It was the biggest story in the retail world last week when JCPenney announced it had hired Ron Johnson as its new CEO with the incoming executive vowing to transform the way America shops by reinventing the department store. Such statements normally elicit a yawn because they are so common, but Johnson is the former SVP retail at Apple and spent the past 11 years overseeing the development and growth of the company’s wildly successful and widely heralded retail operation.
It is all about exclusives in the world of entertainment, and Target landed a big one with a deal to offer a deluxe edition of Beyonce’s fourth album. Due out on June 28, the album is appropriately titled “4,” and the deluxe version offered at Target will include three additional songs, three club remix songs totaling 17 additional minutes and bonus video footage.
Target’s first stores in Canada are not scheduled to open until 2013, but this week the company can get a glimpse of what it’s up against when Walmart Canada president and CEO David Cheesewright is scheduled to speak at the Jefferies 2011 Global Consumer Conference.
Allegations of illegality and intimidation are par for the course whenever union organizers lose an election, so it should have come as no surprise when workers at a Target in Valley Stream, N.Y. voted against unionization.
Food inflation is top of mind with retailers these days and more specifically the ability to preserve margins by raising prices to offset the higher prices suppliers are charging. This ability to pass through price increases is dominating discussions in a food universe where it has become common to hear retailers use the word “rational” when describing the pricing climate.
Some companies were more aggressive with promotions last months and others were less so, but Target held steady producing the same number of circular ad pages (109) in May 2011, and it did the same month the prior year, according to data collected by the Chicago based firm Market Track.
Target ended last year with sales of $67.4 billion and earnings per share of $4, but company chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel believes sales will hit $100 billion and earnings will double to $8 a share within six or seven years.