Helping Leaders Act with Empathy, Clarity and Compassion in a Crisis

This year, the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic have been intensified by a national outcry for racial justice and equity. Facing these societal challenges can come with grief and anxiety—all while doing our best to be productive and stay engaged at work.

Target has more than 300,000 team members globally, a vast majority of whom work in our stores and supply chain

Now more than ever, Store Leaders play a critical role in supporting their teams by adapting to uncertain times with clear communication and compassionate guidance. Many are turning to an internal website for Adaptive Leadership, available to store leaders and above, to receive ongoing development and equip themselves with new skills or a fresh way to lean into those they already have.

“With COVID-19, we’re navigating a world that’s rapidly changing, so Adaptive Leadership puts the focus on the things that matter right now—like resilience, inclusion and empathy,” said Layne Greer, Director, Leadership Development. “While these simple and practical tools and resources are an evergreen and permanent part of Target’s professional development portfolio, they’re curated for this moment, and designed to help leaders address their team’s most pressing needs.”

 

 

Users can read, watch or listen based on the time they have to invest, and can choose “micro-learning” modules that take just a few minutes—an especially effective option for time-constrained leaders in store and supply chain roles. And Adaptive Leadership content offers more variety than ever before for leaders at the store level; it lets users explore topics that match their personal needs, as well as what their team needs from them.

The topics strike a balance between personal aspects— physical, mental and emotional health—with the professional aspects of managing both the business and people. The site delivers a personalized, self-service user experience that gives leaders actionable insights and critical support during the pandemic and beyond.

With COVID-19 and the recent events in Minneapolis, Adaptive Leadership helps leaders connect with members of their teams who are emotionally impacted. A consistently evolving platform based on user feedback about what’s valuable and what’s still needed, the Adaptive Leadership site provides guidance for how to show up compassionately, while widening perspectives and helping team members prioritize and balance both work and life.

What does a seasonal role with Target entail? These team members share their experience.

The Pulse team recently caught up with several current team members who started their careers with Target as seasonal employees during the holidays. With the busiest shopping season quickly approaching, we wanted to learn more about what it’s like to work in our stores during this exciting time.

From extra income and flexible scheduling to retail experience and a sense of family and community – these past seasonal team members share what they enjoyed most about their experience and why they ultimately decided to transition to a regular Target employee.

 

How would you describe the role of a seasonal team member?

Kayla, Store Director: The role of a seasonal team member is an important one. When our guests need to get everything to make their holiday season special, our seasonal team understands how to work in a fast-paced environment and provide the best guest experience that our team expects going into the fourth quarter.

Heather, Style Consultant: Being a seasonal team member, you get the opportunity to help guests during the holiday season. If they’re stressed or worried about things, you get to be that light when they come into the store and to make them smile.

 

Why was a seasonal role at Target particularly beneficial or rewarding for you?

Simran, Human Resources Expert: The seasonal opportunity was important for me because it got my foot in the door at Target. When I first applied to Target I was in search of a different environment after working in food service. Being a seasonal team member allowed me to develop a perspective of what retail life is like and whether it would work out for me. Seasonal work was also beneficial because it earned me additional income for the holidays to spoil the family and friends that I love so much. Now after being at Target for five years and counting, I realize it was a great first step to take!

Heather: I started at target as a seasonal team member because I had just moved here from another state, and I wanted to meet new people in the community and make friends with my coworkers. Starting out as a seasonal team member allowed me to do just that.

Nadia, Beauty Consultant: I was in the middle of transitioning between jobs, and I really wanted to get my first retail experience. So the seasonal role was a great opportunity for me. Also, being a university student, it gave me the flexibility that I needed to also focus on my studies while being introduced into the retail community.

 

What opportunities does Target provide for team members to get up to speed quickly, learn how to service the Target guest, and build skills?

Kayla: To make sure that our seasonal team members are up to speed with all of the initiatives that Target’s focused on, we ensure that they are side by side training with some of our best team members to coach them on creating that great guest experience Target is known for.

Simran: I think the strongest skill Target gives to its employees is empowerment. Target allows team members to take charge of situations and find solutions on their own instead of just having a leader give an answer. For example, when I worked with a former leader and would ask for help, she would first ask what my solution should be and allow me to try different options to find it. With her support I felt more empowered and confident to fix things on my own.

 

What is the best part about working as a seasonal team member and servicing Target guests?

Nadia: Being a seasonal team member, you get to see so much of the store in such a short amount of time. I also love that I have the opportunity to meet so many people and help them during the holiday season. It can be a very exciting time because people are looking for gifts, they’re looking for their holiday outfits and you just have a lot of joy during this magical time of year.

