Change Management – On Target With The Speed Of Change And Other Reasons Target Corporation Is One Of The Best Companies

Target Corporation has long been a great company with model business practices. It's a creative business environment, top flight marketing and hits the right niche in this time of abundance and design sensibility. This is a business with morals and standards that resonate with family values.

Target is one of the few retail companies that's not been seduced into lowering company values to attract the overextended consumer.

I'd like to focus in on the issue of change management and how this company deals with fast pace of change in the retail world. The product sales environment is the most visible and most obvious way for a retailer to keep up. By offering the latest technologies and cutting edge products is only the beginning of the change response. All retailers have procurement and buying strategies to give them the right products to sell.

Target takes sales and merchandising to the next level with their design philosophies. They not only sell good design but they also actively participate in the design of the products they sell. This isn't new and becoming a common practice with large retailers. Target is just a bit better at it. They take a more active role in the design than most retailers. After all, this is their niche.

Target’s design philosophy and creative environment permeates through the company into all aspects from product procurement, property development to financial services. It's a fast, fun and friendly company.

Property Development and how they deal with change management is what I’d like to use as an example here. Retail product and design change moves much faster than property development, building design and construction can move. This poses a problem. By the time the you're about to build a space to support a retail trend, the trend has passed. This is why retail businesses must plan for constant change. They must build stores that allow for flexible use and change. The difficulty here is that you've to have a plan to get things done and keep moving. you've to land on a direction and move ahead knowing that your direction may change.

In the building design and construction world change costs money. Depending on the timing of change it can cost a whole lot of money. Just in the construction phase, change orders cost upwards to 150% of the original cost. This isn't to mention the cost of redesign for the architects and design professionals.

Careers in Fashion Merchandising
Contrary to popular notion, a career in fashion industry is not limited to designing apparel and accessories. It is much more than that. The fashion business is like a well oiled machinery and like all other industry it is dependent on strong marketing and logistics. Most people see only the glitz and glamor of fashion week with the focus on haute couture and ready-to-wear apparel. But being a fashion designer is not the only career field open in the fashion industry. If you are keen on the business end of fashion, then becoming a fashion merchandiser is one of the options open to you. Fashion merchandising entails prediction and analyzing of upcoming trends, sourcing the best and latest designs and materials, determining the price of clothing and taking stock of store inventory. In addition to these, a fashion merchandiser also has to come up with marketing and advertising ideas to push a particular trend, take care of window displays in large retail stores, go to fashion shows as buyers and to track upcoming trends and to predict the next big thing in fashion. If you want to become a fashion merchandiser then you should be aware of the different fields in fashion merchandising. Here is an in-depth insight into the different careers in fashion merchandising.

Fashion Merchandising Careers
Fashion Buyer
Qualification Required
4 years Bachelor's degree in Fashion Merchandising Additional certificate in Merchandise Planning and Public Relations is a bonus Job Description
One of the most important branches of fashion merchandising is that of a fashion buyer. A fashion buyer typically works for a fashion house, design house or a retail company that sells clothes and other fashion accessories. A fashion buyer has to predict which fashion trends will sell and purchase apparel accordingly. The job of a fashion buyer is to source apparel that...

It's a bit of a catch 22. You might think you should settle on a design and build it. This would save you a lot of money. Or would it? Actually it could cost you more money because you'd be rebuilding in a shorter cycle because the space would be outdated by the time it was constructed. I’m sure there are parallels in just about every business.

The solution is a change management process that accounts for the dynamics of change specific to the business. This has been oversimplified for brevity but basically to be successful in managing change you must plan for change, have a comprehensive change process and a well developed method of integration.

Planning for Change:

An effective CM system requires a plan that includes diligent identification of change potential a structured CP(Change Process) and a proficient uses of technology. Knowing what lies ahead for your business is the key. The ability to anticipate the next trend is a definite advantage. And if your business can be the trend setter or can drive change this makes planning a whole lot easier.

Target does fall in the latter category for a certain extent. They're on the leading edge for design at lease for discount store design. they've figured out what level of design can reach the masses. In any event they've been pretty good at staying out front and dictating sales trends for mass production. This prepares them, to some extent, to deal with change in the store construction.

Change Process:

Once you feel you can anticipate what lies ahead putting together a process to deal with it becomes possible, albeit not necessarily easy. A change process involves a lot of people and must be responsive to process factors of all roles.

As far as property development goes, Target does have a mechanism to deal with physical change that results from changes in business strategy. This is pretty evident when you look around the stores. They still look good comparatively.

In general, areas with a high potential for change are areas that are impacted the greatest by changes in technology, changes in business objective, retail sales, industry competition etc.


Efficient integration is a key factor in the success of a CP. Integration is expedited by effective communication. For property development, BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology enables rapid development and communication of change initiatives.

Integration is where you want to maximize the potential of technology to assist change implementation. BIM does that.

Integration is really about how does the change process meet its objective.


Effective documentation and tracking of a CM directives can be a critical part of a successful CP and can have a big impact on the cost of change.

Documentation methodologies can have a big impact on how fast the system operates. In the business world, time is money as we all know.

I must point out that I've no current affiliation with Target but have worked with the company in the past. From those experiences as well as my experiences as a customer and business observer I've come to know how Target is a model business in many respects. Their approach to change management is one of the reasons.

CM is a fact of doing business. Change is constant in the current business environment and businesses must develop an action plan to deal with change to be competitive.

Have a plan. Make a plan. It'll save you time and money.

If you'd like to learn more about Change Management or other strategic planning processes please visit my website at