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Target’s CEO Is Going Undercover to Research Shoppers’ Habits

Photo: John Greim/Getty Images

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Target's CEO Brian Cornell really wants to get to know Target's customers. So much so that he's visiting Target shoppers in their homes, all across the country.

"Target CEO Brian Cornell’s quest to understand shoppers takes him inside customers’ homes, looking in their cupboards and closets," Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's Nick Halter writes.

Cornell is headed out to Chicago this week for pre-arranged house calls, which he considers important research into what Target can do better. He travels with Target execs and researchers, and the team has already gone door-to-door in cities like Boston, San Francisco, LA, and Dallas.

It sounds like he goes undercover when he visits Target shoppers too.

"No one knows I am the CEO of Target when I do that," Cornell told reporters during a question-and-answer session. "They don’t even know we’re from Target. We will interview them. I have sat with Hispanic moms with 5-year-old little girls, talking about their needs as they think about their baby, where they shop, what they shop for."

"Our overall focus — on being closer to the guest, closer to the consumer, being externally focused — means you have to get out there and listen," he said. "I spend a lot of time in houses and in stores, just listening to our front-line organization and the guest."

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune reports that this is a new approach for the chain, and that Target is focusing in on "Hispanic moms and single millennials" to research how these demographic groups prefer to shop for food, fashion, and more. Target's currently investing in more stores in urban areas, and the brand partnered with CW's Jane The Virgin recently in an effort to reach more Hispanic shoppers.