Brianna, Visual Merchandiser: I enjoy helping guests find the perfect clothing fit for them and making sure they’re really happy while shopping. In February 2019, we launched our newest line of intimates and sleepwear. A guest came in to shop for intimates but she was disappointed because she couldn’t find exactly what she was looking for. I went ahead and showed her the new products that matched the style and comfort qualities she was interested in. She decided to try them on and ultimately loved what I had recommended for her. It was a rewarding experience.

Julie, Style Consultant: I really love the energy at Target. I love greeting guests everyday; I love helping guests. It’s just a very fulfilling, rewarding position for me. I absolutely love working here.

 

How would you describe the culture at Target?

Simran: Target is a company that focuses on the guests and team members and empowers them to be the best they can be. It’s a fun environment where everyone is focused on the same goal and is aiming for success. With so many opportunities for growth, Target really encourages you to go the extra mile and help wherever needed.

Brianna: The target team is like a family to me. The minute I got hired my peers were welcoming and helpful. Any questions or concerns I had, they were there to help me.

 

Following your experience as a seasonal team member, what made you decide to transition to a regular team member position at Target?

Nadia: As a seasonal team member I was having a great time meeting new people and learning about things that were important to me, so transitioning to a regular role was one of the best opportunities. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Simran: I decided to continue as a regular employee at Target because I fell in love with the company’s culture. Being allowed to explore different departments helped me find what roles worked best for me and helped me grow my confidence to be the leader I am today. After starting as a seasonal guest advocate, I became a guest advocate full-time, then I was promoted to a few positions in guest service and was ultimately offered a position in Human Resources where I am now.

 

What has surprised you most about your career with Target?

Simran: Target has surprised me in that my roles helped me realize that human resources is what I truly enjoy and the career path I want to take in life. Without these experiences, I wouldn’t have found my passion in life so I am forever thankful to the company.

Brianna: I’m surprised by how much I’ve learned in such little time. Every day I’m learning something new. Target gives you the opportunity to grow with the company and I think that’s amazing.

 

What would you share with someone considering a role as a seasonal team member?

Simran: Target is more of an adventure in life than a job. Even if Target does not work out as a career path for you, it is a great place to start because the company has so much to teach and offer. You never really know what it can bring you until you take the first step. Target has changed my life and it could change yours!

Kayla: As a seasonal team member, you get the opportunity to come on, be flexible and work with one of the top notch teams in retail. If you love what you’re doing, you get that opportunity to become more of a permanent team member into the future.

 

Interested in a role as a seasonal team member in our stores? Learn more and explore openings at targetseasonaljobs.com.

 

The Power of Strategy

The path of my 15 year leadership journey with Target is a tale of two stories. The first story began with my first position as a team leader, and I was young and hungry to be successful. I worked really hard and thought that it would translate to success. It did: I was promoted Executive Team Leader after just a couple of years. What I quickly realized in my new role was that the same hard work which gave me that opportunity would not grant me success in my new position.  Still, I continued to do what I knew best and that was to put my head down and work hard.  I was a reactive leader, but because I worked hard I still got decent results and my team viewed me as a decent leader.

I had my aha moment in the second half of my Target career.  I was inspired by a great leader.  She played such a crucial part in my development over the years, but what really inspired me was the confidence she instilled in me regarding my ability to lead others and make great decisions.  Her empowerment came with more responsibility, and I started to think strategically to solve problems and make decisions.  I developed what I think is such a crucial aspect of leadership: strategizing to solve problems.

The importance of strategizing:
In the competitive retail world, there is always so much change.  It is easy to get overwhelmed with the details. This may become detrimental to keeping your eye on the prize so to speak.  By far the most intriguing and important aspects of leadership are strategic and critical thinking to solve problems. Solving problems will determine your ability to get results and ultimately set you up for success in achieving your personal goals as well as the opportunity to promote at Target.

How to keep strategizing simple and where to start:
Start with the big problem first.  Ask yourself what is the main goal you are trying to achieve with your team? Next, create an action plan. I utilize a very simple approach to solving every problem standing in the way of accomplishing my goals. First, do I have the right person in place to be successful? Second, did I set the expectations and gain commitment? Finally, what are the consequences?

With leadership, your team is the most important aspect of winning.  Without the right person in place, you will not set yourself up for success. I am always looking for team members to have a great attitude, to show a sense of urgency, and to be able to adapt to change.  Once you’ve found a team member with these qualities, you can easily gain admiration from them once you show them success and help them with personal growth and development.

