Target’s design scout; also: analyst docks Best Buy, Jolly Green Giant growing, and ex-U.S. Bancorp exec tapped to steer Freddie Mac

How does Target find celebrity designers to rethink items like the dorm-room bean-bag chair? BusinessWeek profiles the company’s design scout, a New York firm called Culture & Commerce. It’s modeled after a Hollywood talent agency, acting as a “matchmaker and guardian angel” for forward-thinking designers like Sami Hayek, whose $20 bedsheets have been a hit at Target.

A Piper Jaffray analyst has lowered his rating for Best Buy’s stock from “buy” to “neutral,” the Associated Press reports. Mitchell A. Kaiser says the company is “well-managed,” but margins in the home theater department are dropping because of a glut of large, flat-panel TVs. The laws of supply and demand are expected to drive down prices through the holidays, which would hurt profits.

The Jolly Green Giant is growing. The Eden Prairie company that owns the brand is stretching the giant and his valley to fill the upper one-third of its packages, according to the company. The Sholl Group says the Jolly Green Giant is recognized by 96 percent of consumers and delivers first-rate “shop-ability,” whatever that means.

The man tapped to run Freddie Mac is a former U.S. Bancorp executive, the Pioneer Press’ Nicole Garrison-Sprenger reports. David Moffett was the longtime chief financial officer for U.S. Bancorp. He left the company in 2007 for a position with the Carlyle Group. “He’s ethical, he’s straightforward and he doesn’t play games,” says a former CEO who worked with Moffett at U.S. Bank.

Do you have an inside scoop or news tip about a Minnesota company? Spotted something interesting in your RSS reader? Drop Business Agenda a note at dhaugen [at] minnpost [dot] com.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply