Target’s newest and smallest stores are turning out to be kinda like snowflakes – no two will be exactly the same.
That is becoming increasingly apparent as plans take shape for the second TargetExpress location in the Twin Cities, slated to open in July in St. Paul’s Highland Park.
The first TargetExpress opened in Dinkytown last summer. Given its proximity to the University of Minnesota, it is catered to college students living in apartments and on a budget. So you don't find things like kids' toys there.
But the Highland Park store is in a neighborhood with lots of families. So that store will not only have toys but also items like kids' sporting goods and supplies for a child's birthday party. And it will have more home decor and kitchen accessories as well as a sizable selection of natural and organic products, said Erika Winkels, a Target spokeswoman.
And whereas the Dinkytown store has a whole area dedicated to Gophers-related sweatpants and shirts, the Highland Park store will be fan gear-free.
“The beauty of TargetExpress is that it is so localized,” said Winkels. “We can tailor it for the neighborhood it is going into.”
The Highland Park store, which is going into a recently-shuttered Barnes & Noble location, will be smaller at 16,000 square feet compared to Dinkytown's 20,000 square feet. (Target's suburban big box stores are about six times larger. The retailer also has a mid-size format called CityTarget.)
The Highland Park store is one of eight TargetExpress stores opening this year, compared to six big-box Target stores. These smaller-format stores are of particular interest to Target CEO Brian Cornell who is looking to them to help fuel Target's future growth. He has also said that personalization and localization of stores will be a big part of his strategy.
While they will be different in many ways, the two TargetExpress stores in the Twin Cities will also have a lot in common. They will both have pharmacies. They won’t have much apparel other than some packaged T-shirts and socks. They will both have a lot of private-label brands such as Up & Up to offer cheaper prices.
But it remains to be seen if the families in Highland Park will have as big of an appetite for meat as the hungry college athletes in Dinkytown. The latter store has added more ground turkey, chicken, and hamburger since it opened upon request from students who wanted more protein, Winkels said. The store also beefed up its selection of eggs.
But cheese hasn't been as big of a hit with the college students. So the Dinkytown store has, yes, cut (back) the cheese.