For years, landlords tried to coax Target to open one of its big-box stores in the heart of Philadelphia. Each time they failed, daunted by the difficulty of plunking a store the size of two football fields into a packed downtown.
That chase appears to have come to an end, with a much smaller version called Target Express now looking to make a splash at multiple locations in the hottest pockets of redevelopment near Philadelphia’s core.
Target Corp. is hunting for lease deals in Center City and University City to build what could be as many as four of the new stores, which are about one-sixth the size of a suburban Target.
The goal is to bring the brand to the very Baby Boomers and young professionals who became loyal customers in the suburbs, but who increasingly are moving into resurgent central Philadelphia.