Once you have the right person in place, the expectations must be clear and pertain to your roadmap to success. At Target, we utilize a lot of tools, reports, and statuses to get the most out of this process. Clear communication of the goals, plans for achieving success, and the method of measuring the results are key to leaving the team member feeling inspired, supported, and committed to meeting or beating expectations. Without clear communication, the team member has little chance of reaching these expectations as they will be only striving to reach their own.

Lastly, what are the consequences? It is important that there are mutually understood consequences between you and your team member. This can be either recognition or accountability. As a leader, I wish the consequence was recognition and sharing success, however in reality the accountability piece also plays a huge role in leading the team to success. Recognizing success validates the team member’s efforts. It will inspire the individual team member and the surrounding team to continue to work hard. On the opposite side, holding team members accountable drives them to improve their performance.

My personal development around thinking strategically and critically has been such a key factor in achieving both company and personal goals. During the second half of my Target career I have been able to get amazing results, help others grow, develop and promote, and most importantly I have achieved my personal goal of becoming a Store Team Leader.

Utilizing these simple strategies you will be able to solve and lead your team through problems big and small. Once you’ve honed these skills, the sky’s the limit for opportunity at Target. So if you love leading and working with great people, a competitive culture, solving problems, opportunity, and winning, come see what you’ve got.

Target’s In-Style

What comes to your mind when you think about style? For many, the term style refers to one’s outer appearance, like their outfit or their haircut, but to Target, style is everything! Style is personal expression. Style is a way of life. Style is a way to share your personal story with the world! Target as a corporation understands style and has set itself apart from other retailers as a Style Destination. We’re remodeling stores, showcasing amazing new brands, and reinventing existing brands. Here at T1769, in Superior, Colorado, we have an entire team dedicated to style. Our style team is inspired by what’s going on in our market, and in the lives of our guests. They love each other, and do their best to create amazing experiences for every person in our store.

Want to know more about our style team? Meet Hiruni, Laurelle, and Theresa!

Hiruni:
What’s your name and what do you do at Target? My name is Hiruni and I am the Softlines Team Lead here at T1769.
What do you love about working for Target? I love that Target pushes you to explore your creativity.
What does style mean to you? Style means inspiration.
How do you bring your personal style to work? I try to dress in a presentable manner, with a little bit of personality and I do my hair in different ways.
What’s your favorite brand and why? I love Xhiliration because Xhil always has cute prints that are in line with what is trendy right now!

Laurelle:
What’s your name and what do you do at Target? My name is Laurelle and I am on the Style Team!
What do you love about working for Target? I enjoy the people around me. They are reliable and fun to work with.
What does style mean to you? Style means feeling like yourself in every situation.
How do you bring your personal style to work? I care about how I look in all aspects of my life. I always make an effort to look nice.
What’s your favorite brand and why? I love Mossimo Supply. I often wear solid, basic colors, and I wear neutrals and black a lot. I love Moss Supply because it is casual and comfortable, yet stylish. I literally own every single Mossimo Supply tee shirt.

Theresa:
What’s your name and what do you do at Target? My name is Theresa and I am the Executive Team Leader for Guest Experience/Salesfloor.
What do you love about working for Target? I love the people and how much fun we are able to have at work. I love that Target allows us to be ourselves.
What does style mean to you? Style means sharing my personality with the world.
How do you bring your personal style to work? I love to talk with guests and give advice while they are shopping. Often, guests tell me that I look stylish and they ask for my help.
What’s your favorite brand and why? I love Mossimo Black. I love it because I can get cute tops and dresses to wear when I go out.

If you are interested in fashion and trends, have an eye for visual merchandising, and love helping others find their own personal style, apply online at target.com/careers or at a Target near you!

Think retail, think technology

10 years ago, I started my journey at Target as a senior software engineer in Bangalore.

Over the last decade, I have been a part of the technology modernization initiatives that have enabled us to work in a nimble and agile manner. For instance, we have moved away from older methods of creating reports in legacy DB2/DataStage and using WebFocus technologies with waterfall approach to actively adopting newer technologies like Teradata/Hadoop in agile methodology.

At Target, we are building advanced tools to gather insights into how we can enhance the shopping experience of our guests. The adoption of DevOps/CICD models in BI was one of the newer initiatives that I was a part of. The BI systems team (Shankar and I from Target India along with Nathan, Randy and Jeremy from Minneapolis) helped identified potential use cases for this implementation. We used technologies like VmWare, Teradata Express, Docker, Chef, Jenkins and CloudBee to deliver this project using agile methodology.

