September 16, 2017 Comments Closed

Magnolia, Target partnership; L3 mum on buyouts; Gas prices dip; Mars candy fighting climate change

Posted by:Jonathon Lopez onSeptember 16, 2017

Original article by Mike Copeland of

The brand of “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines continues to grow, with retailing giant Target announcing it will launch Hearth & Hand with Magnolia, a 300-item collection of home and lifestyle merchandise.

“The collection reflects a modern take on Magnolia’s signature aesthetic with modern, classic, industrial and vintage touches,” a news release on the Target website states, adding most items are priced under $30.

Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Target, said he believes customers will love the “modern farmhouse collection” that will arrive in stores on Nov. 5, in time for the holidays.

Each purchase will benefit more than the bottom line of Target and the Gaineses, but also communities and families in need.

To kick off the partnership, Magnolia will work with Target House at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to redesign their dining room in time for holiday gatherings.

Target House provides free long-term housing for St. Jude patients and their families, said the Target release.

Though most items sell for less than $30, items actually range in price from 99 cents to $129.99, said Target, adding more information about the collaboration with Chip and Joanna Gaines is available at

The line will include “everyday products” such as table and wall decor.

“Unlike some designers’ one-time-only collaboration with the superstore, the ‘Fixer Upper’ stars’ partnership is not a limited run. The endeavor will last multiple years and seasons,” Target said.

Target hiring

Speaking of Target, the retailer also announced it will recruit 100,000 seasonal employees and an additional 4,500 staffers for its distribution and fulfillment centers, according to its website.

Target hired 70,000 seasonal workers last year, and 7,500 for distribution.

All of Target’s more than 1,800 stores will hold hiring events Oct. 13 through Oct. 15.

Part of the hiring increase is due to Target needing more employees to fulfill online orders through its order-pickup service.

Anyone calling the Target Greatland store in Waco will hear a recording about hiring plans and online locations for applying.

Mars pledge

Mars, the world’s largest chocolate maker, which has a plant in Waco that produces nearly all Snickers products for the U.S. market, recently pledged a staggering amount of money to fight climate change. reported Sept. 6 that Mars will invest $1 billion over the next few years in renewable energy, food sourcing, cross-industry action groups and farmers, according to the Fortune story.

“The company has previously taken steps in its efforts to become more sustainable, and wind farms in Texas and Scotland already generate enough to power U.S. and U.K. Mars operations,” the story said. “In the new announcement, Mars pledged to add wind and solar farms to another nine countries by 2018. It also promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent by 2025 and 67 percent by 2050.”

Mars is a $35 billion company, according to the report.

L3 mum on separations

L3 Aeorspace Systems, which includes the 1,400-employee facility in Waco, recently announced it was offering “voluntary separation” to several groups of employees at its Crestview Aerospace, Mission Integration and Platform Integration divisions, with Waco falling into Platform Integration.

“This offer is part of a broader effort to lower costs to a leaner structure and improve operating efficiencies within the segment, while ensuring that the business remain competitive,” an L3 statement said.

The deadline to apply for voluntarily leaving the company was Aug. 31, but L3 spokesman Lance Martin has declined on several occasions to comment on the number of staffers who accepted the offer and whether the voluntary departures represent a prelude to layoffs.

He said this is a human resources matter that will remain confidential for now.

Martin said he also has been instructed not to discuss any L3 projects continuing at the affected L3 sites, including Waco.

Gas prices dip

Gas prices across the state are falling for the first time since Hurricane Harvey ripped across the Gulf Coast, disrupting refining operations.

The auto club AAA Texas reported Thursday the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded had slipped to $2.52, two cents less than the previous Thursday.

Of the metropolitan areas surveyed, Dallas drivers were paying the most at $2.61 per gallon, while Amarillo drivers were paying the least at $2.36 per gallon.

The national average stood at $2.65.

In Greater Waco, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded stood at $2.48 on Thursday, a penny less than the $2.49 a week earlier.

“There is not a gasoline shortage in the U.S., but instead localized challenges, including power outages, impassable roads and debris in Florida, which was hit by Hurricane Irma,” said AAA spokesman Daniel Armbruster. “Total U.S. gasoline stocks sit above the five-year average.”

Storage units

A 51,000-square-foot building at 225-315 North Industrial Drive, near Lake Air and Waco drives, has changed hands, and the new owner plans to place there 500 climate-controlled storage units.

“I think it will make a great fit for that area,” said Nathan Embry, with KW Commercial: Harrell Associates, who brokered the deal.

He said the asking price was $1.45 million, but the buyer paid a little less, adding the structure will carry the name Ideal Storage.

©2001-2017 Harrell & Associates - KW Commercial, Central Texas. All rights reserved.