Target CEO Brian Cornell Talks Tech at Code Conference

May 27, 2015 - Article reads in
Brian Cornell Answers Questions and Speaks at Code Conference
Photo courtesy of: Asa Mathat for Re/code

Since his arrival at Target last summer, Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell has made digital innovation one of his top priorities. On Wednesday he chatted about Target’s latest ideas and plans during an on-stage interview with Re/code co-founder and prominent tech journalist Kara Swisher and Re/code reporter Jason Del Rey at one of the tech industry’s most important events of the year: the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

Take a look at what Brian had to say:

When asked about Target's digital priority:
“I want to make sure our guests and our entire organization know how committed we are to digital...We put up that 40% figure (Target’s plan for digital growth) to show that we’re all in. We’re bringing in talent and great engineering to elevate the online experience.”

When asked about plans for Target’s overall growth:
“We’re going to be successful if we continue to drive traffic to our stores. We have to become an omnichannel retailer and really embrace this on-demand shopping. The in-store experience has to improve. And we have to provide an easy online shopping and delivery experience.”

“We’re a very competitive team, and we want to win. We’re in the very early stages of transforming Target. I want to see three quarters (of positive results) turn into 33 quarters.”

When asked about the future of the big-box stores and new small-format stores:
“I’m absolutely convinced stores are here to stay. Each week 30 million guests come to our stores – they love to shop. But stores are going to evolve.”

“We need smaller stores like our CityTarget and now we’re testing TargetExpress...The magic of our small stores: I want our guests to be able to experience the store and have access to all the products we have in our assortment.”

When asked about competing against online retailers like Amazon:
“We almost need to say thank you to Amazon. They have taught the American consumer to shop online, but they don’t own that relationship...Our most profitable and our most valuable guest is the one who shops with us both online and in the store...Once they (guests) experience the store and recognize we can meet their needs online, that relationship really starts to grow.”

Click here to see Re/code’s full coverage of the interview!

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