Activist investor William Ackman and Target face off at the retailer's annual meeting in Waukesha, Wis., this afternoon.
For the first time in Target's history, shareholders will decide a contested election for seats on the retailer's board of directors.
Ackman contends Target's board needs fresh perspectives and greater expertise in areas such as real estate. Ackman, who heads Pershing Square Capital Management, wants board seats for himself and four allies.
Target's board argues incumbent board members have served the company well and should keep their seats.
Greenwood Capital Associates portfolio manager Walter Todd is voting for four of the challengers, hoping to shake up the board a little bit.
"You very rarely have the opportunity, I think, to have some alternatives," said Todd. "It's pretty much a rubber stamp, it seems like, in a lot of cases with a lot of these boards. It is a unique opportunity to vote for some new people on the board that are very well qualified."
But retail consultant Howard Davidowitz said Ackman's effort to oust incumbents should fail.
"Target, who is one of the most well-run, one of the most respected retailers in the United States, should not be a target of this kind of attack. It just makes no sense," said Davidowitz.
Proxy advisory firms have given shareholders mixed recommendations about which candidates to vote for -- or against.
Contested board elections are relatively rare. Analysts say the vote could be close, and results might not be known at the meeting.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)