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Target fall meeting: Splashy concerts usher in new partnerships with Toms, Ellen DeGeneres

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Target leaders have announced two new holiday-season partnerships, with shoemaker Toms and TV personality Ellen DeGeneres.

These tweets are from the Minnesota-based retailer's annual fall meeting at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis, which has traditionally served as both holiday-shopping season prep session and rock concert rally for about 14,000 Target managers from around the nation and other employees.

And from Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Jones:

The partnership with Toms, well known in the industry for a philanthropic focus as well as its slip-on shoes and other fashions, will include a 50-item holiday collection – from home goods to apparel – all priced under $50, the Star Tribune reports.

Celebrity guest?

Target in past years has drawn big-name celebrities to help rally the red-and-khaki crowd, and this year was no different.

Rumors swirled earlier in the day Wednesday about who the guest star would be. Target employees are typically sworn to secrecy prior to the meeting. Fans quickly tweeted their approval of Swift's performance.

And Taylor herself tweeted about the show, too:

Swift wasn't the only special guest to play at the meeting. Coldplay, Shaun White and Nate Berkus were also there.

Previous celebrities at the annual Target conclave have included some of the biggest entertainers in the biz: Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Beyonce.

CEO's message

This year, as Target continues to reel from a data breach and clumsy rollout in Canada, the real star of the show could be the retailer's new CEO Brian Cornell.

The Wall Street Journal writes that Cornell, just a month into the job, is planning to double down on just a handful of departments like baby products and fashion, as the chain aims to lure back shoppers and more effectively compete with online rivals.

Here are a few snippets of what the new boss is telling the Target flock:

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