Target pivots to larger stores with new 150K-square-foot format

Dive Brief:

  • Target is introducing a new large-format store that will stand at around 150,000 square feet, which would make it roughly 20,000 square feet larger than its average, according to a company release.
  • Target said that the new larger format concept will be its primary development focus in the coming years, while it will still continue to open stores of other sizes as well. 
  • With the new format, Target is playing around with other design elements, including what it described as a more open layout and localized elements, which the retailer said it would add to future remodels as well.

Dive Insight:

Target’s new larger format represents a pivot from its development focus of recent years, which brought an expansion in the retailer’s small-format concept tailored for urban areas and younger shoppers. 

Those smaller stores generally ran 17,000 to 50,000 square feet. The retailer even introduced a 6,000-square-foot store in 2020 to reach yet more neighborhoods and campuses.

To state the obvious, the new format is much larger than that. Target Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan pointed to the importance of same-day omnichannel services like Order Pickup (Target’s BOPIS offering) and Drive Up (curbside) in explaining the pivot to the larger format. 

“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,” Mulligan said in the release.

The extra square footage includes five times more space for backroom fulfillment than its traditional large-format stores. The stores also have space for a deeper merchandise assortment, including room for an expanded food and beverage selection, according to Target.

The company pointed to “years” of research behind the new design and large-store strategy. Target recently opened one of the larger-format stores outside Houston.

Along with size, Target is introducing other new store design features, including larger windows for more natural light, as well as plants and regionally sourced reclaimed wood meant to create “a welcoming and inspiring space,” the company said.

Other features are meant to be local in nature, such as landscaping with native plants and localized products in store. Target is also giving a nod to sustainability with use of natural refrigerants to lower emissions, electric vehicle charging ports and some rooftop solar arrays at “many” locations.  

Those design features will be rolled out in remodels to more than 200 stores beginning in 2023 and nearly all of the 30 new stores the company has planned, the company said. Then, starting in 2024, all of Target’s remodels and new stores would incorporate the designs. 

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