Minneapolis – Target Corp. reportedly experienced difficulties in areas including product mix and corporate creativity under ousted CEO Gregg Steinhafel. According to the Wall Street Journal, these difficulties preceded any problems relating to Target’s fall 2013 data breach or expansion into Canada and helped lead to Steinhafel’s essentially forced resignation.
Anonymous Target executives and employees say that where Target had once benefited from assortments that varied from store to store, Steinhafel instituted much more rigid controls over product mix. Target also started relying more heavily on consumer staples and goods from suppliers who would pay higher placement fees, rather than trying to offer new and unique items.
In general, marketing and merchandising became more bureaucratic. The data breach and loss of profits caused by Target’s Canada expansion exacerbated existing issues. On May 2, a number of executives who had stopped bringing grievances to Steinhafel told the Target board they would leave if he did not. Steinhafel announced his resignation on May 5. Steinhafel declined to comment in the article.