Monday, September 5, 2011

Urban by Target Opens

Last Saturday saw the opening of the second DDS store to set up shop on Chapel Street – Urban by Target. Planning a range to fill just 1,000sqm in the Jam Factory is no easy task for a major retailer. They’ve done well to narrow down the Target customer shopping in the hood – the focus is on an extensive apparel, footwear and accessories range for women and kids and a tried and true ‘socks and jocks’ selection for men.
There was a reasonable crowd milling on the street out the front, thanks in large part to an opening promotion hosted by Nova FM. Receiving a $10 gift voucher to spend in store had many a ‘I wouldn’t be caught dead shopping in Target’ consumers racing in… $10 goes a long way in a store like that (3 pack of socks and you still walk away with change!). In a stroke of genius they are using plain brown paper bags instead of the usual branded plastic. Let’s face it, none of us want to be seen carrying our Target bag into Sass & Bide, Scanlan & Theodore or Arthur Galan, all within a stones throw.

When you walk in the door, the name becomes a whole lot more appropriate.  The exposed red brickwork and beams of the heritage building make for an interesting backdrop to the low height grey laminate fixtures that are smartly packed with product. There’s plenty of mirrors on fixture ends meaning less fitting rooms required therefore maximising space on the selling floor. The signage graphics are large and fun. The language simple – ‘Try On’, ‘’Buy’ and ‘Pay Here’. Acrylic cut outs & signage are dotted around to demark categories, i.e. a girl running next to “Hop, skip, jump, run, walk, throw, cycle, sprint, ride… then stretch for 20 minutes.”

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The piece-de-resistance for me was the touchscreen for assistance. It featured the usual items like a store plan and directory but also a screen were you could provide feedback. The gem is the staff profile. There’s a photo of each member along with answers to a bunch of conversation starter questions, like their favourite food or movie and what they love about the brand. For Dave his Target is “to make an infectious experience.” I suspect Dave is a marketing student!

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It will be interesting to see if Urban is expanded into other major shopping boulevards.

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