We compared a small Target store in the city with a suburban-style Target. Here's how they stacked up.

Business Insider/Jessica TylerThe small-format Target store in Tribeca carried most of what Target traditionally has, but not everything.

  • Target has been growing its small-store fleet in order to attract shoppers living in big cities.
  • The stores carry most of what a traditional Target does, and they offer options like online-order pickup and same-day delivery.
  • We shopped at a small-format Target in New York City and a more traditional Target store in Jersey City in the fall of 2018. Here’s how they compared.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Target has been growing its small-store fleet in a play to attract shoppers living in big cities.

The stores are designed to reach consumers living in densely populated areas like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Target plans to have over 130 of these small-format stores by the end of 2019, and the company told CNBC that it’s on track to open 30 of this type of store across the US each year going forward.

The smaller stores currently offer most of the same services as traditional Target stores, like same-day delivery and online-order pickup.

In its most recent earnings report this week, Target reported that comparable sales were up 3.4% in the second quarter.

Target’s smaller stores are a fraction of the size of a full Target store. Full stores average 145,000 square feet, while smaller stores average 12,000 to 80,000 square feet. Still, they carry many of the same categories, including clothes, electronics, and groceries.

We visited a suburban-style Target in Jersey City, New Jersey, and a small-format Target in New York’s Tribeca neighbourhood. Here’s how they stacked up:

This article was originally written by Jessica Tyler.


First we went to the smaller Target store in Tribeca, in Lower Manhattan.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

On the first floor, there was a women’s fashion section on the left, and athletic wear on the right.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The clothes on the first floor were mostly business casual.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Both men’s and women’s workout gear were in the corner of the store. There was a surprising amount to choose from, but not as much as at the full-size Target.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

In the back of the store was a small home section with pillows, candles, and other small home decor items.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There wasn’t a ton to choose from, but there was enough to find what you needed.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Near the home section was a sign explaining all of the different delivery options, including online-order pickup, same-day delivery, and free two-day shipping.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The first floor also had a Chobani bar with yogurt, sandwiches, soups, coffee, and dessert for sale.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

By the escalator there was a directory, registry kiosk, and phone-charging station.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The lower level was a lot bigger than the top floor.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

At the bottom of the escalator was a continuation of the home section from upstairs. It also carried a small selection of furniture like bookshelves.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

It carried a fraction of the furniture a traditional Target store has.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There was a wall with kitchen essentials.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Signs everywhere advertised $US7 same-day delivery.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Towards the back of the floor were office supplies, craft supplies, and school supplies. A lot was out of stock when we visited.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Books were along the end caps of the aisles. There was definitely a lot less to choose from than at a traditional Target.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

It also carried a small amount of home cleaning products …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and a few aisles of electronics. There were TVs, phones, headphones, and accessories.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The toy section took up the entire back corner of the store. It also had a small aisle of sports equipment.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The grocery section took up about half of the lower level. It had a few aisles of snacks …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… a refrigerated section with meat, dairy, and produce …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and one aisle of frozen foods and dessert.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There was a continuation of the women’s fashion section downstairs, as well as a small fitting room. It seemed a bit inconvenient to have the section split up between two floors instead of keeping it all together.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Near the registers was a small CVS pharmacy and drugstore products like over-the-counter medications and toiletries.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There were a lot of open registers, and a lot of self-checkouts as well. The small-format Target carried almost everything a traditional Target does, but there was definitely less variety to choose from.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

We went to a full-size Target store in Jersey City next. While it’s up for debate whether Jersey City would qualify as a suburb, this location is a good example of what Targets look like in the suburbs.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The doorway had a sign advertising $US7 same-day delivery, much like the smaller-format Target did.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Right in the front of the store was a CVS pharmacy …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and a cosmetics section, both of which were about double the size of the section at the smaller Target.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Also in the entrance was Bullseye’s Playground, which carries small products that are usually under $US5.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The grocery section took up a huge portion of the store, but the fresh produce aisle was almost identical to the one in the small-format Target.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There were way more frozen foods and desserts to choose from …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and a much bigger variety of snacks. The aisles were also a lot wider, and there was more in stock.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There were tons of kitchen products …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and a massive section of the store was dedicated to home decor and furniture. It had a lot more to choose from than the smaller Target, which seemed to focus on just the basics.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

But a lot of the displays were the same.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There were a lot more style options in the women’s department, rather than focusing primarily on business casual. It was also organised a bit better because the department wasn’t divided up throughout the store.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

It also had a big shoe department …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and a men’s department, neither of which I saw at the smaller-format Target.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The toy departments were pretty similar, but the bigger Target carried products like bikes and skateboards, which weren’t available at the Target in the city.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The electronics department was a lot more impressive at the full Target — it carried more of everything that the smaller Target had, plus more products like cameras and smart watches.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There was also an entire section of books and movies, as opposed to just a few of them on the end caps of aisles.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The small-format Target only had a small kiosk for gift registries, but the Target in Jersey City had an entire guest services centre with a place for returns and exchanges, registry help, and an ATM.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There was the same number of registers and self-checkouts as at the smaller Target store. After the checkout was a Pizza Hut and a Starbucks, as well as a small dining area.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Naturally, the suburban Target carried more of a variety of products, but it also carried entire categories that the small Target didn’t, like shoes and cameras.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The bigger Target store was also a lot more organised, with bigger and more clear labels throughout the store.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Still, the smaller Target has all of the essentials that a normal Target has, and it’s a lot more manageable than the full Target store, especially in a city. It definitely is quicker getting in and out of because it’s a smaller store with just as many registers, and it has the essentials.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

For anyone who has the option to go to both stores, the city Target is definitely more convenient.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Jessica Tyler wrote an earlier version of this article.

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