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Target Readies Plans For Express Store Format

On the heels of Walmart’s decision to develop and accelerate expansion of smaller Express format stores, Target is now discussing plans for a format that will be a compact form of its own typical operations. Although it already had developed a reduced concept, CityTarget, designed for urban areas where full-sized stores are impractical, the retailer is now discussing a further slimmed down format, Express.

Target has been working on smaller store concepts for several years. Among the early manifestations of what became known as its urban store, Target developed a location in Rego Park, in the New York City borough of Queens. Target built the two-story format into a mall that had emerged from a former, architecturally famous Macy’s location constructed in the round. Macy’s moved to a mall adjacent to its earlier location in an emerging retail district. The urban Target featured scaled back versions of many departments, although it retained food, based on the edibles operation at the time, at a relatively large scale.

Target also developed an urban concept for a location near Brooklyn College, just a few miles away from the Rego Park store that included a significantly larger foodservice department than is typical of the chain. Indeed, the company worked in several cities to modify existing store plans as it sought a means of operating in urban environments where its suburban-oriented formats might be ineffective or impractical.

What emerged from the experimentation was City Target. The company added its sixth CityTarget location in Portland late last year. Like some other earlier urban efforts, Target developed the store as a multi-level entity that, in the Portland case, came in at 89,000 square feet.

Target now tells The New York Times that it has developed an Express concept. According to the Times report, Target plans Express outlets at about a fifth size of its smaller base stores. The first Express, planned for Target’s home town of Minneapolis, and near the University of Minnesota, is set for 20,000 square feet and will stock a selection of grocery and pharmacy items, along with an edited mix of home décor, clothing and electronics, Target told the Times.