By  on September 27, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. on Friday said it will unveil 10 smaller, urban footprint stores in 2012, with the first unit bowing in downtown Seattle, just two blocks from Pike’s Market.

The announcement was made during a media conference held at Target Field here, home of the Minnesota Twins. John Griffith, executive vice president of property development, said the size of the stores would be 60,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet. That’s roughly half the size of a typical Target, which ranges from 125,000 square feet to 180,000 square feet.

Griffith said after Seattle, the urban prototype will roll out to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Miami and the Washington, D.C., area.

Target didn’t discuss the type of merchandise the urban stores will carry, but it’s expected to focus heavily on food and essentials. “We’re trying to fit the Target to the market and not the other way around,” Griffith said.

The cities Target selected have large downtown populations with at least 100,000 people living within a two-mile drive of the store.

Target operates a handful of downtown sites, including Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and a new unit in Harlem that opened in July.

Target’s main rival, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is planning its own aggressive push into urban markets with a new small format with 20,000 square feet of space, a fraction of the size of its Supercenters.

In other Target news, the 1,743-unit chain in June completed the remodeling of 400 stores and added grocery areas called P-Fresh to many SuperTargets.

After an initial test in Kansas City, a new credit card program that offers shoppers the opportunity to save 5 percent on each store visit rolled out to the entire chain, said Doug Scovanner, executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer.

Despite the difficult economy, Target’s sales for the first six months rose 4.7 percent, said Scovanner.

Target revealed one of its holiday promotions. The retailer invited 50 musical acts, from pop to choral to country, to submit an original Christmas song. Six songs will be selected for Target.com where consumers will be able to download them for free starting on Nov. 25.

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