Target: An about-face on its grocery strategy?

Brian Cornell has made plenty of changes since joining Target, and his latest is a renewed focus on grocery categories that can position the store away from more “basic” food stores. I express some skepticism on this recent RetailWire post:

All of the categories mentioned by Mr. Cornell (snacks, coffee, craft beer, and so forth) represent a reversal of the “commodity” approach favored by Greg Steinhafel and his team. While a niche approach to the grocery business is more consistent with the Target brand, it may not drive enough volume to justify the massive capital investment and space reallocation devoted to food over the past five years or so. The question is whether a modified “Trader Joe’s” approach will compel Target’s customers to do most of their grocery shopping somewhere else.

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