The Minneapolis-based retailer also named Michael Fiddelke as chief financial officer.
Mark Tritton — who in his three years as chief merchant helped Target regain its edge in style with a well-regarded overhaul of its private-label brands — is leaving the company to become CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond.
The Minneapolis-based retailer announced Tritton’s departure Wednesday afternoon as well as the internal promotion of Michael Fiddelke to become its next chief financial officer, replacing Cathy Smith, who had previously announced her retirement.
Tritton came to Target from Nordstrom after CEO Brian Cornell spent more than a year searching for a new chief merchandising officer. The chief-merchant role is typically the No. 2 role at a retailer and has special prominence at Target, which is known for its cheap-chic offerings.
At the time of Tritton’s hiring, many retail analysts felt Target had lost its flair, and its sales were beginning to droop.
Under his leadership, Target has launched more than two dozen new private-label brands in the past two years, replacing many of its older longtime brands such as Mossimo and Merona. Some examples include Goodfellow & Co. in men’s clothing, Project 62 and Opalhouse in home, Heyday in electronics accessories, as well as new swimwear and lingerie brands.
Tritton also helped draw in outside brands such as Hunter boots, Vineyard Vines and Victoria Beckham to collaborate with Target on its hallmark limited-time design partnerships.
The new brands, as well as efforts to remodel stores and to improve digital offerings, have helped propel Target to robust sales growth at a time when department stores and some other retailers are struggling.
“He’s been very instrumental in the turnaround that’s happened in the last few years,” said Brian Yarbrough, an analyst with Edward Jones. “About a year after he came on board, it seemed like things got better for Target, so this is definitely a loss.”
Retailers work quite far in advance, Yarbrough said, so Target’s plans for the holiday season already are set and likely for the spring, too.
Target said it will not search for a new chief merchant at this time. Instead, two current executives — Christina Hennington and Jill Sando — will assume interim leadership of the merchandising organization. They both took on expanded responsibilities in January when they became senior vice presidents and general-merchandising managers.
“As we head into the holiday season and beyond, Christina and Jill are well positioned to lead our merchandising organization given their strong business acumen and extensive experience driving ambitious and successful merchandising strategies,” Cornell said in a statement.
Hennington, who has been with Target since 2003, oversees essentials, beauty, hardlines and services and will assume responsibility of merchandise planning and capabilities. Sando, who has been with Target since 1997, is in charge of apparel, accessories and home and also will now oversee brand sourcing, design and brand management.
Date: October 10, 2019
Source: Star Tribune