This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Cities Need More Starbucks, Not CityTargets

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A few months ago, after visiting CityTargets in Downtown San Francisco and near UCLA in Los Angeles, I called Target's (TGT - Get Report) urban concept stores major disappointments, though not necessarily epic failures.

Here's the deal: To refer to what Target does in core neighborhoods of big cities as a "concept" belittles the word. I always thought a concept was something bigger than an obvious and poorly-executed idea. There's absolutely no innovation in Target's urban push. It's merely a workaround of city planning regulations and activist opposition.

We'll get updated numbers from Target shortly after it reports earnings on Wednesday, but don't expect much change from the above-citied article. CityTargets -- speaking quantitatively ( actual square footage data) and qualitatively (the way they "feel") -- are hardly different from any other type of Target outpost, except SuperTargets.

Starbucks Is Urban, CityTarget Is Not

When I lived in San Francisco, I was a bit of an urban activist. In 2005, I aided a neighborhood association's efforts to keep Home Depot (HD) from locating in the city. We lost. As is typical in these battles, all the big retailer has to do is make concessions on square footage, parking spaces and how many local jobs it will create and the project gets approved.

City governments and neighborhood groups suck in this regard. They talk a big game about character, but all they really care about is traffic. It's quite sad. And big box stores such as Target and Home Depot know this. They come in, weather opposition, scale down plans and, nine times out of 10, win approval.

Home Depot never actually moved into the contested space, despite paying rent on the land for months. I think Lowe's (LOW) is there now. In any event, neither project, as constructed, adds much to this still rundown portion of San Francisco. They're merely suburban accoutrements forced onto the unkempt fringes of an otherwise great city.

That's precisely what Target is doing throughout the urban areas it's starting to inhabit. Bringing, for all intents and purposes, suburban infrastructure to the city. This is bad for two primary reasons.

Number one, for every CityTarget that goes up, as conceived, in cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, existing character erodes and the dream of building something that adds to the urban fabric dies just a little.
1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $95.03 0.21%
AMZN $675.71 12.00%
JCP $9.66 0.00%
SBUX $56.42 0.00%
TGT $81.34 0.01%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,830.76 -210.79 -1.17%
S&P 500 2,075.81 -19.34 -0.92%
NASDAQ 4,805.2910 -57.85 -1.19%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs