My Local Target Has Me Thinking

What it’s doing that you should do too

Our local Target has been undergoing a major remodel this summer, to the tune of $4.9 million. It’s been fascinating to watch. Target announced it was going to remodel 110 stores in 2018 with an eye towards localization and customization; no two stores would look alike, the company said. Online sales and the demand for fast pickup is also a big part of its new look. Our local store has designated spots for customers to retrieve online orders without leaving their car, which our local Walmarts rolled out in previous years.

I’ve been anxious to see the results, especially knowing the research undertaken to make these changes. Every time I go in there, I think about our readers and what Target’s approach may mean for retail in general.

Some changes are strictly cosmetic — bringing in more wood tones and spot lighting. Some changes address macro changes, like the pickup kiosks and more self-checkouts. The company also doubled down on its brand partnerships, giving its beauty department a boutique feel and highlighting higher-end brands.

One of the more intriguing changes is the flow of the store. Several departments have relocated. Can you imagine how dialed in Target must be with how people shop each of their stores? You know they didn’t move the children’s department closer to the grocery department just because it looked nice over there. This has been tracked, monitored and analyzed.

You may not be a mega retailer like Target, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make analytical decisions. Start tracking how people move through your store. Find your hot spots. Where does everyone stop, no matter what items are there? Does almost every customer come in to pick up chemicals? Perhaps those should be in the back of the store. Is there a side or corner of the store no one ever seems to shop? Chart a path where no part of your store can be missed.

You do, however, have at least one advantage over Target: Target is a behemoth trying to look like a local retailer, matching the locals’ style with its remodels. You are already a local retailer. No one knows your town better than you — the people, the artists, the tastes — and its needs. Don’t be afraid to make your store feel like home.


Megan Kendrick, publisher


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