Friday, January 1, 2021

Target "Flexes" Its Muscles in Orlando


Target #3354
11619 Daryl Carter Parkway, Orlando, FL - Vineland Pointe

     While 2020 was a rather depressing year for retail, a year plagued with bankruptcies and store closings, there were still some bright spots to be had along the way. While we've talked about the recent Floridian supermarket growth spurt here on My Florida Retail and over on AFB, even on the national level, there were some interesting (and positive!) retail developments to be had. While we all know the sad story of Kmart, the storied retailer that is slowly (and I do mean slowly) departing into oblivion, one of Kmart's competitors has been taking full advantage of the chain's demise. Target has been gobbling up shuttered Kmart stores all over the country to convert into new stores, in places like Somers Point, NJKill Devil Hills, NC, and Bradenton, FL, and even former Kmart stores in more far-out places like Jackson, WY and Lihue, HI. There are even more examples if you scroll through Target's list of upcoming stores, with roughly 10 or so former Kmarts (and even a few former Sears stores) in the works to be converted into a Target in some way. Target is certainly taking advantage of the current retail environment to fuel their own growth, with those former Kmart stores opening alongside numerous flex-format Target stores, Target's shrunken-down store format that's been the focus of the company's growth for the last few years. While the purchase of those old Kmart stores renews Target's commitment to full-line stores, the flex stores are a large (and extremely important) part of Target's growth plan. Target's flex stores can range in size from less than 20,000 square feet to somewhere in the 65,000 to 70,000 square foot range, propelling Target's growth in urban areas where large spaces are difficult to find (and in smaller towns where a fill-size Target would have never been feasible in the past).

     Target's flex-format stores (originally called 'City Target') debuted in 2012, and the format has been tweaked through the years as Target began to get a feel of running smaller-than-normal stores. Florida (and the Southeastern US as a whole) got its first flex-format Target in 2017, with the opening of the Target store near the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. Florida has gained a few other Target flex stores since, including locations in Tallahassee, South Beach, Coral Gables, and the store we'll be seeing today in Orlando, with future Target flex stores planned for Grove Station (near Miami), Bradenton (the old Kmart I mentioned before - Target opted small with that one), and Disney World. As I mentioned before, Target's flex stores vary greatly in size, with the store we'll be touring today being on the larger end of the spectrum for one of these stores. The new Orlando Vineland Pointe Target is 65,000 square feet, with a much more complete product selection than one of the 15,000 square foot college-campus focused locations.

     The Vineland Pointe Target is the largest anchor in the new Vineland Pointe shopping center, a new shopping center being built behind the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets (a huge tourist destination located at the eastern edge of Disney property, just across I-4 from the last Gooding's). Being close to the tourist district and some new housing developments, Target's new store looks like it will be a popular destination for shoppers. Once tourism surges back into the area, I'm sure business will greatly increase here (and I've heard this store still gets pretty busy as it is, even with many tourists not coming into the area, so it looks like Target chose well with this location). The Vineland Pointe Target opened for business on August 16, 2020, the first new Target store in the Orlando area in over a decade. While smaller than normal, this store still sports Target's latest decor and most of the usual amenities, with certain departments cut back more than others to make up for the decrease in size.

     From the outside, the exterior design of this store is quite similar to what a new-build full-size Target would look like. Even at 65,000 square feet, this store was designed with dual entrances on either side of the building, a trait usually reserved for Target's largest stores. The photo above looks toward what I'd consider the "main" entrance, located toward the left side of the building. The other entrance leads you to the grocery department and liquor store, acting more like a side door for people wanting to get in and out with a few groceries (or bottles of booze). I visited this store not long after it opened, so the "Now Open" banner was still hanging from the facade upon my visit, seen above.

     The middle of the facade is a wall of windows, which illuminates the front end and the Starbucks kiosk inside. This store incorporates more windows into its design than the typical Target store, which is a nice touch we'll see more of as we tour the inside...

