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Tony Fisher named Target Canada president

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — After announcing that its chief marketing officer would serve as the executive committee sponsor of Target’s entrance into the Canadian market, the retailer named a leader for its Target Canada operations.

As president of Target Canada, Tony Fisher will be responsible for building the retailer’s team, establishing the headquarters and leading the day-to-day operations. Target said it expects to open 100 to 150 Target stores throughout Canada in 2013 and 2014. Prior to this position, Tony Fisher was promoted to VP merchandise operations.

"Tony has a strong sense of Target’s unique culture, merchandising strategy and brand, and a proven record of delivering results," said Michael Francis, chief marketing officer of Target Corporation and executive committee sponsor of Target Canada. "His positive energy, broad merchandise experience and keen understanding of what differentiates Target in the retail industry make Tony well-suited for this new role and position Target for success in Canada."

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NRF urges repeal of healthcare-reform law

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation announced that it has urged the House to support a vote to repeal last year’s healthcare-reform law, saying the measure already has begun to discourage job creation and should be replaced with legislation that reduces healthcare costs while protecting jobs.

“The previous Congress’ healthcare-reform debate was highly — and in our opinion, unnecessarily — divisive,” NRF VP and employee benefits policy counsel Neil Trautwein said. “The retail industry proposed and strongly supported comprehensive healthcare reform that would reduce healthcare costs and extend coverage to the uninsured. Instead, Congress enacted — over the business community’s strong objections — a reform law that will fail to reduce healthcare costs and will impose penalty mandates on employers in 2014 that are already deterring job growth today at the expense of tomorrow’s economy.”

Trautwein’s comments came in a letter to speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, minority leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and all other members of the House. The House began debating on H.R. 2, the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act,” and is scheduled to vote Wednesday on that bill plus a resolution that would instruct committees to begin developing substitute legislation.

Trautwein noted that NRF has worked closely with the Obama administration on steps to smooth implementation of the law, such as a November agreement that will allow limited benefit “mini-med” plans provided to employees by some retailers and restaurants to continue in operation at least through 2011. Without the agreement, the 1.4 million workers covered by such plans could have been left without coverage until insurance “exchanges” are established in 2014.

“Nonetheless, we are convinced that the health-reform law is, on the whole, misplaced and will hazard future job and economic growth,” Trautwein said. “We strongly support this effort to repeal and replace the health-reform law with more job-friendly healthcare reform that will concentrate first on reducing the cost of medical care.”

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SmartSource brings coupon site to mobile devices

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — SmartSource.com has gone mobile.

Thanks to Augme Technologies, the consumer coupon site now offers users the capability to scroll through available offers and select which coupons they want to use from any Web-enabled phone, smart phone or other mobile communications device, without the hassle of downloading special software or applications.

"Digital couponing solutions where consumers can clip coupons, select samples or obtain product information via mobile devices are a game-changing promotional tool," said Henri Lellouche, SVP iGroup at News America Marketing, which owns SmartSource.

Chris Mixson, News America Marketing president, said, "Smart-phone ownership is on the rise, but it’s important to us to give as many consumers as possible access to this powerful savings tool today. We have long had a commitment to shoppers to provide them with savings wherever they choose to look, whether in the newspaper, in stores, online and now on their mobile device."

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