A bar inside a Target store?

Target is planning to open a small-format store in (or near) the Navy Pier development in Chicago, and their plans include a bar inside the store. I see some brand dissonance here, and so did most of my fellow RetailWire panelists:

I agree with the consensus opinion that this is a misbegotten idea. I understand that a store on Navy Pier (a major tourist destination in Chicago, perhaps less so among the “natives”) requires a different approach to merchandising, especially in a small format. But a location within a “festival” setting like Navy Pier, Ghirardelli Square or Faneuil Hall doesn’t mean that a retailer veers away from its overall brand image. This just feels off-Target to me.

Update: Another panelist pointed out that the Target store is planned for the Streeterville neighborhood, not on Navy Pier per se (for those familiar with downtown Chicago). I’m not sure this changes my perspective about whether the idea is appropriate or not.

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