Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

As Target Heads into Holidays, Retailer Plays Up Value

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

As Target Heads into Holidays, Retailer Plays Up Value

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - From a Broadway-style marketing campaign to more exclusive toys, Target wants to lure shoppers during the final critical months of the year. More importantly, though, it needs to convince shoppers that it's the place for deals. The Minneapolis- based retailer is heading into holidays a little bruised after seeing drops in customer traffic and a key revenue measure, and acknowledging that it didn't push the second part of its "Expect More, Pay Less slogan. It hopes emphasizing value and some of the promotions that have worked in the past will win back customers.

Since becoming CEO two years ago, Brian Cornell has been trying to reinvigorate Target's cheap-chic status and focusing on categories like fashion, home furnishings and wellness items. But it stumbled with groceries and basics, and the trick for the holidays will be striking the right balance.

Despite the contentious presidential race, Cornell believes shoppers are more upbeat about their financial situation, given low unemployment, less-expensive foods and cheaper gas.

"I think there is a very positive mindset as we enter the holiday season, Cornell said Tuesday. "That being the case, we think we've got to win through experience. We've got to have great product. We've got to make it really simple from a promotional stand point and make it easy to shop at Target.

Here's some of what shoppers will see:

Emphasis on value

About 60 percent of Target's marketing messages this holiday season will be about value, up about 20 percent from last year. The retailer will repeat some of last year's promotions like 10 Days of Deals, which offer distinct deals each day.

Beginning in mid-November, customers also can save $10 off a $50 purchase of grocery and home items, clothing, accessories and toys. In December, customers can save $25 on purchases of $100 or more. Target executives believe that broader promotions will help bring shoppers to the stores more often.

Target is unveiling Wondershop, which will offer about 2,000 tree decorations for under $3, and will have more signs highlighting prices on product displays. …

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