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Entries in Target (22)

Wednesday
Nov232011

Egg Producer Vows Improvement After ABC News Investigation

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sparboe Farms, the embattled Iowa egg producer at the center of an ABC News investigation, has created a task force to investigate the company's operations, it was announced this week.

Calling it a "Sustainability Task Force," charged with "reviewing all current company practices in the areas of food safety, animal care and sustainability," Sparboe's president and owner, Beth Sparboe Schnell, announced the step in her first public statement since an ABC News report that exposed alleged animal abuse and unsanitary conditions at the nation's fifth-largest egg producer.

Sparboe Schnell says she decided to create the task force "so that we can make our company better." The members of the new task force will be made up of three Sparboe employees and three outside advisors. Sparboe Schnell says the company recently passed four third-party animal welfare audits, confirming the company is in compliance with policies.

Animal rights groups remain unconvinced that this step will be enough. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the U.S., told ABC News, "Passing 'third-party audits' means little when the standards of that audit are anemic at best. Sparboe doesn't need a task force to understand what it needs to do."

Pacelle pointed out that Sparboe remains the sole major egg producer in the nation that has lobbied against a joint push by the egg industry's main trade group and the Humane Society to improve the welfare of egg-laying hens. The United Egg Producers and the Humane Society worked together on a bill to be introduced in Congress that would increase the amount of space allotted to each hen. Sparboe is not a member of UEP and opposes the new standard.

Sparboe Schnell, whose company was started in 1954 by her late father, says she was "shocked and deeply disturbed" when seeing hidden-camera video shot by an undercover operative for the animal rights group Mercy for Animals that exposed conditions inside Sparboe facilities. The video first aired on ABC News. Sparboe Schnell maintained that it was the "wrongful acts of a handful of bad actors" and that all employees involved have been fired. McDonald's, Target and other retailers announced that they would stop buying eggs from Sparboe after learning the results of the ABC News investigation.

"At Sparboe Farms, we expect our employees to provide the best care possible and follow our animal care code of conduct," Schnell said. "Acts depicted in the footage are totally unacceptable, inconsistent with our values as farmers, and violate our animal care policies and procedures."

Nathan Runkle of Mercy for Animals said that Sparboe is ignoring the bigger issue of keeping hens in so-called "barren" battery cages, which he says prevent the birds from engaging in basic animal behavior. "This isn't a case of a few rotten employees, this is a matter of Sparboe subjecting every hen in its care to a lifetime of intensive confinement and deprivation. Sparboe's true actions on animal care issues don't line up with their PR rhetoric."

Sparboe Schnell also addressed an FDA warning letter sent to the company last week that detailed serious concerns after inspection of Sparboe's facilities. "Our team will continue to work with the FDA to successfully address the remaining concerns," Sparboe said, adding that the company has never had a single egg test positive for salmonella.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov222011

Target Hunts for New Egg Supplier Following ABC News Investigation

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- In the wake of an ABC News investigation of its major egg supplier, Target is scrambling to find a new source of eggs, with shortages being reported at stores across the country just days before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Spokesperson Jessica Carlson says the nation's second-largest retailer is working quickly to find a new source for eggs at its SuperTarget outlets after dumping Sparboe Farms, but acknowledged the timing isn't ideal for customers.

"We know and recognize that this is an important shopping time for guests, so we are working diligently to get eggs back in our stores as quickly as we can," said Carlson. She said prices would be unaffected, and that, "a vast majority of our stores will have some eggs in stock by the end of this week."

ABC News first exposed animal abuse and unsanitary conditions at Sparboe Farms' egg-laying facilities in three states. After being shown hidden camera video shot by Mercy for Animals, as well as learning of an FDA warning letter sent to Sparboe regarding unsanitary conditions, McDonald's was the first of Sparboe's customers to dump the egg producer, followed quickly by Target, which said it had ended its relationship because of concerns about "unacceptable conditions." Since the investigation aired on 20/20, other grocery chains have followed suit, including Midwestern retailer Lunds and Byerly's.

SuperValu, which supplies more than 4,000 stores across the country, has also suspended Sparboe. Spokesman Mike Siemienas said the change affected mostly independent grocers, not the company-owned chain stores, and it doesn't expect any disruption in supply to customers.

