Hey Target, can downtown St. Paul get a store now?

Brian Sozzi of The Street.com pretty much called it when he suggested at the beginning of the year that Target would pull out of Canada.

The company “threw the kitchen sink” at the Christmas shopping season in Canada, he reported, and it didn’t work.

Target is going to write off billions of dollars with the retreat, but it’s not going to be bleeding red ink anymore, either.

So what will it do with its money?

Sozzi has a guess.

Without the steep losses in Canada, Target could jump start two somewhat forgotten strategies — share repurchases and the opening of smaller stores in urban markets. For the nine months ended Nov. 1, Target had not repurchased any of its shares, partly due to the uncertain outlook for Canada and payments to those impacted by the holiday 2013 data breach.

Meanwhile, Target has eight smaller format stores under its CityTarget banner in cities like downtown Seattle and San Francisco. TargetExpress, which has about 20,000 square feet, launched in July in the company’s hometown of Minneapolis. Four new TargetExpress locations will open in 2015, three in the San Francisco Bay area and one in the Highland Park area of St. Paul.

  • Jack

    Anything in the old Dayton’s location yet?

  • Robert Moffitt

    I wouldn’t have any need for a Target downtown. The Midway store is on the Green Line and has ample parking. Perhaps we need to re-imagine what a downtown should look like.

  • Matt Brillhart

    Downtown St. Paul needs another 10,000 residents before they can even think about a Target…and maybe just a Target Express at that.

    As a former St. Paul resident now living in one of the most densely populated census tracts in Minneapolis, and having visited downtown St. Paul last night for Policy and a Pint, it became abundantly clear that downtown St. Paul needs one thing before anything else can happen: people.

    Not subsidies for new office towers, not minor league ballparks, not anything fancy. Downtown St. Paul should go all in on residential development, converting as many older buildings as possible to residential. The Penfield was a huge success (after a slow start in leasing), despite some criticism of the City acting as developer themselves. They should find a buyer for that building ASAP and use the money to build the next one. The jobs have left downtown St. Paul (for Minneapolis, but mostly for the suburbs) and they probably aren’t coming back…and maybe that’s OK. There is such a strong desire for urban living right now, and downtown St. Paul has at least the bare minimum amenities to attract more residents (parks, a few bars/restaurants, transit to other places, etc.). Get another 10,000 residents in there and things will start to happen on their own (more restaurants, bars, maybe even retail someday).

  • Brrr

    “The company “threw the kitchen sink” at the Christmas shopping season in Canada, he reported, and it didn’t work.”

    They really didn’t throw anything at us at all, that’s the problem. They had no online presence to speak of: no e-commerce, no inventory checking. Their flyers were simply a list of stuff they didn’t actually have. And their pricing on what they did have was far more than other Canadian retailers were charging for the same product.

    Canadians didn’t shop at Target, because the Canadian version was nothing like a Target.

  • kevinfromminneapolis

    That ship said when you got that shiny new Midway store and it’s puzzling parking situation.