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Innovation Gets The Axe as Target Sales Slide

While other companies are embracing robots as a way to stave off shopper attrition, it seems Target is giving them the cold shoulder.

The retailer, which has seen store traffic fall of late, is reportedly pulling back from some of its innovation initiatives. Among them, Goldfish, a super secretive online company that began development last year, as well as a futuristic store model featuring bots.

The cuts are designed to allow Target to focus on its core business, as sales flag and its stock slumps. Over the holidays, the store saw comp store sales drop by 1.3%, dragged down by a 3 percent drop in in-store sales.

Target hasn’t mentioned any of these projects publicly, but in a statement, Dustee Jenkins, the chain’s senior vice president of communications, said, “We recently made some changes to the innovation portfolio to refocus our efforts on supporting our core business, both in stores and online, and delivering against our strategic priorities.”

During his address at last month’s NRF Big Show, Target’s executive vice president and chief information and digital officer Mike McNamara described “ruthless prioritization” as a focus for his team.

For now, it seems the bullseye is on its current business model.

Learn more at the Star Tribune.