Target introduces “LA25”

Target is experimenting with a critical mass of stores in Southern California on some new approaches to its business, from customer service to layouts to merchandising. I argue (in RetailWire) that the choice of a single market for the test is a smart move:

You can argue one way or the other whether the choice of a single market for this test — instead of spreading out the test to other markets — is a smart move. I vote for the choice Target made, because they have a better chance of observing the ease of execution and customers’ reactions (not just the data) for themselves. In hindsight, this would have been a smart move for JCPenney back in 2012, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel nationwide.

The longer-term question becomes one of speed: How quickly is Target prepared to roll out the best of its LA25 ideas nationwide? And are they prepared to deal with the higher costs associated with many of these ideas, even at some sacrifice to their value image?

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