Target to test Express concept this summer

A 20,000-sq.-ft. store called TargetExpress is set to become the newest addition to the retailer’s portfolio of formats when it opens this July in downtown Minneapolis.

In an interview with The New York Times, Target EVP for property development John Griffith said Target signed a lease last week for a space on the ground floor of an apartment building called the Marshall which is under construction near the University of Minnesota campus. The store is scheduled to open July 27.

As more people, and especially young people, opt to live in cities rather than suburbs, Target wanted to remain convenient, according to Griffith.

“Many of them grew up with a Target experience,” Griffith was quoted as saying in The New York Times. “Now, they show up at their cool little bungalow they’re redoing, they’re five miles from downtown, and yet, Target is a little bit of an effort to get to.”

Introduction of TargetExpress follows the opening two years ago of a much larger format called City Target that was designed for urban markets. Early versions of City Target were in the vicinity of 100,000-sq.-ft. which limits the expansion potential of a format whose name implies it was created for dense markets. The typical Target store in a suburban location measures around 135,000-sq.-ft., while the Super Target concept is roughly 175,000-sq.-ft.

The name TargetExpress is reminiscent of a format Walmart introduced several years ago in Northwest Arkansas and select markets nationwide. Like Target, Wamart located one of its approximately 15,000-sq.-ft. stores near the campus of the University of Arkansas. It also opened a few in select urban locations such as Chicago, but the majority are located in rural markets where Walmart is looking to fend off competition from the likes of Dollar General and Family Dollar. Target does not face the same competitive pressures from dollar stores, but its initial Express format is said to stock a familiar and highly edited mix of grocery, healthcare, apparel, home décor and electronics.


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