Inside the first CityTarget on the East Coast
The first CityTarget on the East Coast — bigger than many full-sized suburban Targets — opened its doors for a preview Tuesday in advance of its July 26 grand opening.
The word “City” and chain’s big red bull’s-eye logo looms over Boylston Street, near Fenway Park, but the word “Target” appears nowhere inside or outside the building, nor on the ads on display inside Fenway.
Eight CityTargets have opened since 2012 in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland, Ore. Merchandise in the store is similar to other full-size stores, but in smaller, easier-to-handle-on-the-T sizes. There are some 50-pound bags of dog food, for example, but more options are available in five- and 10-pound sizes.
“We’re tailoring the store to Fenway Park,” said Don Aldridge, the store’s general manager.
As such, several original Fenway Park seats, dating back to the 1950s, are installed in the ground floor entryway, at the corner of Boylston and Kilmarnock streets.
The entryway leads to escalators and a bank of elevators that take customers to the 160,000-square-foot shopping areas on the second and third floors.
To the right on the second floor is a Starbucks counter; the seating area contains one red seat, a nod to the red seat in Fenway’s section 42 made famous as the landing spot for the longest home run ever hit at the park, by Ted Williams.
At the back of the second floor, Target has a section entirely devoted to local sports teams merchandise, about 60 percent of which is focused on Red Sox merch. This section is positioned along a large bank of windows that look out over Fenway’s Gate D and the black box of Yard House below.
The escalator up to the third floor includes a separate track for shopping carts that can be hooked in to ride alongside shoppers, instead of the elevator.
While the second floor of the store carries mostly clothing, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical goods, the third is focused on electronics, sporting equipment, and groceries. The sporting equipment features a lot of biking gear, which will fit the needs of its urban audience.
The store has received approval to sell alcohol. However, Aldridge said it might not be fully stocked on opening day. “It just gives us a competitive advantage,” Aldridge said.
So far, the store has hired 250 associates, with sights set on 350 by the back-to-school rush later this summer. The store is planning a soft opening on July 22, with a grand opening slated for July 26.