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Kavita Kumar

Reporter | Retail merchandise
Kavita Kumar covers the fast-changing retail landscape. She reports about Target, Best Buy, Mall of America, and other national and local retailers as well shopping trends.
Recent content from Kavita Kumar
CEOs Hubert Joly, right, and Jeff Bezos made a deal for Best Buy to be the exclusive seller of TVs with and Amazon’s Fire TV embedded in them.

Minnesota retail, service sector gearing up for strong year

Buoyed by a stronger economy, many of Minnesota's largest retailers had a better-than-expected 2017 and are gearing up for another strong year of sales.

Christopher & Banks falls below New York Stock Exchange listing requirements

Company said it will submit a plan on how it will regain compliance.
Made by Design towels have hanging loops.

Target launches home goods brand that's focused on function

750 items in Made by Design line patterned to be functional, clean.
Rachael Christy, a Target beauty team member, left, gave makeup samples to customers Sheneall Carter, center, and Jasmine Riley, at its downtown Minne

Target makes play for bigger piece of beauty marketplace

Retailer focuses on niches overlooked by bigger brands.
Packages passed down a conveyor bound for delivery trucks at Amazon's fulfillment center in Shakopee.

Amazon has rapidly built up an infrastructure around Twin Cities — and around the U.S.

While the Twin Cities was not a finalist for Amazon's second headquarters, the region has still become a magnet for the company, which now employs more than 2,300 people in Minnesota.
Jackie Nierenhausen and Cong Nguyen (holding his daughter Alaina Nguyen, 2, on his shoulders) walked past Best Buy at the Mall of America on Friday. B

Best Buy to close Mall of America store in August

The electronics retailer, which has been at the giant mall since 2008, will close
Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly

Best Buy starts a streak, as same-store sales soar 7.1 percent

The retailer's sales soared, but skittish investors held back as share price tumbled.
Ridgedale Target store manager Chrissi McShane gave directions to Kathy Ayers, who was looking for an Amazon Echo device.

Target sees strong sales, but profit falls short of expectations in Q1

Changes the retailer has made have attracted customers, taken toll on profit.
Best Buy’s Total Tech Support costs $200 a year and offers unlimited phone and online support and discounted in-home visits.

Best Buy expands Geek Squad's role with nationwide 'Total Tech Support'

Best Buy is launching a subscription service that applies to all devices.
mug

Ronald Libertus, advocate and expert in American Indian art, dies at 79

While it can often be difficult to sum up a person’s life and work in a few phrases, it is especially so for Ronald L.…
Target is expanding its Restock delivery program and cutting fees. The moves come after Amazon switched up pricing for a similar program.

Target lowers fee for Restock next-day delivery program

It's also is expanding the service nationwide.
Burberry scarf.

Burberry sues Target for trademark infringement over use of its check pattern

In the federal lawsuit, Burberry says the Minneapolis-based retailer used its plaid style in scarves.
The company’s new logo.

Best Buy gets new logo and marketing campaign focused on blue-shirt experts

Marketing focuses on blue-shirt experts instead of price guarantees.
Joel Theisen, CEO of senior care services provider Lifesprk, said he took the “a” out of the company name as a symbol of removing “age” as the

Lifesprk forms joint venture to expand into Utah

The long-term care company's goal is to help seniors live healthier lives by providing life coaching or home care.
Target CEO Brian Cornell in the downtown Minneapolis store.

Target CEO Brian Cornell made $19.2 million in last fiscal year

Target had low expectations going into last year but ended up performing better than expected as overall consumer spending improved.
Ari Silkey, general manager of Amazon's Minneapolis office, spoke at the Amazon North Loop tech office Wednesday.

Amazon expands its footprint in Minneapolis

It already employs about 150 people who work in the North Loop on transportation technology, delivery services and Amazon web services.
In recognition of Best Buy’s performance that outperformed some of its peers, the board gave chairman and CEO Hubert Joly an 8.5 percent boost in hi

CEO Pay Watch: Best Buy's Hubert Joly made $22.5 million in last fiscal year

In recognition of Best Buy's performance that outperformed some of its peers, the board gave Joly an 8.5 percent boost in his base salary.
Amazon will expand its footprint in the T3 building in Minneapolis’ North Loop, where it was the first major tenant last year.

