Target's national campaign to broaden the selection of groceries at many of its outlets arrived in Fort Dodge Thursday. The local Target store, 2910 First Ave. S., now has an array of produce and other fresh food, making its grocery section more comprehensive than before.
"Bringing fresh food to Target means our guests only have to make one stop to stock up on all of their essentials," said Annette Miller, Target's senior vice president of grocery, in a statement released by the company March 8. "This year, even more of our guests will experience the added convenience of one-stop shopping as we remodel hundreds of additional Target stores and bring our fresh food layout to markets across the country."
Tyler Schneider, Target store team leader in Fort Dodge, said his store has been undergoing a substantial remodel since Dec. 27, 2011. He estimated that more than 75 percent of the display areas in the store had been modified during the three-month refit. Some of the changes have been in place since early this year, but the redesigned and improved grocery section became fully operational Thursday.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Tyler Schneider, store team leader at the Fort Dodge Target Store, checks on the fresh produce in the newly added open-faced coolers. The store has recently remodeled and now carries fresh produce in its food section.
"Our renovation involved nothing changing as far as our four walls - just a change on the inside," Schneider explained. "It included much more actually than just getting a new grocery section down on the east end of the building."
He said the arrangement of merchandise in the store had been modified to make shopping more convenient for guests and to free up floor space for a larger grocery section. While many of the adjustments are already familiar to shoppers, store maps displaying all of the changes are available to patrons.
Customers will see very substantial upgrades in the grocery component of the store. The addition of large selection of perishable foods is at the heart of the change, but all areas of this component of the store have been upgraded.
"We did have to greatly expand our coolers and freezers to house all the additional choices that we're going to be having here," Schneider said, last week previewing the modifications. "We're going to have an open-air produce area. Those are going to be open coolers that are going to house everything from fresh veggies and fruit. It's also going to have meat choices, bakery choices - a wider selection of the cooler and freezer product that we offered before as well. ... We didn't have fresh produce before."
He said a larger proportion of the building is being devoted to groceries - nearly one-third of the display floor - making it possible for even the selection of items in categories previously stocked to be increased.
Schneider said that the next during the next six weeks there will be many pricing specials to promote the new grocery product lines. He emphasized that the 5 percent discounts offered to customers who use either Target credit or debit cards apply throughout the store, including the grocery section.
The changes Target is implementing in its stores are designed to make them even more popular venues for customers who want the convenience of one-stop shopping.
"The idea is to make things as convenient for our guests as possible," Schneider said. "We do have everything from clothing to electronics, houseware items. We have a pharmacy. You can pick up your health and beauty items, and you can also stop and get your grocery items all in one stop."
He said the marketing philosophy at Target is founded on a commitment to satisfying shoppers.
"Our guests know that they can come in and expect a clean store," Schneider said, noting that the store is always filled with popular, quality brand-name products. "They know that we put our guest first. Our guest service scores very highly."
Customers also can expect the food products and general merchandise the store will market to be restocked and refreshed frequently. Schneider said grocery trucks will arrive three times per week from the Target food distribution center in Cedar Falls. He said in addition, trucks with stock for other areas of the store visit the Fort Dodge Target at least three times a week.
According to the statement released earlier this month by Target's corporate headquarters, nearly 900 Target stores offer the expanded fresh food layout, and this year, that number will increase by 230. Minneapolis-based Target Corp. has 1,765 stores across the United States, according to information provided by the company. There is a Target presence in 49 states and expansion into Canada is under way.
The Fort Dodge Target store is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Sundays the hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Hours during the annual Christmas holiday season are extended.
Contact Terrence Dwyer at (515) 573-2141 or tdwyer@messengernewsnet