With 12 store openings under its belt so far in 2021, Target is showing off its assorted new digs.
The Minneapolis-based retailer, which previously announced plans to open 30 to 40 new stores by the end of the year and have an additional 150 remodels complete in time for the holidays, has opened the doors to a location on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a small-format store near the University of Georgia campus in Athens and 10 other locations from Santa Monica, Calif., to Wilmington, Del. Target's total store count now stands at more than 1,900, including more than 140 small-format stores.
The goal is to "bring that one-of-a-kind Target joy to new guests across the country," the retailer stated in a post on its website April 29. And as pandemic-related restrictions ease across the country and more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19, Target—which earlier this month boasted of a $9 billion gain in market share in 2020—is eager to welcome more customers back to in-store shopping, while also offering its massively popular order pickup and, in some new locations, Drive Up services. (Multichannel shoppers spend four times more than store-only customers and 10 times more than digital-only customers, Target CFO Michael Fiddelke noted in March.)
Americans are "looking forward to continuing to go out, and Target is one of the first places I think they're visiting," Target CEO Brian Cornell said at JPMorgan's Virtual Retail Round-Up event earlier this month.
"From Manhattan to Honolulu, each of the communities Target calls home is unique," and store designs and product assortment are planned deliberately to celebrate and reflect those communities, the retailer stated.
In a new store at 4030 NE Halsey St. in Portland, Ore., a bowling-pin bullseye gives a nod to the location's previous life as a bowling alley. In the new small-format Target in Athens, Ga., customers will find a range of University of Georgia apparel and other fan merchandise (adjacent to, not for nothing, a refrigerated case of hard seltzers and other adult beverages).
At all new stores, customers will also find "the popular products and services our guests already love," including national and private-label favorites, Target noted. Target earlier this month launched Favorite Day, a private-label food and beverage line with more than 700 sweet and savory snacks, baked goods and frozen treats.
Small-format stores, such as this one to open near the University of Georgia campus in Athens, are a key part of the retailer's growth strategy. "Per square foot, they’re much more productive than our average stores," Cornell said in 2020.
Small-format stores range in size from about 12,000 to 40,000 square feet, whereas the average Target is about 130,000 square feet, the retailer notes on its website. Super Target stores can hit the 200,000-square-feet mark.
About 30 of Target's more than 140 small-format stores across the country are located near college campuses. These stores offer Target the opportunity "to introduce its unique shopping experience to new, college-aged guests to form lifelong relationships," the retailer stated in March.
New stores are designed with more contactless features, including no-touch hand-sanitizing stations and wider spaces to allow for social distancing, Target noted.
Vanice Colbert is store director at Target's new Sacramento Midtown location. "My goal is to cultivate a clean, safe and fun place not only for my team, but for all guests in our community, and a space where they can see themselves reflected," Colbert said in the retailer's news release about new store openings.
In dunnhumby's annual Retail Preference Index (RPI), Target saw one of the largest jumps in rank among grocery retailers, dunnhumby head of consumer strategy for North America Eric Karlson noted this month. "Target did well not because of changes made in 2020, but because they were already perceived to be a speedy, clean and safe" destination, Karlson wrote.
Target's Drive Up, Order Pickup and same-day delivery via Shipt options saw enormous growth in 2020, including 212% year-over-year growth in the final quarter of the year. Drive Up sales alone grew 500% in both the third and fourth quarters.
Not all of Target's new stores opening this year will feature Drive Up service, but many will. In March, Fiddelke noted that Target customers who try Drive Up spend about 30% more than they did before, including on groceries and household essentials. Same-day services "drive guest affinity," he added.
Target prides itself on its physical stores being a desirable destination for customers—a want-to-go not just a need-to-go place. Part of creating a welcoming, distinctive environment is demonstrating an appreciation for the community, history and people surrounding each new Target location, the retailer notes.
At Target's new Midtown store in Sacramento, Calif., workers repaired a mural on the building's exterior that depicted local sights and scenes. "As always, we built each location with the community in mind—from infusing local art to capturing the history of the buildings we now call home," Target stated in its new-store news release.
Consistent share gains across the company's merchandise portfolio indicate that Target "is becoming more and more of a destination for a consumer who is consolidating the number of places they shop, and we think that's going to continue," Cornell said this month.