Target Testing Tiny Urban Outlet

Target (NYSE: TGT) is testing its smallest format yet, as it looks to expand into urban areas.

The retailer has signed a lease for a 20,000 sq. ft. store in Minneapolis, a test concept called TargetExpress. The prototype is meant to fit easily into dense urban areas and could finally allow entry into the coveted New York market.

Target already operates smaller versions of its supercenters under the  City Target formats that average 100,000 sq. ft. The new TargetExpress is roughly one-fifth of that size.

Target is hoping to better serve younger shoppers, many of whom are choosing city life over suburbia. "Many of them grew up with a Target experience," John D. Griffith, executive vice president for property development at Target told The New York Times. "Now, they show up at their cool little bungalow they're redoing, they're five miles from downtown, and yet, Target is a little bit of an effort to get to."

The TargetExpress test store will stock a mix of grocery and pharmacy items, and a small selection of clothing basics, home décor and electronics, according to the report.

The test concept will debut at the base of an apartment building called the Marshall, near the University of Minnesota campus, with its built-in supply of young shoppers. Target is borrowing a page from competitor Walmart's playbook, which opened its first Walmart Express near the University of Arkansas.

Walmart Express stores weigh in at roughly 15,000 sq. ft. and are being strategically placed in both urban markets such as Chicago, and rural areas to compete with dollar chains like Dollar General.

Target Express is scheduled to open July 27, according to The New York Times, just in time for back-to-school shopping.

Additionally, Target announced a new Spring collection for its Sonia Kashuk beauty line. The Limited Edition Collection launches at Target in March 2014 and includes new brush sets, vanity trays and organizers.

For more see:
-this Target press release
-this New York Times story

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