Target on Monday named Anne Dament senior vice president of merchandising. In her new role, she will be responsible for leading the strategic repositioning of the discounter’s food business while better integrating food into the brand to make Target a food destination for consumers.
Brian Cornell, who joined Target as chairman and chief executive officer last year, said the retailer would focus on signature categories such as fashion; home; baby and kids, and wellness. Food was a work in progress. “We’re taking a step back to learn what customers want in terms of food,” Cornell said in November.
Target said the repositioning of food over the next 12 to 18 months will focus on making better-for-you options simple and attainable, providing meal solutions and offering unique selections for everyday occasions and entertaining.
“Our guests tell us they expect Target to inspire them with differentiated food offerings like we do in other areas,” Cornell said, noting that the food reinvention will emphasize key categories such as healthy snacks; coffee and tea; premium sauces and oils; specialty candy; wine and craft beer, and yogurt and granola.
Dament spent more than 19 years in grocery and consumer packaged goods companies such as Supervalu, Safeway, ConAgra Foods subsidiary Grist Mill Co. and Otis Spunkmeyer.
“We want to put our mark on food with products that are uniquely Target,” Cornell said.
Target in 2008 began a multiyear initiative, PFresh, which expanded the grocery departments in most stores, resulting in an increase in space for food by 50 percent to 200 percent. Former ceo Gregg Steinhafel saw PFresh as a game changer for the retailer and a chance to close the revenue gap with the behemoth of Wal-Mart. It’s unclear how successful PFresh has been and some retail experts blame it for distracting Target from maintaining its position as a purveyor of cheap-chic products.