Target to Open 'Smallest Location Ever'

Test store will feature "everyday essentials," including grab-and-go sandwiches

TargetExpress Store

MINNEAPOLIS -- Target will open its "smallest location ever" in its hometown this weekend, targeting millennial consumers living near the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

The new-store-format test, TargetExpress, will "serve students and urban guests living in nearby neighborhoods and cover approximately 15% the size of a general merchandise Target store" or an estimated 20,000 square feet, according to the company.

"This is an exciting opportunity to test and learn as we continue exploring new ways to meet our guests’ needs and exceed their expectations,” said John Griffith, executive vice president, property development. “Our focus is on ensuring the Target shopping experience is available when, where and how guests want it."

Target’s research indicates that when consumers head out for quick shopping trips, there are often many pain points, such as long lines, navigation challenges and uninspiring offerings. Griffith said the TargetExpress experience will be grounded in this research as well as lessons learned from the company’s CityTarget stores, which are about 80,000 square feet. For example, the checkout-lane configuration will be catered to high-traffic and smaller-basket size, as compared to a general-merchandise store.

The smaller footprint doesn’t mean Target is sacrificing the shopping experience, the company said. "Guests who stop in to shop this scaled-down space will still find bright lights, clean aisles and a team focused on helping them find everything they want and need."

And don't expect the retailer to abandon its bread-and-butter products, but yes, grab-and-go items, including sandwiches, will be highlighted.

The new test store will put everyday essentials--beauty, pharmacy, grocery and commodities--front and center. Assortments will include smaller pack sizes and items geared toward instant consumption, like grab-and-go sandwiches. The store also will include a variety of merchandise not typically found at "other quick-trip stores," which we at CSP read as "c-stores." These products include: a curated assortment in home, electronics and seasonal offerings, as well as a “Fan Central” area featuring University of Minnesota-specific merchandise.

"We'll carefully evaluate this new format to determine plans for future growth, so stay tuned," Griffith said.