- Target on Tuesday announced a partnership with global corporate venture firm BCG Digital Ventures to conduct a 14-week “innovation sprint,” where their experts (including designers, engineers and investors) will work with five Target team members to develop a portfolio of new growth efforts, according to a company blog post.
- The five team members are working out of Digital Ventures’ centers in New York and Los Angeles, the company said. This week, they’re split into groups doing immersive customer behavior research in six cities nationwide. Each group has a mix of Target and Digital Ventures employees, including ethnographers, venture capital investors, product managers, designers, engineers and growth specialists, among others.
- The retailer also revealed on Tuesday a home and lifestyle brand designed with Chip and Joanna Gaines — the duo behind Magnolia and the hit HGTV show “Fixer Upper.”
Target’s work with BCG is part of an attempt to shift its innovation focus from futuristic pilot projects and long-term visions to programs, ventures and growth opportunities that can have a nearer-term impact on the retailer’s core business. Chief innovation and strategy officer Casey Carl left the retailer in May and Minsok Pak took up the role of executive vice president, chief strategy and innovation officer this week.
Carl accomplished quite a lot in his two-and-a-half years at Target, lending the retailer an innovative mindset and an air of entrepreneurial spirit. He was a guiding force behind Target’s LA25 “store of the future” program, along with a vertical farming initiative, the Target + Techstars accelerator program and other efforts. Pak seems to be a continuation of that innovative mindset.
“From an innovation perspective, Target’s most important business objective over the last four years has been to evolve to meet the changing digital needs of its customer,” Matt Sargent, senior vice president of retail for Frank N. Magid Associates, told Retail Dive via e-mail. “Given that Target’s customers have flocked to Amazon’s Prime and Prime Now options at high rates indicates that this business objective has not been met.”
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