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Size Doesn’t Matter to Target. Or Does It?

MINNEAPOLIS — Over the years, Target Corp. has explored different formats to tailor its stores to fit into various types of neighborhoods, including the CityTarget and TargetExpress smaller-formats. This fall, however, Target will begin the process of renaming all of its CityTarget and TargetExpress smaller-format stores simply “Target.”

In the last three years, the retailer has introduced the CityTarget and TargetExpress “flexible-format” stores in 14 locations across the country.

“These stores vary in size and assortment, but big or small, they all have one thing in common: They’re all Target,” the company said in announcing the change. “We’ll rebrand those stores, both the new and existing, with our Bullseye logo. You’ll see the changes start to happen in October.”

It said that with store pickup of online orders, customers “always have the full Target experience at their fingertips.”

The move is in keeping with a corporate restructuring that Target announced in March, which included a shift to a strategy of “taking a channel-agnostic approach to growing its business, driving a total Target experience across stores, online and mobile.”

At that time, it announced the new CityTarget and TargetExpress initiatives.

The company said this course correction does not mean that it is giving up on flexible formats.

“We’re committed as ever to our urban growth strategy, developing stores specially designed for densely populated areas. And we’ll keep integrating our digital channels, services like Store Pickup, and other innovations into the experience so guests always have all of Target at their fingertips,” it said.

Of the six new stores coming in October 2015, four of them—in San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago and Rosslyn, Va.—will be smaller, flexible-format stores. The other two, in San Diego Del Sur, and Fort Worth, Texas, will be traditional stores.

Minneapolis-based Target has approximately 1,800 stores.

The move differs from Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s strategy of naming its smaller-format stores Walmart Neighborhood Markets and Walmart Express, although the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant did announce in 2014 that it was discontinuing the Walmart Express format and would rebrand the existing stores to the Neighborhood Market name. It also has one convenience store with gasoline called Walmart To Go and several Walmart on Campus locations.


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