From leading the team that’s reimagining and architecting the Target store of tomorrow to driving merchandise strategies across multiple product areas, Mark Schindele has worn more than a few hats during his 20-plus-year Target career. Now, he embarks on a new chapter: as Target’s stores chief, picking up the work of transforming our store operating model and continuing to evolve the in-store and digital experiences we create for our guests. We sat down with Mark to learn what he’s most excited for.
Congrats! Your Target career has been so rich and varied. Can you share a few of your proudest moments?
I’m always proudest when I can help teams do their best for our guests. For example: In 2017, we set out to modernize our stores by completing hundreds of store remodels and opening more than 100 small-format locations. The team moved at an unprecedented pace to elevate Target’s shopping experience and introduce our brand to new neighborhoods. Going way back in time, I still smile whenever I see up & up paper towels in a cart. It was amazing to be part of the team that launched that iconic brand in 2009. Above all, though, the best part is when friends or family members pull me aside to tell me about their Target trip—how they’re loving their newly remodeled Target, how a team member made their day through great guest service, or why Target is their kids’ happy place.
Target has completely evolved the way our stores operate. Where are we headed next?
Target shines brightest when we put our guest at the center of everything we do. Over the past few years, that’s meant making Target America’s easiest place to shop by transforming how our stores serve our guests. We’ve added Drive Up lanes and expanded Order Pickup, started shipping online orders from our back rooms for faster delivery and elevated our guest service. At the heart of it all? Our team. We’ve redesigned roles to better serve our guests and invested in ongoing training to ensure our team is set up for success. And, we’ve made bold commitments in wages and benefits to support our team. Going forward, there’s no slowing down: we’ll keep investing in them, so they can continue to deliver an unmatched experience for our guests.
Okay, last question. Let’s talk your Target Run: What’s always on your list? And what was your last big haul?
I start my Target Run with my go-to Starbucks order—a very large iced green tea; I’m usually stocking up on some Good & Gather sparkling water or trail mix. My biggest Target Run of late? We dropped my son, Harrison, off for his freshman year of college at the University of Michigan this fall and that included a massive trip to the Target store in Ann Arbor for everything, and I mean everything, on our list: bedding, snacks, dorm supplies, notebooks, you name it. It was really great to be able to get everything all in one trip and was one way to make the transition a little easier.
Photo: Stephen Allen