college students and their parents with special events, social media content and products specifically for dorm life. Above, the retailer invited YouTube personalities to live in custom-designed dorm rooms featuring Target's home goods. Target has also sponsored buses to bring students to Target stores for shopping and social events. This year, it tested a chat-bot initiative with Kik, the messaging app.
Now the retailer has begun opening smaller Target stores near college campuses, stocked with the goods that students need and buy. It opened one such store two years ago near the University of Minnesota campus at Dinkytown, an experiment that has encouraged the retailer to open more units like it.
'A lot of college campuses have underdeveloped retail, so the students as
well as the people who live around campus don’t have a lot of options
to shop for a quick trip', explains a Target exec. Target's marketing strategy envisions hundreds of these small-format stores near campuses, a way to appeal to younger buyers and encourage brand loyalty after they graduate. Will these college-targeted Targets hit the bulls' eye?