Target Overhauled 25 California Stores, and This Is What it Looks Like

Shopping at the retail giant just got a lot more fun for us

Anyone who loves to Expect More and Pay Less already knows that Target is the Cave of Wonders for all things affordable and abundant. Expecting a normcore flamingo? Surprise, you get a flamingo in a Santa hat. Think it ought to cost hundreds because of course such a gem would? You get it for a trifle. The miracles of Tarjet are endless, but like any giant retailer, it can also feel fluorescent and overwhelming. Not for long, though—this year, the chain is investing $1 billion in, among other things, an aesthetic overhaul of 25 California stores, including ones in West HollywoodCulver CityPasadenaWoodland Hills, and Long Beach.

These “stores of the future” will feature tweaks small and large that will enhance the shopper experience. Here’s what to expect:

Bigger + Brighter = Better
Each revamped store will have more
 space in crowded departments (like activewear), more clarifying signage, and brighter lights in the produce section—so you don’t feel like you’re picking out limes in a gas station.

The new, better-lit grocery section at Target
The new, better-lit grocery section at Target

Photo courtesy of Target

Intuitive Product Placement
You’d think this would have been a given from the get-go, but new stores will pair like-minded items together, meaning a grilling expedition no longer requires a visit to more than one floor. Displays will also change regularly to address seasonal needs (hopefully they keep the Los Angeles “season” in mind, because trying to find a decent beach chair in a city that’s hot eight months of the year can be surprisingly difficult).

More People on the Floor, Thank the Lord
You can never find those red-vested wizards when you need them. More “service advisors” will roam the aisles, helping shoppers to either find the items they need or order them with an app, with extra personnel in departments like Baby or Beauty (where the options are always borderline oppressive). No word yet on whether we’ll see the nifty-but-also-bizarre roaming robots that San Fransciso did.

Try It Before You Buy It
If you get tired of comparing Threshold fuzzy throws or brass lamps, you can plop down for a breather on a chaise lounge: The test stores will showcase patio furniture and bigger-ticket items that can only be purchased online, so customers can actually see what they look and feel like before dropping any dough. All of which sounds more inviting than this:

A before picture of the service center
A before picture of the service center

Photo courtesy of Target

A Touch of L.A.
Of course, it wouldn’t be California-appropriate if local, the magic word among conscientious consumers, didn’t factor into this revamp somehow. Expect to see products from L.A. brands, like Michelle Chang jewelry and snacks from Zlicious. And so you don’t need to go flying out the door for a life-sustaining/sugar-crash-preventing Wetzels Pretzel, there will be several in-store options from three new vendors: Freshii, Which Wich, and Pizza Hut Artisan, as well as a Starbucks for every store that didn’t already have one. (Target also has “entrepreneurs-in-residence” working together with MIT Media Lab and the design firm IDEO on other food-based overhauls that include swapping traditional labels with ingredient lists and enabling foods to be scanned for nutritional value.)

If these don’t motivate you to rearrange a Saturday, we don’t know what will.