Photos by Keeley Smith.
The bright, glossy sheen emitted from the freshly installed floors almost sang with joy. Racks of newly-erected clothing nestled right next to aisles of makeup, adjacent to gleaming stacks of perfectly round apples.
Today marked the grand opening of Target’s smaller store concept in East Long Beach, right near Bellflower and Seventh Street (5760 East Seventh Street, to be exact). Open 7:00AM to 10:00PM daily, the smaller store (dubbed the “Bixby Target”) looks to cater to local residents, especially Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) students and local families, as evidenced by its carefully selected inventory.
“This is our 19th ‘flexible format’ content store,” said Target spokesperson Kristy Welker, emphasizing its “made-to-order” feel. She gestured to the entrance, hosting a CSULB apparel section with a CSULB tank top-clad mannequin.
“It’s really focused on tailoring to the clientele,” she said.
Target spent months conducting outreach and focus group research to determine their stock, which, in the smaller store, is easier to find than within the big-box Target store down the street.
The 33,000 foot location, formerly a Ralph’s, is looking to fully embrace its spot within the community, and offer neighboring residents a place where they can find all of their essential needs in one place. If the store doesn’t have what residents are looking for, they can order items online that will be shipped to the new Target location.
Photo courtesy of Target.
What’s more, a binder will be located at the front of the store to allow residents to share their needs and desires with store officials.
Officially, the store relies on parking spaces in Bixby Village Plaza, 75 team members, eight self-checkout lanes, the aforementioned order/pickup service and Target Mobile Service (in its small electronics department).
“Opening flexible-format stores in urban markets and near college campuses is a priority for Target and guests have responded well to having these customized stores available in areas where they previously couldn’t have been opened before,” stated a Target release. “The company [...] has announced plans to open 16 additional flexible format locations over the next two years.”
Other flexible formats operate in Minneapolis, Minnesota (near the University of Minnesota), San Francisco and in Koreatown near USC.
The focus on families and college students is evidenced by its prominently displayed cereal wall, activewear, children’s clothes, “grab and go” marketplace section with pre-made meals, energy drinks, strollers, cookware and home goods.
“It’s really about having a store that customers can use on a day-to-day basis,” said Welker.