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An inside look at top retailers and the consumers they covet

Where is Target testing beacons? Here's the list of Twin Cities stores

The Twin Cities is one of the core markets where hometown retailer Target Corp. is testing out its new beacons that I wrote about in a story today.

The small, rectangular boxes have been placed in nondescript places around 15 stores in the Twin Cities. They are among 50 stores nationwide that are testing the new technology that will send deals, coupons and product recommendations to smartphones through the Target app if shoppers opt into the service.

Target is also testing beacons in a handful of stores in other markets including Denver, Chicago, New York, Portland, PIttsburgh, Seattle, and San Francisco.

If you want to check it out for yourself, here's a list of the stores in the Twin Cities that are part of the pilot:

  • Apple Valley
  • Bloomington
  • Burnsville
  • Edina
  • Maple Grove
  • Minneapolis (all 4 city stores)
  • Minnetonka
  • Plymouth
  • Richfield
  • Roseville
  • St. Paul
  • Woodbury

Italian fast-casual chain Piada is first announced tenant of MOA expansion



At long last, the identity of at least one of the new tenants to fill the Mall of America's expansion has been revealed. And that tenant is....Piada Italian Street Food, a growing fast-casual eatery that is hoping to be the next Chipotle of Italian food.

The 1,200 square-foot restaurant, the Ohio-based concept's first location in Minnesota, will be part of the "Culinary on North", the mall's food court on the third floor of the expansion that will be a mix of new and old fast-casual and sit-down restaurants. It is expected to open in November in time for the holiday shopping crush.

The mall plans to open the third floor of its expansion along the north side of the mall later this month. But aside from Piada, it hasn't yet announced any retailers to fill the 163,000 square feet of new retail space. The first and second floors of the addition are slated to open in November.

“We’ve been looking for some time to identify just the right location to bring Piada to Minneapolis, and Mall of America is that ideal choice for us,” Chris Doody, Piada's founder, said in a statement.

The chain is also planning to open a spot in Chanhassen next year and is also reportedly looking at Maple Grove. A company spokesman said the firm is pursuing "several other sites" around the Twin Cities in 2016.

Piada, which opened its first restaurant in 2010, now has a little more than 20 locations in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. It has said it plans to open 15 new locations next year and has targeted Minneapolis and Houston as two of its growth markets.

It sells made-to-order wraps, salads and soups.