By TJ Davis
Change can be hard to adapt to, especially when it affects your weekly shopping experience. Patrons to the Target in Leesburg have tallied a long list of complaints as they’ve navigated the store amid a months-long renovation project that has just recently wrapped up.
“I usually go to Target 2-3 times per week … will likely not go back until the remodel is done!” one customer wrote on the Leesburg Target’s Facebook page.
But store managers vow that customers’ shopping experience will get better.
Leesburg Target Store Team Leader Pierre Lundy said the new design will provide a “guest-centric environment.”
“Even different paths of the store [are] geared towards the way people shop,” he added. “One side is more of a grab and go, while the other is more of a slow leisurely walk through the store where they are able to really take their time and look at all the different things within the store.”
Target is renovating more than 1,000 stores across the nation, according to the company’s spokespeople. Despite of the initial growing pains, the goal of the in-store renovations is to make shopping easier and more convenient, along with updating locations with “the next generation of store design.”
“Target’s top priority is delivering a shopping experience our guests will love, and we’re excited to make so many of our hometown stores even easier to shop. At the same time, we’re adding new features that put the spotlight on the great assortment our guests can find at Target,” Mark Schindele, senior vice president of Target Properties stated in a news release.
Lundy said that some of the most significant changes were made to the beauty department and style sections. “We’ve really focused a big part of our business on capturing our guests in the style and apparel categories as well as health and wellness.”
Another focus of the remodeling is to prioritize the growing surge of e-commerce trends such as buying items online and picking them up in the store.
Each store’s remodeling is different. Among the changes to the Leesburg store are: the in-store Starbucks was moved to the east end to provide more seating; vignettes with the latest seasonal trends now greet customers at the front of the store and the electronics section was moved to the back of the store.
Target staff fielded a slew of complaints from frustrated customers, but Joe Contrucci, senior vice president of Target stores, commended the staff and said it will get better as people learn their way around the new design. “It’s our store teams who truly bring these new shopping experiences to life for our guests,” he said. “So they’re prepped—and really excited—to provide exceptional service before, during and after the remodel.”
Lundy expects the remodel will also produce better-informed staff members, which, in turn, will help customers. “By creating a very segmented business, we’re really creating specialists in each area,” he said. “Our team is really able to dial in to the guests shopping in those specific areas.”
TJ Davis is a summer intern at Loudoun Now, studying journalism at Liberty University.