Kohl’s names Starbucks’ exec chief customer officer
Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Kohl’s has appointed Starbucks executive Michelle Gass to the newly created position of chief customer officer. She will report directly to Kohl’s chairman, president and CEO Kevin Mansell.
Gass, who joins Kohl’s on June 17, will have leadership responsibility for Kohl’s branding across all channels. She will oversee all marketing efforts, the company’s high growth e-commerce business on Kohls.com and the customer’s total omnichannel experience.
“I am extremely pleased Michelle is joining the Kohl’s leadership team,” said Mansell. “She comes to us with a track record of success and the experience, skills and imagination to lead and accelerate Kohl’s omnichannel efforts, as well as develop new strategies to move our consumer engagement in new directions. I fully expect this to be the start of an exciting journey to drive new growth for the company across all of our business areas.”
Prior to joining Kohl’s, Gass spent more than 16 years with Starbucks in a variety of senior leadership roles, including global strategy, marketing and category management. Most recently, Gass was president of Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa, overseeing and growing company and licensed operations across 36 markets and 1,900 stores. During her tenure with the company, Gass played a key role in working with the senior team in creating the company’s overall strategic blueprint, and most notably the transformation efforts of 2008-2009. She has led many key initiatives at Starbucks including the development of the Frappuccino blended beverage platform, the reinvention of Seattle’s Best Coffee, the launch of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, Starbucks entry into warm breakfast and the introduction of the company’s customer loyalty and social media platforms. Before Starbucks, Gass worked in marketing and new product development with Procter & Gamble.
"I am thrilled to be joining the team at Kohl’s at this pivotal time in the retail industry,” said Gass. “How people shop and consume media is going through a change unlike any time before. I am delighted to help shape how Kohl’s will evolve its already strong brand to be even more compelling to today’s customers."
Kohl’s operates 1,155 stores in 49 states.
Target tests video streaming service
Minneapolis – Target Corp. is testing a video streaming service with internal employees. Called Target Ticket beta, the service features 15,000 movies and TV shows for digital download.
The service, which is password-protected, presumably is designed to compete with Netflix and Hulu, among other digital video platforms.
Parago study: Shoppers seek deals
Lewisville, Texas – The hunt for the deal has grown significantly in the past year and is now a behavior consistently seen in shoppers from all demographics, according to an annual shopper study by Parago.
The report, “Let’s Make a Deal,” revealed that deal seeking is no longer just trendy or born completely out of necessity. Shoppers not only are continuing to seek out the very best prices, but are willing to go out of their way to save even a little bit.
Consumers are rapidly adopting all forms of deal seeking — especially rebates — through mobile, social and online platforms. Searching for and finding the best value is a practice now cemented in consumers’ path to purchase due to several factors: greater price sensitivity, reduced perceived spending power, advancing mobile technology and easier access to deals online and via social networks.
Key findings from the research include:
Price sensitivity is up significantly: Nearly three in four shoppers are more sensitive to price this year due in part to 42% of those surveyed feeling their purchasing power has decreased.
Deal-seeking behavior continues to grow: Before shopping, 80% of consumers look for deals, rebates and the best prices; only 69% did so in 2012.
The majority prefer rebates to instant discounts: All income levels believe rebates are easy to complete and worth the extra step for the deeper savings earned vs. instant discount offers.
Mobile deal finding jumps: This year, 46% of consumers shop where they can use their smartphones to check prices; only 11% did so last year.
Demand for deals in social networks: 57% of consumers would like access to exclusive values via social media.
“Finding deals is emotionally rewarding to consumers, as it makes them feel as though they are doing everything they can to maintain their standard of living,” said Rodney Mason, CMO of Parago, a global incentives and engagement company.
The study, Mason added, sends a clear message to marketers: Shoppers’ appetites for deals and discounts can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, especially via mobile and social as well as rebates, which consumers understand offer deeper discounts than other deals.