OPERATIONS

Whole Foods launches green gift card program

BY Staff Writer

Austin, Texas — Whole Foods Market said Friday that it has launched two new eco-friendly gift cards, with plans to replace the recycled plastic cards that will be phased out over time.

The new cards – one made of paper and the other of responsibly harvested wood— are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and have a lower carbon footprint, are reusable, recyclable, compostable and require less energy to be produced.

"We are constantly looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact and further our green mission efforts,” said Chris Jensen, gift card team leader for Whole Foods Market.

The grocer said it will continue to recycle gift cards both from Whole Foods Market and other retailers at its stores. To date, more than 265,000 plastic gift cards have been recycled and kept out of landfills.

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News

Shoppers insights firm names SVP

BY CSA STAFF

Angela Myers was named SVP of retail consulting at Spire, a quantitative shopper intelligence firm.

Myers joins Spire from A&P where she served as VP of sales and marketing where he responsibilities included brand development across five banner brands and multiple tiered store brands, interactive marketing across all digital platforms, consumer analytics and insights, market research, loyalty marketing and promotion management. She also lead e-commerce initiatives for three participating banners. She also served as the food retailer’s senior director of consumer insights and CRM.

According to Spire, Myers is recognized as an innovative leader in the development of integrated, multi-dimensional consumer and customer insights and brings to the company a wealth of expertise in the application of insights through effective customer specific marketing programs and communication strategies at retail. At Spire, she will look to expand the relationships with retail partners by enabling successful marketing and merchandising plans, developing innovative, custom programs driven by shopper insights and supporting a customer centric culture.   
"We’re thrilled to have Angela join us" said Spire president Mike McMahon. "With her deep retail experience and relationships, she will be playing a key role on our leadership team."

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FINANCE

GE Capital administrative agent on Golf Town/Golfsmith credit facility

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Norwalk, Conn. — GE Capital said Friday that it is serving as administrative agent on a $150 million senior secured credit facility to support the combination of Golf Town and Golfsmith, owned by parent company Golfsmith International.

GE said the credit facility will be used to support working capital and to refinance existing debt.

"GE Capital structured the financing that will enable us to make … our ongoing operations a success," said Sue Gove, president and COO of Golfsmith International.

“The industry continues to be selective with mergers and acquisitions, but smart retailers are finding there are good opportunities available to accelerate growth,” said Jim Hogan, senior managing director of GE Capital, Corporate Retail Finance. “Bringing together our retail finance expertise with the sponsor finance experts at GE Antares meant we were able to quickly understand the needs on all sides of this transaction and structure financing accordingly.”

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