Target Battles Perception vs. Reality With Shoppers

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May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Bill McGowan, author of “Pitch Perfect,” and Josh Feldmeth, Chief Executive Officer at Interbrand Group, discuss Target’s reputation with customers following the data breach suffered during the most recent holiday shopping season, increased competition faced from other retailers and online entities, and what the company needs to look for in a new CEO. They speak on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

Care that the ceo could be leading -- leaving -- isn't just about selling products at good prices?

I think it is more about a retail strategy.

I was talking to a venture capitalist in the valley about the target situation, and he said something interesting, convenience and value, being able to get product at a good price, and not having the consumer disrupt shopping patterns will always trump privacy and security.

Those things matter more to the consumer.

I do not think it is a matter of having an effective medications chatterjee over the data breach, -- communications strategy over a data breach.

Is one of the problems that target has a lot more competition today than they did four years ago?

Target was the first big chain, discounting store that was cool, stylish, and now calls another companies have these high-end boutique companies.

Not only them, zahra, h&m. think about them, i live there, brother.

They are moving faster with faster replenishment and great style in their merchandise.

The second thing is the convenience story is being challenged by the amazons of the world.

Julie hyman, our retail reporter, was working this out earlier -- walmart and target get the same amount of percentage from the revenue from online, for some reason the perception is target continues to be so behind walmart in the online business.

Bill mcgowan, why is that?

What are they doing wrong in that kind of communication such strategy -- communicate and -- communications strategy?

It is one of those jobs that has to be done in the board room with your communications team in there, figuring out how to weave in that e-commerce, online messaging through everything that we do.

If cannot just be an appendage to what we go out and say as a tack on.

If they want to push their image as excelling in this area, they have to figure out a way to craft the message and incorporate it into every external communications situation.

It cannot be a one-off hit.

I would say they have to go further, make experience seamless -- when i am shopping online, on the mobile app, and in the store, i have to have an experience and understand to im am and make it personal for me.

They can do that.

They are not being recognized for that.

They are in the game, they just need to make the experience seamless.

Is there a retailer out there that has a teflon brand?

I do not check it, but somewhere in my head i believe amazon has the best price, walmart is the cheapest, and i never checked those prices.

Target's price comparison is somewhere between 2% and number four percent higher.

-- 4% higher.

Target is based on cheap chic with liberals of convenience -- with little -- with convenience.

They need to make the online expense meet up in a seamless way.

, --bill mcgowan, d believe there is loyalty or customers will flee for price or style?

I would leave that to josh feldmeth, as the expert in the area, but in terms of repairing the image, the thing about the data breach story that might say a lot about your survey yesterday, that consumers are willing to forgive and forget, the data breach story is not really a visual story so much as that gm story would be, or the bp oil spill story.

It is hard to visualize that.

Any consumer that has had his or her e-mail account hacked knows the feeling of that breach being done to you.

So, when i saw the results of your survey yesterday, that is what spoke to me, the fact that may be consumers are not holding target so accountable for what happened back in december.

You make interesting point, especially with bp, because when the oil was flowing out, nothing could solve the problem until the visual went away, which leads me to the ceo question.

We are in an interim ceo situation with mulligan.

What is the number one quality the ceo might need to have, bill mcgowan?

He has to exude an air of confidence and trust.

They are in a trust rebuilding stage.

I think that's a really need to focus on what the narrative is moving forward.

They cannot be looking in the rearview mirror, continually addressing a problem that, at least according to the survey, has already been dealt with, and a need to have, as i said before, more of a retail strategy and a communications strategy.

You can also learn from the jcpenney ron johnson episode, how much changes required question that there is a lot that is right about the brand and a few fundamental -- required?

There is a lot right with this brand and if you fundamentally break what you have with the customer you cannot forget your target.

Why does it seem like it is so tough to get these retailers -- they do not have to knock the cover off of the ball.

Jcpenney's just has to find the lane pettitte they do not have to be the fastest.

-- lane.

They do not have to be the fastest.

Retail markets have always been operated on a daily basis and that has been complicated by online retail.

They fundamentally have to create a virtual experience.

It has always been difficult and it is harder now.

Who should be the ceo?

I will leave that to the board.

Bill, do you think medications and the face of the brand is that -- communication and the face of the brand is that important, or is it just what is on the rack?

What is stocking the shelves, and the price tag on those things matters more than who is occupying the c suite.

I do not think anyone when they go shopping is making the decision based on who the ceo is at the time.

Thank you so much.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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