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June 21, 2022

Target Pursues Multifaceted Store Growth Strategy

By Mike Duff

Contributing Editor

Although it lately has been more recognized for smaller urban locations in its store expansion initiatives, Target Corp. hasn’t given up on opportunistic expansion in larger retail developments.

Mall operator Macerich has announced it will host a new Target store at Danbury Fair, in Danbury, CT, an upscale New York suburb. The 126,000-square-foot dual-level Target store will take over a former Sears site and will be the first Target in Danbury itself.

Macerich pointed out that Target recently opened a new, three-level store in a former JCPenney location at its Kings Plaza mall in Brooklyn.

In announcing the Danbury Fair location, Macerich president Ed Coppola said, “Target coming to Danbury Fair is the latest anchor-replacement success for Macerich’s A-quality portfolio of regional town centers. The terrific merchandise mix and attractive demographics surrounding Danbury Fair make this property a great match for all that Target has to offer.” 

Danbury Fair is one of New England’s largest shopping destinations, Macerich pointed out, already housing anchors including JCPenney, Macy’s, DICK’s Sporting Goods and Primark, while also including Pottery Barn and more than 180 other shops.

Even as it has added stores, Target’s digital growth has gotten a lot of attention over the past couple of years as it has reinvested in e-commerce operations and ancillary services such as delivery and pickup. Still, the company’s sales gains have been omnichannel in nature. In Target’s first-quarter conference call, Brian Cornell, Target chairman and CEO noted that, since the initial quarter of 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, sales for the opening period of the fiscal year have grown more than 40%, or just over $7.4 billion. Broken down by channel, store sales accounted for about $4.1 billion of the increase while digital drove another $3.3 billion as online revenues gained more than 250% over that time.

John Mulligan, Target executive vp and chief operating officer, said in the conference call that the company is excited about the investments it’s making in stores, with plans to complete remodel projects in nearly 400 in the latest fiscal year. A process already underway, the effort includes almost 200 traditional full remodels, he reported. At the same time, Target will continue to open new stores around the country after having debuted seven smaller format operations during the first quarter in locations ranging from Jackson Hole, WY, to New York’s Times Square. He added that Target is pleased with new store performance and how the additional locations give it the ability to flexibly serve consumers in neighborhoods where the company has lacked a presence. Stores and markets temporarily affected by the pandemic, including college locations, tourist destinations, and dense urban areas, have experienced rapid recovery in sales volumes after lockdowns and other restrictions imposed over the past two years have been wound down.

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