How Target is enhancing the in-store experience through a partnership model

Date : 25 February 2021

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

With Apple becoming the latest partner for Target as it builds a differentiated store experience, we look at what this means for the retailer.

Enhanced in-store and online experience

Target is partnering with Apple to offer customers an enhanced shopping experience in store, and online. The roll-out will start in 17 locations initially across the US this month, with further sites to be launched by the fall. The new in-store experience will provide customers with an easier way to shop for Apple products at Target, bringing together all products and services into one area.

Source: Target

Showcasing the Apple offer

The dedicated space will be supported by trained Target Tech Consultants and host new product demonstrations. It will feature new lighting fixtures and displays for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, Apple TV and other accessories. On Target.com, and in the Target app, shoppers will be able to access a dedicated Apple experience offering an extended range of Apple accessories.

Strategic partnerships to spotlight key brands

This new initiative builds on Target’s strategic partnerships with Disney, Ulta Beauty and Levi’s. This highlights its focus on being a destination for leading brands having spent the last three years developing a suite of over 20 new private labels. Over the same period, Target has also made significant investments to improve the in-store experience, with over 1,000 stores remodeled. This has been a major element of the retailer’s ambition to create a more contemporary and relevant look and feel within its stores.

No shortage of willing partners

Target has been one of the key retail winners during the pandemic. There is likely to be a long line of brands knocking on its door to create similar feature spaces. In addition to delivering outstanding ecommerce growth, it has seen a return to positive store traffic, despite consumers consolidating their trips. This contrasts with the challenges that shopping malls have faced, some of which pre-date the pandemic, where Apple has a large proportion of its stores based. As Target continues to evolve its model, expect to see more partnerships, but it will carefully curate its offer to ensure that they are aligned with the needs of its core shopper. Disney, Ulta Beauty and Apple are great examples of this.

Retail Analysis subscribers: outlined in our report, North America retail outlook 2021, we highlight five key trends set to shape the North American retail marklet this year, including creating a new store experience.

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