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Men’s Wearhouse study: The suit makes the man

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fremont, Calif. – A suit can help a man feel more attractive, confident, and successful in professional situations as well social ones. According to the findings of a new national survey of more than 1,000 adult males from Men’s Wearhouse and Kelton Research, a suit also has a positive impact on how a man is viewed by others.

Following are highlights from the study results.

  • Close to seven-in-10 (66%) of men say that when they wear suits, they feel more confident.
  • Sixty-two percent of men admit they feel more successful and more intelligent (43%) when they wear a suit.
  • Close to six-in-10 (58%) of men say they feel more attractive when they wear a suit, and more than a third (34%) feel sexier.
  • Nearly all men surveyed (92%) agree that when a man wears a suit, he makes a good first impression in professional situations, such as job interviews or client meetings.
  • Nearly nine-in-10 men (86%) think that when a man wears a suit, he makes a good first impression in social situations, such as dates or parties.
  • Close to half of suit wearers say they think other people view them in a more positive light (48%) and seem to take them more seriously (42%) when they wear a suit.
  • Close to one-third of suit wearers say that when they don a suit, people are not only nicer to them (32%) but are also more trusting (31%).

“What you wear has a direct impact on how you feel, and wearing a suit not only helps you look your absolute best but also helps you feel your absolute best, no matter what situation you are in, from a job interview to a first date,” said Doug Ewert, Men’s Wearhouse president and CEO. “Our goal at Men’s Wearhouse is to help every customer find the perfect suit for any occasion.”

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More Canadian consolidation: Loblaw buys SDM

BY CSA STAFF

TORONTO — Loblaw has entered into a definitive agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart under which Loblaw will acquire Shoppers Drug Mart for C$12.4 billion in cash and stock.

"We are delighted to partner with Loblaw to leverage our combined strengths. For our shareholders, this transaction provides significant and immediate value, as well as the ability to benefit from future upside by virtue of their continued ownership of shares in the combined company. For our associate-owners and employees, who are a valued part of the equation, it provides the opportunity to pursue rewarding careers as we grow together. And for our customers, it provides more locations with an enhanced mix of products and offerings that contribute to the good health of Canadians,” stated Domenic Pilla, president and CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart.

Under the agreement, Loblaw will acquire all of the outstanding Shoppers Drug Mart common shares for C$33.18 in cash plus 0.5965 Loblaw common shares per each Shoppers Drug Mart common share, on a fully pro rated basis. Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart anticipate that the transaction will be completed within six to seven months.

Using the Loblaw closing common share price on July 12, 2013, this amounts to C$61.54 per Shoppers Drug Mart common share. This price represents a 29.4% premium to the 20-day VWAP of Shoppers Drug Mart common shares as of July 12, 2013.

"This transformational partnership changes the retail landscape in Canada. With scale and capability, we will be able to accelerate our momentum and strengthen our position in the increasingly competitive marketplace," stated Galen Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw. "This combination creates a compelling new blueprint for the future, positioning us to capitalize on important trends in society, from the emphasis on health, wellness and nutrition, to the imperatives of value and convenience."

"Our customer proposition is at the heart of this combination," added Vicente Trius, president of Loblaw. "Together, we will be able to significantly enhance the customer experience by offering even greater assortments, service, value and convenience while preserving the unique shopping experiences that make both companies leaders in their respective segments. We are extremely happy to welcome Shoppers Drug Mart and its talented people, including their entrepreneurial and trusted Associate-owners, who are well-known for their patient care and friendly customer service. We intend to preserve the great strengths of what the company has built by keeping Shoppers Drug Mart as a separate division of Loblaw, with its own dedicated management team led by Domenic Pilla.

On a pro forma basis, the combined company generated in excess of C$42 billion in revenue, C$3 billion in EBITDA, and C$1 billion in free cash flow in 2012, the companies stated. The transaction is expected to lead to double-digit accretion, adjusted for intangible amortization, in Loblaw earnings per share in the first year.

The combination is expected to yield annual cost synergies of C$300 million by year three, phased in evenly over the first three years following closing. These synergies are not dependent on any store closings, the companies stated.

The total consideration will consist of approximately 53.9% cash and 46.1% Loblaw common shares. Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders will have the ability to choose whether to receive C$61.54 in cash or 1.29417 Loblaw common shares plus C$0.01 for each Shoppers Drug Mart share held, subject to pro ration. The maximum amount of cash to be paid by Loblaw will be approximately C$6.7 billion and the maximum number of Loblaw common shares to be issued will be approximately 119.9 million, based on the fully diluted number of Shoppers Drug Mart shares outstanding. Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders, who will own approximately 29% of the combined company.

Loblaw will finance the cash element of the transaction with available cash resources and committed bank facilities fully underwritten by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., Bank of America, N.A., Canada Branch and Bank of America, N.A. These committed facilities consist of a C$3.5 billion term loan and a C$1.6 billion bridge loan that Loblaw plans to replace primarily through issuance of unsecured notes. The combined company’s cash flow will allow for debt repayment and will ensure that Loblaw will have ample liquidity and maximum flexibility to support ongoing growth prospects, acquisitions and investments, the companies stated.

George Weston Limited, Loblaw’s controlling shareholder, will buy an additional C$500 million in Loblaw shares to help finance the deal. Weston currently holds approximately 63% of Loblaw’s common shares.

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Report: Parents seek healthy food for kids

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago – Parents want to buy food and beverages for their kids that are healthy and appeal to the entire family. Results of a new proprietary study from food processing company Cargill show that 89% of parents said they ask their kids to broaden their tastes, and 69% said they ask their kids to try more adult food.

In addition, a majority of parents (76%) say they check the nutrition information on unfamiliar products. The survey also revealed that parents are actually less likely than the general population to check the nutrition facts panel (65% compared to 71%), but more likely to say they check nutrition highlights on the front of the package (65% compared to 55%).

"We know it’s important to meet the nutrition and budget expectations of parents, while also satisfying kids on the taste dimension," said DeeAnn Roullier, marketing research manager, Cargill. "Our research provides a more specific understanding of gatekeeper purchase drivers in categories heavily consumed by kids. This helps us collaborate with customers to develop healthier foods that really resonate."

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