If Target (TGT) has grand visions of trying again to take its cheap chic brand overseas in the future -- after exiting its money-losing Canadian stores in 2015 -- then one of its newest stores could be its biggest testing lab.
The discount retailer revealed Monday that it will open a two-level, 43,000 square store in New York City's tourist-heavy Herald Square in October this year. When the store opens, it will be Target's third location in Manhattan. But, it will be the retailer's most high-profile one by far, occupying the same zip code as Macy's (M) iconic Herald Square location (which it dubs the world's largest department store) and flagship stores for J.C. Penney (JCP) and Foot Locker (FL) .
It could also help Target drive awareness of its brand among foreigners. More than 60 million tourists visited New York City last year, a record, and marking the seventh straight year tourism increased. A majority of the visitors -- 47.6 million -- came from the U.S., while 12.7 million people visited from other countries.
Proposed interior of Target's new Herald Square store
"Not only will we be able to serve the thousands of working professionals that travel through Herald Square each day, but we'll have the opportunity to showcase Target's exclusive brands and compelling offers for the many tourists from around the world who shop in this vibrant neighborhood in Manhattan," said Mark Schindele, Senior Vice President of Properties at Target.
Despite its struggles, Target continues to be full-steam with what it calls "flexible format" stores, or smaller sites in densely populated urban areas.
Target will open 30 small format stores this year, giving it about 62 when all is said and done. The company plans to have more than 130 of these locations open by 2019.
The stores hawk a highly edited assortment of apparel and home goods. They also offer more grab and go food such as pre-made sandwiches that cater to hurried city dwellers.