By: Josephine Munywanyi

The Founder

In 1881 New Yorker George D. Dayton bought land on Nicolet Avenue in Minnisota and started the Dayton Dry Goods Company. Today it is known as The Target Corporation. His store soon became known for dependable fair business practices. It became commonly known as Dayton's Department Store.

The Changes

To meet the needs of busy suburban families, The Dayton Company expands to the suburbs of Minneapolis with the opening of Southdale Mall, the nation's first fully enclosed shopping center.

The move toward mass-market retail is considered risky by some industry experts as it moves away from the company's dominant position as a department store retailer. By demonstrating visionary leadership, the company takes the first step toward transforming the organization from a family-run department-store chain into one of the nation's largest discount-store chains.

The Target, a classic Bulls Eye logo was created. On May 1, 1962, guests in the Twin Cities area wake to the news of Target's first grand opening in Roseville, Minn. Heralded as a, "new idea in discount stores," Target differentiates itself from other retail stores by combining many of the best department store features — fashion, quality and service — with the low prices of a discounter.

Dayton's transforms itself from a regional department-store company to a national retailer. The corporation has five autonomous divisions: Dayton's department stores, Target Stores, B. Dalton Bookseller, Dayton Jewelers and Dayton Development Company.

Shopping Made Easy

In 1974 target introduced our first planograms, which helped team members deliver clean, uncluttered and in-stock merchandise presentations. Today, planograms are an integral part of our guests’ shopping experience.

Innovation Through Technology

In 1988, Target became the first mass seller to introduce UPC scanning at all Target stores and Distribution Centers. The revolutionary new technology contributes to the evolution of the in-store shopping experience through greater inventory management, increased automation, and most importantly, a shorter wait time at the check-lane. target stores unveils its brand promise. Expect More. Pay Less. to reflect the unique retail experience offered at Target. First Super Target Store Opens in Omaha Nebraska, in 1995.

A History Of Giving

George D. Dayton creates The Dayton Foundation with a $1 million endowment and a purpose to aid in promoting the welfare of mankind anywhere in the world. Renamed the Dayton-Hudson Foundation in 1969, it later becomes the Target Foundation in 2000.

"Success is making ourselves useful in the world, valuable to society, helping in lifting in the level of humanity, so conducting ourselves that when we go the world will be somewhat better of our having lived the brief span of our lives."

—George Draper Dayton

Giving 5 Percent

The Dayton Company establishes the practice of giving 5% of pretax profits back to the community. In doing so, it becomes the second American company to establish a preset amount of annual giving.

Lending A Helping Hand

Holiday Helpers, a program first conceived of by Jim Simms, store manager in Moline, Ill., offers a great holiday-shopping event for our senior and disabled guests by providing personal shopping assistance in a friendly, festive shopping environment. In 1974, the popular event goes chain-wide and becomes an annual event.

Recognition Of Community Involvement

In 1983 President Ronald Reagan awards the Dayton-Hudson Foundation the President's Committee on the Arts & Humanities Medal of Honor for its community giving in arts and social welfare. Target becomes the lead sponsor of the International Trans-Antarctica Expedition. The expedition becomes a worldwide learning tool for environmental and scientific issues of Antarctica as classrooms across the country learn about the unique ecosystem and wildlife of the frozen continent through classroom activities, workshops and televised specials.

Restoration Of A National Treasure

In 1996 Target joins the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation's effort to restore the Washington Monument by donating $1 million and becoming the five-year lead sponsor. Target donates up to 1 percent of Red-card® purchases at Target or to eligible K-12 schools. Schools can use the money for anything they choose, such as textbooks and playground equipment. Since 1997, Target has donated more than $320 million to K-12 schools across the country.

Giving Back In Style: Target and TOMS

2014 Target and TOMS team up on a limited-edition collection for the holidays. Every TOMS for Target apparel, accessory and home good purchase results in the donation of a blanket through the American Red Cross or Canadian Red Cross, or one week of meals through Feeding America or Food Banks Canada. And for every TOMS for Target pair of shoes sold, a pair will go to a child in need.

Back to School 2014: Photo Day | Target Commercial