Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Target Lost Its Way Under Ousted CEO

Yesterday's WSJ had a fascinating article about Target's ex-CEO, Gregg Steinhafel. Remember when he resigned a couple of months ago? At the time, the official word from Target's Board of Directors was that they and Steinhafel collectively "decided it is the right time for new leadership at Target." The Board also said that he "held himself personally accountable" for the credit breach fiasco last holiday season, which led to his resignation. However, there was more to the story.

It seems that in recent years, Steinhafel tightened the reigns over his exec staff, not allowing them any freedom of thought. The creative leeway they once had gave way to rigid performance metrics. This led some of Steinhafel's staff to take their grievances directly to the Board, complaining that in the wake of the recession, Target's offerings had become more commonplace to compete with Walmart. Target was losing it's "hip vibe", with fewer new product offerings. 

So several key Target executives met back on May 2nd, and afterwards delivered a pointed message to the Board: if Mr. Steinhafel didn't leave, then others in their ranks would. You can read the entire WSJ article here on their site.


Marie said...

interesting, I have noticed I am sometimes less in love with target of late. of course, I still practically live there.
Marie @ In Our Happy Place

Critifur said...

I have been feeling and saying exactly that for years. The merch has felt flat and uninspired. I notice it moreso in the men's clothing, I don't buy with the regularity I used to, and that is not just because I am more poor that I used to be.

Target Addict said...

Marie and Critifur: I feel the same way. Overall, I think their other departments (like homegoods, clothing and accessories) have suffered in quality and selection since they introduced their grocery department. And half the time when I'm shopping there and I decide to pick up some "essentials" as to not have to go to another store, they're out of that item (like my favorite coffee or blueberries).

And don't even get me started on their website. It's a total mess, even years after the Missoni debacle and having plenty of time to supposedly "fix" it. Their search feature is a joke, and hundreds of items are mis-categorized.

Critifur said...

Yeah, the website is a mess. I can never find something I am looking for that I know they have in store, because the identifiers are never the same. And frequently I cannot flip to the next page, it just reloads page one over and over. So crazy that it is not running pretty perfectly be now.

C said...
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C said...

I used to buy a lot of basics- summer shorts, tees, hoodies, but after the data breech, I do not go in ... so I do not see anything and I do not buy anything. They used to have some OK-for-work pants, skirts, etc., and some buys on food items, but I seriously do not go in the store most months and the most recent clothing items I have seen are poor quality or- this year- no cargo shorts for women.