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Walmart pledges up to $30 million in hurricane relief, Target raises commitment

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Walmart is stepping up its efforts to help those impacted by the hurricanes.

The discount giant announced that it will donate up to $10 million in additional support for 2017 hurricane relief efforts in the United States, a move that will bring Walmart’s total commitment to hurricane relief efforts this year to $30 million. This additional support comes on the heels of donations already provided in response to Hurricane Harvey that hit the Gulf region less than three weeks ago.

To raise funds for those affected by the devastating storms and flooding hitting the United States, Walmart is launching a new customer campaign with the American Red Cross. Walmart will match customer donations two-to-one with cash and product donations of up to $10 million. These donations will provide shelter, food, comfort and emergency assistance to those impacted by hurricanes in 2017.

The discounter is accepting donations at Walmart and Sam’s Clubs stores, online and via text through September 16, 2017. Donations will be distributed to the areas of greatest need throughout the country during this year’s hurricane season, according to Walmart.

In addition, Walmart has shipped more than 1,700 truckloads of emergency merchandise and water to customers in need. This includes cleaning supplies, pet food, batteries, diapers, baby formula, hand sanitizer, first aid supplies, fans, generators, candles, flashlights, propane, rainwear, tarps, gas cans, and related items.

Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies will also provide prescriptions and immunizations during and after the emergency, including working with displaced patients or those who have previously received prescriptions from another pharmacy.

The discounter is also taking steps to ensure the safety of its associates in affected areas. In addition to reinforcing emergency procedures and what to do during and after the storm among store and club location management teams, Walmart is supporting affected associates with access to earned-wage and disaster-support assistance, support centers, hot meals and wellness checks. Through Walmart’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which tracks storm impacts and supports associates needs and well-being, the chain will also ship emergency supplies to multiple shelter operations.

Meanwhile, Walmart is activating emergency support teams dedicated to stores and club locations, including subject-matter experts in logistics and emergency management to assist local emergency operations centers.

Target is also upping its commitment to support communities impacted by Hurricane Irma, starting with a pledge of up to $1 million in cash and in-kind donations. This is in addition to the $3.5 million that the company already committed last week for Hurricane Harvey relief.

Similar to efforts it made for Hurricane Harvey, the discounter will continue to match employee donations dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million. Target team members will have the option to donate to Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma or both relief funds.

Donations will be shared among several national, local and international community organizations that focus on community relief, including the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, UNICEF and Save The Children.

Meanwhile, when its distribution facilities reopen later this week, Target’s supply chain teams will immediately begin pushing products to impacted Target stores, including some trailers that were pre-loaded to distribute before the hurricane hit, according to the company.

Target will also enable team members employed at stores that are currently closed to pick up shifts at neighboring Target stores. The company will also pay eligible team members while locations are closed.

To prepare for the storm, the chain closed more than 120 stores and four distribution facilities in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Nordstrom debuts service-focused store with no inventory

BY Marianne Wilson

As retailers consider how to best use their physical spaces in a digital world, Nordstrom is going "local," debuting a small-format retail concept that offers all sorts of personal services, but has no dedicated inventory.

The department store giant will unveil Nordstrom Local on Oct. 3, in West Hollywood, Calif. With a 3,000-sq.-ft. footprint, the new format is much smaller than an average 140,000-sq.ft. Nordstrom. It will offer such services as on-site tailoring, manicures, buy-online-pick-up in store, and easy returns. It will even boast a beverage bar.

In addition, customers will be able to consult with “personal stylists,” making an appointment online, over the phone or in person to take advantage of the free service. Along with giving styling tips, the associates can transfer requested merchandise from Nordstrom stores (or its website) to Nordstrom Local for shoppers.The rooms surround a central meeting space where customers can sit and chat with a stylist.

"As the retail landscape continues to transform at an unprecedented pace, the one thing we know that remains constant is that customers continue to value great service, speed and convenience," said Shea Jensen, Nordstrom senior VP of customer experience who led the Nordstrom Local initiative. "We know there are more and more demands on a customer's time and we wanted to offer our best services in a convenient location to meet their shopping needs. Finding new ways to engage with customers on their terms is more important to us now than ever."

The full list of services available at Nordstrom Local includes:

• Personal stylists;

• Alterations, with on-site tailors available;

• Manicure services;

• Same-day delivery for completed alterations or purchases, with items ordered by 2 p.m. delivered directly to a customer's home on the same day;

• Buy online, pick-up in store, with items ordered before 2 p.m. available for pick-up on the same day;

• Curbside pickup for items that are altered or for buy online, pick-up in-store orders;

• Customers can meet a Trunk Club Stylist, or pick up and/or return a trunk. On-site tailors will help customers select the right fabrics or create a Trunk Club Custom garment that suits their needs; and

• Refreshments, with a full-beverage menu that includes beer, wine, juices and coffee.

In addition, Nordstrom Local will debut "Style Boards,” is a new tool that allows salespeople and personal stylists to create digital boards filled with personalized fashion recommendations, which customers can view on their phone and purchase directly through Nordstrom.com. Customers can get the advice of a salesperson or personal stylist by having a conversation with them through the app.

Nordstrom Local is located at 8401 Melrose Place, on the corner of Melrose Place and Melrose.

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C-SUITE

Former Winn-Dixie exec takes helm of specialty grocer

BY Marianne Wilson

The Fresh Market has ended its search for a new chief executive.

The grocer appointed Larry Appel as the company’s president and CEO, effective immediately. Appel brings nearly 30 years of experience in retail, legal and corporate strategy, and most recently served as CEO of Skeeter Snacks. From 2002 to 2012, he served at Winn-Dixie Stores in a variety of senior leadership roles including COO. Prior to that, he was senior VP of legal at The Home Depot.

In June 2017, Fresh Market CEO Richard Anicetti resigned after less than two years on the job. Brian Nicholson, CFO of Fresh Market, was appointed interim CEO. He will remain as CFO.

“Following an extensive search and review of both internal and external candidates, the Board believes that Larry is the best leader for The Fresh Market going forward," stated Andrew Jhawar, chairman, Fresh Market, and senior partner at Apollo Global Management, which acquired the grocer in April 2016. "We look forward to partnering with Larry and are confident in his ability to lead operationally and to execute strategies to ‘win’ with our customers."

Founded in 1982, The Fresh Market operates 176 stores in 24 states across the nation.

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