Target is completely overhauling its grocery department.
The company is going item by item through its grocery assortment and cutting back on middle-aisle dry packaged goods, while adding more fresh produce and organic and gluten-free products, Target CEO Brian Cornell said at a meeting Wednesday.
Based on his remarks, it sounds like Target’s grocery department will soon be unrecognizable from what it is today.
Target will “transform virtually every element of the [grocery] business,” Cornell said at the meeting, according to USA Today.
Target began revamping its groceries last year.
Cornell reportedly toured popular stores like Wegmans and Trader Joe’s to get inspiration for Target stores, according to The Wall Street Journal reports.
The company decided in early 2015 to refocus its grocery selection around seven major categories: meat, beer and wine, fruits and vegetables, coffee and tea, yogurt and granola, snacks, and candy.
Some of the initial improvements have already had a positive impact on sales. The company’s food sales in the last six months of 2015 grew faster than its overall sales, according to Cornell.
But many of the changes have taken longer than expected to implement, and Target has run into some issues with its supply chain along the way.
So the company is now focusing on a total reconstruction of the food department.
“The deeper we dug, the more fundamental challenges we found,” Cornell said on Wednesday, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We know repositioning food is going to be a much bigger task than just reconfiguring that part of the store.”
Target is investing more in food as the grocery industry in the US grows increasingly more crowded.
Walmart and traditional supermarkets like Kroger are investing more in organic offerings, fresh food, and online grocery ordering services.
Meanwhile, discount grocers like Aldi are rapidly opening new stores and high-end food retailer Whole Foods is planning to open a new cheaper chain of stores this year called 365 by Whole Foods Market.
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