Target announces launch of its curated, third-party marketplace, Target+ – TechCrunch

Target this morning announced Target+, a new initiative designed to expand the assortment on with merchandise from third-party sellers. But unlike with Walmart and Amazon’s marketplaces, Target is taking a more curated approach as to how sellers will be added to its program. The retailer says it’s starting with “thoughtfully selected” additions in areas like home, toys, electronics and sporting goods.

While any seller can apply to join Amazon or Walmart’s marketplace, there’s no such process for joining Target+. Instead, Target explains that each partner is “carefully selected” and then invited into the program – a move it hopes will help keep quality high.

At launch, guests will be able to discover an expanded array of running shoes, outdoor décor, patio accessories, a bigger selection of STEM learning toys, new musical instruments, and baseball gear from both national and speciality sellers, says Target. Some of the current sellers include: SVSportsMizunoKaplan Early Learning CompanySerenity Health & Home Décor and Music123.

Over time, more products and sellers will be added, as Target learns more about guest needs.

Offering only a curated selection means Target+ won’t face the same struggles as other retailers when it comes to policing their third-party marketplaces for offensive content – like the racist merchandise found on Amazon, for instance; the toilet seat covers featuring holy text, politically charged and controversial apparel; and other items. Because these marketplaces are so large, offensive or just generally questionable or odd merchandise repeatedly surfaces, resulting in bad PR for the marketplace’s host, like Amazon, Walmart or eBay.

Target will avoid this issue by way of its curation, but it will come at the expense of having a larger third-party assortment.

Target+ merchandise will also be integrated into the site within the appropriate categories, so the items can be discovered through both browsing and search. There’s no way to just search for “Target+” items.

In addition, shoppers will have the same perks when buying from third parties as they do when buying from Target’s own assortment, including 5 percent off when using their Target REDcard, free shipping, and in-store returns.

Before Target+, a portion of Target’s assortment was shipped directly from third-party vendors, but guests were purchasing the items from Target. With Target+, products are purchased and shipped from the third-party vendors.

“Guests look to Target for great products. With Target +, we aim to give them easy access to even more great products by partnering with best-in-class specialty and national brands that will help guests save and get more done in just one stop to,” said Rick Gomez, Target’s chief marketing officer and digital officer, in a statement.

The launch of Target+ follows Walmart’s recent announcement that it would expand its 2-day shipping program to the millions of products offered by its own marketplace sellers, to better compete with Fulfillment by Amazon, which allows sellers to make their items available on Prime. And, like Target, Walmart aims to leverage its brick-and-mortar stores for third-party merchandise returns.

Both moves put Amazon at more of a disadvantage, as its brick-and-mortar footprint is limited to its Whole Foods stores, and various bookstores and other shops in urban metros. Walmart, on the other hand, has 140 million weekly in-store customers, and says 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store.

Target, meanwhile, has 1,850 retail stores in the U.S. compared with roughly 475 Whole Foods stores in the U.S., and over 4,700 Walmart locations in the U.S. (excluding Sam’s Club.)

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Bitcoin Pushes Past $4,100 as Top Cryptos See Major Gains – Cointelegraph

Sunday, Feb. 24 — the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting major gains on the day to press time. Bitcoin (BTC) broke the $4,150 mark again, according to Coin360 data.

Market visualization

Market visualization from Coin360

At press time, Bitcoin is up nearly 3 percent on the day, trading at around $4,100, according to CoinMarketCap data. Looking at its weekly chart, the current price is about 13 percent higher than $3,632, the price at which Bitcoin started the week.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Leading derivatives market CME Group tweeted on Feb. 21 that the recent surge in Bitcoin’s price lead to record Bitcoin futures volumes on Feb. 19, with over 18 thousand contracts traded.

Ethereum (ETH) is holding its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which by press time is over $16.3 billion. The second-largest altcoin, Ripple (XRP), has a market cap of about $13.5 billion.

ETH is up by a little under 5 percent over the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. At press time, ETH is trading around $155, after having started the day at $148. On its weekly chart, Ethereum has seen its value increase almost 23 percent from $126, the price at which the coin started the week.

Ethereum 7-day price chart

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple has gained 4.42 percent in the 24 hours to press time and is currently trading at around $0.33. On its weekly chart, the coin gained almost 9 percent from $0.30, the price at which XRP started the week.

Ripple 7-day price chart

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the ones experiencing the most notable growth are Ontology (ONT) and Neo (NEO), both up about 14 percent on the day to press time.

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies hit a multi-month high of almost $144 billion today, before dropping down to $139.5 billion by press time.

Total market cap of all cryptos 3-month chart

Total market cap of all cryptos 3-month chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

The team behind Ontology announced yesterday that the Ontology Development Platform was released on the Google Cloud Platform Marketplace. This, according to the announcement, makes Ontology “one of the first public blockchains to have a development platform on the leading cloud provider marketplaces: Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure.”

