C-SUITE

Survey: Canadian shoppers not impressed with Target

BY Marianne Wilson

NEW YORK —Canadian shoppers aren’t wowed by Target Corp., according to a customer-satisfaction rating survey by Forum Research. As reported in The Globe and Mail, the survey ranked Target at the bottom of a list of major retailers operating in Canada. (Satisfaction as measured by the survey relates to service, prices and/or merchandise offering.)

Over all, Target scored a mean 2.7 out of 4, compared with Costco’s 3.5, Wal-Mart’s 3.1 and a 3.2 average.

Shoppers complain that Target stores have been short on inventory and that prices are higher than those at outlets across the border, the report said.

“There was a lot of hype before Target entered the country,” Forum president Lorne Bozinoff said in the report. “Now that people have shopped there, I think there is a bit of a letdown.”

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OPERATIONS

Urban Outfitter’s Q2 profit surges 25%

BY Marianne Wilson

PHILADELPHIA —Urban Outfitters’ second-quarter net income jumped to $76 million for the three months ended July 31, 2013.

Total company net sales for the second quarter increased 12% to a record $759 million. Same—store sales, including the company’s direct-to-consumer channel, increased 9%.

Comparable retail segment net sales increased 38% at Free People, 9% at Anthropologie and 5% at Urban Outfitters. Wholesale segment net sales rose 17%.

"I am pleased with the strong results we delivered this quarter," said Richard A. Hayne, CEO. "They were driven by a favorable customer response to our product offerings, improved merchandise margins, the opening of additional stores, and better creative and marketing initiatives in our direct-to-consumer channel.”

During the six months ended July 31, 2013, the company opened a total of 17 stores including: six Free People stores, eight Urban Outfitters stores and three Anthropologie stores.

Urban reported net income of $123 million for the six months ended July 31, 2013.

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News

Staples incentivizes consumers to recycle

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Staples is generating traffic to its brick-and-mortar stores with its ink and toner cartridge recycling program. Since 2005, it has recycled 350 million ink and toner cartridges, averaging more than 60 million cartridges per year for the past three years.

The program incentives customers to recycle by offering them $2 back in Staples Rewards per recycled cartridge, with a limit of 10 per month. Consumers drop off used cartridges at any Staples retail location and Ink Recycling Rewards can be used to buy almost anything from Staples, in-store or online. In addition to recycling rewards, Staples Rewards members receive free shipping from Staples.com and 5% back on all purchases.

“Staples is America’s number one choice for ink and toner, in part because of our great cartridge recycling program,” said Mark Buckley, VP, environmental affairs, Staples. “As the largest retail recycler of ink and toner in North America, Staples is thrilled to be the first to reach this milestone, as we help customers reduce their environmental footprint and save money at the same time. Staples makes it easy to find replacement ink and toner, with fast, free delivery on Staples.com and knowledgeable associates to assist with in-store purchases.”

Through the cartridge recycling program, Staples has recycled 182 million pounds of plastics and metals, roughly the equivalent weight of an aircraft carrier or 400 times the Statue of Liberty. The cartridge recycling milestone is just one of several environmental accomplishments for Staples, which announced last month it reached 500 facilities certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.

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