     Stepping inside, we see the wall of windows and vestibule behind Bullseye's playground, lighting up the inside (which is a nice effect in person while shopping, but for photos, not so much with all the glare!)

     Another Target logo can be found on the inner part of the vestibule, a white bullseye set onto a red-colored panel of glass.

     Like every store within close proximity to Orlando's tourist district, the Vineland Pointe Target has a large Disney souvenir department. While Target does have a deal with Disney to operate special Disney Store departments, that's not what we see here. This is just the usual tourist district Disney department, flanked with more souvenir T-shirts and tchotchkes than official Disney store stuff (which, if you look at the photo at that link, has a much fancier setup with a larger focus on toys). The Disney department at this store bumps against the main front aisle behind the check lanes, taking up a decent amount of floorspace in the clothing department.

     While the official Disney Stores within Target are focused on toys, T-shirts are the focus here in the tourist district. Commemorative T-shirts are a Disney vacation staple, and there was no shortage of shirts like this here.

     Leaving the magic of the Disney department behind us, the magic of Target can be seen before us looking down the center aisle. The aisle in the picture above serves as the dividing line between the hardline and softline sides of the store. We'll start our walk through the store by wandering around the hardlines side, which stretches out to my left from this vantage point...

     As we begin to venture further into the store, here's a quick look back at the front end and Bullseye's playground. We'll see more of this area later in the tour, so let's get back on track:

     Looking away from the front entrance, the main front aisle passes by the beauty department to my left, and office supplies to my right. The pharmacy counter can be seen straight ahead at the end of the main aisle, located on the left side wall.

     As one of Target's core departments, this store's beauty department wasn't shrunken much in this smaller store. The beauty department still received the fancy lighting and fixtures a modern, full-size Target would get, and looks really nice overall.

     From the front wall in the beauty department, here's a look toward the vestibule.

     More aisles of health and beauty products span into the store's front left corner, which is also home to the restrooms.

     A full-size pharmacy counter was included here too. Pharmacies are rather common in these Target flex stores, with pharmacies being included in some of the really small stores too.

     Health and beauty continues along the building's left side wall, eventually transitioning into seasonal merchandise and hardware as we move further back.

     Returning to the main aisle, here's a look toward the back of the store.

     Housewares occupy the center part of the hardlines side of the store. Housewares was one of the departments that was noticeably shrunken down in this store compared to a normal Target store, but there was still a comprehensive selection of the most popular housewares items for sale here.

     Some more round lights were placed in the center of the store for a classy effect. In addition to the wavy light strip that follows the length of the aisle, it really makes for a nice visual.

     While we've looked width-wise across the housewares department already, here's a look down one of the houseware aisles looking toward the front of the store.

     The fitting rooms are located in an island between women's clothing and the Disney department, as seen from this viewpoint from within the housewares department.

     Here's another look toward the clothing department before we turn the corner and return to the back of the store.

     Here's the dividing aisle between hardlines and softlines once again, but as seen from the back of the store this time.

     The back left corner of the store contains a wide variety of shrunken down departments, including seasonal, small appliances, luggage, toys, and sporting goods.

     This photo looks across the back of the store, showing off the building's entire length. It's not the largest Target by any means, but still quite the sizeable store.

     Continuing along the store's back wall, we enter the toy department, with electronics being the department to follow in the distance.

     Menswear resides across the main aisle from electronics, with electronics being the next department we'll explore:

     Electronics was another department that seemed fairly complete at this Target flex store, not being too much smaller than the electronics department at a standard P17 Target. This store also included a full-service electronics counter, a feature that's typically eliminated in the really small stores, which typically condense the entire electronics department into an aisle or two.

     Interestingly, the back wall of the store also includes windows. With stockrooms and receiving bays in the way, it's not common to see windows in the back of a store. However, this store was designed with the stockrooms and receiving bays to be on the side of the building, so the back of the store (which bumps up against I-4) was free and clear to have windows. Having windows in both the front and back of the store was really nice, and did a great job keeping the store bright.

     Leaving electronics, the next department we find is cleaning supplies, followed by the beginning of the grocery department. Baby supplies are located opposite these departments, bumping against the other clothing departments.