Today, BI is enabled with the CICD framework – defined from development to PROD server. We have seen several benefits like:
-More agility for product deliverables by enabling unlimited deployments into PROD servers
-Automatic code accuracy is maintained – what we do in PROD is being tested in DEV
-Automatic surety of the code version – the version of the code running in PROD is also available in the Version Control System (VCS)
-Auto-test and approval facility for a functionality that is changed/created
-Auto-backup of code(s) for any backout purposes
-Auto-communication to the right audiences on final deployment status

The fact that we work as an extension of our Minneapolis headquarters gives us the scope to collaborate with partners in the U.S. and learn more about the global retail landscape. This helps me gain immense knowledge and experience and I am able to contribute to other enterprise-level technology modernization initiatives.

As exciting as this field is, it is also one of the most dynamic industries. So you would agree that it’s extremely important to keep ourselves updated on the latest tools and technologies. And, that’s precisely why every Target team member is empowered with high-tech machines and can upskill themselves on-the-job through platforms like Pluralsight and Code Schools. In my capacity as a lead BI engineer, I also support the L&D team as a technical trainer. This gives me the chance to support the larger team build the right skillsets.

Well, these are some of the career experiences that make me want to come back to work every day. If you are an engineer and retail excites you, Target is the place to be!

Game Time

As an Executive Team Leader, the 4th quarter is like the “Super Bowl” of retail because it consists of a high sales, high traffic and high focus being around the holidays. For me, this is my favorite time of year. Not only was I able to be a strategic thought partner and create plans for the entire store in order to drive sales and initiatives, but I am able to walk through the execution with the entire team, getting them excited and prepared to have a successful holiday season. When I talk about the 4th quarter being like the “Super Bowl” this means as a team, we have worked hard to get to this point, and now we are putting the finishing touches on the season. The holidays consist of collaboration with peers and the entire store! You feel as if you are one big family, because we are all going through it together. The energy and drive at a store during this time is inspiring. That is why this is my favorite time of year.

The key characteristic that comes into play during the 4th quarter and as an Executive Team Leader is “Leadership”. I am a competitive, team oriented person by nature, and to have the opportunity to lead a multi-million dollar store is amazing. I get to focus on developing my leadership everyday through the incredible tools and resources Target provides, helping me become a better leader. Our most valuable asset at Target is the people! I love that I am able to utilize my leadership to focus on building others up, motivating, teaching and training in order to help teams and leaders become the best they can be, which in turn builds a strong organization.

As an ETL, not only do I get to focus on leading others at a store level, but I have the opportunity to become a mentor and resource to other leaders and stores in the district. This is another way to build upon your leadership, while providing your knowledge and experience with other leaders to help them be successful. I love that I am able to take my competitive and team oriented nature into an organization to engage, motivate and develop others, while building a business to drive sales, initiatives and goals.

Interested in joining Target?  Learn more here.

b.a.l – be a leader

B.A.L is a simple acronym that stands for “Be a Leader!” Target loves acronyms so, I thought it was fitting to use one from my personal life to show case what leadership means to me and how I apply it to my career. The term stems from way back when I played high school football in New Jersey. It was my first game starting at quarterback and to ease my nerves, and my coach wrote “BAL” on my wrist tape. He said if I focus on leading and making sure the team is all pulling for a common goal, I’ll get the outcome I wanted. [Then he ripped up some end zone grass and made me eat it. He said you need to want to score so bad you can taste it.] I tell you this not so you can know my life story, but so you can see how something so simple can shape your passion and drive towards leadership.

Taking the BAL mentality to Target, I took advantage of any and all developmental opportunities offered. We use the term “own your development,” meaning use all the amazing chances you get to build your leadership brand and mold your personal style of leadership through a number of activities. The level of transparency in the company allows me the contact and open communication with leaders of all levels who are always ready and willing to share knowledge and feedback. The great variety of classroom and on the job lessons provided during my 6 week training period really set me up for success in my first role and gave me a better understanding of responsibilities as an executive team leader (ETL). [Being open about my goals and where I want to be with the company (tasting the end zone grass, if you will) has given me the opportunity to take the path and build the relationships necessary to get there.]

