In order to be able to be able to compete nationwide with e-commerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba, Target is re-launching it’s more than 1,000 stores into "next generation" stores.
The first one to be opened as such is in the Houston area, at Aliana market center in Richmond.
As from now, these next-generation superstores will have two distinct entrances, an ‘ease’ and an ‘inspiration’ side.
Through the ‘ease’ side, shoppers can just get the supermarket-style experience which they are used to. Online orders can be picked up both in the store and on the curbside, whilst buy grab-and-go items like groceries, wine, last-minute gifts, cleaning supplies and prepared meals are easily accessible. This part is targeted at the ‘busy family’ that seeks convenience and efficient timing rather than a shopping experience.
On the ‘inspiration’ side, shoppers feel like there are in a department store. Decor, beauty products and speciality products.
Mr Ed Wulfe, a longtime Houston retail developer, commented on the development: "It has been a difficult challenge for all the brick-and-mortar stores to adapt to the digital tsunami in retail. Some have done it better than others. Most are scrambling on how to do it better. If Target can make this work here, it opens up a whole new field."
Target built a dual-concept store to offer some sort of "omnichannel" experience to shoppers that blends the in-store and mobile experiences.
Mr Josh Orr, a retail consultant, claims that Target tries to compete with e-commerce giants like Amazon: "Target is really trying to create a unique retail experience across both online and in-store," Orr said. "The end goal is to unify the experience."
"Grocery is a traffic generator that drives consumers on a regular basis to the store. Target is building on it with the new concept."
Mr Orr says that Target above all should not lose its distinctive feature: "What's been unique about Target is you walk in wanting milk and leave with three shirts. Their challenge with this grab-and-go design is not killing that."