MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Target Canada tackles merchandising, pricing

BY Dan Berthiaume

Mississauga, Canada — Target Canada is launching several initiatives to improve business performance and better deliver the Target brand experience to Canadian customers. Among the initiatives are a partnership with interior designer and TV host Sarah Richardson, who will launch an exclusive home décor line at Target Canada in fall 2015.

Target is also partnering with home décor and apparel brand Roots, expanding its maternity assortment by 50% in September 2014, expanding cosmetic lineups, launching an exclusive brand of household cleaners called Better Life and the eco-friendly European Ecover line in September 2014, introducing an exclusive appliance line called French Bull, and adding more than 30,000 new items to its assortment between now and Christmas.

Target Canada is also introducing a new price match policy, which includes price matching for any local competitor’s flyer or weekly ad (print or online), and price matching for select online retailers, including Amazon.ca, Walmart.ca, Bestbuy.ca, Toysrus.ca, Babiesrus.ca, CanadianTire.ca, Futureshop.ca and Sears.ca.

In addition, customers can now use popular apps, such as reebee and flipp to price match, instead of bringing a printed flyer. Price match can now be completed at the register instead of guest service. Target Canada has also added about 1,000 additional items to its roster of 20,000 items that are regularly shopped, to compare prices with its largest competitors.

Furthermore, Target Canada has undertaken a variety of initiatives to address in-stock issues, including a physical count of inventory at all stores, resulting in a reset of systems, and more accurate ordering and shipping data, as well as better forecasting and allocation of product based on sales history and promotional plans to ensure the right amount of product is in the right place at the right time. The retailer is also adjusting delivery schedules so stores receive merchandise more frequently, and providing new training and processes to headquarters and in-store teams to create good routines and engaging store team members.

The initiatives come on the heels of some leadership changes in spring 2014 and a comprehensive review of its Canadian operations. Target Canada has recently added president Mark Schindele; senior VP of merchandising John Butcher; and senior VP of stores and distribution Janna Adair-Potts. In addition, Target’s search for a non-executive chair with deep Canadian experience is ongoing.

"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.

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OPERATIONS

Build-A-Bear Workshop names Stride Rite exec as chief product officer

BY Dan Berthiaume

St. Louis – Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. has appointed Jennifer Kretchmar as chief product officer. Kretchmar will lead the company’s merchandising and product development teams and will report to Sharon John, CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop.

She will be responsible for product development, design, quality, sourcing, merchandising, planning, and wholesale. Kretchmar most recently held the position of senior VP of product and brand management with the Stride Rite Children’s Group of Wolverine World Wide where she was responsible for the global product creation strategy for a diverse portfolio of children’s footwear brands including Stride Rite, Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Keds, Merrell, Robeez, Jessica Simpson and Hush Puppies. She also has experience in a number of business models including specialty retail, wholesale and international franchising.

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FINANCE

Provide Commerce purchase hits FTD profit

BY Dan Berthiaume

Downers Grove, Ill. – Net income dropped 14.5% at FTD Inc. to $4.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 from $5.5 million in the same period the prior year. Costs related to FTD’s planned purchase of Provide Commerce were primarily responsible for the decline in net income.

Consolidated revenues increased 2.3% to $168.1 million for second quarter 2014, compared to $164.3 million in the same period of the prior year. The increase in consolidated revenues in second quarter 2014 was due to increased revenues in the international and florist segments and favorable foreign currency exchange rates, partially offset by lower revenues in the consumer segment.

In addition, FTD received the 2014 Women’s Choice Award seal from WomenCertified Inc. The award recognizes brands that are most recommended by women.

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