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Target was a model of agility during the pandemic, quickly expanding BOPIS and curbside pickup operations, and leveraging its store network for online fulfillment. The retailer was rewarded with double-digit sales growth in 2020 and again in 2021. At the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo held May 10-12 in Chicago, Rick Gomez, EVP and Chief Food & Beverage Officer at Target, revealed the critical role grocery played in this success story, as well as how the retailer plans to make it even more central to its guests’ shopping experience.

“Target grocery benefited from the pandemic, gaining $3 billion in market share and building trust with our guests,” said Gomez in the session titled Bringing Tar-Zhay to Target’s Food and Beverage Business, moderated by Liza Amlani, Principal and Founder of Retail Strategy Group. Customers realized “that they could count on us for essentials in food and beverage and could get them in a safe environment,” he added.

So it was somewhat dismaying when, about a year ago, Target found that its customers (who the retailer terms “guests”) were still unsure whether Target really loved the grocery category. “Coming off this growth, it was hard to hear guests say grocery felt like a bolt-on,” said Gomez. “We decided we were going to use this as a motivator, to turn ourselves into not just a retailer that sells food but a retailer that celebrates food.”

Making grocery a priority plays to a key Target strength, he added: “Where Target shows up really well is with seasons and holidays, because we can be a one-stop shop,” said Gomez. “For Easter you can get eggs, Easter candy, a basket, home décor items and your daughter’s Easter dress. We can do more of that with micro-holidays, for things like March Madness or people throwing Kentucky Derby parties.”


Read the full article here: RICE 2022: Why Target Brought a Touch of ‘Tar-zhay’ to Grocery Sales – Retail TouchPoints