REAL ESTATE

Target plans Hawaii store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Target plans to open a new store in the city of Kahului on the island of Maui in Hawaii, in March 2015. The store will be located as part of the Pu‘unēnē Shopping Center.

This will be the first Target store in Maui.

The Maui store will be approximately 140,000 square feet, and will offer a selection of fresh produce, fresh packaged meat and pre-packaged baked goods, as well as a Starbucks and a Target Pharmacy. The Maui location will employ approximately 200 team members. Target will host job fairs approximately two months prior to the new store opening, at which prospective candidates may apply and interview for open team member positions. Candidates may also apply online or at in-store kiosks located in all Target stores approximately three months prior to the new store opening.

“Target is excited about our first store on the island of Maui,” said Cary Strouse, Target’s senior VP of stores in the Western region. “Since opening our first store in Hawaii in 2009, we’ve created strong partnerships with the local community and delivered our ‘Expect More. Pay Less.’ brand promise to guests throughout the islands.”

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FINANCE

Study: Wal-Mart supercenters benefit California communities

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sacramento, Calif. – Wal-Mart supercenters in California benefit communities by supporting additional job creation, small business growth and more robust sales tax revenues. According to a new economic impact report conducted by economist Lon Hatamiya of the Hatamiya Group, on average, California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters fared far better on taxable retail sales than those communities without Wal-Mart supercenters.

In addition, total taxable retail sales in California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters increased by an average of 20.3% after the opening of those stores, and total taxable retail sales in California communities without Wal-Mart supercenters decreased by an average of 11.7% during the same time period.

On average, California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters experienced even stronger gains in the number of retail business permits issued than those communities without supercenters. Total retail business permits in California communities with Wal-Mart supercenters increased by an average of 48.5% after the opening of those stores. Total retail business permits in California communities without Wal-Mart supercenters also increased, but only by an average of 20.3% the same time period.

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FINANCE

Study: Holiday gift card sales rise

BY Dan Berthiaume

Portland, Ore. – Fifty-seven percent of consumers purchased digital gift cards in December 2013 and 43% purchased physical cards. Data from prepaid product and transaction services company InComm also shows that 80% of consumers purchased digital cards in the six days leading up to Christmas and 20% of consumers purchased physical cards in the six days leading up to Christmas

Sales of physical cards peaked on Dec. 17, with sales decreasing every day after that, while sales of digital cards began a marked upward trend beginning on Dec. 17, with sales increasing after that and peaking on Dec. 24.

In addition, Shopkick leverages the InComm Digital Solutions platform to instantly connect Shopkick users with their digital gift card of choice to be scanned at the retailer’s point of sale. During Black Friday alone, Shopkick employed the InComm platform to deliver nearly seven times its usual daily volume of digital gift cards.

"We’re thrilled to be Shopkick’s partner and to have helped them successfully address such high demands on Black Friday," said Mike Fletcher, senior VP of sales and marketing for InComm Digital Solutions. "In a recent consumer survey conducted by InComm, nearly 70% of consumers stated they are more interested in purchasing digital gift cards now than they were two to three years ago. Further, our own internal holiday data reveals the increased sales opportunities created by offering digital in addition to physical cards. These numbers demonstrate how brands benefit when they open up gift card sales through all channels."

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