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Rooting for a category expansion in sporting goods

BY CSA STAFF

Target may want to rethink its space allocation for the sporting goods department in light of the success the company is having with its Fan Central initiative. Granted, Fan Central is a licensed apparel program within the sporting goods department, but EVP merchandising Kathee Tesija described the success the program is having as “remarkable” during a recap of key merchandising initiatives earlier this month in a meeting with financial analysts.

According to Tesija, Fan Central’s high-quality, team-related apparel offered at great prices is now in every store and each store features a customized product assortment across every major league and team.

“It has quickly become the most productive space in the sporting goods floor pad,” Tesija said.

That’s saying something because licensed sports apparel is inherently difficult to manage as fan loyalty can surge and wane with a team’s fortunes, while affinities for teams and players also can vary widely within the same markets. That introduces a degree of operational complexity to assortment decisions and promotional efforts in a category segment that faces the same sizing issues as other apparel categories.

The fact that Target is managing this complexity and achieving remarkable results with Fan Central suggests the company might have an even larger opportunity with sporting goods. It is evident shoppers are willing to visit and make purchases in the sporting goods department, but Target’s limited breadth of assortment means active lifestyle shoppers inclined to makes sporting goods purchases are forced to go elsewhere to satisfy their needs.

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Target’s new website is slammed

BY CSA STAFF

The new Target.com website went live last Tuesday just as Target News Now was hitting in-boxes with an item about the relaunch that began, “Just launch the new site already.” Well, now that the completely reengineered site is operational, it marks the company’s first step on an ambitious plan for multi-channel expansion, according to Target.com president Steve Eastman.

“Establishing a new platform for Target.com allows Target to reinvent our guests’ online environment and create a more user-friendly, reliable experience,” Eastman said. “With the new Target.com, we are in a better position to satisfy our guests’ constantly evolving preferences – whenever, wherever – in the same way we have earned their loyal support in our stores for decades.”

Key advancements to the site are said to be in the areas of personalization, design, layout and navigation with incremental improvement expected to be made on an ongoing basis. More than 20 technology partners were involved in the two-year undertaking.

Not everyone found the site experience to their liking. Retail technology blogger Evan Schuman slammed Targets new website in his newsletter Storefrontbacktalk, which featured a headline, “Target’s New Site: Where’s the New?” and another that said, “New Target.com Forgot the Customers.”

The first article suggested the new site basically puts Target on equal footing with other retailers who have offered the features and functionality of the new Target.com for years. The second article offered an even harsher assessment, suggesting the new site was worse than the version it replaced. Big chunks of the new site didn’t work at all and almost nothing worked as well as the site shoppers had seen a day or two before, according to the article.

“Target forgot the first rule of customer-facing development in retail IT: customers expect a new e-commerce site (or kiosk or POS system or loyalty program) to work better than the old one did,” the article stated. “If the old one worked fine, and the new one doesn’t work as well, what’s the point?”

Not sure what else Storefrontbacktalk had to say about the new Target.com because the site requires a $149 annual subscription.

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News

Target’s new website is slammed

BY CSA STAFF

The new Target.com website went live last Tuesday just as Target News Now was hitting in-boxes with an item about the relaunch that began, “Just launch the new site already.” Well, now that the completely reengineered site is operational, it marks the company’s first step on an ambitious plan for multi-channel expansion, according to Target.com president Steve Eastman.

“Establishing a new platform for Target.com allows Target to reinvent our guests’ online environment and create a more user-friendly, reliable experience,” Eastman said. “With the new Target.com, we are in a better position to satisfy our guests’ constantly evolving preferences – whenever, wherever – in the same way we have earned their loyal support in our stores for decades.”

Key advancements to the site are said to be in the areas of personalization, design, layout and navigation with incremental improvement expected to be made on an ongoing basis. More than 20 technology partners were involved in the two-year undertaking.

Not everyone found the site experience to their liking. Retail technology blogger Evan Schuman slammed Targets new website in his newsletter Storefrontbacktalk, which featured a headline, “Target’s New Site: Where’s the New?” and another that said, “New Target.com Forgot the Customers.”

The first article suggested the new site basically puts Target on equal footing with other retailers who have offered the features and functionality of the new Target.com for years. The second article offered an even harsher assessment, suggesting the new site was worse than the version it replaced. Big chunks of the new site didn’t work at all and almost nothing worked as well as the site shoppers had seen a day or two before, according to the article.

“Target forgot the first rule of customer-facing development in retail IT: customers expect a new e-commerce site (or kiosk or POS system or loyalty program) to work better than the old one did,” the article stated. “If the old one worked fine, and the new one doesn’t work as well, what’s the point?”

Not sure what else Storefrontbacktalk had to say about the new Target.com because the site requires a $149 annual subscription.

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