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Clavis Insights significantly boosts eCommerce analytic capacity

BY DSN STAFF

 
 
DUBLIN – Clavis Insight on Tuesday announced today it has received a $20 million growth equity investment from Accel-KKR, a technology-focused private equity investment firm.  
 
“We have built Clavis into the industry standard in eCommerce analytics for CPG brands by delivering a functionally rich and technologically robust platform that can be used globally,” stated Garry Moroney, Clavis Insight CEO. “Today, Clavis monitors online retailers across more than 20 countries for our customers,” he said.  “The investment partnership with Accel-KKR allows Clavis to effectively capitalize on the growth opportunities ahead of the business, significantly broaden its leadership position in the industry and better support our consumer goods customer base.”
 
The investment will be used to support the Clavis’ strategic growth initiatives including the expansion of sales and customer support efforts in United States, Europe and China and the continued innovation in its eCommerce Intelligence platform.  
 
 “Clavis has created a leadership position in the market by uniquely tackling the most complex challenges global CPG brands face in measuring, monitoring and optimizing brand performance in the eCommerce channel,” commented Greg Williams, managing director of Accel-KKR. 
 
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Rite Aid celebrates reopening of Baltimore location

BY Michael Johnsen

BALTIMORE — Rite Aid celebrated the grand reopening of the Rite Aid at 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Baltimore Tuesday, marking the return of a store that had been operating out of a temporary trailer since May after sustaining significant damage during protests earlier this year. Joining Rite Aid EVP store operations Bryan Everett at a ribbon-cutting ceremony were U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. 
 
(Click here to see photos of the event.)
 
“Rite Aid is proud of its longstanding commitment to the Baltimore community, having had a presence in the city for nearly 40 years,” Everett said. “Reopening and rebuilding at 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was a priority for our company, as we know local community residents depend on Rite Aid for both their health and everyday needs. Thanks to the efforts of our many associates, our builders and city, state and federal officials over the past five months, we are here today. We look forward to welcoming back our customers and delivering on our mission of improving the health and wellness of Baltimore.”
 
The rebuilt store features the company’s highly popular Genuine Wellbeing store format. Upon entering the store, there is a direct wooden path leading to the pharmacy department. Wellness Stores have pharmacists with special training in diabetes care, medication management and immunization against about a dozen diseases. The store features a private consultation room adjacent to the pharmacy where Rite Aid pharmacists can have conversations with patients, administer immunizations and offer other clinical pharmacy services. 
 
Also available to customers as a resource is a Wellness Ambassador, who serves as a bridge between the front end of the store and the pharmacy. Wellness Ambassadors work closely with Rite Aid pharmacists to provide customers with access to information on over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements and Rite Aid programs and services. 
 
Other key design features include overhead departmental rings designating each section of the store such as beauty, food, home care and seasonal; a relaxing, warm color palette with soothing wood tones and softer lighting; a reconfigured check-out area; multiple drive-thru pharmacy lanes; hundreds of new health and wellness products including organic and gluten-free foods; expanded vitamin selection; a free-standing nail bar as part of the expanded cosmetics and beauty section; and an expanded food department including the addition of food and beverage coolers. 
 
In honor of the grand reopening, the Rite Aid Foundation presented a $10,000 donation to Bettye Adams, principal of The Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School. The school, which is located less than a half mile from the Rite Aid at 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, serves nearly 500 students and will use the donation to help fund athletic equipment for physical education classes.
 
Also joining the ceremony were Cabinet Secretary and assistant to President Obama, Broderick Johnson, Maryland Sen. Catherine Pugh, Baltimore City Council president Jack Young, Baltimore City councilmen Eric Costello and Nick Mosby and University of Maryland School of Pharmacy dean Natalie Eddington.
 
Rite Aid currently operates 30 stores in the city of Baltimore and an additional 70 locations in the surrounding area.
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Target Bullseye: Q&A on Tech Start-Up Accelerator Program

BY Marianne Wilson

Target on Monday officially opened the application process for its new startup accelerator program, created in partnership with Techstars and led by Target EIR (entrepreneur-in-residence) West Stringfellow. The retailer posted a Q&A with Stringfellow, who forged Target’s partnership with Techstars, on its Bullseye blog.

