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Target bullseye focused on evolving two offerings

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS — Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell on Wednesday outlined why he's bullish on Target's future: The company is executing against a comprehensive digital offering that will soon deliver two- or three-day shipping to shoppers within striking distance of more than 450 locations and Target is fine-tuning a food product mix designed to resonate with guests. Target is striving to become a leader in digital, Cornell said.
 
“This is critically important because research shows digital relevance drives traffic and engagement across all selling channels,” he told analysts Wednesday morning. 
 
Today, Target is shipping from 140 store locations and plans to expand that shipping capacity to more than 450 stores by year's end. “Ship-from-store capabilities allows us to balance inventory across the network, leverage the capital and labor already in our stores and reach guests more quickly,” he said. 
 
Target will begin testing an available-to-promise solution this fall in which it will offer guests a specific delivery date commitment based on current inventory allocation. “We believe this capability will drive further increases in digital conversion rates, which are already improving rapidly as guests respond to a faster and firmer delivery commitment,” Cornell said.
 
Second on Target's to-do list is evolving category roles.
 
“Beyond our efforts on signature categories, we're also focused on testing and learning how we can reposition our food offering to better serve our guests,”Cornell said. "Through guest research we already know we need to be more clearly highlighting wellness in our food offering, through both assortment and the information we provide,” he said. “We know we have the opportunity to provide fresh, healthy options and more relevant localized assortment … within food, our marketshare in wellness is already double our food share overall.”
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Hy-Vee scores 10-year Minnesota Vikings sponsorship

BY Michael Johnsen

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Hy-Vee on Monday became an official partner of the Minnesota Vikings and a founding partner of the Vikings’ new U.S. Bank Stadium.
 
The 10-year founding partner agreement includes prominent signage throughout the stadium as well as opportunities for branded concessions and specialty food offerings. The scope of the partnership supports the Hy-Vee's expansion into the Minneapolis-St. Paul market, which will begin with the opening of two stores (New Hope and Oakdale) next month. In the coming years, Hy-Vee plans to add four to five grocery stores annually in the Twin Cities.
 
“All of us at Hy-Vee are ecstatic to be joining the Minneapolis-St. Paul community, and what better way to show our Minnesota pride than to partner with the Vikings as they enter a new chapter with U.S. Bank Stadium,” Hy-Vee CEO and President Randy Edeker said. “This agreement will allow us to showcase all that Hy-Vee has to offer Vikings fans and residents – both inside and outside our stores’ helpful aisles.”
 
In addition to stadium activation, Hy-Vee will receive exclusivity in the grocery store, supermarket, mass retail, floral and pharmacy categories. The company will also partner with the Vikings on community outreach.
 
“Hy-Vee is a very well-recognized and respected brand in the Midwest, and with their significant future growth in Minneapolis-St. Paul, this is a natural partnership for them and the team,” Vikings EVP and chief marketing officer Steve LaCroix said. “We look forward to partnering with Hy-Vee not just on in-stadium elements but also with future community initiatives.”
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Walgreens’ latest app redesign reflects latest in consumer convenience

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreens on Tuesday introduced its first app redesign in the past four years featuring a number of "next generation" bells and whistles, including new home screen messages that will alert app users when they have prescriptions to take, refill or pick up. The redesign also includes an interface that allows users to print photos from their Dropbox and Flickr albums. 
 
The most notable feature is the “intelligent messaging” that provides one-touch access for user’s to act upon whatever relevant “widget” message is displayed – e.g. prescription refill, prescription ready for pickup, pill reminder, Balance Rewards, etc.
 
Many of the updates were based on consumer feedback, such as the redesigned home screen and reorganized screens throughout the app making it easier for users to navigate. The app has been optimized for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus resolutions and Walgreens made improvements to photo upload capabilities, coupon clipping and product wayfinding. "Our in-store experience now seamlessly surfaces the most helpful features for shopping in store," Walgreens stated.
 
Fulfilling shopper's needs in the digital space is becoming more important – Walgreens digital properties drive as many as 5.3 million store visits each week, according to the retailer. And multichannel customers spend between 3.5 and 6 times than store-only customers. 
 
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