TargetExpress Readies for Opening Day

MINNEAPOLIS -- Target Corp. will officially open its first TargetExpress convenience store here on Sunday. The test store, located in the Dinkytown area of Minneapolis, measures 20,000 square feet, one-fifth the size of Target's smallest format store to date.

The new c-store, located at 1329 5th St. SE, is near the University of Minnesota campus, and hence is expected to cater heavily to college-aged customers. Its inventory will include a mix of grocery and pharmacy items, plus a small selection of basic clothing, home décor and electronics. The site was selected for its proximity to the existing student market, as well as the company's downtown Minneapolis headquarters.

The idea behind opening the Dinkytown TargetExpress is that the big-box retailer wants to remain convenient to consumers, especially younger ones who choose to live in cities instead of suburbs, according to John D. Griffith, Target's executive vice president for property development.

"Many of them grew up with a Target experience," Griffith told the New York Times earlier this year. "Now, they show up at their cool little bungalow they're redoing, they're 5 miles from downtown and yet Target is a little bit of an effort to get to." Minneapolis is currently seeing this kind of influx, Griffith noted.

There is no word yet if Minneapolis-based Target will expand its TargetExpress test concept to other markets.

Target is not the first big-box retailer to test a convenience store concept. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its first Walmart Express location near its Bentonville, Ark., headquarters in 2011 and debuted the Walmart to Go format earlier this year.  

Although the official grand opening of the TargetExpress store is Sunday, Target will host a "soft" opening on Wednesday. CSNews Online will be on hand to visit the Dinkytown TargetExpress. Check back for updates about this new convenience store competitor.

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