These tools, plus a passion for leadership, provides endless growth potential with Target. I came in with no retail experience at all, but had the ability to learn and the desire to lead. Target gave me the tools to build my style of leadership and grow as a manager. Every day I go to work, I get to be the quarterback of my team again. Motivating and training my team, empower my team leaders, mentoring my peers and inspiring others to all pull towards a common goal is how I use leadership every day. As ETLs, we manage a diverse team, a growing business and one of the most recognizable brands there is. All you have to do is BAL and the sky is the limit with Target.

“b.a.l – be a leader.”   -Coach M

Interested in a store management role at Target? Learn more and apply for openings here.

My path: the one less traveled

Hello all! My name is Vinton and I wanted to share a little about my path to (and through) the great company that is Target (many of you know us as Tar-jay or Tah-git depending on what part of the country you’re reading from). You may ask – “Did you want to be in retail management your entire life Vin?” Well, the answer to that is no, and for no better reason other than I had a false sense of what it was like to work in retail. So now, I’ll go ahead and educate the masses on the things that I didn’t know about retail, Target and all things in between that could have essentially kept me from an AMAZING career.

First things first. I grew up in a small town in Northern NJ (no not near the Jersey Shore, but just over the Hudson from NYC) and had big dreams of becoming an architect. My love for football (and an athletic scholarship) took me to a small town in Smithfield, Rhode Island at Bryant University. My plans quickly changed and I perused a Management degree for a hopeful career in project management.

Bryant, for those of you who aren’t from New England, has a well-known business program. Typical of most business programs, retail and retail management was not prevalent in the curriculum. I found a great internship back near my home town. I was an assistant project manager and head intern of an up and coming Construction Management company. I thought it was great! I was the right hand man to the COO, I had a beautiful office right on the Hudson River, and I drank my morning cup of joe with a view of the Empire State Building and the NYC skyline as the backdrop. But soon I came to a realization: my dream job was far from what I wanted. Well … now what to do? I was going into my senior year and had NO IDEA what career path I wanted to take.

I spoke to one of my favorite professors about my situation. He said something that I will never forget: “Vin, just do something that you never in your life thought you’d be interested in. Your dream job clearly wasn’t what you thought it’d be, so maybe you’re just wrong about everything?” After I shook off the feeling of being insulted, I gave it some thought. The next week I threw on my best suit and tie and walked through the career fair on campus. I saw a friend of mine who started with Target the year before waving so I approached the booth. My intention was to say hello and keep it moving, but the words of that professor played back in my head.

Everyone I spoke to at Target had an amazing attitude, upbeat personality and a great story to tell about their experience. I was able to do the Target executive internship program, which was my way to give it a trial run before I really committed to it full time. For the first time I woke up every day and was excited to go to work. The summer flew by and my last semester of college and football approached. On the final day of my internship, I was given a job offer! I was on cloud nine and obviously accepted! Not even the impending preseason camp that started the same day could bring me down.

I moved to Boston, MA and started my career as an executive team leader – hardlines (running the sales floor areas not including apparel or accessories). I learned A TON about myself, leadership, merchandising and running a business. I did well in my first role, and after a year and a half was promoted to executive team leader -logistics (running the logistics, or in store supply chain management and replenishment process). Now I’m excited to move into my next Target milestone as a blogger.

So long story long; you never know where the path may take you. Mine took me one way before hooking a hard U-Turn to get me here. I learned a lot about myself throughout my journey, and can’t wait to see where it takes me. The greatest part about Target is, there is no end in sight. There are tons of opportunities, in different places, doing different things. And I’ll always remember, this all started from – “Vin, just do something that you never in your life thought you’d be interested in. Your dream job clearly wasn’t what you thought it’d be, so maybe you’re just wrong about everything?”

 

Interested in a store management role at Target? Learn more and apply for openings here.

Be Our Guest

Photo: description here

When you walk into a Target store, you may notice our “Service Desk” area right at the front. Take a look up at the overhead sign (I included a picture of my store’s sign for you)—Notice how it says “Guest Service”? Oh yes…this post is going to be all about you, the customer, and how I get to drive customer service here at Target.

I often give presentations to college students and I always ask what they think of when I say “Target”. The students usually respond with “clean and easy to navigate stores”, “the color red”, “fashion forward merchandise”– just to name a few, but the one that I really get to influence as store team leader is around “Guest Service”. You notice I’m now calling it “guest” instead of “customer”; let’s pause for a Target lingo moment: We say “Guest” because it’s that much easier to help demonstrate to our team members how we want to treat the people who shop at our stores. When you help a “Guest”, you go above and beyond while being welcoming, warm, and friendly.

