In her latest Retail Wire weigh-in, Carol Spieckerman shares why a reduction in scale isn't always a fail when it comes to Walmart's shuttering of its small format Express stores ... and why Target's big/small bifurcation could be problematic.
Will a small store help Target get its mojo back?
Target is late to the digitally-enabled, small format party. Then again, Macy's was tardy to digital as well then went on to play a mean game of catch-up. Hopefully Target will leverage its initial Express location as a learning lab prior to any roll out (yes, just as Walmart has done with each of its launches) while resisting its tendency to tweak incessantly before moving forward. As ex-CEO Gregg Steinhafel noted, striking a balance between perfection and speed is one of Target's biggest opportunities going forward.
Carol Spieckerman shares her insights with WWD on what type of leader Target needs in the wake of Gregg Steinhafel's departure.
“Target is ripe for a new direction and an infusion of new leadership and new thinking,” said Carol Spieckerman, president of New Market Builders. “The template for the types of people who would be good choices include Marigay McKee and Angela Ahrendts. The two women have the right-brain, left-brain, open-minded-but-minding-the-numbers type of balance. Someone from Amazon or Google or platforms that are expanding into a retail sensibility and that have the digital DNA could be good as well. Retailers hiring from consumer packaged goods companies is becoming yesterday’s model very quickly. It’s going more toward the digital space."
“[Target] is in the midst of playing a mean game of digital catch-up. In the meantime, Wal-Mart is really putting the pedal to the metal, and Target hasn’t fully awakened to the opportunity of leveraging its physical scale. One of Target’s top priorities has been to make sure online unique items are able to make their way into physical stores. It used to be that making sure online assortments matched in-store was important. Now, digital space is an endless aisle. Target is one of the few retailers that remains store-centric.”
Article by Sharon Edelson with contributions from Arnold J. Karr, 05/06/14.
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