The future of shopping? Sneak a peek at Target’s new store design

After Target Lowers Sales Forecast, Shares Plummet
Getty Images | Scott Olson

Target has its eye on the future, and the company showed off its plans by unveiling a new store redesign in Minneapolis this week.

The Nicollet Mall location is one of 110 stores scheduled to get a new look this year thanks to a $7 billion investment by the company.

Target Redesign Has Customers In Mind

The changes come as Target hopes to redefine itself in an ever-changing retail market. Brick-and-mortar stores looking to compete with online shopping sites need to find new ways to bring people in the doors.

“When you think about designing a store today, you can’t design it the way we did 20 years ago,” said Joe Perdew, vice president of store design. “It’s not about just the physical environment. You have to make sure it’s about physical, digital and human elements of the store.”

So, what can customers expect to see in the updated Target stores?

Forget the fluorescent lights

Designers opted to go with LED lights and specialty treatments to give the store a warmer ambiance.

Bye-bye tile

Say goodbye to the classic vinyl tile floors. The new Target stores have polished, modern-looking concrete flooring.

Easier navigation 

Store aisles now have curves instead of harsh angles. Location beacons help customers figure out where they are in the store. Just open up the Target app and locate yourself on the interactive store map.

This feature also has the ability to show Cartwheel deals near your location.


Improved store displays

Even the store mannequins got a makeover. Designers created them to look more like actual people in real-world sizes, ranging from size four to 22.

Artwork hangs on store walls to bring a local flair to the design. And digital screens help direct customers and showcase merchandise.


Relocating food and beverage areas

Target listened to customers who wanted easy, quick access to their groceries. New stores have groceries located near the front of the store. Also, more grab-and-go items are available, along with cross-merchandise options to make meal planning easy.


Separate returns and pickup areas 

In an effort to streamline efforts, the new Target stores have a separate area for returns/exchanges and online order pickup. This move hopes to eliminate standing in one, long line, making pickups fast and convenient.

“We design everything with the guest in mind,” Perdew said. “We’re always thinking about the different ways a guest might want to shop on any given day. Sometimes, they only have 10 minutes and want to grab an order quickly using Order Pickup. Other times, they have 45 minutes—time to grab a coffee at Starbucks and browse the aisles. And sometimes, they want to shop online from the comfort of their couch. Our goal is to make it a great Target experience no matter which way they choose to shop.”


You can watch a video about the redesign here.

Are Target’s Changes Enough To Buck Online Trends?

Financial experts wonder if Target’s changes can stop the surging trend of online shopping.

Many of the changes appear to beon the surface. Nice lighting, flooring and longer aisles look great, however, shoppers’ behavior points to a growing need for more convenient options, such as those offered by online retailers.

Flickr | JeepersMedia

One-fifth of the $3.6 trillion retail market in the U.S. is set to shift online, Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and co-author of “Amazon’s Stranglehold,” told The Street.

But Target seems set on keeping its focus on improving its stores. This is an interesting strategy for the retailer, particularly as its competitors shift their focus to improving the online shopping experience.

Flickr | JeepersMedia

Target recently increased its free shipping minimum from $25 to $35, though the retailer is testing a next-day delivery service option.

Walmart continues to work on new options, such as grocery delivery and better store pickup options. As a result, the company saw 60 percent growth in its online sales in the second quarter. However, Target’s online sales only saw a 32 percent increase.

“Despite the rapid growth that we’re seeing online, as we all know, the majority of retail shopping in America still takes place in a physical store,” Brian Cornell, Target CEO and chairman, told investors and the media earlier this month.

Flickr | JeepersMedia

If Target intends to keep its eye on the future, financial experts say it might not want to lose sight of its potential online customers. We’ll see what other changes come after the major store overhauls.

What do you think of the new store designs?

About the Author

Marie Rossiter

Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. You can find her writing about her personal health journey at and connect with her at More.

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