Amazon to hire additional 200 people for Mpls. tech office

Amazon's growing foothold in the Twin Cities has raised eyebrows as it's moved into the home turf of two major retail rivals, Target Corp. and Best Buy Co., creating more competition to recruit and retain tech workers.
FILE - In this Thursday, April 27, 2017, file photo, people walk past an Amazon Go store. Amazon Go shops use a tracking system that of sensors, algor

From self-checkout to cashier-less stores, retailers look to automate stores

Most analysts agree that physical shopping, like manufacturing before it, is heading toward more automation. You can see the transition already with more self-checkout lanes and newer scan-and-go options.
Evine Live, the Eden Prairie-based home shopping network, did a segment on Swagway, or self-balancing scooters, on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, in Eden

Evine Live's shares jump after report Amazon may want to buy it

Analysts say Evine's boomer audience makes it attractive to Amazon and others.
A promotional photo showed the tall boots Target and Hunter intended to sell in their collaboration. The firms said Friday the boots did not meet thei

Tall rain boots in Hunter for Target collection won't be sold due to production issues

Footwear was expected to lead Hunter collection.
Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly and Amazon's Jeff Bezos came together Tuesday to discuss the deal.

Amazon's Bezos calls Best Buy turnaround 'remarkable' as he unveils TV partnership

Deal is the latest project in decade-old collaboration between rival retailers.
The Herberger's in Roseville held a grand reopening in September after a big remodel. It is now slated to close.

Earlier: Herberger's might close 3 stores in Twin Cities

Parent company Bon-Ton also could close the Younkers store in Duluth.
Melissa Butler, founder of The Lip Bar, one of eight companies added to Target's cosmetics aisles.

Target expands beauty offerings with makeup for women of color

Eight new cosmetics brands soon to be in the beauty aisles of Minneapolis-based Target. For most of these brands, which started out online, this will be the first time they will be sold in stores.
Twin Cities-based Local Crate looks to expand meal-kit business with seed funding

Twin Cities-based Local Crate looks to expand meal-kit business with seed funding

Company received a round of $1.4 million and has plans to expand to Wisconsin and Iowa in coming weeks.
Brad Anderson, former CEO of Best Buy, contributed money to a group that ran ads vilifying Muslims.

Ex-Best Buy CEO donated to group that ran anti-Muslim ads

Brad Anderson says he didn't know Secure America Now was involved in the ads. His $25,000 donation was meant as support for Israel, he says.
Best Buy headquarters in Richfield

Best Buy to open first new U.S. store in seven years

The 36,000-square foot store will open in a suburb north of Salt Lake City.
Target pays $3.7M to settle suit over racial disparity in use of criminal record checks

Target pays $3.7M to settle suit over racial disparity in use of criminal record checks

The complaint, which includes grievances from more than a decade ago, allows for job applicants to reapply for Target positions or seek a financial award.
Shoppers make their way around the parking lot at the Best Buy store Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Orange, Calif.

Best Buy says some customers could be affected by data breach of third-party vendor

Same vendor, [24]7.ai, may have exposed Sears and Delta customer data.
Kimberly Wells, center, hosted “Evine After Dark.”

With 'Evine After Dark,' home shopping network sells sex toys

The Eden Prairie company says the move "is very sex-positive. This is about education."
Customers try out the new Mate 10 Pro smartphone in a Huawei store in Beijing last fall. (GIULIA MARCHI/The New York Times)

Best Buy to stop selling Chinese firm's phones amid hacking concerns

Best Buy will stop selling Huawei phones and other products from the Chinese manufacturer as U.S. lawmakers and intelligence leaders have raised security concerns about…
Target could gain market share because of the Toys 'R' Us bankruptcy, boosting toy sales.

Target could gain $600 million in sales from Toys 'R' Us demise

Report says retailer is nicely positioned to gain market share.
Tracy Gohlke shopped at the Super Target in Apple Valley, which has many alerts about Target’s Redcard program.

Target to test new loyalty program as Redcard growth slows

As growth of its branded debit and credit cards has plateaued, Target is exploring other ways to generate more loyalty.
Tyrre Burks of Player’s Health, left, Clarence Bethea of Upsie, center, and James Jones of Spark DJ have all been accepted into the Techstars progra

Three Twin Cities black tech leaders land spots in accelerators

The Twin City innovators are creating buzz and hoping to open doors for other black entrepreneurs.
Target CEO Brian Cornell spoke during Tuesday morning’s annual investors meeting in downtown Minneapolis.

Target 2018 plan includes new delivery options, second wage hike

CEO Brian Cornell tells investors Target will offer free two-day delivery for items over $35 and to Redcard holders, plus expansion of curbside pickup and more new brands.
The redesigned customer service counter at the Target in downtown Minneapolis.

