February 22, 2024

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Target Corporation on Wednesday named Prat Vemana, a former Kaiser Permanente executive, as the retailer’s new digital chief as it looks to continue the growth of its omnichannel business that blossomed during the pandemic.
Vemana will start work as Target’s EVP, chief digital and product officer on Oct. 31, overseeing the Minneapolis-based retailer’s digital business, including site merchandising, user experience, digital operations and product, as well as Target+, the company’s online third-party marketplace. He’ll also be charged with “bringing a holistic view” to the retailer’s overall product strategy.
He will report to Chief Guest Experience Officer Cara Sylvester.
“Digital continues to be a major growth driver for Target, and we’re excited for Prat to bring his proven expertise in this area to an elevated role on our leadership team,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. “Our team has created a digital shopping experience that is truly best in class, and under Prat’s leadership, our digital business is well-positioned to continue to grow for years to come.”
At health-care company Kaiser Permanente, Vemana served as SVP and chief digital officer since 2019. Before that, he was the chief product and experience officer and VP of online for The Home Depot. At Kaiser, Vemana led the enterprise product management and experience teams, working to modernize the company’s digital app. His efforts including redesigning Kaiser’s app and launching same-day home delivery for its pharmacy.
Vemana said he was drawn to Target because it offers the “gold standard for consumer experience in retail,” both online and in its brick-and-mortar stores, noting a recent seamless experience he had placing an online order with Target.
“I pulled into the parking lot,” Vemana said in an interview on Target’s website. “The app notified me that my order was ready and asked if I wanted to pick up my order using Drive Up. That is amazing customer service. This level of anticipating needs and proactively offering solutions is a big part of why I am so excited about the opportunity to join the team and help shape the way we use digital technology to bring joy to guests.”
Digital sales currently make up 20% of Target’s business, up from just 7% in 2019, the retailer said. Target operates nearly 2,000 stores.
The pandemic super-charged Target’s digital growth. In August, Target reported digital sales grew 9% during the second quarter, on top of 10% growth during the same period the year before.
Target’s same-day digital platforms of order pickup, drive-up and Shipt delivery have grown more than 11% in 2022, the retailer said.
The retailer has invested deeply in its digital infrastructure, a network it has built to reduce store-level strain.
Earlier this summer, Target said it would open three new “sortation centers” to sort orders that have been packed in local stores, batch them and ready them for delivery. Those new facilities will bolster Target’s six existing centers, and the company said it intends to add five more sortation centers by early next year.
Vemana said he will work across Target’s teams to grow its digital business.
“I break silos and build relationships,” he told the retailer. “As someone who leads with optimism, I believe digital is a team sport—important ideas can come from anywhere in the organization. I like to think I use my superpower to bring different viewpoints together and guide the team to a solution that works for everyone.”
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