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An inside look at top retailers and the consumers they covet

Albertville Premium Outlets will add three stores

Apparently, Starbucks isn't as ubiquitous as one might think. The first Starbucks coffee shop in the Albertville St. Michael area will open in late October in Albertville Premium Outlets.It will be a welcome addition to an outlet center that has been lacking places to eat and drink. 

Two other stores opening in the outlet mall include DKNY on July 28 and Express Factory Store on Aug. 17. It will be the first DKNY outlet in the state. The new Express store in Albertville joins one in Eagan's Twin Cities Premium Outlets.

In other activity at the Albertville mall, Converse became the latest in a growing list of retailers moving from the Promenade annex to the main center across the street. But two local retailers in the Promenade are expanding. Flying Circus Toys gained square footage moving into the former Kenneth Cole location across the sidewalk. The Peak, which sells the Finnish outerwear brand Luhta for men and women, as well as ready to wear sportswear and accessories, took over the BCBG spot. 

Kenneth Cole and BCBG have closed many of their outlet stores across the country. Gymboree, which will close in the Medford outlet mall south of the Twin Cities, will remain open in the Albertville and Eagan outlet malls. 

Target phasing out Cartwheel Perks rewards program

Target is ending a rewards program called Cartwheel Perks that it began testing in five markets last year.

Its popular Cartwheel app, which provides in-store shoppers with digital coupons for extra savings when they checkout, will remain intact. In fact, the Minneapolis-based retailer is in the process of rolling Cartwheel into its main Target app and will eventually phase out the standalone Cartwheel app.

Cartwheel Perks was an additional program embedded into the app launched last September in select markets where customers would rack up points every time they made in-store purchases. Once they accrued a certain number of points, they could choose from a number of special rewards that included getting discounts on their their next purchase that ranged in value from $10 to $20 including free sunglasses, laundry detergent and athletic apparel.

The rewards program was tested in Denver, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, San Diego and St. Louis. Customers in those markets will have until August 27 to earn points and until October 27 to redeem any reward offers.

"We thanks our guests who participated in this pilot program," Target said in a statement. "We had many learnings about how to engage and reward guests that we plan to leverage in the future. We look forward to sharing more about exciting changes coming soon to the Cartwheel and Target apps." 

Target is making other enhancements to its app such as store maps that show customers their locations in the store and highlight nearby Cartwheel deals. It will also add a mobile payment option for Redcard holders.