Target hires new food exec, hikes sales
In addition to reporting higher November and December comparable store sales, Target renewed its focus on food sales with the creation of a new executive position.
The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based retailer named Stephanie Lundquist, who was Target’s chief human resources officer, to its newly-created position of president of food and beverage.
Lundquist will oversee all merchandising and operations for food and beverage, including strategy development and implementation, according to a statement from the retailer.
“She and the newly integrated team will focus on accelerating progress, strengthening cross-functional alignment, and driving operational excellence throughout the enterprise,” Target said.
The move is just the latest in Target’s efforts to grow food sales in its stores and online. The operator of more than 1,800 stores said that, in 2019, it plans to expand products available for delivery through Shipt to include all major categories, including 55,000 grocery items.
In fact, the most popular category for shoppers using its Shipt service has been grocery, according to Target.
Target reported a hike in its comparable sales in the combined November/December period of 5.7 percent, compared to 3.4 percent growth in the same period last year.
“Results reflected strong traffic, positive store comps and comparable digital sales growth of 29 percent. Target expects that 2018 will be the fifth consecutive year in which its digital sales grow more than 25 percent,” the retailer said.
Compared to Walmart and Kroger, Target received the highest ratings for a seamless grocery shopping experience online, according to a recent Brick Meets Clicks report.
The retailer’s score - 3.7 out of 5 - “reflects that it is further along with rolling out its various online shopping options, which in turns encourages increased penetration and usage of its mobile app and the features it offers,” said the research firm in a press release.
However, Target received a low score (2.7 out of 5) in “attractiveness”, which rates whether the perceived benefits associated with its tools and services are strong enough to convert interest to trial.
“Target slightly trails Kroger on this component mainly because customers are not able to buy frozen or refrigerated products via Target’s store pickup services,” Brick Meets Click said.