Here's How Target is Hitting the Bullseye with its Next Gen Store Design

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With revenue at $69,495, and its place at 38 on the Fortune 500 list, Target is America's second largest discount store retail brand behind Walmart. Originally founded in Minneapolis, 1902, as Goodfellow Dry Goods, the company now known worldwide as Target has been serving the people of America for over a century and offering everything from toys and technology to clothing and furniture.

Target has been struggling in recent years, but the company hasn't survived for this long by shying away from challenges and has several programs running to fight back - not least among them are ones dedicated to creating exciting and unique experiences to its ever-growing base of ecommerce customers.

However, not a company to easily forget its roots, Target is pouring just as much passion and innovation into its brick and mortar locations to help craft next generation customer experiences in-store.

The Next Gen Target

Target CEO, Brian Cornell, would be the first to admit the company's brick-and-mortar stores were in desperate need of a facelift. "Some buildings just don't reflect the brand - we have some old, tired stores that haven't been updated in years. Target will remodel 100 stores this year and 250 next year, and hit 600 by 2019. It currently has about 1,800 stores, many of which were opened decades ago."

Target plans to spend $7 billion on improving its stores - both the ecommerce and brick-and-mortar varieties - as well as cut prices, and launch new brands and products.

Target is also working to expand its network of 32 smaller stores, located in urban environments - the company has noticed that turnover in these smaller stores is significantly higher than in its larger locations, and is looking to further invest in those markets.

Agility is also a key element of Target's strategy going forwards. The new and reconfigured stores will be better structured to incorporate ecommerce elements, and set up for rapid inventory turnover. This will allow Target to adapt to new trends more quickly, drop merchandise that is not selling as well, and offer more geographically-relevant items - such as local produce.


The first store to get Target's next gen facelift can be found in the suburb of Richmond, Houston. Designed to form the blueprint for the entire remodeling project, the store went 'live' in October 2017.

"With our next generation of store design, we're investing to take the Target shopping experience to the next level by offering more elevated product presentations and a number of time-saving features," said Cornell. "The new design for this Houston store will provide the vision for the 500 reimagined stores planned for 2018 and 2019, with the goal of taking a customized approach to creating an enhanced shopping experience."

The new store features two entrances, each with a distinct purpose. One has ten-minute free parking and provides an entry point for everyday customers looking to quickly pop in and out for the "milk and bread" essentials, and to collect grocery orders that have been placed online. The second entrance features elevated product presentations designed to promote Target's exclusive style assortment, including apparel, and home, jewelry, and beauty accessories.

The aesthetics of the store have been massively overhauled as well. The front of the store is plated with huge glass panels letting in abundant natural light. The grocery units have been replaced with fine woodgrain materials. Spot lighting, wooden beams, concrete floors and the soft grey color scheme add natural warmth to the environment. Most interesting of all, however, are the new curved aisles, resembling woodland pathways, and encouraging exploration.

Target spokesperson Kirsty Welker says, "One [entrance] for inspiration, showcasing those beautiful cross-merchandise products, and another showcasing ease. A guest can pull up to our store, have their order pick-up brought out to them. Or they can run in quickly for 10 minutes and grab a grocery item and run out. Curved center aisles, concrete floors and unique lighting treatments that really draw our guests in and inspire them to shop."

With another large store much like the one in Houston due to open its doors in Minneapolis in fall 2017, and a small-scale store in Uptown opening during the same season, it's clear Target is taking the challenges of the modern retail space seriously, and is still dedicated to creating next generation customer experiences for the people who like to shop in-store.

The last word goes to CEO, Brian Cornell.

"Evolution is in our blood. And in every period of disruption, our company has always forged ahead, in every era."

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