Step into any mall or shopping center and it’s clear what online shopping has done to bricks and mortar stores. They’ve been leveled or downsized, especially during the height of the COVID lockdown.
Target (TGT) was one of those retailers trending toward smaller footprint stores, some as small as 6,000 square feet. Things have changed.
Now, the retailer is eyeing much bigger locations designed to both embrace the needs of online shoppers and bring them into physical stores.
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The Minneapolis-based retailer announced it would be focused on building larger stores (opens in new tab) of 150,000 square feet in the coming years. Those stores are around 20,000 square feet larger than stores currently in Target’s fleet, which include super-small stores opened in urban areas and college towns. Target will also carry this new store design, with a more open layout than many of its current stores and locally inspired features, to future remodels, the retailer said. The company also said it will continue to build stores of all sizes, but will be focusing on this new format.
Sectors of the new, larger store design will focus on internet sales. They’ll be dedicated to Target’s goal of same-day fulfillment for online shoppers, be it pickup in-store or drive-up.
“Target’s stores are at the heart of how we deliver for our guests, whether they browse the aisles, shop online or stop by for same-day services like Order Pickup and Drive Up,” said John Mulligan, Target’s executive vice president and chief operating 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 remodels will have most if not all of the redesign beginning in 2024.
Some of the design elements include more space for online fulfillment. Target says that area is five times larger than current space fulfilling digital orders and same-day service. There also be larger areas for employees to enjoy when they’re not working the floor.
Within the larger footprint, Target will expand its food and beverage offerings, some featuring brand partnershipsalong with a healthy mix of Target’s store-brand goods.
Target’s aesthetic will get a facelift as well. The design will include more natural light from larger windows. Regionally sourced reclaimed wood will be featured in the decor, along with plants. The new stores or remodels will also tap the community for influence in native landscaping around the stores as well as local products.
Target’s new strategy comes as retail continues to recover. Researchers note 2021 saw more stores opening than closing, according to Coresight Research (as reported by CNBC). The National Retail Federation said earlier this yearr it, too, was seeing more store openings than year-over-year closings. Most were discount, off-price or dollar stores.
Whether this signals a sea change for in-person shopping remains to be seen, but it’s clear Target thinks it might be.
Said Target’s Mulligan, “Guests and team members tell us they come to Target because they feel inspired, connected and welcomed. With our reimagined store design and larger store footprint that better supports our same-day services, we can give guests more of what they love while incorporating features that build on our commitment to sustainability, community and helping all families discover the joy of everyday life. ”