NPR on Target’s Urban Stores

Last night, NPR ran a piece about Target and WalMart’s new store layouts used in some urban locations. One mentioned is in the Uptown area of Chicago, which appears to be similar to the downtown Minneapolis store’s layout (2-story with parking underneath, corner entrance).

Regarding a Target with a more traditional layout in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Chicago, a Target customer shared this thought:

“I love Target; I’m not going to lie,” she says.” I’m in there every week. But they’re soul stealers from communities like these. … I mean, look at this. Does this have any spin, any flavor, any style by any criteria?”

If WalMart is the retailer people love to hate, is Target the retailer people hate to love?

3 thoughts on “NPR on Target’s Urban Stores”

  1. I always thought it was too bad that Target failed to take advantage of their downtown store’s location. I mean, sure it’s two stories and there is an escalator for your cart, but once you are looking at irons or garbage bags, it has absolutely no aesthetic difference than any other Target store. There is no interior to exterior viewing, which fails to take acknowledge that the store is actually on a street, with people walking by. The suburban boxes have no windows because there is nothing but dumpsters and store backs to look at from inside and no walk by traffic because everyone has driven there and parked in the field out front. Agree or not, Target has done some bold things in advertising, why not bring that same fire to the window displays that could have been viewed from both inside and outside the store;m use it as a model for other store displays across the empire. Make it the destination Target store.

    This speaks nothing of the soul sucking sounds you are talking, but if you are going to sell your soul, it might as well look and feel unique.

  2. Chris, interesting point on aesthetics. There are probably many advantages to consistency. Target is trying to help people achieve their goal of buying a new iron with a side of garbage bags. If showing more of that experience helped draw people into the store, they should try it. However, it’s also possible that people would see a side of themselves that they are trying to deny when they with others shop, so it may not be a winner.

  3. The Minneapolis Target store is their flagship store being that most of the corporate decision makers for the company have their offices next door. Target has done a great job developing a “hip” brand and I agree with Chris’ comments. The Minneapolis Target should have been developed with large windows onto the street. They could have taken some architectural risks to make a strong statement about the hipness of the brand. Something Wallmart would never do.

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