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More details on Home Depot, PayPal deal

BY Staff Writer

New York City — John Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay, during a Jan. 18 earnings call expanded on the test of PayPal with retailer Home Depot.

A division of eBay, PayPal is experimenting with extending its on-line payment system to point-of-sale retail locations. In the fourth quarter of 2011, it chose Home Depot as its first national retailer for a limited test at five stores. PayPal plans to widen the pilot to 51 stores in the Bay Area by the end of the month, Donahoe said.

Donahoe explained to investors how the payment process worked by relating his own experience.

“I went down to Home Depot in San Jose this morning. I left my wallet and my cell phone in my car. I walked into the Home Depot — and it was one of the five where we’ve got this pilot going. I picked up a hammer and picked up a tape measure, which I have right in front of me, walked into the checkout lane without my wallet, without my mobile phone. On the terminal, I pressed Pay with PayPal. I put in my mobile phone number and a PIN, and, boom, I was done.

"The receipt emailed to my email account, texted to my mobile phone, and I walked out. So it was a beautiful experience."

Donahoe went on to explain that PayPal is being built into the existing hardware at Home Depot. “It’s as fast or faster than swiping your card [and it] doesn’t require you to have your wallet or phone with you.” The company is developing a PayPal card those who consumers who prefer it, he added.

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A retail leader named chairman of retail leaders association

BY CSA STAFF

Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel was elected chairman of the board of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

Steinhafel previously served as the board’s vice chairman and in his new capacity succeeds former RILA board chairman Bill Rhodes, chairman, president and CEO of AutoZone.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as chairman of this exceptional group of industry leaders,” Steinhafel said. “Along with the rest of the board of directors, I value RILA and its efforts to champion issues that affect our industry, our work force and our customers.”

In addition to holding conferences on such topics as supply chain and sustainability, the Washington, D.C.-based trade group is very active legislatively. RILA regularly supports fair trade measures, was an aggressive and outspoken advocate to reduce debit card swipe fees and is also a proponent of requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes.

Along with Steinhafel, other members of the RILA board include:

  • Richard Dreiling, chairman and CEO, Dollar General Corporation (vice chairman)

  • Gregory Wasson, CEO and president, Walgreen Co. (second vice chairman)

  • Eric Wiseman, chairman, president and CEO, VF Corporation (treasurer)

  • Robert Niblock, chairman and CEO, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (secretary)

  • Bill Rhodes, chairman, president and CEO, AutoZone, Inc. (immediate past chairman)

  • Francis Blake, chairman and CEO, The Home Depot Inc.

  • Lou D’Ambrosio, president and CEO, Sears Holding Corp.

  • Joe DePinto, president and CEO, 7-Eleven

  • Brian Dunn, CEO, president and COO, Best Buy Co. Inc.

  • Sally Jewell, president and CEO, Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)

  • Karen Lowe, general manager, global retail industry, IBM Corp.

  • Alan Hoskins, president and CEO, Energizer Holdings Inc., Energizer Household Products

  • Eugenio Minvielle, president and CEO, North America, Unilever

  • Robert Moran, president and CEO, PetSmart Inc.

  • James Myers, CEO, PETCO Animal Supplies Inc.

  • Steven Preston, EVP finance, recycling and energy services, Waste Management

  • Walter Robb, Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market Inc.

  • William Simon, president and CEO, Walmart U.S., Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

  • Sandy Kennedy, president, Retail Industry Leaders Association

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Design darling Wu a winner for Target

BY CSA STAFF

Fashion phenom or design darling. Whatever you call Jason Wu, he’s got a new line coming to Target Feb. 5 that could be a big deal on several levels.

Wu won the equivalent of the fashion world’s lottery when First Lady Michelle Obama wore one of his dresses to the presidential inauguration and since then everything has gone right for the native of Taiwan. There’s been plenty of favorable media coverage for the 26-year-old and his collaboration with Target is another big win on his fast track career. Now it remains to be seen whether his collection of 53 items priced between $19.99 to $59.99 is a hit with shoppers in the real world as opposed to those in the high fashion world.

That’s the good thing about these designer exclusives. If they flop, the merchandise is only in stores for a month and in that amount of time it’s not like the company is going to take a bath on markdowns. Conversely, if sell through is strong it reinforces the message among Target’s best customers that designers exclusives need to be shopped early or they risk getting shut out of the cool stuff. Lastly, the offering from Wu gets Target’s new fiscal year started off the right way with a strong, “expect more, pay less” statement with some highly-differentiated merchandise.

Check out the commercial for Wu here.

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