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Target doubles share buyback authorization

BY Dan Berthiaume

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. is doubling the amount of its share buyback authorization from $5 billion to $10 billion. Under this authorization, through first quarter 2015, the company had invested a total of $3.7 billion to retire 56.9 million shares at an average price of $65.06 per share.
 
Target said this plan represents a continued focus on returning cash to shareholders. The retailer follows a plan of investing in the core business through projects that support strategic and financial goals, supporting the dividend and returning cash to shareholders.
 
“Today’s announcements reinforce Target’s long history of thoughtfully returning cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchase,” said John Mulligan, Target’s executive VP and CFO.
 
Target also declared a quarterly dividend of 56 cents per common share, a 7.7% increase from the prior quarterly dividend of 52 cents.  The dividend is payable Sept. 10, 2015, to shareholders of record at the close of business Aug. 19, 2015.
 
Target posted an announcement of the share buyback and quarterly dividend on its website by mistake on the afternoon of June 9, ahead of its shareholders meeting, but quickly removed the posting and then officially released it later that night after the meeting concluded.
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Raley’s Supermarkets seeks personalization for shoppers

BY Gina Acosta

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California-based regional grocery chain Raley’s Supermarkets is overhauling its e-commerce capabilities to offer customers a "seamless shopping experience."
 
The retailer announced it will be using technology from Unata to deliver functionality including one-to-one experiences across all e-commerce elements from homepage to search.
 
“We are focused on creating a personalized shopping experience for our customers,” said Chelsea Minor, Raley’s spokeswoman. “New digital opportunities allow Raley’s to better serve our customers in store and at home. Unata is a leader in omnichannel digital personalization within the grocery space, and we can’t wait to offer an advanced customer experience through their platform.”
 
In addition, product updates will enhance the click and collect functionality, which allows Raley’s customers to pick up items they ordered online in-store.  
 
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Raley’s, a grocer with a long-standing customer-centric reputation since their inception in 1935,” Unata CEO Chris Bryson said. “With the implementation of Unata's platform, the new Raley’s digital experience will be focused on meeting the needs of the rapidly evolving modern shopper, engaging them with a holistic omni-channel experience that spans the entire shopping journey – both at home and in-store."
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Former Dollar General exec will rejoin company to lead store ops

BY Michael Johnsen

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General  announced Wednesday that Jeff Owen will rejoin the company as EVP store operations effective June 15. Owen previously spent more than 20 years with Dollar General where his most recent role was SVP store operations.
 
“Jeff's experience at Dollar General brings unique perspectives and insights to our store operations team. We look forward to welcoming him back to Dollar General and his contributions in this critical role as we execute our new store growth,” Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos said.
 
The company also announced that Greg Sparks, EVP store operations, has departed effective June 9.
 
"I would like to thank Greg for his contributions to Dollar General over the last three years. I wish him the best in his future endeavors," Vasos said.
 
Owen began his career at Dollar General in 1992. He served as a store manager with progression through various roles of increasing responsibility. From August 2011 until July 2014, he was SVP store operations leading nearly 5,000 stores and 40,000 employees. Prior to August 2011, Owen served as VP, division manager. From November 2006 to March 2007, he served as retail division manager. Prior to November 2006, he was senior director, operations process improvement.
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