By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s been a rough couple of years for tens of thousands of workers at Twin Cities-based Target Corporation.

They’ve battled through layoffs, a failed Canada strategy and that massive data breach.

That’s why 13,000 employees screamed approval Wednesday as they heard the strategies that they hope will return the luster to Target’s retailing.

Employees gathered inside Target Center for the annual fall meeting. And for the first time, the company invited local media.

In their iconic red and khaki, Target employees streamed into the arena. They were eager to hear the strategies that will return the company’s shine.

“I’m just excited to see them in person to hear our mission on what we’re doing to move forward,” said Kevin Acord, an employee.

He and other employees packed into Target Center for a mix of entertainment and frank discussion. The strategy-rich pep rally, kicked off by CEO Brian Cornell.

“For us, we are facing a very difficult time,” Cornell said. “We’re still facing challenges, but we are turning the corner, and we’ve seen a significant reversal in trend.”

Cornell thanked employees for reversing Target’s fortunes. And without naming the competition, compared Target’s rising stock price to Walmart’s decline.

He referenced the restructuring as the right thing for the business, comparing it to the resurging Ford, Starbucks and Apple.

“It’s going to allow us to be more agile, make quicker decisions and unlock growth,” he said.

Then he laid out a promise to refocus the company’s prime categories of fashion, baby, wellness, and kids.

He added customer disappointment with out of stock items will stop.

As always, Wednesday’s meeting brought a lot of A-list entertainment. Employees were treated to Shakira, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Imagine Dragons.

And although the holiday season is just around the corner, the company’s plan is still under embargo.

On Oct. 29, the new TV spots will be unveiled, and we’ll learn more about things like store incentives, price matching and free shipping.

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