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Target gears up for final shopping days

BY Ryan Chavis

MINNEAPOLIS — As consumers are reaching the final days to squeeze in their holiday shopping, Target has announced some last-minute deals.

Guests using Cartwheel, the retailer’s unique savings program, can take advantage of a one-day sale on Dec. 19 when around 40 great gift items — ranging from toys to cookware — will have special offers with discounts ranging from 10% to 60% off. Cartwheel has gained more than 1 million new users this season alone, putting the number of guests signed up for the program at 4 million.

Last minute online shoppers also can get in on the deals with Target.com’s new buy online, pick up in-store service, which has enjoyed strong demand this season. Target will host the Last Minute Sale in stores from Dec. 22-24 to help guests check off the last items on their holiday shopping lists.

Some of the top selling items and categories this holiday season include:

  • Electronics: iPad Air and Beats headphones, mobile phones, cameras and video games
  • Toys: Lego minifigures, Flutterbye Flying Fairy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures and gear and Zoomer the robot dog
  • Entertainment: "Despicable Me 2" and "Fast & Furious 6" on DVD and Blu-Ray
  • Housewares: Keurig brewers and Dyson vacuums
  • Apparel and Accessories: Jewelry and handbags

The retailer also has offered some insight into its performance so far this holiday season.

“We are pleased with Target’s holiday performance — from guest experience and engagement, to overall results both in-store and online,” Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target said. “We’ve seen that no matter how, where or when they want to shop, our guests are finding the perfect mix of top gifts and deals.”

 

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Higi acquires fitness platform Earndit

BY Ryan Chavis

CHICAGO — Higi, a consumer-focused health engagement company, has acquired fitness gamification-based platform Earndit, which gathers data from 11 activity trackers and mobile apps to allow users to earn rewards for their physical activity and to compete against each other in brand-sponsored challenges. 

“We are thrilled to integrate Earndit into the higi engagement platform,” Dr. Khan Siddiqui, President and Chief Technology Officer, said. “Earndit not only strengthens our philosophy of making health simple, interactive and rewarding, but also allows us to leverage Earndit’s activity tracking features into our platform, providing our users and partners the next step in their wellness journey.”

Earndit’s platform provides users the opportunity to earn incentives through a game-like experience, encouraging them to become more involved in their health and wellness along the way. Earndit will be integrated into Higi’s range of products, including the Higi Stations (which can be found in select retail locations in 29 states and the District of Columbia), website and mobile app.

 

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Kroger ups Smith’s Food and Drug Stores president to SVP retail divisions

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Tuesday announced the promotion of Mark Tuffin to SVP retail divisions. He succeeds Michael Ellis, who will become Kroger’s president and chief operating officer on Jan. 1.

"Mark is an exceptional leader with an extensive knowledge of the grocery industry," Ellis said. "He has made significant contributions to our company and industry, while always championing our Customer 1st strategy. We look forward to Mark’s leadership in this senior role as we continue to accelerate Kroger’s growth."

Tuffin, 53, has been president of the company’s Smith’s Food and Drug Stores division since 2011. He brings more than 32 years of grocery industry experience to his new role. He held various positions with other supermarket retailers before joining Smith’s Food and Drug Stores in 1996, where he held several key leadership roles including VP merchandising. In 2009, Tuffin was named VP transition for Kroger. In this role, he led Kroger’s efforts to implement significant organizational changes between all areas of the business.

Tuffin and his wife, Tami, will relocate to Cincinnati in 2014.

 

 

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