Target shutters some sub-brands

Target recently announced that it is discontinuing the CityTarget brand (for its high-density urban locations) and its TargetExpress brand (for small-format “neighborhood” stores). It only plans to maintain “Super Target” as a separate sub-brand, and I argue (on RetailWire) that the decision will have mixed benefits:

I agree that CityTarget was not needed as a distinct brand, at least based on my visits to the location in the Chicago Loop. Most customers would recognize it as Target — plain and simple — despite the assortment and space allocation changes geared to an urban (and car-less) customer in a two-level store. The merchandising and presentation will say “city” if the execution is right.

On the other hand, I think TargetExpress is a brand worth keeping. The name communicates “small format” and “edited assortments” very clearly, especially in urban neighborhood locations. In fact, putting the Target name on these stores may raise false expectations about the breadth of products offered to the consumer.

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