Target unleashes plan for store’s new look

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A Target employee returns carts to the store in Falls Church, Virginia May 14, 2012. Target Corp. (TGT) will report its first quarter results on May 16th.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A Target employee returns carts to the store in Falls Church, Virginia May 14, 2012. Target Corp. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Target unveiled a new layout that allows easier shopping while encouraging customers who want to wander the aisles to do so. CEO Brian Cornell announced the plan for redesign in Las Vegas Monday.

It would be more inviting for customers to explore as the new centre aisles will be curved, instead of squared off. The redesign will also feature a separate entrance and 10-minute parking for customers who need to pick up some essentials or online orders.

Additionally, fluorescent fixtures will be replaced by LED track lighting. The brand boutiques designed to replicate a specialty-store feel will display rotating looks. The Houston prototype's separate entrances are designed for those who rush and customers who don’t. Customers can also opt to have their orders brought to their car.

The first redesigned store is slated to open in suburban Houston this fall. At least 40 more stores will be redesigned in October, with the Houston prototype as a template. Over 600 of the store’s 1,800 total locations will be remodelled in the next three years.

"We wanted the design to be flexible because that is what shopping is all about," Mark Schindele, senior vice president of Target Properties, told the Associated Press. Target’s new look is expected to result to a 2 percent to 4 percent rise in sales.

Target, the second-largest discount store retailer in the United States next to Walmart, supposedly plans to spend US$7 billion ($AU9 billion) to achieve its new look, speed up its expansion of small-format stores, strengthen its online operations, and introduce new brands. Cornell previously told investors that the company will remodel hundreds of stores in the coming years and would have a third of its stores “re-imagined” by 2019. "We've got to reimagine that store experience," Cornell said during an investor meeting last month.

Cornell assured that there will be loads of flexibility and open sight lines throughout the store. He said they will keep on investing on their stores to give customers every possible reason to shop. Other strategies, such as lowering prices and launching more than a dozen exclusive brands were also rolled out to help trounce this past year’s sales drop.

In 2014, Target became the first to pilot same-day delivery in three markets. Cornell assured that it will do further testing on same-day and scheduled deliveries. “Think of a Target store of the future being a hyperlocal, shoppable distribution centre,” he teased.