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Target grocery chief departs

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MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. senior vice president of grocery merchandising Anne Dament will be leaving the company on November 18 after a year and half in that role, Target announced earlier this month. Dament was hired in April 2015 from Safeway Inc. to oversee the food business as one of the first major hires by Target chief executive officer Brian Cornell.

Dament grew up in the Twin Cities and started her career as a buyer for Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu. She is the third senior executive to depart Target in recent months. Jeff Jones, Target’s chief marketing officer, left the company in August to become president of Uber, and Jason Goldberger, Target’s chief digital officer, left the company in September.

Target said it will conduct an extensive search within and outside the company to find Dament’s replacement. Her duties are being transitioned to Mark Tritton, Target’s chief merchandising officer, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Dament has been engaged in a campaign to update Target’s grocery aisles, an effort that has involved adding hundreds of natural, gluten-free and organic items to its shelves. Officials have emphasized that while Target is not trying to become a full-service grocer, it expects to become a more reliable destination for shoppers’ fill-in trips.

However, grocery sales declined in Target’s most recent quarter, which Target executives cited in explaining a 1.1% dip in comparable-store sales and a 2.2% drop in traffic in the fiscal second quarter. They also acknowledged they hadn’t been effective enough in emphasizing low prices in store displays and circulars, which they promised to address.

Yet, grocery remains significant to Target’s overall business, according to the company, accounting for an estimated 20% of its sales. The company has also been trying out various cosmetic changes in some grocery departments, such as more attractive lighting and display bins, and in some markets it has hired grocery directors.


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