For the past five years, Target has been dropping several small-format stores close to college campuses and in urban neighborhoods, according to media reports. There are nearly 100 of these small-format stores, averaging around one-third of the square footage of a traditional Target store. Referring to a report conducted by Target, these brick-and-mortar stores are achieving a significant amount of productivity while furthering Target’s efforts to entice consumers to shop in-store and online.
Target has designed the stores to support quick, convenient shopping trips with products tailored to students and college staff, in addition to local professionals and community residents. Store locations offer this demographic a curated product selection designed to better serve them, while marked at competitive prices. These products include grab-and-go lunch and snack solutions, personal health essentials such as toothpaste and shampoo, school supplies and tech accessories and dorm décor and apparel. Locations also feature hubs where ocnsumers can pick up their Target online orders.
Scott Timpani, Target store leader, explains the strategic placement of the small-format stores. “During the school year, about 10,000 students each day cross a pedestrian bridge that starts on campus and ends a few steps from our back entrance. Knowing these guests are often heading to class or simply in a hurry, we have four self-checkout kiosks next to the doors so they can quickly complete purchases and be on their way.”
“While all Target store teams strive to learn what local guests need and adapt accordingly, it’s particularly important for small-format stores’ new college campuses to get to know the unique needs of our student guests,” said Timpani.
Noticing a spike in sales and in-store consumer traffic, the company plans to open as many as 30 per year during the next few years. With multiple convenient locations, Target is becoming tough competition for online retailer Amazon and discount retailer Walmart. Media sources have reported on Amazon and Walmart’s attempts to open smaller stores. However neither retail giant has reported results comparable to Target’s strategy of focusing on college campuses, ultimately making Target a leading competitor in retail for its convenient locations and quick shopping experience.