     Entering the grocery department, we find aisles of snacks and drinks in the store's back left corner. Grocery is another one of the departments that Target kept in its full form here, getting the full P-Fresh grocery selection of a normal sized store into this 65,000 square foot space - plus a liquor store too. This tiny Target has a larger grocery department than my local 90,000 square foot Target store does, which is quite strange to think about!

     Turning the corner, here's a look down the store's right side wall. The three or four grocery aisles in the back corner give way for the remainder of the grocery department, which we'll head toward next.

      Here's the main aisle that runs alongside the grocery department. The visuals here aren't all that different from what you'd see in a normal Target store, with the standard P17 signage in use here (as some really small stores lack the hanging aisle signs over the grocery department).

     As we walk past grocery, here's a quick peek into the baby department.

     The main center aisle through the clothing department, as seen from grocery.

     Nearing the front of the store, we find a few aisles of frozen foods before we transition into the "fresh" part of the P-Fresh grocery department.

     The side wall again, this time as seen from the front of the store.

     Here we have the very classy looking fresh aisle, home to produce, dairy, some pre-packaged baked goods, and some meat. With dry groceries being a popular item in the tourist district, Target went all out by offering the full P-Fresh assortment here, which is a very tourist-friendly selection of grocery items (snacks, frozen meals, foods easy to prepare in a hotel room). However, the most important grocery department in the tourist district lies to the right of all this, behind the windows:

     And that very important department is the full liquor store (as I've heard from my sources in the tourist district that parents need two bottles of rum to counteract every one day spent at Disney World). Even if that's not the exact reason, like I've said before, alcohol sells really well in this part of town, so Target felt it was worthwhile to add a liquor store to this flex location. While I've seen some remodeled Target stores get fancy wine and beer alcoves within the store itself, this is one of very few full-blown Target liquor stores in Florida (the only other Target liquor store I know of being located in the tourist district as well, in the Super Target at US 192 and SR 429 in western Kissimmee). I want to say I've seen other Target liquor stores in pictures from elsewhere around the country, but for whatever reason, Target doesn't seem to bother with them much in Florida (except in really high volume liquor sale locations, like we have here). However, in true Target style, this is one of the fanciest and nicest liquor stores I've ever seen! To be in compliance with Florida law, the entrance to the liquor store is located within the vestibule of the side entrance, although the all glass walls of the liquor store make it appear like it's part of the main sales floor, which I thought was a neat design touch.

     Turning away from the liquor store, we find the service desk tucked alongside the entryway.

     Completing our loop of the store, we find ourselves at the front end once again.

     This store has six regular check lanes, in addition to a bank of 8 self checkouts next to the main entrance (if I remember right). The really small flex stores tend to sacrifice the regular check lanes for a bank of 15-25 self checkouts (depending on the store's size and volume, as the much smaller self-checkout machines take up less space than the normal lanes).

     In front of the check lanes we find the Starbucks kiosk, which is set up like an island here rather than being tucked into a corner like you'd find at a regular Target store.

     Here's another view of the Starbucks counter, this time without the check lanes blocking the way.

     Lastly, I thought we'd finish out this tour with one of my favorite sights from this entire store - the giant Bullseye mascot statue! Bullseye keeps watch from his over-sized perch next to the vestibule, a much larger alternative to the usual Bullseye statue you'd find elsewhere.

     Back outside, we have a look at the side entrance, where the signage for the liquor store can be found. Of course, as I was leaving, a liquor delivery truck had to pull up out front and obstruct some of my exterior photos!

