After a yearlong search described as “exhaustive,” Target Corp. today said it has hired Mark Tritton as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.
Tritton, who was executive vice president of Nordstrom Product Group, will oversee enterprise buying, product design and development, sourcing, visual merchandising strategy and merchandising transformation and operations at Target.
Tritton succeeds Kathee Tesija, who stepped down as executive vice president, chief merchandising and supply chain officer in June 2015 and moved into an advisory role at Target the next month.
The role of chief merchant at Target has changed since Tesija held the job. During her nearly 30 years at the retailer, Tesija’s role was expanded over time to include oversight of target.com and supply chain. Target has been separating functions from merchandising to build deeper expertise in several areas. In February, Arthur Valdez was hired as executive vice president, chief supply chain and logistics officer. And Target today said Jason Goldberger will assume the newly created role of chief digital officer and president of target.com. Goldberger, who joined the company in 2013, became president of target.com and mobile in 2014.
Tritton and Goldberger will report to Target chairman and chief executive officer Brian Cornell as members of the retailer’s leadership team, effective June 5.
Tritton’s role in helping to integrate stores and digital buying at Nordstrom appealed to Target, which is earlier in its transformation than the specialty retailer, but considers the goal of one buying team to be a key area of focus.
“I’m confident that Mark’s experience and passion make him the right fit for Target’s business and our team,” Cornell said. “He’s a bold, decisive leader and he’ll play a critical role in guiding Target’s merchandise authority across all channels, ensuring we meet the ever-evolving wants and needs of our guests.”
At Nordstrom, Tritton oversaw the merchandising, design, manufacturing, marketing and omnichannel distribution of more than 50 private-label brands across Nordstrom’s full- and off-price retail portfolio.
During his tenure, Tritton and his team doubled the retailer’s private label business, created distinct brand assets and helped establish Nordstrom as a global benchmark for retailers seeking an integrated approach to stores and digital merchandising.
Before joining Nordstrom, Tritton held leadership positions at Timberland and Nike, where he helped build brands and expand them across global regions and channels in product and retail functions.
With his style background — style is one of Target’s signature categories — Tritton is a good fit for the retailer’s leadership team, which includes “a deep bench of grocery talent” and Cornell’s experience as ceo of PepsiCo Americas Foods.
A native Australian, Tritton worked in a department store when he was 16 and continued to work in retail as he put himself through college.
“As a retailer, you have to be willing to constantly evolve,” he said. “That’s how you win with your guests.”
Tritton called Target a brand he’s “long-studied and admired. My first priority when I get to Target is actually to go a bit slower. Target has a clear strategy in place, and that strategy is working. There’s no shortage of talent at the company. So my first task is to listen and learn. Then it’s off to the races. I plan to work with the team to identify new ways to engage and inspire our guests, further igniting the power of this iconic brand.”