E*Trade Aims at Target Shoppers

Online financial services firm E*Trade and discount retailer Target Corp. are continuing their co-marketing efforts, announcing this week a deal to roll out branded financial service centers in SuperTarget stores nationwide.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Through the deal, E*Trade will set up banking and stock-trading centers — called E*Trade Zones — in 20 SuperTargets, which are combined grocery and department stores. In-store signage will drive traffic to the centers.

Ideally, the company is hoping to gain customers from the presence in SuperTarget — which gives E*Trade access to tens of thousands of shoppers daily. The deal builds on an earlier test in a Roswell, Ga., SuperTarget store in September.

Currently, Minneapolis-based Target operates 30 SuperTarget stores in 12 states. The planned Zone sites include existing SuperTarget stores in Birmingham and Trussville, Ala., Superior, Colo. and Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Hurst and Watauga, Texas. Twelve additional SuperTargets are scheduled to open in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and Nebraska in 2001.

“The amount of traffic the Zone has seen in the past five months has been tremendous, and the expansion into 20 additional E*Trade Zones gives E*Trade an important new distribution platform to market our ever expanding line of investing and banking services,” said Michael Sievert, chief sales and marketing officer at E*Trade. “This concept provides Target guests the convenience of a branded physical presence, while maximizing cost efficiencies for E*Trade.”

The E*Trade Zones aren’t the only joint marketing effort by the companies. An agreement between the two companies in 2000 established a co-branded Web site, aimed at promoting E*Trade to Target and Target.com customers. The two also offer discounts to Target shoppers that open E*Trade Bank or securities trading accounts.

“We anticipate that guests at these additional 20 SuperTarget stores will embrace this concept,” said Target vice chairman Jerry Storch. “We have always believed strongly in the union of physical stores and the Internet, and the E*Trade Zone at Target is one more example of this strategy at work. “When we launched the [Roswell, Ga. test] last year, we did so in an effort to complement, strengthen and enhance the financial services we already offered our guests through the Target Guest Card. The success of that Zone indicates that our guests value Target as a financial services partner and destination.”

E*Trade is also making strides in promoting itself outside of traditional advertising — where it’s received considerable scrutiny in the past. From August to September, regulators from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Association of Securities Dealers required E*Trade to submit its television broadcast ads to NASD regulators for approval before their release.

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