OPERATIONS

Chico’s names senior marketing exec

BY CSA STAFF

Fort Myers, Fla. — Chico’s FAS announced Monday that it has named Celia Rao Visconti as senior VP of marketing.

She will report directly to Cinny Murray, brand president of Chico’s, and will oversee the brand’s marketing strategy and initiatives.

Rao Visconti was previously executive VP and chief marketing officer for New York & Co.

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Target by the numbers

BY CSA STAFF

Target recently filed its annual report on form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Here’s a look at some interesting facts and figures contained in the document:

  • Target employed 355,000 “team members,” last year, a figure that swells to 400,000 during the holidays.

  • The company operated 37 distribution centers, including four food distribution centers and maintains 27 international sourcing offices in 18 countries

  • The company’s three largest states by sales and store count are California, 248 stores, Texas, 148 stores and Florida, 125 stores. Target’s home state of Minnesota has the fifth largest number of stores with 73 units.

  • The average age of Target’s 11-member executive team is 49.8 years.

  • Same-store sales grew by 2.1% last year, after declining by 2.5% in 2009 and 2.9% in 2008.

  • REDcard credit or debit products were used on 5.9% of purchases at Target last year.

  • Target sells food in 713 of its 1,750 stores, consisting of 251 SuperTarget locations and 462 stores featuring the PFresh format.

  • Nearly $1.3 billion was spent on advertising last year representing 1.9% of total sales of $67.4 billion. That was an increase from the prior year when advertising expense of $1.167 billion represented nearly 1.8% of sales of $65.4 billion.

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Maybe she’ll write a song about it

BY CSA STAFF

From win-win to lose-lose. Do enough deals with different celebrities and sooner or later one of them is bound to blow up. That’s what happened to Target last week when entertainer/singer/gay rights advocate Lady Gaga had a change of heart regarding a prior commitment with Target.

As was announced last month, Target had an exclusive arrangement to sell a deluxe edition of Gaga’s newest album due out May 23. However, Gaga decided to end the arrangement reportedly because Target wasn’t doing enough to support gay and lesbian causes, and she wanted to influence their future political giving. Target said it was surprised and disappointed.

Disappointed maybe, but not surprised. In fact, considering how many of these types of exclusive arrangements Target has entered into over the past decade with a broad spectrum of designers, entertainers and sport personalities it is a wonder more of them haven’t ended badly. So one slipped through the cracks with Gaga? It could have been worse. The company could have signed an exclusive agreement with Charlie Sheen to promote a deluxe DVD set of Two and Half Men right before the star of the series went off the deep end.

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