Looking for Target CEO Brian Cornell? Skip the corner office and instead try knocking on the doors of some of the retailers’ customers. Cornell has been making house calls as of late, poking around in cupboards and opening closets, to try and learn about the retail giant’s changing customers.
“It’s not just about Mom anymore,” Cornell recently told a crowd of 300 business leaders gathered in Minneapolis. According to the Star Tribune, the CEO has been going to great lengths to understand consumers’ food choices, fashion trends and shopping habits. So far, his door-to-door campaign — manned by himself, along with about a dozen key officers — has met with Hispanic moms and single millennials in various cities to gather what the Tribune cited as “fundamental ethnography work,” an approach new to the retail chain.
It seems that Target’s traditional customer has changed, according to Cornell. The retailer is broadening its focus to include more urban-centric and, increasingly, Hispanic customers into its business strategies.
Target is looking to beef up its technology game as it finds itself locked in heated competition with Amazon and other eCommerce retailers. Struggling to gain the attention of young millennials as they start to advance in their careers and start families, Cornell stresses that the retailer must change “rigid practices” and workplace complexities that have gotten in the way of it being more fleet of foot. “We must have more agility,” he said. To that end, says the Star Tribune, Target Corp. will beef up its IT workforce in the coming year, with a recently announced round of 1,000 hires being new engineers and technology workers in the U.S., as well as in Bangalore, India.
After a Cyber Monday crash that cost it dearly, Target is trying to bring its website and mobile operations up to snuff and improve supply chain operations. Cornell stated that Cyber Monday offered “one more reminder that while we’ve made progress, we have a lot more to do going forward.”