The hipster's favorite big-box chain rekindled its urbanite romance through CityTarget, a half-size store prototype that launched in Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles last July. It did so well that Target is adding three new stores this year. Here's how Target has citified the quintessential suburban shopping experience.
SPEED THROUGH THE STORE
More prominent, lower-hanging signage helps shoppers find items faster. And if there's a line, employees come by with mobile scanners to speed checkout.
VALUE, NOT VOLUME
There are four-packs of paper towels, rather than 36-packs. Balcony-size seats replace big patio furniture. And trucks restock shelves about 14 times a week, compared to four or five in the suburbs.
Each store has a "CityLove" section filled with location-specific merch—coffee mugs in Seattle, for instance—that is browsed by locals, but frequented especially by tourists.
REHAB TREASURED BUILDINGS
CityTarget chooses beloved locations, then appeals to locals (in Chicago, say, moving into the landmark Carson Pirie Scott and Co. building and pledging to restore its columns).
ENCOURAGE MOBILE RESEARCH
CityTargets offer free Wi-Fi, and QR codes on selected items give tech-savvy urban customers extra product info and price comparisons.
[Illustration by Owen Gildersleeve]