MINNEAPOLIS — While growing e-commerce is a priority at Target Corp., the discount retailer is equally focused on keeping its physical stores relevant and appealing through an aggressive remodeling program. Target intends to make over at least 1,000 of its 1,835 stores by 2020.
The program is moving forward in high gear: During the first quarter, the company completed 56 remodels, and more than 100 will be wrapped up in the second quarter. Besides the full-scale revamps, Target is upgrading the presentation in such key departments as beauty, apparel, home, and food and beverage across a broader set of stores, chairman and chief executive officer Brian Cornell told analysts in May.
“Beyond the direct feedback we’re hearing from our guests, we continue to see incremental 2%-to-4% sales lifts in stores following the completion of a remodel,” he added. He also pointed out that customer traffic in the first quarter grew 3.7% — the biggest quarterly increase Target has recorded in more than 10 years.
Besides the remodels, Target is opening new stores at a modest pace, with a primary emphasis on deploying its smaller format in densely populated metropolitan areas. In the first quarter, for example, six of the seven new stores that debuted were smaller-format units in such markets as Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago.
In July Target opened a 26,000-square-foot store in the East Village area of Manhattan, with another small-format unit slated to debut this month [August] on the Lower East Side.
The remodeled facilities as well as the new stores incorporate elements of Target’s current store design, which features such enhancements as updated decor, modern fixtures and specialty lighting. The apparel department, for example, boasts a more upscale look with updated displays and additional mannequins to provide inspiration.
“Guests will find beautiful, enhanced merchandise displays that create ‘shops’ throughout the store,” explains Joe Perdew, vice president of store design. “Some stores even get a center aisle treatment that winds through the middle of the store with displays at varying heights to make them more eye-catching. The beauty department looks like a specialty shop that inspires and invites guests to try the products, and in home, products are on display in lifestyle settings so guests can imagine what they’ll look like in their own homes.”
Each remodel is uniquely customized to fit the neighborhood and the customer base of the store. “There are a lot of factors at play, like where each store is located and what the neighborhood around it needs most,” says Joe Contrucci, senior vice president of stores. “We count on our local store teams to help us understand exactly what our guests want so we can build relevant experiences around that.”