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Target unveils major store initiative to enhance shopper experience

BY Marianne Wilson

Target Corp. is launching a major and wide-ranging initiative to improve its in-store shopper experience.

The initiative, called LA25, will be rolled out in 25 Target stores in Los Angeles. It involves everything from more helpful store signage and more modern fixtures to the exploration of RFID technology to help store associates track down missing products. The first wave of stores will be updated in the coming weeks, with a second batch getting a makeover in spring 2016.

The new program will test 50 of the retailer’s enhancements and changes to presentation and service (with some behind-the-scenes innovations) to study the impact the changes have on shopper experience and sales in a single market. Some of the tests will involve programs and services the chain is piloting in other markets, while others will involve brand-new ideas.

Changes will happen in two major areas: presentation and service. Customers in L25 stores can expect a more modern sales floor, with updated fixtures and helpful signs. And the front of the store will be transformed to spotlight the latest products and trends.

To improve customer experience in the L25 stores, Target is bringing in experts in certain areas, including the beauty and baby departments. With the new Beauty Concierge and Baby Advisor services, shoppers will have access to highly-trained experts to answer questions and provide personalized service and unbiased information about our products.

In the home department, Target will test displays with products styled together in real-life settings — vignettes featuring set dinner tables, fully decorated bedroom spaces and more — where customers can shop everything they need for a certain area of their home. It will also test in-store displays featuring online-only products.

The retailer will also test a digital service ambassador, whereby a store associate will be dedicated to helping shoppers use the chain’s digital channels, including the Target mobile app and Cartwheel, and assisting with in-store pickups.

Besides the in-store changes, Target said it plans to implement supply chain and backroom enhancements to improve customer experiences. It will test new ways to order and receive products, including curbside pickup.

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