Target Corporation is an American big box department store chain headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.




MarketCap US

US United States



Target Corporation is an American big box department store chain headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the seventh largest retailer in the United States and a component of the S&P 500 Index. Target was established as the discount division of Dayton's department store of Minneapolis in 1962. It began expanding the store nationwide in the 1980s (as part of the Dayton-Hudson Corporation) and introduced new store formats under the Target brand in the 1990s. The company has found success as a cheap-chic player in the industry. The parent company was renamed Target Corporation in 2000, and divested itself of its last department store chains in 2004. It suffered from a massive, highly publicized security breach of customer credit card data and the failure of its short-lived Target Canada subsidiary in the early 2010s, but experienced revitalised success with its expansion in urban markets within the United States.

As of 2019, Target operates 1,931 stores throughout the United States, and is ranked number 37 on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue. Their retail formats include the discount store Target, the hypermarket SuperTarget, and "small-format" stores previously named CityTarget and TargetExpress before being consolidated under the Target branding.


1902: 1902: George Draper Dayton opens the Goodfellow Dry Goods store in a six-story building in downtown Minneapolis. Banker and real estate investor George Draper Dayton incorporated Target in 1902 as Goodfellow Dry Goods. Target Corp. is an American general merchandise retailer headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States It was originally founded under the name of Dayton Dry Goods Company by George D. Dayton, in 1902. In 1902, George Draper Dayton bought the Goodfellow Dry Goods store in Minneapolis, and after several name changes it eventually became Target.

1909: With several partners, he formed the Hudson Motor Company in 1909.

1910: 1910: Name is shortened to Dayton Company.

1911: The following year the name was changed to Dayton Dry Goods Company and shortened to Dayton Company in 1911.

1918: In 1918 the Dayton Foundation had been established with $1 million.

1919: As wheat growing in the northwest increased, flour milling superseded lumbering as the leading industry (the last lumber mill closed in 1919). Railroads, which multiplied connections with Chicago and the south and with the east through Sault Ste.

1938: 1938: Dayton dies; his son Nelson takes over the $14 million business. Following George D. Dayton’s death in 1938, son George N. Dayton was named as the president of The Dayton Company and began to grow the company into a nationwide retailer.

1946: Since 1946, 5 percent of Dayton Company's taxable income was donated to the foundation, which continued to be the case after the merger. Starting in 1946, Dayton began donating 5 percent of its annual profits to local charities.

1950: Until Nelson Dayton's death in 1950, the company was run along the strict moral lines of his father, its founder. With Nelson Dayton's death in 1950, Dayton Company embarked on a new era. The population of Minneapolis grew steadily from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, reaching a peak of 521,718 in 1950. After Dayton’s death in 1950, the company began to expand.

1954: In 1954 the J.L. Hudson Company, which would eventually merge with Dayton's, opened the world's largest shopping mall in suburban Detroit.

1956: 1956: Company builds the world's first fully enclosed shopping mall, called Southdale, located in suburban Minneapolis. Later, in 1956, the company would create a milestone in the retail industry when it built the world's first fully-enclosed shopping mall.

1961: When Target was incorporated in September 1961, there were a handful of high-volume, low-margin discount retailers doing business around the country; nonetheless, Target claimed to be the first to offer quality national brands in a comfortable, attractive setting. The seeds for the Target concept were planted in 1961, when Dayton's saw a demand for a store that sold less-expensive goods in a quick, convenient format. Dayton's department stores began planning a Target discount chain in 1961 when it foresaw a rising public demand for lower-priced, mass merchandise available in a convenient, friendly environment.

1962: 1962: The discount Target chain is launched. Beginning of multi-year effort that eventually resulted in the creation of Target in 1962 Target's Weekly Ad, begun in 1962, became an iconic staple in Sunday newspapers across the country. Meanwhile, Target grew rapidly, from four stores at the end of 1962 to a chain of 24 stores eight years later. From the beginning, however, Target pursued a strategy that set it apart from other discounters, emphasizing an image of high quality alongside its low prices. It was a good year for discount chains: Wal-Mart and Kmart, Target's leading competitors, also began business in 1962.

1963: Joining Target as a buyer in 1963, Lil Graham was named vice president merchandise manager, accessories, jewelry and childrens 11 years later.

1966: Hodder joined The Dayton Company in 1966 after 10 years at IBM. By 1966 the subsidiary had made its first foray outside of Minnesota with the opening of two stores in Denver, Colorado.

1967: In 1967 the company changed its name to Dayton Corporation and made its first public stock offering. 1967: Company changes its name to Dayton Corporation and makes its first public stock offering. The Dayton Company initial public offering (IPO) took place in 1967.

