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Target to cut thousands of jobs at Minneapolis headquarters

MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun

Several thousand? Stribber Kavita Kumar reports, “Target Corp. over the next two years will cut several thousand jobs at its headquarters in downtown Minneapolis, where it is the largest employer, as it pours the savings into digital initiatives executives believe will meet the changing habits of shoppers. Company executives were expected to use a meeting with investors and analysts Tuesday to announce job cuts. The scale of the move, along with its focus on the headquarters, was a surprise. Target aims to produce $2 billion in annual savings.”

For the Wall Street Journal, Paul Ziobro says, “Over the next two years, Target expects to cut costs by $2 billion to pay for investments in technology, the development of smaller urban stores as well as upgrades to its selections of food, apparel and home goods. … A key question had been how Target would pay for the turnaround, and the effect it will have on earnings growth. Target’s headquarters had long been viewed as bloated, with too many layers of management and unnecessary complexity.”

Hiroku Tabuchi of The New York Times says, “Craig Johnson, the president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail consulting firm based in New Canaan, Conn., said that succeeding would be difficult, but that it could attract a lot of customers. He also said that cutting jobs and costs was a painful but necessary step. Still, he added: ‘The trick is, you can’t cut your way to growth. You have to build traffic. You have to get your customers back.’”

At USA Today, Hadley Malcolm writes, “Target wants to position its brands to appeal to Millennial families and Hispanics in particular, two groups that are increasingly making up its customer base. That means bolstering its mobile apps and digital experiences in stores. Three-quarters of Target customers start shopping on a mobile device, Tesija said, and last year mobile traffic grew 44 percent. Customers who shop on multiple channels also spend three times as much as customers who shop only in stores.”

Some folks might want to catch up with Stewart “Whole Earth Catalog” Brand’s thinking on this topic. Don Davis of the Forum News Service says, “The owner of Minnesota’s nuclear power plants has no plans to build a new one, but wants flexibility to do it if needed. Noting state law bans nuclear plant construction, Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, has sponsored a bill to overturn Minnesota’s nuclear power plant moratorium. … Nathan Makala of the Heartland Institute in Chicago, however, said that nuclear power is safe and ‘requires far less land than other sources of green energy such as wind’. Nuclear supporters said it causes little pollution and can pump millions of dollars into the local economy. It provides ‘stable and affordable energy,’ Makala said.”

After another wasted two weeks: Stribber Allison Sherry writes from DC, “There has been so much drama with funding the Department of Homeland Security that the effort basically sucked all the energy out of the last two weeks of Congress. Yet, today, the divided Minnesota House delegation all voted the same: To support a ‘clean’ bill to fund the Department through this September. The three Republican Reps. Tom Emmer, John Kline and Erik Paulsen joined Democratic Reps. Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Rick Nolan and Collin Peterson in a yes vote.” I’d suggest we declare a holiday anytime that crowd gets something done, if it weren’t for the fact they treat every term like a holiday.

Hey pal, this is supposed to be a team sport. In the PiPress, David Montgomery reports, “Wisconsin Republicans are trying to pass a controversial ‘right-to-work’ law that would ban ‘union shop’ contracts requiring union membership. But on Tuesday, they got some pushback from a top member of their own party from Minnesota. Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, said Wisconsin’s right-to-work bill is ‘heavy-handed and wrong’ and would hurt business owners who want to work with unions. And he wants to bring those businesses to Minnesota.”

Does anyone ever follow up on this stuff to see what real business comes out of these junkets? The AP notes, “Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has Mexico in his sights. The Democratic governor’s office said Tuesday that he will lead an August trade mission south of the U.S. border. Specific details about duration and precise destinations weren’t immediately released.”

A quartet of legislators has a Strib commentary touting their legislation to get crowd-sourced investments functioning in Minnesota. They say, “We introduced legislation known as MNvest that would modernize Minnesota securities laws so that businesses in the state could use the Internet to connect with ordinary Minnesotans who might want to become investors. This process of pooling together capital from a large group of citizens is commonly known as ‘crowdfunding.’ … We’ve found that many of our constituents are surprised to learn that this type of ‘equity crowdfunding is not currently permitted in Minnesota. This is primarily due to the fact that our laws have failed to adapt with technology, and in doing so have prevented companies from accessing billions of dollars of untapped capital.” Really? Billions?

Adrian Peterson is willing to play … in San Diego. At Yahoo Sports, Charles Robinson says, “While Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson continues to have an open dialogue with the franchise about his future, he has pondered potential trade destinations and would consider a contract restructure if a deal becomes necessary, sources have told Yahoo Sports. … the running back prefers five teams: the Arizona Cardinals, the Indianapolis Colts, the Cowboys, the San Diego Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”

Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/04/2015 - 07:10 am.

    Ya gotta give Garofalo credit. The union boss loving business community is an under served constituency.

