Posts tagged with "Target"

Mrs. Meyer’s should watch her back now that Target is rolling out Everspring

April 23, 2019

Mrs. Meyers had better watch her back, along with the other “clean” household brands that are hitting the market. On April 22, discount retailer Target  launched Everspring, a private-label household essentials brand that comprises more than 70 products—from hand soap to laundry detergent to paper towels.

What’s more, the new, “clean” products range in price from $2.79 to $11.99, which is about 20% less than other comparable products on the market already.

Developed by Target’s internal design team as a down-to-earth solution that is up to Earth’s standards, Everspring products include ingredients and components that are derived from plants or use other renewable materials, as well as post-consumer recycled paper. The assortment was designed with  what Target describes as “simple yet beautiful packaging that guests will be proud to have in their homes.”

The launch is part of Target’s ongoing investment to roll out more in-house brands, according to a CNBC report—including recent lines for apparel, furniture and home decor. The company is on track to have over two-dozen of its own new private labels in stores by the end of the year. These brands offer the retailer higher profit margins since it can set its own prices and bypass any middlemen.

“It has taken over a year,” to bring Everspring to life, said Christina Hennington, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for Target’s Essentials category. “From the sourcing to the packaging, … we had to do it right. … We hired the right expertise to make sure the chemical quality was up to expectations.”

The Everspring line is unique for Target in that all of the items — such as cleaning wipes, dish soap and all-purpose cleaner—are either biobased, meaning they’re derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine and forestry materials or are made from recycled materials and natural fibers, according to the company. They use 100% natural fragrances to make scent combinations like mandarin and ginger, and lavender and bergamot. And they’re not tested on animals.

“The consumers who seek this transparency of chemicals … becoming educated on what is right for them and their family … it’s a younger consumer,” Hennington said. “But you can’t say that across the board. There is someone of every age who cares about what goes on their bodies and in their bodies.”

Target said its sales of “naturals”—including “clean” brands like Mrs. Meyers, Seventh Generation and Method—have grown by double-digits year-over-year since 2016. Seeing this heightened demand on its website and in stores, Target wanted to take a bigger stake in the space.

Everspring-branded items will be marketed with a new “Target Clean” icon that was launched by the retailer earlier this year, indicating a product is made without a group of commonly unwanted chemicals such as sodium laureth sulfate or propylparaben. Target is starting to put the logo on certain household essentials, beauty products, personal care items and baby goods.

“We are listening to our guests … and doing our homework to know what their expectations are,” Hennington said.

Research contact: @Target

For ‘the morning after,’ Pedialyte offers Sparkling Rush powder packs

December 31, 2018

If the “merry” and the “happy” have skedaddled from your holiday season as a result of one too many glasses of eggnog or champagne—or a case of the flu—Pedialyte says it has just the solution (literally) in a new drink for the adult market.

The company, a subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories, has launched Sparkling Rush, which it describes as “advanced rehydration with a fizz, with an optimal balance of electrolytes and carbohydrate to prevent mild to moderate dehydration.” Free of artificial colors, the clear rehydration drink comes in grape and cherry effervescent flavors—stored for on-the-go use in convenient powder packs that can be poured into a glass of water and activated in ten seconds.

“The holiday season is unfortunately rife with dehydration pitfalls,” Pedialyte says in a December 19 release. “With flu season in full effect, air travel to visit loved ones, and even those late nights out with friends, you’ve got a recipe for your body to lose more water than it takes in—causing dehydration. Losing water also means losing electrolytes—essential minerals like sodium and potassium that are responsible for maintaining proper fluid levels in your body, balancing your blood’s pH levels, and firing signals to your nerves and muscles. Dehydration can bring on a headache, fatigue, even dizziness, which is no way to celebrate.”

And a glass of tap water won’t do the job nearly as fast, because it won’t provide enough of the electrolytes that your body is missing. What’s more, the company claims, while some people turn to sports drinks for those essential minerals, “the leading ones aren’t optimized for rehydration like Pedialyte. They are higher in sugar and lower in sodium, and may actually make dehydration worse.”

Specifically, the company asserts, “Each Pedialyte product has at least 1,030 milligrams of sodium and no more than 25 grams of sugar per liter; while leading sports drinks contain an average of 460 milligrams of sodium and 58 grams of sugar per liter.

