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Target: New Digital Emphasis Drove Job Cuts

As Target makes digital efforts a top priority, 150 jobs have fallen by the wayside.

Target: New Digital Emphasis Drove Job Cuts
Target Corporation on Wednesday laid off 150 employees from its corporate staff in the Twin Cities, and the retailer said the cuts are a result of its increased emphasis on digital channels.
 
The Minneapolis-based retail giant said the layoffs were part of a realignment that focuses more on digital efforts, and thus reduces emphasis on other aspects of its business.
 
“This is about Target’s business evolution,” company spokeswoman Amy Reilly told Twin Cities Business. “We are changing our business model to focus more heavily on our digital endeavors, and in doing so we looked at jobs in other divisions and identified them as less of a priority.”
 
According to Reilly, Target wants to increase its offerings for digital-savvy guests and in order to make that model cost effective, it revaluated its other businesses and cut jobs it saw as “duplications.”
 
The 150 cuts will affect both the Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park corporate campuses, although Reilly declined to disclose the specific number of cuts at each office.
 
Target’s headquarters houses about 15,000 employees in Minnesota, meaning the recent cut affected about 1 percent of its corporate workforce. The company said the reductions do not signify a halt in corporate hiring, however, but rather a shift in the types of prospective employees it’s looking for. 
 
“Going forward, we will be aggressively recruiting for the digital area of our business,” Reilly said. “We will be investing and innovating in our technological capabilities like e-commerce, tech-talent, and mobile products.”
 
Target’s digital repositioning seems to have been in full swing for several months now.
 
Most recently, the company expanded its technology offerings with a new prepaid mobile phone plan service, dubbed “Brightspot.”
 
In late September, it debuted its own digital video platform, Target Ticket. The service offers about 30,000 movie and television titles to buy, rent, download, or stream online.
 
Just a little over a month before Target Ticket’s release, the company acquired beauty products e-retailer DermStore Beauty Group, an e-commerce beauty product retailer. The purchase was described as a “strategic growth opportunity,” and was a purely digital expansion—with no effect on its physical retail locations.
 
Earlier in March, Target also acquired two additional e-commerce sites: ChefsCatalog.com and Cooking.com, in order to expand its digital presence in the cooking the kitchenware markets.
 
Target even expanded its digital operations out west in May, opening an office in San Francisco to focus on finding and fostering partnerships for technological innovation.
 
Twin Cities Business recently examined retailers’ efforts to seamlessly integrate physical stores with digital channels when a Target executive said the company would embrace “showrooming”—the practice of shoppers browsing products in a store just to later purchase them online.
 
Target is Minnesota’s second-largest public company based on revenue. The company is currently gearing up for the all-important holiday shopping season, although it plans to hire 20 percent fewer temporary holiday workers this year.
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