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Target Goes Wide With Smaller-Format Stores

Target has a bull’s-eye on your neighborhood.

In an effort to increase market penetration (and comply with local zoning regs), the No. 2 discount chain is focusing on a smaller-footprint store format that can squeeze into strip malls and city streets where its gargantuan big-box flagships can’t.

The retailer operates several so-called flexible urban formats, including TargetExpress, its newest, and at about 20,000 square feet, its smallest; and CityTarget, which can range from 80,000 to 160,000 square feet.

By comparison, the big-box flagships range from an average of about 116,000 square feet for the general merchandise stores to 177,000 square feet for SuperTargets.

Over the next two years all but two of the company’s 21 planned store openings will be less than 50,000 square feet in size. Among the more interesting locations coming this fall:

*Cupertino, Calif.: 21,000 square feet

*Tribeca, New York: 45,000 square feet (two levels)

*Hyde Park, Chicago: 20,000 square feet

*Penn State, Pa.: 28,000 square feet

The stores will feature localized assortments, such as tech accessories in Cupertino, Apple’s headquarters town, and “dorm essentials” at the Penn State store, to be located just off campus.

The buildout comes after Walmart pulled the plug on its own small-format Express shops, which were similarly conceived to backfill markets and penetrate urban areas.

The full rundown of Target’s planned store openings can be accessed here.