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Target to remodel more stores as chain seeks edge over Wal-Mart

File photo. 2017 Copyright of New York Times

Target is stepping up its plan to remodel stores, a bid to regain its cachet and fend off incursions by Wal-Mart Stores and Amazon.com.

The retailer now plans to revamp more than 1,000 locations by the end of 2020, part of a sweeping overhaul of its operations. The Minneapolis-based company had previously said it was remodeling 600 stores by 2019.

The change include opening smaller-format stores in places like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia -- and pairing the locations with e-commerce services. On Thursday, Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell helped unveil a store in Manhattan's Herald Square, not far from the Macy's flagship.

"Guests are rewarding us with more traffic and we're driving increased comparable-store sales," Cornell said at the event. "It's given us confidence to move forward aggressively."

Target is opening 11 small-format stores this week, as well as a traditional big-box location in Honolulu. The company also is rolling out its Restock program nationwide in 2018. That service lets customers have essentials like toothpaste delivered the next day.

Small-format stores generate at least twice as much in sales per square foot, though they're costlier to operate -- partly because they have to take deliveries more often. The company also has to pay more for real estate in city centers.

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