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Target’s Trend For Fall 2011

10/07/2011

Target has had more than its fair share of tough news lately. And being Target much of that news gets played out in public.

Among the bad news:

Missoni Madness – September 13 – the anticipated launch of Missoni For Target resulted in an unanticipated wipe out of store inventories within hours nationally and a crash of the newly opened Target.com. According to Forbes.com, “Target unintentionally (or was it intentionally?) accomplished the “digital velvet rope” thing – a huge run on a product with limited access and supply, which inevitably generates buzz.” For more on this read, “Missoni Madness Brings Target Website Down

Marketing Chief Leaves – October 4 – Target chief marketing officer Michael Francis jumped ship to become president at JC Penney was a surprising development that sucked some of the oxygen out of the retailer’s Minneapolis headquarters. Target is all about marketing and Francis was instrumental in shaping some of the most interesting customer communications the marketing world saw during the past decade. He was so highly thought of that earlier this year he was tapped to lead Target’s entry into Canada, arguably the company’s most significant longer term growth driver. The status of Canada’s leadership alternatives are unknown at this time.

Target.com Glitches – October 6 – Target.com has been run on the Amazon.com’s e-commerce platform for years. Looking to gain control over its own destiny Target decided two years ago to build a proprietary ecommerce platform. The new site was launched August 23rd, precariously close to the holiday shopping season. A bold but potential less than wise decision. Every day counts, considering that 18 percent of consumers began their holiday shopping in September or earlier last year and an additional 19 percent began hitting stores in October, according to the National Retail Federation. Target has created a SWAT team to deal with the problems. A Google search for “Target Website Broken” returned 91.8 million responses.

With all of this swirling around the company did announce yesterday that same store sales (those that have been open for one year) increased 5.3 percent in September. Missoni Madness had a role in this for certain.

The next 75 days are critical for the retailer. Hopefully the retail stars will align and Target will come through this period of turmoil sparkling.

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