     And there you have it everyone - the new Vineland Pointe Target! Overall this was a nice little store, and it will certainly be popular with tourists and locals alike. While the selection isn't as extensive as what you'd find at any of the other Target stores in the area, this store still serves its purpose and provides all the basics. On the opposite side of Disney World, a similar (although likely smaller, based on the diagrams I've seen) Target flex store will be rising from the ground as part of Disney's new Flamingo Crossings development, a development which includes a number of new hotels in addition to a new shopping center that Target will anchor. While this may be Central Florida's first Target flex store, it's certainly not going to be the last. Unlike Walmart, who seems to have heavily curtailed new store development recently, Target continues to grow, using these flexibly sized stores and growing opportunities to expand their footprint to places the company would have never gone before. Target's recent expansion kick seems to be working out, and hopefully we'll see this momentum continue well into the future.

     Anyway, I felt this new Target store was a nice way to start off the new year. 2020 was a rough one, that's for sure, but let's hope 2021 brings us some better news, both in general and for the retail world as well!

So that's all I have for now. Have a Happy New Year everyone, and until the next post,



  1. Happy new Year to you and your readers! There's nothing like a new blog post to celebrate a new year!

    It's interesting to take a look at one of these downsized Target stores even if this 'downsized' location is much bigger than some of the other downsized stores! Really, this store looks more or less like Target as usual. If I looked at this store layout and compared it to the scenes in, say, the Target in the movie Career Opportunities, there are some parts of the two stores which would look quite similar! As much as Target likes to change things up, they're quite good at keeping a lot of what they do pretty much the same even over the course of several decades.

    Target really isn't growing all that much here in Houston in modern times. They've been here for so long, since the very early 1970s since this was one of Target's first expansion 'targets' from the Midwest, that they have a pretty solid footprint in the suburbs as long as they build some new stores in some of the newest developments. That said, Target's footprint in the inner part of the city could perhaps use some growth, but perhaps Target figures Houstonians want a full Target if they're going to get one. We'll see, mature retailers like Walmart and Target really don't have much room to grow via increasing store counts to appease investors so they're having to try different store formats to get into areas where a normal Target would not work or would not make sense.

    Off the top of my head, I can only think of one Kmart location which turned into a Target here in Houston. That's the Meyerland Plaza location in a trendy inner-suburb powercenter/outdoor mall. That location was actually built as a Venture in the 1990s, then converted into a Kmart, and then turned into a Target in just a matter of a handful of of years. I think Target pretty much gutted the Venture/Kmart. It certainly looks like a normal Target. The Memorial City Mall, one of the biggest malls in Houston, has a Target which is sitting on land which used to be a Montgomery Ward before Wards' untimely death almost exactly 20 years ago.

    Oddly enough, Kmart did open a store in an old river rock walled 1980s Target in the late 1990s. Coolcat or someone had a photo of it on Flickr, but I think it got lost in the great Flickr purge of a couple years ago. That's a real shame.

    There still are some very old Targets in Texas. I think Dallas still has at least one very early 1970s store near the former Valley View Mall with a store number in the single digits or maybe around 10. The Westchase Target in Houston is also from around the mid-1970s and has a store number of 75, but you'd never know it by looking at it. It's been renovated to look like a 2000s era Target.

    On a completely unrelated note, did you know that there is now a small pharmacy chain in Florida called Eckerds Pharmacy? Lol, it's true. Here's one of their locations near a Bravo Supermarket and a Save A Lot in Lutz, FL, north of Tampa. Link:

    And here is the chain's website:

    Give it enough time and maybe there will be a supermarket in Florida called Albertson or something like that, lol.

    1. I said all of this, but I just read a new post on the Houston Historic Retail blog showing a new urban, downsized Target location in Houston built in an old Randall's. I suppose I have not been keeping up on my local Target news! It very much still looks like a Randall's on the outside, but it's very much Target on the inside. I think I prefer the look of the Houston location to the Vineland Pointe location as the Houston location as a slightly less grey, industrial look on the inside. Also, the Randall's exterior look is far better, IMO, than all that grey on the outside of the Vineland Pointe location. Anyway, it'll make for an interesting comparison point.

      All the palm trees at the Randall's-turned-Target will make a Floridian feel like they're at home, lol.

