Will Target take NYC by going small and flexible?
Earlier this year, Target was talking about wanting to connect with a younger, urban audience through their small-format concept. The chain is putting theory into action. Their latest stores are not only going smaller to accommodate urban life, they’re getting flexible with what they’re offering.
Last week a smaller Target store opened in Forest Hills, Queens in a space formerly occupied by a Barnes & Noble. QNS.com reported that it is a “flexible-format” store, meant to have its assortment cater to the localized interests of the customers in the neighborhood. The Forest Hills Target features local sports team apparel and a designer clothing collection called Local Pride. Before the location’s opening, the New York Post reported that the store would have a bigger selection of kosher food to meet the needs of the large Jewish community in the area.
Target is slated to open 13 more small-format stores this year to join the 21 now in operation, according to the Post. The chain has only opened one large-format store in 2016.
The other small-format stores opening in the New York area will also be flexible-format stores, according to QNS, and will open in Tribeca; Downtown Brooklyn; Elmont, New York; Freeport, New York; and Closter, New Jersey.
Target’s urban strategy is but one of the many moves that the retailer has made in recent years to reinvent itself. Some, such as the chain’s focus on health and wellness and sale of connected health devices, seem to compliment an urban customer base. Others, such as testing upscale department store-style layouts, look to be on the opposite side of the brick-and-mortar spectrum.
But Target isn’t the only retailer to roll out smaller formats in urban environments recently, nor to tailor the assortment of urban stores to the unique needs of big city shoppers. At the end of 2015, Lowe’s launched two small-format locations in Manhattan. The stores make use of interactive in-store touchscreen technology and stock items from vendors that cater to urban living which a shopper wouldn’t expect to find in a suburban Lowe’s.
- Target’s expansion into cities may mean more smaller stores – New York Post
- Newly open Target in Forest Hills receives mixed reactions from the community – QNS.com
- Will Target succeed where Walmart failed? – RetailWire
- Will Target find its identity with a department store layout? – RetailWire
- New NYC Lowe’s locations are small-format, high-tech – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Target using its resources wisely by focusing on big cities? Are small, flexible-format stores a good urban expansion strategy for Target and other chains?