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Dollar General selects DemandTec to optimize pricing

BY Staff Writer

San Mateo, Calif. — DemandTec announced that Dollar General Corp. has selected DemandTec’s Markdown Optimization, Everyday Price Optimization and Everyday Price Management software services to strategically manage and optimize pricing across its more than 9,500 stores nationwide.

Markdown Optimization, Everyday Price Optimization, and Everyday Price Management are component services of DemandTec Lifecycle Price Optimization, a comprehensive pricing solution that enables retailers to optimize and strategically manage pricing for the entire store, including new items, regular retails, promoted items, and clearance items. All software services are delivered on DemandTec, a network of shared solutions and services for more than 400 retailers and consumer products companies to transact, interact, and collaborate on core merchandising and marketing activities.

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Target stays on message in USA Today

BY CSA STAFF

During a question-and-answer style interview in Monday’s USA Today, Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel shared his thoughts on a wide range of topics including Walmart, inflation, designers and competition.

Those who follow the company closely or who regularly read Target News Now won’t learn anything new from the interview. For example, one of the questions was: “What’s PFresh?” Another related to the outlook for the holiday season, which Steinhafel predictably indicated would be promotional and aggressive, “just like it always is.”

The most interesting insight from the interview wasn’t related to anything Steinhafel had to say, but the fact that the company participated in the process with USA Today. Target isn’t known as being particularly media friendly, especially when it comes to trade media that serve the retail industry, but occasionally the company has a lapse and tolerates mainstream consumer media when it serves the company’s business interests.

Now would appear to be one of those times with an ill economic wind blowing in Target’s face and some familiar concerns about the viability of its business model resurfacing. You know the ones. Is Target still cool? Can it compete with Walmart? But now there are some newer concerns such as the impact on profitability from selling more food and consumables, product inflation and the uncertainty associated with opening more than 100 stores in Canada.

Target has been answering those questions in communications with investors, but sharing responses more broadly in a mainstream outlet such as USA Today is somewhat of a new wrinkle in a communications strategy. To read the article click here,or read what executives had to say during the company’s first quarter conference call or during other recent presentation by clicking here.

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5% Rewards not enough to offset food inflation

BY CSA STAFF

Target shoppers whose Fourth of July activities involve more than eating Doritos and drinking Coke can expect to pay considerably more than last year. The company is again offering Doritos at two bags for $4, although this year the bag contains 11.5 ounces of product compared with 12 ounces last year, and Coke products are being offered at three 12-packs for $9 as opposed to last year’s comparable promotion of Pepsi product 12-packs for $3.

However, prices in other key areas are noticeably higher, which isn’t surprising given all the talk of late about food price inflation and retailers passing increased costs through to consumers. For example, Hormel brand St. Louis style ribs will cost the pork lover $1.99 a pound this year compared with $1.49, while corn prices doubled this year with five ears for $1 compared to 10 ears for $1 last year.

Ground beef patties are also more expensive this year with 80% lean burger patties offered at $2.49 a pound compared with $1.99 last year. The six-count package of Bubba brand burgers featured on the cover of this week’s circular for $6.99 is one dollar more than the same package feature on the back page of last year’s circular for $5.99.

Hot dogs cost more too. This year, Target featured a 16-ounce pack of Ball Park brand for $2.49 compared with last year’s 16-ounce package of Oscar Mayer dogs for $1.39. If you want to put that wiener in a Pepperidge Farm brand bun, it will cost $1.99 for an eight pack compared with last year when Target featured an eight pack of Market Pantry buns for $1.50.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts and baked beans cost more too. A 2.5-pound bag of frozen Market Pantry chicken breasts costs $5.99 this year compared with $5 last year, and a 28-ounce can of Bush’s baked beans edged up to 41.62 compared with $1.45 last year.

If you want to wash it down with a 59-ounce jug of Simply Lemonade it costs $2.50 this year compared with $1.99 last year.

A few things are cheaper. A 10-count pack of Market Pantry patriotic cookies costs $2.75, the same as last year, while one-pound of strawberries is only $1.79 this year compared with $1.99 last year.

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