Target’s small-format store in Magnolia Park to open Sunday

LA Times — April 6, 2018

A steady stream of shoppers stopped by Target's new small-format store in Burbank Wednesday morning despite the location not being fully prepared at the time for its grand opening at 8 a.m. Sunday.

More than a dozen customers roamed through the roughly 14,000-square-foot sales floor at 1033 N. Hollywood Way during the store's soft opening.

Store employees were busy making sure all of the shelves were stocked and ready for customers who would be passing through the aisles. In addition, construction workers were finishing up work on the building's roof to ensure the store would be ready for its grand opening.

Aside from a tall column with the Target logo on it, the roughly 27,000-square-foot building is not superimposing and is no bigger than the surrounding businesses around it.

An average Target, like the one at the Empire Center on Victory Place in Burbank or the North Hollywood store on Vineland Avenue, can be around 114,000 square feet, said Jon Lamirault, store team leader of the new Burbank store.

The Target small-format site is similar to an average Target, with the key difference being the size. The small-format store sells household goods, small appliances, clothing, personal care and beauty supplies and houses a CVS Pharmacy.

Lamirault said the new Target is designed to cater to the needs of the Magnolia Park neighborhood and not to the general public.

Unlike regular Targets, the smaller stores feature a smaller variety of the same items.

For example, there are between four and five different scents for Tide laundry detergent at a typical Target. However, Lamirault said his store only carries at most two scents.

Additionally, because the Burbank store is much smaller than its counterparts and more linear in nature, walking through the Target small-format store can take minutes.

"It's really a get-in-and-get-out experience," he said. "We don't anticipate that people will be here for an hour or an hour and a half, which is the typical Target shopping experience. This is about the community being able to come in, shop quickly and get what they need, so that they can get back to their families."

The items selected to be in the store were not randomly chosen. Lamirault said the company canvassed the neighborhood and looked at sales statistics about those who live in the neighborhood to determine which goods would be useful to them.

He said many people who live in the area have small children, so his store stocks up on children's clothing and baby supplies.

Although the store is geared toward providing Magnolia Park residents with an alternative Target, some residents have expressed concerns about the project, specifically the traffic impact it might have on Hollywood Way and the available parking at the business.

Lamirault said there are 38 parking spaces for the store, which is far fewer than what is found at a standard Target.

This is allowed because Target moved into an existing building — which was originally an Akron store up until the 1980s and was more recently used for post-production editing — and was grandfathered in for the non-conforming parking at the site, according to a city staff report.

To assuage residents' concerns, Lamirault said the company purchased parking permits from the city for its employees, so they can park in a lot near Magnolia Boulevard and Maple Street, freeing up parking in front of the store for customers.

"This is a walkable and bikeable community, and we know that," he said. "We're catering to those who are here locally."

Burbank resident Darlene Weege, who lives within walking distance of the Target small-format store, was one of the shoppers there on Wednesday.

She said she was aware of the issues surrounding the project and was a resident who was concerned about the traffic around the new Target.

However, Weege, 67, said she is less concerned about the store's impact after her visit and sees the business as an asset for the neighborhood and city.

"We need the tax money, and a business like this will push tax money into the coffers," she said. "I'm happy to see it, and I hope it does well. I do have concerns for the neighborhood with the traffic and parking, but hopefully that will not happen."

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