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Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. to carry products at Target

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES — The Honest Co., which was co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, has teamed up with Target to offer a selection of the Honest Co.’s products in all Target stores and an expanded assortment on Target.com starting June 15.

"As a busy working mom, I know you can’t always anticipate when you’re going to need something. It’s great to have a partner like Target that offers convenience and great values at any given moment. We’re excited to launch the Honest Co. products in Target stores and on Target.com to provide easy access to our safe, stylish and accessibly-priced products," stated Alba, president and co-founder, the Honest Co.

Through the ongoing partnership, Target stores will carry diapers, wipes and personal care items including face and body lotion, conditioner and shampoo and body wash, as well as household products ranging from a multi-surface cleaner to sweet-smelling dish soap and durable laundry detergent. Target.com will feature 150 product options including items found in Target stores, as well as online exclusives, such as a natural bug spray, diaper cakes, fruit and veggie wash, dish towels and more. Products range in price from $4.95 to $124.95.  The Honest Co. will give a portion of proceeds to families in need from all product sales at Target.

The Honest Co. was founded in 2012 as an e-commerce site and offers a line of more than 65 products. In addition to categories offered at Target, Honest offers health and wellness products and the Collective, a collection of designer collaborations, available at Honest.com.

 

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Walgreens recognized for $1.5 million gift to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES — Walgreens has made a $1.5 million gift to support clinical care and research programs at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Walgreens was recognized on Wednesday with the unveiling of special signage during a commemoration ceremony in the hospital’s popular Family Pantry, located in CHLA’s Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion.

“I want to thank Walgreens for this generous gift to support the hospital’s mission,” said Richard Cordova, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “This gift will mean so much to the patients and families relying on CHLA. It will allow us to provide world-class pediatric care, conduct ground-breaking medical research, provide community outreach to underserved youth and train the next generation of pediatricians and nurses.”

Walgreens has been a hospital supporter since 2011. Walgreens has raised almost $600,000 in support of CHLA. 

“We are proud to partner with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to care for sick children and their families,” said Scott Corley, Walgreens VP operations and community development. “Walgreens is committed to helping the communities we serve, and in partnership with our stores, employees and customers, we can all work together to make sure every child has access to high quality, affordable care so they have the opportunity to get, stay and live well. ”

 

 

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Study: Shoppers concerned about expanding role of data in shopping experience

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Shoppers report they value shopping as an experience and not just as a transaction, and are concerned about the expanding role of data in shaping and limiting this experience, according to "Truth About Shopping" study released Wednesday. Conducted by McCann Truth Central, the research is based on a survey of more than 10,000 people in 11 countries and is supplemented by additional qualitative research.

"We’re seeing a variety of behavioral reactions in how shoppers around the world are responding to the growing science of shopping through the expanded use of technology and data," said Laura Simpson, global director at McCann Truth Central. "There are ways in which they are embracing it thoroughly and other ways in which they’re doing so warily," she said. "Today’s challenge in the retail environment is: how do you keep the art of shopping alive in the age of algorithms? We believe that focusing on the art of shopping is essential to balance the science of shopping." 

Simpson noted that 52% of people said that shopping is too impersonal these days, and they are concerned about the reliance on algorithms to dictate their purchases. As many as 57% worry that they’ll discover fewer new things if companies always show them exactly what they’re looking for. But this also presents the sellers with new product offerings and merchandising opportunities because 66% of shoppers are looking to be inspired while they are shopping. "They want the very human and personal touch amidst a wave of algorithm-based personalization," Simpson said.

However, this desire for a personal touch does not mean that consumers aren’t looking to retailers to "seamlessly blend technology into the physical experience," according to India Wooldridge, VP deputy director at McCann Truth Central "When we look at our data, consumers are open to an even more seamless experience in stores than we see today. They are ready for the smart store of the future," she said. "For instance, 71% would welcome interactive walls that enable you to try on clothes without changing. However, it is important to remember that such technology cannot come at the expense of really getting to know the customer."

She pointed out that mobile is an area where there is a particularly strong need to create more of a sensory experience. Of consumers who have shopped on their mobiles in the past six months, 49% can see themselves shopping exclusively on their mobile in the future, she said, underscoring mobile’s important role in the future of shopping. On the other hand, mobiles are currently emerging as a new window-shopping tool, with 70% of consumers saying they think mobiles are good for browsing but not buying. This perception is highest in Mexico and the United States, among the countries studied. 

The study found that 84% of people globally are aware that companies track the websites they visit to recommend products they may like. In the United States, this awareness rose significantly from 69% in 2011 to 87% in 2014. At the same time, shoppers accept this tracking as long as they understand the trade-off: 65% of people said they were willing to share data if they could see the benefit to them. Again, this has been increasing. In the United States, 61% of consumers said they would be willing to share data if they understood the benefit to them, compared with 45% in 2011. 

The over-reliance on the science of shopping does worry the majority of consumers. Overall around the world, 71% worry about the amount of information that online stores know about them. This concern is lowest in the United States (58%) among the countries studied. However, because things are changing at such a rapid pace and people are focused on the technological benefits, there are some contradictory attitudes that emerge with regard to privacy. For example, 59% of people around the world would be open to a store that is able to recognize you when you walk through the door.

Nearly half of people globally say that they can see themselves potentially using fingerprints or retina scans as payment authentication in the future. And nearly a sixth of people around the world say that they can see themselves potentially using payment technology embedded in their body. Among the countries studied, the United States ranks among the lowest in embracing this science-fiction vision.

Additionally, a lot of personal behavior already is changing because of the new world of shopping experience. Shopping at midnight and even mid-dinner have become acceptable. As many as 39% of people globally say that being able to shop in the middle of the night is the biggest emotional benefit of online shopping. And a quarter of people globally believe it is acceptable to excuse yourself from a meeting or dinner in order to go log on to an online flash sale.

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