Target mum on locations of job cuts

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In announcing 475 layoffs on Wednesday, Target seemed to go to some trouble to not disclose the location of those jobs.

Target's official word was that the cuts were "worldwide," and thus would amount to a small fraction of the company's 361,000 global workforce. MPR News noted that Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder "would not even hint" at how many of the 11,000 workers at the retailer's downtown Minneapolis headquarters were among those who lost their jobs.

But metro media reported that sources were quietly telling them that most of the cuts were in Minnesota, and were being deeply felt at Minneapolis corporate headquarters.

The Star Tribune reported that sources said the majority of cuts were at the reeling retailer's Minneapolis HQ. The Pioneer Press noted that employees said the cuts hit corporate divisions that included technology services, marketing and finance. Reuters reported it as "475 jobs at its offices in Minnesota."

After the shoe fell Wednesday, some Target workers in Minnesota are wondering if another might drop. Target officials did not have anything to say about that.

"Retailing is in a transformative time," Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder told reporters Wednesday. "We're making decisions that will help us thrive and grow in the future."

But another round of layoffs is certainly possible, retail analyst Howard Davidowitz told MPR. "If business continues soft, management must react on the expense line. In other words, you can't allow overhead to grow out of proportion. Target is a discount business," he said.

Star Tribune business columnist Lee Schafer takes a thoughtful look at what likely led to the layoffs and concludes the same thing – that more Target layoffs this year would not be a surprise.

"In looking through any expense budget, to make the biggest difference you have to look closely at employees," Schafer writes. "Salary, bonus, 401(k) match, health insurance benefits and so on — that’s where the money is."

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