    “What do we want?” “Acrimony!” When do we want it? “Now!”

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/04/2015 - 09:10 am.

    And, speaking of Wisconsin, Governor Walker has managed Wisconsin’s budget to a surplus, without raising taxes.

    Perhaps your good neighbor to the East might be persuaded to provide some helpful suggestions on mitigating the loss of tax revenue those 2000 laid off Target employees represent.

  3. Submitted by Bill Willy on 03/04/2015 - 09:18 am.

    ATTENTION: Minneapolis Target Management Folks

    “Cut several thousand jobs, save $2 billion and pour it into digital initiatives (mobile apps and digital experiences in stores) to meet the changing habits of shoppers.”

    “Three-quarters of Target customers start shopping on a mobile device.”

    “Last year mobile traffic grew 44 percent.”

    “Customers who shop on multiple channels spend three times as much as customers who shop only in stores.”

    Genuinely interesting stats that have big implications beyond Target, no doubt. (Especially that last one.)

    Would recommend anyone working in one of those layers of Target management take a look at some of the stuff you’ll find when you do a search on “how to create apps for mobile devices” (like this one):

    What you’re trying to help manage MAY be unnecessarily complicated, but you probably have some insights that could come in handy in your (potential upcoming) “lemons into lemonade” process.

    Good luck!

  4. Submitted by jody rooney on 03/04/2015 - 09:39 am.

    We actually need more unions

    It will help restore the balance of power between labor and capital.

    Speaking of capital it is about time Target invested in a better web site. Their current one is not effective, too many results and not enough options to gross sort the results.

  5. Submitted by Bill Willy on 03/04/2015 - 10:16 am.

    “Little pollution and millions of dollars”

    Not to be a stickler for detail, but how high up on the “potential pollutant scale” do all those pesky “spent nuclear fuel rods” being stored in close proximity to the Mississippi River rank?

    Not that anything could ever go wrong (this is NOT Japan or Russia!), but I’ve wondered for a long time what would happen to “the immediate ecosystem” (including how many people’s drinking water?) if the “stuff” being “temporarily stored” at either or both of Minnesota’s two nuclear power plants got flushed, or leaked, into the northern end of the Mississippi.

    Don’t know for sure, but SEEM to recall something about a realistic plan for dealing with the nuclear waste being a prerequisite for lifting Minnesota’s nuclear power plant moratorium. I could be wrong about that, but either way, it would be interesting to hear about that part of the plan Mary Kiffmeyer and the owner of Minnesota’s nuclear power plants have put together.

  6. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 03/04/2015 - 11:06 am.

    Details, details

    From the link:

    “However, the caveat in the calculations for Walker’s proposed budget is that it leaves out $4.76 billion in federal funds, program revenue, and restricted funds for the University of Wisconsin System in FY17 that is included for FY16 and all prior budgets.

    “The reason for leaving non-GPR funding out for UW in the budget’s second year is because of Walker’s plan to “spin-off” the system to run as it’s own private authority in FY17. If that happens, only GPR spending for the UW System would show up on the state’s spending records as the new UW authority begins to manage its own finances.

    “If the UW funds were added to total state spending – to mirror previous budgets – the result is a jump to $73.1 billion. That is a 4.4 percent increase over the base-year doubled.”

    Walker seems bent on destroying the University of Wisconsin and indeed education in Wisconsin in general. Walker’s using the same sort of accounting tricks Pawlenty used during his two terms to pass the tough budget choices on to his successor.

  7. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/04/2015 - 11:08 am.

    Now that the Cold War is over

    Lefties can be honest about nuclear power, which they only opposed on orders from the Soviets in an attempt to slow down our development of the technology.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 03/05/2015 - 12:22 pm.

      Remember Chernobyl Tester

      That solidified the distrust of nuclear power as well as a particular reactor in the US in that era. What a silly comment

  8. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 03/04/2015 - 12:39 pm.


    It’s hard to believe that the Minn Post mods still allow the use of the inaccurate and demeaning term “union boss”. They are democratically elected after all.

    On the other hand, it did take them a while to realize that “Democrat Party” (sans “-ic”) was unacceptable in the comment section, but they did get that straightened out. So one presumes there is hope, although the opinion of a union thug like me should be heavily discounted. (I do dream of one day being a union goon.)

  9. Submitted by Steve Vigoren on 03/04/2015 - 02:00 pm.

    Nuclear power

    The news is out, small scale solar widely distributed will significantly reduce the need for the number of large power plants. And now that power companies have come to realize that, they are starting to push back to try and maintain the status quo of their cost plus, cost overrun(, lobbying, CEO packages way of doing business.

    Minnesota has pretty good rules requiring power companies to purchase electricity generated by small scale producers. ( We need to maintain those rules. Some republican controlled states are caving to power company demands to make small scale solar less attractive. Wisconsin for one, imagine that! (

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