OPERATIONS

Reports: Target mulls new pricing strategy

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Target Corp. is mulling a new pricing strategy amid increased competition from online and brick-and-mortar rivals, according to reports by the Associated Press and Dow Jones.

The reports said that Target has sent a letter to some of its key vendors as part of a potential new strategy to bolster its competiveness. The news comes just days before J.C. Penney is scheduled to announce a major overhaul in which pricing is likely to play a key role.

In the Associated Press report, Citi’s Deborah Weinswig said she believes Target is "exercising leverage over its vendors to achieve the same pricing that smaller, online-only retailers receive. This strategy would help Target compete with retailers like Amazon on like-for-like products."

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Charming Shoppes makes executive appointments

BY CSA STAFF

Bensalem, Pa. — Charming Shopped announced that Bryan Q. Eshelman has been promoted to executive VP — chief supply chain officer, effective immediately.

Eshelman joined Charming Shoppes in 2010 as senior VP — operations, with responsibility for technology, logistics, technical design and quality assurance. He has led a number of key initiatives relating to Charming Shoppes’ IT systems transformation and multi-faceted supply chain strategies.

The retailer also announced that Donna Isralsky has joined Charming Shoppes as senior VP — strategic sourcing, reporting to Eshelman. Isralsky will be responsible for numerous strategic initiatives, supporting the expansion and penetration of the company’s vertical model, and managing relationships with key suppliers. She has extensive experience in retail sourcing across all product categories, having spent her career as a senior sourcing executive and business leader at Williams-Sonoma, Reebok, and Target/Mervyns.

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IBM Survey: Consumers willing to share information with retailers

BY Staff Writer

Armonk, N.Y. — Consumers are looking for a more personalized shopping experience, and are willing to share select details about themselves with their favorite retailers to help educate brands on exactly how, when and where to approach them, according to the third annual consumer survey by IBM.

The survey of more than 28,500 global consumers finds that consumers are willing to provide information to retailers about their media usage (75%); demographics (73%); identification, such as name and address (61%); lifestyle (59%); and location (56%) for a more targeted and smarter shopping experience.

Increasingly, savvy retailers are responding to this need and using sophisticated technology to make sure every interaction with customers is spot-on, based on individual preferences, location and lifestyle. IBM’s ongoing research shows that retailers must provide clear compelling reasons to shop; deliver personalized offerings and reach shoppers when and where they prefer, in order to win over their wallet share. According to the IBM survey, consumers are more than willing to give retailers the data to make this experience possible.

“The speed of technology innovation, consumer adoption and access to information has created an environment where everything is known and the consumer is truly the one in power, coalescing around shopping communities of ‘we,’” said Jill Puleri, global retail leader, IBM Global Business Services. “Retailers can win over this empowered consumer based on re-establishing a trusted relationship and building loyalty through improving the store environment, product assortment and store communications.”

Key consumer findings include:

  • 71% desire to shop digitally using technology (e.g. website, mobile, social network, retailer website to co-create products, TV using remote control, social videos like YouTube, electronic games);
  • 29% desire to use one technology, 18% use two and 24% use three ;
  • 85% of consumers believe social networks will save them time;
  • 87% of consumers willing to use TVs because of convenience;
  • 74% believe electronic games will be a convenient, fun way to shop;
  • 66% of consumers are optimistic about the future of their income;
  • 31% believe their income will stay the same;
  • 35% believe income will increase by 20% in the next 5 years; and
  • Optimism driven by China (95%), Brazil (91%), and Mexico (63%) in their belief that their incomes will increase.

For more information, go to ibm.com/iibv

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