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Small-format Florida stores show change in approach for Target

The smaller, flexible-format stores that Target introduced in urban settings like downtown Chicago are moving into new areas guided by a different real estate strategy.

“To reach new, densely populated neighborhoods, we’ve completely changed our approach to choosing the location for our small-format stores,” said Mark Schindele, senior VP of Target Properties. “In the past, we have had a relatively standard prototype for store size and layout and our real estate team focused on finding sites that would accommodate that prototype. Today, when we find space available in an attractive neighborhood, we custom-design a store that can fit the available space.”

That plan is currently playing out in Florida, where Target is introducing three new small-format stores. The first opened this month near the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. The other two are slated for Tallahassee in 2018 and Miami’s South Beach in 2019.

The merchandising and positioning of each small-format Target is dictated by the neighborhood. The Gainesville location is stocked to meet the needs of college students, while South Beach will cater to locals and tourists.

“We love the vibrant community that is Miami Beach and saw a need amongst locals and tourists alike for a store that offers the blend of essentials and style in a way only Target can. It will offer order pick-up on the go,” Schindele said. “We have been seeking the ideal location for a small-format store in Miami Beach, so we are thrilled to be part of the BLVD at Lenox shopping complex.”

The store at 5th and Lenox Streets will offer swim apparel and beach gear along with fresh produce and grab-and-go food items. Target will occupy 33,000-sq.-ft. of BLVD at Lenox, about half the available space at the center, which is being constructed with an exposed stairway and in accordance with Miami sustainability regulation.

“It’s an open design that encourages people to use the stairs,” said Michael Comras, CEO of Comras Company, developer of BLVD at Lenox.. “It’s also being built to accommodate sea-level rise, so it will be set up to accommodate future street raising, which will be happening all over Miami.”

Target plans to operate more than 130 small-format locations nationwide by 2019.

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