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Target’s Plan To Combat Online Rivals: Open, Remodel More Actual Stores

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While Walmart increasingly turns its focus online to bring in customers, Target is doing the opposite, doubling down on efforts to get customers inside its physical stores. To that end, the company will open dozens of new stores and remodel another 1,000 in coming years.

Target announced today that it would build on its previously unveiled initiative to remodel stores in a way that is more convenient for customers and encourages them to stick around, and you know, shop some more.

Getting A New Look

The expanded plan will see Target add 325 additional stores to its list of to-be-remodeled locations.

Previously, the company said it would remodel more than 600 locations through 2019. Now, the retailer says it will remodel more than 1,000 stores through 2020.

The decision to add to the number of remodels came after Target saw an increase in sales at recently redesigned locations.

CEO Brian Cornell said at an event marking the opening of a New York City store today that the retailer experienced a 2% to 4% sales boost at the locations, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

The remodels, which will be customized based on customer feedback, will feature stenciled floors, unique lighting, and wood-paneled walls and beams, Target previously announced.

One entrance will be for customers in a rush, complete with an online order pickup counter close by and grab-and-go food and beverage displays near the exits. This section will also house the stores’ groceries and new beer and wine section.

The second entrance will contain merchandise displays meant to grab customers’ attention in the hopes they’ll make purchases. The store will also feature outdoor space for those times when guests are just wandering around the store avoiding their family.

Additionally, the new Target stores will have curved, more circular center aisles that will feature merchandise displays to engage guests with compelling products.

New Stores

In addition to remodeling more than 1,000 existing stores, Target says it will also accelerate the opening of new locations, including its smaller-format design.

Target is opening 32 new stores in 2017, with plans to open 35 new stores in 2018.

Cornell noted today that building the smaller-format locations — typically located in urban areas and near colleges — has provided the company with a set of untapped customers.

“The majority of shoppers are brand new to Target,” Cornell said of customers to the smaller-format locations.

So far, Target has opened 55 small-format stores, but expects that number to increase to 130 by next fall.

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