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Interim CEO John Mulligan outlines priorities guiding Target’s recovery in 2014 during shareholder meeting

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — While acknowledging that Target faced a series of setbacks in 2013 — including a data breach just before the holiday season — CFO John Mulligan, who is also serving as interim president and CEO, expressed optimism during its annual meeting of shareholders and said the company has the resources, talent and plan in place to move beyond its challenges.

In addressing shareholders during Wednesday’s webcast meeting, Mulligan acknowledged that the company “fell well-short of its financial performance expectations for the year and encountered unexpected challenges with our Canada operations that adversely effected our results. And we faced a criminal attack on our systems that caused a data breach as we entered the holiday season and shook our guests’ confidence. Fortunately, we have the resources and the ability to move beyond these challenges.”

Mulligan, who assumed the role of interim president and CEO in May following the resignation of chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel, went on to outline the top three priorities guiding Target’s recovery in 2014 —

  • Grow traffic and sales in the company’s U.S. segment. Specifically, the company plans to deliver more merchandising newness and innovation, more presentation excitement and attractive promotions. As an example, Mulligan pointed to the company’s recent debut of “Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target” — a first-of-its-kind collection that brings together 17 natural, organic and sustainable brands;
  • Improve the Canadian segment performance. “Canada is a great market and Target has the retail knowledge and skill to deliver the experience that our Canadian guests expect and deserve,” Mulligan told shareholders. To help drive faster improvements, the company recently made changes to the Canada leadership team and has plans to announce a non-executive chair in Canada. The newly created advisory role will help ensure strategy and tactics align with the Canadian marketplace;
  • Accelerate its digital transformation and become a leading omnichannel retailer. “To do this, we will move even faster to become more nimble and flexible in how we serve our guests. This means we are testing and iterating more concepts and continuing to shift our investments away from square footage growth and into technology and supply chain capabilities to make our digital and physical assets work harder together,” Milligan told shareholders. Milligan also noted the recent formation of its Digital Advisory Council as part of its efforts to accelerate its digital transformation.

“Target is a great company whose best days are ahead. Constantly improving upon our guest shopping experience is part of who we are and how we operate. The experience we gained and the investments we made in the last year are enabling our continued transformation, helping us modernize how we deliver our ‘Expect More. Pay Less’ brand promise, and deliver on our goal to become a truly omnichannel retailer,” Mulligan told shareholders. “… I believe we have the team, the capital and the plan we need to continue transforming Target to succeed for many years to come.”

 

 

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Ohio Gov. signs executive order authorizing pharmacists to administer MMR vaccine

BY Antoinette Alexander

COLUMBUS — Responding to the recent outbreaks of mumps and measles in Ohio, Gov. John R. Kasich has signed an executive order authorizing licensed pharmacists to administer the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine to patients ages 18 years and older.

The move is to provide those adults who have not yet received the vaccination with additional opportunities to do so.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that, nationwide, the current measles outbreak is the largest outbreak of this disease in the United States since 1994. The CDC also states that the MMR vaccine is one of the best ways to prevent the measles and the mumps.

 

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Walmart debuts new clinic concept

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart executives hosted a series of store tours and briefings in advance of its company shareholders meeting last week, reported DSN sister publication Retailing Today.

"Disruption in the health care space could be coming. Walmart opened its first owned health care clinic in Copperas Cove, Texas, recently and introduced a pricing model eerily similar to the flat rate $4 and $10 generic drug programs launched eight years ago," noted RT editor Mike Troy.   

"Except in this case, Walmart associates can see a primary care doctor at the clinic for $4 and customers pay $40. The clinic will serve about 4,500 employees who work in proximity to the store, according to Labeed Diab, Walmart’s president of health and wellness (pictured here). It is a way for Walmart to provide convenient and almost free access to health care for associates and because Walmart avoids the expense of having associates visit other doctors it can used the saving to offer a reduced price to customers."  

For more on Walmart’s annual shareholders’ meeting, including 10 key takeaways for suppliers, click here.

 

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