Merchant Innovation

Target Shakes Up Store Leadership Side

Managing the in-store experience is more crucial in 2016 than any retailer could have imagined just 10 years ago, and with such a dramatic change in the retail landscape, shakeups to executive boards usually aren’t far behind.

Target announced Monday (Jan. 4) that it had promoted Janna Potts, previously senior vice president of human resources, to the position of chief stores officer and executive vice president. Tina Tyler, the former CSO and almost 30-year Target veteran, has left the company without many details, but COO John Mulligan is confident that Potts will be able to continue the aggressive transformation of the Target brand.

“Janna has been a tremendous leader at Target and we believe she will be a tremendous asset to the team, the company and, ultimately, our guests in this role,” Mulligan said in a statement. “As we continue to focus on offering our guests a seamless, uniquely Target shopping experience, we believe Janna’s strategic leadership, expertise in managing complex organizations, and her dedication to the team make her well suited for the opportunities ahead.”

The Wall Street Journal explained that it might be best to view Potts’ ascension as another example of CEO Brian Cornell’s ongoing attempts to bring Target into the 21st century of retail without losing its affordability that its customers have grown to love. Both Tyler and former chief merchant Kathee Tesija were hired or promoted by ex-CEO Gregg Steinhafel, so Potts’ promotion could be as simple as a new CEO surrounding himself with subordinates whom he personally knows and trusts.

CBS Minnesota reported that Target’s stock enjoyed a slight boost as the news broke Monday, with an increase of 23 cents to $72.84 during the morning. If Potts can prove her promotion was warranted, expect that number to climb even higher as customers and investors alike flock to Target’s new and improved stores.


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