In our on-going coverage of big-box entrants into the urban marketplace, we note that Target recently announced the opening of what they are now calling “CityTarget” at the landmark Sullivan Center in downtown Chicago [“Bull’s eye for Target, city”, Chicago Tribune] at some point in 2012. This marks the fourth urban format store in the U.S. The urban format is a bit smaller than Target’s typical format and will include focused merchandise mix, including apartment basics, clothing and fresh food. The store will offer only 54,000 sf of selling space out of a total 125,000 sf of leased space. As a point of reference, the average Target includes 100,000 sf of sales space out of a total of 135,000 sf of leased space.

The ratio of back-of-house to selling space allows Target to place a greater merchandise selection on the sales floor, but will require more frequent restocking. Let’s hope they get this right this time. The last time I walked into the Target in downtown Brooklyn, there were way too many empty shelves.