retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Associated Press has an interview with Mark Tritton, Target's new chief merchandising officer, who brings to the job more than seven years as president of the Nordstrom Product Group. Some excerpts:

Re: common ground with Nordstrom... "We're finding common ground in that it's about brands. It's about gifts. It's about putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. What's different is our guests. And so I've been fortunate to have great experiences to get to know our guests and to find out more about them by diving into the extensive data about what we have about them ... down to having real experiences with guests. (In Chicago), I got to go to homes and talk to families and play board games with kids to understand what the joy of games was."

Re: holiday trends... "You have that great affordability and great value. But there is a little bit of glitz, from the sequined dresses to the gold silver trims in the home decorations. We're really excited about extending our franchise in Star Wars ... I think the assortment is really spectacular."

Re: growing food sales... "We're doing more sampling (of food). It creates a high level of engagement."
KC's View:
I've no idea whether Target is going to have a great holiday shopping season ... I suspect that the results will be mixed. To me, Target remains a retailer in search of a definitive image.