As Cointelegraph reported today, Liechtenstein-based Bank Frick is launching an institutional cryptocurrency trading platform subsidiary, DLT Markets.

Earlier this week, news broke that the Russian State Duma (the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia) plans to review and adopt new cryptocurrency regulation in March and that the country’s former Energy Minister, Igor Yusufov, is also proposing an oil-backed cryptocurrency.

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Stocks To Watch: Food For Thought – Seeking Alpha

Welcome to Seeking Alpha’s Stocks to Watch – a preview of key events scheduled for the next week. Follow this account and turn the e-mail alert on to receive this article in your inbox every Saturday morning.

Once again U.S.-China trade talks will be watched closely as reports filter in on a possible meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in late March. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell won’t be laying low next week, with appearances scheduled before the Senate Banking Committee on February 26 and the House committee on February 27 for semiannual testimony. Economic events to keep an eye on next week include housing starts and consumer confidence on February 26 to be followed by factory orders and international trade on February 27. The headliner of the week could be the GDP report due out on February 28. Due to the government shutdown, the report is a combination of the first and second GDP releases, with only one subsequent revision to trail behind. Economists expect Q4 GDP to come in at +2.4% in a deceleration from the +3.4% growth recorded in Q3. Finally, there is the question of what to expect out of Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) and gang. Major food companies were supposed to be on the mend in 2019, with M&A potential running up and down the sector. Kraft’s 27% plunge and drops in Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB), Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ), J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM), B&G Foods (NYSE:BGS), Kellogg (NYSE:K), ConAgra Brands (NYSE:CAG), Post Holdings (NYSE:POST) and Hostess Brands (NASDAQ:TWNK) have reset that thinking. What’s next?

Notable earnings reports: Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), Tenneco (NYSE:TEN) and Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK) on February 25; Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW), Macy’s (NYSE:M), Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA), Papa John’s International (NASDAQ:PZZA), IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) and AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) on February 26; Square (NYSE:SQ), Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG), Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) on February 27; Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK), Workday (NYSE:WDAY), VMware (NYSE:VMW), Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD), (NASDAQ:JD) and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) on February 28; Foot Locker (NYSE:FL), Portola Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PTLA) and Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) on March 1. See Seeking Alpha’s Earnings Calendar for the complete list of earnings reporters.

IPO activity: The quiet period expiration on New Fortress Energy (NASDAQ:NFE) ends on February 25. Kaleido Biosciences (KLDO) and Super League Gaming (SLGG) are expected to price their IPOs on February 27.

Projected dividend changes (quarterly): Best Buy (BBY) to $0.51 from $0.45, Danaher (NYSE:DHR) to $0.18 from $0.16, Eaton Corp (NYSE:ETN) to $0.75 from $0.66, Home Depot (HD) to $1.13 from $1.03, Linde (NYSE:LIN) to $0.8625 from $0.825, Altria (NYSE:MO) to $0.85 from $0.80, TJX (NYSE:TJX) to $0.21 from $0.195, Willis Towers (NASDAQ:WLTW) to $0.67 from $0.60, Amerisafe (NASDAQ:AMSF) to $0.23 from $0.22, Chico’s FAS (NYSE:CHS) to $0.0875 from $0.085, Carter’s (NYSE:CRI) to $0.49 from $0.45, Dick’s Sporting (NYSE:DKS) to $0.2475 from $0.225, Havertys (NYSE:HVT) to $0.20 from $0.18, MGP Ingredients (NASDAQ:MGPI) to $0.09 from $0.08, Maiden Holdings (NASDAQ:MHLD) to $0.03 from $0.05, Nabors (NYSE:NBR) to $0.01 from $0.06, Old Republic (NYSE:ORI) to $0.1975 from $0.195, Silgan (NASDAQ:SLGN) to $0.11 from $0.10, EW Scripps (NASDAQ:SSP) to $0.55 from $0.05, Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) to $0.55 from $0.52, Taubman Centers (NYSE:TCO) to $0.685 from $0.655.

Oscars for Apple?: Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) looks to land a major win at the Academy Awards on Sunday night with Roma seen as a leading contender in the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress categories. While that would be a big development for the streamer, there is something even more intriguing going on in Hollywood. Media moguls like Barry Diller are calling the reign of the major studios over amid the Netflix crush just as Wall Street firms such as Wedbush are suggesting the time is right for a media acquisition by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). “We believe now it is crystal clear that to drive a successful content streaming service Apple needs to get aggressive on M&A and accelerate the company’s services push and ultimately enable the company to better monetize its installed base with a standalone video subscription service,” writes analyst Dan Ives. Wedbush sees studio/content plays such as A24 Studio, Lionsgate (NYSE:LGF.A), Viacom/CBS (NYSE:CBS), Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE), MGM Studios and Netflix as the most logical acquisition candidates.

