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In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that Target has announced that in 2015 "it will open nine smaller-format stores and six big-box stores."

The story notes this represents a shift in strategy for Target: "Of the 16 new stores it opened last year, only one was a small store: the first 20,000-square-foot TargetExpress store in the chain."

It is the same shift in which Walmart has engaged. "In the last year, it opened about 240 smaller format stores compared to 120 supercenters," the Star Tribune writes. "Its executives have told investors to expect that trend to continue this year."

Call this the Cornell effect: "Smaller store formats have been of particular interest to Target CEO Brian Cornell, who has pointed to TargetExpress and CityTarget as engines for future growth, especially as the retailer closes the chapter on Canada. After initially viewing Canada as a bright prospect for growth, Target will soon close its 133 stores north of the border after sustaining about $2 billion in losses there in less than two years.

"While Target is accelerating its growth of smaller stores, it has slowed overall new store openings. This last year, it closed more stores than it opened."
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