Target has been much less bold than larger rival Walmart in going after the small box opportunity. But with the opening of the first TargetExpress beta store, the world will finally get to see if the reeling retailer (data breach, Canada, etc.) has come up with a concept that can help it get its mojo back.
The 20,000-square-foot beta store opened in the Dinkytown area of Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota campus. The store is tailored to the school's students and nearby city dwellers. It features fresh produce, grab-and-go foods, snacks and beverages. Also included is a beauty department with concierge as well as areas for electronics, home and seasonal items. Customers (AKA guests, in Target-speak) will also be able to fill their prescriptions in the store's pharmacy.
In a video that features Karl Anderson, the store's team leader, Target demonstrates its commitment to digitally-connected consumers with a display that uses the chain's Cartwheel mobile app for discounts as well as its new In a Snap app, which allows consumers to scan a poster near the store entrance to shop specific items.
Target plans to open four additional Express stores next year including three in the San Francisco Bay Areas and one closer to home in St. Paul.
Faye Landes, an analyst with Cowen and Co., told the Star Tribune that Target is playing catch-up with Walmart when it comes to small stores.
"They are leading the way," she told the paper. "Given Wal-Mart's actions, everybody has to react more quickly. "
How likely is Target to succeed with its TargetExpress concept?