MINNEAPOLIS — Based on early results from test stores, Target Corp. here plans to expand its offerings of fresh food and produce at 100 of its general-merchandise stores by the end of the year as part of an effort to boost sales, though the locations of these stores is unknown.
The retailer first tested the new format last year at two of its locations in Minnesota, then added eight test locations in other states earlier this year.
The test stores now carry 50%-200% more food products than traditional GM stores, including more produce, meats and bakery items, Target spokeswoman Jill Hornbacher said in a published report. Those stores have roughly 1,500 square feet of retail space dedicated to fresh food, still substantially less than at the company’s SuperTarget stores, which has carried groceries for a number of years.
The expanded fresh-food sections inside existing discount department stores have increased food sales 50% at test stores, and lifted sales of other items as well, said Target Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel, according to a published report.
The sections offer a narrow selection of products from 90% of the food categories found in a larger grocery store, the company said. Target has also removed the need to weigh or bag produce in order to speed up check out. For example, individual potatoes come wrapped in plastic and are stamped with a bar code.
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