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An inside look at top retailers and the consumers they covet

Target hires another supply chain executive

Target Corp. continues to build up its supply chain team with the announcement today of the hiring of an Apple executive.

The Minneapolis-based retailer said Ben Cook will start later this month as senior vice president of global logistics, inventory allocation and replenishment. He will help lead the effort to optimize Target's supply chain processes, including last-mile delivery to customers' doorsteps.

He will report to Arthur Valdez, the Amazon executive that Target poached earlier this year to be its chief supply chain and logistics officer. (Amazon filed a lawsuit at the time trying to block him from working at Target claiming he violated a non-compete clause.)

At Apple, Cook was director of logistics and supply chain in the U.S. He's also worked at Kimberly-Clark and Home Depot.

“Our guests expect us to deliver product quickly and reliably, and that means we need a supply chain that’s increasingly fast and precise,” Valdez said in a statement. “Ben’s expertise and proven track record in cutting cost and reducing complexity in the name of speed will be an incredible asset to our team.”

Angie's List offers free access to its reviews nationwide

Angie's List, the service that helps renters and homeowners find qualified service contractors such as plumbers, electricians, and auto mechanics, is allowing free access to its reviews. .

"We have to evolve. Millennials are much less likely to pay for information, but we wanted to beef up the premium option for paying members," said founder Angie Hicks. "We've added things like the service quality guarantee."

As an enticement, non-members who sign up starting at 11 a.m. CT Wednesday, July 13 are eligible for a $20,000 home project credit and 150 others will get a membership upgrade or paid membership.

Angie's List was founded in 1995 by Angie Hicks. The company expanded beyond Ohio and in 2015 it had 3.2 million paid memberships. The company has more than 28,000 subscribers in the Twin Cities.

The fee ranged from $10 to $50 based on specials and levels of service, but anyone can now access reviews of service providers. Angie's List will still offer two paid levels of membership for $25 and $100 a year. Existing members will continue to receive benefits that non-paying members won't such as Angie's fair price guarantee, service quality guarantee, exclusive discounts, chat and email support, and a bi-monthly magazine. The $100 membership also provides complaint resolution and phone support.

Additional benefits are being added in the coming months such as tools for project pricing, scheduling, financing, a handyman chat line, home emergency service line and instant hiring.

The company offers information and ratings (graded A to F) in 700 categories with more than 10 million reviews nationwide.The company was never profitable until last year when it had a profit of $82,000 on revenue of $87 million. Hicks believes that the free review access will increase site visits and the opportunity to monetize those visits.