fields and carrying it all the way to the sales floor.”
The strategy is already paying off, he said.
“Our guests are noticing a better experience every time they shop,”
Cornell said. “They are noticing that we are adding more organics,
more specialty items, more exclusives. They’ve noticed that freshness is
improving. Overall, our comps in grocery outpaced the rest of the store
in both the third, and again in the fourth quarter.”
The change is most apparent in LA25 stores.
“The layout is different. The LED lighting is different. Even in clothing it looks like a Macy’s,” says Angela Rosenquist, senior business
development manager and central region manager for InnovAsian
Cuisine, based in Tukwila, Wash., who has visited some of the stores.
“The layout is more dynamic and in grocery they’ve done the same
thing,” Rosenquist says. “From a customer service standpoint, they
have snack shelves at the Customer Service counter and online pick-up.
They’ve taken a very smart approach to each section of the store. With
grocery they are highlighting produce and organic offerings, using LED
lights, just really making a splash with each department. It intensifies
the shopping experience with grocery, which I think is important.”
The LA25 stores are being watched closely by management in
“We definitely have a very local focus, and we prioritize categories of
focus,” Dement says. “You’re going to see things like a heavy emphasis
on craft beer, which is really catering to our L.A. guests.
“The great thing is that we’re building a really exciting partnership
with our stores and store teams,” Dement continues. “My team and the
store teams are working closely together to curate an assortment that’s
really, really relevant in the marketplace.”
Fixtures have been changed. A wooden arbor hangs from the ceiling
over produce and the walls have been painted a calming seafoam green.
New produce bins have also been installed.
“They are really showcasing abundance,” Dement says. “The other
great thing is that they are very guest friendly, they look great, but they
are also easier for our stores to execute. They are more mobile and modular in format.”
Dement says a shopper walked up to her when she was in one of the
LA25 stores recently and offered this unsolicited critique: “I have some
feedback on grocery. I just had no idea that you had so many great
brands. I live two miles from this store and I love this format.”
The move is paying off with the retailer’s middle and upper income
customer base, say industry observers.
“Target is tending to present themselves more like a grocer than
Walmart,” says James Lamberti, chief marketing officer at Quiri, a San
Francisco-based market research firm focusing on in-store merchandising and conditions. “Target has a lot more variety and creativity of displays in the store. You are going to see a mix of different types of displays,
whereas Walmart is pretty much focused on pallets and half-pallets. We