TECHNOLOGY

Target to debut four new brands

BY Marianne Wilson

Target Corp. is doubling down on its efforts to distinguish itself with exclusive brands and to be a leader in two key categories.

The discounter revealed in a posting on its website that it will launch three new apparel brands and one new home goods brand in its stores and online this fall.

The upcoming apparel brands include A New Day, a mix-and-match women’s line designed to take the wearer "from weekend to work to dinner date, effortlessly," Target said. The retailer will also be expanding its activewear offerings with Joy Lab, an activewear brand with a "little edgier, street-fashion vibe."

On the men's front, Target is introducing Goodfellow & Co., which it calls a "modern-meets-classic line of men’s clothing, accessories and shoes."

Project 62 is the name of the discounter's new home collection. Target described it as “a modern home brand thoughtfully designed for everyday life.”

Target is hoping to replicate some of the success it has had with its Cat & Jack kids apparel brand, which it launched last year.

"Cat & Jack is now one of our biggest owned brands and is a leader in the U.S. kids’ apparel industry," Mark Tritton, Target’s executive VP and chief merchandising officer, stated in a Q&A on the company's website. (To read the complete Q&A, click here.)

As it phases in new exclusive brands, Target is also taking stock of some of its existing offerings. The chain's Merona apparel line and its Mossimo collection for men will be phased out, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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TECHNOLOGY

Target’s CMO talks brands

BY CSA STAFF

Mark Tritton, Target’s executive VP and chief merchandising officer, discussed the retailer's new exclusive brands in a posting on the company's corporate website. Here are some key excerpts:

What’s the inspiration behind these new brands?

Our new brands are all about the changing face of our guests — what they need, what they’re looking for from Target. When we took a close look at our existing assortment with this in mind, we saw a disconnect. We knew we’d need to refresh our offerings — and define new ones — so our guests continue to love what they’re discovering at Target and want to keep coming back, again and again.

Does that mean our brands haven’t been working?

Our brands have been solid performers. Take Cherokee and Circo in our kids’ business, for example — they were performing strongly, even in a difficult market. But we talked to our guests, looked at the data, and we realized that there was this huge opportunity to create a unique personality and own-able, differentiated point of view.

When we took the leap and reinvented our approach, like when we launched Cat & Jack as our kids’ apparel line about a year ago, we’ve seen phenomenal results — not just in sales, but in loyalty, basket size and overall preference for Target. Cat & Jack is now one of our biggest owned brands and is a leader in the U.S. kids’ apparel industry.

But it’s not just about creating a great product assortment — it’s how we bring the brand to life for our guests in stores, digitally and in our marketing, so that at every touchpoint, our guests understand that this brand’s not just new — it’s created especially for them.

There’s designing a label, and then there’s building a brand. How is Target is building brands that guests will love — and that will stand the test of time?

As we’ve been creating these new brands, we’re thinking about the values we want to stand for 5, 10, 15 years down the line, so they’ll have real meaning and depth as we evolve. Everything we do is based not only on our guests’ needs today, but also where we see our brands forging a space tomorrow. To do this, we’re working and thinking differently at Target.

We’ve embarked on the most extensive guest research we’ve ever done — and we’re using these insights not just to react, but to get in front of guests’ needs and expectations. It’s been an incredible journey, and the Target team’s had so much fun along the way. We can’t wait to see how our guests respond when these new brands launch.

How do you think these new brands are going to change the way guests shop at Target?

One new brand on its own isn’t going to change the way guests experience Target, though we definitely believe each of our exclusive brands will leave its mark. Big picture, it’s when you take all these new brands, combined with how we’re reimagining stores, continuing to enhance digital and investing in our business to meet guests’ changing needs that you start to feel a real difference. Taken together, these changes will create an experience — a new, fresh interpretation of the Tar-zhay that we know our guests love — that ultimately will drive preference and bring real, affordable joy to our guests’ everyday moments.

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TECHNOLOGY

CSA Q&A: Tractor Supply CIO talks about success with BOPIS

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

For Tractor Supply Company, buy-online-pickup-in-store is proving a win-win, for both itself and its customers.

With more than 1,600 stores in 49 states, Tractor Supply is the nation's largest operator of stores dedicated to a rural lifestyle. Online and offline, it offers a wide range of merchandise, from welders and generators to an-imal care products to men and women's workwear. Stores are typically located in towns outlying major metropolitan markets and in rural com-munities.

Similar to consumers everywhere, Tractor Supply customers increasingly expect a seamless shopping experience, as well as the most convenient way to browse for and buy merchandise. The retailer is delivering on those demands and more with its BOPIS program. What's more, the pro-gram is providing Tractor Supply with a good upsell in its stores, increas-ing basket sizes and average order size.

Rob Mills, the retailer’s CIO, shared his thoughts about the program — and results — with Chain Store Age.

How did BOPIS become a priority for Tractor Supply Company?

Our customer base values high quality product, merchandise availability and in-store customer service when making a purchase. Besides offering a high level of expertise, we also want to give them a convenient, quick and easy shopping experience. BOPIS fits this criteria.

Our customers can be shop owners or individual customers, and they may not always live very close to a store. So before they drive to a store, it is important for them to know merchandise is in stock.

After discussing the opportunity with our customers, we launched a pilot in a small region among 70 stores in October. Our goal was to understand capabilities and processes in store and learn from our customer experi-ences and expectations. These results helped us fine-tune the program, and we continued rolling it out chain wide. As of May, all of our 1,620 stores now offer BOPIS.

What makes your program unique?

We are one of the few companies in our segment that offers a modern-ized, integrated BOPIS service. Leveraging our cloud-based e-commerce platform, we created a new digital interface for our website and mobile sites, and then redesigned these user experiences to be more responsive.

Lastly, we integrated our inventory systems into the new platform as well as store-level. Now we can share available inventory and communicate with our customers throughout the ordering process.

How does the service work?

As digital customers add merchandise to their online shopping cart, the product page reveals if the item is available in-store, if it has to be shipped to the store, or if it qualifies for BOPIS. If it is eligible for in-store pickup, shoppers select their preferred store, confirm that inventory is still available, identify who will pick up the order, and then checkout.

From there, shoppers receive notifications to keep them abreast of the or-der. After receiving an email thanking them for placing an order, they will receive an order confirmation within two hours, and a final email con-firming the order is ready for pick-up.

In-store signage directs shoppers to customer service, where an online or-der pickup team member confirms their identity, retrieves the order and even educates the shopper on how to use the product. Following the pick-up, we send another email thanking them for their order, and invite them to share their experience via a link to a survey or social media.

What have early results revealed?

To date, between 50% and 60% of our online volume is being picked up in store. Some of that was driven by holiday promotions or seasonal needs, but BOPIS is still driving a big chunk of our e-commerce volume.

We also see the service increasing our basket sizes and average order val-ue. Shoppers will walk into store to pick up their order, then add another item. It is definitely a good upsell and cross-sell opportunity for us.

BOPIS shoppers are also making purchases across all four walls and all key categories, and the item size varies from trailers and tractor mowers to small parts for repairs. Orders are well across the board.

What's next?

Being a “test and learn” organization, we are constantly trying new capa-bilities. We also rely on customer feedback to drive results and evaluate services. We will continue to try different things, but our focus remains on driving more convenience for the customer.

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