Target CEO: we almost missed out on a $17 billion opportunity

Target plus size modelTargetTarget’s plus-size line is driving sales.

Target’s plus size line AVA + VIV marked a huge transition for the mega-retailer.

At the WWD Apparel and Retail CEO Summit in New York City, Target CEO Brian Cornell said that the retailer’s plus size offerings used to be much more scarce.

The brand was “getting some very tough feedback from some of the most influential bloggers” — about how scant the selection was, Cornell said at the conference.

He said that “instead of walking away from a $US17 billion category” the company embraced these women.

The brand hired plus-size style bloggers Gabi Gregg Nicolette Mason, and Chastity Garner-Valentine to give input and model the fashions.

The girls came back for the fall collection.

“We gave wish lists of things we wanted to see, gave our own personal insight on how individual styles could be improved, and shared fit and production notes from the spring collection – and of course, we also had the opportunity to share all the feedback we received from you, our community,” Mason wrote on her blog in July

Brian CornellTarget.comTarget CEO Brian Cornell.

The fall lineup gave Target another opportunity to appeal to this crucial demographic.

And Cornell was not shy about admitting that Target has faltered in the past.

“It wasn’t that long ago, many people were asking,’ has Target forever lost its mojo?'” He said, citing eight quarters of negative traffic, three quarters of negative comparable store sales, and sluggish shares.

“Even members of our own team were wondering,were our best days in our rearview mirror?’

Cornell enthusiastically reported that stock is now at an all-time high and that the retailer had three quarters in a row of positive sales. Its digital business, he said, was growing at two times faster than the rest of the industry.

Still, he wants Target to continue to innovate.

“I tell our team every single day we’re just getting started,” he said, regarding the state of the company as a whole. ” We have a lot of work to do.”

NOW WATCH: Best Buy is using a robot that could change the way we shop forever

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.