News

Target lowers ‘thousands’ of prices

BY CSA STAFF

The price wars among the nation’s leading retailers has taken a new turn just ahead of the critical holiday selling season.

On Friday, Target revealed in a blog post on its website that it had lowered prices on “thousands” of items, from cereal and paper towels to baby formula, razors, bath tissue and more. The discounter said the move would help end shoppers’ uncertainty over the timing of discounts on certain products, and make for “more consistent savings.”

In line with the price cuts, Target has eliminated more than two-thirds of its price and offer call-outs. But the chain emphasized it is not ditching promotions entirely. Instead, it wants to make sure it offers only its “most compelling sales — when it makes the most sense for our guests.”

“We want our guests to feel a sense of satisfaction every time they shop at Target,” Mark Tritton, Target’s executive VP and chief merchandising officer said in the blog. “Part of that is removing the guesswork to ensure they feel confident they’re getting a great, low price every day. We’ve spent months looking at our entire assortment, with a focus on offering the right price every day and simplifying our marketing to make great, low prices easy to spot, all while maintaining sales we know are meaningful to guests.”

In its post, Target did not specify the percentage of the price cuts.

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Muji continues U.S. store expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

A Japanese lifestyle brand with a devoted following has opened an outpost in one of New York City's most hip neighborhoods that will serve as a model for future expansion.

Muji has opened a 7,300-sq.-ft. store in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. It is the retailer’s seventh store in the greater New York City area. In addition to New York, Muji has six locations in California, one in New Jersey and one in Boston. It plans to add more U.S. stores next year.

The new store carries Muji's full lineup of minimalist products, including apparel, kitchenware, tableware, furniture, interior and storage accessories, stationery, skincare and travel items. It also features a number of added services including an embroidery station that allows customers to customize textile items with a selection of over 300 embroidered designs; a complimentary gift-wrapping station that seals paper packages with stitching; and a free stamp station where customers can accent their purchased paper goods with various symbols.

In addition, Muji will collaborate with local artists and artisans on upcoming projects that pay homage to Brooklyn’s creative scene and connect with the diverse families that inhabit it.

Muji was founded in Japan in 1980 and now has over 400 stores in Japan. It opened its first store outside Japan in 1991, in London, adding over 400 global locations since then. The Muji name derives from the company’s original name in Japanese: Mujirushi Ryohin, meaning “No Brand, Quality Goods."

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ECOMMERCE

Women’s apparel retailer accepts mobile payments from Chinese shoppers

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Rebecca Minkoff is making it easier for Chinese customers to purchase from the brand.

Through a partnership with Chinese online payment provider Alipay, upscale apparel retailer now enables Chinese shoppers to use their Alipay Mobile Wallet to make purchases at any United States-based Rebecca Minkoff store, or while shopping online. The mobile wallet is accepted in all Rebecca Minkoff stores located in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The Alipay Mobile Wallet gives Chinese shoppers more flexibility when making a purchase, especially when choosing their preferred currency. During the checkout process for example, customers are prompted in Chinese to approve the transaction in either U.S. dollars or Chinese yuan, Alipay explained.

The retailer expects the payment option to make it a more appealing shopping destination among the more than four million Chinese consumers expected to visit North America this year, according to Rebecca Minkoff.

“Chinese travelers represent an important and growing audience for Rebecca Minkoff,” said Uri Minkoff, the company’s CEO and co-Founder. “By offering Alipay, we are ensuring that Chinese shoppers visiting any of our U.S. stores or our website are met with an exceptional experience, which includes the easiest and most familiar payment method for them.”

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