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7 million candles recalled for fire risk

More than 7 million candles are being recalled because of concerns the cup holding the candle could melt or catch fire. Get the full story »

Target giving away 1M reusable bags Sunday

On Sunday, Target will give away 1 million reusable bags in celebration of Earth Day. The 100 percent recyclable Tyvek totes will be in Target stores nationwide while supplies last, which is not expected to be very long. Get the full story »

Target eyes Cabrini-Green for new store

Target Corp., the cheap-chic discount chain, is in talks with the Chicago Housing Authority to build a store at the site of the former Cabrini-Green Housing Project. Get the full story »

Carson’s parent sues Freed over missed payment

The former Carson Pirie Scott building on State Street. (Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune)

Carson Pirie Scott’s corporate parent is suing Joseph Freed and Associates, accusing the developer of breach of contract for missing a $3 million payment promised to the retailer for exiting its flagship State Street store in 2007.

McRIL LLC, an entity associated with Carson parent Bon-Ton Stores Inc., claimed in a lawsuit filed Friday in a Chicago federal court that Freed and One South State Street LLC missed the final payment of a $22 million lease termination fee that was due March 1. Get the full story »

Target typically undercuts Wal-Mart on prices

Shoppers at a Target on Elston Ave. in December. (Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune)

Wal-Mart’s slogan may be “Save Money. Live Better,” but rival Target is challenging it by offering even lower prices on everyday products.

Two recent price comparisons of grocery and household goods revealed that Target’s prices are lower than at No. 1 retailer Wal-Mart.

Craig Johnson, president of retail consulting firm Customer Growth Partners, compared 35 brand-name items sold at Wal-Mart and Target stores in New York, Indiana and North Carolina. They consisted of 22 common grocery goods such as milk, cereal and rice; 10 general merchandise products such as clothing and home furnishings; and three health and beauty items. Get the full story »

Wal-Mart in its worst-ever sales slump

Shoppers wait in line to pay for their purchases at a Wal-Mart store. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty)

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is in the midst of its worst U.S. sales slump ever. The world’s largest retailer said today sales at its U.S. discount stores open at least a year fell 1.8 percent during the chain’s most important quarter.

The world’s largest retailer earned $5.02 billion, or $1.41 per share, up from $4.82 billion, or $1.26 per share, a year earlier.

Wal-Mart’s struggles are the result of a misstep: To jump-start lethargic growth and counter the rise of competitors such as cheap-chic rival Target Corp., executives veered away from the winning formula of late founder Sam Walton to provide “every day low prices” to the American working class. Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer by sales, instead raised prices on some items while promoting deals on others. Get the full story »

Target to open in old Carson’s building

Outside the former Carson Pirie Scott building on State Street. (Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune)

Target Corp. announced on Tuesday long-anticipated plans to open a store in Chicago’s Loop.

The store, called City Target, will lease space in the Sullivan Center at 1 S. State St., which has been empty since Carson Pirie Scott closed its flagship department store in 2007.

Target plans to open the store next year. The urban format, smaller than the typical Target store, will offer fresh food, apartment essentials and clothing. It will mark the Minneapolis-based discount chain’s 10th store in Chicago and create about 200 jobs.
Get the full story »

Starbucks letting customers pay with cell phones

Starbucks Corp. will allow customers at U.S. company-operated stores to use some smartphones to pay for their purchases in an effort to drive sales.

Customers with Research in Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry or Apple Inc.’s iPhone or iPod touch will be able to pay using a Starbuck card mobile app at nearly 6,800 company-operated stores and 1,000 Starbucks in U.S. Target Corp. locations. Get the full story »

Report: Target close to deal for former Carson’s

From the Chicago Sun-Times | Target is in the final stages of talks for a deal to anchor the former Carson Pirie Scott store at 1 S. State, a Chicago landmark designed by Louis Sullivan. Target has been interested in the old Carson’s building, now called Sullivan Center, for months. Two sources said a lease is close to be completed, but details could not be learned. Get the full story>>

Target joins Shopkick deals program

Target has joined a list of major retailers offering discounts and perks to consumers who use a mobile app called Shopkick. The iPhone app allows users to collect points called “kickbucks” for checking into stores, scanning products and participating in special promotions. The points can be redeemed for gift cards at the retailers and other items such as music downloads. Get the full story »

Target makes cashiers hand-process coupons

Shoppers at a Target in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Coale/File)

By Gregory Karp | Target in recent days has apparently issued a new store policy that requires cashiers to hand-process customer coupons, following media reports that the discounter was shortchanging its customers nationwide. It promised a permanent fix within 10 days.

The mass merchandiser, with about 1,750 stores in the United States, for months has been crediting customers for only a fraction of the face value of certain manufacturer coupons. One of the biggest problems involved coupons that required purchasing multiple items.

In a Tribune story published Oct. 28 that was reprinted nationwide, a Target spokeswoman faulted the stores’ scanning machines and said the company was working on a fix. Get the full story »

Target shortchanges shoppers with certain coupons

Shoppers at a Target in Falls Church, Va., May 28, 2010. (Reuters)

Shoppers at a Target in Falls Church, Va., May 28, 2010. (Reuters)

By Gregory Karp | Target Corp., the mass merchandiser with about 1,750 stores nationwide, for months has been shortchanging its customers who use certain manufacturers’ coupons by crediting them for a fraction of their face value.

Target is calling it a computer glitch. Avid coupon users are calling it an outrage. Get the full story »

Nestle recalls Raisinets over peanut risk

Nestle USA is recalling some packages of Nestle Raisinets that may contain peanuts, putting those with an allergy at risk if they consume them. Get the full story »

Sam’s Club to sell Apple’s iPad and iPhone

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s warehouse unit Sam’s Club will sell Apple’s iPad and iPhone.

The world’s largest retailer said at an investor meeting in Wednesday it is expanding Sam’s Club electronics and jewelry sections and will carry the popular tablet computer. Get the full story »

Wal-Mart to start selling iPads

Wal-Mart Stores will start selling Apple’s iPad tablet computer this Friday.

Wal-Mart said the iPad will be available in hundreds of its stores in the United States to start, expanding to more than 2,300 outlets by mid-November.

Wal-Mart rivals Best Buy and Target are already selling the iPad, which Apple launched in April. Get the full story »