Target outfits stores to test multiple innovations
Target is using 25 stores in the Los Angeles area to test about 50 of its top enhancements and innovations, many supporting its digital services.
Some of the tests will be programs and services already piloting in other markets while others are new ideas. Target said in a press release, "But the chance to test them all in a single market environment will help us see which elements work best together. We’ll use what we learn to build the best-performing enhancement combos into our future store prototypes and design plans."
The project, called LA25 and highlighted at last week’s annual meeting in Minneapolis, will focus on two areas: presentation and service.
The stores will present a more modern sales floor with updated fixtures and helpful signs. The front of the store will showcase the latest products and trends. Around service, some already-tested innovations in key departments, such as personal assistants in beauty, will be included, along with other new features to help support digital offerings. Target wrote, "Guests will be able to interact with some of the tests as they shop, while others will happen behind the scenes in our backrooms and supply chain."
Among the features tested will be:
In-store experts: Beauty Concierge and Baby Advisors will be featured in respective departments to answer questions and provide personalized service and unbiased information about products. Target will also test Digital Service Ambassadors to help guests use digital channels such as its mobile app and Cartwheel and assist with in-store pickups.
Home presentations: In its home department, products will be styled together in displays, e.g., dinner tables, fully decorated bedroom spaces, etc. In-store displays featuring online-only products to showcase Target’s expanded options online will also be tested.
RFID: With store associates frequently challenged finding items placed on the wrong aisle or shelf, RFID will be tested to speed in-store item tracking.
Pickup/delivery: New ways to order and receive products, including curbside pickup and others, will also be tested.
Construction begins on the first wave of tests and updates in a few weeks, with a second wave launching in spring 2016.
"Over the last decade, as our guests’ lifestyles evolved to be more digitally-enabled — from the internet to smart devices — the way they shop has fundamentally changed," wrote Target in its statement. "They tell us they want the best of both worlds: A great in-store experience featuring the latest in on-demand shopping."
- Introducing LA25, Target’s New Innovation Initiative – Target
- Target pushes innovation but also promises to fix the basics – The Associated Press
What do you think of the LA25 initiative? What are the pros and cons of testing new technologies in store clusters such as LA25 versus other methods?