Target CEO (almost) says thank you to Amazon for the wake-up call


Fortune

Well, that was magnanimous.

Target [fortune-stock symbol=”TGT”] CEO Brian Cornell came close this week to thanking Amazon [fortune-stock symbol=”AMZN”] for fundamentally changing how people shop, a profound shift the discount retailer was late in seeing coming and is still scrambling to take advantage of.

Amazon’s dominance in digital retail has been a wake-up call to brick-and-mortar retailers that shoppers will shop on their own terms, but also a revelation to those traditional retailers that their stores needn’t be albatrosses in the e-commerce era.

“We almost need to say thank you to Amazon. They have taught the American consumer to shop online, but they don’t own that relationship,” Cornell said at Re/code’s Code Conference on Wednesday.

Last quarter, Target’s online sales amounted to 2.8% of revenue, up substantially from a year earlier (2.1%) but still well below what it could have been if the retailer had been more alert to e-commerce’s…

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