MINNEAPOLIS -- Target Corp. plans to test smaller-format stores, starting with a 20,000-square-foot location here that will operate under the name TargetExpress, the New York Times reported. This test store, for which Target completed a lease last week, is approximately one-fifth the size of Target's smallest-format store to date.
Target wants to remain convenient to consumers, especially younger ones who choose to live in cities instead of suburbs, according to John D. Griffith, executive vice president for property development.
"Many of them grew up with a Target experience," Griffith said. "Now, they show up at their cool little bungalow they're redoing, they're five miles from downtown, and yet Target is a little bit of an effort to get to." Minneapolis is currently seeing this kind of influx, Griffith added.
The first TargetExpress is scheduled to open July 27 near the University of Minnesota campus. Its inventory will include a mix of grocery and pharmacy items, plus a small selection of basic clothing, home décor and electronics. The site was selected for its proximity to an existing student market, as well as the company's downtown Minneapolis headquarters.
"It's in our backyard," Griffith told the news outlet. "Why not test it where you can go in and tweak it to death until it's perfect? Makes it easier."
The store's name is similar to another big-box retailer's name for its small-format stores. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its first Walmart Express near its Bentonville, Ark., headquarters in 2011. Griffith said Target is not bothered by the similarities and believes the familiar word will help customers understand what its new stores are.