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Target builds its flexible-format strategy

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Plans call for 130 new smaller-format stores by end of 2019

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp.’s commitment to an urban growth strategy featuring flexible-format stores carrying assortments tailored to the local clientele is taking the retailer into Los Angeles’ Koreatown.

The Koreatown store is the fifth Target store of 27,400 square feet or less to open this spring. Another 21 flexible-format stores are set to open later this year, ranging in size from 12,800 square feet, in the Wicker Park section of Chicago, to 60,000 square feet, in South Burlington, Vt., according to a list on the company’s website.

Target is on track to open 130 smaller-format stores by the end of 2019.

The company has said that the changing face of its growth strategy is being driven by customers’ expectations for ease and personalization.

“Even as we reimagine our existing stores, we are continuing to find opportunities to bring an elevated experience to new guests, and we are doing that with our small-format stores,” John Mulligan, Target’s chief operating officer, said earlier this month during a conference with analysts to discuss the retailer’s latest quarterly financial results. “The flexible design allows us to open in areas where our traditional big-box footprints simply wouldn’t fit — city centers, dense neighborhoods, even college campuses. They bring us into new markets like Vermont, which will officially put us in all 50 states and closer to new guests, like students at the University of Cincinnati and Penn State.”

In addition to a curated assortment, most of the new urban-format stores incorporate the retailer’s Target Mobile and Order Pickup services and a CVS pharmacy. And shoppers shouldn’t be surprised to encounter a Starbucks barista or two on the premises.

New York City remains a popular location for Target’s urban stores, with several outlets planned through 2022, in three different boroughs of the city.

Coming this summer are two Manhattan stores: a 27,000-square-foot store in the East Village that is adjacent to Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, a sprawling private residential development covering 80 acres, with 89 apartment buildings and about 8,750 dwelling units, and a 22,500-square-foot store on the Lower East Side.

Coming in 2019 will be Target’s first small-format store on Staten Island, in the Elm Park neighborhood. A store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is also expected to open next year, at the base of the Fairfax residential building at Third Avenue near East 70th Street. And coming next summer is an urban Target on the ground floor of a residential condominium building under construction on Tenth Avenue between West 44th and West 45th streets.

Astoria, Queens, is slated to get a Target store in 2022.

Target currently caters to Manhattan residents, office workers and tourists with stores in Harlem, Tribeca and Herald Square.


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