The big-box chain known for its cheap-chic style comes into the holiday season with more momentum than it’s had in over a decade. In the third quarter, comparable sales increased 5.1% and digital sales jumped 49%, as the company’s strategy is resonating with customers both online and in stores. Management also said it gained market share in all five of its core merchandising categories.
Before the holiday season even kicked off, Target made a major play for online shoppers, offering free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items with no minimum order or membership fee from Nov. 1 to Dec. 22, a move that prompted Amazon.com to follow suit, waiving its normal $25 minimum order fee for non-Prime members. Amazon, however, is not offering two-day shipping, instead saying orders will arrive in five to eight days.
Target also rolled out at a revamped toys department with an eye on taking market share following Toys “R” Us’ bankruptcy. The retailer has opened up 250,000 square feet of new space in 500 stores for toys, offering interactive experiences such as meeting characters from kids’ favorite shows and games, and added 2,500 new and exclusive toys. The company has also remodeled its toy department in 100 stores, with features such as a 3-foot Lego slide and interactive activity wall.
Beyond those initiatives, Target has big plans for the Black Friday weekend.
The Black Friday bonanza
Target offered pre-Black Friday sales from Nov. 18 to Nov. 21 both in stores and online, including:
Extra 15% off TVs on Nov. 18 only.
$100 off the Xbox One X.
$100 off the PlayStation4 1 TB Spider-Man Bundle. Includes a console, one controller, and the game. This is the same price you’ll see on Black Friday.
A $300 Target gift card when you buy a Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+, with qualified activation required.
A $200 Target gift card when you buy a Google Pixel 3 or 3XL, again with qualified activation required. This is the same deal you’ll see on Black Friday.
20% off family and kids’ games.
15% off PJ Masks Romeo’s Lab playset.
A free $10 Target gift card with any Lego toys purchase of $50 or more.
An HP X360 convertible touchscreen Chromebook for $199 ($100 off).
A Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch 16GB tablet for $159.99 ($120 off).
And plenty of similar deals as well.
Target will be open from 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day to 1 a.m. the next morning and will then reopen on Friday at 7 a.m. Target REDcard holders will have early access to Black Friday deals, starting on Wednesday, including deals on SmartTV’s, the Fitbit Versa Smartwatch, Instant Pots, and Apple products, some of which come with Target gift cards. You can see all the deals in Target’s Black Friday circular. Again, these deals are available both online and in stores.
In addition to all the discounts on the usual doorbuster items, Target is also offering a 20%-off coupon for a future trip for shoppers who spend $50 or more at Target or who scan the wallet feature in the Target app in stores. Target employees will also have handheld scanners to check out shoppers easily without having to wait for a register, and the retailer is promising more deals for Cyber Week, starting on Sunday, with an extra 15% off on top gifts such as a Swagtron Metro Hoverboard and an iRobot Roomba.
Unlike in past years, Target is aiming to separate itself from the competition by promising the broadest range of fulfillment options of any retailer, including same-day delivery with Shipt, in-store pickup, Drive Up service allowing customers to get orders loaded into their cars, same-day delivery from the store in select urban locations, and Target Restock for next-day delivery of staples such as paper towels and diapers.
One thing is clear for Target this holiday season: With consumer confidence near an all-time high, strong sales growth momentum coming into the key shopping season, and an aggressive plan to win shoppers with free shipping and in easy in-store pickup options, the retailer looks set for its best holiday season yet.
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9-year-old genius to graduate university
(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.
Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.
Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.
He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.
His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.
“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.
Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.
While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.
But Lydia has her own theory.
“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.
The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.
“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.
“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”
Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.
“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”
Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”
His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.
“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.
“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”
While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.
“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”
Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.
However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.
In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.
Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.
New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne
Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem
Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.
The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.
Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: on 11/6 at approx 3:43 PM in front of 128 West 112th St in Manhattan, a 32 yr old male was walking with his 8 yr old son when a white BMW jumped the curb & hit the father & son. The driver then got out and slashed the father. Call @NYPDTips with any info. pic.twitter.com/cwd79rcM4c
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 15, 2019
Father and son were both knocked through a gate.
The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.
One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.
McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.
McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.
Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
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