Target adds more small stores, makes executive hires

Walmart may be closing all its small format stores, but Target (NYSE:TGT) is picking up the pace. The retailer announced its store openings schedule through 2017, and just one is a full-size supercenter.

Target typically opens stores three times a year: March, July and October. While some things are subject to change this far in advance, it doesn't appear that the retailer's commitment to small stores is one.

The lone Target supercenter will open in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in July with 122,000 sq. ft. of general merchandise and grocery items.

The remainder fall under the company's new small store program. Many are located in urban areas and college campuses, are multistory and will feature a more customized product assortment, including expanded grab-and-go food items and home goods aimed at small-space living.

Additionally, Target has hired a former Gap executive. Michelle Wlazlo will be senior VP of apparel and accessories, with responsibilities for the retailer's merchandising programs for women's, men's and kids' apparel and accessories, as well as Target's baby business.

Wlazlo spent nearly 19 years at Gap, most recently as senior VP of global merchandising.

Target has also hired Erika De Salvatore for the newly created role of VP of visual merchandising. De Salvatore has more than 15 years of visual merchandising experience, most recently at Express.

"Over the past year, we've made significant progress against our goal to make Target famous for our signature product categories, and our guests have responded favorably to the focus and innovation we've showcased," said Brian Cornell, CEO. "While I'm confident in our strategy and that we're on the right path, we're just at the beginning of our journey. I believe Michelle and Erika will significantly advance Target's efforts, in terms of our assortments and the overall experience we offer our guests."

The retailer has been changing in-store displays to include more lifestyle merchandising and vignettes.

For more:
-See Target's full list of store openings
-See this Target press release

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