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From the Editor

Hitting the Mark

Target takes home the 2021 VMSD/Peter Glen Retailer of the Year award, again.

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EACH YEAR, VMSD’S editorial advisory board selects one retailer that exemplifies the qualities of innovation, service and intelligence and bestows upon it the VMSD/Peter Glen Retailer of the Year award. In the past, we’ve honored disruptors like Amazon, Story and Restoration Hardware for their efforts in transforming retail in their own unique way.

This year, as retailers continued to grapple with the impact of a global pandemic on their businesses, our board chose to award this coveted recognition, for the second time in its history and exactly 20 years from the first award, to Target (see coverage on p.21). Unlike many of its big box competitors whose go-to-market strategy focuses on price or convenience, Target delivers the total customer experience, an approach that transformed the brand from a bland discounter into “Tar-jay” – the retailer with a knack for grabbing the hearts and minds of consumers and turning a weekly trip to the store into an experience of discovery and delight.

At the core of the Target experience, then and today, is design. From the skillfully curated music in its broadcast advertising to the iconic Bull Terrier “Bullseye,” the mascot who graces the brand’s print ads with his quirky presence and whose likeness appears in stores in mannequin form, there’s a good chance that a customer interaction with the Target brand will elicit a compelling emotional response.

Its stores, which we have covered so many times in these pages, are a core part of that brand identity, and the retailer is known for breathing new life into historic locations – an old cinema in Brooklyn or a retro bowling alley in Portland – and seamlessly weaving its emblematic red brand color and iconography throughout the interior. Not to be pigeonholed, the brand’s assortment of formats is as diverse as its vast product offering, and Target’s commitment to physical retail is unwavering with the brand announcing an investment of $4 billion annually over the next few years this spring.

Though challenges with supply chain and out-of-stocks linger as the holiday season approaches, Target has handily navigated some of the most difficult times the retail industry has seen in recent times and has redoubled its efforts to build on lessons learned in this ever-changing world to the delight of its shoppers.

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Jennifer Acevedo
Editor-in-Chief/Associate Publisher, VMSD Magazine

Jennifer Acevedo is the editor-in-chief and associate publisher of VMSD magazine.

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