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Haggen closes 27 stores it had acquired from Albertsons

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Haggen on Friday announced the closure of 27 of the 146 locations it had acquired from Albertsons. Additional stores will be sold or closed in the future as part of Haggen’s right-sizing strategy. 
 
“Haggen’s goal going forward is to ensure a stable, healthy company that will benefit our customers, associates, vendors, creditors, stakeholders as well as the communities we serve,” Bill Shaner, Haggen CEO Pacific Southwest, said. “By making the tough choice to close and sell some stores, we will be able to invest in stores that have the potential to thrive under the Haggen banner.”
 
Through the acquisition, Haggen expanded from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies in the Pacific Northwest to 164 stores and 106 pharmacies across Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. Haggen’s original stores continue to perform well, the company stated.  

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Target names new COO, appoints former Express Scripts exec CFO

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS — Target continued to make moves across its executive team Monday morning, with the promotion of an almost 20-year Target veteran to COO and the hiring of a former Express Scripts CFO. 
 
John Mulligan was named to the newly created role of EVP and COO, effective Sept. 1, when he will assume oversight of stores, supply chain and properties. Additionally, seasoned retail business leader Cathy Smith will be joining Target as EVP and CFO. Both Mulligan and Smith will report to Target’s chairman and CEO, Brian Cornell.
 
“John has unparalleled expertise in Target’s business and I am very pleased that he will be assuming this new leadership position. Bringing together key operations functions under John will put Target on a more progressive path to transformation and help us break down barriers to deliver improvements across our business,” Cornell said. “As our new CFO, Cathy brings significant business and retail expertise to Target. Her background will be integral to accelerating our long-term growth strategy.”
 
Mulligan has worked at the Minneapolis-based company since 1996, when he began as a financial analyst. He has served as the company’s CFO since 2012. In 2014, he led the company as the retailer’s interim president and CEO from May to August while continuing to act as CFO. 
 
“Integrating operations will help further fuel Target’s transformation and as COO, I’ll prioritize driving improvements in the fundamental areas of our business and equipping the team to move quickly," Mulligan said. "By working strategically across the enterprise, we will build on the critical capabilities that will fuel Target’s differentiation in the marketplace."
 
The company will report its second quarter financial results on Aug. 19 and host a conference call with investors featuring the new trio of Cornell, Mulligan and Smith. 
 
Prior to joining Target, Smith served as EVP and CFO at the pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts. She has also held CFO positions at Walmart International, GameStop and others. 
 
Smith received her BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her MBA from the University of Southern California. 
 
On Friday, Drug Store News learned Target is in search of a new chief merchant following the departure of Jose Barra, EVP merchandising at Target. 

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Report: Late BTS shoppers looking for deals

BY Marianne Wilson

CHICAGO — Retailers still have time to capitalize on what is turning out to be a late back-to-school shopping, according to a just-released study.

In a nationwide survey of 1,000 consumers responsible for back-to-school shopping conducted this week, 63% of shoppers said they not yet completed their back-to-school shopping, with the majority saying they are holding out for late season deals. In the survey by Market Track, a provider of advertising, promotional, brand protection and pricing intelligence solutions, over 85% of respondents said they would do most of their shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. And 90% of shoppers indicated that they intend to spend the same or more than last year.

Market Track’s research has shown that there has been a notable shift to digitally focused promotions this season with an overall decrease in print promotions at a rate of over 20%.

However, the shift to digital promotions could be a bit ahead of where deal-minded parents are, who are primarily paying for back-to-school purchases. The survey found that print circulars are being used most by parents at a rate of 75%, while 43% of kids are using circulars to find the best back-to-school deals.

Kids are more plugged into digital with 30% using retail websites and 21% using social media to see what is on sale. The results also revealed that 80% of kids are influencing the purchase decisions for back-to-school, which has driven retailers to take a diversified approach to promotions and advertising.

The survey foreshadowed that big-box retailers will be the victors of the season, with 64% of parents and 56% of students saying that they will do most of their shopping for back-to-school items at mass merchandisers such as Walmart, Target and Kmart.

While online shopping continues to gain traction, over 85% of respondents said they would do most of their shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Mobile shopping also continues to grow, with 27% of the responses indicating shoppers have made back-to-school purchases on their mobile devices. The survey also noted that 40% of shoppers used or will use their mobile devices while in the store to compare prices and look for discounts on back-to-school products.

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