Target opens shops in Herald Square and Bensonhurst amid expansion spree

Target has its bull’s-eye on New York City.

The retailer, known for its discount chic clothing, household goods and essentials, is venturing into the shopping mecca of Herald Square with a new 43,000-square foot store set to open on Friday.

As Target continues expanding its footprint throughout the five boroughs, the Minneapolis-based chain opened another, smaller-format store in Bensonhurst this week. The retailer expects to add at least five more stores throughout the city in 2018 and 2019.

“Being in Herald Square is incredibly exciting,” said Target spokeswoman Kristy Welker. “It’s the best of Target curated for the neighborhood its serving.”

In Herald Square, that means catering to people who live and work in midtown, as well as the tourists who stream through daily.

The store at 112 W. 34th St. will sell its own line of New York City-themed merchandise such as Statue of Liberty T-shirts, plush versions of its Bullseye mascot dog and items designed by local artists in collaboration with the online platform Print All Over Me.

A 33rd Street entrance will allow shoppers to grab sandwiches and snacks and get out quick through a self-service checkout system.

The store will feature all of the essentials — toiletries, clothing and cleaning supplies — available in its traditional, large-format sites, which tend to span more than 100,000 square feet and include access to a parking lot. And it will include some special touches.

“We have also created a really specialized, unique beauty department, more expanded than what you will see in any small format store,” Welker said.

In an effort to accommodate city dwellers, Target is rolling out same-day delivery — so shoppers don’t have to lug their purchases on the subway or in a cab.

Target officials said the opening of stores in Herald Square, Bensonhurst and Port Washington, Long Island, this week will result in 380 new jobs.

Since it opened its first large-format store in College Point, Queens, in 1998, Target has expanded to 17 stores in the five boroughs.

In 2016, it opened the first of its smaller-format New York City stores in Forest Hills.

It plans to open additional small stores next year on Clinton Street on the Lower East Side, East 14th Street in the East Village and on Kings Highway in Midwood, Brooklyn.

Stores in Hell’s Kitchen and Jackson Heights are also slated to open in 2018.

Jason Richter, managing principal of a New York City-based retail real estate advisory firm, Capricorn Asset Management, pointed out that Target has largely avoided the “big box” pitfalls that have kept Walmart out of the city and in the crosshairs of local labor leaders by opening smaller stores in many parts of the city.

“Cultivating a cool image through brand alliances, savvy marketing and product assortment, has quelled those concerns to some extent,” he said. “I think Target has been one of the few ‘big box’ stores who have adapted well to urban living. Their offerings/selection are well thought-out and tailored.”

Target’s smaller stores are also a prudent approach to rising rents and other costs of doing business in the city, Richter said.

“Taking a smaller format store allows [Target] to be more ubiquitous, taking on more real estate opportunities and markets than ever before,” he said.