Target to spend $250M in '18 to remodel Twin Cities stores

"In the past, when we remodeled, we might have just upgraded the fixtures," CEO Brian Cornell said. "But this is dramatically different from anything we've done in the past."
“We now have more of the proof points in place and we can accelerate,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said of the retailer’s strategy during a tour of

CEO Cornell says Target is changing faster to compete in today's retail

A recent bump in sales has boosted Target's confidence, but executives say the company must keep moving forward.
April 14, 2011- White Bear Lake, MN- : Best Buy has announced they plan to reduce their total retail stores space by 10%, which is a lot. Also, as the

Best Buy closing 250 small-format mobile phone stores

The Richfield-based retailer said the stores have become less profitable and will close them by the end of May.
Liz Schoenecker, above, and her daughter grew worried about the packages due to the contents. They have received about 24 packages from Amazon that th

Unwanted Amazon packages mysteriously keep arriving at this Bloomington home

Bloomington family filed a police report because some packages held sex toys.
Honeyfund can now be found within Target’s registry system.

Target adds honeymoon funding to wedding registry through new partnership

The Minneapolis-based retailer will now have options from Honeyfund embedded in its registry.
Target and Shipt are recruiting workers aggressively, with plans to hire 4,000 shoppers and delivery people in the Twin Cities.

Target will roll out same-day delivery in Twin Cities as it faces off with Amazon

Twin Cities rollout is a move against Amazon since Target acquired Shipt.
Workers pack boxes with orders for shipping and move them to a conveyor Wednesday, Mar. 24 at the former Fingerhut Distribution Center, which is now c

Bluestem Group's CEO Steve Nave steps down to recover from surgeries

Lisa Gavales will take over temporarily after the departure.
Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater listened to the Target presentation as current and former players gathered Friday in Mineapolis to discuss post-

Target helps NFL players, including Teddy Bridgewater, think about their next careers

This is the third year a professional seminar has been held during Super Bowl week.
A Best Buy store in Hialeah, Fla.

Tax reform prompts Best Buy to give bonuses, $20M tech training grant

Best Buy is the latest major corporation to hand out worker bonuses and to make additional charitable donations as a result of the recently passed…
Keri Jones

Keri Jones, former Target executive, is named CEO of Christopher & Banks

Struggling retailer had an interim chief executive for more than a year.
Ridgedale Target store manager Chrissi McShane gave directions to Kathy Ayers, who was looking for an Amazon Echo device.

Target's holiday sales jump 3.4 percent, much higher than forecast

Sales were up 3.4 percent, beating expectations and boosting the company's share price by 3 percent on Tuesday's news.
Eric Dayton at Askov Finlayson in the North Loop of Minneapolis.

Eric Dayton wants Askov Finlayson to repay 110% of carbon footprint cost

Social-minded outdoor retailer Askov Finlayson is pledging more than $1M to aid the world's climate
Co-owner Brad Glynn pulls a brew in the tap room of Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater in this file photo from April 14, 2011.

Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater wants to double in size

The $10 million expansion would include a taproom able to fit more than 100 people, a special-events space and more.
Joseph Medina

Joseph Medina, veteran and jack of all trades who inspired next generations of Latinos, dies at 103

Joseph H. Medina was hesitant at first when Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office invited him five years ago to come to Washington to tell his story…
Best Buy was able to reopen one of its stores in Puerto Rico on Friday.

Best Buy reopens store in Puerto Rico after months of helping employees recover

More than 100 people lined up outside the store in the Hato Rey neighborhood of San Juan for its grand reopening.
MORE THAN HATS: The “North” brand started by Eric and Andrew Dayton will expand to new clothes and wares during a limited run at Twin Cities Targe

Target teams up with Dayton brothers' Askov Finlayson on 'North' collection

While the founding family of one of Minnesota's biggest corporations hasn't had a direct connection to it in years, the two are joining forces ahead of the Super Bowl.
This Wednesday, May 3, 2017, file photo shows a Target store in Omaha, Neb. Target plans to boost its same-day delivery capability by paying $550 mill

Target buys Shipt for $550 million, expanding same-day delivery

Deal is seen as a move to counter Amazon.
Target is adding a mobile pay feature to its app. (Provided by Target)

Target rolls out mobile wallet to app for Redcard holders

Retailer rolls option into smartphone app instead of joining Apple Pay.
Jillian Stitt reacted to a FurReal Tyler Tiger. Jillian and her husband, Joe, of New Brighton were at a Parents’ Night Out event at Toys ’R’ Us

From Target to Toys 'R' Us, retailers are throwing parties this holiday season

Big-box retailers are concentrating on experiences to help fight the exodus to online shopping.
Shoppers rest at Mall of America on Black Friday. (LEILA NAVIDI/leila.navidi@startribune.com)

Online sales once again peak on Cyber Monday

Online purchases spike 17 percent as holiday shopping season rolls on.
Irene Slaughter-Janneh of Minneapolis rested with her daughter Serreh, 8, while shopping Friday at Mall of America.

