Target CEO Brian Cornell on Making Bricks-and-Mortar Stores Work Harder

Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell.

Target CEO Brian Cornell sounded doggedly optimistic during a talk at the National Retail Federation’s annual trade show in New York on Monday.

Despite the gloomy clouds of the Sears bankruptcy and the relentless march of Amazon, Cornell said Target is staying in tune with the millennial consumer; introducing new store brand products rather than trying to grow existing ones; making sure that real-world shopping feels fun and not like a chore; and getting brick-and-mortar stores to work harder, serving as fulfillment and service centers for goods purchased online.

“Consumers still love to shop great stores,” Cornell said during a keynote address. “We’ve been aggressively investing in reimagining our physical stores, and making them work even harder. We consider our stores our single biggest competitive advantage.”

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