• Andrea Lillo

Target grabs 35 Wards locations in key markets

MINNEAPOLIS Target Corp. has snatched up the rights to 35 former Montgomery Wards locations in order to renovate and reopen them as Targets in one of the chain's opening cycles in 2002.

The new locations increase Target's presence in a number of key markets, like California, where finding real estate can be difficult. Of the 35 stores, each in excess of 125,000 square feet, approximately half are single-level stores.

Target has 10 multi-level stores, said Doug Scovanner, cfo, adding that "they are among our best performers."

In addition, the split between owned and leased properties is about even.

"We intend to extensively remodel these locations in order to ensure that Target's brand character is clearly reflected," said Bob Ulrich, chairman and ceo.

Incremental to Target's 2002 expansion plan, these stores will, Ulrich said, "produce a single-year square foot growth rate of 12 to 14 percent, rather than our more traditional 8 to 10 percent growth."

The total investment of $700 million does not include the typical amounts for pre-opening and start-up expenses that are not capitalized. Of the 35 stores, the annualized sales will exceed a billion dollars.

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