U.S. auto sales: Some automakers are scheduled to report February U.S. sales numbers on March 1. Edmunds expects sales to drop 2.2% Y/Y during the month to 1.271M units. Fleet transactions are anticipated to account for 20% of all sales. “Record-high interest rates and rising average transaction prices are what’s really putting pressure on the market and keeping car shoppers at bay so far in 2019,” according to analyst Jeremy Acevedo. Edmunds forecast by automaker – General Motors (NYSE:GM) -5.8% to 208K, Ford (NYSE:F) -0.8% to 192K, Toyota (NYSE:TM) -3.0% to 177K, Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) -1.9% to 163K, Honda (NYSE:HMC) -1.4% to 114K, Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) -12.9% to 113K, Hyundai/Kia (OTCPK:HYMLF) +0.6% to 87K, Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY) -3.3% to 41K, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) 19,644K units.

Analyst/investor meetings: JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) will hold an Investor Day event in New York City on February 26, with presentations given by CEO Jamie Dimon and members of the executive management team. Shares of JPM are up 8% YTD. Avandgrid (NYSE:AGR) also has an investor day on February 26, while Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) has an event scheduled for February 27.

M&A tidbits: Shareholders at Western Gas Partners (NYSE:WES) and Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP) are due to vote on their planned merger on February 27. Sparton (NYSE:SPA) shareholders will vote on the takeover offer from Cerberus on March 1. Shares of Sparton closed at $18.45 on Friday vs. the $18.50 offer price from Cerberus.

FDA watch: A meeting of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee is set for February on Karyopharm Therapeutics’ (NASDAQ:KPTI) selinexor NDA. Karyopharm fell 40% on Friday after the Ad Com briefing docs were released. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb testifies before a House Appropriations Committee subcommittee hearing on February 27 in an appearance that could have some relevance for Juul (JUUL) and Altria (MO). Adamis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ADMP) is expected hear on March 1 if its naloxone pre-filled syringe NDA for opioid overdose has been accepted by FDA for review.

Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference: The huge TMT meeting runs in San Francisco from February 26 to March 1. Companies scheduled to present include Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU), Avalara (NYSE:AVLR), Cinemark Holdings (NYSE:CNK), Fitbit (FIT), Gopro (NASDAQ:GPRO), Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN), Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP), Carbon Black (NASDAQ:CBLK), Snap (NYSE:SNAP), Viacom (NYSE:VIA), Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN), MongoDB (NASDAQ:MDB), Five9 (NASDAQ:FIVN), Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR), AT&T (NYSE:T), TripAdvisor (TRIP), Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), New York Times (NYSE:NYT), Cognizant (NASDAQ:CTSH), Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), Redfin (NASDAQ:RDFN), Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Crown Castle (NYSE:CCI), Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT), Vonage (NYSE:VG), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Twilio (NYSE:TWLO), FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO) and Western Digital (NYSE:WDC).

60 Minutes: The weekly news show is profiling the Chinese EV industry in a segment that includes Nio (NYSE:NIO). Shares of Nio raced 6.9% higher late on Friday on expectations that the EV automaker will be profiled favorably. Tesla (TSLA), which just delivered Model 3 in China, is also likely to be mentioned.

Drug data: Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT) hosts a conference call on February 27 to discuss results from the first 3-patient cohort of the phase I/IIa gene transfer clinical trial using MYO-101 to treat patients with Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2E (beta-sarcoglycanopathy).

Drones: New U.S. drone regulations take effect next week. All civilian drones will have to be registered and marked with an external identifier assigned by the FAA. The new regs will be watched by GoPro (GPRO) and DJII Innovations (DJII).

Box office: Universal’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is expected to bring in $44M during its opening weekend. The film is the first DreamWorks Animation release since the animation studio was acquired in 2016 for $3.8B. The film is already off to a strong start internationally.

Barron’s mentions: Altria (MO) is identified as the most attractive of the sin stocks due to its strong dividend. Altria has generated a compounded return of 19% over the last 30 years to top the S&P 500 Index by a full eight points. WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) is seen as a long-term earnings story due to its impressive track record of growing organically and through M&A. There is also a case made for NextEra Energy [NEE] and Duke Energy [DUK], with both companies seen as well positioned to benefit from the shift toward renewable energy. What to do with Nvidia (NVDA)? “Nvidia’s fortunes are dependent on its PC-gaming graphic-card business, which has generated the vast majority of the company’s sales and profits over the years,” observes Tae Kim. “Nvidia’s growth is unlikely to markedly improve until it releases a new round of chips, which could be two years down the line,” he adds.

Sources: CNBC, Nasdaq, EDGAR, Reuters, Box Office Mojo, Bloomberg

Editor’s Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.


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