TECHNOLOGY

Discount retailer takes Google-based voice ordering program national

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Target shoppers across the United States can now place an order using just their voice.

Deepening its relationship with Google, the discounter is expanding its Google Express program nationwide. The home delivery shopping service enables customers to use their Google Assistant in their Google Express app or website, Google Home device or Android TV to conduct voice-assisted shopping from a variety of retailers — including Target. The program’s breadth will expand even further next year when Google Assistant is available on eligible Android phones and iPhones, Target said.

The program, which started as a pilot in California and New York City, is now available across the continental U.S. Target shoppers who meet a $35 minimum are also eligible for free shipping. Orders are picked from Target store shelves, and arrive in two days, according to the retailer.

“In the markets where we’ve offered Google Express, guests tell us they love the ease and convenience of shopping Target through Google. So we’re excited to offer this service nationwide in time for the busy holiday season,” said Mike McNamara, Target’s chief information and digital officer.

The move comes on the heels of Walmart’s partnership with Google that makes hundreds of thousands of items available for voice shopping via Google Assistant. At the time of the deal, Walmart had the largest number of items currently offered by a retailer through the platform.

Not to be outdone, Target has even bigger plans for its collaboration with Google. “Target and Google teams are working on the next chapter, building experiences that digitally replicate the joy of shopping a Target store to discover stylish and affordable products,” McNamara said.

While details are still in the works, one experience set launch in 2018 includes using voice and other innovative solutions to strengthen the retailer’s style categories, such as home, apparel and beauty. Another service will enable Target customers to link their online accounts with Google. This will allow them to receive personalized recommendations, and quickly re-order merchandise based on past Target purchases.

Also planned for 2018 is the integration of the discounter’s REDcard credit and debit cards into the mix. This gives Google Express customers 5% off of most Target purchases, and entitles them to free shipping.

The partners are also working on a program that gives shoppers the option to pick up their orders at a Target store within two hours.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
TECHNOLOGY

Camping World bolsters its brand portfolio — again

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The largest U.S. chain dedicated to recreational vehicles is acquiring another company.

Camping World Holdings announced that it will purchase Uncle Dan’s Outfitters, a specialty retailer of outdoor gear, apparel and camping supplies. The new company will strengthen Camping World’s efforts to expand its presence in the broader outdoor lifestyle market.

Specifically, Camping World will use Uncle Dan’s Outfitters e-commerce platform to increase its customer reach and add new quality product offerings. Uncle Dan’s Outfitters will also serve as the official supplier of outdoor gear, apparel and camping supplies to the company’s rebranded Gander Outdoors retail stores across the country.

Gander Mountain, a retailer focused on hunting, fishing, camping, and outdoor gear, is one of Camping World’s many acquisitions over the last six months. In addition to acquiring certain assets of Gander Mountain, the company also acquired Overton’s, a boating and marine accessories company, and TheHouse.com, an online retailer specializing in bikes, sailboards, skateboards, wakeboards, snowboards and outdoor gear.

“Under the leadership of Brent Weiss and family for over 45 years, Uncle Dan’s Outfitters strengthens Camping World Holding’s efforts to build a seamless approach to the outdoor lifestyle market and further positions the company to expand the reach and product offerings of our e-commerce business,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman of Camping World Holdings. “The management team not only possess strong knowledge of the outdoor outfitter market, but also has a keen eye for the development and invention of new product offerings.”

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
C-SUITE

QVC Group shakes up leadership team to support pending acquisition

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

New leaders are set to take the reins at QVC.New leaders are set to take the reins at QVC.

QVC president and CEO Mike George announced plans for a new organizational structure and senior executive team for the QVC Group, specifically across the business units and global functions. All appointments will be effective once QVC’s parent company, Liberty Interactive Corp., completes its previously announced acquisition of HSN, Inc., which is expected to close later this year.

New leaders across the business units include:

QVC US: Steve Hoffman will be president, QVC US. Hofmann is currently president, QVC International. QVC US brings the QVC shopping experience—combining retail, media and social—to customers in the U.S. It is the company’s largest business unit with over $6 billion in revenue in 2016.

HSN: Mike Fitzharris will be president, HSN. Fitzharris is currently CEO, representative director and chairman, QVC Japan. HSN achieved $2.5 billion in net sales in 2016. Gregg Bertoni, who is currently senior VP, CNR Mall, will replace Fitzharris as CEO of QVC Japan.

Zulily: Lori Twomey will be interim president, Zulily, until a permanent leader is named in the coming months. Twomey is chief merchant for Zulily. In 2016, the team delivered $1.5 billion in revenue.

Cornerstone: Claire Spofford will be president, Cornerstone. Spofford is currently president, Garnet Hill, and will continue to lead that business while taking on this new leadership role. Cornerstone is an interactive and catalog business of leading aspirational lifestyle brands: Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road, and Improvements.

QVC International: A new leader for QVC International will be announced in the coming months. QVC International serves customers in Japan, U.K. & Ireland, Germany & Austria, Italy, France, and China.
Changes in the company’s global functions include:

Global Merchandising: Doug Howe will be chief merchandising officer. He is currently executive VP of merchandising, QVC.

Interactive Commerce Experiences: Mary Campbell will be chief interactive experience officer. Campbell is currently executive VP of commerce platforms, QVC. This team will drive QVC Group’s ongoing transformation and expand marketing programs to reach new segments of consumers; create new forms of ‘live’ and dynamic content, and develop next generation digital and interactive platforms. Todd Sprinkle will be chief digital officer. Reporting to Campbell, he will drive platform innovation as the company extends its global leadership in live and interactive shoppable content. Sprinkle is currently CIO, QVC.

New Ventures: Darrel Cavens will be president, New Ventures. Cavens is currently president and CEO, Zulily. He will be responsible for driving innovative retail concepts and additional growth opportunities.

Operations: Bob Spieth will be COO. Speith is currently executive VP of customer and business services, QVC and Zulily. Speith will manage global customer service, quality, supply chain and workplace services across all business units.

People, Communications & Community: Beth Rubino will be chief people officer. She is currently executive VP of human resources, QVC. This team ensures the company attracts, develops, and retains the best and most diverse talent in the industry, communicates with integrity, and gives back to global communities.

Technology: Karen Etzkorn will be CIO. She is currently CIO, HSNi.

Finance: Ted Jastrzebski will be CFO. He is currently executive VP and CFO, QVC.

Legal & Compliance: Larry Hayes will be general counsel. He is currently senior VP and general counsel, QVC.

“These are strong, seasoned executives, drawn from across our businesses, with deep expertise in their respective disciplines and in retail,” George said.

“Our new group will bring together QVC, HSN, Zulily and the Cornerstone brands to create a premier global retailer with extraordinary reach and unlimited potential,” George said. “Together, we will define a new generation of shopping that combines commerce, content, and multi-platform engagement to change the way she shops – all the while retaining the uniqueness of our well-known brands and continuing to build on our distinctive legacies.”

The new QVC Group will generate $14 billion in annual revenue, and will serve 23 million customers worldwide, according to the company.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...