Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Target wants shoppers to squeeze the (supersized) Charmin


Grab that shopping cart – you’re going to need it.

greatsaveTo lure post holiday shoppers this year, Target has scrapped its typical plan of stocking its stores with exotic home goods sourced from across this globe.

Instead, it has cleared out the Christmas trees and holiday lights to make room for a mini warehouse club.

Target is stocking 12-packs of giant up & up paper towels for $13.49, and 24-packs of triple roll Charmin toilet paper for $17.99.

Mixed in with the bulk-sized packages, Target is putting in “treasure hunt” items  — a tactic used at No. 1 U.S. warehouse club giant Costco. It will be selling Ed Hardy handbags and shirts for between $34.99 and $64.99, and Ralph Lauren polo shirts for boys and girls for less than $25.

Check Out Line: Food vs foreign currency


Check Out Sara Lee and Kraft Foods joining the “stronger dollar” bandwagon. KRAFT/

Both food makers cut their profit forecasts for the current year, citing the pain they expect from the stronger U.S. dollar decreasing the value of sales from international markets.

Check Out Line: Quarterly results served with a side of caution


Check out quarterly results being dished up with a big side of caution.

Polo Ralph Lauren reported higher second quarter profit, citing increased sales and a lower tax rate.

Polo, whose brands include Polo, Chaps and Club Monaco, affirmed its earnings outlook for fiscal 2009, but it tempered its full-year sales forecast. It now expects a low single-digit increase in 2009 revenue, instead of a low-to-mid single digit increase as earlier expected.

Black Friday ads popping up online


bf2.JPGIt’s that time of year again – supposed Black Friday ads are now starting to appear on online.

Numerous websites have cropped up in recent years that publish what they claim are copies of the newspaper ads retailers will run for Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving that marks the ultra-competitive launch of the holiday shopping season.