Due to new rebranding efforts, Target is ditching the concept of bringing students into the store in favor of a new approach: bringing the store to students through pop-up shops and small-format stores.
This fall, first-year St. Thomas students missed out on the late-night experience of shopping for college essentials and pick up free samples with their fellow students.
“As a freshman, it was a huge convenience to have an event where I could pick up things I needed from Target while meeting new people,” sophomore Hazel Erickson said. “Two birds with one stone.”
There wasn’t a Target Run at St. Thomas this year, nor a small-format store or pop-up shop. However, there is currently one small-format store on the University of Minnesota campus.
According to the Commercial Observer, pop-up shops are a relatively new concept, originating in the early 2000s as a way for companies to bring their wares directly to customers without having to commit to a long-term brick-and-mortar store.
Through Target’s pop-up shops at schools such as the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Arizona State University, students can order items like mini-fridges and futons online and then have them delivered to campus, as well as pick up things like dorm storage and decor.
After move-in is over, the stores are dismantled. However, Target is also trying a more long-term approach through small-format stores. In July, four new small-format stores were opened and three more are projected to open this fall.
Small-format stores consist of a limited selection of products, but with an emphasis on products that college students are more likely to need. Examples include dorm-room decor, cleaning supplies and grocery items.
“It’s part of our plan to open nearly 30 new small-format stores by the end of 2017,” Target’s corporate website says. “Today, there are 45 small-format stores across the country, and we’ll operate more than 130 of them by the end of 2019, to serve guests in areas we haven’t been able to before.”
As of right now, the closest Target to the St. Paul campus is 2.2 miles away on Hamline and University avenues.
“I think it would be very beneficial to have a Target shop on campus,” sophomore Sarah Becker said. “For lots of students Target is a clothing store, grocery and pharmacy. It would make shopping much more convenient.”
Solveig Rennan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.