While retailers across the country are adding as many features as possible, including online grocery delivery, robots, and acquisitions and partnerships, to their arsenals, Target is looking inward to boost its brick-and-mortar brand and in-store consumer-first experience. According to Forbes, during a keynote session at Shop Talk in Las Vegas, Target's CEO Brian Cornell announced the retailer has made strategic investments in its team with the implementation of expert associates in stores.
“We’re investing a lot in hours, staffing, training, development, and creating experts within our stores,” Cornell said. “Because we know as we listen to our guests in certain categories, they want someone there who is an expert. When they shop Target for beauty, they want a beauty expert that they’re coming to. In apparel, they want someone who [will help them] put the whole outfit together. When they’re in a department like food and beverage, they want a food and beverage expert to interact with, let alone when they’re shopping for technology.”
Referring to this shift as one of the single biggest changes the chain has made, Cornell also expressed a desire to offer customers an opportunity to interact with knowledgeable employees in core departments, including grocery.
"Target’s idea to make [staff] into department experts is a wonderful concept—let’s see how well they execute," said Ricardo Belmar, Senior Director of Worldwide Product Marketing at InfoVista on RetailWire. "For Target, this means training thousands of associates. I once heard a Target HR VP say at a conference that their challenge with high-quality training is how to achieve 100 percent success when you have tens of thousands of associates to train."
Will Target gain more ground in the grocery retail sector with its latest strategy? Deli Market News will continue to report as those in grocery continue to innovate the brick-and-mortar experience.