KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN – Target Corporation today announced plans to expand with 3 new international stores, including its first location in Taiwan. The small-format stores, similar to those in New York City and Los Angeles, will offer Taiwanese shoppers access to Western brands and help establish the retail chain’s footprint in the Asia Pacific region. At just over 2240 ping (7400 m2), Target hopes the flexible format store will offer customers the same experience that has been a hallmark of the brand since the mid 1990’s at over 1800 stores in the United States.
“Asia is a bold move for Target as a company, and we’re excited for this partnership,” said Ms. April Mark, Target’s Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific Operations. The iconic American chain, known for its emblematic bullseye logo and loyal image-conscious consumers, has been rumored to have been considering testing international expansion since rival Wal-Mart began operating a scaled-down version of its North American megastore operation in Manilla, Philippines. “It really just makes sense. Most of the goods we sell are sourced in the region. From a logistics standpoint, it’s a slam dunk.”
Kaohsiung was one of several locations initially considered for the storefront, ultimately beating higher rent areas in Taichung and New Taipei City. Kaohsiung city officials and business leaders praised the announcement. “With one of the largest container shipping ports in Asia, Kaohsiung has so much to offer. The new Target store will offer more jobs, but more importantly, the it will allow Southern Taiwan farmers another venue to sell their delicious crops,” proclaimed Chen Pingguo, an economic development specialist, referring to the “Target Fresh!” fruits and vegetables store-within-a-store concept that is one of the innovations being field tested in Taiwan for the first time.
Other foreign brands who have an established foothold on the island have welcomed the fresh face to Taiwan’s retail landscape. Scandinavian home furnishings brand IKEA issued a statement through their marketing director, Sjorvaald Yjestertorgen. “IKEA has an established reputation for selling iconic furniture, for people with incredibly small apartments. Taiwan is a perfect fit, and we see plenty of space for IKEA to co-exist with other Western brands.” French grocery giant Carrefour was equally flippant about the Michael Kors-designed towels and teapots impacting its regional sales.
Construction for the three-story Kaohsiung Target store is slated to begin in June 2019 at a site along Love River. The retail location will also include over 1500 ping (5000 m2) for partner shops, including casual dining. According to the approved blueprint, parking for over 200 cars and 300 motorcycles can be accommodated on a rooftop and B1 level. The store will be open to the public on April 1, 2020.