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Target comps light in November

BY Mike Troy

MINNEAPOLIS — Target reported November same-store sales increased 1.8%, which was toward the low end of the company’s guidance that called for an increase in the low to mid single-digit range.

“November sales were near the low end of our expectations for the month as we compared against very strong performance last year,” Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said. “As we kicked off the holiday season following Thanksgiving, sales were strongest on Black Friday as guests responded to our midnight opening and compelling prices. Our view of December remains the same — we expect a competitive and promotional environment as consumers continue to focus on value.”

This year’s 1.8% increase was on top of November 2010 increase of 5.5% and was led by a mid teens increase in the food category followed by a mid-single digit gain in the household essentials area, which includes the beauty category where performance was the strongest. Apparel and accessories comps were flat, while hardline and home furnishings and decors comps declined in the low single digits. On a regional basis, stores in California performed better than average while stores in the south and southeast were weaker than the average.

Steinhafel said the company expects its December sales performance will surpass November and he called for a comp increase in the low to mid single-digit range.

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Giant Eagle introduces shopping app for its Advantage Card members

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — Giant Eagle last month launched an app for users of Android devices that’s tied to the grocer’s loyalty program. So far, the app has been downloaded as many as 5,000 times.

The app enables shoppers to peruse the weekly ad circular on their mobile phones or computers. The grocer’s eOffers (digital coupons) can be added to the customer’s Giant Eagle Advantage Card.

The app also includes a shopping list function where shoppers can add items to the list from their shopping history, scan an item bar code or add ingredients from a library of thousands of recipes.

There also is a menu planner function.

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Adflow Health Networks to install Personal Health Centers in Rite Aid stores

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. — Adflow Health Networks is planning to provide biometric screening kiosks in Rite Aid stores, the company said.

The two companies have signed an agreement whereby Adflow will install its Personal Health Centers in all of the retailer’s nearly 4,700 stores around the country. The kiosks measure blood pressure and also customize the user’s experience based on screen views, tests taken, test results, historical results, age and gender and other data sets.

"We are excited about our collaboration with Rite Aid for numerous reasons," Adflow CEO Mel Stein said. "Rite Aid customers enjoy this new technology and benefit from the additional health screenings. Additionally, markets will be able to engage with shoppers in what has now become the largest network of interactive digital biometric kiosks with leading national retail pharmacy chains across all classes of trade, worksites and health systems in North America."


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