Black Friday shoppers fill stores while also staying busy online

The action was greater at stores and malls that were closed on Thursday, but shopping all around was off to a strong start.
The Mall of America holiday decor provided the perfect selfie backdrop for shoppers. An early report had 2,500 people in lines around the mall to get

Shoppers turn out in force as Black Friday rolls into high gear

Even if the kickoff for holiday shopping has lost some of its frenzy, shoppers turned out in force. And it's become a bigger time for online sales.
Rob Bass, Best Buy’s chief supply chain officer, talked Monday with a driver at the firm’s Bloomington distribution center.

Best Buy's distribution centers work around the clock for holiday sprint

It's show time for retailers, whose logistics will soon be tested by a crush of shoppers. Here's an inside look at Best Buy's preparations.
The J.C. Penney store at Rosedale has one of the retailer’s new toy shops. It also has a display of smart home products, electronics and smartwatche

In holiday twist, Best Buy is selling Barbies, while Penney's hawks TVs

Retailers are looking for ways to boost flagging sales and to stop shoppers from flocking to the likes of Amazon.com.
Best Buy said its third-quarter sales were hurt by slower-than-expected purchasing of smartphones.

Best Buy raises its holiday outlook, but not as much as investors hoped

Electronics retailer tempers expectations for holidays after robust summer and autumn.
Investment in stores -- including a newly remodeled location in Richmond, Texas, that is a prototype for the redos -- is one strategy to boost sales f

Target's conservative profit outlook for holiday sends shares tumbling

Target continued to show sales growth for the second quarter in a row while its investments in lowering prices and store remodels took a toll on its bottom line as expected.
Target has been making headway on its strategic road map it unveiled in February aimed at reviving its sputtering business.

Target and Best Buy are looking for a merry buying season

Twin Cities retailers set to report third-quarter results this week, displaying if their momentum continues.
FILE -- Matt Schlenk and Clara Malikowski got help from Best Buy sales clerk Nia Colebrooke on their TV purchase on Thanksgiving Day in 2016.

Best Buy, other retailers launch Black Friday deals early

Best Buy releases ad showing it will spread the discounts of one day across the entire month.
Target is closing 12 stores, including one in Hastings.

Target is closing 12 U.S. stores, including the Hastings store

The stores have been underperforming, the Minneapolis-based retailer said.
On Thanksgiving night in 2016, many shoppers made their way straight to the big screen televisions after doors opened at the Target in Eden Prairie.

Target won't keep stores open all night on Thanksgiving, but some other retailers will

It will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, then close at midnight.
Best Buy customers can shop certain deals with Amazon's Alexa products under a new deal between the companies.

Best Buy partners with Amazon for voice shopping through Alexa

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos promotes retailer's use of voice assistant as holiday shopping season approaches.
The Mall of America will stay closed again this year on Thanksgiving Day and taking a new step in offering holiday pay on Black Friday for the 1,200 w

Mall of America will be closed Thanksgiving, pay OT on Black Friday

Mall of America is part of a growing group of retailers to close on Thanksgiving.
More affordable gifts — like ornaments, books or stuffed animals — for $15 and under are part of Target’s focus for the holiday season this year

Target plans fewer promotions it hopes will pack bigger holiday punch

After a disappointing 2016, the retailer is changing its strategy.
Target CEO Brian Cornell addresses reporters and investors at the Minneapolis-based retailer's new store in Manhattan's Herald Square.

Target to remodel more stores in battle with Amazon, Walmart

With updated stores paying off, Minneapolis retailer boosts how many it will redo.
Jim Morrison (left) and Marvin Segel, co-founders of StarShop, in their company's studio overlooking Times Square.

Former Evine Live executive and partners trying to take over the home shopping business

Evine told group that company is not for sale.
Target's store in Uptown is one of about a dozen new urban stores the retailer is opening this week. There are murals throughout the store including t

Target opening small-format store in Uptown, dozen other places

It's one of the Minneapolis retailer's smaller format stores
Roderick Lindner, Co-Founder of Belgium-based SpotCrowd, made the pitch to the Demo Day crowd at First Avenue on Wednesday night. He’s moving his co

Two startups from Target + Techstars accelerator moving to Minneapolis

Several already have pilot projects in place with Target
Target will begin taking orders from customers who use Google’s voice-activated assistant devices.

Target teams up with Google for voice-assisted shopping and nationwide delivery

The Minneapolis-based retailer is hoping it will capture more online customers through the partnership.
Bite Squad is now in 30 markets.

Bite Squad adds healthy portion to its markets around U.S.

The Minneapolis-born delivery service is now in 30 areas.
Screenshot shows a sample message that a Target customer who uses its new drive-up service will get on their smartphone or mobile device.

Target's test of curbside pickup launches at 50 Twin Cities stores

"Drive Up" service launches at 50 stores in the Twin Cities area.
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