The new product is available at Target and Meijer grocery stores nationwide, as well as online at Amazon

Research contact: @AbbottNews

UK ‘player’ Hamleys may expand into U.S. toy sector

December 11, 2018

Although Toys R Us has returned as a pop-up store at Kroger for the holidays (and maybe longer), the retailer that used to rule the toy realm is just a shadow of its former self. And, without the industry leading Toys R Us megastores, nationwide, an $11 billion toy industry has been left with no dominant retail player in the sector, reported CNBC on December 10.

Companies like TargetWalmartAmazon and Kohl’s are trying this holiday season to sell more toys to kids and their parents, but the verdict is still out on which company will best fill the void that Toys R Us left behind, the news outlet said.

But now—seeing a huge opportunity— one iconic, international toy retailer could soon make its first move into the States with a flagship location in New York, and plans for a wider rollout of stores to follow. British toy retailer Hamleys is close to finalizing a deal for roughly 30,000 square feet at 2 Herald Square in Manhattan, near Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret, a person familiar with those negotiations told CNBC, requesting anonymity because the talks are confidential. The store is expected to open in 2020, should the deal go through, said the source—cautioning talks are still ongoing between the tenant and landlord and nothing has been finalized.

According to CNBC, Hamleys has been around since 1760 when it opened its first location in England. Today, it has a flagship shop on tourist destination Regent Street in London, in addition to locations all across the Middle East, Asia and Africa. And in North America, Hamleys has three stores in Mexico.

In the United Kingdom, Hamleys’ stores are known to draw kids in for exciting experience, including the opportunity to play with life-size Lego figures. Often, employees dress up as fictional characters to entertain shoppers. This excitement in stores is what many people say the toy industry is now missing in the United States, CNBC reports. And shoppers prefer it to the online experience, where it is impossible to pick up a toy and look at it, or try it.

After an opening in New York, Hamleys would likely mote into other  major markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami to open store;  and would consider moving into some of the more profitable malls in the country, said the person familiar with its plans.

Hamleys didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Research contact: @laurenthomasx3

StarKist faces $100 million fine for fixing tuna prices

October 23, 2018

Charlie the Tuna is “on the hook” for a felony. StarKist—which has long been represented by the cartoon mascot (or spokes-tuna) in its brand advertising—has agreed to plead guilty for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices of packaged seafood sold in the United States, the Department of Justice announced on October 18.

The DOJ said StarKist—which is owned by Dongwon Industries of South Korea— faces up to a $100 million fine when it is sentenced, the Chicago Tribune reported. In addition to pleading guilty, StarKist has agreed to cooperate in the investigation.

Prosecutors allege that the industry’s top three companies conspired between 2010 and 2013 to keep prices artificially high.

“The conspiracy to fix prices on these household staples had direct effects on the pocketbooks of American consumers,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “All Americans have the right to the benefits of free and open competition—the best goods and services at a price free from collusion.  We will continue to hold companies and individuals who cheat consumers accountable.”

“Our citizens’ confidence in the ability to buy goods within an unbiased market is key to sustaining an efficient and fair economy,” said Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett, FBI-San Francisco. “This investigation stands as a symbol of our commitment to holding corporations and senior leadership accountable and ensuring that activities such as price-fixing will not be tolerated.”

“We have cooperated with the DOJ during the course of its investigation and accept responsibility,” said StarKist CEO Andrew Choe in a formal company statement, adding, “We will continue to conduct our business with the utmost transparency and integrity.  While this process is long-term in nature, we have addressed the necessary actions required in this plea agreement, including continuing to strengthen related compliance best practices.”

The scheme came to light when Thai Union Group‘s Chicken of the Sea tuna brand attempted to buy San Diego-based Bumble Bee failed in 2015, according to court records. Chicken of the Sea executives then alerted federal investigators, who agreed to shield the company from criminal prosecution in exchange for cooperation.

Bumble Bee Foods last year pleaded guilty to the same charge and paid a $25 million fine—$111 million lower than prosecutors said it should have been, the Tribune reported. Prosecutors said they feared putting the financially struggling Bumble Bee out of business with a high fine and agreed to let the company make interest-free payments for five years.

Two former executives of Bumble Bee and one from StarKist have also each pleaded guilty to price-fixing charges. None of them have been sentenced, the Tribune said..

In addition, the three companies face mounting lawsuits from wholesalers, food service companies, and retailers—among them, Walmart, Target, and Kroger.

