Target's Future Stores Will Be Bigger, Greener
Even Target Stores are seeing the need to get greener !!!
Target will launch two store prototypes this year that are larger than existing Target stores, are green certified and add more space for food and electronics.
The Minneapolis-based discount retailer will test its new general-merchandise store -- which it dubs P2009 -- in Waconia and its new SuperTarget store -- S2009 -- in Otsego. Both are scheduled to open in October.
Target plans to roll out the 2009 prototypes at more than 100 locations nationwide next year, starting in March. The company unveils new prototypes every four to five years to provide a fresh look and to better meet customers' expectations.
"Every five years, we come out with a new prototype, but it's ongoing in between that period, too," said Thom Lasley, Target's lead design project architect. "It's continually evolving."
The new general-merchandise stores will span 132,400 square feet, roughly 6,000 square feet larger than the current model. The new SuperTarget stores will be 186,000 square feet, about 12,000 square feet larger than existing locations and pushing closer to the average size of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Supercenters, which are about 197,000 square feet. SuperTarget stores include full-service groceries, whereas the general-merchandise stores do not.
Changing floor plans
A key component of both of the prototypes is more floor space for food, especially Target's house brands, Archer Farms and Market Pantry.
The new SuperTarget stores also will have more space for pre-prepared food items at the front of the store. "We're going to have a larger grab-and-go portion like you see at high-end grocery stores like Lunds and Byerly's ... to enhance the guests' shopping experience and make things easier for them," Lasley said.
That fits well with Target's "cheap chic" image and should help the company tap into a more affluent customer base, said Joe Feldman, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group in New York. "I think there's a huge crossover between the Target shopper and the shoppers at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's," he said. "There's a huge built-in customer base that wants slightly higher quality and more organic-leaning products."
The change also reflects Target's growth into the food business. "It's clear that they're in the food business and not just for today, but certainly strengthening it for the long term," said Dave Brennan, co-director of the Institute for Retailing Excellence at the University of St. Thomas, noting that a bolstered food component helps generate additional foot traffic and build customer loyalty.
Target will slightly expand its electronic departments to accommodate new products and broader selections. Its stores saw strong sales of flat-screen TVs, global positioning systems, digital-picture frames and videogames during an otherwise lackluster holiday sales season.