July 7 Douglas Dayton, the man who helped start
Target Corp as a family-owned department store in 1961
and turned into one of the largest discount retail chains in the
United States, has died at the age of 88.
Praise for Dayton, who left Target in 1974 to set up a
venture capital firm and retired in 1994, came on Sunday from
Target as well as businessmen and politicians including his
nephew, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.
"Along with his brothers and cousin, Doug was instrumental
in helping to guide the strategic direction of Dayton Hudson
Corporation for many years and institutionalize the values that
are at the heart of Target Corporation today," Minneapolis-based
Target said in a statement.
Douglas Dayton became Target's first president in 1961, and
when the company merged with department store chain J.L. Hudson
Co in 1969 he became senior vice president. The new company,
called Dayton Hudson Corporation, was renamed Target in 2000.
Dayton is survived by his wife Wendy, his four children and
six grandchildren. Most of the former Dayton department stores
in Minnesota are today operated by Macy's Inc but Target
now ranks 36th among the Fortune 500 companies.