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Target to add award-winning wearable baby monitor to 444 stores

BY Gina Acosta

NEW YORK – Target is expanding its "connected living" offerings with the addition of wearable breathing and rollover monitor MonBaby. 

Manufactured by MonDevices Inc., MonBaby is a baby monitor in the form of a smart button that sends a baby’s stats to parents via a complementary smartphone app.

The monitor will soon be featured in 444 brick-and-mortar Target stores across the United States. Each of these stores will carry the retailer’s new Connected Home line announced in 2015, which features a selection of smart gadgets from world-renowned brands like iRobot and Samsung.

“Target has done an amazing job of embracing the concept of connected living, and it’s an honor to be featured among the many innovative offerings in that space,” said MonDevices CTO and MonBaby inventor Arturas Vaitaitis. “We’re excited about the expansion from an online presence with Target to placement within the retailer’s stores. It’s a big win for us.”

MonBaby has been available on Target.com and at other retailers since early 2016. A portion of the brick-and-mortar stores carrying the device will by Target’s Baby 360 specialty stores, which launched in 2013.

“The Internet of Things is becoming more and more commonplace as people incorporate it into their work, play and home lives,” said MonDevices CEO Lev Grzhonko. “It makes sense for a forward-thinking retailer like Target to give this new category a prominent place within its stores, and we look forward to being a part of it.”

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Veteran Walmart executive dies at 82

BY Marianne Wilson
Influential and longtime Walmart executive Don Soderquist died after complications related to heart surgery. He was 82.
 
Soderquist joined Walmart in 1980 as executive VP of administration and logistics and was a driving force behind the company’s growth. From 1988 to 1999, he served as vice chairman and COO. He retired in 2000 and remained on the Walmart board until 2002. 
 
Soderquist was a key figure in Walmart’s rise to the top of American retailing. During his tenure, the company said its revenue increased from $1 billion to more than $200 billion. 
 
After retirement, Soderquist established The Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics in Northwest Arkansas to provide values-focused development training to future generations of leaders. 
 
In 2005, he wrote the book “The Wal-Mart Way,” to teach others how to apply the lessons that made Walmart successful to their own lives and careers. And to the end, he remained a key adviser to Walmart employees and executives, even doing a presentation in recent months at the retailer’s Bentonville, Ark., headquarters, according to the Wall Street Journal. 
Soderquist was also involved in numerous charitable organizations and served on several corporate boards.
 
“Don epitomized the term servant leader,” wrote Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon wrote in a posting on the chain’s website. “He was always thinking of others, provided great feedback and was encouraging to so many people. He had a deep passion for integrity, and it was Don who drafted our original core values. Don became known as the “Keeper of the Culture” after our founder, Sam Walton, passed away because he not only helped define our values – he lived out our culture and spoke passionately about it year after year.”
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Study: Digital revolution transforming shopper marketing

BY Marianne Wilson
Online marketing is sparking radical changes — and growth — in shopper marketing.
 
That’s according to a new report from the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), conducted in partnership with market research firm GfK, which finds that  shopper marketing, long considered an in-store discipline, is evolving into an omnichannel approach designed to reach shoppers at all touchpoints.
 
The report came in the wake of an ANA/PQ Media US Brand Activation Marketing Forecast report, which said that between now and 2020, investment in shopper marketing is expected to increase 5.8% to $18.6 billion, outperforming the growth of total brand marketing spending.
 
“The point of purchase is no longer just in-store, and shopper marketers are struggling to reach consumers across the right touchpoints at the right time,” said ANA president and CEO Bob Liodice. “Our research shows that the new goal of shopper marketing campaigns is to make brick-and-mortar visits mirror the effectiveness of the online environment while delivering a seamless shopper experience.”
 
In a key finding, the study confirmed that mobile has become an important component of shopper marketing campaigns, attempting to engage people in-store and extend a connection post-visit. Mobile is being furthered leveraged pre-visit with geolocation, targeted mobile marketing, and promotional apps.
 
• Shopper marketing has progressed from only driving short-term sales to motivating shopper behavior. While the primary role of shopper marketing has always been to convert shoppers, it now has to deliver a combination of short- and long-term benefits, including driving conversion among shoppers, motivating shopper behavior through levers beyond price, and executing solutions to shopper challenges and purchase barriers.
 
• A dedicated shopper marketing team is more likely to be viewed as a competitive advantage today than it was in the past. Among respondents in organizations with a dedicated shopper marketing team, 51% indicated that shopper marketing was a competitive advantage, and 55% said shopper marketing reflected the convergence of brands, shoppers, and retailers.
 
• When shopper marketing reports to marketing, it likely to be more strategic and more highly valued within the organization. The discipline began to change dramatically as shopper marketers became more strategic and began leveraging shopper insights. When shopper marketing began reporting directly to marketing rather than to sales or other departments, it created greater opportunity for integration.
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