In a quarterly earnings call with investors, Target CEO Brian Cornell applauded the end of the fourth quarter and a strong holiday, in which comparable sales increased 3.8 percent. Looking forward, he also laid out five priorities for 2015, one of which included a focus on localization.
Better late than never? Target and Whole Foods are testing customer loyalty programs. Observers think the timing may be off for Target, which would add more customer data at a time when its image is still recovering from the major data breach it suffered a little over a year ago.
Target has updated the integration between deals and shopping lists on its mobile app as part of the retailer's continuing quest toward what it calls a bricks-and-mobile strategy.
The luxury retail market is doing well. Reports at the end of 2014 showed that many of the high-end brands, such as Diane von Furstenberg, Bergdorf Goodman, Barney's New York, Michael Kors and Saks Fifth Avenue, are reporting increases in sales and revenue as they expand their physical and online presence globally.
Target announced it will cut its shipping threshold in half, making the new minimum purchase price $25 per order.
Customer satisfaction with retail is down for the first time in four years, according to a report released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). However, though brick-and-mortar satisfaction is flat or weakening, the bright spot in the fourth quarter of 2014 was internet retail, where satisfaction is up from one year ago. Despite generally flat customer satisfaction with offline platforms, the gap between best and worst companies continues to grow.
Target is trying to put the last few years behind it fast, moving ahead with executive, strategic and now in-store changes at a rapid clip as new management tries to regain the cache and profitability of the chain's past.
Target announced it will officially shut down Target Ticket, its digital entertainment service, on March 7. Ticket allowed customers to rent and buy movies and TV shows on-demand.
Walmart and Target may be the leading big box retailers with brick and mortar locations, but they are also leading the pack when it comes to mobile. Amazon and eBay currently get the most online traffic from mobile devices, according to comScore, with 69 percent and 63 percent of traffic coming from mobile. But Walmart and Target are ahead of their traditional retail brethren when it comes to developing and leveraging proprietary apps.
Target refocuses on omnichannel and innovation with new CIO hire, while Lululemon's controversial figureheard finally cuts ties. Catch up on all the other comings and goings in the retail industry in this week's Chutes & Ladders.