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After several years of introducing small stores that fit into large cities where real estate is more expensive but foot traffic is plentiful, and programmed for urban dwellers, Target
TGT
Inc. is launching a new store concept that’s large – 150,000 square feet, to be exact. The first iteration of the new format and store design opened in a new location outside Houston.

The bigger stores will offer consumers a wide assortment of products while supporting the retailer’s popular same-day fulfillment services. The stores will also deliver on Target’s stores-as-hubs strategy for digital fulfillment.

“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, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Target. “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.”

Target will also bring its reimagined store design, which features a more open layout and localized elements – such as Houston home grown food, fashion and home products – to future remodels as well as new stores across its chain.

“We’ll continue opening stores of all sizes in the coming years, from small-format stores in dense urban areas to larger stores like this new format we’re introducing,” said a Target spokesman. “We’re committed to reaching [consumers] where they are across the country, and where we’re able to bring whatever store size best fits a local community. And in the coming years, we are focused on opening these larger format stores.”

The retailer leveraged years of research and learnings to create both the updated store design and evolve its store strategy to introduce a new expanded footprint. The larger stores will offer shoppers Target’s wide assortment of merchandise while supporting the retailer’s popular same-day fulfillment services. It will also help Target deliver on its stores-as-hubs strategy for digital fulfillment.

With 150,000 square feet, about 20,000 square feet larger than typical Target full-size stores, the layout of the new unit delivers a backroom fulfillment space that’s five times larger than previous stores of similar size. The additional space will help support the ongoing growth Target has experienced, with its stores fulfilling more than 95% of the retailer’s digital orders and same-day services accounting for more than 10% of overall sales.

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The larger Target stores will offer customers the retailer’s full assortment of merchandise, including expanded food and beverage offerings, exclusive brand partnerships and a curated mix of owned brands and national brands that differentiate the retailer and build customer loyalty.

The reimagined store is designed to elevate the shopping experience for Target customers with increased light, including natural sunlight. Larger windows and a more open layout will bring in more natural light and the store design incorporates plans and regionally-sourced reclaimed wood to create “a welcoming and inspiring space for guests and team members,” the retailer said.

Localized design features will enable Target to populate the store with community-focused elements unique to each location’s store design, from native landscaping outside the store to localized product offerings within the store to foster an even more relevant experience for consumers.

Sustainability is baked into the design. The retailer’s stores and operations play a key role in Target’s goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. Future new stores and remodels will include updates such as natural (CO2) refrigerants to help lower the retailer’s emissions and EV charging ports for customers, with many locations including rooftop solar.

Target considers its team members to be at the center of its success and the retailer has invested to create a better atmosphere for its sales associates when off the sales floor. Modernized offices and other spaces for associates provide flexible rooms that can be rearranged to serve the team’s varying needs and offer comfortable furniture options such as booth seating.

Starting in 2023, more than half of Target’s approximately 200 full store remodels and almost all the retailer’s approximately 30 new stores will include elements of the new design. Beginning in 2024, all of Target’s remodels and new stores will feature the majority of the new store design elements.

Target downplayed the move away from small-format urban stores. “We have same-day fulfillment capabilities at our smaller stores,” the spokesman said. “Small format stores have order pickup, and where they also have parking lots, we work to offer drive up service. And we continue to ship from store from all stores chain-wide.”

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