Hardware Retailing

MAY 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | May 2017 80 The History of Target 360 The department store that was the starting point for Target may never have come to fruition had the founder's first investment project not been derailed by Minneapolis' stringent liquor laws in 1901. Banker, businessman and entrepreneur George Draper Dayton purchased property in Minneapolis, initially planning to build a 10-story hotel with a bar in the lobby. According to accounts from Laura Rowley's book "On Target: How the World's Hottest Retailer Hit a Bull's-Eye," the developers scrapped the plans when they found out liquor couldn't be sold south of Sixth Street. The property was just one block south, on the corner of Nicollet Avenue and Seventh Street. Instead, Dayton built a six-story retail store and convinced the owner of the fourth-largest department store in Minneapolis, Goodfellow's Dry Goods Company, to move into the space, Rowley reports. The new store sold clothing and accessories, home essentials and housewares. Dayton bought out his partners in 1903, gave the store his name and further developed the store's reputation for "quality goods at fair prices, catering to a range of income levels," Rowley writes. For the next 50 years, The Dayton Company served the downtown Minneapolis community as a home goods department store. Two new stores were added in the mid-1950s before the company focused on a new retail opportunity—mass discount retailing. Becoming Target Target was established to capture shoppers who sought low-priced merchandise but a high-end shopping experience, founding president Douglas Dayton says in Rowley's book. In the early 1960s, discount stores were fairly new to the retail market and had a reputation for stocking cheap goods in unkempt stores, Douglas says in the book. Because Target created a department store experience but sold low-priced goods, the store exceeded shoppers' expectations, he says. The first Target retail store opened in May 1962, according to the company. By the end of the decade, Target had expanded into four states outside of Minnesota and opened its first distribution center. In 1979, Target posted $1 billion in annual sales for the first time and operated 74 locations in 11 states. Ten years later, after significant growth during the 1980s, Target opened 30 more stores in six states, all on the same day: April 30, 1989. Expansion Plans Target launched two new store formats in the 1990s. According to Target.com, the store featured "wider aisles, faster and more efficient checkout lanes and automatic teller machines (ATMs)" in addition to expanded pharmacy and photo services. The first Super Target opened in 1995 in Omaha, Nebraska, and highlighted the retailer's interest in expanding into the grocery market, according to the company. In 1997, Target launched a new donation initiative as part of its overall philosophy of giving to communities. The program donates 1 percent of all Target RedCard credit card sales to schools. In 1999, the company entered e-commerce with the launch of Target.com, which now has 26 million unique monthly visitors and is the fourth most-visited retail site in the world, Target says. Three Quick Facts About Target Sources: Target and "On Target: How the World's Hottest Retailer Hit a Bull's-Eye" Seven years after opening the first Target store, there were 17 locations in Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. 2 In 1946, Target started its tradition of giving 5 percent of its profits back to stores' local communities. 1 3 Target introduced its first planograms in 1974 to create consistent merchandising across all store locations.

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