Target appoints Walmart, General Mills execs to shore up grocery business

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Kenny and Nordlie will accelerate Target's food and beverage strategy, the retailer said, aiming at offering a differentiated experience, with an emphasis on fresh produce, convenient eating and a curated assortment of affordable and accessible owned and national brands.

Mark Kenny has been named vice-president divisional, meat and fresh prepared food for Target. Mr. Kenny joins Target from Wal-Mart Inc., where he was most recently the senior director of private brands, deli and bakery.

"The prepared food space is growing rapidly in the USA, and Kenny will help sharpen the retailer's focus on convenient eating, saving Target guests time and money, in addition to offering a curated mix of owned and national brands in these categories", the company said.

Liz Nordlie, former president of General Mills' baking division, was named vice president of product design and development for food and beverage, Target said.

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Food generates about 20% of company sales but is an area where Target has found itself pinched between Walmart's aggressive prices and grocery overhaul, and efforts of food stores like Kroger (kr) and Whole Foods Market's (wfm) domination of organic foods. "With Jeff Burt's leadership, and the investment we're making to bring on two new seasoned executives, combined with our already talented team, I'm confident we'll be able to go even further, faster, delivering both an experience and assortment that's uniquely Target".

Kenny and Nordlie will join Target later this month.

Prepared Foods, Target said, is particularly ripe for development.

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