ECOMMERCE

Target gets in bed with popular mattress-in-a-box brand

BY Marianne Wilson

An online start-up has turned to a traditional retailer to help grown its brand.

Target Corp. has entered into a partnership with Casper, an online brand credited with disrupting the mattress category. Target will start selling the brand’s mattresses and other products, including a few exclusive items, beginning on June 18.

Launched in 2014. Casper quickly developed a cult following for its mattress, which is made of memory and latex foams, and delivered in a box. The mattress, available in a variety of sizes, comes with a 100-day money-back trial. Prices range from $550 (twin) to $1,150 (king).

“At Target, we strive to bring guests amazing new products and exciting partnerships, said Jill Sando, senior VP, merchandising, home, Target. “We love Casper’s brand and innovative products — and we really love the idea of giving our guests a simple way to get a better night’s sleep, with everything they need in one convenient place.”

Target has sold mattresses online for a while, including brands such as Sleep Comfort, Serta and Sealy. But as part of this deal, Casper will become the only mattress brand available online through Target.com, said Amy Koch, a Target spokeswoman.

The Casper mattress will be available (online only) in a variety of sizes. But other Casper products, including pillows and sheets will be available in select Target stores and on the retailer’s website.

In addition, Target will be the exclusive vendor of two new Casper items: a mattress topper, called Casper Layer, and a flexible seat, called Casper Lounger. Both products will be sold in Target stores and on its website.

“Since our launch online three years ago, we’ve seen a huge demand from customers who want to experience the Casper brand in person,” said Philip Krim, CEO and co-founder of Casper. “Partnering with Target allows us to bring Casper products directly to consumers in-store on a national scale

Target has sold mattresses, including such brands as Serta and Sealy, online for some time. But as part of its new partnership, Casper will be the only mattress brand available online at Target.com, the Minneapolis StarTribune reported.

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C-SUITE

Teen retailer on hunt for new finance head

BY Marianne Wilson

The Buckle is losing its finance chief.

The apparel retailer on Thursday said that Karen B. Rhoads, senior VP of finance and CFO, will retire later this summer. She will continue to serve as a member of the board. Rhodes joined the Buckle in 1980, and has served as CFO since 1991.

The retailer has hired an executive search firm to assist with the search for Rhoads’ replacement. Rhoads will remain in her role to support the search and to assist with the transition.

Also on Thursday, the Buckle reported disappointing results for its first quarter amid an ongoing sales slump. Net income for the quarter ended April 29, 2017 was $16.3 million, or $0.34 per share, just missing Street forecasts.

Net sales for quarter decreased 12.8% to $212.3 million. Same-store store net sales fell 12.7%. Online sales decreased 7.2% to $21.8 million.

Headquartered in Kearney, Nebraska, Buckle operated 462 stores in 44 states at the end of first quarter.

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FINANCE

Small c-store chain with big ambitions acquires 35 locations

BY Marianne Wilson

Yesway has expanded its store network.

The convenience store company announced it has acquired 35 Wes-T-Go and Chillerz stores in Abilene, Texas. The acquired stores will be added to Yesway’s existing portfolio of 38 locations currently operating in Iowa and Kansas.

By the end of the second quarter of 2017, Yesway expects to have over 100 stores under management. The company also has a robust acquisition pipeline. It plans to acquire, improve and rebrand approximately 500 convenience stores as Yesway in selected regions of the United States over the next several years.

"With Yesway, customers will enjoy great customer service and redesigned stores that are true to our brand promise – they'll be efficient, inviting and friendly,” said Brian Trout, Yesway's senior VP of operations.

BW Gas & Convenience, which operates as Yesway, is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. The company plans to acquire, improve and rebrand 500 convenience stores in selected regions of the United States over the next several years.

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