Will Target succeed where Walmart failed?
Earlier this week, Walmart announced it will closing all of its 102 Express locations. Target, on the other hand, appears to be just getting started with the opening of smaller stores.
Target’s c-store-sized format, previously known as Target Express, now operates simply as Target. According to reports, Target believes the smaller footprint stores are critical to achieving its strategic goal of connecting with younger consumers in urban markets.
Burt Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Target has a leg up on Walmart as it looks to develop the opportunity.
“Target has always enjoyed better branding in urban markets than Walmart,” Mr. Flickinger told the paper.
Brian Cornell, CEO of Target, appears determined to not repeat some of the mistakes that his company’s larger rival made opening stores in urban markets. Walmart received criticism for stocking 20 lb. bags of dog food (a hard item to carry home on foot) on the shelves of its Express stores.
In a speech at the Minnesota Economic Club, Mr. Cornell said the smaller stores Target is opening in urban markets, including Boston, Chicago and the Twin Cities, have a different consumer profile than the chain’s suburban locations.
According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Mr. Cornell and other Target executives are traveling to cities across the U.S. and visiting the homes of the very consumers it is looking to attract to its stores. The goal is to “find out first-hand how they live and shop.”
One thing known about Millennials is that a large percentage of them do not have valid driver licenses. According to the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, via USA Today, 76.7 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 24 have a license. That’s down from 82 percent in 2008 and 91.8 percent in 1983.
- As Target woos younger generation, think urban stores and apps – St. Paul Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com
- With smaller stores, Target finds success where Walmart failed – San Francisco Chronicle
- Millennials spurn driver’s licenses, study finds – USA Today
- Target pursues a single banner approach – RetailWire
- Walmart shutters Express – RetailWire
Do you expect Target to fare any better with small stores than Walmart? Why or why not?