Target Corp. on Wednesday said it has formed a Digital Advisory Council as part of its efforts to accelerate its digital transformation.
The mass retailer, which has been struggling of late, has come under criticism for not innovating around technology quickly enough and for problems with its Web site, including the data breach that impacted millions of consumers last holiday season. The panel of technology industry leaders will help guide Target’s omnichannel strategies, push the company to innovate faster and discover new ways to leverage technology to enhance the customer experience, both online and in stores.
The council includes experts with varied tech backgrounds. Its members are Ajay Agarwal, managing director of Bain Capital Ventures; Amy Chang, chief executive officer and cofounder of Accompani, who formerly led Google Analytics; Roger Liew, chief technology officer of Orbitz Worldwide, and Sam Yagan, ceo of the Match Group and ceo and founder of OkCupid.
“We believe this council can play an important role in Target’s digital transformation — one of our top priorities as a company,” said Casey Carl, president of omnichannel, Target. “This new group is bringing their tremendous talents and experience to help guide Target’s strategies and tactics. They’re also providing fresh, disruptive ideas that will help us reinvent the Target run for tomorrow’s guests.”
Target’s e-commerce platform has been criticized for years, dating back to the launch of Missoni for Target in September 2011 when the retailer’s Web site collapsed under the weight of orders.
The council will meet quarterly with Carl and others driving Target’s omnichannel strategies, including target.com and mobile teams. Council members will serve two-year terms, with an optional third year. They’ll also be called upon to provide guidance on various topics and to help Target connect with other tech leaders.
In addition to forming the new council, Target is beefing up its internal digital talent with plans to hire at least 50 software engineers this year for target.com and mobile product teams. The engineers will be primarily based in Minneapolis, where they will work as part of the company’s new digital product teams. Some new engineers will be based in Target’s San Francisco office.
Like many companies, Target opened an office for technology. It’s believed to be smaller than Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s @Walmart Labs in San Bruno. Wal-Mart recently said it’s opening a technology center in Sunnyvale, Calif., with about 500 employees and plans to double that in the next few years. Wal-Mart has also been more aggressive than Target on the acquisitions front.
In the past year, Target launched a number of successful digital initiatives, including the mobile coupon app Cartwheel, Target Subscriptions and Store Pickup, which allows guests to buy online at target.com and pick up in a store. Target is enhancing and expanding these services while also beginning to test offerings like same-day delivery and the ability to ship online orders from stores.
“Target is pursuing an aggressive omnichannel agenda and we want to go faster,” said Carl. “We’re confident that efforts such as creating the council and adding new engineering talent to our organization will help us achieve our goal of becoming a leading omnichannel retailer.”
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)