By  on May 16, 2018

Target Corp.'s flexible-format stores are on a tear, and New York City is a recipient of a lot of the love.The retailer on Wednesday said it will open a 21,000-square-foot unit on 29th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan's Kips Bay neighborhood. Target is on its way to operating eight of the smaller stores in Manhattan, including existing units in TriBeCa and Herald Square, locations in the East Village and Lower East Side, bowing this summer, and Hell’s Kitchen, the Upper East Side and Kips Bay in 2019. 

Target isn't discriminating against the outer boroughs. Flexible-format units will bow in 2019 in Jackson Heights and Astoria, Queens; Midwood, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Some of the biggest examples of the concept with 37,000 to 47,000 square feet of space, will be located in the boroughs, where the retailer planted its flag in areas such as Forest Hills, Queens and Bensonhurst in Brooklyn during an earlier round of development. 

Target is on track to operate 130 small-format stores by the end of 2019 that offer elevated shopping experiences and assortments tailored to the needs and preferences of the community. Flexible-format units have become one of Target's main growth vehicles, eclipsing the expansion of full-line stores.New initiatives designed to enhance the in-store and digital beauty shopping experiences were also revealed on Wednesday, and Target said it has lowered the delivery fee for next-day household essential delivery service Restock, which recently rolled out nationally.Now being tested at 10 stores, with a rollout to more units slated for later this year, Target Beauty Studio lets customers virtually try on makeup using augmented reality via digital screens in the select beauty departments and online, desktop and mobile. Target's AR solution uses real-time facial mapping technology. Customers can upload a photo of themselves or choose a model with similar skin tone and features as a canvas on which to play and experiment with makeup and try products — without the mess. 

With beauty concierges helping consumers at beauty departments at Target stores, the retailer wanted to offer a similar benefit over to the Internet. Wednesday it revealed it will launch Beauty Chat text-to-get beauty advice services and target.com beauty chat. Shoppers browsing target.com cosmetics or skin-care pages will see a chat icon pop up when the service is available. Clicking on the icon and typing a question prompts a beauty concierge to provide an answer in real-time. The "soon-to-launch" text-to-get beauty advice service, which is enabled by texting “BeautyChat” to “Target," will be another way to get advice.

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