Guest service is what we are about at Target! We challenge our team to create moments with guests that can have amazing results. This means instead of helping a guest find a certain item he or she is looking for, actually walking that guest to the aisle, engaging them in conversation, and helping them by going above and beyond– maybe suggesting additional items that would go with a piece of furniture, or pointing out that our brand of Market Pantry cranberry juice tastes great for a lower price. At Target, we encourage our team to “go the extra inch” and take “great” guest service to “amazing” guest service!

As the store team leader, I’m the champion of the guest service focus in my store. It’s my responsibility to ensure that my team is engaging our guests and providing amazing guest service. This may seem like a huge commitment, but it starts with me simply leading by example, along with my entire leadership team. As I engage guests in my store, I can easily show team members the different between “great” and “amazing”. Additionally, there are several tools that we have available to us to recognize team members who give amazing guest service. Whether it’s as simple as thank you note/recognition card or calling it out at our “huddles” (Target lingo: A 5-10 minute shift meeting with all Team Members), I am constantly helping my team feel empowered to go after “Amazing”!

It can be hard to quantify the difference between “Great” and “Amazing”, but Target does provide tools to leaders to help us measure how we are doing and where we need to improve. Every Monday, I get a report based off of feedback from our guests– You know those service surveys that print at the bottom of our receipts? Yep– all that data gets back me and I can use to recognize different areas of the store who are delivering amazing results, or help dig into where we can be better for our guests based off what they are telling us. Some of the best feedback I get from guests is simply a phone call or a request to speak with me at the service desk– I love hearing where we delivered on our amazing promise, or if we might need to focus as a team. Both allow me to be more effective as a leader to help my team deliver that amazing guest service.

I hope you have a great guest experience next time you walk into a Target store– and maybe you’ll understand a little more of what my job is when you hear that word “amazing” over the walkie-talkie or between two team members. Keep that feedback coming on what we are doing to help create an amazing moment for you in stores.

Interested in a store management role at Target? Learn more and apply for openings here.

we’re moving things around

Photo: description here

Tell me you’ve never walked into a Target store, headed for your favorite shampoo or box of cereal– and STOP: it’s not there. You know it’s always been there…in that spot, but it’s gone! You ask a team member while frantically looking around, and there it is– one aisle over! Why did this happen? How did this happen?

That is the magic of what we call “transitions” in the stores; the updating of departments with new products, signing, and layout to create a fresh feel. If you read the other blogs on this site like Jessica (the buyer) and Reid (a lead product engineer), you know that people are constantly behind the scenes sourcing and creating new products for us to sell in the stores. A few times a year, every department in a store gets to go through a transition to add these products, and let me tell you– it’s a big deal! This is where I get to step in and lead the team through executing the “vision” of the transition. It’s no small task as it involves so many different leaders and team members to get it done right the first time.

This process all starts a few weeks out from the actual transition– we get a big packet of information about the transition and the major changes that will be happening. I sit down with all the leaders involved to ensure we have a great plan in place to make it work for our store. Sometimes, these transitions are small– aisles stay the same and we keep existing signing. Those are the easy ones! Sometimes, like our recent Lawn and Patio transition, it can be a huge deal- new aisles need to be built, overhead signing needs to be changed out, and furniture will get assembled.

My role continues in this whole process by making sure my teams have the resources and team members they need to be able to complete their portion of the transition on time. I also follow up frequently before and during the process to make sure we are following Target’s direction for the transition. There are times we hit a snag in the process– pieces of furniture that we need didn’t get shipped to the store or we’re missing a key signing element. We usually can maneuver through these issues through some great communication between leaders, and setting key reminders to follow-up when the items we need arrive at the store.

Finally, I like to do a final walk through with the executive team leader after the transition is complete to ensure details are wrapped up and celebrate the completion! It’s truly a great moment when all the planning, collaboration, and execution come together to have a department that feels refreshed and new to our guest and team.

Now the next time we move around your favorite product, I hope you’ll look around the department just a little bit differently!

Interested in a store management role at Target? Learn more and apply for openings here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: H is for Hot Shifts and Holidays

Photo: Cate the Staffing Angel

Most pharmacist’s dream schedule would be Monday through Friday 9-5, no weekends, no holidays.  For 99 percent of us, it is only a dream.  But, now that I’ve worked 12 hour shifts, weekends, and holidays for so long, I don’t know that “banker’s hours” are for me.

I’ve grown to enjoy having a day off during the week, where I can shop without the crowds, see the doctor without worrying about leaving work, and even participate in my kids’ school activities.  Our pharmacy is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  Luckily, my partner is willing to trade off weekends, so very rarely do I have to miss an event if I know about it far enough in advance.

