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Report: Talbots in talks with Sycamore

BY Staff Writer

New York City — The Talbots is in buyout talks with the private-equity firm Sycamore Partners, according to the Boston Herald. The retailer signed a confidentiality agreement on Friday with the New York-based Sycamore, its second largest shareholder with 10% of the company, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the report said.

In December, Talbots said that that an unsolicited buyout bid from Sycamore had substantially undervalued the retailer. Talbots called the proposal inadequate, and said it would instead pursue “a full range of strategic alternatives,” which generally includes a possible sale of a company.

“As one of Talbots’ largest shareholders, we are concerned by the company’s rapidly deteriorating performance,” wrote Stefan L. Kaluzny, a Sycamore managing director, in a letter to Talbots in December. “Nonetheless, we believe that Talbots has significant potential and remains a premier, storied brand.”

Sycamore specializes in consumer and retail investments.

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JoS. A. Bank and Experian receive Database Excellence Award

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Using Experian Marketing Services’ comprehensive cross-channel capabilities to help improve customer experience and drive engagement, JoS. A. Bank Clothiers and Experian received a Database Excellence Award from the National Center for Data Management (NCDM).

Experian’s multichannel Customer Intelligence Platform, rich data resources, and deep analytics/insights are intended to enable JoS. A. Bank to identify opportunities for improving efficiency of its mailings, increasing return on campaign efforts and building customer loyalty. A variety of data sources can be leveraged within a multichannel segmentation approach to develop six distinct, actionable customer personas that can be rolled out across multiple channels. The wealth of integrated data will be tapped to develop predictive models in the hope of dramatically outperforming legacy targeting.

"Recognizing campaign responses is truly important to understanding and connecting with your customer," said John Lewis, director of database marketing at JoS. A. Bank Clothiers. "Our relationship with Experian Marketing Services will help us gain this understanding and really capitalize on the value it brings. We’re excited to continually explore emerging opportunities."

The bronze-level award in the Marketing Strategies category was presented at the NCDM 2011 Conference for Engaging Customers Using Data and Technology in Las Vegas.

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The search is on for Canadian pharmacists

BY CSA STAFF

Target stores in Canada will have pharmacies, but the company will employ a franchise operating model as opposed to direct ownership as is the case in the United States.

The company said it plans to operate pharmacies in as many of its stores in Canada as possible and will begin its search for pharmacist franchise owners in March.

“Target believes healthcare is an important part of our Canadian store strategy, and we are committed to providing superior community-based healthcare,” said Tony Fisher, president Target Canada. “We have worked hard to understand the Canadian healthcare landscape and believe our unique pharmacy franchise model will greatly appeal to pharmacists while best serving the needs of patients in Canada.”

According to the company, the pharmacy franchise model will allow individual pharmacist owners to own and operate pharmacy businesses within Target’s Canadian stores and provide its Canadian customers with superior patient-centered healthcare. The company contends it has created a best-in-class pharmacy franchise model specifically for the Canadian marketplace that will meet patients’ healthcare needs while providing pharmacists with a unique opportunity to own and grow a pharmacy business with no entry fees and the support of a national retailer.

Given that Target will be opening its first stores in March/April 2013, the current Zellers prescription files will remain in the possession of Zellers. Target will begin its search for pharmacist franchise owners in March 2012, and those interested are encouraged to visit www.Target.ca/careers for more information.

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