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Target Downsizes Its 2020 Store Remodels Due to Coronavirus

By Daniel B. Kline - Mar 25, 2020 at 8:29PM

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Existing ones will finish, but new ones will be pushed back a year.

Target (TGT 2.46%) has been remodeling hundreds of stores each year. The changes update the store to make them better fit the chain's changing merchandise (including its many owned and operated brands) while doing things like putting grab-and-go items in the front of the store in markets where that's appropriate.

Now, with coronavirus forcing the retailer to focus on keeping its supply chain working and its customers supplied, Target has decided to postpone many remodels planned for 2020.

A person loads a car at Target driveup.

Image source: Target.

What is Target doing?

The retailer will complete roughly 300 remodels in 2020. That's down from the 3,000 that were planned. Stores where remodeling efforts have already begun will be finished, while projects that have not yet started will be pushed into 2021.

Target has also changed its plans for growing its smaller-format stores. It now plans to complete 15 to 20 new smaller-format stores instead of the 36 that had been planned. The ones that don't get built in 2020 will be moved to 2021.

In addition, plans to incorporate fresh grocery and adult beverages into its Drive Up and Order Pickup have been delayed. No timeline has been given for that project to resume.

"We are prioritizing the work that's in front of us to support our team, store operations and supply chain as families across the country rely on Target for everything they need in this challenging environment," said CEO Brian Cornell in a press release.

This just makes sense

Cornell is making moves that are logical. It makes little sense to try to remodel stores in the middle of a pandemic, and building new ones may simply not be possible until the coronavirus passes. These are relatively short-term delays that allow the retailer to focus on what's important right now.

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