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Target maintains trend right image


Wal-Mart has come a long way in terms of improving the in-store experience, but Target is still tops when it comes to providing female customers an environment for clothes shopping that rivals finer department stores. This much is evident in Target’s newest stores, 27 of which opened this past weekend, where several upgrades to the apparel offering were evident.

The brands are familiar -- Mossimmo, Xhilaration, C9 by Champion and Converse One Star -- but the manner in which they are presented has changed, and fitting rooms have been expanded.

Numerous upgrades were evident at a recently opened SuperTarget in Kissimmee, Fla., where the apparel and accessories department extends from the store’s entrance, along an entire outer wall and across a portion of the rear wall. Backlit signs with high-fashion imagery are positioned on outer walls to call attention to respective departments such as sportswear, women’s, activewear and men’s.

In addition to the colorful, attention-getting visual elements, new stair step type fixtures are used for hanging garments. In addition, flat tables are also used in the accessories area and women’s and men’s departments to display folded product. The flat tables are sure to require more labor to ensure garments remain neatly folded, but the selective usage of the tables greatly contributes to the department store feel in the apparel area and ensures Target remains several steps ahead of Wal-Mart when it comes to apparel merchandising.

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