Target is trying a strategy that failed for Walmart
CEO Brian Cornell says that Target's future involves hundreds of smaller, "flex-format" locations, reports Bloomberg.
Target has quietly opened 23 smaller stores, called CityTarget and TargetExpress locations, in major cities across the US. The retailer plans to open nine more smaller locations by the end of this year, and at least 16 more in 2017.
These smaller stores measure less than 50,000 square feet, compared to the traditional Target stores' range of 80,000 to 160,000 square feet.
They also have a different approach to stocking shelves, with locations adjusting their selections to fit the needs to local, urban customers. For example, Bloomberg reports Cornell said that Target's New York City location will focus on baby and kids products, as the store will be in a family-centric neighborhood.
Other product tweaks in smaller locations include smaller pack sizes to better fit the needs of urbanites taking public transportation and items that appeal to local tastes, such as Red Sox merchandise in a Boston location.
The smaller urban locations also have the secondary benefit of helping the retailer compete with Amazon, creating pickup points in cities for online orders.
Walmart tested similar smaller store concepts, with Walmart Neighborhood and Walmart Express.
In early 2014, the budget retailer said that it would double the growth of its smaller stores, with plans to open up to 300 small stores that year. However, early this year, Walmart announced it was closing all 102 Walmart Express outlets.
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