1968: Also in 1968 the company acquired department stores in Oregon and Arizona. In 1968 it bought the Pickwick Book Shops in Los Angeles and merged them with B. Dalton.

1969: Acquiring Hudson's, Mervyn's, and Marshall Field's: 1969-90 In 1969, Dayton Corporation joined forces with the J.L. Hudson Company of Detroit and merged to form the Dayton-Hudson Corporation.

1970: Stephen L. Pistner succeeded William A. Hodder as Target's third president; he was formerly CEO of Team Central, acquired by Dayton Hudson Corp. in 1970.

1971: Company revenues surpassed $1 billion in 1971.

1974: In 1974, Target initiated a rapid turnaround that began with a one-year halt to new store additions.

1975: It was through such opportunistic purchases&mdash well as through the regular addition of new stores--that Target was able to become Dayton Hudson's top revenue producer by 1975.

1976: The foundation inspired the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce in 1976 to establish the Minneapolis 5% Club, which eventually included 23 companies, each donating 5 percent of their respective taxable incomes to charities.

1978: California-based Mervyn's, a line of moderate-price department stores, merged with Dayton Hudson in 1978.

1979: That year Dayton Hudson became the seventh largest general merchandise retailer in the United States, its revenues by 1979 topping $3 billion.

1980: Dayton Hudson bought Ayr-Way, an Indianapolis-based chain of 50 discount stores, in 1980, and converted those units to Target stores.

1982: Revenues in 1982 topped $5 billion.

1983: The expansion continued when Kenneth A. Macke took control of the company in 1983.

1984: In 1984, meantime, the operations of the company's two full-service department stores were combined into a new unit called the Dayton Hudson Department Store Company, though the Dayton's and Hudson's units themselves retained their separate identities.

1985: Graves had previously won an industry award for a tea kettle he designed in 1985 for the Italian firm Alessi, which retailed for $140.

1986: According to Neal St Anthony in the April 7, 1986 edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, analysts were particularly worried about Target's acquisition of 28 closed FedMart stores in the highly competitive region of southern California. In 1986, profits fell for the first time in sixteen years. In a 1986 Star Tribune article, Macke commented, "Target had grown very fast and they'd forgotten a little about the most important person: the customer." In 1986, Target's first president, Douglas Dayton, had remarked that Dayton Hudson "would have been a fading retail entity" without Target.

1987: Revenues topped the $10 billion mark in 1987. Dayton, George Draper, II, Our Story: With Histories of the Dayton, McDonald, and Winchell Families, Wayzata, Minn., 1987.

1989: In 1989 the corporation received the America's Corporate Conscience Award for its magnanimity, and Target contributes more than $2 million each week to the communities in which its stores are located. The Minnesota-Georgia planning sessions obviously rewarded Target during the short-term, but also in the long-term: later in 1989, when Target was prepared to enter the Southeast, the Richway chain proved an ideal acquisition candidate that facilitated a strong Target entry into the region. By 1989 the company operated 399 stores in 31 states and boasted annual sales of $7.52 billion. Beginning in 1989, Target staff had been trained through an intensive course called "Target U." to treat customers as guests and to generate a "fast, fun, friendly" shopping environment.

1990: The first Target Greatland store, which offered a wider selection of merchandise than a standard Target store, opened in 1990. The number of people subsequently began declining until about 1990, when the city population basically stabilized. During 1990 Target also unveiled a market strategy to introduce Target stores into smaller cities (exactly the opposite strategy of giant rival Wal-Mart), as well as total quality and micromarketing programs.

1993: The whole price brouhaha was underscored in May 1993 when Wal-Mart began phasing out its slogan "Always the low price. However, a glimpse of the mounting battle in the form of price wars was offered in 1993 by articles in the Star Tribune and United States News & World Report. Customer service, as measured by the stores' semiannual surveys, has been on a steady upward trend." The 1993 Target annual report announced the company's commitment to institute this "Guest Culture"--"modeled on the practices of premier customer services companies such as Disney"--nationwide.

1994: By 1994, revenues topped $20 billion. Kmart's situation actually led to a shareholder revolt and divestiture request in mid-1994, initiated by certain large institutional investors.

1996: Along with expanding its traditional department stores along the East Coast, six new SuperTargets were planned for 1996 alone. In 1996, Target continued its expansion efforts, adding 71 new stores throughout the United States, including an entrance into the metro market of Washington, D.C. By the end of the year, the company was operating 736 stores throughout the country, and had achieved annual revenues of $17.85 billion. In 1996, Dayton Hudson and its many retail divisions made grants of approximately $25 million.

