Target's invasion into Canada continues, but this time, there's a twist. The No. 2 retailer in the U.S. (with firm roots in Minneapolis) will be opening its first stores today in the province of Quebec, which poses some unique challenges as Target expands into a foreign country for the first time.
Unlike the rest of Canada, French trumps English in Quebec, a reflection of the its deep attachment to its Quebecois culture and history.
Target must not only Quebec's strict language laws that require most everything to be French first, but the company must also navigate a populace suspicious of English-speaking foreigners. That requires adjustments -- from advertising to merchandising to displays. Strib's Thomas Lee produced an insightful story about the stakes and complications for Target, as part of his series "Target Goes Global." Check it out:
Just read through Adam Belz's initial report on GDP growth in 2012 among major U.S. metros. Interesting that the San Francisco area was No. 1 (at almost 7%), followed by my hometown of Houston (5%). Is that a reflection of strength within the tech and energy sectors or is there more to it?
Meanwhile, the Twin Cities metro (3.9%) was the fifth-fastest growing among the 20 largest metro economies. Here's the link, in case you missed it earlier:
Household income was flat in 2012, and the poverty rate remained relatively unchanged. But is that good news when the U.S. economy has grown (albeit modestly) for more than 39 consecutive months? Bottom line: U.S. economy won't see a surge in growth until incomes begin to climb, and that starts with making a dent in long-term unemploment. Here's a link to the Census report. Lots of interesting information.
Financial reporter Jennifer Bjorhus alerts that she is working on some news that won’t sit well with Bill Cooper. TCF National Bank has the distinction of being the most complained about bank nationally, when ranked by complaints per billion dollars of deposits. That's according to a new U.S. PIRG study, called “Big Banks, Big Complaints,” that analyzes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new consumer complaints database. Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase top the list in terms of raw number of complaints. Jennifer is working on the story now. Look for it online this afternoon.
in its consumer foods business, notably declines in unit sales volumes.Solid sales growth for packaged foods firms “is a rare asset today,” Ken Goldman, a JP Morgan analyst, wrote in a research report on Tuesday.Before the recession, organic sales in packaged food grew around 5 percent to 6percent per year. Since then, then the figure has been close to 3 percent andsequentially dropping, he wrote.
As for General Mills, Goldman rates the stock as “neutral” since the cereal business “is still a bit sluggish” and the company’s U.S. yogurt division has yet to rebound. Still, Goldman wrote that it sees less risk in General Mills than its “cereal peer” Kellogg, and that the company is “a healthy option for longer-term, more risk averse investors, in our view, who are looking for dividend yield.”General Mills’ stock in late afternoon trading was at $49.87, up 14 cents.