Standing before a roaring crowd of 14,000 of Target Corp.'s red-and-khaki faithful, CEO Brian Cornell couldn't help but acknowledge some recent "bumps in the road" at the company's annual preholiday pep rally.Those fall rallies were always a hoot. One year I remember seeing Julie Andrews and Beyonce (as part of her old group, Destiny's Child). The meetings didn't change that much, though, and this one won't either. The main problem for Target is buried further down in the Star Tribune story:
Yet the Minneapolis-based retailer's fall national meeting Thursday was to fire up his team for the critical holiday season, and he asked the headquarters employees and store managers flown in from around the county to give him everything they had for the final sprint.
"We have 137 days in front of us to turn this into a winning year, to start that second-half rally," he said, standing on the same stage where he first proclaimed two years ago that Target needed to be cool again.
"Jon Bon Jovi just opened up for me," John Mulligan, Target's chief operations officer, quipped as he followed the rocker on stage.Supply chain and logistics have always been a problem for Target, and based on what I see in the stores the problem has been getting worse. Walmart's greatest accomplishment as a retailer is its supply chain. Amazon is even better at supply chain management. You can bring in Jon Bon Jovi to sing "Living on a Prayer" if you'd like, but unless Target can figure that one out, they don't have a prayer.
Mulligan was new to his role at this time last year, and he told the audience then that his top priority was to reduce out-of-stocks, an issue that has plagued the retailer in recent years as online shopping strained its previously stores-focused supply chain. In the last year, his team has been focused on the problem and has decreased out-of-stocks by 25 percent, he reported on Thursday.