More comments from Brian Cornell, Target's new chairman and chief executive, in an interview with the Star Tribune on Thursday.
On his visibility in Minnesota:
"Clearly, I know I'm going to need to be very visible and engaged here in Minneapolis. Fortunately, I made a few friends here. I've been on a board here in Minneapolis with Polaris. So I've known many of the other CEOs for many, many years. And I'm really looking forward to being a part of this community."
On the reticent consumer:
"There are a lot of consumers that are struggling to get by. And while the job recovery has certainly accelerated, many of those jobs are at the lower end of the pay scale. So actually, traditional middle class roles continue to be strained. So there is a consumer right now that has struggled. But I think there are signs of optimism. Our role at Target and our role as the leadership team is to make sure that we meet the guest need in this environment and leverage the power of this iconic Target brand, which I still think is incredibly relevant and well-positioned in today's environment."
On the importance of staying up on consumer trends:
"What I've always found in my career is that you need to wake up every day thinking about consumer trends … How are the consumers spending their time? What are they eating? What are they wearing? What are they watching? What websites are they connecting to? And importantly, where are they spending their time and their money?"
On becoming more of an omnichannel (digital, mobile, and in-store) retailer:
"I think we all know that omnichannel is critically important to our success. I don't know if that's priority one, two or three, but it's certainly not No. 4. Our future as we continue to build this brand is to make Target one of the leading omnichannel retailers of the future, which means we need to have great digital capabilities, we need to have great mobile capabilities, but we also need to make sure we leverage the power of having these wonderful stores that are conveniently located around the country. So that focus on omnichannel, that will occupy a lot of my time."
"I need to spend some time with the team. This will be my first trip there as the Target CEO. I've spent a lot time in Canada over the years. I'm very familiar with the market. But I need to spend time with the team, with the business and with the guest to really understand the next steps that we take. But I'm very confident that we have a solid team in place."
On listening to store employees:
"I talked a lot about the importance of listening. I've always found particularly in retail that is evolving, that front line team member, they have incredible insights into the business. They are walking stores and talking to guests. They give you great feedback."
On the power of his vote:
"An important lesson that I learned early in my career is that my vote shouldn't count. The votes that really count are the consumers'."
On deciding where to live in the Twin Cities:
"We have quite a few friends from over the years who are here in Minneapolis. They all have their own point of view in where we should live. Everybody feels like these are the places you should go."
Kavita Kumar • 612-673-4113