Target Taps Lisa Roath As CMO

Target's Lisa Roath is moving up to chief marketing officer from senior vice president of food and beverage merchandising.

She'll report to Cara Sylvester, now executive vice president and chief guest experience officer. The CMO role has been vacant since Sylvester moved to her new position last May.

The Minneapolis-based retailer says Roath will lead the core marketing functions, including creative, guest marketing strategy and retail brand experience. The position also includes social media, paid media strategy and marketing strategy and operations.

In the company's announcement, Sylvester cited Roath's success in food and beverage, which has grown explosively since the pandemic, gaining more than $5 billion in sales since 2019, establishing itself as one of America's largest digital grocers.



"Marketing plays such an important role in Target's guest experience and brings to life the inspiration, care and connection people feel when they shop with us," says Sylvester in the company's announcement. "Lisa's detailed understanding of the retail landscape, her experience leading teams to deliver strong business results and her deep knowledge of and empathy for our guests make her the ideal candidate to steward Target's brand and grow our relationship with guests." 

Roath is picking up the CMO reins at a challenging time. When the company announced its latest quarter earnings in May, it posted slim sales gains, up less than 1% to $24.9 billion, as shoppers pulled back on discretionary spending, such as apparel and home goods.

Target warned investors that upcoming results might be grim, forecasting a low-single-digit decline in comparable sales in the second quarter.

In a call webcast for investors, Brian Cornell, Target's chief executive officer, pointed out that the retailer has seen three years of steady traffic growth, which he interprets as a sign of trust, loyalty and relevance in the Target brand.

And despite consumer caution, he says the company will continue to lean into its "affordable joy" positioning.

"A short-term pullback in discretionary purchases doesn't mean we'll turn away from our apparel, home, and hardline categories," Cornell said. "Instead, we'll continue to invest in them and deliver fresh, new items throughout the year."

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