    2. Happy New Year to you as well! I thought a new blog post was a good way to celebrate! Even though this is a smaller location, it’s hard to tell if you relied on photos alone without context, as much of this store (at least visually) seems rather similar to a regular Target store. The stores smaller than this are where you can begin to easily tell it’s a flex location, as you can see how some departments begin to shrink to nothing more than an aisle or two (or are eliminated completely).

      Considering how widespread Walmart (and even Target are), especially in most metro areas, it makes sense that major growth isn’t too common with either chain anymore, as they’ve expanded to most of the places they can. Target’s flex stores really helped propel the chain’s growth, as the smaller sizes get Target into areas they’d never go before, giving the company a new reason to expand.

      Target took over an old Kmart in Miami about 10 or so years ago, and a few others here and there, but all the excess vacant Kmart stores that appeared in the last few years are really getting Target’s attention. You’d never know the ex-Kmart Target took over in Miami was ever a Kmart – I think only the shell of the building was kept, everything else rebuilt. I don’t think Target has ever fully preserved any Kmart they took over, although I can understand that, as some of those old Kmart buildings are rather worn. I can see Target opening in one of those old Venture stores though – I’ve heard Target and Venture were both quite similar, being the “nicer” discount store, and both having roots from a department store company.

      That’s quite wild to hear a Kmart opened in an old Target – that had to be a rarity! It would have been interesting to see pictures of that, and how much from Target Kmart left behind in there. After their hometown of Minneapolis, Target picked Denver and Dallas as their first places to expand, and then branched out from there. I’ve seen pictures of some really old 1970’s and 1980’s Target stores online, and those stores have been remodeled so much through the years, you’d never know the building was 40 years old (which is the exact opposite of a 40 year old Kmart building – those do feel 40 years old!).

      I believe Cape Kennedy Retail (the blog’s house Eckerd expert) mentioned that Eckerds chain to me before. I guess the copyright to the Eckerd name expired, letting “Eckerds” adopt the name. I wonder how many people see those pharmacies and think they’re part of the old, original chain (which is probably what the owners of those pharmacies want people to think)?

      The ex-Randalls Target Flex seems quite comparable to the new Vineland Pointe store in terms of selection, although the old Randalls seems a tiny bit smaller than Vineland Pointe. With these Flex stores, it seems like Target will typically preserve the exteriors, while rebuilding the interiors to fit their needs. While it’s fun to see the old supermarket exteriors remain in-tact, Target’s preservation efforts with other buildings flex stores have moved into have created even crazier results! See here for an example: The Houston location certainly has a nicer exterior, but I feel all the windows at Vineland Pointe brighten up the place, the natural light neutralizing the effect from all the gray in there.

    3. Part I:

      Unlike Kmart and Wal-Mart, which were both formed by 5-and-dime store operators, Target and Venture were both formed by department store operators in the Midwest. I really can't speak for the early days of Venture as we didn't get them here in Houston until around 1993. Of course, they didn't last long here after they did arrive, but I suppose they lasted longer than Food Lion, lol.

      Venture's slogan during their time here was "SWS - Save With Style". They were probably modeling themselves after Target with that, but I have to say that the Venture stores we had here were hopelessly bland and they were not memorable at all. When Kmart took over the Venture stores here in Houston, the Big Kmart decor was actually an upgrade over the Venture decor. I think that says it all because the Big Kmart decor was a pretty big fail itself, lol.

      Venture in some ways did predict the late 2010s/early 2020s because their color scheme was basically black, white, and grey. The 1990s are often remembered for vivid colors like purple and teal, but grey was a popular 1990s color as well. Wal-Mart and Kmart both used grey in a lot of their designs in the early 1990s (more so with Kmart than Wal-Mart) and, of course, we know about the Blue & Grey Market Albertsons. You may also remember that United Airlines switched from their vivid colors of the 1970s-1980s to 'battleship' grey. But, anyway, at least other retailers mixed their grey with some bolder colors. At Venture, it was almost entirely grayscale with a little red mixed in.

