Target expands its college tour
This fall, Target will open three additional smaller format stores — at the University of Kentucky, Michigan State and University of Washington — to bring its total count across college campuses to 23.
The college stores are building on the chain’s success with small format locations. Target said it now has nearly 100 small format stores across the U.S., from college campuses to urban centers. The retailer is set to open 30 more annually over the next few years.
On its fourth-quarter 2018 conference call, Target’s CEO Brian Cornell described the smaller formats as “highly productive.” New York City’s Herald Square store, opened in October 2017, generates the highest sales per square foot of all of Target’s stores.
Target’s college stores — averaging around 20,000 square feet — are “designed for quick and convenient trips, and stocked with locally relevant products at affordable prices,” according to a press release.
Many include Starbucks concessions, complete with seating areas and charging outlets. “We want to help make students’ experiences fun and easy, serve up products and services they’ll love and show them the best that Target has to offer, so they become lifelong guests,” said Mark Schindele, SVP, Target Properties.
Retail options on campuses have traditionally been confined to bookstores but have expanded in part because universities are recognizing that offering convenient shopping boosts the college experience and recruiting efforts.
Retailers are also recognizing an opportunity to support burgeoning online orders heading to campuses from parents. Target is touting its stores as “convenient hubs where guests can go to pick up orders from Target.com.”
Among major retailers, Amazon has also been aggressive, opening a number of fulfillment centers on or near college campuses.
Walmart has a 3,371-square-foot store on the University of Arkansas campus and two others at Arizona State University and Virginia Commonwealth University but has closed others on campuses with the demise of Walmart Express.
- These Small but Mighty Target Stores Are a College Student’s Dream – Target
- Target Corp (TGT) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript – The Motley Fool
- Target Is Opening Small-Format Stores On College Campuses, So Now Your Fave Store Comes In Mini – Bustle
- Retailers Head To College For The Latest Commerce Innovation – Pymnts
- U of South Florida brings grocer Publix to campus – Education Dive
- Why Penn, Drexel Are Recruiting Retailers, Not Just Students – NBC Philadelphia
- Should More Retailers Open Up Shop On College Campuses? – Footwear News
- Walmart reopens on UA campus – Arkansas Democrat Gazette
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Have college campuses emerged into a more viable growth opportunity for larger chains? Has online helped or hurt on-campus growth? What unique challenges do campuses present?