on the Board as an independent Director since 1996 and most recently chaired the audit committee. He succeeds Andrew J. McKenna, who retired after 25 years of service as a director and served the last 12 years as chairman of the board. Hernandez is CEO and President of Inter-Con Security Systems, Inc. in Pasadena, Calif.

“Rick has been a tremendous asset to the Board. He provides strong counsel, has a deep knowledge and passion for the Brand and shares our desire to continue delivering long-term value for our shareholders and the McDonald’s system,” said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO.

“I am delighted to have someone of Rick’s talent and experience, who has served this board so well, now guide it forward,” said McKenna.

Hernandez began his career as a litigation attorney with Brobeck, Phleger, & Harrison in Los Angeles and in 1984 joined Inter-Con Security Systems, Inc. becoming CEO and President in 1986.

Hernandez serves as a Director for Chevron Corporation, Wells Fargo & Company, and Nordstrom, Inc., where last week he concluded ten years of service as chairman. He is also a member of the board of trustees for the University of Notre Dame, and a member of the Harvard College Visiting and Harvard University Resources Committees and The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation.

Hernandez earned a bachelor’s degree in government and economics from Harvard University and received his law degree from Harvard Law School.

About McDonald’s
McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 36,000 locations in over 100 countries. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

Becca Hary

Chris Stent


Enrique Hernandez, Jr.

Enrique Hernandez, Jr.