• US department store retailer Target Corp is working to be America's easiest place to shop.
  • According to CEO Brian Cornell, this means blending the best of its physical and digital assets to create new experiences and re-imagining its network of stores into hubs for commerce and community.
  • The company says it is to expand its suite of fulfilment options, almost triple the size of its remodel programme, and accelerate the rate at which it introduces new brands to its portfolio.
The Minneapolis-based company is working to be America’s easiest place to shop

The Minneapolis-based company is working to be America’s easiest place to shop

US department store retailer Target Corp has outlined a series of initiatives as part of its multi-year strategy, including expanding its suite of fulfillment options, almost tripling the size of its remodel programme, and accelerating the rate at which it introduces new brands to its portfolio.

The Minneapolis-based company is working to be "America's easiest place to shop". According to CEO Brian Cornell, this means blending the best of its physical and digital assets to create new experiences for guests and re-imagining its network of stores into hubs for commerce and community.

Last year, Target revealed a new financial model, promising an overhaul of stores, digital channels and supply chain, alongside the introduction of more than a dozen new brands.

Since then the retailer has launched a host of private label apparel brands, including A New Day, Goodfellow & Co, JoyLab, and, most recently, Universal Thread – a denim-based women's lifestyle brand.

It has also acquired Grand Junction, a transportation software start-up, in a move designed to help the retailer make faster and more efficient deliveries and boost ongoing efforts to transform its supply chain.

And Target has also stepped up its commitment to responsible sourcing with a series of initiatives, including new sustainable sourcing goals, its first Chemical Strategy, sustainable packaging goals, a new climate policy,  and a pledge to source 100% sustainable cotton by 2022 for its owned and exclusive apparel brands.

Now, the retailer says it is increasing its efforts.

"Target has been on a multi-year journey to modernise every dimension of our enterprise, and in 2018, you will see us accelerate our pace," adds Cornell. "You can expect us to continue to invest in our team as our greatest differentiator, and introduce and scale new experiences, services and brands, all in service to our guests."

This year, the retailer will expand Drive Up - its fastest Target Run option - to nearly a thousand stores nationwide. Available through the Target app, Drive Up allows guests to have their online orders brought out to their cars by a store team member within a couple minutes after arriving at the store.

It has also announced free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items on Target.com with no membership required—an offer available when guests use their Target REDcard or spend more than US$35.

And the retailer is to expand its service that lets guests shop select urban stores then have their order delivered the same day for a flat fee, and its overnight essentials delivery service to cover 40 markets by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Target says it will nearly triple the size of its remodel programme, updating more than 300 stores around the country with elements of its next-generation store design. This includes sizeable investments in large metro areas like Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul and New York.

And 30 new locations are on the agenda, the majority of which will be small-format stores in urban and dense suburban neighbourhoods and near college campuses.

While based on the positive response to its new brands, Target says it will accelerate the introduction of additional exclusive brands across its portfolio in the coming years. 

It has announced this week it has also joined forces with British heritage brand Hunter to bring exclusive versions of the company's iconic rain boots, protective outerwear, and backpacks to Target in mid-April.

The retailer will also raise its minimum hourly wage to $12 in 2018, part of a previously announced commitment to raising it to $15 by the end of 2020.