In Texas, Target’s full-time pharmacists are salaried, with additional pay for any extra shifts that are picked up.  These extra shifts are known as “hot shifts” in our market.  I’ve worked all over the state of Texas and even at a  few stores in Oklahoma picking up hot shifts when I can.  Odessa, Lubbock, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City have all made for interesting experiences.  Now that I have kids, I haven’t been able to help out as much, so I really appreciate when others pick up my shifts that need to be covered!

Our region has a main scheduler that is an absolute angel!  Cate works her tail off figuring out needs, re-arranging schedules, and making magic happen to ensure all of her 52 pharmacies open with a smiling face 362 days per year.  We use a scheduling tool called staffing angel, and Cate is truly our region’s staffing angel.  That’s her pictured above working her magic.

As far as holidays go, all Target pharmacies are closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  My partner and I trade off the other holidays to keep it equal.  Although I would rather be off, working a holiday is usually an easy shift and is a great opportunity to get caught up.  I have to admit, I get a  little jealous when ringing up guests for their sunscreen, margarita mix, and beach towels on July 4th.  However, I never get jealous of guests buying aspirin on New Year’s Day!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

the art of the hunt…

I know it’s cliché to say, but the buyer role is a true mix of art + science.  A R T, because there’s an aesthetic to merchandising and placing product on shelves (people buy with their eyes after all, right?) and S C I E N C E, because TGT is obsessed with numbers, formulas, and processes.  For good reason though – it’s easy to get sucked into the romance of buying … buying is essentially the same thing as shopping, only you’re shopping for the whole country instead of yourself.  It’s easy to just want the latest + greatest, or the shiniest + prettiest… but in the end if your purchase isn’t going to give you a return, then you need to let it go.  Buyer’s remorse on your mint.com statement is one thing.  Buyer’s remorse on your performance review is no bueno.

We just got back from a trend trip to NYC – trend shopping is a great way to put some muscle behind the A R T side of the job.  I know what you’re thinking – I buy appliances… functional electrics that plug into wall sockets… what the heck do I need to go trend shopping for? But really, cool hunting is how Target stays ahead and delivers on the Expect More, Pay Less promise.  You already know that you can walk my kitchen aisles and find blenders and slow cookers.  That’s the “expect” piece.  But when you’re browsing and you discover my exclusive damask patterned slow cooker (for $19.99!  whaaaa???) or a stand mixer donning Pantone’s color of the year (tangerine!), that’s the “expect more” that I strive to deliver every day.

So what’s the next trend?? You’ll see soon 🙂  I’m still marinating on my finds from our trip – to be truly ahead, you have to look beyond your category.  I soaked in what’s happening in high fashion, upscale department stores, teeny tiny soho boutiques, and culinary hot spots ( why is Eataly so amazing??  must. go. there. again. *nom*nom*nom*).  Believe it or not, there’s a lot of overlap between ready-to-wear and your kitchen.  But before I get too carried away with the A R T of it all, I need to go scrub my financials.  Nerding out is how we get to the “Pay Less” side of our promise.

 

Interested in a career in buying, planning and brand management? Search and apply for jobs here.

These shoes are made for POGgin!

If you see me walking around the building in flats it can only mean one thing: I’m headed to POG.  POG, Plano, Planogram, or “Pee-Oh-Gee” as one of my vendors likes to call it… is a visual representation of how we want our products to look in stores.  We have multiple rooms in our HQ where buyers can set up actual product samples to figure out how to best merchandise future assortments.  I’d show you what these rooms look like, buuuut I’d rather keep my job.  That’s right – these rooms are über-VIP, top secret, no photos | intruders | strangers allowed… so for the sake of understanding what I’m talking about, just picture a ginormous room with all the same fixtures + shelves you see in our stores littered with a ton of product samples of things you’ve never seen before.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in my flat shoes, setting up boxes + displays of my appliances, playing around with different iterations, and figuring out juuuust how many slow cookers I want to offer our guests for Crocktoberfest this fall.  It’s transition time, which includes a series of events all meant to get us to our final assortment decisions for Fall 2012.  Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know it’s April and you’re just seeing our most recent transition in stores NOW (if you haven’t checked out the small appliance dept at your local Tar-zhay, you need to get there stat… we had a sexy makeover at the end of March and our aisles are lookin’ goOOoood)… but we’re planning the rest of 2012 now.  That’s how we roll.

