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Yankee Candle introduces nine holiday fragrances

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH DEERFIELD, Mass. — The Yankee Candle Co. has introduced a new line of holiday-themed scented candles, the company said Monday.

The South Deerfield, Mass., announced the introduction of four new holiday-themed Yankee Candle fragrances and five Pure Radiance fragrances, also holiday-themed.

The company said the fragrances are designed to evoke nostalgia for baking holiday cookies and celebrating with loved ones. The candles are available at Yankee’s more than 500 stores, as well as gift shops and other retailers.

 

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Big Lots focuses on digital strategy with new exec appointment

BY Vivian Gomez

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Big Lots has appointed former Kmart executive Andrew Stein as the company’s SVP and chief customer officer, as the company focuses more intensely on bolstering its digital footprint.

"As we develop our communication strategy focused on our customer, we know our marketing approach needs to evolve from one of traditional advertising means, such as print and television, to the digital age including social media, omnichannel, blogging and viral messaging," said CEO and president David Campisi. "We believe these channels, which will be new to Big Lots, will allow us to efficiently and effectively reinvigorate the Big Lots brand with our core customer and reintroduce us to a consumer segment that hasn’t been fully engaged recently. Andy has been an innovator in digital marketing strategies and multi-channel communications. He brings a wealth of experience integrating e-commerce and omnichannel solutions into brick and mortar retail operations. His analytical approach to creative strategic thinking will add tremendous value to our efforts. We’re delighted to welcome him as a member of our executive leadership team."

In his new role, Stein will oversee all areas of consumer engagement and customer messaging, including marketing, advertising, brand development and merchandise presentation. His responsibilities will include furthering the company’s brand recognition, including enhancing its Internet presence and further developing the company’s e-commerce site, expanding the use of digital marketing and social media and integrating the recently enhanced Buzz Club Rewards loyalty program. Stein will report directly to Campisi.

Prior to Big Lots, Stein was a marketing executive at Kmart, where he served a number of roles leading up to his appointment as chief marketing officer in August 2011. His responsibilities included building an integrated retail strategy, which produced the viral video favorite "Ship My Pants," a campaign that recently received special honors from The Hub Magazine, 4 Cannes Gold Lion Awards and has gotten more than 29 million hits on YouTube. He also made significant contributions to Kmart’s multicultural marketing initiative. Prior to Kmart, Stein held senior positions with IBM Global Business Consulting Services, Montgomery Wards & Co., Foot Locker and Razorfish.

 

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Target hires former CIA officer as ‘kids’ gift detective’

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is hiring a former CIA officer to give parents tips on looking for presents for children who might not be forthcoming about what they want.

The mass-merchandise retailer said it had hired Jonna Mendez as a "kids’ gift detective." Mendez will appear in videos with popular mom bloggers who will work with her on looking for presents.

"Before parents can start shopping for holiday gifts, they need to solve the puzzle of what their kids want most, which often extends beyond the toy aisles," Target SVP merchandising and hardlines Scott Nygaard said. "Target offers guests tools to build their lists, including a dedicated online portal, our annual kids’ gifts catalog and the kids’ gift detective, who brings some lighthearted fun to list building."

The company is also launching a web page, Target.com/KidsGifts, that will showcase popular gifts for the season.

 

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