1997: Significantly, in December 1997 Sears hired Robert Thacker, former vice president of marketing for Target, to run its strategic marketing and promotion. During 1997, as part of its drive to turn around the Mervyn's chain, Dayton Hudson sold off or closed 35 Mervyn's outlets, including all of that chain's stores in Florida and Georgia. During 1997 the corporation and its retail divisions made grants of approximately $39 million, including $2.8 million in scholarships that were given to high school seniors who had been involved in their communities. To that end, in 1997 Target began to advertise heavily in New York City, mainly through billboards and outdoor signage, even though at the time there were no Target stores in the city or the surrounding metropolitan area. Target also pursued joint advertising with other companies, a strategy already adopted in 1997. The latter was most forcefully promoted in "Take Charge of Education," for which Martin/Williams had created a spot called "Ding Dong" in 1997. "Ding Dong" starred Morgan, who went from door to door selling products that ranged from candy bars to birdseed in order to raise money for his school. Initiated in 1997, the program allowed Target Guest Card holders to sign up the school of their choice to receive one percent of their Guest Card purchase amounts.

1998: In October 1998 ad agency OptionOne was recognized in Promo magazine's annual World PRO Awards of Excellence for its "School Fundraising Made Simple" and "School Connection" programs, both tied to "Take Charge of Education." 1998: As part of e-commerce push, Rivertown Trading Company, a Twin Cities-based mail-order firm, is acquired. In 1998 Target began a marketing effort to promote the program. Hence the thrust of its "Grab Your Own Style" marketing in 1998, which, in the words of Lisa Vincenti in HFN: The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network, "downplays [the company's] hallmark bull's eye," a logo associated in many minds with low prices. More Snowden marketing followed at Christmas of 1998, along with a 30-second Christmas spot created by Peterson Milla Hooks of Minneapolis, the latter featuring the Rosemary Clooney song "Come On-a My House." In 1998, they reached $30 billion.

1999: For example, in early 1999 the chain began selling top-end Calphalon cookware and also launched a line of stylish small appliances and household goods designed by architect Michael Graves--the latter line becoming so popular that it quickly grew to include more than 500 items. While revenues increased to $33.7 billion by fiscal 1999, net income passed the $1 billion mark for the first time, reaching $1.14 billion, translating into a profit margin of 3.4 percent. Furthermore, in 1999 the company pledged to give back more than $1 million a week to the communities in which it did business. For its part, Target produced nearly 100,000 flyers about the program, which were distributed to elementary-school teachers. It was expanded to include a school-uniform program in which Target credit-card holders received 10 percent off, and in 1999 the company worked with Golden Books Entertainment on the "Read-In" literacy program, which provided books for children to read in Target stores while their parents shopped.

2000: According to Forbes, it is considered one of the top 2000 largest public companies in the world. Additional reinforcement of the "discount luxury" concept came in 2000 when Target hired the noted architect and designer Michael Graves to create a line of exclusive household goods for its stores. In 2000 DHC changed its name to Target Corporation. The new Target Corporation also showed its commitment to the Internet, launching in 2000.

2001: Following the September 11, 2001 attack on New York City and subsequent terrorist threats against symbols of United States capitalism, Target Corporation announced that it planned on retiring its very recognizable logo: a big red bull's eye. Target was planning to launch an online gift registry during 2001 and wanted to do so under a unified department store name. In 2001 Target introduced a Target Visa card, aimed at customers who preferred not to carry several charge cards. In 2001, the Target division generated about 80 percent of retail sales and operating profits, while Mervyn's generated about 12 percent of revenues and 8 percent of profits, and the Department Store Division generated about 9 percent of sales and 12 percent of profits. Heading into 2001, the company had consistently demonstrated growth. At first, Target was reluctant to try and skeptical about the Internet, but by 2001 it was operating seven Web sites that supported store and catalog brands. Officers: Robert Ulrich, Chmn. and CEO, 57, 2001 salary $2.2 million; Gerald Storch, VChmn., 44, 2001 salary $1.1 million; Douglas Scovanner, CFO and EVP, 45; Gregg Steinhall, Pres. of Target Stores, 46, 2001 salary $1.6 million; James Hale, VP, Gen. The corporate name change to Target was followed in 2001 with the renaming of all Dayton's and Hudson's stores to Marshall Field's.

2002: The 1,225 Target stores, which are located in 47 states, generated 84 percent of Target's fiscal 2002 revenues.

