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Michael R. Francis

BY CSA STAFF

Move over Mickey (that’s Mouse, not Drexler), there’s a new branding king in town. For decades, Disney was the brand to beat—no one else had mastered as effectively the creative genius and flawless execution of elevating a corporate symbol into an image instantly identifiable by consumers.

Enter Michael R. Francis, 45, who turned the Target bull’s-eye into one of the most recognizable logos in the nation. He began his career with Marshall Field’s and has been with Target since it acquired Field’s in 1990. As executive VP of marketing for Target, he sits in one of the most high-profile—and most honored—marketing suites in all of retail. Under his leadership, Target has crafted an innovative approach to marketing both itself and the merchandise it sells. That the discounter speaks with such a unique voice and carries itself with such panache in everything from TV ads to pop-up stores is largely due to the efforts of Francis and his team.

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Borders to offer free resolution workshops

BY CSA STAFF

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders said Thursday that it is offering customers free in store events throughout the month of January to help them kick start their new year’s resolutions and learn how to keep them through the year. Programs include wellness fairs, yoga classes and diet seminars.

Borders reported that local organizations and community groups will be featured in activities and events at its stores across the country ranging from fitness centers and hospitals to singles groups and retirement centers.

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Schulze sells 440K shares of company stock

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy chairman and founder Richard Schulze sold 440,000 shares of Best Buy stock last week valued at $22.4 million. Schulze sold the stock at prices ranging from $50.71 to $51.18 per share. Earlier this month, Schulze sold 2.35 million shares valued at more than $120 million.

While Schulze’s stock sales are considerable, they represent just a fraction of his holdings at Best Buy. He’s estimated to still hold more than 68 million shares of stock amassed during 41 years with the company.

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