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CHICAGO - Target Corp. is planning an expansion of a new prototype store model that it quietly unveiled in October, adding more food items and reorganizing departments in hopes of getting more shoppers into the discount stores.
The stores -- dubbed P2004 -- offer a wider selection of consumable items such as milk, packaged food, and paper supplies; a larger baby section that puts frequently purchased items like diapers next to baby clothing and furniture; and an expanded entertainment department that groups electronics, music and videos, toys, and sporting goods together.
The second-largest U.S. discount chain has reported faster sales growth than larger rival Wal-Mart Store,s Inc. in recent months, but Wal-Mart's massive supercenters with full-line grocery stores get customers through the door more frequently to pick up staples such as bread and milk. Analysts said Target's new store model could help narrow that gap.
Target said it plans to have 200 new or fully remodeled P2004 stores by the end of the year. The retailer operates about 1,250 Target discount stores.
In addition, the company retrofitted about 80 stores last fall, to add some of the new merchandise and design features. It plans to retrofit 130 more stores this year.