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Target debuts six online-only brands

BY Vivian Lee

New York — Target has debuted six brands that will be available exclusively online.

While continuing to draw people into its physical stores with sales and other incentives, the retailer recognizes the need to change as shoppers’ habits change. Target divisional merchandise manager Theresa Schmidt acknowledges that consumers are going online more often to shop from the comfort of their own homes, and the need to not only draw new consumers to its online site but also retain existing online consumers, by offering online-exclusive deals that will set not only the retailer apart from other retailers, but also the website apart from the physical store.

“We’re excited about these new brands and how they’re helping us further differentiate Target.com from other online retailers,” says Theresa Schmidt, a Target divisional merchandise manager. “We know our guests are increasingly connected and are shopping online more, so we wanted to offer guests something new, unique and unexpected.”

The six new brands available at Target.com include Labworks, Room 365, Zutano Blue, MudHut, Boho Boutique and TOO by Blu Dot.

Labworks is a contemporary line of women’s ready-to-wear apparel available in missy, plus and petite sizes. Room 365 is a home décor collection that features bright colors and prints and modern designs. Zutano Blue is a collection of clothing, bedding and home décor by European designer Uli Belenky that, according to the designer, celebrates the spirit of childhood. MudHut is a collection of bedding, textiles and home accessories that feature textures, hues and motifs of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Boho Boutique features and assortment of bedding, table linens, curtains and shower curtains.

TOO by Blu Dot is a collection of modern décor rooted in simple design. Blue Dot was founded in 1997 by college friends John Christakos, Charles Lazor and Maurice Blanks, who all shared a passion for art, architecture and design. The trio aimed to design products that are useful, affordable, desirable and accessible.

Although TOO by Blu Dot is an online-only collection, Target’s five CityTarget locations will have the collection on display so consumers can get a hands-on feel for it and then scan QR codes to either purchase the products or learn more about them.

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Walmart to open second campus location

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Walmart will open a mini-store on the campus of Georgia Tech, according to a report by the Atlanta-Constitution.

The 2,500-sq.-ft. convenience-store styled location, expected to open this spring, will be the retailer’s smallest unit in the country.

The Georgia Tech store will be Walmart’s second campus location. In 2011, the retailer opened a store on the campus of the University of Arkansas.

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Staples names chief culture officer

BY Staff Writer

Framingham, Mass. — Staples announced that John Burke, SVP business services, has been named to the newly created position of SVP chief culture officer. Burke joined Staples more than 23 years ago and led its Business Services team for 12 years.

In his new role, Burke will lead global efforts focused on building Staples’ culture and will be responsible for driving improved associate engagement. He will champion Staples’ approach to ethics, environmental sustainability, community relations, and diversity and inclusion. Burke will also serve as president of the Staples Foundation, the company’s non-profit philanthropic organization.

“Staples has a unique culture that is critical to Staples’ long-term success,” said Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and CEO “John has a long record of successful leadership and a deep understanding of Staples culture. He will be instrumental in ensuring that Staples’ culture and values support our business transformation.”

Burke will be responsible for driving awareness and coordinating Staples’ approach to corporate responsibility. He will act as Staples’ culture ambassador, both internally and externally, and will advise the executive team on related topics.

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