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Fisher to lead Canadian effort

BY CSA STAFF

The challenge of spearheading Target’s entry into Canada will be handled by Tony Fisher. He was named president of Target Canada last week in a brief press release that offered little detail on his background or qualifications to lead the company’s efforts to open between 100 and 150 stores beginning in 2013. Here’s what Target had to say about Fisher.

“Fisher joined Target in 1999 and has held a variety of leadership positions at the company. He was most recently promoted to vice president of merchandise operations in 2010 where he led the corporation’s efforts to enhance guests’ in-store shopping experience through technology advances and process improvements.” In his new roles, he will be responsible for building the team, establishing the headquarters and leading the day-to-day operations.

It was unclear from the press release to whom Fisher will report, but Target had previously indicated that chief marketing officer Michael Francis would serve as executive committee sponsor of Target Canada. Francis was quoted as saying, “Tony has a strong sense of Target’s unique culture, merchandising strategy and brand and a proven record of delivering results. His positive energy, broad merchandise experience and keen understanding of what differentiates Target in the retail industry make Tony well-suited for this new role and position Target for success in Canada."

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Former Target foe takes on JCP

BY CSA STAFF

Activist investor and hedge fund executive Bill Ackman has accomplished at J.C. Penney what he was unable to do at Target. He secured a seat on the department store retailer’s board after purchasing a bunch of shares and will now be able to push for strategies to increase shareholder value. Joining Ackman on the J.C. Penney board is another large shareholder, Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust. Both men joined the company as it announced plans to close five stores, wind down its catalog business, realign call center operations and reorganize a custom decorating business.

Ackman tried a similar strategy at Target but his plans were thwarted when shareholders rejected his proposal for a complex real estate transaction and his alternate slate of directors was rejected following a lengthy and expensive proxy battle. Ackman and Roth received a different reception at J.C. Penney.

“They share our passion for operational excellence and are committed to enhancing value for all of the company’s shareholders. We look forward to benefitting from their expertise,” said Myron Ullman, chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney.

Their addition expands the board to 13 members from 11.

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IBISWorld: Valentine’s Day will drive retail sales

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES — IBISWorld predicted Valentine’s Day will boost retail sales in a new report.

The independent market and research firm said that consumers are expected to spend 5.8% more on Valentine’s Day purchases this year than last year, totaling $18.6 billion, or about $125 per person.

Big gains will be seen across all categories. Jewelry is expected to see an 11.3% boost, greeting cards and candy are projected to grow 4.9% and 5.1%, respectively, and clothing and lingerie should see a 3.4% rise.

Although Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year, IBISWorld noted that “nevertheless, growth is expected for each of the popular Valentine’s Day categories this year, which is great news for retailers nationwide.”

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