FINANCE

Stein Mart leads off-pricers with launch of e-commerce

BY Dan Berthiaume

Jacksonville, Fla. — Stein Mart Inc. has officially opened its online store, which offers both brick-and-mortar store merchandise and unique online-only offerings. The chain is among the first in the off-price category to enter e-commerce

Stein Mart plans to continue expanding the site’s assortment, including a limited selection of shoes, during the next several weeks. As Stein Mart executives explain in the current August/September issue of Chain Store Age, the key drivers for becoming one of the first off-price retailers to have a fully functional e-commerce site were expanding the customer base and responding to requests from existing customers for 24-hour shopping access.

“We are excited to announce that we are in the e-commerce business and happy to be able to serve our customers who like to shop online," said Jay Stein, CEO of Stein Mart. “As we learn more and grow this business, we anticipate that this channel will rapidly become our largest flagship ‘store.’”

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REAL ESTATE

Target sets opening dates for 23 more Canadian stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis — Target Corporation will open 23 new stores in Canada this fall, including its first stores in Quebec and Nova Scotia, along with additional Ontario locations in Ottawa and surrounding area. Fourteen stores will open on Sept. 17, and nine on Oct. 18.

The majority of the 23 locations will feature a licensed Starbucks, as well as an in-store pharmacy. As recently announced, the majority of stores in Quebec will offer Brunet pharmacies, which are scheduled to open starting in summer 2014. Sixteen of the stores will open in Quebec, while five will open in Ontario, and three will open in Nova Scotia. Target currently has 68 stores open across Canada with plans to open a total of 124 locations by the end of 2013.

"We look forward to opening our first stores in Quebec and Nova Scotia as we carry out an unprecedented retail expansion covering all ten provinces across Canada this year," said Tony Fisher, president, Target Canada. "Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario offer a variety of culturally diverse markets and we look forward to serving our new guests and engaging with these great communities."

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OPERATIONS

PetSmart goes virtual for Halloween

BY Dan Berthiaume

Phoenix – PetSmart is allowing customers to virtually try Halloween costumes on their pets via Facebook. PetSmart’s “Spooktacular Costume Machine” on Facebook lets customers upload a photo of their pet and virtually try on 10 different costumes, add props and text, and share a photo through email, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

After creating a costume, coupons are available to print, including $2 off any PetSmart costume purchase and buy-one, get-one treat coupons. The promotion begins Sept. 16.

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