OPERATIONS

Target expands Beauty Concierge program

BY Alaric Dearment

Minneapolis — Target has expanded its Beauty Concierge program to 95 stores in New York and New Jersey, the San Francisco Bay Area and Dallas-Fort Worth. Under the program, stores are staffed with a beauty concierge, a specially trained, brand-agnostic assistant who answers customers’ questions in the store and provides personalized, detailed and unbiased information about beauty and personal care products.

"We’re thrilled with the early success of the Beauty Concierge program and its expansion to more markets across the country," Target VP beauty and personal care Christina Hennington said. "This uniquely Target program helps guests receive the friendly, personalized guidance they want while purchasing trusted national brands and must-have exclusives at affordable prices."

The program was originally tested in the Chicago market last summer and subsequently launched at stores in Los Angeles, Washington, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Orange County, Calif., and northern Virginia. The program is now available in nearly 300 stores across the country.

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Dollar General announces changes to board

BY Staff Writer

Goodlettsville, Tenn. — Dollar General Corporation announced the resignations of Raj Agrawal and Adrian Jones as members of its board of directors effective Dec. 5. Agrawal, a member of KKR & Co. (LP), and Jones, a managing director at Goldman, Sachs & Co., have served as directors of Dollar General since 2007.

The entity controlled by KKR and Goldman Sachs, which purchased the company in 2007, now owns less than 2% of the company’s outstanding common stock. Based on this reduced level of ownership, KKR and Goldman Sachs have determined to reduce or eliminate, as applicable, their representation on the company’s board of directors. Mike Calbert, a member of KKR, will continue to serve as the lead director.

“Raj and Adrian have made substantial contributions to the success of Dollar General. Their judgment and financial acumen have benefited both Dollar General employees and shareholders, and I appreciate their support over the years. On behalf of the entire board of directors, I thank them for their service to Dollar General,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and chief executive officer.

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Mall of America unifies consumer communication channels with online portal

BY Staff Writer

New York — Mall of America unveiled an “Enhanced Service Portal” designed to improve the digital and physical shopping experience by integrating all the communication channels through which consumers contact the shopping center into a unified service.

All requests and questions received through primary communication channels available to Mall of America consumers will be routed via the new portal, which is called ESP. ESP brings together the Mall of America website; social media channels; telephone, text and dispatch teams; guest services and security into a newly designed space that will allow the ESP team members to actively listen to consumers and retailers and promptly respond to them.

“The Enhanced Service Portal will strengthen the connection between guests, retailers and Mall of America by making shopping experiences easier than ever before,” said Maureen Bausch, Mall of America executive VP of business development. “Our priority is to provide superior guest service to everyone who visits Mall of America, and our new Enhanced Service Portal exemplifies this effort in a way that no other mall in the country can match.”

Consumers can interact with the ESP team before arriving at Mall of America to get driving directions and information about parking or events. ESP can also help consumers with anything from basic requests, such as bag checks and information about specific retailers, to more personalized needs, such as dining and shopping recommendations.

The full suite of ESP services will, in time, include concierges who can meet with consumers in person, as needed.

ESP was piloted in September and October and launches now ahead of the holiday shopping season.

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