Target plans to speed grab-and-go purchases with ‘Snack Bar’
Trying to grab a snack at the grocery store and getting stuck behind someone with a cart at checkout is a frustrating experience that even express lanes rarely alleviate. Now, Target is experimenting with a new section at the front of the store to speed up shopping for grab-and-go snackers.
Target will pilot its new “Snack Bar” section in a few locations nationwide, and one is already in operation at a store in Northeast Minneapolis, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. The location features Pizza Hut products, self-serve Icees, popcorn, beef jerky and the like. Customers pay at a self-service kiosk, circumventing the grocery line. The Snack Bar sections are distinct from the Starbucks locations found in some Targets and may replace restaurants like Freshii, which briefly occupied the front of some stores.
Target’s Snack Bar may make for a quicker trip, but that may not always be a positive given the potential loss of other purchases that come with reduced dwell time. The move demonstrates an ongoing willingness by the chain to test different ideas. Just a few years ago, Target was focusing on driving healthier impulse buys at the checkout by replacing candy with better-for-you snack options.
The retailer has been experimenting with multiple store concepts to meet disparate shopper needs for the past few years. The chain has experienced a great deal of success with its small, localized concept stores. It also announced the rollout of a “re-imagined” concept for its larger stores in 2017, which feature two different entrances leading to sections of the stores intended for different customer moods. One side features merchandise and a layout geared towards customers planning to shop longer. The other is aimed at customers who want to get in and out of the store quickly.
A separate article in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal from late 2018 stated that Target plans to redesign a total of 1,000 stores by the end of 2020, a goal that it’s more than one-third of the way toward reaching. Target will draw from the piloted stores to determine which new features to incorporate into a given redesigned location.
- Target tests self-service grab-and-go ‘Snack Bar’ in stores – Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
- Target spent more than $1.2 billion sprucing up stores in 2018; here’s one of its new-look locations – Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
- Sneak Peek: Target’s Plans to Reimagine Stores – Target
- Is Target crazy to swap granola bars for candy at its checkouts? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more pros or cons to Target’s grab-and-go Snack Bar design? What’s your impression of the way Target is experimenting with store formats and designs?