Shareology

Big Box? Big Lot? Or…Public Art? July 20, 2009

As retail  struggles, some retailers in blue stress low prices. Other retailers in red look to outside store design to draw customers into their stores.  Previous experience in point of purchase suggests that the outside of the store impacts the decisions made inside the store.

Those of us who have been strolling the newly opened Edina Promenade, participating in the “Judge the Public Art” contest, might be excused for considering the Super Target on York Avenue as part of that public art. Instead of the normal flat boring back of store, we are treated to some rolling hills, green grass, trees and structural elements of the new Target architectural language.  

Public Art -- Target Art

Public Art/Target Art

 Proceed off the Promenade and around the store’s north side and you find the best looking rain runoff area ever featuring white chunky bricks replicated in the nearby low rock walls. 

Rain Water Drains
Rain Water Drains

 Next up on our Around the Target Tour? Six red chairs ready for your next conference break, picnic, or just plain contemplating all things restfully red. (Will we ever look at a three foot red concrete ball again and not think of Target?)

IMG_1030

 The chairs are just off the colonnade that leads you from Galleria across the street to a covered walkway straight south into the store’s entrance. This shaded walkway does a lot to alleviate the harsh Minnesota sun, and makes quite a refreshing entrance to the store.  

Almost as much fun as the Guthrie Theatre's front porch on  the river
Almost as much fun as the Guthrie Theatre’s front porch on the river

Just to give one a teeny glimpse of how good design permeates all things Target, even the ladies room inside the store offers sleekly designed sinks and faucets. Want still more good design and function? Those hand dryers are super effective and efficient:  how come these weren’t in use years ago?

Great Design in places you'd never think to look.........
Great Design in places you’d never think to look………

I know it’s hard, but we leave the store (picnic supplies in tow) and continue our tour back to the Promenade. These hydrangeas are part of the landscaping that perfectly sets off the south side of the store.

Our final shot shows how Target has used images that support the brand while sending messages about how fun and elegant shopping here can be. (Didn’t think elegant was a word you would use to describe Target? Take another look at the woman striding forth in the red dress.) Not one image on the outside of the store that causes us to cringe; all show various Target customers, all demographics blissfully happy in the red spending zone. Try feeling this good about design in blue shopping cart land; ain’t gonna happen.

The Bullseye Branding Rocks!
The Bullseye Branding Rocks!

A tip of the shopping cart to Target, and the designers, architects and landscapers who made this possible!

Is the U.S. consumer marching into stores because of the design of the exterior? Or will Bentonville take over the world?

Even in a challenged economy, I feel a lot better about spending my dollars in a store that makes me happy before I even enter. What about you? What about the consumer?

Kay Roseland / Twitter: @KayLoire

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One Response to “Big Box? Big Lot? Or…Public Art?”

  1. kayroseland Says:

    In the course of writing about Target’s branding, Shareology was emailed a photo, taken from a plane about to land at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The photo clearly showed the roof of the Target store at 66th Street and Cedar Avenue: with a bullseye — on the roof!!

    Shareology started to wonder if Target branded all their roofs, including the one on York in Edina?

    Networking brings you answers to some of the most esoteric questions; Shareology has now obtained the answer:

    There are six. Some have been in place for over six years – all near airports. No plans to add more soon.

    So there it is: 6 bullseye roofs, somewhere in the nation. Shareology has identified the one in Minneapolis at 66th and Cedar; can you find the other five?


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