Research contact: @TheJusticeDept

Target and Walmart just want to toy with you

June 8, 2018

American families spend more than twice as much on toys as households in any other nation worldwide, according to Statista—buying about $25.5. billion in doodads in 2015, alone; compared to second-place China ($9.5 billion). So, now that the  top U.S. toy chain, Toys ‘R’ Us, has shut its doors, the company is leaving a huge amount of retail business on the table ($11.5 billion in sales in its last full year of business).

Based on a June 4 report by Supply Chain Dive, other retailers—chief among them, Target and Walmart— are racing to fill that void before holiday sales begin. Both brands are adopting larger strategies —among them, website redesigns and new acquisitions to expand delivery capabilities. That also includes ensuring the proper amount of toys are on the shelf, as new consumers look online to fill the gap.

“Toy volume is up for grabs,” Walmart’s Chief Merchandising Officer Steve Bratspies said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, according to Internet Retailer.

Target EVP and COO John Mulligan agreed during an earnings call, saying, “Our teams in toys and baby have increased their inventory investment to ensure that we can meet higher demand as other competitors liquidate and exit these categories.”

Indeed, industry players believe that the toy sector is strong—and that the bankruptcy in which Toys ‘R” Us finds itself was caused by bad management. When Supply Chain Dive recently asked its audience— executives in supply chain, logistics, and fulfillment that make important purchasing decisions for their organizations—who was to blame for the company’s financial downfall, fully 69% of 104 respondents said the bankruptcy was single-handedly caused by Toy’R’ Us.

In addition, some respondents emailed the news outlet to say it was not suppliers, or even online behemoth Amazon, specifically, that led to the retailers’ downfall, but competition in the space for Target and Walmart.

In fact, in a recent earnings call, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner acknowledged that its network had grown over the past three years, to include a significant digital presence and 21,000 more retail stores despite “recent store closures at traditional retailers.”

“There’s a tremendous amount of disruption occurring across the retail landscape,” Target said in a statement provided to Supply Chain Dive.  “We will continue to invest to create an even b Target and are prepared to welcome new guests to shop with us at our stores and online at Target.com.”

Research contact: @EdwinLopezT37

Christmas music: jolly or jarring?

November 15, 2017

In retail stores and malls across America, and on the city streets, Christmas 2017 decorations already are up. What’s more, the songs of the season are ringing in our ears.

Indeed, the Tampa Bay Times in Florida reports that local radio station 98.7 FM flipped over to 24/7 Christmas music on November 6; and they are by no means the first. According to industry news site Insite Radio,the first U.S. station to flip to all Christmas songs, all the time, this season was New Jersey’s Easy 93.1, which has been jingle bell rocking since October 20.

For many, these traditional melodies bring comfort and joy; for others—not so much. Surveys show that Christmas music actually can be bad for your health.

In fact, Sky News recently reported that psychologists are saying that the Christmas songs played on a loop by retailers may encourage sales, but for workers behind the counter, they can be mentally draining.

Clinical psychologist Linda Blair recently told Sky News, “”People working in the shops at Christmas have to [tune out] Christmas music, because if they don’t, it really does stop you from being able to focus on anything else. You’re simply spending all of your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.”

What are the stores that already are booming with Christmas spirit? The Tampa Bay Times did a survey and found that this year’s “Christmas Creep” started in October and will be nearly complete by Thanksgiving week:

  • October 22: Best Buy;
  • November 1: Sears/Kmart, Michael’s, and Lane Bryant;
  • November 5: Ulta;
  • November 9: H&M;
  • November 11: Office Depot/Office Max;
  • November 13: Walmart;
  • November 16: Verizon Wireless;
  • November 18: Staples:
  • November 23: JC Penney; and
  • Black Friday (November 24): Publix, Target, Home Depot, Nordstrom, Lowe’s, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Foot Locker, and Dunkin Donuts.

The news organization says that Target—once reluctant to go “all in” on the holidays early or otherwise— has relented. Target has, for most of its history, not played any music at all in its thousands of stores, holiday or otherwise. That changed this year, the Times said, as 180 newly-remodeled stores introduced background music. They’ll flip to holiday tunes on Black Friday.

But there is still one outlier, the newspaper noted:” The southern California-based grocery store chain Stater Bros. is the only retailer we could find that waits all the way until December to start.”

Research contact: cspata@tampabay.com