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Target buys, CHEFS Catalog


MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. has purchased two online retailers of cooking equipment in a move designed to expand its cooking and kitchenware business, said the mass merchandise retailer, which has lately made major investments in multichannel retailing.

Target announced the purchase of and CHEFS Catalog, both of which will continue to operate under their current names as a single, wholly owned subsidiary of Target. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

"We are excited to bring CHEFS and into the Target family," Target SVP enterprise strategy and president of multichannel Casey Carl said. "We know consumers are increasingly looking online for cooking solutions to make their lives easier — from utensils and cookware to recipes. These strategic transactions provide us a great way to address this growing opportunity and will offer expanded online options for our guests."

CHEFS president and CEO Tim Littleton will become president of the subsidiary, reporting to Carl, while CEO and co-founder Tracy Randall will become a consultant to Target.

"We're delighted to be a part of the Target organization," Littleton said. "CHEFS has grown and thrived online by offering a well-edited selection of leading kitchen tools, gadgets and accessories. Combined with and their strong Powered By partnerships, their vast array of recipes and user-driven product ratings and reviews, we believe we're well-positioned to provide an even richer online experience for our collective customers."

In a call with analysts in late February to discuss the company's fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012 earnings, the company said its planned announcements in supply chain and technology, including multichannel, would equal investments in stores themselves. Earlier this month, Target announced a partnership with Fast Company magazine to sponsor a competition to develop a new mobile experience for the retailer to coincide with the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. Mobile purchases constitute more than 7% of the company's sales, while mobile traffic constitutes more than 25% of overall digital traffic.


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