The Holiday Gift Auction is Live! Click here and bid now on great local gifts!
State and Nation Business

Target plans to revamp stores for those in a rush, those who ramble

AP photo
This image provided by Target Corp. shows a rendering of an area of a redesigned Target store, featuring an "ease" entrance to the grocery section.
AP photo This image provided by Target Corp. shows a rendering of an area of a redesigned Target store, featuring an "ease" entrance to the grocery section.

NEW YORK – In a move to bring shoppers back to its stores, Target is embarking on an ambitious redesign aimed at helping people who need to dash in for milk to get out quickly while encouraging those who want to wander the aisles to linger.

The new layout was unveiled Monday by CEO Brian Cornell in Las Vegas.

It will feature a separate entrance and 10-minute parking for shoppers looking to pick up an online order or some essentials.

New center aisles will be curved rather than squared off, to inspire people to explore, said Mark Schindele, senior vice president of Target Properties.

LED track lighting will replace fluorescent fixtures, and brand boutiques meant to replicate a specialty-store feel will showcase rotating looks.

The first of the redesigned stores will open in suburban Houston this fall. About 40 more stores will get the remodel treatment by October, using the Houston prototype as a template. More than 600 of Target’s 1,800 total locations are scheduled for updates over the next three years. It expects the remodeled stores to see a 2 percent to 4 percent sales bump.

“We wanted the design to be flexible because that is what shopping is all about,” Schindele said

The remodeling is a key part of Target Corp.’s strategy to win back shoppers and rev up sales. Unlike rival Wal-Mart, which has drawn more customers and notched higher sales at established stores, Target has seen three straight quarters of declines for that sales measure, and fewer shoppers in its stores.

Investing in stores is an acknowledgment that the in-person experience remains important, even as Amazon and other online retailers draw shoppers away from traditional retailers.

At an investor meeting last month, Target executives spoke bluntly about the shabbiness of many of the chain’s stores. It pledged to spend $7 billion on the remodeling plan and to accelerate its expansion of small-format stores, bolster its online operations, and launch new brands. “We’ve got to reimagine that store experience,” Cornell said then. “Today’s millennial shopper doesn’t enjoy shopping one of our tired stores that hasn’t been touched in 10 years.”

Target has also tested new store designs in Dallas and Los Angeles, but Houston’s is the most ambitious store redesign to date.

Last fall, Target launched an initiative in 25 stores in Los Angeles where it tested an updated grocery presentation with new lighting and foods to prepare single meal displayed together. The new grocery presentation was later rolled out in 16 Dallas stores. Cornell said shopper feedback in Dallas and Los Angeles has been good.

The Houston prototype’s separate entrances for shoppers in a hurry and those who aren’t is among its biggest novelties.

The entrance on the right will have a dedicated pickup counter for online orders.

Shoppers will also have the option of having their order brought to their car. Groceries, wine and liquor will be located here, rather than in the back where they’re usually found. Seasonal essentials, such as school supplies in the fall, will also be found nearby.

Shoppers using the “inspiration” entrance on the left will see the brand-name displays and a section highlighting seasonal fashion. Beauty, jewelry and accessories departments will be nearby.

There will also be seating outside of Starbucks. An area to hold store events will be located between the two entrances.

Target will tweak the format based on shoppers’ responses. “This represents our current thinking,” Schindele said, “but we are going to learn a lot.”

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.