      Just about the only memorable thing about Venture was their store layout and design with the hybrid drop ceiling where the entry and racetrack was open, but most of the rest of the store had a drop ceiling. That's not uncommon now as we see at various Publix stores, but it was rare at the time. Target is known for the popcorn smell, but Ventures seemed to have a cotton candy smell to them. Also, Venture used to put some departments in the corners of the store in an odd diagonal way which kind of gave those departments a 'store within a store' look that actually worked well. Kmart carried over that diagonal look in the repurposed Venture stores, but I think Kmart made it work even better than Venture did. For example, the area that was the sporting goods department at Venture in the back corner was turned into an electronics department with Kmart and I think the 'store within a store' idea made more sense with electronics than it did with sporting goods (Wal-Mart, of course, used to have closed in electronics departments). So, yeah, Venture had some good ideas, but they weren't executed very well.

      I know I've linked this before, but Nathan Bush's photos of a Venture-turned-Kmart in Iowa gives you a lot of sense about how these Venture stores looked, but the Kmart has a lot more color to it than Venture did:

      With the current discount store duopoly, there is a sense that Target is the upscale, fashionable discount store and Walmart is the cheap discount store. However, I don't think that mindset really existed as strongly in the ~1980s. Sure, Target stores were nicer than the stuck in the 1970s Kmarts with their poor maintenance and all, but even Discount City era Wal-Marts felt more upscale than Kmarts since they had earthtone carpets and such in parts of the store. Targets simply felt a bit more modern than other discount stores (Wal-Mart, Kmart, and other discount stores still had a lot of orange decor in the 1980s at a time when orange was falling out of favor, but Target has always been mostly red and white and those colors don't really age), well-maintained, and I do remember their electronics/media department was a cut above Kmart and other discount stores in the 1980s.

    4. Part II:

      I think what really gave Target their fashion reputation was when they started selling Mossimo clothes and other designer labels in the late 1990s/early 2000s. That's what really turned Target around from being a consistent, well-run discount store to being 'chic'. To be fair, Kmart had success with their Jaclyn Smith and Martha Stewart lines even before Target became 'designer', but what good is selling designer goods at a store that feels like a dump? And, of course, Target has good marketing as well and simply not being Walmart in modern times helps as well (Wal-Mart didn't always have the reputation for being a madhouse like it does now).

      The most famous ex-Target re-use in Houston would have to be the ~1970 South Loop Target which was turned into the second Auchan store in the early 2000s. The store had a pure Auchan look to it though, everything Target was just about removed. That Auchan didn't last long before Auchan pulled the plug on their US stores and the South Loop location was not as big or fancy as the other, original location.

      The Target-turned-Kmart in Houston still has a large part of the classic early 1980s Target look even today after the store has been subdivided and turned into low-end clothing stores mostly. Link:

      What's funny is that this store was built when Target still had auto centers. The walled-in, but still obvious auto service bays still exist, but that corner of the store is now an AutoZone. It's funny that the AutoZone has walled-in service garages, lol. Link:

      Also, check out the vintage Fiesta in that shopping center!

      Wow, that bowling alley Target is awesome! We certainly don't have a Target which is neat like that here, that's for sure!

      It seems that Walmart is still expanding here in Houston, but mostly with their Neighborhood Market supermarket format. They've opened a number of those in the newest suburbs (oddly, while Walmart is building downsized stores in those areas, Kroger is opening Marketplace stores in those same areas!). The Neighborhood Markets have been a mixed bag. Some seem to do well, but some have been closed after only being open for a few years.

      Wal-Mart and Target could both still grow in urban parts of Houston. That said, that is easier said than done. The Targall's Flex store is a good example of Target getting into an urban market on the cheap (relatively speaking at least). However, getting into these urban areas is usually not cheap or easy since abundant land is not available and land values have skyrocketed in urban Houston in recent times. This has worked out well for Randall's as it allows them to stay in business in wealthy areas where they have older stores and competitors can't get into those neighborhoods even though I'm sure they would like to. HEB has opened some urban Houston stores, but these are very expensive projects which require building parking garages and sometimes using small, oddly-shaped pieces of land.

