Target week 3

This week went by quickly.  The focus for me on week three was learning different about different of the sales floor.  I shadowed one of the sales floor executive team leaders, and we took a more in-depth look at how each department was doing compared to the same month last year, as well as year over year and tried to figure out why.  Trying to figure out why certain products or departments are performing well and others not so well is very intriguing.  There are a lot of influencers that can be at play and trying to tell a story from the numbers can be quite tricky.  Trying to decide how to display endcaps was entailed in this detailed overview of departments.  I am still trying to figure out figure out exactly how vendor endcaps work.  From what I have gathered, some vendors pay for their own space, but the store is given a certain percentage of endcaps they can do what they want with.  IMG_9914

One such end cap I personally do not like is this peanut butter and Nutella end cap.  I am brainstorming ideas for what to put in this place.  If you have any thoughts please leave a comment.  Ideally, this product will be fresh, new, and not sold elsewhere in our stores.  I realize you may not know what products exactly are sold in our stores and that’s ok.  Something that may be unexpected yet welcoming to the fresh market department.  This end cap receives a lot of traffic passing, yet does not sell very much off of it.  Only a few isles down you can find the exact same display on the first section within an isle.  Thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

 

At the end of the week, our Group vice president who oversees 65 stores came in for a store visit.  This was by far the highlight of my week.  He brought with him a store team leader from a struggling store to our store to learn how we are one of the top stores in the group.  I am not really sure if she got a whole lot from the walk, but our leadership team sure did.  He drilled us with questions on metrics, and why things were happening such as receiving low net promoter scores.  Net promoter scores are gathered from guest surveys; you know, at the bottom of most retailers receipts they have an optional survey.  Well, some people actually do fill these out and we do follow up with anyone requesting a follow up as soon as possible.  Our Group VPs main point was why were our leaders not catching the issues that were then put onto these surveys before they were happening.  I really enjoyed the way he walked us through these different issues which are critical to sales.  He made our store team leader very uncomfortable, but this served an important purpose.  Some of the issues we face in retail we have no excuse for.  A

Some of the issues we face in retail we have no excuse for.  A guest should never leave our store feeling someone has been rude to them.  Especially after a big week where Amazon bought Whole Foods.  Most companies in a wide range of industries are wondering, and worrying about this merger.  As a big box retailer, Target must stay on top of giving guests exceptional customer service at all points of contact within our stores to remain competitive in an ever growing e-commerce world.

Week 2 at Target

I feel like the last two weeks have flown by.  I do look forward to the two day weekend ahead of me.  I am still on the fence whether I like the way Target schedules.  Retail in general people work weekends, holidays, and nights.  This is something I’ve known for a long time, but still am unsure if I really like it.  That being said, in the last two weeks, there has been very little office time other than doing some training modules.  Most of the time has been spent on the sales floor either shadowing a leader or learning about a team member’s perspective.  After the end of two weeks, I feel way more comfortable with the general workings of the operation and feel comfortable diving into more higher level learning.

One of the main things I am looking for out of this internship is to become a better leader, as well as learning ways to improve sales.  I can generate a lot of questions when it comes to these two goals.  How do different leaders make decisions?  How do their decisions impact the way team members behave?  How does the behavior of a leader impact the behavior of a team member?  How does signage help with increasing sales?

The focus of this week was logistics.  I spent two mornings unloading the truck, sorting and putting away inventory, learning about how inventory flows through the building, how the store is measured and learning about ways to improve on these scores.  I do feel like I spent enough time putting products on shelves and would like to focus more on filling empty spaces as well as managing cross merchandise.  All in all, though I need to figure out ways to better lead others to achieve those goals.

I would like to start working on some opportunities to increase our lowest performing departments, as well as increase our REDcard sign-ups.  A few other things I need to work on is logging the activities I do during this internship, logging my questions and ideas, and networking with other leaders.

Week 1 at Target

My internship at Target landed in my lap after replying to an email on a whim.  I had no clue what to expect and was not even that excited at the time.  When FMA hosted Target, however, I quickly changed my outlook after meeting a few of the members of the leadership team.  Now, after finishing my first week, I have had a great time, enjoy what I have been doing, and am loving the company culture so far.

 

The first half of the program is mainly shadowing, but I like that I have been thrown right into the fire.  I always learn best when actually doing a task instead of simply watching over someone’s shoulder.  I am one to ask a lot of questions and this week I have probably had one nearly every minute!

 

Target has done a great job at giving me as much information as I am ready for.  I feel like if an intern doesn’t seek out information, and know what they desire to get out of the internship then they really won’t gain much from the 10-week experience.  I at the beginning wanted to make as much out of this opportunity as possible.   I look forward to being able to work with each leader for at least a week.

 

The only things I have not enjoyed were seeing how much food is thrown away at Target’s Food Center.  They follow very strict rules set by a private company which is leagues ahead of the Health Department’s food safety rules.  They have to throw away fresh breadsticks and pizza every twenty minutes.  Starbucks has to throw away coffee every thirty minutes.  On one side, the margins are so high for these products that Target doesn’t lose money, however, the waste is enormous.

 

Overall, I have really enjoyed my time.  No day or hour has been the same.  The video training is fairly bland and boring, but what job doesn’t have boring training materials?  Looking forward, I know that every day will offer different challenges and opportunities to grow as a leader.

 

Cheers to week 1!