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Easter in action

BY CSA STAFF

The Easter effect will be evident this Thursday when Target reports March sales that should be fantastic compared with prior-year results. The company’s official guidance provided when February results were released in early March calls for same-store sales to increase in the mid to upper single digits. That’s quite a wide margin, and analysts have settled in safely at a midpoint of 7.6% for a consensus estimate. However, it is likely that simply hitting that figure would likely be viewed as a disappointment because, in addition to the beneficial effect of Easter falling one week earlier this year, weather conditions nationwide have been favorable in the waning weeks of the reporting period.

Whatever Target reports in the way of a comp increase will be only part of the story. What the company has to say about traffic trends at its stores will be of keen interest as well, since the past several months the company has disclosed more folks are shopping its stores. That nugget of information gets interpreted a lot of ways. Some see it as a sign that Target is regaining market share lost to Walmart at the height of the recession, while others see it as a sign consumer confidence is improving because shoppers are returning to retailers that offer a more discretionary product mix. The latter is a difficult conclusion to make based solely on Target’s numbers, however the company’s results are a useful data point when assessing the overall state of the consumer. Just don’t read too much into what promises to be a month of artificially inflated same-store sales growth because the true picture won’t be clear until early May when April results are reported and the full effect of the Easter shift is evident.

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Food Lion, Bottom Dollar earn Energy Star award

BY CSA STAFF

SALISBURY, N.C. Food Lion and Botton Dollar Food have been recognized with their ninth consecutive Energy Star award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We are honored to receive this Energy Star Sustained Excellence award and are committed to being strong corporate citizens in the communities in which we operate,” said Kyle Mitchell, VP store development for the company. “The Food Lion Family of Banners and Bottom Dollar Food remain dedicated to environmental stewardship and are proud to continue to lead the way with energy conservation initiatives.”

According to the EPA, organizations are recognized in one of three major categories: sustained excellence, partner of the year and excellence. As a sustained excellence winner, the Food Lion Family of Banners and Bottom Dollar Food were recognized for continued energy consumption reductions, as well as a strong corporate commitment to promoting superior energy performance.

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Target expands offering of African-American hair care products

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Target announced that it has expanded its hair care assortment to include African-American salon products, never before offered at mass.

Products available at select Target stores and Target.com will include Miss Jessie’s, CURLS, The Jane Carter Solution, and the Target exclusive SheaMoisture.    

“By offering an accessible assortment of salon-quality brands and everyday essentials, Target is the destination for guests’ beauty needs,” said Keri Jones, SVP merchandising, Target.  “With the introduction of Miss Jessie’s and other new launches, our guests will now find more of the products they want, need and trust.” 

Miss Jessie’s products include shampoos, conditioners and other items designed to manage and enhance curls, ranging from $14.99 to $58. The Jane Carter line features products for dry hair ranging from $7.99 to $21.99. Target’s exclusive brand SheaMoisture line included as variety of shampoos, conditioners and treatments, all priced at $9.99.

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