By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer
As Target is winding down its operations for Target Canada, the U.S-based retailer is making plans for expansion in the United States. On February 9, Target announced via press release its plans for store growth in 2015. This past November, Target announced the closing of 11 stores in the United States but the retailer is moving forward with 15 new openings in 2015. These 15 new stores will feature three unique Target formats: TargetExpress, CityTarget and their general merchandise stores.
Three locations in California, San Francisco, Berkley, and San Diego, as well Minnesota's St. Paul will receive TargetExpress stores, with the first scheduled to open this March. The retailer is currently looking to expand TargetExpress to major markets such as the greater Philadelphia area, Los Angeles, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay area, and the greater Washington, D.C. Area, however, no firm dates for the expansion have been announced. Boston will receive the year's only CityTarget in July, while the six general merchandise stores will open in Westwood, Massachusetts; Maui-Kahului, Hawaii; Oahu-Kailua, Hawaii; Lake Bluff, Illinois; Fort Worth, Texas; and San Diego, California. The first general merchandise store on the list will open in March.
Target is particularly focused on growing their stores in urban areas, and has planned eight new TargetExpress stores and one new CityTarget store for 2015. TargetExpress and CityTarget store formats are devoted to helping urban-dwelling consumers make “quick trips,” eliminating items sold in bulk, or large furniture pieces. TargetExpress stores measure 20,000 square feet, which is 1/6 the size of a traditional Target store and includes merchandise curated specifically for the local community, while CityTarget stores range from 80,000 to 160,000 square feet, with “an edited assortment of its best-selling merchandise with urban dwellers in mind.” There are currently eight CityTarget stores throughout the United States.
The retailer launched a test of its first TargetExpress location on July 27, 2014 in Minneapolis' Dinkytown neighborhood, not far from their corporate headquarters. According to the press release, the feedback received from guests of the Dinkytown store saw Target expanding its merchandise to include items for baking, plus accessories such as belts, sunglasses, jewelry, and some apparel. The store also features lowered shelves, and local artwork at the entrance. The focus is on providing a localized and convenient shopping experience for Target guests. With this store, and all of its stores, Target continues to examine shopping feedback and operations to adjust to better meet customers' needs.
“Our store growth looks different today than it did five years ago, driven by guests’ expectations for ease and personalization in their shopping experience. Smaller formats like TargetExpress and CityTarget offer customized assortments and services to meet the needs of guests who are increasingly moving into urban centers. In our general merchandise stores, we’re embracing a test and learn philosophy, innovating with layouts and experiences and bringing digital and bricks and mortar together like never before,” says Tina Tyler, Target's executive vice president and chief stores officer.