      Walmart has the added hindrance that some urban neighborhoods will fight against them moving in. Target probably doesn't have the same hindrance. Walmart did open a Supercenter in urban Houston a few years ago (I-45 & Wayside), and I think it's been successful, but Wal-Mart had to tear down some industrial buildings to clear the land for construction. All of that, of course, increases costs beyond what Walmart pays to build a typical suburban store. That store also had a not-so-grand grand opening when it opened because someone set a fire inside the store. Of course, it wouldn't be a Houston Wal-Mart without something crazy like that happening, lol.

  2. Really nice tour. Not over the top, but it gets the job done. I'd gladly take a store like this locally.

    1. Thanks! Something like this would fit perfectly in your area, such as in the old Bon-Ton space you’ve mentioned before.

  3. Happy New Year! This store looks very nice. I'm not a super big fan of P17 from what little bit I've seen of it in person, retrofitted into an older store... but in a store purpose-built for it such as this one, the overall effect is very cohesive and pleasing to look at. I especially love all the windows, as you pointed out in the post. (The ones on the back wall are especially neat!) It's glad to hear this location has already been met with success. Target seems to have been doing very well in general with these flex stores, so good for them. Oh, and thanks for the link!

    1. I've only been to one P17 Target myself. We have an abundance of Targets in this part of Houston as I mentioned in my previous reply. All of the Targets in this part of town are about the same size and most were either built in the mid-1990s or in the mid-2000s (the latter group were often built to replace older stores). For reasons I cannot explain, however, one of the mid-1990s Targets in my area always seems to carry more products than the other Targets in the area even with them all being about the same size. It's an extremely odd thing that I've never understood. I tried searching for these products on Target's website to see which stores have it and it's quite consistent that the Target in question and a couple others just outside of what I consider to be my area will have these products in various departments, but none of the other stores will.

      Obviously, that mid-1990s Target is the one I go to when I do go to Target (which is only about 2-4 times a year, but that's more frequent than I visit Walmart in recent years). It was renovated with the P17 decor in either late 2018 or 2019. Yes, the grey is ugly and it's a color which should not be used as much as it is by a retailer like Target who is known for bold colors. Aside from that, and it's really just a mild complaint, I think the mid-1990s Target still looks pretty good with P17. It still has a drop ceiling and vinyl/carpet floor cover which helps to maintain the classic look. In that regard, I'm glad the Vineland Pointe store AFB covered has mostly kept the drop ceiling and vinyl/carpet floor covering. I saw photos of a regular Target which opened up in a new Houston suburb around 2017-18 and it didn't keep floor covering everywhere. It looked like an industrial mess. Perhaps Target has learned their lesson. Target actually maintains their vinyl floors and so that makes them look nice even when they are older.

    2. Yeah, I've only been to one P17 store in person as well. It's across from Wolfchase Galleria in Memphis. I had to go to Google to check how many Target stores are in the Memphis area in total; I'm not as familiar with all of those off the top of my head. Anyway, Google shows me seven such stores (it would've been eight before the Super Target in Cordova closed), two of which are across the state line in Mississippi. On the other hand, including those two, Mississippi only has six Target stores for the entire state! I think a lot of the Memphis-area stores are somewhat on the newer side, hailing from the 90s and 00s like you said about the stores in Houston. However, Memphis did have some older stores that closed and/or relocated over the years, and what I believe to be the busiest store in the region is actually quite old, having opened in 1980 as the first Target in Tennessee (store T-90). You'd never be able to tell from the outside, though! They keep that store super up-to-date. I've never been to it myself.

      That's odd about the product comparisons. Like I said, I haven't been in enough of the Targets in my area to really make similar comparisons. I know the Target I go to most often, in Horn Lake, doesn't have some of the same stuff as other locations, but that's because it hasn't been remodeled since it opened in 1999. It doesn't have a pharmacy or a P-Fresh grocery department (although it did receive an expanded dry grocery selection sometime in the mid-2000s, at least).

