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Walmart Canada to acquire 13 Target locations and one DC

BY Michael Johnsen

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Walmart Canada has reached agreements to acquire one distribution center, 12 store leases and one owned property formerly held by Target Canada, for an aggregate of approximately $165 million Canadian ($136.3 million). 
 
Walmart expects to invest a further approximately  $185 million Canadian to renovate the 13 stores and distribution center bringing Walmart’s total investment to approximately $350 million Canadian. Work on all locations is expected to start within the next few months subject to all necessary approvals. Grand opening dates and specific details for each location will be confirmed over the coming months.
 
“Walmart is committed to the Canadian market, and this agreement helps us accelerate our growth plans ensuring more Canadians have access to our low prices,” stated Dirk Van den Berghe, president and CEO of Walmart Canada. “The 13 stores acquired are well situated, and we are excited to bring Walmart’s successful Supercentre offer to customers in these markets. We have served millions of loyal customers, and look forward to continuing to serve them through our stores and growing e-commerce business.”
 
Walmart plans to hire approximately 3,400 new associates in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec and these projects are expected to generate approximately 1,500 trade and construction jobs.
 
The acquisition of these 13 retail locations, one distribution center and the investment commitment of approximately $350 million Canadian are in addition to the 29 Supercentre projects announced on Feb. 11 of this year. The previous announcement covered an investment of $340 million Canadian for supercenters, expansion of the company's existing distribution network and e-commerce projects, bringing Walmart’s total investment to approximately $690 million Canadian. 
 
The transactions are subject to the approval of the court in accordance with Target Canada's Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act proceedings and certain other customary conditions.
 
 
 

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Study: Shoppers are ‘creeped out’ by in-store identifying, tracking features

BY Marianne Wilson

SAN FRANCISCO — Shoppers think it's cool to get digital help finding relevant products and information as well as navigating the store, according to a study by RichRelevance. But they are creeped out by digital capabilities that identify, track and use location and demographics, such as targeted advertisements based on facial recognition. In addition, the dressing room is the one area where personalized product information and recommendations are not welcome.
 
The study, “Creepy or Cool,” also breaks down attitudes by age group. Millennials are fairly aligned with their older counterparts when it comes to in-store personalization, although they are more comfortable with edgy capabilities such as facial recognition. One area of significant difference: dynamic pricing in the aisles. Millennial shoppers were the only age group to rate this feature more cool than creepy.
 
Here is how shoppers in the study rated various digital features:
 
Cool
  • You can scan a product on your mobile device to see product reviews and recommendations for other items you might like. Overall rating: 76% cool
  • An interactive map on your mobile phone shows exactly where items are located and charts your most efficient path through the store. Overall rating: 69% cool
  • Your location in the store triggers personalized product recommendations, promotions and coupons to pop up on your mobile device as you are shopping. Overall rating: 44% cool
 
Getting Creepy
  • Products in the store don’t have price tags; instead digital screens display prices that are tailored just to you. Overall rating: 42% creepy
  • Digital screens in each dressing room provide products recommended just for you based on your current items and past purchases. Overall rating: 55% creepy
  • A salesperson unlocks the dressing room door before you arrive based on your detected location within the store. Overall rating: 62% creepy
 
Creepy
  • Facial recognition technology identifies age and gender to target advertisements on digital screens. For example, an eye cream promotion for an older female shopper. Overall rating: 73% creepy
  • A salesperson greets you by name when you enter a store because your mobile phone signals your entrance. Overall rating: 74% creepy
  • Facial recognition technology identifies you as a high-value shopper and relays this information to a sales associate. Overall rating: 75% creepy
 
"Shoppers want digital personalization when they are ready to engage,” said Diane Kegley, CMO of RichRelevance, a provider of omnichannel personalization. “They may not be ready for personalized messages the moment they walk in the door or even when they hit the dressing room, but our survey suggests they welcome relevant information and promotions when they are making a purchase decision.”

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Q&A: Vision 2026 with NACDS’ Jim Whitman

BY Antoinette Alexander

The energy is just getting started for the upcoming NACDS Total Store Expo. Hailed as the industry’s largest gathering of its most influential leaders, the NACDS Total Store Expo blends the tradeshow and senior-level conference formats into a powerful, 
appointment-based show, enabling strategic and tactical collaboration across functions within retailer and supplier partners.

This year’s confab, to be held Aug. 22 to 25 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, once again offers a robust agenda comprised of Meet the Market, Meet the Retailer, Vision 2026, the Product Showcase, Insight Sessions and more.

To learn more about this year’s Total Store Expo, Drug Store News recently spoke with Jim Whitman, NACDS SVP member programs and services.

Drug Store News: Can you elaborate on the importance of Total Store Expo?

Jim Whitman: Total Store Expo is a tradeshow and exhibit show, but it’s really much more than that. Obviously, there’s education involved, there’s networking involved, there’s issues and trending analysis and discussions involved, there’s the future involved in it, it is meeting with your peers. It is, again, bringing the entire industry together to take a look at business from all avenues and all sides. When people do that, our industry remains vibrant and strong. That’s the role that Total Store Expo is playing.

DSN: Following the launch in 2014, NACDS has announced the return of Vision 2026. What’s new with this year’s program?

Whitman: We are constantly looking at new companies that have some things that are maybe not quite yet commercialized who are somewhat thought leaders. We are looking at analytics, because that’s obviously a huge area right now. … We are incorporating the product showcase [and] NACDS TV, and health and wellness will be a big focus.

DSN: What role does the web site and other electronic communication play in Total Store Expo?

Whitman: It is really becoming a tool that we’re using to educate, inform and communicate with people throughout the year. There’s an electronic means, whether it be through social media, the website, through emails. … There are various avenues of communication that we can use to accomplish that. In addition, what we want to do is have relevancy available for people. … You have to remain relevant, and that’s the value of our communications. So, you’ll see [on the site] retailer and exhibit resources, which are really critical to people’s success.

DSN: With Total Store Expo about four months away, what can retailers and suppliers do now to help prepare?

Whitman: I think that retailers need to start talking with their supplier counterparts to start identifying the kinds of issues and agenda items they want discussed. No. 2, there’s a big focus now where it’s appropriate for both the retailer and supplier to have some global meetings. What I mean by that is bringing in the front end, the supply, the pharmacy, the health-and-wellness activities and the operations people to have a meeting that is encompassing all avenues of a company or the business with their [supplier] counterparts.

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