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Starbucks, Seattle

BY CSA STAFF
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Starbucks has debuted its in-store Reserve coffee bar concept in downtown Seattle.

The new store combines the educational aspects of the company’s Reserve Roastery format and its rare small-lot Reserve coffees within a traditional Starbucks setting, complete with such regular coffee and Frappuccinos.

It’s estimated that Starbucks locations with the Reserve bar will make up 20% of the company’s global store portfolio over time.

The store design offers a casual Pacific Northwest ambiance mixed with mid-century modern tones, with a threaded ceiling that echoes the Harbor Steps of the locale.

“We focused on preserving the bones of the space with the columns and the areas of concrete,” senior designer Bret Lewis said. “We tried to have some restraint, so we could highlight character elements. That’s true to Seattle – it has an elevated industrial vibe, but it feels warm.”

The design team also focused on the sensory experience.

“When you walk in, you’ll hear the grinding and tamping of coffee from the manual espresso machines,” senior designer Bret Lewis said. “You’ll have a clear line of sight to the baristas with a long, low bar.”

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Longtime Kroger vet jumps ship for Target

BY Marianne Wilson

A 30-year veteran of The Kroger Co. has joined Target Corp. to head up the discounter’s struggling grocery business.

Target has appointed Jeff Burt as senior VP, grocery, fresh food and beverage, effective April 10.

Burt joins Target from The Kroger Co., where he was most recently the president of the Fred Meyer division. In this role, he was responsible for the executive management of stores, fuel stations, distribution centers, manufacturing plants and 38,000 employees. During his 30-year career at Kroger, Burt held a number of leadership positions, including leading the chain’s central division, overseeing various merchandise categories, overall merchandising and operations.

Target has been working to turnaround its grocery business, which accounts for one-fifth of the company’s sales. The retailer has been searching for a new grocery head since Anne Dament left the company last year amid continuing grocery sales declines.

Burt will report to Target’s executive VP and chief merchandising officer, Mark Tritton.

“After an extensive search to find a new leader to join our team, I’m confident that Jeff is the right person for the charge. His vast industry expertise will accelerate our plans to bring a unique food and beverage experience to Target guests,” said Tritton.

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Fashion retailer steps up its mobile experience

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Charlotte Russe is taking steps to blend its online and offline experiences.

The young women’s apparel specialty chain recently added a mobile commerce platform from PredictSpring designed to deliver a next-generation app to its customers. The app delivers the three key elements most demanded by Charlotte Russe’s customer: speed, flexibility, and a smooth blend of the online and offline brand experience.

For example, the app allows users to browse and shop Charlotte Russe’s Instagram feed within the app, and access exclusive offers and flash sales — a feature that provides a “VIP experience” to customers. It also gives users insight into real-time in-store inventory, enabling customers to check item availability in any of Charlotte Russe’s 550 stores.

“Our customer demands instant gratification and the ability to shop with the single touch of a button, anywhere and anytime on their mobile de-vice,” said Carrie Welch, senior VP of digital experience, Charlotte Russe.

“Speed is essential to our customer and pivotal to building brand loyal-ty,” she added. “The PredictSpring platform is unrivaled, with our app performing between 20 and 30 times faster than a typical mobile experi-ence. Also, the integration with digital wallet, Apple Pay has proven key to driving increased conversion.”

The Charlotte Russe app is available for download in the Apple App Store and in the Google Play Store. Since its launch in July 2016, the app has had over 1 million downloads.

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