Target sees results from makeover moves | Ulta leveraged loyalty to top the US beauty market | Sears Canada's top exec to lead buyout effort
August 17, 2017
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Target sees results from makeover moves
Target sees results from makeover moves
(Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
Target's efforts to lower prices, enhance grocery and e-commerce offerings, add more fashion-forward items and inspire quick fill-in trips paid off in higher second-quarter sales, the retailer reported Wednesday. Same-store sales rose 1.3% and online sales surged 32%.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (8/16),  Bloomberg (8/16) 
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Industry Watch
Ulta leveraged loyalty to top the US beauty market
Ulta leveraged loyalty to top the US beauty market
(Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
Ulta Beauty came from behind to become the biggest US beauty retailer in 2015, two years after Mary Dillon took over as CEO and launched an aggressive growth effort. The push centers on the retailer's loyalty program, which boasts 25 million members who generate 90% of the retailer's sales and use loyalty credits to get discounts on premium makeup brands.
Glossy (8/17) 
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Sears Canada's top exec to lead buyout effort
Brandon Stranzl, executive chairman of Sears Canada, has handed his day-to-day duties to COO Becky Penrice so he can concentrate on putting together a bid to purchase the retailer and keep it in business, according to a company memo. The company won court approval in July to take bids to buy some or all of the company's assets.
Reuters (8/16),  CBC News (Canada) (8/16) 
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Target's back-to-school spots drew the most viewers
Target's back-to-school TV commercials drew the most attention, according to a study of viewers by TVision. The retailer's English and Spanish ads drew 29% of attention from people who watched back-to-school spots, followed by Walmart with 17.6%.
Advertising Age (8/16) 
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Retail Trends
Under Armour co-founder talks about turning it around
Under Armour co-founder talks about turning it around
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Ryan Wood, one of three co-founders of Under Armour, left the company after 10 years to start a Colorado cattle ranch, but he has ideas about how the performance sportswear brand can turn around slowing sales. He talks about the importance of telling a simple story, building an authentic brand and weathering the storms when they come.
Fast Company online (8/16) 
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Cutting out the middleman has shortened the lifespan of fads
Cutting out the middleman has shortened the lifespan of fads
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
The internet has brought disintermediation to countless industries and cut out the middlemen who were responsible for turning things like Beanie Babies from fads to full-fledged businesses, writes Charles Duhigg. The shift to direct selling is making fads, particularly in toys, more unpredictable and less likely to last.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (8/15) 
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Retail Technology
Apple, Samsung control US device market
Apple, Samsung control US device market
Apple and Samsung have a strong hold on the US device market, with about 75% of users owning a smartphone from one of the two brands, per research firm comScore. Any companies that wish to compete in the mature market will need to advertise heavily, use strategic partnerships and employ direct sales, Shira Ovide writes.
Bloomberg Businessweek (tiered subscription model) (8/14) 
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Analytics firm APT serves data-driven advice for retailers
Applied Predictive Technologies and its CEO Anthony Bruce work with restaurants and other retailers to analyze data and determine whether new products or ideas make sense. Wawa killed a popular new sandwich after APT determined it was taking sales from other items, and the firm was also instrumental in McDonald's decision to launch an all-day breakfast menu.
CNBC (8/16) 
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Policy and Government Affairs
Association execs stress diversity, decry racism
NRF CEO Matthew Shay joined other executives in denouncing racism and bigotry in a speech at the American Society of Association Executives' annual meeting this week. "There is a fundamental strength in our diversity of thought, of religion, of ethnicity, of lifestyle, and that's what's unique about the association profession -- we recognize it as a strength to celebrate and embrace, not a weakness to be denigrated or diminished," said Shay, who who will take over as the ASAE chairman next month.
CEO Update (free content) (8/16) 
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NRF News
5 things that will surprise you this holiday season
NRF's research team has reviewed the game tape from the 2016 holiday season, surveying more than 2,000 consumers to understand how they plan and shop for the holidays and what retailers can learn from the findings. From the new data comes the 2017 Holiday Planning Playbook, a guide that retailers can use as a tool to prepare for the most important few months of the year. Read more.
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NRF SmartStat: Aug. 17, 2017
About 63% of shoppers surveyed think retailers should be doing more to relieve shopping stresses. Source: Barclaycard study via STORES Magazine.
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Reinventing retail associate training with online tools
Myagi, an online training platform for retail workers, is designed to ensure that sales associates have the skills, knowledge, confidence and context to deliver unforgettable customer experiences. Co-founders Simon Turner and Tom McLeod launched the company in 2014 and in just three years they've developed an e-learning network for more than 120 retailers and brands globally, totaling over 10,000 store locations. Read more.
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Chain Restaurant News
Analyst: Chipotle tries new things to boost business
Analyst: Chipotle tries new things to boost business
(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
Chipotle Mexican Grill will make some changes in a push to drive traffic, including launching TV commercials and adding ingredients and dishes to a menu that has remained largely the same since the chain's launch 24 years ago, said BTIG analyst Peter Saleh. Saleh made his comments after meeting with Chipotle's investor relations executive Mark Alexee.
CNBC (8/16) 
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