Target Corp. is out to boost its digital expertise.
The Minneapolis-based retailer this week opened an office in Sunnyvale, Calif., where it is a neighbor of Silicon Valley powerhouses such as Yahoo, Juniper Networks and NetApp. Target plans to have more than 70 data scientists, software engineers and product managers working in the new office. The retailer said the new facility is “part of a commitment to becoming a leading omnichannel retailer.”
For the time being, 15 or so employees from the data analytics team, target.com and mobile group will occupy the 7,000-square-foot office facility in downtown Sunnyvale. “We intend to grow that team and add software engineers and product managers as well as people from our site merchandising team,” a spokesman said. The group will report to Jason Goldberger, senior vice president of target.com and mobile.
The retailer’s San Francisco office, focused on cutting-edge technology, will remain open. “They work with a lot of start-ups and venture capitalists,” the spokesman said. “They try a lot of things that could pan out down the road.”
Criticized for lagging behind other retailers in terms of technology and innovation — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently made its 14th technology acquisition and is eager to become more competitive with Amazon.com — Target in May formed a Digital Advisory Council as part of its efforts to accelerate its digital transformation.
Paritosh Desai, vice president of business intelligence, analytics and testing, is working on initiatives for target.com and mobile in the new office that are in the process of being rolled out. “It’s back-engine stuff, things consumers won’t necessarily see,” the Target spokesman said. “We think that in 2015 there will be some noticeable changes.”
Target invited Anish Goel, a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University, to the Sunnyvale opening, where he spoke to the target.com and mobile teams about social commerce. Cartwheel, Target’s digital savings program on Facebook, is one of the mass retailer’s efforts to blend offers with social commerce. Goel said big data and social media will help create a more personalized online experience. “Imagine a social recommendation system that says, ‘Based on what you’ve done in the past, here’s what you may [buy] in the future.’ What I’m hoping will emerge is not just a set of products, but a new set of technologies on which you can build many, many, many products. For companies like Target, that will allow marketing, decision-makers and engineers to quickly launch new, personalized products,” he said.
The next big online frontier, according to Goel, is collaboration. “There’s nowhere on the Internet where you and I can collaboratively solve a problem,” he said. “With all the digital commerce and e-commerce and all the collaborative consumption that we do, there’s no way of collaborating on deciding what products to buy. That’s going to be the next frontier.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion