First CityTarget Unit Planned for Chicago

The small-format concept store will measure about half the size of typical Targets.

Target Stores on Wednesday gave a name to the small-format concept it unveiled in September — CityTarget. The stores will measure 60,000 to 100,000 square feet, about half the size of typical Targets, which are 125,000 to 180,000 square feet.

This story first appeared in the February 17, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The first CityTarget unit will open next year on South State Street and Madison Street E. in Chicago in a U.S. historic landmark building formerly occupied by Carson Pirie Scott and now known as Sullivan Center. Target said it will preserve Sullivan Center, referring to it as a “Chicago treasure,” and added that the CityTarget will blend in with the building’s aesthetic.

The retailer has found sites for CityTarget units in San Francisco, Los Angeles and downtown Seattle, two blocks from Pike’s Market. The company said it chose cities with large downtown populations and at least 100,000 people living within a 2-mile drive of the store. Besides the four CityTargets revealed on Wednesday, Target is exploring 10 other major markets, including Minneapolis, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, the Washington-Baltimore corridor and Miami, a spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman said CityTargets will be pared-down versions of typical Target stores with the same brands. “At Target, you’d see a big patio set with an umbrella, but at CityTarget you’ll see [furniture] for balconies and smaller, scaled-down versions,” she said.

Target operates 10 existing stores in the City of Chicago and has opened units in a handful of downtown sites, including Atlantic Terminal in New York’s Brooklyn and Harlem.

Rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has been mounting an aggressive campaign to enter urban markets with several new smaller formats ranging from 20,000 square feet to a miniaturized Supercenter with 80,000 square feet. The New York City Council has been holding hearings about Wal-Mart’s impact on small businesses, trying to thwart the retail giant’s plans to open stores in the five boroughs. Wal-Mart was met with similar resistance in Chicago, where it ultimately made a deal with the area’s major construction union to build stores with organized labor. It also has reached an agreement in principal with the building and construction union in New York.