ABC News has also learned that Albertsons stores in Colorado have dumped Sparboe, which supplied eggs under the store's brand. A spokesperson for Albertsons said it was concerned with the violations reported and will closely monitor any federal or state investigations.

But Hy-Vee, a grocery store chain based in Iowa, will continue to sell Sparboe eggs, according to spokeswoman Ruth Comer. Comer told ABC News the retailer is taking the allegations seriously and will be conducting its own investigation, including inspecting Sparboe's facilities firsthand.

Sparboe Farms produces hundreds of millions of eggs at its facilities in Iowa, Colorado and Minnesota. The company has said it was outraged by the video shot inside its facilities and has fired all employees responsible for the animal abuse caught on tape. A Sparboe spokesman would not say whether other major retailers had dropped the company, calling the information confidential and competitive.

Target has nearly 1,750 stores in 49 states, including 240 SuperTarget stores which sell groceries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov222011

Target Employee Collects 190K Names To Stop Thanksgiving Opening

Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images(OMAHA, Neb.) -- Upset that he and others have to work starting at midnight on Thanksgiving, part-time Target employee Anthony Hardwick of Omaha, Nebraska started a "Target to Save Thanksgiving” petition to convince the retail discount giant not to open so early on Black Friday.

On Monday, a half-dozen bags of petitions claiming to have 190,000 signatures of Target workers, customers and others were delivered to corporate headquarters and are supposed to be sent to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel.

Hardwick says his reasoning was simple: "If you're having your employees show up at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, they're going to spend their day sleeping so they can get ready for the busiest shopping day of the year."  In other words, they'll miss most of the gathering with family and friends.

Walmart, Kmart Macy's, Gap, Kohl's, and Best Buy are all getting early jumps too on Black Friday sales too.

Bottom line? In this economy the other retailers are concerned about their bottom lines. A statement from Target's human resources department read, "The decision to open at midnight on Black Friday was not one we took lightly.  As that is the busiest shopping day of the year, it is imperative that we be competitive."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov172011

Retail Employees, Shoppers Fight 'Black Thursday' Openings

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) -- While many Americans are eager to take advantage of Black Thursday and Black Friday sales, Target employee Anthony Hardwick would rather spend time with his family on Thanksgiving. He's started a petition to urge his employer and its competitors to stay closed on Turkey Day.

Hardwick's petition on Change.org has about 100,000 signatures requesting Target open its doors at 5 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving rather than at midnight, which requires Hardwick, 29, and other employees to get to work at 11 p.m.  Target announced it would stay open from midnight to 11 p.m. on Black Friday.

"A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation -- all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night's rest on Thanksgiving!" he wrote in the petition.  "Join me in calling for Target retail stores to push back their original opening time of 5am on Black Friday."

Molly Snyder, a spokeswoman for Target, said Hardwick has never been scheduled to work on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.  In early November, he informed his managers that he was scheduled to work at his other job on Black Friday and indicated that he needed the day off from Target, she said.  Hardwick denied requesting the day off.

"We honored that request," she said in an email to ABC News.  "Target does our best to work around the schedules of all of our team members, making every effort to accommodate their requests."

She added that Target will offer holiday pay to all hourly "team members" who work on Thanksgiving Day.

"Black Friday is one of the busiest and most competitive shopping days of the year," she said. "We have heard from our guests that they want to shop Target following their Thanksgiving celebrations rather than only having the option of getting up in the middle of the night.  By opening at midnight, we are making it easier than ever to deliver on our guests' wants and needs."

In order to squeeze as much revenue as they can in a stagnant economy, other stores have also one-upped the midnight opening time. Toys "R" Us will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night for the first time, the retailer announced on Monday. Walmart announced earlier this month its stores will open at 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, Best Buy, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Macy's, Kohl's, and Target are embracing a midnight schedule.

Hardwick isn't the only person leading campaigns against retailers with early Black Friday openings.  Benjamin Joffe-Walt, Change.org spokesman, said 30 similar petitions were launched against companies, including one trying to push back Best Buy's midnight opening.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov112011

Stores Opening with Black Friday Deals on Thanksgiving Day

Tay Rees/Lifesize/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Christmas shopping will be starting even earlier this year.  Black Friday is coming to Thursday. That's right on Thanksgiving Day.

