Target taps Amazon heavyweight to overhaul supply chain


NEW YORK, New York—Target has tapped an Amazon heavyweight to lead the overhaul of its supply chain that has been stretched by the demands of online shopping.

The discounter has named Arthur Valdez as executive vice-president, chief supply chain and logistics officer whose duties will include overseeing planning, distribution and transportation.

Valdez will report to executive vice-president and chief operating officer John Mulligan.

Valdez spent the last 16 years at Seattle-based online leader Inc., where most recently he was vice-president of operations focusing on the company’s international supply chain expansion. He has also held positions with Wal-Mart and Kmart.

Valdez starts on March 28 and will relocate to Target’s Minneapolis base.

The appointment underscores how serious Target Corp. is becoming to better blend its online services with the physical store shopping experience. It’s a big challenge for Target and other companies as online shopping is surging. Shoppers are buying in many different ways, including ordering online and picking up at the store. That has left retailers scrambling to figure out how to more efficiently fill orders. Many are struggling to do basic tasks like making sure products like diapers are stocked.

Last September, Target promoted Mulligan, who had been chief financial officer, to his current spot, a new role in the company, and it was making overhauling the supply chain a top priority.

“While we’ve made significant progress in improving our operations, Target’s growth hinges on our ability to enhance the fundamental aspects of our business, starting with the supply chain,” said Mulligan in a statement.

Target reported last week that online sales surged 34 per cent in the fourth quarter after jumping 30 per cent in the previous quarter.