2003: Target team members started the first GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) group at Target, which was formalized in 2003 and is the predecessor of today’s Pride+ Business Council.

2004: 2004: Target sells off Marshalls and Mervyns.a. During 2004, Target Stores expanded to 1308 stores and reached $46.8 billion USD in sales. A 12-mile (19-km) light-rail transit line, connecting downtown Minneapolis with the airport and the Mall of America in suburban Bloomington, opened in 2004.

2005: All program donations were doubled on purchases made from July 24 through September 10, 2005.

2006: By 2006 the "Take Charge of Education" program had donated about $155 million to more than 108,000 schools.

2008: On January 9, 2008, CEO Bob Ulrich announced his retirement plans, and named Gregg Steinhafel to succeed him as CEO. Target requires its high ranking officers to retire by age 65. After Ulrich's retirement he remained the chairman of the board until the end of the 2008 fiscal year.

2009: On March 4, 2009, Target expanded outside of the continental United States for the first time.

2011: In 2011, Target announced its first international expansion by acquiring the Zellers retail chain, at a cost of $1.8 billion dollars.

2012: In 2012 Target opened its first CityTarget, which catered to urban customers in a stores two-thirds smaller than its typical locations.

2014: Target's CEO since August 2014 is Brian Cornell. leadership

2021: Dubovoj, Sina; Shelton, Pamela L.; Salamie, David E. "Target Corporation ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved April 15, 2021 from billion in total revenue, 2021


The mission statement of Target Corporation is "to make Target the preferred shopping destination for our guests by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and an exceptional guest experience by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less. brand promise."

The company's goal and objective is to serve its customers. Target aims to provide its guests with a superior shopping experience by offering high-quality products and services at affordable prices. 


The vision statement of Target Corporation is "Expect More. Pay Less." This statement expresses the company's commitment to delivering high-quality products and services to its customers while also providing value and affordability.

Target is committed to meeting the needs of its customers by offering a wide range of products and services at affordable prices. The company's goal is to be a trusted and convenient shopping destination for its customers, offering everything they need in one place.

The company also strives to minimise its impact on the environment and to make a positive difference in the communities it serves.

Key Team

Douglas M. Baker (Board Member)

A. Christina Hennington (Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer)

Andi Marston (Senior Vice President)

Arthur Valdez (Executive Vice President, Chief Supply Chain and Logistics Officer)

Ashley Petzold (Senior Vice President)

Brett Craig (Senior Vice President)

Cara Sylvester (Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Digital Officer)

Corey Haaland (Senior Vice President, Treasurer)

Dawn Block (Vice President & Mobile Merchandising)

Recognition and Awards
Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies: Target has been named one of Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies several times, recognizing the company's strong reputation and business performance. 100 Best Companies to Work For: Target has been recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For by Fortune magazine, reflecting the company's commitment to creating a positive and supportive work environment for its employees. ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year: Target has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for its commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 100 Best Corporate Citizens: Target has been named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine, reflecting the company's commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability. Green Power Partner of the Year: Target has been recognized as a Green Power Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recognizing the company's commitment to using renewable energy. Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index: Target has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, reflecting the company's commitment to equality and diversity. National Retail Federation's Retailer of the Year: Target has been recognized as the National Retail Federation's Retailer of the Year, recognizing the company's commitment to customer service and innovation.

Products and Services

Retail Products: Target offers a wide variety of retail products, including clothing, home goods, electronics, beauty products, toys, groceries, and more.

Food and Beverage: Target offers a range of food and beverage products, including fresh produce, dairy products, snacks, and beverages.

Pharmacy Services: Target operates in-store pharmacies that offer prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and health-related products.

Financial Services: Target offers a range of financial services, including credit and debit cards, gift cards, and money services.

Target Optical: Target's optical centers offer a wide selection of eyeglasses, contact lenses, and eye exams.

Target Mobile: Target's mobile services offer a convenient way to shop, pay, and manage your account using your mobile device.

Target Tech: Target's technology products and services offer the latest in electronics, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and more.

Target Home Services: Target offers a range of home services, including cleaning and organization, furniture assembly, and home installation.

Leadership team

George Dayton (Founder)

John Geisse (Founder)

Products/ Services
Beauty and Health Products, Bedding, Clothing and Accessories, Electronics, Food, Furniture, Games, Jewelry, Lawn and Garden, Pet Supplies, Shoes, Small Appliances, Toys
Number of Employees
Above 50,000
Target Plaza Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, Minnesota,U.S.
Company Registration
SEC CIK number: 0000027419
Net Income
1B - 20B
Above - 1B
Traded as
Social Media
Mon Feb 26 2024

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