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Target Tags Nordstrom’s Mark Tritton As Chief Merchant

Target has brought in Nordstrom private-label chief Mark Tritton as executive VP and chief merchandising officer, filling a 10-month vacancy.

He succeeds Kathee Tesija, a 30-year Target veteran who is credited with creating the discounter’s upscale “Tar-jay” cachet. She left the post in July and reportedly served in an advisory role until last month.

Tritton appears to fit the bill of Target chairman/CEO Brian Cornell, who was looking to sharpen the company’s focus on its core “signature categories” of fashion, baby, kids and wellness.

At Nordstrom, Tritton oversaw the merchandising, design, manufacturing, marketing and omni-channel distribution of more than 50 private-label brands. Before that he held senior positions at Timberland and Nike.

The appointment of a department store executive with an apparel background doesn’t bode particularly well for Target’s CE business, which has been given intermittent upgrades but no clear direction in recent years.

“Over the past year, we’ve undergone an exhaustive search for a chief merchant, and I’m confident that Mark’s experience and passion make him the right fit for Target’s business and our team,” Cornell said in a statement.

Added Tritton, “The retail landscape and consumer expectations have never been more dynamic, and I look forward to leading and supporting the team as we find new ways to innovate, inspire and connect with our current and future guests.”

Separately, Jason Goldberger, president of and mobile, has been given the new title of chief digital officer while retaining his role, with added responsibility for “enhancing Target’s digital experiences and developing new digital capabilities,” the company said.

In his new post, Goldberger “will keep pushing our strategy and capabilities so we can accelerate digital’s role in making Target an easy, inspiring, convenient place to shop,” he said.