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A look at what’s behind today's Minnesota business headlines.

Outgoing CFO Smith will stay on at full pay through May 2020

Target Corp. will continue to pay departing Chief Financial Officer Cathy Smith her $800,000 annual base salary and bonus opportunities through the end of her contract on May 1, 2020, according to regulatory filings.

The retailer also will pay Smith $1.5 million in two cash installments if she signs a two-year non-compete and non-solicitation agreement.

The Minneapolis-based retail chain announced on Jan. 10 that Smith would be retiring from the company as soon as her replacement was named, and would then take an advisory role.

Smith, 54, joined Target on Sept. 1, 2015 about a year after chief executive Brian Cornell was hired.

She had been CFO of Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager, as well as Walmart International and GameStop.

Smith’s move was the most prominent among a half dozen leadership changes Target announced last week, the same day it reported a healthy 6 percent jump in holiday sales.

 “Cathy’s deep expertise and leadership helped usher in strategic change for Target and positioned us for sustainable, long-term growth,” Cornell said in a statement.

In her own statement, Smith said Target was in a position of strength and momentum.

“I am excited about what is in store for Target and myself as I plan for retirement, including freeing up more time for my family,” she said.

Great Clips among top 10 franchise companies.

Bloomington-based Great Clips was ranked eighth  on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise 500 list. Making the top 10 for the second year in a row.

Entrepreneur has been publishing a list of the top franchise companies in North America for the last 40 years. Their proprietary ranking system measures more than 150 data points including: costs and fees; size and growth; support; brand strength; and financial strength and stability.

Number 1 on the 2019 list was McDonalds, followed by Dunkin’, Sonic Drive-in, Taco Bell, and The UPS Store round out the top five. Ranked number six was Culver’s, Planet Fitness at number 7 and then Great Clips. Rounding out the top 10 were Jersey Mike’s Subs and 7-Eleven Inc.

Great Clips was the highest ranked Minnesota-based company on the list. The magazine credits Great Clips innovation for bringing technology to the hands-on-heads industry of cutting hair.

The Great Clips mobile app that allows for remote check-in to any nearby franchise location was launched in 2016 and according to the magazine has now been downloaded more than 10 million times.

“The app takes the front door of our 4,513 salons and inserts it into our customers’ pockets,” Great Clips CEO Steve Hockett told the magazine.

Technology helps customers through the doors and their Clip Notes database follows customers into the stylist’s chairs. That program allows any stylist at any salon to check notes on the customers haircut preferences.

Great Clips slipped one spot from their # 7 ranking in 2018, but over the previous 10 years they’ve not ranked lower than 100 and have consistently ranked in the top 50 of the list..

Other Minnesota companies among the top 50 were Anytime Fitness and Dairy Queen ranked #20 and #21. Supercuts a brand of Edina-based Regis Corp. was ranked 31st, dropping from #14 on the 2018 list.