Inside This Issue - News
Target knows urban shoppers
February 20th, 2012
EDGEWATER, N.J. – When Target Corp. unveils its new CityTarget format later this year the stores will undoubtedly benefit from the wealth of experience and insight that Target has gained from its stores in such major urban markets as New York; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago.
A good example is the Target in Edgewater, N.J. Located just minutes from the George Washington Bridge and upper Manhattan, the store draws perhaps 40% of its guests from New York City on a typical Saturday, according to store team leader Jerry Ford.
In 2010 the store was remodeled to Target’s PFresh format, which incorporates an expanded grocery offering, including perishables. But in addition to that major change, Target has demonstrated a keen sensitivity to the desires and special needs of its urban customer base.
Consequently, the retailer has made subtle adjustments to its product assortment or presentation in a number of departments, Ford points out. For example, in the entertainment section Spanish language music offerings were shifted to make them easier to find at the request of the store’s numerous Hispanic customers.
In other cases, adapting the assortment meant changing offerings. In small appliances the chain found that the 24-cup and 36-cup coffee makers it carried did not fit the space constraints of its urban-dwelling guests, even though they represented excellent value. "As a result, we’ve changed the mix to eight-, 10-, 12- and 18-cup coffee makers, and the guests love it," says Ford.
Similarly, in the bedding department Target found that demand was focused on the more moderate full- and twin-size sheets rather than on queen- and king-sizes. The assortment was adjusted to meet those needs.
The demands of urban living have also driven some adjustments to the store’s food offerings, Ford points out. "We’ve found that anything microwavable does exceptionally well," he says. "Most of our urban guests don’t have large ranges, so microwavable items are huge. Our assortment has changed to meet that."
Other changes have included widening aisles to a 6-foot width from 4-foot, allowing shopping carts to maneuver more easily.
The assortment changes are accomplished through a regular stream of feedback that begins literally on the sales floor with guest requests and comments to store team members, who report them to Ford. As store team leader he has a weekly conference call with corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, and he relays the guest input at that time.
Insights such as those gleaned from the Edgewater store are shared with other urban locations. "At Target we feel it’s very important to offer our guests a great experience," notes a Target spokeswoman. "Crucial to that is making sure we understand how they like to shop."