Here are highlights:  

You’re an Entrepreneur in Residence for Target. What does that mean?
Both parts of my job description are equally important. As an entrepreneur / intrapreneur, I’ve spent my career innovating and building new products and businesses at places like VISA, PayPal, Rosetta Stone and Amazon. The “in residence” part is key – I am a full-time Target team member with permission to do what I need to do to drive growth. And that’s really what it’s about. Target’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence have a singular goal of launching new businesses that grow Target. And we’re only successful if we can accomplish that mission.

Why Techstars? Why does it make sense for Target?
Techstars is an awesome company. They have an improbable success rate in selecting and accelerating startups. Harvard reports that only 25% of startups survive. However, the success rate of a startup that goes through a Techstars program is closer to 90%. It’s a proven model that works. On top of that, we want our teams here at Target to learn from and think more like startups. Startups are passionate, driven, and energetic – and it’s going to be great for Target’s culture to work side-by-side with other hyper-motivated creators and innovators.

What can startups expect to gain from this experience if they’re ultimately chosen?
Techstars’ success rate speaks for itself. The chosen startups will get mentoring and access to one of the biggest and best mentoring networks in the country. They’ll get the capital to turn their ideas into reality. And they’ll go through a proven process that helps them develop their ideas, get off the ground and start their company.

What does Target look for in a startup?
Team, team, team, what market the idea is targeting, what progress has been made, and the strength of the idea. Why is team there three times? It’s critical to success. A great team can change an idea and still succeed, but a mediocre team will struggle to execute on even a great idea.

We look for people who can execute quickly, are coachable and listen well, are thoughtful but make fast decisions, are intellectually honest, are persistent, follow through and are insanely passionate about what they do. We’re looking for rock stars.

It seems like such an important part of this program is leadership and mentoring. Who are going to be Target’s mentors?
We have an awesome lineup of mentors, including Casey Carl, chief strategy and innovation officer; Jamil Ghani, VP of enterprise strategy; Jason Goldberger, president of Target.com and mobile; and me.

Depending on the types of startups we bring in, we’re also looking for mentors outside of our tech and innovation teams who have the right expertise. Our goal is to align the startups with Target team members, the Target leadership team and external experts who have the greatest potential to help them.

What makes you most excited about the program?
Three things. First, I love working with startups and seeing their passion and excitement. Working in an accelerator program is a journey of incredible intensity and creation and I’m excited to be part of it.

Second, at a corporate level, I love what it’s going to teach Target team members: that small, highly-empowered teams can achieve great things. And lastly, I can’t wait to see what this is going to do for the Twin Cities. Target is dedicated to developing a tech community in Minneapolis and this is one step in that direction.

In addition to the 10 startups, you’re also including one team from Target. Why did you decide to do that and what do you hope to gain?
We want to create the opportunity for Target team members to flex their entrepreneurial muscles, have a unique experience and then return to their roles having launched a new business. Team members who participate in the accelerator will have the opportunity to share their experience and learnings with the rest of Target and spread the knowledge.

We imagine these accelerators can extend beyond the host company and into the local community. Is that a hope here?
Absolutely. Techstars’ success depends on that. Here’s an example: Techstars worked with Ford in 2014 as part of the Techstars Mobility Accelerator. The accelerator received applications from 42 different countries, half of the participating startups established a permanent presence in Detroit, and Detroit has now attracted Startup Next and Startup Week for 2016.

We expect that our program and investment in Minneapolis will have the same impact. It’s an awesome opportunity for the city to unite. What makes Silicon Valley and other major tech hubs great are the people and the community. Target, Techstars and the Twin Cities have all of the tools to build a thriving community of innovation, entrepreneurship and technical innovation. We intend to make Minneapolis the capital of the Silicon Prairie.

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