What Target’s annual meeting venue says about CityTarget future

Target’s annual shareholders’ meeting will be held June 9 in downtown Chicago at the location of a soon-to-open CityTarget store on State Street. The venue is an interesting choice that speaks volumes about the potential for the new urban format.

In addition to the Chicago CityTarget slated to open in July, Target has announced a third CityTarget location in Los Angeles to go along with other announced locations in Seattle, San Francisco and Portland, Ore. The store sizes announced so far tend to be about two thirds the size of a conventional 135,000-sq.-ft. Target discount store and in more urban locations, thus the CityTarget name.

While the number of locations announced is small, the fact that the company is showcasing the concept to investors at its annual meeting could be construed as a telling indicator that expectations are high CityTarget will complement other growth drivers such as next year’s entry into Canada and the continuation of the PFresh store remodeling program.

The choice of a store as the location for the company’s annual meeting is a trend begun in 2006. Prior to then and throughout the 1990s the annual meeting was held in Minneapolis at The Children’s Museum. However, in 2006 the venue shifted to a SuperTarget in the Atlanta suburb of Acworth. The following year it was a store in Cleveland and then in 2008 the venue was a store in Henderson, Nev. In 2009, the year Target endured an extended proxy battle with activist investor and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, the meeting took place in Waukesha, Wis. In 2010, the company deviated somewhat from its new tradition and held the meeting at the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center in the Denver suburb of Englewood, but last year it was back to the stores and the meeting was held in Pittsburg.

If the trend continue, who knows, a store in Canada could make sense for the annual meeting since the first wave of stores there are due to open in the March and April 2013 timeframe.


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