One year ago… on this very exact week… the training wheels were taken off and I was left to run my own business as the new, officially placed small appliance buyer. My ten weeks of training were complete. I had three weeks to shadow the buyer I was taking over for (which I should clarify is a lucky anomaly that doesn’t always happen). I was ready to apply my training practicum from a hypothetical context to an actual business. I walked in on Monday morning ready to take over the world… one kitchen appliance at a time. Nothing could shake my blind confidence. That is, until our buyer ad captain whispered to me, “Jess. You know you’re on the front cover this week right?”
Hmm…fishy. I did NOT know I was on the front cover that week. It sounded like a big deal, and while I usually don’t mind being a big deal, I am not fond of being an uninformed big deal. “Front cover” seemed to be missing on my list of hand-off topics.
My panic of ignorance quickly passed. I learned that this particular front cover is a classic manifestation for small appliances. In the weeks close to Thanksgiving, we have traditionally featured an electric roaster and other kitchen staples to inspire the guest to prepare for the big meal. Front cover space is lucrative for a buyer – it sets the tone for the entire book, drives the guest to come to Target, and gets more than 100 million eyeballs every Sunday (fun fact: the Target circular is the #2 most ‘read’ item in the Sunday paper… second only to the Sunday comics. Not too shabby, eh?). And with that influence comes some responsibility – you have to drive sales, manage an accurate forecast, and stay in-stock. Hence, the Monday morning heads up that all eyes are on my front cover.
Fast forward to a year later and here I am again: front cover exposure prior to Thanksgiving, reminding the guest that she can expect more + pay less for her meal prep + holiday entertaining needs. Only this time, the front cover is more than just a roaster or a buyership inheritance. It’s a symbol of my first year in role and how much I’ve learned. It’s a specific strategy that began months ago and incorporated my own assortment planning, financial analysis, relentless negotiation, creative consultation (hi-five to the food prop team for crafting up a drool-worthy spread), and laser-focused execution.
And speaking of laser-focused execution… I triple dog dare you to stop by a Tarzhay this week and look for a roaster or triple slow cooker. You’ll not only find stocked shelves… you’ll find the lowest holiday price on some darn good quality entertaining appliances. Now that’s Expect More, Pay Less. Boom.
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