Target cuts 85 marketing employees

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 29, 2009 - 9:15 PM

Layoffs from the Minneapolis HQ are 8 percent of the retailer's corporate marketing department.

Target Corp. laid off 8 percent of its corporate marketing employees Thursday from its downtown Minneapolis headquarters.

While the retailer been in a slump of late -- having reported eight consecutive quarters of declining profits -- Target spokeswoman Lena Michaud said the layoffs were unrelated to the economy or Target's financial performance.

Michaud said the layoffs don't indicate a change in the company's strategy.

Instead, the layoffs are part of a "reorganization to make sure marketing is aligned to the needs of the business," Michaud said.

The corporate marketing department plans marketing campaigns ranging from in-store promotions to trade shows to the annual Christmas catalog. The department also has people in another facility on Interstate 394 and at a business campus in Brooklyn Park.

None of the 85 jobs cut will be outsourced, and the layoffs don't mean any Target products or services are being discontinued, Michaud said.

Before the layoffs, Target had 1,100 members in its corporate marketing staff. The marketing staff is part of the 12,000-member headquarters staff at its three Twin Cities locations. Target Corp., including all Target stores, employs 350,000.

Earlier this year, Target cut 9 percent of its headquarters staff, or about 1,000 people, through a mix of 600 layoffs and leaving 400 jobs unfilled. It also closed a distribution center.

The laid-off workers will get full pay and benefits through Dec. 14, severance based on years of service and the option to continue their health insurance for 12 months at their current employee rate, Michaud said.

Target's financial results have been depressed because of the economy. Its second-quarter profit fell 6.3 percent from a year earlier to $594 million, or 79 cents a share, but the results exceeded analysts' expectations. Total quarterly revenue, including retail and credit cards, fell 2.6 percent, to $15.07 billion.

Target stock closed at $49.53 a share Thursday, up $1.29, or just under 3 percent. The layoffs were announced after the market closed.

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

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