Target to expand omnichannel offerings in Q3 as new mobile app sees strong growth
MINNEAPOLIS — Target continued to build its omnichannel business in second quarter 2013 as the company recorded profit and sales growth, partially offset by expenses related to the expansion of its Canadian business.
Speaking to investors in a conference call to announce the Minneapolis-based mass merchandise retailer’s second quarter 2013 earnings, EVP merchandising and supply chain Kathryn Tesija highlighted the company’s investments in flexible fulfillment, including plans to expand throughout the chain a program allowing customers to buy items online and pick them up at the store the same day, starting in the third quarter.
Mobile offerings have shown some success as well. Tesija said that Cartwheel — an app the company began piloting in May and launched in June, which allows customers to use mobile phones to find and share deals on Facebook and search for deals while shopping in the stores — already had more than 1 million users who had generated more than $2 million in savings. Among active users of the app, more than 50% had used it to complete multiple transactions. President, chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said Facebook had informed the company that engagement statistics for the app were among the best it had ever seen in an app in beta testing. Currently, the app is among the top 20 in the Apple Store.
Other highlights of the quarter included an expansion of the Beauty Concierge program to more than 200 stores in such major cities as Washington, Baltimore and Los Angeles, whereby special staff serve as a "knowledgable source and friendly face" to beauty shoppers. The company has also aggressively targeted college students, including having shopping events on 95 college campuses that include after-hours shopping trips.
Sales for the chain’s 1,788 U.S. stores were $16.8 billion, up from $16.5 billion in second quarter 2012. Canadian sales were $275 million, though EBIT was down by $169 million as $207 million in start-up and operating expenses and $49 million of depreciation and amortization offset gross margin of $87 million. Still, the company is operating 68 stores in Canada and said it was on track to reach its goal of having 124 opened by the end of the year. The company recorded a profit of $611 million, compared with $704 million in second quarter 2012.
E.p.t launches Labor Day contest to celebrate moms in labor
TREVOSE, Pa. — E.p.t, creator of the home pregnancy test, announced Wednesday the launch of a new Twitter contest for Labor Day celebrating moms in labor.
E.p.t is committed to supporting every woman during her pregnancy journey, from the time she uses a home pregnancy test to the moment she welcomes a new little one into the world, the company stated. With that in mind, five lucky grand prize winners will receive a $500 “push present” for giving birth on Labor Day, courtesy of e.p.t.
“Not only is Labor Day right around the corner, but so are the due dates of thousands of women across the country,” said Lauren Schulz, e.p.t brand manager at Insight Pharmaceuticals. “This campaign is our way of saluting those women who are laboring all day to give birth to their own bundle of joy.”
“The end of summer often brings hundreds of thousands of new babies," said Dr. Alane Park, OB/GYN and one of the stars of the Discovery Health series “Deliver Me.” "According to the Centers for Disease Control, August and September consistently yield high birth rates. So what better time is there to recognize and show appreciation for the mothers who are going through the process of childbirth?”
Moms (and friends and family on their behalf) can enter the contest by tweeting a simple birth announcement using the hashtag #MyLaborDay, tagging @ept, and including a photo. Five winners will be randomly selected from all submissions announcing a Labor Day birth.
For official contest rules or more information on e.p.t, visit ErrorProofTest.com.
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Shoppers Drug Mart publishes management proxy circular for Loblaw deal
TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart has posted on the company’s website the management proxy circular relating to the proposed acquisition by Loblaw Cos., the company has announced.
The circular has been mailed to Shoppers Drug Mart’s shareholders of record as at Aug. 12.
A special meeting of Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders to consider the acquisition will be held Sept. 12. The transaction, which is subject to customary approvals, is expected to be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2014.
Shoppers Drug Mart has retained Laurel Hill Advisory Group to act as proxy solicitation agent and to respond to inquiries from Shoppers Drug Mart shareholders.
As previously reported, Loblaw plans to acquire Shoppers Drug Mart for C$12.4 billion in cash and stock. The combination is expected to yield annual cost synergies of C$300 million by year three, phased in evenly over the first three years following closing.