News

Target revs up efforts to transform supply chain with acquisition

BY Marianne Wilson

Target Corp. has acquired a transportation technology company that will help it expand more quickly in same-day delivery. The deal will also bring a new talent to the discounter’s technology team.

Target Corp. has agreed to acquire Grand Junction to improve Target’s delivery capabilities and accelerate its investments and ongoing efforts to transform its supply chain. Upon the close of the deal, Grand Junction founder and CEO Rob Howard will become a VP of technology at Target.

"Grand Junction’s technology and algorithms will help Target deliver to guests faster and more efficiently,” said Arthur Valdez, executive VP, chief supply chain and logistics officer, Target. “This acquisition is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to strengthen Target’s supply chain to provide greater speed, reliability and convenience for guests.”(For more by Valdez on the acquisition, click here.)

San Francisco-based Grand Junction has a software platform that is used by retailers, distributors and third-party logistics providers to manage local deliveries through a network of more than 700 carriers. Currently, Grand Junction is working with Target on its same-day delivery pilot at the Target store in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. Upon deal close, Grand Junction’s employees will become Target team members.

“Target is seizing a tremendous opportunity to leverage local delivery as a retail differentiator,” said Grand Junction's Howard. “We’re thrilled about helping to pursue this opportunity, and to join Target at this unprecedented time in retail.”

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C-SUITE

Sur La Table names former Abercrombie exec as CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Kitchenware retailer Sur La Table has tapped a veteran retailer as its new CEO.

Sur La Table has appointed Billy May as CEO. May, who will also join the board of directors, succeeds Diane Neal who retired earlier this year.

May joins the kitchenware retailer from Abercrombie & Fitch, where he most recently served as senior VP and member of the executive leadership team. At Abercrombie, May was responsible for marketing, e-commerce, omnichannel and geographies.

Previously, May helped lead global digital and e-commerce at adidas Group, and held various leadership roles at Sears Holdings.

"We are excited to work with Billy going forward and believe his extensive experience across the digital landscape – marketing, e-commerce, and omnichannel – aligns well with Sur La Table's strategic priorities," said Kevin Nickelberry, a member of Sur La Table's board, managing director at Investcorp, which acquired the company in 2011.

Sur La Table operates over 130 stores and an e-commerce site. The merchandise mix includes cookware, kitchen and culinary electrics, bakeware, glassware, tabletop and bar, cookbooks, and locally sourced food and accessories.

Sur La Table has appointed Billy May as CEO. May, who will also join the board of directors, succeeds Diane Neal who retired earlier this year.

May joins the kitchenware retailer from Abercrombie & Fitch, where he most recently served as senior VP and member of the executive leadership team. At Abercrombie, May was responsible for marketing, e-commerce, omnichannel and geographies.

Previously, May helped lead global digital and e-commerce at adidas Group, and held various leadership roles at Sears Holdings.

"We are excited to work with Billy going forward and believe his extensive experience across the digital landscape – marketing, e-commerce, and omnichannel – aligns well with Sur La Table's strategic priorities," said Kevin Nickelberry, a member of Sur La Table's board, managing director at Investcorp, which acquired the company in 2011.

Sur La Table operates over 130 stores and an e-commerce site. The merchandise mix includes cookware, kitchen and culinary electrics, bakeware, glassware, tabletop and bar, cookbooks, and locally sourced food and accessories.

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ECOMMERCE

Beauty giant gives loyal shoppers their own ‘chat-room’

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Sephora’s new service strives to connect customers while they shop.

The specialty retailer launched a digital platform that invites customers enrolled in its Beauty Insider loyalty program to connect and chat about all things beauty. The mobile and online platform serves as a destination for members to find inspiration, ask questions and get recommendations in an unsponsored, real-time social setting.

As members log on, they can post beauty questions, photos and reviews, share experiences and connect with other loyalty members. While all shoppers are invited to read Beauty Insider Community information, only registered members can post new questions, photos, answers, or comments. Members can also track discussions and receive notifications when new posts are added.

The interactive platform is a first for the prestige retail industry, according to Sephora.

“As with any digital innovation that we bring to our clients, we look not only at how we can optimize our client’s online journey for a seamless online and offline experience, but also at how we can make our digital offerings truly essential, intuitive and fun to use,” said Mary Beth Laughton, senior VP of digital at Sephora.

“For our Beauty Insider Community, we set out to take all the things that were working really well across our various digital platforms and combine them for a unified, mobile-friendly experience,” she said. “Community is for those clients who crave a deeper level of beauty connection and inspiration from people just like her, whom she can trust.”

In addition to its interactive platform, the beauty giant is also planning to launch a “Live Community Chat” on each online product page. Here, members can ask questions to other Sephora shoppers — a move that will help them make informed purchase decisions.

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