Target's Casey Carl talks innovation, disruption

Target (NYSE:TGT) has been named one of Fast Company's "Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail" and Casey Carl, Target's chief strategy and innovation officer, offered up his thoughts on innovation and the related notion of disruption.

"We define innovation as any new idea that creates a benefit for consumers by addressing an existing problem or unmet need. It also needs to be commercially viable, meaning people will pay for it. It could be a product, offering or experience," Carl said on Target's A Bullseye View.

     Casey Carl

Innovation is critical to return Target to growth, but efforts must be tested, validated and financial viable. It's a process that is strictly followed, said Carl. "At any phase in this process, an idea can be killed. The faster the better."

"For Target to become a growth company again, we must infuse innovation across our entire portfolio," Carl said. "We look at three paths to growth: expanding our core business, identifying adjacent opportunities that can extend our assets or capabilities to new customers or markets, or creating entirely new businesses or business models that will be incredibly disruptive. My team will help identify and create many of these opportunities, but will also teach the organization how to leverage innovation best practices across all business areas."

During CEO Brian Cornell's tenure, Target has opened a technology lab and an interactive showroom focused on developing initiatives around the growing Internet of Things. Digital initiatives, including the Cartwheel savings app and RFID implementation, have been rolled out to create a more cohesive omnichannel shopping experience. There are also reports that Target is developing a mobile wallet.

"In today's retail landscape where the pace of change is forever accelerating, companies that desire growth must continually evolve at an even faster pace," said Carl. "If you look back over the past 100 years across industries, the only indicator of an organization's continued success is their ability to consistently innovate."

For more:
-See this interview on A Bullseye View

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Target digital sales jump 20%
Target to open first Manhattan store

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