The whole transition process involves a lot: meeting with new + old vendors, scoping out new product offerings, negotiating business terms, kicking out old items, adding in new items, data-mining to understand market trends, scrubbing financials to gain profitability, and spending time in POG to make all the data-driven decisions look beautiful on the shelf.  It’s the art + science of being a buyer.  My small appliance CEO hat drives tried + true business decisions, and my merchant hat allows for calculated risks in the curation + editing of the assortment.  A lot of great decisions come from data.  A lot more come from a good eye and a knack for trend spotting.

I’m pretty excited to see how all my POGgin’ plays out in stores this fall – this is my first official transition and I have to say, I picked out some gems for all you kitchen aficionados. But you don’t have to wait til October – I do have a sweet quesadilla maker to help get you ready for your Cinco de Mayo soirees 🙂 Arriba!!!

(oh, and erm… maybe I should have clarified that by “flats” I really mean heels under 4”… hence, my “flat” shoes pictured above.  Yup.  I like tall shoes.)

 

Interested in a career in buying, planning and brand management? Search and apply for jobs here.

hobnobbing + jetsetting… buyer style….

So I’m not going to lie… Being a Target buyer is a pretty sweet gig.  Never mind the fact that I run my own multi-million- dollar business, bring cool items like this first to market, negotiate terms such as pricing, exclusivity, and promotion … There are some perks that take me away from the normal day-to-day buyer to-dos.  Case in point: last week was the 2012 International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago – the world’s largest marketplace for all peeps in the home and housewares industry (apparently there are 60,000 of us!)  OR… you can call it what it is:  4-days of rubbing elbows with VIP vendors and business owners; 4-days of the best trade shopping, browsing, perusing of items that have yet to be seen by the public eye; and 4-days of the greatest eats and drinks.  I mean c’mon! If we’re going to be in Chicago, we might as well grub and hydrate at America’s finest, right??  Plus, the housewares industry has a natural affinity for all things foodie-related so culinary trend-shopping (*ahem*, EATING) is just part of the job 🙂

Anyway, it was a whirlwind trip and you’ll get to see some of my favorite top-secret goods on our shelves this October.  But until then, in the spirit of Rob Gordon (or Rob Fleming, depending if you watched High Fidelity or read it), I’ll leave you with my Top Five moments of the 2012 International Home and Housewares Show :

  • Having dinner cooked by Iron Chef Michael Symon – ooOoh yeah daddy-o… Grandma Symon’s baklava recipe???  Amazing.  psst… Grandma’s secret is crushing graham crackers with the pistachios… game-changer.  I swear.
  • Partying with Aussie celebrity chef Curtis Stone and making sure he told his baby mama that the Target buyer is her biggest fan.
  • Embarrassing myself by getting completely star-struck from meeting Top Chef Stephanie Izard… and then proceeding to continue the embarrassment by earning the Creepy McCreepster award by continuously sneaking photos of her while she was cooking and not looking…
  • A dinner and private wine tasting that involved Pride Viognier, and Opus One Cabs, and French wines I can’t pronounce.
  • Comp shopping on State St and Mag Mile… and yes, I realize that TopShop doesn’t sell small appliances, but you can’t blame a girl for wanting to double-check!

Not too shabby, eh?  But even with all the fancy-pants meals and foodie celeb run-ins, it’s nice to be back home.  The only downside to the trip… unpacking my suitcase.  Blech.  And just between you and me, it’s still not unpacked.  Don’t tell my mother.

Interested in a career in buying, planning and brand management? Search and apply for jobs here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: B is for Bandages, Burns, and Bug Bites

Like most retail pharmacists, I end up giving lots of advice on over-the-counter medications and treatments.  While I can’t diagnose an ailment, I can offer my opinion of what would be best to help out.   Most questions are pretty straight forward like “How do I treat my poison ivy?” or “What’s the best cream for my ant bites?”  Every now and then I’ll see something that is unusual that requires a doctor’s visit.

I enjoy being able to help guests out, especially the kids.  Sometimes, all it takes is a princess bandage to make them feel all better.  And, when I have the time, it’s nice to go out on the floor and help someone find what would be best.  In fact, I occasionally wear a pedometer just to see  if I can walk 10,000 steps during a typical day.

When I first graduated from pharmacy school, questions about over-the-counter treatments scared me to death.  Believe it or not, pharmacy students don’t get that much education on OTC medications.  Anytime anyone would ask something, I would have to look up the answers.  This was circa 1997, so the internet wasn’t readily available.  Luckily, over the years it’s become easier, less intimidating, and even quite enjoyable learning about my guests and the best first aid for them!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.