business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From Retail & Leisure International:

"Gap Inc. has opened four stores in a row at its newly remodelled, 544,813sq ft global hub on Folsom Street in San Francisco.

"Described as 'laboratory' stores, the new Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta outposts are designed to enable the brands to test product and technology innovations.  Together, the spaces add nearly 18,000sq ft of fashion retail to the city’s buzzy East Cut neighbourhood.

"The new stores are part of Gap’s two-year renovation of its headquarters, which now boasts 15 floors of creative office space, a rooftop cafeteria and outdoor dining terrace overlooking the Bay, a coffee bar and lounge in the lobby. In addition, the ground floor features a 'co-lab' workspace, or 'maker studio' where visitors can watch Gap creative teams at work."

I love the idea that this company actually is inviting consumers in to see the development process … it has the potential of creating a level of accessibility and engagement that can only be positive for the company's relationship with its customers.

•  USA Today reports that "Target announced Wednesday a variety of events for the back to school season the retailer said will provide up to 20% in discounts for college students and up to 15% for teachers … Among the deals, Target is offering a bigger discount to college students using its Target Circle rewards program. Students can get 20% off a one-time purchase any time between July 3 and Sept. 3. Last year, Target offered a 15% discount.

"The retailer is also hosting an extended teacher prep event providing teachers discounts on supplies through Target Circle. The event will run July 17 through Sept. 10, and provide savings of 15% on supplies. All teachers with valid identifications are eligible for the event."