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I had the pleasure of writing my creative story based on the well known Target Corporation, a nationwide department store retailer known for its one stop shopping. Some of the departments include apparels, home goods, toys, grocery, pharmacy, furniture, garden center and more. They also have health clinics in most stores. The origins of the Target Corporation started in 1902 by George D. Dayton. Back then; Dayton’s business background was banking and real estate. In 1902, he decided to explore the growing Midwest markets with the creation of a quality store with quality merchandise at discount prices, as well as a discounted supermarket. This idea gave birth to the Dayton Dry Goods Company, which today, is known as Target Corporation.
Targets perspective on innovation was based on a set of surveys handed out to customers across the nation. Their innovation idea was to create self-checkout lanes that would provide customers with a fast and efficient way of purchasing their goods while still applying coupons and discounts to their purchase. Based on the feedback from customers, the CEO Brian C. Cornell and his executive team decided to implement this change to their entire stores nation wide. Thomas Hardin (Executive Team member) during the interview informed us there was an implementation team that would further workout the details as to the forecast of which stores would have launch dates in the South Florida market. Target’s innovation definitely relates to their purpose and mission of fulfilling the needs of potential and existing guests by delivering outstanding value and continuous innovation while providing an exceptional shopping experience. According to Thomas Hardin he had to select a champion that would take on this project along with the rest of the leadership team. Additional training needed to be established in order to motivate and illustrate to all team members in order to create the buy in of all employees.
The advancements in technology have inspired various new opportunities for Target. According to Thomas Hardin, “Three of the most distinct innovations include the development and introduction of online shopping, including pharmacies, through PCs and mobile devices with facilities for home delivery. Secondly, self-service checkout points have provided convenience and ease for customers, which in turn have reduced labor costs. Lastly, the ability to use business intelligence to drive business decisions by leveraging data and developing actionable insights to deliver value for Target”. Furthermore, Target’s innovation purpose relates to the Brand's promise of “Expect more. Pay Less."
After conducting further research on Target we found that this Corporation has been impacted economically nationwide and internationally. There is instability with the prices of oil and gas around the globe. This forces Target to manage the cost of products based on the distribution networks. The current economic situation within the United States could introduce an opportunity for Target. Since the recession is over, consumers have stronger buying power. As the economy improves, the price of crude oil seems to fall. The changing price reduces a firm’s costs associated with energy, transportation, and raw materials. Logistical, modifications must be made to accommodate the rise in oil prices. Another factor is the strong dollar. The stronger dollar has been hurting many companies that have large overseas businesses. Most U.S. companies that sell goods internationally convert sales from other currencies into dollars when they report financial results. If the dollar strengthens relative to foreign currencies, the international revenue is converted into fewer dollars. Which is the case of their Canadian stores, according to Sergio, “A number of Target’s retail stores have been closed due to failure of population research pertaining to their needs.”
Target is committed to provide support to communities through their business strategies. The community involvement has strengthened the brand image and reputation of the company. Target has partnered with the Make a Wish Foundation and during this Aim2flourish project I participated in the involvement where a young man with a severe illness was given a shopping spree from Target for the day. According to Sergio, “Target also provides a variety of opportunities to help the community get involved, from renovating elementary school libraries and donating food to the hungry, to responding to disasters and reading with students.” Community involvement has long been one of Target’s strengths, and will continue to be an important part of its business strategy as they expand into new markets. It is clear that humanitarian events are important for Target Corporation and are a part of sustainability for this world.
Target has incorporated environmental sustainability into its business strategy for more than three decades, installing rooftop solar systems, converting to energy-efficient light fixtures and adopting other initiatives that have earned the retailer Energy Star-certification in more than 100 stores (Target, 2010). By 2016, Target aims to achieve the specific milestones for resource use, waste elimination and carbon footprint reduction. This includes reducing the percentage of operating waste sent to landfills by 15 percent; reducing water usage by 10 percent per square foot; reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent per square foot and 20 percent per dollar of retail sales; earning the ENERGY STAR® label from the Environmental Protection Agency for at least 75 percent of its buildings, and improving the efficiency of general merchandise transportation inbound to distribution centers by 15 percent and outbound by 20 percent and support the adoption of cleaner and more fuel-efficient transportation practices.
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Thomas Hardin, ETL Manager