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Target unveils "ambitious" store re-design plans

US department store retailer Target Corp has unveiled the first design elements of its store overhaul plans - including elevated, cross-merchandise apparel displays - as part of its strategy to create a smart network, with stores, digital channels and supply chain all working cohesively.

The Minneapolis-based company revealed plans earlier this month for a new financial model, promising an overhaul of stores, digital channels and supply chain, alongside the introduction of more than a dozen new brands.

Designed to position Target for long-term, sustainable growth, the strategy will see Target open its first "fully re-imagined" store in October, 35 miles southwest of Houston. The 124,000 sq ft store will set the tone for 40 additional locations, which will each undergo an overhaul that same month.

The retailer will then use customer feedback to influence its approach to a further 500 stores due to be "re-imagined" in 2018 and 2019.

"With our next generation of store design, we're investing to take the Target shopping experience to the next level by offering more elevated product presentations and a number of time-saving features," says CEO Brian Cornell. "The new design for this Houston store will provide the vision for the 500 re-imagined stores planned for 2018 and 2019, with the goal of taking a customised approach to creating an enhanced shopping experience."

Speaking from Shoptalk, a retail and e-commerce event held in Las Vegas this week, Cornell said plans include elevated, cross-merchandise apparel displays, designed to encourage customers to browse, and two store entrances, each with a "specific guest need in mind".

Customers can enter through one entrance to find brand displays, and the other for easy pick-up of online orders, says the retailer. Outside this entrance, shoppers will find dedicated parking spaces where staff will bring out online orders.

Meanwhile, curved, more circular centre aisles aim to engage customers, while staff will be equipped with new technology to search inventory, take payment from a mobile point-of-sale system and arrange delivery, all from the sales floor.

Over the course of the year, Target plans to "completely remodel" 110 stores, and open 30 new small-format stores to expand its footprint into what it calls "dense urban neighbourhoods".


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