Brian Cornell, who assumed the reins as Chairman and CEO of Target on Aug. 12, told attendees during an Aug. 20 second-quarter earnings conference call about his key strategies moving forward.

“I want to make sure the team is focused on execution, particularly in the holiday season,” Cornell said. “We need to build capabilities focused on satisfying the wants and needs of our guest and ensuring that our digital and store operations operate seamlessly to provide a single superior experience.”

Cornell, 55, replaces former CEO Gregg Steinhafel who stepped down as the brand dealt with the aftermath of a reputation-threatening holiday data breach and difficulties with its Canada stores. John Mulligan served as interim CEO after Steinhafel’s departure.

Cornell was CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, where he oversaw the brand’s snack business, including Frito-Lay North America and Quaker Foods. Cornell also previously served as CEO of Sam’s Club and Michael’s craft stores, and as chief marketing officer at Safeway. He became CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods in March 2012.

Cornell has already met with Target officials in Canada and is working with the leadership team on next year’s strategy.

“While there is a lot of work ahead, I have been blown away by the passion and commitment displayed by team members across the country,” Cornell said. “This team is focused on winning in the marketplace by better serving our guests in both stores and digital channels. I look forward to working with this team to harness their passion and develop the appropriate strategies that position Target for success both today and over time.”

Cornell said he has admired Target from afar for years.

“Even before I accepted the offer to lead this company, I have known and admired Target for multiple perspectives throughout my career,” he explained. “As a vendor partner, I have known Target as a smart, savvy, innovative, ethical, and guest-focused merchandiser. As a competitor, I have known Target as a disciplined, tough, focused retailer. A company that redefined the discount space by delivering outstanding design, world-class fashion, innovative products, at amazing prices.”

Cornell believes Target is an “extraordinary” company.

“I’m excited to join the team as we work to drive U.S. traffic and sales, improve Canadian operations, and accelerate Target’s digital transformation,” he said. “In the coming weeks and months I will be focused on listening and learning from Target team members in the U.S. and Canada, and working with the leadership team to develop guest-focused, strategic plans to position Target for long-run success.”

What’s more, Cornell is “deepening” his understanding of Target’s pipeline of omnichannel innovation.

“While I am very impressed with the progress the team has made recently, including innovations on our mobile platform, subscription service, Cartwheel, and flexible fulfillment, we need to continue to move faster and grow faster than the marketplace,” he said.

Target’s digital sales, including flexible fulfillment, rose more than 30% in the second quarter, approximately double the industry growth rate. Second-quarter U.S. Segment transactions slipped 1.3%, an improvement of one percentage point compared with the first quarter this year.

Canadian Segment sales increased 63.1%, to $449 million from $275 million last year.

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation has 1,925 stores (1,795 in the United States and 130 in Canada) and its Target.com ecommerce site.

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