retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to Michael Sansolo's column yesterday about the new crop of retailer and supplier CEOs, one MNB reader wrote:

Michael, one of the primary responsibilities of the Board of any company is to ensure succession for CEO and key roles. If the Board is doing their job, why do so many have to go to the outside to replace the CEO?  Shouldn’t those Board members be giving their pay back for not delivering their key responsibility as a Board member? 

We all read AG Lafley’s HBR articles on Succession Management that he penned when stepping down from P&G, only to find out that Bob had to be replaced by AG himself. This is only one example of many; I called it out because someone felt that what AG did was noteworthy of a HBR feature.

When do Boards start accepting accountability for their failure?

Regarding our coverage of Target, and my assessment of the company's current status, MNB reader Anne Maas wrote:

I have always been a huge fan of Target since shopping the stores in MN from a very young age, spending 8 years of my career in multiple positions within their HQ, and continuing to shop their stores faithfully since that time.

My experiences in their stores have always been positive up until the past 6 months. We relocated to NJ and, like another reader, have found the stores not living up to the Target standards I have previously been accustomed.

In-stocks are not great, the bathrooms have been horribly filthy, and there literally have been no carts available anywhere inside the store on multiple occasions. (And trust me, it wasn't busy in the store ...) During my last visit to a NJ store I was searching for a cart with multiple management-looking team members right nearby, none of which took notice and offered assistance.

Not the Target I've always known and loved.

But, from another reader:

I am not happy with their mishandling of my private data but to your point on the state of some of their stores, one thing I will say in their favor is their stores are a thousand percent more cheerful, neat and clean and well organized vs other major discount/value chains that are literally depressing to walk into. I (used to) enjoy going to Tarzhay.  Less so now, but for data breach reasons, not because my store fell off. Walnut Creek CA store is a nice store.
KC's View: