Target Shifts To Smaller, More Urban Store Footprints

Illinois Target Store

Recent new store layouts at Target are leading some to ask: has the big box retail model finally come full circle, understanding that the local retail flavor and small operations it so often replaced might be the secret sauce it needs to survive?

The average size of a Target store has fallen, possibly for the first time in the company’s history.

The New York Post reports:

With 20 smaller stores already open, the Minneapolis-based chain expects to roll out 14 more this year — including one in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, which will open on Wednesday.

The store is 21,000 square feet.

There will be only one large-format store opened in 2016.

As a result, the average size of a Target store fell last year — to 133,700 square feet — for probably the first time in its history.

The store in Forest Hills, along a busy commercial strip, opened in a space previously occupied by a Barnes & Noble.

Target is looking beyond its core customers in the burbs and scooping up attractive real estate abandoned by other struggling retailers like grocers, Barnes & Noble and OfficeMax, a Target rep said.

“We can get into great locations now that we have smaller prototypes,” said Tony Roman, senior vice president of Target and head of the greater New York market area.

Neighborhood Niches

The big-box giant is relying on understanding of local community makeup to tailor its offerings; in its new smaller-format store in the majority-Jewish enclave of Forest Hills, products catering to local tastes include local sports jerseys and food that carries the kosher mark.  New smaller Target stores whose operations are similarly tuned to local needs are coming in Tribeca, downtown Brooklyn and Elmon, Queens are in the pipeline.

The big may be hearing the call of the small after all.


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