Michael Francis leaves Target for J.C. Penney
New York City — Longtime Target Corp. veteran and chief marketing officer Michael R. Francis on Monday resigned from the discounter and was named president of J.C. Penney Co., effective Oct. 4.
In his new position, Francis, 48, will be responsible for all merchandising, marketing, planning and allocation, and product development and sourcing functions. His appointment is seen as the handiwork of Penney’s incoming CEO, Ron Johnson, who is himself a former Target executive. Although Johnson is best known as the head of Apple stores, he previously served 15 years at Target, where he held various positions including VP merchandising.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to get back to department store retail,” Francis said in a statement. “I began my career working on the sales floor of the State Street Marshall Field’s in Chicago. It was there where my passion for retail began and my understanding of the power and potential of the department store was formed.”
Francis began his marketing career in 1985 with Marshall Field’s, which in 1990 was acquired by Target. He was promoted to EVP marketing at Target in 2001, and was named CMO in 2008. In January 2011, he was charged with overseeing with Target’s entrance into the Canadian market.
Massmart to open 23 new stores over eight months
Johannesburg, South Africa — A Bloomberg report on Sunday said that Massmart Holdings Ltd., the South African retailer controlled by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., will open 23 new outlets over the next eight months, part of its plan to not only expand its coverage area but also to add jobs in the region. The plan calls for 15,000 jobs over the next three years.
The retailer also said it will repeat a price-cut promotion at its stores.
Massmart reduced prices for 10 weeks starting in July, shortly after Wal-Mart’s acquisition of a controlling stake was approved by South African authorities.
Walmart, T-Mobile team to introduce no-contract wireless offering
Bentonville, Ark., and Bellevue, Wash. — Walmart and T-Mobile USA, Inc. announced Monday that T-Mobile will launch a $30 unlimited web and text monthly 4G prepaid service plan to be sold exclusively in-store at more than 2,200 Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com and T-Mobile.com.
The new plan is slated for an Oct. 16 launch.
In addition, Walmart is increasing its line-up of T-Mobile phones to six, including the addition of Walmart’s first 4G prepaid handset.
“Walmart is proud to offer our customers fast and affordable mobile options, especially as texting and social networking become a regular form of communication,” said Seong Ohm, SVP entertainment for Walmart U.S.