Target LA25: Retailer Pushes Brick & Mortar Innovation

October 18, 2015 | B2C Retail

Many of Target Corp.’s biggest initiatives the past couple of years have been on the digital front. And with good reason—the company has come under heavy fire from online giant Amazon and also Walmart, which has invested heavily in its own digital transformation. But Target is now turning its attention to its most valuable real estate: its stores, which generate roughly 95% of company revenue. In an ambitious undertaking, Target is going to use 25 of its existing stores in Los Angeles as a testing ground for innovation and experimentation called Target LA25.

This new initiative, involves everything from store signage and fixtures to high-touch customer services and RFID technology. The first wave of stores will be updated in the coming weeks, with a second wave undergoing the makeover in spring 2016.

Target LA25 Features High Touch Retail Services

The program will test 50 enhancements and changes to presentation and service to study the impact the changes have on shopper experience and sales in a single market. Some of the changes will involve programs and services the chain is currently piloting in other markets while others will involve brand-new ideas.

Changes will be evident in two major areas: presentation and service. Customers in Target LA25 stores can expect to see a more modern sales floor, with updated fixtures and helpful signs. The front area of the store will be used to spotlight the latest products and trends.

On the customer service front, Target is going high-touch by bringing in “experts” in certain areas including beauty and baby. With the new “Beauty Concierge” and “Baby Advisor” services, shoppers will have access to highly-trained experts to answer questions and provide personalized service and unbiased information about products.

 The Beauty Concierge concept has been tested in select markets and has been said to have a positive impact on the overall beauty department.

In the home area, Target will test displays with products styled together in real-life settings. These vignettes feature set dinner tables, fully decorated bedroom spaces and more. It will also test in-store displays featuring online-only products.

More help will be available via a “digital service ambassador,” whereby a specially designated store associate will help in-store shoppers use the chain’s digital channels, including the Target mobile app and Cartwheel, and also assist with in-store pickups.

Besides the in-store changes, Target said it plans to implement supply chain and backroom enhancements to improve customer experiences, with new ways to order and receive products, including curbside pickup. And the chain is exploring the use of RFID technology so that store associates will be able to track down missing products quickly—or as Target put it, with “lightning speed.”

Posted by Angel Carra | Request as a Speaker

On the go, mother of two, who believes things happen for a reason. SVP of Sparks Retail focused on driving the best client and customer experience.