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Sizing Up Target’s New Down-Sized Urban Stores

9:39 AM PDT on October 13, 2015

rosslyn_target
The site of the new Target in Rosslyn, Virginia. Photo: Dan Malouff

Love ’em or hate ’em, big box stores are shrinking their footprints in an effort to fit into city locations.

Target just opened its fourth store in the urban DC area. The newest is only the second to come in a small-scale size, and Dan Malouff at Beyond DC scoped it out:

A miniature Target is now open in Rosslyn, occupying the ground floor of an office tower. At less than a sixth the size of a typical suburban Target, it shows how retailers are adapting to America's increasingly urban reality.

The store had a soft opening last week, and an official opening Sunday. At 23,000 square feet, it's about the size of a large Trader Joe's, or a small Safeway. It's minuscule compared to normal Target stores, which often top 150,000 square feet.

And yet, it's got a little of everything, just like a normal Target.

A few years ago, when I lived in a Ballston high rise, I’d have killed to have a Target on the Orange Line. The only department stores I had easy access to were the Macy’s in Ballston and downtown DC. And, for a recent college grad spending way too much on housing, Macy’s wasn’t in my budget for housewares.

Malouff points out that other suburban retailers are nosing into the city too:

It’s not just Target and Walmart looking to get in on this game. Other chains are launching a new breed of mid-size stores, like this mini Target, in a race to fill the urban retail niche.

In 2013, Walgreens opened a new “flagship” store in Chinatown. At 23,000 square feet, it’s almost exactly the same size as the new Rosslyn Target, and twice a normal Walgreens.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Systemic Failure shares an outrageous but sadly predictable story in which a driver who killed a cyclist was let off easy, in part because he was partially blind. Urban Milwaukee reports on a Wisconsin program that has cut drunk driving deaths in the state dramatically. And BikeWalkLee explains why it's asking state representatives in Florida for stronger protections for cyclists and pedestrians.

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