Uniqlo looks to more openings in fall
New York — Uniqlo is taking a breather … but only a short one. The Japanese fashion retailer opened its seventh U.S. store — and its first in an outdoor lifestyle center location — on April 19, at Westchester’s Ridge Hill in Yonkers, N.Y. The two-level, 24,000-sq-ft. store comes on the heels of Uniqlo opening at Palisades Center in West Nyack, N.Y., in March. What’s next for the powerhouse brand that has made no secret of its intention to expand across the nation, with 200 stores by 2020?
“We expect to have quite a few stores opening for fall,” Larry Meyer, COO, Uniqlo USA, told Chain Store Age at the unveiling of the company’s LifeWear 2013 Fall/Winter collection. Meyer declined to give specifics, but said the retailer was working on completing leases for various projects. He also said he will be attending the International Council of Shopping Center’s annual RECon event this May in Las Vegas.
“Our development will be in deliberate markets on a market-by-market basis,” Meyer said. “That’s the way we will expand in the U.S.”
While the company will open more flagships “where the opportunity presents itself,” Meyer said, the chain is concentrating on locations in malls, lifestyle centers and other types of centers. Its mall footprint is about 10,000 sq.ft.
Meyer joined Uniqlo this past January. He was previously executive VP and CFO of Forever 21, where he helped grow the brand into a fast-fashion phenomenon and led its entry into Europe. Meyer’s appointment at Uniqlo was viewed throughout the industry as a reflection of the company’s commitment to the U.S. market.
“My role is to build a team that will work in concert with Uniqlo’s Tokyo headquarters and to expand the company within the United States,” Meyer said.
In addition to the stores in Yonkers and West Nyack, Uniqlo has three locations in New York City, one in Paramus, N.J., and one in San Francisco.
CVS joins White House effort to hire vets, military spouses
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced that it was among several national companies represented at an event hosted on Tuesday by President Obama, VP Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden as part of the Joining Forces initiative.
During the event, the administration asked companies participating in the Joining Forces initiative to hire and train 435,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years, after nearly tripling its original goal of hiring 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.
CVS Caremark noted that it has been a supporter of hiring veterans and has been recognized for its work to hire and train veterans, guard and reserve members and military spouses. As part of Joining Forces, CVS Caremark stressed its commitment to hire veterans and military spouses for 25% of its new hires in logistics and distribution centers over the next four years.
"With millions of service members transitioning out of the military over the next several years, CVS Caremark is poised and ready to hire and train qualified veterans and military spouses," stated Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark. "We recognize and appreciate the values, experience and skills service members have, and know hiring veterans and military spouses not only strengthens our business, it also enhances our existing workforce."
David Casey, VP and chief diversity officer for CVS Caremark and a former United States Marine, and Alfredo Ruiz, a supervisor in CVS Caremark’s Vero Beach, Fla., distribution center and a retired U.S. Army soldier, attended the announcement on behalf of the company.
CVS Caremark recently was recognized by DiversityInc as one of the Top 10 Companies for Veterans. The company also received the Pro Patria Award from the Rhode Island Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The Pro Patria Award is presented to one small, one large and one public sector employer in each state that has demonstrated the greatest support to Guard and Reserve employees through their leadership and practices. Rhode Island ESGR also nominated CVS Caremark for a Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of employees serving in the Guard or Reserve.
Earlier this year, CVS Caremark signed the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Statement of Support on behalf of the company, reiterating the company’s support for servicemen and women and their families.
Five Below to raise funds for kids with cancer
PHILADELPHIA — Five Below, a leading retailer of extreme-value merchandise for teens and pre-teens, is once again teaming up with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to raise money to help children with cancer.
From May 6 through May 27, Five Below will be asking shoppers to donate $1 in exchange for a lemon-shaped pinup they can sign and hang on the wall of their local Five Below. Lemon pinups will be sold at all 250 Five Below locations, with 100% of the proceeds going toward childhood cancer research. In addition, Five Below will be selling a limited-edition, lemon-scented Fresh Paint brand nail polish and donating a portion of the proceeds to ALSF.
"We are proud to once again be supporting the efforts of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and are eager to kick off this campaign," says David Schlessinger, co-founder of Five Below. "Each year we are overwhelmed by the generosity of our customers, and we doubt this year will be any different. I’d like to challenge all our customers — kids, teens, and adults — to support this worthy cause by contributing a dollar or two. Let’s exceed last year’s contribution and show ALSF just how strong the Five Below community’s support is."
Five Below describes its partnership with ALSF is part of its ongoing mission to support philanthropic organizations focused on benefitting and improving the lives of kids, teens and families. Five Below has been a partner of ALSF since 2005, raising more than $300,000 for the organization.
"We are grateful for the continued support and the long-term partnership we have developed with Five Below over the past several years," says Jay Scott, executive director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. "The generosity and support we have received from this community is inspiring and is helping to better the lives of pediatric cancer patients across the country."
The limited-edition, lemon-scented Fresh Paint nail polish can be purchased beginning May 6 at any Five Below location while supplies last, and $1 pinups will be available for three weeks from May 6 through May 27.
Five Below will present Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation with the fundraising proceeds, as well as a corporate donation, on June 6, during the Alex Scott Phone Bank, a day-long fundraising event hosted by CBS3 and The CW Philly.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation began as the front-yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, the four-year-old announced that she wanted to set up a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for cancer. The foundation bearing her name has since evolved into a national fundraising movement, which has raised more than $60 million toward finding a cure, funding more than 275 pediatric cancer research projects nationally.