By any measure, 2019 was an exceptional year for the Target team. It’s a year that stands on its own, and a glance through this report will demonstrate why. But looking back on it now, what really stands out to me is how 2019 prepared Target for this extraordinary moment we’re all navigating together, as our team, guests and communities respond to COVID-19.
Usually I would provide a detailed recap of our previous year’s results in this letter. In this unprecedented moment, that doesn’t feel right. On one hand, we’re focused entirely on the immediate needs of our team and guests. At the same time, I’m more aware and appreciative than ever of the enduring attributes that will help us all move safely beyond this crisis.
At Target, our strategy is an expression of our purpose and values. For years, we’ve invested to make our proximity to guests work even harder for them. That meant adding brands, fulfillment capabilities and expert service to our nearly 1,900 neighborhood stores, and moving into additional neighborhoods every year. It meant a constant drive to curate the right mix of products across our multi-category assortment. We remained convinced, sometimes against conventional thinking, that stores would continue to matter to our guests, whether they shopped online or in-person.
While it had long been evident in our culture, we formally articulated our purpose a few years ago: To help all families discover the joy of everyday life. Today, with the coronavirus outbreak, everyday life has started to look different for everyone—and our guests have turned to us more than ever.
When they needed to stock up for their families, they came to Target. When they wanted items right away, they looked to us for same-day pickup or delivery. When families were anxious to minimize trips, they found comfort and confidence in a familiar and friendly place—for food, medicine and essentials, but also office supplies and technology to work from home, school items for distance learning, and games, puzzles, electronics and comfort-wear for long weeks in quarantine.
In the best of times, our team meets the world with optimism, inclusivity, connection, inspiration and drive. In the hardest days of this crisis, those values never wavered.
So, while I know there’s a lot of work ahead to put this chapter behind us, I also know the Target team will remain steadfast. Our financial strength gives us the ability to keep investing in our team and to shift quickly in response to guest needs. And the same values that have made Target a trusted brand and community resource for decades will be a source of continuity and calm as we all pull together—for each other and for a future that will certainly be brighter than recent days.
Brian Cornell, Chairman and CEO