Target to close stores

Target (NYSE:TGT) is closing more than a dozen underperforming locations as the retailer continues to double down on technology investment, merchandising initiatives and new formats.

The 13 Target stores are slated to close on Jan. 30, and a Target spokeswoman said the store closings are due to individual performance and not a larger financial issue, according to the AP.

While it's not unusual for retailers to shutter underperforming stores, Target traditionally would announce replacement locations at the same time—newer units in a more desirable shopping corridor nearby. That's not the case here, as Target looks to cull its store base and focus on a clear strategy to differentiate itself from competitors in the discount, deep discount, and department store channels.

The retailer has been working hard to come back from a series of operational missteps including its failed expansion into Canada. New leadership has jumpstarted the retailer's small-format expansion and stepped up investment in technology—the company announced the addition of the Techstars innovation incubator inside corporate headquarters.

There is also a concerted effort to bring the "Tarzhay" back to Target, according to CEO Brian Cornell, with new upscale merchandising and displays more in line with the lifestyle vignettes found in department stores.

"We have to both fix and address the retail fundamentals of our business and begin to innovate for the future," Cornell told attendees at the WWD CEO Summit. "We have to stand boldly for style and double down our efforts, to make sure we elevate assortment, and the shopping experience."

For more:
-See this AP story

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