Target Accelerates Multiyear Strategy

Brian CornellTarget today announced several initiatives as part of its multiyear strategy, including significantly expanding its suite of fulfillment options and increasing the starting minimum wage to $12 in 2018.

Free two-day shipping is now available on hundreds of thousands of items on when guests spend at least $35 or pay with a REDcard. In 2018, millions of additional guests will have access to Drive Up, Target Restock and same-day delivery of in-store purchases from select urban stores for a flat fee.

“We’re making Target America’s easiest place to shop. That means blending the best of our physical and digital assets to create new experiences for our guests and reimagining our network of stores into hubs for commerce and community – inspiring showrooms, service centers and neighborhood-based fulfillment centers,” said Brian Cornell, Target’s chairman and CEO. “Target has been on a multiyear journey to modernize every dimension of our enterprise, and in 2018, you will see us accelerate our pace. 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.”

Free two-day shipping is now available on hundreds of thousands of items – no membership or annual fee required – when guests spend at least $35 or pay with their REDcard. Drive Up will begin rolling out across the country in April, expanding from 50 to nearly 1,000 stores by the end of 2018. To use Drive Up, guests place an online order from the Target app and a team member delivers it to their car in the store parking lot. Once a guest arrives in the parking lot, their order is brought out in a matter of minutes. Target also will expand its delivery service for guests’ in-store purchases, currently offered in four New York stores, to all New York stores in the five boroughs and select urban stores in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Guests in these cities who often commute on foot or by mass transit will have the convenient option for their in-store purchases to be delivered to their home or office later the same day for a flat fee.

Reimagining its Owned Brand Portfolio
In 2017, Target committed to reimagining its owned brand portfolio, delivering more one-of-a-kind items by introducing more than a dozen new exclusive brands by the end of 2018. Following a cadence of successful new brand launches in 2017, in early 2018 Target introduced Universal Thread, an expansive lifestyle brand for women that is grounded in denim, and it is set to unveil Opalhouse, an eclectic home collection of more than 1,300 pieces, in April. Based on the positive response to its new brands, Target plans to accelerate the introduction of additional exclusive brands across its portfolio in the coming years. Additionally, the retailer continues to set the standard for designer collaborations and just announced a limited-edition collection for the spring with British heritage brand Hunter, which will offer Target guests a colorful and affordable range of must-have products, with most pieces under $30.

Investing in Team and Guest Experience by Increasing the Minimum Starting Wage
Target has long been committed to investing in its team with competitive pay and a wide variety of tools, training and support resources to ensure its team members can develop professionally and provide an elevated experience for guests. This year, the retailer will raise its minimum hourly wage to $12, beginning with existing team members in the spring. In the fall of 2017, Target increased the minimum hourly wage to $11 and committed to raising it to $15 by the end of 2020. A starting wage of $12 is higher than the state-level minimum wage in all 50 states.

Remodeling Stores and Reaching New Guests with New Small-Formats
This year, Target will nearly triple the size of its remodel program, 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. The retailer will open approximately 30 stores this year, the majority of which will be small-format stores in urban and dense suburban neighborhoods and near college campuses. Target will open its doors to guests this week in four communities, including small-format stores opening in the Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C., areas.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.