Wall Street can be cruel, especially when it comes to innovation initiatives.
Last week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Target has axed two of its innovation initiatives, the Store of the Future and Project Goldfish, after the company missed expectations for the holiday season. The Store of the Future concept, which was expected to launch this year, was a rethink of Target that included smaller format stores and robots for order fulfillment.
“At Target, we regularly pause to evaluate our business and have to make tough choices about where our company is best served to invest our time and resources,” Dustee Jenkins, Target’s senior vice president of communications, told the Star Tribune. “We recently made some changes to the innovation portfolio to refocus our efforts on supporting our core business, both in stores and online, and delivering against our strategic priorities.”
The moves also comes after departures of some key execs, including their head of innovation, Jamil Ghani, left for Amazon. The loss of Ghani is doubly painful since many analysts believe Amazon is responsible for slowing sales at Target and other large retailers.
From the Star Tribune:
The cutbacks have left some within the company unsettled about Target’s long-term plans for growth and innovation, especially as more consumers are flocking to Amazon.com. The online behemoth is known for innovation, including its one-hour Prime Now delivery service and a new store concept without registers that it recently opened in Seattle.
However, not all innovation efforts at Target have seen the ax. The company’s recently relaunched Open House concept store in San Francisco reopens this week.
Editors Note: I will be hosting an event at the store on February 16th on the future of the smart kitchen. Sign up for our newsletter to get more info on that event.