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TargetExpress Brings Big-box Shopping to the City

Retailer announces five smaller stores for 2015

By Kevin Litwin on January 28, 2015

Courtesy of Target

What’s in store for Target in 2015? An interesting new shopping experience for customers looking for convenient visits to smaller stores in a city-oriented setting.

The Minneapolis-based retailer is opening five TargetExpress stores in 2015 to go along with the company’s first TargetExpress that opened in Minneapolis in July 2014. The five new stores are slated for the Highland Park area of St. Paul, Minn., the South Park area of San Diego, and three in the San Francisco Bay Area – one of them in the city’s Financial District.

The TargetExpress buildings will range in size from 12,000 square feet to about 20,000 square feet, which is much smaller than a typical general merchandise Target store that measures 80,000-125,000 square feet. The company’s largest stores, called SuperTarget, span about 175,000 square feet.

Company officials say the main idea behind TargetExpress is to offer convenience for customers who live in more dense areas than most suburbs, such as big-city downtown areas.

“TargetExpress provides the Target shopping experience that our urban guests know and love in a quick-trip format,” says Kristen Emmons with Target Public Relations. “The TargetExpress guest lives or works in an urban area and is generally focused on immediate needs rather than stocking up. They are looking for everyday essentials and unexpected offerings in a convenient, easy-to-shop format, plus seamless access to all of Target.”

Cities Instead of Suburbs

Emmons says the inaugural Minneapolis TargetExpress that opened in 2014 is actually a test store that measures 20,000 square feet, and monitoring its success and easy accessibility will allow the retailer to open future similar-sized buildings in dense urban markets. For example, New York City would be a difficult metropolis to construct a 175,000-square-foot SuperTarget, but a 15,000-square-foot TargetExpress could be a viable option.

Target officials also point out that more young professionals are choosing to live in big cities and metropolitan downtown areas rather than in suburbs, and many of these Millennials continue to snub car ownership, preferring to walk or bike to places like smaller stores, as well as restaurants, bars and entertainment sites.

Pharmacies and Cellphones

As for products, TargetExpress offers selections like basic clothing, home décor, electronics, beauty supplies, fresh food, a pharmacy and tech products, such as cellphones and laptops. In addition, the existing location in Minneapolis and an upcoming Berkeley site in the San Francisco Bay Area are near the University of Minnesota and the University of California – Berkeley, respectively, so those two stores also feature college-branded gear to attract students.

One final point: Besides convenience to urban customers and growth of its name brand, the smaller TargetExpress stores are expected to become more of a direct competitor to convenience destinations and pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens.

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