Target Outlines Growth Plans for 2010 and Beyond
Target Corporation is outlining its growth opportunities for the next five to 10 years. Target plans to continue growth within existing stores by investing approximately $1 billion in the renovation of about 340 existing stores, expanding grocery content in general merchandise stores, and enhancing layout, assortment, and “in-store experience” in areas including beauty, home, electronics, and video games. Target also plans to open fewer than 10 additional stores in 2010, and aims to increase that number in 2011 and beyond. Also in the company’s plans is the development of a smaller store format with an “edited merchandise assortment” to meet the needs of those in dense urban markets, and expansion outside the U.S, most likely in Canada, Mexico, or Latin America in three to five years.
Universal Announces Licensing Partners for Despicable Me
Universal Partnerships & Licensing has signed on several new licensing partners for Universal Pictures’ and Illumination Entertainment’s inaugural 3-D CGI feature, Despicable Me. The movie is the studio’s first film from Chris Meledandri (Ice Age, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, Horton Hears a Who!), who produces through his Universal-based family entertainment company, Illumination Entertainment.
The licensees include D3Publisher for a video game; Ceaco for puzzles; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for publishing; Toy Factory for amusement plush; Rubie’s Costume Company for Halloween costumes; Hallmark for stationery/social expression; and Nanco Networks for an iPhone/iPod touch game app. All products are expected to release in stores this summer.
Despicable Me is slated to hit theaters July 9. The film follows Gru (voices by Steve Carell), the world’s second greatest villain as he plans to steal the moon, only to encounter three little orphaned girls who see him as a potential dad.
Hobbico Acquires Estes-Cox
Hobbico, Inc. has acquired Estes-Cox Corporation from a group of investors. Estes, founded 51 years ago, is located in Penrose, Colorado where it operates a manufacturing plant and distribution center. It will continue to operate there as a subsidiary of Hobbico. Estes products include a wide range of flying model rockets in kit and ready-to-fly form, as well as launching systems and miniature solid-propellant rocket motors.
Hobbico is a manufacturer and marketer of model hobby products, including radio controlled models, plastic model kits, trains, and other hobby and toy products. The 100 percent employee-owned company sells products through several subsidiaries including Revell-United Model, Great Planes Model Distributors, and Tower Hobbies.
Wal-Mart Cuts 11,200 Jobs
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has cut about 11, 200 jobs at its Sam’s Club warehouse division, the company says, as it outsources its product-sampling department to marketing company Shopper Events. The move is part of an effort to win more customers and boost lagging sales.
The job cuts represent approximately 10 percent of Sam’s 110,000 staffers across its 600 stores. The terminations happened at mandatory meetings on Sunday morning.
TIA to Exhibit at CHA Convention & Trade Show
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will host a pavilion for toys and youth products during the Craft & Hobby Association’s (CHA) Summer Convention & Trade Show held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center in Rosemont, Ill. from July 27 through 29. The pavilion will feature manufacturers and distributors from TIA’s American International Toy Fair and Fall Toy Preview.
Miffy the Movie to Release in November 2011
Miffy the Movie will premiere at the European Film Market in Berlin. The 70-minute movie is currently in pre-production and is slated to release in November 2011. Miffy, created by Dutch author and illustrator Dick Bruna, will celebrate her 55th birthday this year. The character is the basis for 117 original books, merchandising products such as toys and gifts, television episodes such as the 3-D animated TV series Miffy, and the specials Family Celebrations and Explore the World with Miffy.
In Miffy the Movie, Miffy’s parents set up a treasure hunt, giving Miffy and her friends five clues, one at a time. If they put all the solutions together, Miffy and her friends can solve the treasure hunt. Telescreen Film Productions, a division of Telescreen B.V., is co-producing the movie with Dutch public broadcaster KRO. The executive studio will be A.Film, Denmark known for working on films such as FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Quest for Camelot, and Asterix and the Vikings.
Every Baby Company Appoints Regional Sales Groups
Every Baby Company, creator of the eebee’s adventures line of toys, books, and DVDs, has appointed several regional sales groups to represent the company in the specialty toy, gift, and infant trade channels across the U.S. and Canada.
The sales organizations include: 225 Unlimited (AL, FL,GA,MS, NC, SC,TN); Accentrics (gift only AK, LA, OK, TX); Brian & Co (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT); Carmela Forster (Canada); Casanova Sales. (NY); GB Sales (northern NJ); Goldstein Group (DE, south NJ, PA); Ketz & Assoc.(IA, MN, SD, ND, NE, WI); McManemin&Co (TX, OK, LA, AK); Singer Group (military); Singer & Son Assoc. (KY, MI, OH, WV); Sunshine Sales (CA, HI); Total Toys (IL, IN, KS, MO); and Toyology (AK, ID, OR, WA).