Department store scion and Target founder Douglas Dayton dies at 88

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Douglas Dayton, an heir to a department store empire who led retail giant Target as its first president more than 50 years ago, has died, the Star Tribune reports, after a battle with cancer. Dayton, also a Purple Heart recipient in World War II, was 88.

In 1962, Dayton was an executive of Dayton Hudson Corp., which had various department store holdings including its namesake stores, after being founded in downtown Minneapolis by George Draper Dayton in 1902.

Many credit Douglas Dayton with coming up with the idea for an "upscale discount retailer," though this Wikipedia account also credits Dayton employee John F. Giesse as "the founder of Target from concept to large discount chain."

It became the nation's second-largest retailer.

“It was actually the internal marketing team, or creative team within Dayton’s that defined Target as sort of exactly what guests needed at that point in their lives,” one current Target exec told WCCO-TV in 2012.

At any rate, Dayton took over as president and oversaw its expansion in its infancy in the 1960s

The Strib's Neal St. Anthony notes that Douglas Dayton was the youngest of five Dayton brothers who took over their father’s department store in the 1940s and built it into publicly held Dayton Hudson Corp, one of the nation’s largest regional department store chains.

As president, St. Anthony writes, Dayton pledged $4 million to open the first four Target stores, each in a different Twin Cities suburb.

He then told his disbelieving brothers that he thought Target could double early estimates of $50 million in annual revenue, St. Anthony writes.

“I remember telling my brother Bruce that we were going to do $100 million and he sent me a nice note when we did it in 1968,” Dayton said in a May interview with the Star Tribune. “Target was the best job I had.”

The Daytons were also involved in the opening of the country's first enclosed shopping mall, Southdale, in 1956.

Dayton served during World War II as a sergeant in the Fifth Infantry Division under Gen. George Patton, according to the Star Tribune's obit, and was awarded the Purple Heart. He served in France, Belgium and Germany, the paper reports.

He was the uncle of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton.

This video has a nice history of the Dayton brothers, as told by Douglas Dayton:

Next Up

Gluten free pizza

For The Week: Monster cookies, and a search for the best gluten-free pizza in MN

BMTN food writer Lindsay Guentzel's weekly column aims to make life in the kitchen easier.

Flickr - SIMULIIDAE black fly gnat - D. Sikes

South Twin Cities metro besieged by aggressive gnats

Metropolitan Mosquito Control District has received more than 100 calls in recent days.

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater criticizes Panthers' practice habits

The former Vikings quarterback was not a fan of his time in Carolina.

Associate wearing PPE 2

Amazon will give $100 to new hires who are fully vaccinated against COVID

The company is hoping to hire 1,300 people in Minnesota.

ambulance

1 killed, 1 injured after being ejected from 3-wheel motorcycle

The pair was ejected after the motorcycle left the roadway.

Alex Rodriguez

Reports: Agreement in place to sell Wolves, Lynx to A-Rod, Lore

The deal was first reported to be in the works on April 10.

santa rosa vandalism suspects

3 accused of vandalizing former home of Chauvin defense witness arrested

Police believe more people may have been involved in the vandalism.

BMTN image - Trail closed signs on West River Parkway near Hennepin Avenue Bridge -

Listen: 'Trail Closed' sign plays X-rated message, to shock of pedestrians

The speaker is supposed to play a "Trail closed" message. Instead, it played filth.

lane-kueng-thao - edit

Trial of 3 ex-officers charged in George Floyd's death delayed to 2022

This comes after the U.S. Department of Justice filed charges against the officers last week.

Related