Target Plans Express Stores for Chicago, Washington

MINNEAPOLIS (Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS) -

Target Corp. will for the first time open more small-store formats than suburban big-box stores this year as it increasingly looks to urban areas for growth.

The Minneapolis-based retailer will bring its smallest store, TargetExpress, which at 20,000 square feet is about a sixth of the size of its traditional big-box stores, to two more metropolitan areas this year, with one store slated for Chicago and two for the Washington, D.C., area.

The company had already announced five other new TargetExpress locations for this year — one in St. Paul, three in the San Francisco area, and one in San Diego. The retailer opened its first TargetExpress store last summer by the University of Minnesota, where it has recently been tweaking the assortment, adding items such as baking supplies and sunglasses.

As for other future TargetExpress locations, Target said it is exploring other markets such as Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

“Our store growth looks different today than it did five years ago, driven by guests’ expectations for ease and personalization of their shopping experience,” Tina Tyler, Target’s chief stores officer, said in a statement.

Smaller store formats has been of particular interest to Target’s relatively new CEO, Brian Cornell, who has pointed to TargetExpress and CityTarget as one of the engines for the retailer’s future growth, especially as Target prepares to exit Canada.

The company has already said it would bring its mid-size store format, CityTarget, to the East Coast this year, with a store set to open in Boston. It has another location slated for Brooklyn, N.Y., next year. The retailer already operates eight CityTarget stores in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Portland.

On top of that, Target will open six of its more typical suburban big-box stores this year, including two in Hawaii. It has about 1,800 stores in the U.S.