Target Strengthens Grocery Strategy and Expands Same-Day Delivery

Target wants to accelerate the retailer’s grocery strategy and for that purpose the company hired two new senior food and beverage leaders, Mark Kenny and Liz Nordlie. To compete with Amazon, the discount chain is buying a software company that manages local and same-day deliveries.

The new executives bring industry expertise to help Target implement their grocery strategy aimed at offering a differentiated experience, with an emphasis on fresh produce, convenient eating and a curated assortment of affordable and accessible owned and national brands.

“We have been making positive progress with our assortment, presentation and operations in food and beverage this year. With Jeff Burt’s leadership, and the investment we’re making to bring on two new seasoned executives, combined with our already talented team, I’m confident we’ll be able to go even further, faster, delivering both an experience and assortment that’s uniquely Target,” said Mark Tritton, Target executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.

Two Experienced Executives to Improve Target’s Grocery Strategy

Kenny will join Target as vice president divisional, meat and fresh prepared food where he will oversee the meat, seafood, deli, bakery and prepared food categories. Kenny will help sharpen the retailer’s grocery strategy focus on convenient eating, saving Target guests time and money, in addition to offering a curated mix of owned and national brands in these categories. Kenny joins Target from Walmart Inc., where he most recently was the senior director of private brands, deli and bakery.

Nordlie will join Target as vice president, product design and development for food and beverage. In this newly created role, Nordlie will oversee the brand direction and product vision for owned brand food and beverage categories. With 27 years of brand building experience across 30 food and beverage businesses, Nordlie will lead and strengthen efforts underway with Target’s owned brand portfolio. Nordlie joins Target from General Mills, Inc., where she spent 20 years in general management roles, building brands across cereal, snacks, meals, yogurt and baking core businesses, as well as natural and organics. Most recently, Nordlie was the president of General Mills baking division.

Kenny and Nordlie will join Target at the end of August.

Ready to Compete with Amazon

The retail chain agreed to acquire Grand Junction, a transportation technology company, to improve and expand Target’s delivery capabilities.

According to Bloomberg, Target is taking the next step in its competition with Amazon. Target is betting that Grand Junction’s tech, combined with its 1,800 physical stores, will help it speed up delivery at a time consumers are starting to expect it as a basic service.

Related: Target Restock Launched to Compete with Amazon and Walmart

San Francisco-based Grand Junction offers a software platform that’s used by retailers, distributors and third-party logistics providers to manage local deliveries through a network of more than 700 carriers. Currently, Grand Junction is working with Target on its same-day delivery pilot at the Target store in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood.

“Target is seizing a tremendous opportunity to leverage local delivery as a retail differentiator,” said Rob Howard, Grand Junction’s founder and CEO, who will become a vice president of technology at Target. “We’re thrilled about helping to pursue this opportunity, and to join Target at this unprecedented time in retail.”

Information provided by Business Wire