Stretching Target Hours to Reach More Shoppers

The move is an attempt to attract younger shoppers

Michelle Kimme says there are times you just need to find a store that is open late.

“If your baby gets sick at 11:30 or you run out of diapers,” Kimme said.

Kimme says she likes the recent announcement that Target is extending the hours of many of its stores to either 11 p.m. or midnight.

“Everybody wants what they want when they want it,” she said.

But the extended hour is about more than just helping mothers find diapers. It’s also about getting younger shoppers in the door who might be doing business online.

“You are going to see a lot of internet purchasing way late at night, and what stores are going to try to do is create a better experience to get people into the store,” said San Diego State University marketing professor Miro Copic.

Copic said the change by Target is an effort to re-energize its customer base. The retail giant has had a challenging year. It started last Christmas season when there was a huge data breach, and sales early this year have been slow. Target is looking for ways to attract younger shoppers and compete with other retail giants like WalMart.

“They’re all looking at ways to engage those millennial at different times of the day,” Copic said.

Nicole Restelli says students like herself are often up late and looking for stores with later hours.

“I find that I’m constantly checking to see if a place is still open for another hour,” Restelli said.

But senior citizen Marge Vogel says it won’t make much of a difference to her.

“I’m never up that late,” Vogel said.

Target says 900 stores across the country will have the extended closing hours. That’s about half of its retail stores. They say the change came from customer feedback. Target is committed to the later hours at least through the Christmas holiday.

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