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Carroll School of Management

Embracing Digital

Brian C. Cornell

Chairman and CEO, Target Corporation

Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives Club  

February 3, 2016

TAKEAWAY: Embracing Digital

I will tell you, on behalf of our entire team, we’re proud of the progress we’ve made in a very challenging and disruptive environment. But we also recognize—and I remind our team, I remind myself of this every day—we’ve got a lot of work left to do. We’ve got a lot of work to do if we’re truly going to establish Target once again as a growth company. We really believe—and I believe—that we have one big competitive advantage, and it’s 1,800 product showrooms, 1,800 fulfillment centers, where you can order online and come by and pick up on your terms, and 1,800 touch points for our guests to engage with the Target brand.

The challenge, of course, is modernizing our technology, our infrastructure, our core systems to do much more than they originally were created to do back in the days when it was a very store-centric environment. We have to embrace digital. And I go back to, no matter what industry we’re in, what point of disruption we’re facing, we have to all be thinking about digital first. It’s really the innovation that’s going to drive the future. But as a retailer, we have to ensure our stores and our supply chains remain the powerful point of differentiation as we go into the future.