NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I lived in San Francisco between 1999 and 2006.I visited this past weekend (to chat with Pandora ( P) co-founder Tim Westergren for Tuesday's first edition of TheBeach Meets TheStreet). While in town, I gave myself a tour of Target's ( TGT) "urban concept" locations. One will occupy a former Mervyn's site, adjacent to a Best Buy ( BBY). But, don't worry, that banner in the picture reassures browsers and showroomers that Best Buy remains open during construction. This site is near the University of San Francisco campus, which makes sense; Target located one of its Southern California "City Targets" adjacent to UCLA. Like the LA outpost, the San Francisco store is also a stone's throw away from a Trader Joe's.
Calling what Target is doing in the urban core a "concept" makes it sound all-too-sophisticated. It's nothing but an urban planning and design workaround. There's resistance to huge big box stores in places such as San Francisco. Therefore, Target compromises and opens slightly smaller stores. Two -- Even though it's unimaginative, it will work, at least in San Francisco and probably elsewhere.