Walk into any mall or mall and you will clearly understand what online shopping has done to brick and mortar stores. They have been leveled or reduced, especially during the height of the COVID lockdown.
Target (TGT) was one of those retailers tending toward smaller-footprint stores, some as small as 6,000 square feet. Things have changed.
Now, the retailer is considering much larger locations designed to both meet the needs of online shoppers and bring them to physical stores.
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The Minneapolis-based retailer announced that it would be focused on building bigger stores (opens in a new tab) of 150,000 square feet in the years to come. These stores are approximately 20,000 square feet larger than the stores currently in Target’s fleet, which include very small stores open in urban areas and college towns. Target will also offer this new store design, with a more open layout than many of its current stores and locally inspired features, for future renovations, the retailer said. The company also said it would continue to build stores of all sizes, but would focus on this new format.
The areas of the new larger store concept will focus on Internet sales. They will be dedicated to Target’s goal of same-day fulfillment for online shoppers, whether it’s in-store pickup or drive-up.
“Target stores are central to how we deliver to our customers, whether they’re browsing the aisles, shopping online or stopping in for same-day services like order pickup and drive-up,” said John Mulligan, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Target. officer.
The updated store design and footprint recently debuted with a new Target near Houston. In 2023, the company said, some 30 new Target stores will reflect elements of the new design. New Target stores and renovations will have most if not all of the redesign from 2024.
Some of the design elements include more space for inline execution. Target says this area is five times larger than the current space to fulfill digital orders and same-day service. There are also larger spaces for employees to take advantage of when not working on the floor.
Within the broader footprint, Target will expand its food and beverage offerings, some including brand partnershipswith a healthy blend of Private label products from Target.
Target’s aesthetic will also get a makeover. The design will include more natural light from larger windows. Reclaimed wood of regional origin will be presented in the decor, as well as plants. New stores or renovations will also leverage the community to influence Indigenous landscaping around stores as well as local products.
Target’s new strategy comes as retail continues to recover. The researchers note that 2021 has seen more stores open than close, according to Coresight Research (as reported by CNBC). The National Retail Federation said earlier this yesr also saw more store openings than closings year on year. Most were discount, off-price, or dollar stores.
Whether that signals a sea change for in-person shopping remains to be seen, but it’s clear Target thinks it might.
Target’s Mulligan said, “Guests and team members tell us they come to Target because they feel inspired, connected and welcomed. With our redesigned store design and larger store footprint that better supports our same-day services, we can give customers more of what they love while incorporating features that build on our commitment towards sustainability, community and helping all families discover the joy of everyday life. ”
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