Target's Silicon Valley IT Center Formally Unveiled

Does the real estate motto—location, location, location—also work for retail IT, at least when it comes to recruiting? Some folks at Target (NYSE:TGT) hope so. On Friday (May 17), the chain opened a major IT center in the Silicon Valley.

Target's Technology Innovation Center in San Francisco's Financial District will be the chain's West Coast focal point for for mobile, online, social media and overall e-commerce creations. "Retail is undergoing a major revolution, and technology is key," Beth Jacob, executive vice president and chief information officer for Target Technology Services, said during a media event at the new office Friday, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury-News.  "You have to be able to operate at warp speed and innovate very quickly."

Target has hired almost 20 employees for the new office, a diverse group that includes not only developers but also designers, data scientists and marketers. It shares some employees with SapientNitro, a digital marketing agency that shares the office and collaborates on many of Target's e-commerce initiatives, the Mercury-News story said. Among the initial projects for the site are image-recognition systems, more integrated store (and area) maps plus geofencing upgrades.

The new office, which occupies the third floor of the historic Folgers Coffee headquarters, is not solely to make recruitment easier. The chain said another goal is to have employees routinely visiting startups in California and inviting those people to collaborate with Target.

That story also offered this rather baffling line: "The office is outfitted with all the elements of a Silicon Valley startup: dry erase walls, movable desks and chairs, pods for brainstorming and lots of open space." Those elements also exist in just about every kind of business globally, with the possible exception of lots of open space.

For more:

- See San Jose Mercury-News story

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