Target taps Kroger Executive to fix one of its biggest trouble spots

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) made a stride towards repairing one of its biggest trouble spots, which is food. The discount retailer mentioned he has employed Kroger executive Jeff Burt to jumpstart the company’s unfit grocery business. As senior vice president of the division, Burt will oversee Target’s grocery, fresh food and beverage strategies. The 30-year Kroger veteran just served as president of the Fred Meyer company. He will account for Target’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, Mark Tritton, beginning April 10. “His vast industry expertise will accelerate our plans to bring unique food and beverage experience to Target guests,” Tritton said in a statement.

Target has had difficulty restoring its grocery business, which comprises of one-fifth its annual revenue. Though it has been advising upgrades to the division, especially for local products and adult beverages, Wall Street has criticized it for moving too slow. At the company’s latest investor day in Manhattan, Cornell concisely spoke about the changes Target was making. However, I have restated that it is not a full-service grocer.

Instead of using food to pass through to stores, Wal-Mart’s strategy is to use them as a method to get them to add additional items to their baskets. Earlier Monday, Target said it would launch a new store in midtown Manhattan this October, one of 30 small shops it has planned for this year. Target CEO Brian Cornell will speak at the Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas Monday afternoon. Target shares were slightly lower in afternoon trading. They’re down approximately 25 percent this year.

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