      I agree that it's nice that Target has kept the vinyl floors and drop ceilings at this location as well as a lot of others. I've seen many pictures of other Target stores that haven't, and while I do prefer the former, I have to say that at least a lot of the floor decals that Target goes for to make the concrete not be just plain are a nice touch. I also like that this store kept the gray racetrack outlines in the tile, which the store in the former Randall's that the Houston Historic Retail blog showed us did not.

      You'd probably find this list very useful if you've never seen it before:

    3. Thanks for the link to that Target store list, that's pretty awesome. Someone shared a similar list of Kmart locations on the Flickr Kmart group a few months ago. These lists are awesome.

      Unfortunately, there is some missing data on that Target list at least. For example, the Target which used to be the nearest one to me, the original Steeplechase Target on Jones Rd. in Houston which opened in around 1981-1982 if I remember correctly, is not on the list at all. The 2006 replacement for that store, store 2144, is on the list, but it doesn't say that it replaced the previous store (perhaps in part because the previous store isn't even on the list). Oh well, I'm sure the creator(s) of that list was doing the best they could based off of very limited information.

      Here's a Google Streetview of that old Steeplechase Target. Of interest to AFB might be the Albertsons which used to be next to the Target across Bridgedown Drive. That was one of the first Albertsons in Houston and it also led a short life before being replaced by a Grocery Palace Albertsons over near where Target ended up moving to.

      On the topic of Texas Targets, are you all familiar with what has been deemed the "Word's Smallest Target" out in West Texas? A small empty building out in the open lands of West Texas was decorated with the Target name and logos like it was a store. There's a bit of a tradition of decorating empty buildings like that in West Texas as posh retail stores like Prada, lol. Anyway, the Target became a small tourist attraction. Unfortunately, I just read that the owners of the building tore it down last month because they deemed the building to be unstable.

      Here's a photo of it while it was still standing:

      I suppose it makes sense that the Horn Lake Target might not have the same selection as other more renovated stores, but over here even very busy, big, newer, and renovated (perhaps not with P17 yet, but still renovated) Targets don't have everything that the mid-1990s P17 Target has. It should be noted that we have another mid-1990s Target in the area of a similar size and it also does not have the selection that the other mid-1990s Target has. I really can't explain the merchandising differences because there isn't any logical reason for it that I can tell.

      I also noticed that the ex-Randall's Target in Houston does not have the outlines in the floors like the Vineland Pointe store has (the mid-90s P17 Target in my area also has the grey outline which used to be red). I'm not sure why there is a difference.

      It's amazing how much Target is able to renovate these older stores. The Westchase Target in Houston is like the 1980 one in Memphis that you describe. I used to shop at the Target near Almeda Mall here in Houston before it relocated in around 2007. That store, Target T-21 which opened in 1970 it seems, looked about 95% the same as a brand new Target in around 2007 even though it was very old and was about to be replaced!

      I will say that the Valley View Target in Dallas (T-13, opened in 1969) does look a bit different inside with some strange ceiling heights and it still has artifacts for the auto service garages on the outside. Still, I don't think most shoppers would know they are shopping in a 50+ year old store if they didn't already know that. Link:

    4. You're welcome! I can share that info with the creator of the list. As for the World's Smallest Target, yep, I heard that news about its demolition -- that's unfortunate.

      Yep, that's strange indeed. And I agree about the renovations! Target sure puts in a lot of effort with those...

    5. @Retail Retell: Happy New Year to you as well! I think that’s just one of the compromises of décor packages and remodels – sometimes the remodel can never pull off a look as well as the one the building was originally intended to have. Even though P17 isn’t Target’s most impressive design, it came together well in here, giving the store a nice feel. The natural lighting was a nice touch too, and the brightness helps to cancel out some of the dullness of the gray! And you’re welcome!

      @Anonymous from Houston: That’s sad to hear the “World’s Smallest Target” was demolished. It was a cheesy roadside attraction, but I like a good cheesy roadside attraction myself! Oh well, I guess if I ever find myself in West Texas, I’ll have to go shopping at Prada Marfa instead! 😊