Its lack of success in this country notwithstanding, Target USA is continuing its full-speed trajectory toward an unprecedented future that stares e-commerce right in the headlights.
The next generation of this company’s appearance on the American retail landscape launched last week with the opening of a grand and exceptional store in Richmond, TX, thirty-five miles from Houston.
This 124,000-square-foot original is the first of 500 “reimagined” stores the retailer plans to open within the next two years with a customized view to create an enhanced shopping experience. It’ll do this, Target’s chairman and CEO Brian Cornell has said, “by offering more elevated product presentations and a number of time-saving features.”
It’ll also exemplify a commitment to a new retail posture that seeks vigorous competition with department stores and supermarkets by way of specialized consumer goods in home decor, apparel and groceries.
What sets this next-generation store apart is its embrace of two concepts in one. On the “ease” side of the store, busy families on the hunt for convenience get a supermarket-style experience where they can pick up online orders, and buy grab-and-go items.
For shoppers looking to indulge their consumptive outing a bit more, there’s the “inspiration” side of the Target store. Here, customers can undertake leisurely perambulations among beauty products, seasonal décor and specialty brands from celebrities like “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines.
There are even two distinct entrances for customers to choose between, each offering a different promise of the shopping experience.
This next-generation store showcases a modern aesthetic. Polished grey concrete floors offer wide, airy passage through expansive aisles set off with natural wood accents and illuminated by windows that let in natural light. Smaller signage and LED lights dim automatically to be more energy efficient.
Other features of this unprecedented retail environment:
- A Starbucks with outdoor seating.
- Apparel, cookware and seasonal décor retail sections with whimsical names like TrendSpot, Kitchen World and Wondershop.
- Strolling tech experts ready to advise on electronic purchases.
- The Kid’s Node, a curved centre aisle near the children’s clothing section highlighted by a carpeted book aisle and an expanded toy section with coolio interactive offerings like a heat-sensitive touch wall and talk tubes.
- A curbside pickup station where attendants will ferry purchases—paid for electronically—to busy shoppers’ cars.
With this revolutionary dual-concept store design, Target is making a statement about a blended future in which an established brick-and-mortar presence demonstrates its adaptability to an e-commerce upstart.
The retailer plans to eventually remodel more than half of its US-based 1,834 stores. By the end of 2017, it will have tackled 32 of them, with plans for an additional 35 in 2018.