Signs of trouble at Target?

Alpha8472
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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by Alpha8472 » March 28th, 2019, 10:51 pm

Target is beginning to eliminate the Pizza Hut and food offerings from their stores except for Starbucks. Team members can log in to the website and see upcoming remodel details.

The pizzas and popcorn were not selling that well. It was mostly team members who ate the Target food.

It is unfortunate as Pizza Hut was a convenient snack. Traveling to a real Pizza Hut is out of the way for most people. The sodas and Icees were very affordable and it was nice to have a drink while shopping. It just will not be the same.

storewanderer
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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by storewanderer » March 30th, 2019, 12:07 am

Alpha8472 wrote:
March 28th, 2019, 10:51 pm
Target is beginning to eliminate the Pizza Hut and food offerings from their stores except for Starbucks. Team members can log in to the website and see upcoming remodel details.

The pizzas and popcorn were not selling that well. It was mostly team members who ate the Target food.

It is unfortunate as Pizza Hut was a convenient snack. Traveling to a real Pizza Hut is out of the way for most people. The sodas and Icees were very affordable and it was nice to have a drink while shopping. It just will not be the same.
As Starbucks prices have continued to escalate, they probably realized they can make a lot more profit making Starbucks the only option for food and drink, even if it does turn off some customers.

The Pizza Huts seemed to be extremely low volume from what I observed. I almost wonder if some of them even do enough sales dollars to cover the labor expense for the day... they could have run more dollars through those had they tried to offer more larger sized pizzas. Similar to how Kmart handled its Little Caesars formats.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by Super S » March 30th, 2019, 6:31 am

storewanderer wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 12:07 am
Alpha8472 wrote:
March 28th, 2019, 10:51 pm
Target is beginning to eliminate the Pizza Hut and food offerings from their stores except for Starbucks. Team members can log in to the website and see upcoming remodel details.

The pizzas and popcorn were not selling that well. It was mostly team members who ate the Target food.

It is unfortunate as Pizza Hut was a convenient snack. Traveling to a real Pizza Hut is out of the way for most people. The sodas and Icees were very affordable and it was nice to have a drink while shopping. It just will not be the same.
As Starbucks prices have continued to escalate, they probably realized they can make a lot more profit making Starbucks the only option for food and drink, even if it does turn off some customers.

The Pizza Huts seemed to be extremely low volume from what I observed. I almost wonder if some of them even do enough sales dollars to cover the labor expense for the day... they could have run more dollars through those had they tried to offer more larger sized pizzas. Similar to how Kmart handled its Little Caesars formats.
They converted the restaurant at the Kelso, WA Target to a Starbucks a couple years ago. They are likely just making more due to Starbucks high prices. They seem to have about the same amount of customers, if not a little less. I questioned this move, but they do ok even in economically challenged towns, as they are building a standalone Starbucks in Longview which is located less than a mile from TWO locations (not inside stores) almost across from each other. Maybe it's a status symbol? I wouldn't know since I have never set foot into a Starbucks or bought anything at their in-store locations.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by BillyGr » March 30th, 2019, 4:24 pm

Alpha8472 wrote:
March 28th, 2019, 10:51 pm
The sodas and Icees were very affordable and it was nice to have a drink while shopping. It just will not be the same.
At least one Target here (which started with just a store food court, no Pizza Hut or other brands) was re-done a while back as Starbucks, but still has the soda machine (and I'm thinking the frozen drinks as well), so it's possible they would leave those (since they don't directly compete with coffee type drinks, and since those with younger shoppers probably wouldn't want to give them coffee?).

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by BatteryMill » March 30th, 2019, 6:39 pm

Apologies, however I’m not sure what exactly you’re meaning by this. If Target’s trying to eliminate their foodservice, will all stores get this treatment or are they only doing this with their current remodel wave? I mean Target has been favoring Starbucks for quite a while, however in the Cornell era they are neglecting their original dining option more. Still there have been a few stores that retain Food Avenue in their remodels - though from what you’ve said they may stop doing this? Perhaps did these places draw in more guests back in the 90s and 2000s?

