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Target Canada Outlines Key Initiatives to Improve Guest Experience

Merchandise expansion includes exclusive collaboration with Canadian celebrity designer Sarah Richardson

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 13, 2014 /CNW/ - Target Canada today announced several initiatives to improve business performance and better deliver the Target brand experience to Canadian guests from coast to coast. The initiatives come on the heels of some leadership changes last spring and a comprehensive review of its Canadian operations.

Among the announcements, Target unveiled a number of merchandise initiatives, including a long-term partnership with celebrity designer Sarah Richardson, set to launch next year.

"We've been listening to our guests and taking a hard look at where we need to improve," said Mark Schindele, president, Target Canada. "We've uncovered the root cause of some of our challenges and are focused on three main areas: improving in-stocks, sharpening our pricing strategy and enhancing our merchandise assortment."

In addition to Schindele, John Butcher, senior vice president of merchandising, and Janna Adair-Potts, senior vice president of stores and distribution, recently joined an experienced guest-focused leadership team. Target's search for a non-executive chair with deep Canadian experience is ongoing.

Merchandise Assortment
Target's partnership with Sarah Richardson will bring her distinctive combination of colours and patterns to a new line of home décor beginning in Fall 2015, only at Target Canada.

"We are thrilled to be working with Sarah on this exclusive new home décor line," said Butcher. "It's exactly the kind of creative and exciting design offering that only Target can deliver."

Richardson is one of the most well-known and trusted interior designers in Canada, and has been producing and hosting design shows for HGTV for 15 years. She specializes in creating interiors and programs that inspire, empower and educate a global audience with smart, savvy solutions for modern living.

Target Canada also announced a number of additional merchandise improvements, responding to guest reaction and requests, including:

  • Partnering with Roots to extend the exclusive and popular Beaver Canoe assortment, with expanded home décor, and the addition of new apparel like sleepwear and slippers coming this fall.
  • In Apparel, expanding the maternity assortment by 50 per cent in September.  In addition, Nick & Nora, the popular U.S. women's fashion line, will be available in Target Canada stores next year. The previously announced Altuzarra for Target designer collaboration launches September 14. Also, early next year a plus size line will be introduced.
  • Expanded cosmetic lineups, through an exclusive partnership with e.l.f. and the addition of an "e.l.f. essential" line, as well as tripling the space allotted for the popular NYX line in October.
  • In September, Target Canada is launching an exclusive brand of household cleaners called Better Life, as well as the exclusive eco-friendly line Ecover from Europe.
  • In Home, the launch of the exclusive line of appliances called French Bull, which will bring exciting colour and design to everyday appliances at a great price. In addition, this fall Target Canada will also be bringing to stores an exciting new range of well-known small appliance brands some of which have been previously unavailable in mass retail.
  • Overall, between now and Christmas, Target will be bringing more than 30,000 new items to its assortment, from the upcoming Halloween and Holiday assortments, to Fall apparel.

In response to guest feedback, Target Canada announced a new price match policy, which includes:

  • Price matching for any local competitor's flyer or weekly ad (print or online), and price matching for select online retailers, including Amazon.ca, Walmart.ca, Bestbuy.ca, Toysrus.ca, Babiesrus.ca, CanadianTire.ca, Futureshop.ca and Sears.ca.
  • Guests can now use popular apps, such as reebee and flipp to price match, instead of bringing a printed flyer.
  • Price match can now be completed at the register instead of guest service.

Target Canada has also added about 1,000 additional items to its roster of 20,000 items that are regularly shopped, to compare prices with its largest competitors.

"If we see a like item priced higher at Target, we'll lower it," said Schindele. "And with the addition of our price match guarantee, and 5 per cent off every purchase with a REDcard, guests should be confident they're getting the best price at Target."

Supply chain
Target Canada has undertaken a variety of initiatives to address in-stock issues, including:

  • A physical count of inventory at all stores, resulting in a reset of systems, and more accurate ordering and shipping data.
  • Better forecasting and allocation of product based on sales history and promotional plans to ensure the right amount of product is in the right place at the right time.
  • Adjusting delivery schedules so stores receive merchandise more frequently.
  • Providing new training and processes to headquarters and in-store teams to create good routines and engaging store team members.

"We know we still have work to do, but the entire Target team is focused on continuous improvement so that Canadian guests will have the Target experience they deserve," Schindele said.

About Target

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,925 stores – 1,795 in the United States and 130 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 per cent of its profit to communities, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit ABullseyeView.com or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.

SOURCE Target Canada

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