Target plans RFP for strategic comms support

The Minneapolis-based retailer is planning to bring on a new agency in March.

Photo credit: Getty images
Photo credit: Getty images

MINNEAPOLIS: Target has issued an RFI looking for support for its communications team across businesses. The retailer is planning to award the business to a new agency the first week of March.

Target emailed an RFI to a short list of agencies on January 2, asking them to reply five days later, according to a document from the company. The RFI was sent out by Julie Backer, Target’s strategic partner lead.

"Target works with a variety of communications agencies to support our business, and we routinely look at the landscape to ensure we have the right strategic partners in place," the company said in an emailed statement. "We recently issued an RFI to assess what will be the best approach as we move into 2019."

Target is looking for communications support across its businesses, including general corporate work; product support, including seasonal work; and issues management, according to a company spokesperson.

The company is planning to invite agencies to participate via an RFP next Monday, with responses due on February 4, according to a schedule included in the document. Initial presentations are set to take place on February 18, with finalists scheduled to present at Target’s Minneapolis headquarters on February 25. Target is planning to award the business on March 4.

Target does not have a PR AOR, and this is not a search for one. "Going forward, as we work through the process, we will not have an agency or record," the source said.

The source did not disclose how many agencies the RFI was sent to or how many firms the company has on retainer. KWT lists Target as a client on its website and Hill+Knowlton is also known to have worked with the retailer.

A Hill+Knowlton spokesman declined to comment on the RFI. A KWT representative did not immediately comment on the RFI.

Target’s comparable sales grew 5.7% in the holiday November-December period, outpacing 3.4% growth in the prior year, and it maintained its same-store sales forecast in a statement issued this week. The company also said CFO Cathy Smith is planning to leave when a successor is found.

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