"Nothing's sacred anymore, I guess," Chicago resident Amanda Palmucci said today. "I don't agree with it. I think the best way to spend Thanksgiving is with your family – overeating, you know."

For the first time, Target, Macy's, Best Buy and Kohl's say they will be opening their doors at midnight Thursday. Wal-Mart will open at 10 p.m.

"Basically what it is, it's a race for space," said Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at the NPD Group. "If retailers can be the first doors open, they're going to capture that enthusiastic Black Friday customer."

Cohen said that even though the weekend represented about 11 percent of the holiday business, it still set a tone.

Sears and JC Penney said they will not be opening on Thanksgiving Day so that workers can be with their families. Anthony Hardwick, a Target employee, has created an online petition urging his employer not to open until Friday morning.

"I'm going to have to get some sleep and I’ll probably go to bed at 2 and miss my family's Thanksgiving dinner completely," said Hardwick, who has to be at work at Target at 11 p.m. to prepare for the rush of shoppers.

Brenda Hurst told ABC News that she had shopped on Black Friday once and would never do it again.

"It was an absolute madhouse," the Indiana woman said. "I had a woman who would not give me a parking spot. … She was saving it for somebody. My personal vote is: Everyone take a break from spending and let's just be thankful for what we already have with our family and good health."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct262011

How Does Walmart’s Price Match Measure Up with Other Retailers?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BENTONVILLE, Ark.) -- Walmart has announced that it’s beefing up its price matching policy for the holidays, but is the company’s new policy any better than what competitors are offering?

The temporary price-matching policy will give customers a store gift card for the difference of any eligible product purchased from Nov. 1-Dec. 25 that is found at another store for a lower price.

“The great gift we can give our customers this holiday is great low prices on the things they want most,” Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer of Walmart U.S., said in a statement.  “Walmart is easing shopping stress this Christmas by allowing customers to shop when and how they want, all while guaranteeing low prices through the entire holiday season.”

The move comes as the 2011 holiday season, which accounts for a good portion of retailers’ annual revenue, is ramping up.

But price-matching is not new to Walmart or other big retailers.  Numerous retailers like Target, Sears and Best Buy have price matching policies in place year-round.

With holiday shoppers expected to be tight-fisted this year, price matching is one way to lure consumers to retailers.  So as retailers duke it out for the projected $465 billion in retail sales, here’s a match up of pricing policies at some of the nation’s top retailers:

-- Staples
“If you find a lower price anywhere else on a new identical item, just show us the lower price when you buy the item at Staples and we will match the price, or within 14 days of your Staples purchase and we will give you the difference,” according to the website.

-- Target
“If you find an item in a competitor’s printed ad that is priced lower than it is at your Target store, we will match the price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number,” according to the company’s website.  Customers have within seven days of purchase to make a claim.  Target.com, the online entity of the company, is excluded from price matching.

-- Sears
“If you find a lower price on an identical branded item with the same features (in Consumer Electronics identical brand and model number) currently available for sale at another local competitor retail store, Sears will match that price plus give you 10% of the difference. Just bring in the original advertisement to a sales associate at the time of, or within 14 days after, your purchase,” according to Sears.com.

-- Best Buy
“Best Buy will match the price if you find a lower price on an identical available product at a local retail competitor’s store, a local Best Buy retail store or BestBuy.com. Simply let us know when you are making your purchase or during the return and exchange period. Perfect Match Promise products have an extended 60-day price match period,” according to the company’s website.

-- Amazon
“With the exception of TVs, Amazon.com doesn’t price-match with other retailers (including those who sell their items on our website). We do, however, consistently work toward maintaining competitive prices on everything we carry,” according to Amazon.com.

-- Home Depot
“If you find a current lower price on an identical, in-stock item from any local retailer, we will match the price and beat it by 10%. Excludes special orders, bid pricing, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, labor and installation, sales tax, rebate and free offers, typographical errors and online purchases,” according to the company’s website.

-- Lowe’s
“If you find a lower everyday price on an identical item at a local retail competitor, just bring us the competitor’s current ad and we’ll beat their price by 10%. If a competitor is offering a percent off discount, we’ll reduce our current price by the same percentage discount that the competitor is offering,” according to the Lowe’s website.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct032011

Jason Wu Next Designer ‘Target’ for Retail Giant

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Attention, Target shoppers: Of-the-moment designer and first lady Michelle Obama’s favorite, Jason Wu, is next in line to take on the design-for-the-masses entrepreneurial model, Target announced Monday.

