LOS ANGELES — It was a true Hollywood premiere: red carpets, white wine, celebrities Hilary Duff and Charlie Sheen — and a dog with his own makeup artist.
Except this was the debut of the new Target prototype at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and La Brea in West Hollywood. The store opened Wednesday (although there’s an official grand opening Sunday), but Tuesday night’s party gave invited guests the opportunity to mingle, nosh and shop the fully stocked shelves to their heart’s content, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the American Film Institute.?
“All our stores built from here forward will be about this size,” said Target district manager John Favilla, who pegged it at roughly 125,000 square feet. The location is expected to bring in “above-average” sales, according to sources — Target stores pulled in roughly $270 a square foot last year and the new store could generate almost $34 million.
“We’ve expanded the marketplace section and added a lot of food and dairy and dry goods.”
He also pointed out “completely different signage” and a subtly tweaked color scheme. “It’s still red and white,” he said, “but just a little different red.”
Just don’t expect this Target to add a VIP room or a private cash register to cater to celebs who might drop by en route to surrounding studio lots. “Nope, you’ll just find the same things in this Target as in Targets across the country,” said regional vice president Carmen Moch.
That said, Tuesday night’s fete had comedienne Sandra Bernhard as master of ceremonies, tween star Hilary Duff near the checkout and a pop-in by Charlie Sheen, who apparently made a few purchases earlier in the evening. Brittany Snow, star of NBC’s “American Dreams,” was in full domestic mode with a shopping cart full of life’s little necessities — Glad trash bags, Charmin bathroom tissue and a handful of DVDs for her boyfriend.
A Target shopper since her days in Florida, when she says she spent lots of money on makeup, purses and jewelry, Snow believes the new location will be a hit with the Hollywood crowd. “I think this Target doesn’t even know what it’s in for,” she said.As the evening wore on and holes began to appear on once-fully stocked shelves and racks, what’s hot became clear: women’s flip-flops (sizes 7 and 9, in solid yellow, pink and basic black) and Isaac Mizrahi white-on-gray seersucker blazers (a full rack at 7 p.m. was half empty by 7:30).
But the big hit of the night was clearly Buddy the dog, the white bull terrier with the red bull’s-eye who’s been a familiar face in the store’s advertising. As “animal colorist” Rose Ordile touched up the red concentric circles that form his signature bull’s-eye, owner David McMillan of Worldwide Movie Animals boasted of his “client’s” popularity: “People must’ve taken 200 pictures of him tonight.”
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