As its stock continues to plunge far below its competitors, retail giant Target Corp has unveiled a new store design meant to bring the company into the future of retailing.
On March 20, Target released plans for its next major redesign scheduled to open at its first location in October near Houston, Texas. It is meant to address “lifestyle shopping,” Internet purchasing, and easy access to its various departments.
The new plan would create separate parking for various parts of the store—one section for those customers who want to take their time shopping inside, and another area for those who want to shop quickly and get out. In addition, another part of the parking lot would be reserved for Target employees to deliver Internet orders to customers who would be limited to a ten-minute timespan for parking.
“We wanted the design to be flexible because that is what shopping is all about,” the company’s senior vice president, Mark Schindele, told The Associated Press.
“The new design for this Houston store will provide the vision for the 500 reimagined stores planned for 2018 and 2019, with the goal of taking a customized approach to creating an enhanced shopping experience,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said during the unveiling.
It remains to be seen how customers will respond to designated parking areas as opposed to the first-come-first parking style seen everywhere else. It might prove difficult to re-train customers to obey designated parking areas.
The new plan comes only a month after the retailer dumped several projects aimed at reviving the company’s brand.
Early in February, Target abruptly shuttered two high priority projects which were intended to guarantee the company’s future just under a year after a public boycott provoked by the company’s insistence on transgender-friendly, mixed-sex dressing rooms.
At the time of the February announcement that it was shuttering the projects, the company’s stock price hit $64.77 at market close on Feb. 8. That was down from $83 when the boycott began to when the company made its transgender policy on April 19 of last year. The stock price drop has slashed more than $10 billion from the company’s value on Wall Street.
But the newest plan comes as the company’s stock continues to fall, with a March 28 close of just over $53, which is slightly higher than its 52-week low of $52.77. But even this slightly higher close from its low is a far cry from its 52-week high of $84.14 seen last year.
The company’s stock prices have fallen steadily since the company announced its transgender bathroom policy last year. By March of this year many investment advisers had downgraded Target to a “strong sell” even as its falling price might seem to make it an attractive buy.
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