Target Goes Urban

Rosslyn, Virginia-urbanites will soon be able to skip that trip to the suburbs for their Target fixes – the store is coming to them. The TargetExpress version, that is.

Target inked a deal in mid-May to bring one of its new Express models to crowded Rosslyn, what Arlington County calls one of its “urban villages.” Located just across the Potomac River from D.C.’s Georgetown, this 0.8 square mile niche is home to more than 10,000 people.

The store, located in the heart of Rosslyn on busy Wilson Boulevard, is set to open in October, says The Washington Post. The selection of the urban location was based on strong daytime population and an important mix of customers in nearby office buildings, apartments and condominiums, says the article.

Target opened its first TargetExpress in July 2014 near its home base in Minneapolis. The 20,000 square foot spaces – Target’s average stores are 135,000 square feet – are heavy on goods that fulfill an instant need: pharmacy, beauty, fresh produce and grab-and-go foods.

Nearby College Park, home to the University of Maryland, is getting a TargetExpress of its own in July, which Washingtonian says will be filled with products in demand by college-age consumers. The university location will be on the ground floor of a student housing building and will feature fresh grocery, dorm-sized home items, tech selections tablets and phones and, of course, Maryland Terrapin-branded gear.

The urban entry of traditional big-box retailers like Target, Staples and Kohl’s, says Bloomberg, is one way mega-retailers are reaching metropolitan markets typically home to younger, more free-spending residents and tourists. Wal-Mart has opened its own version of Neighborhood Markets and Wal-Mart Express stores.

But downsizing comes with its own challenges: inventory delivery, limited parking for shoppers, smaller shelf sizes and display areas all force retailers to think differently about how their stores operate.

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