Target Canada addresses challenges with new initiatives
Target Canada is looking to improve business performance with a new set of initiatives that the company has unveiled on the heels of some leadership changes last spring, as well as a comprehensive review of its Canadian operations.
Among the initiatives, Target unveiled a new price-match policy and unveiled a long-term partnership with celebrity designer Sarah Richardson, set to launch next year. Richardson’s new line of home décor will debut exclusively at Target Canada beginning in fall 2015.
Target Canada will be offering price matching for any local competitor’s flyer or weekly ad (print or online), as well as for select online retailers, including Amazon.ca, Walmart.ca, Bestbuy.ca, Toysrus.ca, Babiesrus.ca, CanadianTire.ca, Futureshop.ca and Sears.ca.
Additionally, customers will now be able to use apps, such as reebee and flipp to price match, instead of bringing in a printed flyer. And customers will be able to complete price matching at the register instead of having to go via guest service.
"We’ve been listening to our guests and taking a hard look at where we need to improve," said Mark Schindele, president, Target Canada. "We’ve uncovered the root cause of some of our challenges and are focused on three main areas: improving in-stocks, sharpening our pricing strategy and enhancing our merchandise assortment."
In addition to Schindele, John Butcher, SVP of merchandising, and Janna Adair-Potts, SVP of stores and distribution, recently joined an experienced guest-focused leadership team. Target’s search for a non-executive chair with deep Canadian experience is ongoing.
"If we see a like item priced higher at Target, we’ll lower it," said Schindele. "And with the addition of our price match guarantee, and 5% off every purchase with a REDcard, guests should be confident they’re getting the best price at Target."
The retailer is also addressing in-stock issues, and is conducting a physical count of inventory at all stores, resulting in a reset of systems, and more accurate ordering and shipping data. It aims to better forecast and allocate product based on sales history and promotional plans to ensure the right amount of product is in the right place at the right time; to adjust delivery schedules so stores receive merchandise more frequently; and to provide new training and processes to headquarters and in-store teams to create good routines and engaging store team members.
"We know we still have work to do, but the entire Target team is focused on continuous improvement so that Canadian guests will have the Target experience they deserve," Schindele said.
Walgreens’ Healthcare Clinic enters Dallas-Fort Worth market
Walgreens is expanding its Healthcare Clinic retail locations with entry into the Dallas-Fort Worth market. The company plans to bring 13 Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens locations to the Dallas Metroplex by the end of 2014. The first clinic opened July 28 in Southlake.
“Our expansion into Dallas-Fort Worth reflects our continued effort to enhance access to high quality, affordable care and wellbeing services in our communities,” stated Suzanne Hansen, Walgreens group VP Healthcare Clinic. “There is an ever-increasing demand for health care resources in today’s environment. With our track record of success and a longtime presence in the Houston market, we’re confident Healthcare Clinic nurse practitioners can play an important role in working collaboratively with other providers in the community, and providing personalized care to help more people get, stay and live well.”
There are currently 15 Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens locations in the Houston area, with plans to add an additional 14 Healthcare Clinics in the market this year. Nationwide, there are more than 400 Healthcare Clinics across 23 states and Washington, D.C.
A recent Walgreens study found that retail clinics play an increasingly important role for healthcare delivery across the United States, as patients are relying more frequently on nurse practitioners at retail clinics to provide chronic and preventive health services. Specifically, the study found the percentage of visits to Healthcare Clinic locations for preventive services, screening and chronic visit utilization (combined) increased from 4% in 2007 to 17% in 2013. Furthermore, return patient visits to Healthcare Clinic climbed from 15% in 2007, to more than 50% in both 2012 and 2013.
Macy’s misses on earnings, cuts same-store sales guidance
New York – Although Macy’s Inc. reported a 4% increase in net income to $292 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, from $281 million in the same period a year earlier, the company still missed Wall Street expectations. Leftover merchandise from a sluggish first quarter helped keep Macy’s profit growth down.
Net sales also missed Wall Street estimates, rising 3.3% to $6.27 billion from $6.07 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. Same-store sales rose 3.4%, but Macy’s reduced its same-store sales guidance, in part due to the need for continued markdowns to clear inventory.
Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and CEO, cited omnichannel innovation, such as a growing buy online-pickup-in-store program, as well as targeting of Millennial shoppers, as factors that should help Macy’s performance in the second half of the year.
“We are approaching the second half of 2014 with confident optimism in our business strategies, merchandise assortments and marketing plans, tempered with the reality that many customers still are not feeling comfortable about spending more in an uncertain economic environment,” Lundgren said. “Thus, we remain focused on outperforming our competitors through innovation in omnichannel, which has added new dimensions in how consumers can shop us and how our company can satisfy customer demand. This includes a robust Buy Online Pickup in Store process, which has been rolled out to all full-line Macy’s stores nationwide so that it is fully available this fall and into the holiday shopping season. Moreover, our Millennial strategies have sharpened our merchandising and marketing to customers in the age range of 13 to 30. This has created new positive energy as our customers begin back-to-school shopping.”