As part of overhaul, Target will cut HQ jobs and revamp its grocery department


Target will cut several thousand jobs at its headquarters in Minnesota over the next two years as it looks to make $2 billion in savings.

The Minneapolis-based retailer has been revealing its strategy for 2015 and beyond on Tuesday, a week after it announced a a $2.6 billion fourth quarter loss.

And while the presentation was going on, CNBC was reporting that Target will be making "several thousand job cuts" at its headquarters in Minneapolis as part of the retailer's transformation.

"The restructuring will be concentrated at Target’s headquarters locations and focus on driving leaner, more efficient capabilities, removing complexity and allowing the organization to move with greater speed and agility," Target later confirmed in a press release.

"This includes the establishment of centralized teams based on specialized expertise and the elimination of several thousand positions over the next two years," it added.

The company employs around 13,500 people at its headquarters. In January, 550 job cuts were announced following the decision to withdraw from Canada.

No guarantees on pay raise levels for workers

The announcement follows a troubled period that has seen it take a $5.1 billion hit from the closure of its Canadian operations – which led to the recent $2.6 billion loss – as well as the fallout from the data breach that compromised the information of tens of millions of customers.

After hinting at cost savings last week, CEO Brian Cornell confirmed that the company intends to make $2 billion in efficiencies over the next 24 months.

A quarter of this would come from reducing the cost of getting products to consumers, by making 350 more of its stores across the country delivery hubs so they can be used to fulfill online orders.

In spite of this, Cornell pledged that Target would "stay competitive" when it comes to staff wages, but wouldn't provide anything more specific.

It comes after the firm was criticized for failing to follow Walmart, TJ Maxx and Marshalls in raising wages for its lowest-paid staff to $9-an-hour.

There was better news for shareholders and investors, as Cornell confirmed the company would "soon" buy back $2 billion worth of its shares, with more paid out in dividends as well, as the company continues to improve its bottom line after weathering a challenging period.

Investment in food, tech, and focus on 'signature brands'

Earlier on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that as part of its transformation, Target will revamp its grocery division to attract younger shoppers, moving away from packaged and processed foods and zeroing in on products like granola, yogurt and craft beer to attract urban Millennials and Hispanics.

And in the presentation, Cornell confirmed the grocery offering from 2016 will become more specialized, with more natural, organic and gluten-free products filling the shelves.

As well as with food, Target will continue to invest in improvements to its "signature collections," which account for more than a quarter of its total business, namely its style, wellness, kids and baby departments.

Other areas of investment will be in digital sales – specifically targeting customers who shop both in store and online – as well as continuing to roll-out its smaller Express and City stores, following notable success in its early trials.

A key focal point of the company's recovery will be appealing to a more diverse audience, with executives noting Target is popular among the Hispanic population, as well as single parents and gay couples.

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