Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
23 October 2017
Remodeling Target stores a tiny step that does little
Cheers for more Target stores! Or at least, that encompasses the remarks by Target CEO Brian Cornell at a media event last week. Target spends part of its $7 billion of investment in reviving its business, remodeling 70 stores already and planning 325 more.
Cornell says the remodeled stores see a sales boost, so the retailer is empowered to remodel more. Sounds like a wise investment, yes?
Well, not really. Target stores need remodeling, without question. Everything about the stores feels outdated. They look junky, and no longer hold the idea that they are more chic than main competitor Walmart.
So, yeah. Target should remodel its stores. But that’s not going to revive the lost brand. Walmart is buying up startups in technology, retail and digital because it rightfully sees its main competition as Amazon, not Target. In fact, its stated goal is to become an online mall, looking to be more efficient than Amazon.
“In fact, Target should reconsider more than remodeling its stores. How about rebranding its brand?”
The brand needs more than just remodeled Target stores
That’s an interesting war to watch. But focusing on remodeling Target stores and even adding 100 more is still out-of-date thinking. The retailer finds an uptick in sales as reason enough, but it’s not a long-term strategy.
To be fair, most of the new stores will be smaller format ones in urban areas and near college campuses. Adding the usual big box stores would really be disastrous. Too many of them are becoming very expensive billboards. That most people ignore.
No, it seems Target lags behind in the changing retail landscape. Sure, it’s using Target stores as hubs for shipping items. So it does have something of an online presence. But Amazon and Walmart are gonna crush Target eventually. They are way ahead.
Remodeling Target stores, fine. Using some of that $7 billion to work with the kinds of tech companies Walmart is would be smarter. Even better, Target must invest in its brand. It has become meaningless. What does the Target brand mean beyond the table stakes of the category? It means nothing, because Target has yet to understand that an emotional brand is how you create long-term preference.
In fact, Target should reconsider more than remodeling its stores. How about rebranding its brand?
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