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Target Awards Three Students with Scholarships for Case Competition Victory

Three teams, comprised of three students each, were asked to develop a strategy to leverage guest contact channels into an experience that drives grocery sales at Target stores.

Written by Karin Slyker

Three students from Texas Tech University’s College of Human Sciences have received a scholarship for their victory in a case competition sponsored by the Target Corp.

The case challenge was introduced to students as part of a retail management course taught by associate professor Deborah Fowler, to help Target “Channel in… on Guests” through an integrated multichannel strategy that seeks to provide the ultimate guest experience – anytime, anyplace and anywhere.

Three teams, comprised of three students each, were asked to develop a strategy to leverage guest contact channels into an experience that drives grocery sales. Each proposal included a SWOT analysis (internal: strengths/weaknesses, external: opportunities/threats) of the current situation.

Research for the project started in October and continued throughout the semester, culminating in a final group presentation and a written strategic plan in late November. Target personnel judged the contest, including district team leader John Crocco and DeeDee Davis, team leader of both Lubbock Target stores.

“All the groups did a great job presenting their information with some very creative ideas,” Davis said.

The winning team proposed that Target better advertise their grocery division by renaming the grocery brand and expanding it into a more developed grocery concept. The students also suggested stand-alone grocery stores that cater to either the collegiate community or urban areas, typed by population density and demographics. Additional suggestions include alleviating customer frustration by streamlining online orders, and updating the mobile application to customize the interface to match the local store.

Team members included David Beames, a senior retail management major, from Shallowater; Alexis Reynolds, a senior retail management major from Lodi, Calif.; and Sara Rieke a senior retail management major from Meridian. The students will share a $2,000 scholarship for the win.

The funds were awarded through the Target Campus Grants, awarded to support school programs to help develop and influence future leaders of Target. Each regional campus recruiter for Target may select one university per semester to participate in the grant program and competition.

“Not only does this provide a real-world experience for both our undergraduate and graduate students, but it will also establish a strong foundation for a long relationship between Target and the Texas Tech Retail Management Program,” said Shane Blum, Nutrition, Hospitality, and Retailing department chairperson.

“Every opportunity to do a real-life project, a presentation, and receive feedback builds on what each student will one day become, which is a great employee,” Fowler said. “For them to be successful – that’s all I want.”

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