Longtime Target exec to leave
Target Corp. is losing a senior digital executive.
Casey Carl, chief innovation and strategy officer, is leaving the retailer, effective May 5. His departure, first reported by The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, comes as the chain has been reducing some of its innovation initiatives, including a store of the future with robots, to focus on efforts that have a faster payback.
Casey joined Target in 1997, and held a variety of roles in merchandising, negotiations, operations and digital. Prior to being named to his current position, he was president of omnichannel and senior VP of enterprise strategy.
Target CEO Brian Cornell announced Carl's upcoming departure in an e-mail to headquarters employees.
"Innovation is alive and well at Target," Cornell wrote. "Our new leader's job will be to build upon the progress we've made. And while this leader will play a critical role in Target's innovation story, it's not a story they will write alone. Innovation must be a mind-set, an essential component of every business, every strategy and every team."
Carl is credited for such projects as Target Open House in San Francisco, which showcases smart technologies in a futuristic home-like setting, and Target’s retail accelerator program, done in partnership with Techstars.
In his own email to employees, Carl wrote that he hopes to continue to explore disruptive strategies for growth and innovation, the report said.
“It's no secret that there's been a lot of change recently at Target and this is the right time for me to pursue what I'm most passionate about and builds upon what I've started here," he wrote.
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Amazon heads Down Under
The Australian retail marketplace is in for a huge shake-up.
Amazon is preparing to operate an online store in Australia, offering the country’s consumers access to more categories. Amazon already sells Kindle e-books and readers, Audible audiobooks, and online shoppers can also download apps, but this move will bring “a retail offering to Australia,” according to the e-retailer.
This will be welcome news for Australian shoppers who previously ordered other merchandise categories on Amazon’s Marketplace — a global marketplace for third-party sellers. Currently, more than 1,000 Australian companies sell their wares on the platform.
However, this service forced shoppers to wait nine to 12 days for orders arriving with standard shipping, and pay hefty shipping rates, according to The Seattle Times.
Rumors have been swirling about the possibility of Amazon entering the Australian marketplace and providing local ordering and delivery of goods. A statement confirmed that Amazon is now ready to take the “next step to bring a retail offering to Australia, and we are making those plans now."
Australia is also not new territory for Amazon. The company established roots Down Under in 2012, when it launched its cloud-based Amazon Web Services, and built more momentum when it debuted a Kindle Store on Amazon.com.au in 2013. Approximately 1,000 employees manage these operations.
Looking ahead, “We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace. We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers value most – low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery – over time we’ll earn the business of Australian customers,” according to the retailer.
To support its new operations, the online giant is also shopping for warehouse space — a 93,000 square m (Australian) depot — in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, according to Business Insider Australia.
While the site’s launch date is not set in stone, it could debut as soon as July, according to the report.
Shuttered sporting goods retailer back in business
The game is back on at City Sports Inc.
In 2015, the Boston-based sporting goods retailer filed for bankruptcy and closed its 26 stores. Shortly afterwards, two Wharton-trained brothers, Brent and Blake Sonnek-Schmelz, bought City Sports' intellectual property rights at a bankruptcy auction for $400,000.
Most recently, the company has begun selling merchandise on its website, reported Boston Business Journal. And it also plans to open stores in large cities including Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
According to Boston Business Journal, the company said, "Our focus on serving the urban athlete remains as strong as it was in 1983 when two friends opened a small store on Massachusetts Ave.”