Target Executives on Retail Company Store Redesign

  • Target controversially chose to spend $ 7 billion on reorganizing store operations across the country in 2017.
  • Laurie Mahowald, vice president of real estate at Target, and Stephanie Lundquist, executive vice president of food and beverage, both spoke at this year’s Groceryshop conference in Las Vegas.
  • Target executives agreed that focusing on brick-and-mortar retail has also helped the brand achieve results in digital fulfillment.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

LAS VEGAS – Target lost $ 7 billion in a chain-wide overhaul of operations two years ago. In 2017, CEO Brian Cornell announced that the chain would inject investments into things like small-format locations in urban areas, store remodeling projects, team members and owned brands.

Skeptical of the firm’s decision to pour money into physical rather than clear e-commerce, Wall Street slumped shares in the wake of the announcement.

But, according to the two Target executives who spoke at the second annual Groceryshop in Las Vegas on Sunday, the massive spending campaign has paid off in a major way.

“We are really excited to see the results we just released,” said Laurie Mahowald, Vice President of Real Estate at Target. “And 2018 was the best year we’ve had in over a decade.”

In her opening remarks later today, Target’s Executive Vice President of Food and Beverage, Stephanie Lundquist, described the chain’s strategy as a decision to “reinforce some of the things our customers are saying. love about Target, like our own brands, our stores and our team. “

Mahowald spoke during a panel with Rachel Elias Wein, founder of real estate strategy firm WeinPlus, and Nick Hodge, vice president of corporate real estate at Kroger. The Target executive said the chain would have undergone 1,000 store remodels by the end of 2020.

Read more: Target executive who masqueraded as a researcher to interview unsuspecting shoppers describes how their brutally honest comments helped the company improve its grocery game

While investors initially feared doubling physical locations would be a losing bet, Mahowald said the investments have helped transform stores into “mini distribution centers” capable of responding to digital orders.

“The store is at the center of our strategy,” she said, when it comes to in-store and digital shopping experiences.

Mahowald also touched on the part of the $ 7 billion investment that went to increase product offerings in different categories.

“We want to improve the in-store experience for our customers through better assortment, redesigning the food and beverage area, home, clothing, fixtures and lighting,” she said.

Lundquist echoed Mahowald’s remarks, specifically mentioning Target’s new food brand, Good and Gather, as well as its policy of requiring “rigorous testing” with respect to its food products.

“From Target’s perspective, we’re doing amazing things in beverages, remodels, small formats, and new execution options… building a team, rebuilding our processes and launching Good and Gather,” said Lundquist. “All of these things help an iconic brand to truly innovate in such an important part of our business and in the American retail landscape as a whole. “

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Anne G. Cash