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Target stays on message in USA Today

During a question-and-answer style interview in Monday’s USA Today, Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel shared his thoughts on a wide range of topics including Walmart, inflation, designers and competition.

Those who follow the company closely or who regularly read Target News Now won’t learn anything new from the interview. For example, one of the questions was: “What’s PFresh?” Another related to the outlook for the holiday season, which Steinhafel predictably indicated would be promotional and aggressive, “just like it always is.”

The most interesting insight from the interview wasn’t related to anything Steinhafel had to say, but the fact that the company participated in the process with USA Today. Target isn’t known as being particularly media friendly, especially when it comes to trade media that serve the retail industry, but occasionally the company has a lapse and tolerates mainstream consumer media when it serves the company’s business interests.

Now would appear to be one of those times with an ill economic wind blowing in Target’s face and some familiar concerns about the viability of its business model resurfacing. You know the ones. Is Target still cool? Can it compete with Walmart? But now there are some newer concerns such as the impact on profitability from selling more food and consumables, product inflation and the uncertainty associated with opening more than 100 stores in Canada.

Target has been answering those questions in communications with investors, but sharing responses more broadly in a mainstream outlet such as USA Today is somewhat of a new wrinkle in a communications strategy. To read the article click here, or read what executives had to say during the company’s first quarter conference call or during other recent presentation by clicking here