The news was teased on Twitter Sunday night by @TargetStyle and confirmed Monday by the chain in a YouTube video.

“The exciting thing about this limited edition collection of affordable women’s wear and accessories is that it allows me to reach a wider audience and bring my designs to people who may not have been able to purchase them before,” Wu told Women’s Wear Daily.

The young designer broke into the national spotlight nearly three years ago when Michelle Obama wore one of his original designs at the 2009 inaugural ball.

He has remained a favorite of the first lady, who was spotted shopping in a suburban Virginia Target last month.

The first lady was said to have picked up food and toys for first pooch Bo on that trip, but come February, she might also use a Target trip to stock up on Wu-designed clothes and handbags.

Judging by the reaction from the chain’s last collaboration with an A-list fashion house, the Missoni for Target line, shoppers may want to line up now for Wu’s Feb. 5 launch.

The Missoni launch proved that even a retail giant like Target can be overwhelmed by fashion-hungry, discount-seeking fashionistas.

Lines stretched out the doors of Target stores across the country ahead of the Missoni launch, making store aisles quickly bare of the line’s signature, striped clothing and home goods.

The Target.com website was also down for hours after shoppers flooded the site to purchase what they couldn’t find in-store. Meanwhile, the savviest of savvy shoppers posted their Missoni for Target purchases on eBay, listing them for hundreds of dollars more than the Target price.

Target has yet to announce the exact details of Wu’s launch, and how they plan to avoid a similar fate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep142011

Target's Website Crashes over Demand for Missoni Collection

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- People looking to get their hands on the limited-edition Missoni for Target collection crashed the big-box retailer’s website Tuesday, leaving many shoppers disappointed.

Target issued a statement saying it was working to get the site back up and running.  As of Wednesday morning, it remained down.

The 400-piece collection has been Target’s biggest and most buzz-worthy limited edition collaboration yet.  Items range from $2.99 to $599.99 and include exclusive clothing designs by the Italian fashion house for the retailer, as well as housewares and a bicycle sporting Missoni’s signature zig-zag pattern.

For all those shoppers who were up at the crack of dawn, feverishly putting what they wanted in their virtual baskets, it seemed there were just as many in the brick-and-mortar stores stripping the shelves.

Seventy shoppers queued outside a Dallas Target store Tuesday morning, the Dallas Morning News reported.  Racked said New York City Target stores in Harlem and Brooklyn were sold out in mere minutes.

Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel was even spotted at Target’s Harlem location getting her hands on some of the goods before they were cleaned out in a lightning-fast 15 minutes.

People who can’t wait for Target to restock their shelves can purchase pieces from the high-low fashion collaboration on eBay.  By Tuesday afternoon, the search “Missoni for Target” yielded 3,000 results, with hefty markups.

Missoni for Target will remain in stores until Oct. 22, that is if it lasts that long.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul122011

Target Releasing Its Own E-reader

PRNewsFoto/Target(NEW YORK) --  Target has announced its throwing its hat in the ring of the e-reader competition.

The retail giant plans to sell a new device comparable to Amazon's Kindle device and Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader.

The device, called the iriver Story HD, will be the first e-reader to fully integrate with Google's eBooks platform.

In a statement, Target said the device will cost $139.999 and go on sale July 17.

According to reports, the device is slim and lightweight with a high-resolution screen and access to thousands of Google eBooks.

Target also sells the Kindle as well as e-readers by Sony, Kobo, and Pandigital, along with Apple Inc's iPad tablet computer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun242011

Target Recalls 51,700 Children's Sandals

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(WASHINGTON) -- Target is recalling approximately 51,700 pairs of children’s sandals that the company says can pose a choking hazard to young kids.

Circo Aloma Infant Girls Sandals have a decorative plastic flower that can detach from the shoe, the company said. Target warns that a child could choke if the piece is inserted into his or her mouth.

Consumers have reported at least eight cases of detached flowers.

No injuries have been reported in relation to the recall, the company said.

The shoes, sold exclusively at Target stores and on the company’s website, are white and were sold in infant girls’ sizes 2 through 5.

Consumers can return the shoes to Target for a full refund.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio