Target Isn’t Going To Have Full-Service Grocery Stores, Still Wants To Sell More

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

Target CEO Brian Cornell has a message for you if you’ve tried to buy groceries at the discount chain in the past and found the selection or products disappointing: things are better now, and you should give the section another chance soon. Unless you want sushi or rotisserie chickens. Then you should go somewhere else.

Grocery sales are about 20% of Target’s business: not a lot, but enough that spiffing up that department could help the company’s disappointing sales results. Yet it isn’t going to give over the amount of floor space that competitor Walmart does, or install deli counters: the department has some fresh fruit and dairy, but stay convenience-oriented.

Cornell, who knows the food business because he used to be an executive at PepsiCo and at Safeway, has focused on the grocery sections at Target as a possible source of more sales, and as a department that really needs to improve.

“We’ve got to get our guests, while they’re shopping our stores, to walk down that aisle that, perhaps two or three years ago, they stopped shopping, because we didn’t have the selection and the assortment they were looking for,” he told journalists on Wednesday during the company’s annual meeting.

At the same event, he also outlined the chain’s plans to build more mini-stores, some of which emphasize fresh foods depending on the market.

Target explains how it will spiff up its struggling grocery business [Washington Post]
Target CEO Says Retailer Won’t Become Full-Service Grocer [Wall Street Journal]