For one I am certainly wary of this shift too. I often enjoy having a PHE pizza (which all around are better than the actual Pizza Hut to me) and the popcorn/sodas are an excellent compliment. I am also hoping to try their other options while they’re still in stock.

However in its place, Target is continuing the snack bar concept with a self-service corner. This concept retains the soda/ICEE machine, as well as (pre-packaged) popcorn. I guess this does that justice but sometimes it's just not the same in terms of selection...
storewanderer wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 12:07 am
As Starbucks prices have continued to escalate, they probably realized they can make a lot more profit making Starbucks the only option for food and drink, even if it does turn off some customers.

The Pizza Huts seemed to be extremely low volume from what I observed. I almost wonder if some of them even do enough sales dollars to cover the labor expense for the day... they could have run more dollars through those had they tried to offer more larger sized pizzas. Similar to how Kmart handled its Little Caesars formats.
Yep... but guess it's the truth. Target nowadays is certainly doing lots to maximize cash flow and it shows. Even then slowly terminating Food Avenue is detracting from their original character from what I feel.

Believe it or not, Pizza Hut has attempted to expand their selection within Target before. I've seen a store in Florida (opened circa 2007-08) that implemented a more deluxe version of their Express concept, though from what I've seen it has regressed to a typical PHE. Then around 2015-16 a few stores also received full-on PH branches which have more offerings from them. I presume these could work if Target wishes to keep their food service going however they just haven't tested it enough.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by Alpha8472 » March 31st, 2019, 11:11 pm

The Target near me is getting rid of Pizza Hut due to the remodel. A larger Starbucks will replace it. For stores that are not remodeling soon they get to keep it for now, but for all new remodels Pizza Hut is leaving.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by BatteryMill » April 14th, 2019, 6:12 pm

Alpha8472 wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 11:11 pm
The Target near me is getting rid of Pizza Hut due to the remodel. A larger Starbucks will replace it. For stores that are not remodeling soon they get to keep it for now, but for all new remodels Pizza Hut is leaving.
Sad to see your store losing their eatery options. They certainly had their own charm and character that Starbucks doesn't really have.

My local Target still has no remodel in sight, but being a busy location it might ride the remodel wave at some point or another.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by rwsandiego » April 14th, 2019, 6:21 pm

I'm not a fan of Pizza Hut, so the absence of their pizza does not sadden me. However, the Target cafe also had really, really good popcorn. THAT I will miss. Almost every parent I know either gets their kids popcorn or did when they were small because 1) it is tasty and 2) it keeps them quiet and occupied. Also, Starbucks does not have the same variety of bottled drinks that the cafe has.

While I don't think this is a sign of trouble at Target it seems like a bad idea.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by cjd » April 14th, 2019, 7:51 pm

I don't think it's ever a great idea to remove food service options from stores. Starbucks brings in money, but I would think a lot of people would avoid it during a shopping trip. Depends on the area I guess.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by BatteryMill » April 15th, 2019, 6:13 pm

rwsandiego wrote:
April 14th, 2019, 6:21 pm
I'm not a fan of Pizza Hut, so the absence of their pizza does not sadden me. However, the Target cafe also had really, really good popcorn. THAT I will miss. Almost every parent I know either gets their kids popcorn or did when they were small because 1) it is tasty and 2) it keeps them quiet and occupied. Also, Starbucks does not have the same variety of bottled drinks that the cafe has.

While I don't think this is a sign of trouble at Target it seems like a bad idea.
Personally I enjoy both the popcorn and pizza that they offer. They're staples of the store that really give them their character and it's a shame that such major changes are causing those to slowly go extinct. Otherwise they certainly had some good stuff up for sale that was actually pretty useful and I hope they rethink their strategy somehow.

One other problem I would like to mention could be the seasonal decor Target uses around the store and in seasonal departments - in the Cornell era it has become apparent that they're not doing a lot of work around these edges. Until recently the displays were always creative and extensive, however now they often use minimal signage around the store and recycle designs from years past. What is happening here, cost-cutting or pivoting to universal setups including remodeled/small-format stores?

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