Target designing stores as go-to place for smart home tech
Last summer Target opened Open House in San Francisco, a combination retail store, learning lab and meeting place for professionals focused on smart home technology. At the time, it was expected the retailer would continue to pursue the smart home opportunity. Now comes word that Target is taking a second step in that direction with a pilot of Connected Living, an area within the consumer electronics department of one of the chain’s stores in Minnetonka, MN.
Taking lessons learned from its Open House experience, Target is making use of a LED screens and discovery tables to show how smart home tech works in practice. Connected Living sections will be organized into six device areas:
- Family fitness
- Connected kitchen
- Virtual guardians
- Connected nursery
- Rest and relaxation
- Item trackers and smart buttons
“There is tremendous untapped potential here, and we’ve been steadily adding more connected products to our assortment.” said Scott Nygaard, senior vice president, merchandising, hardlines, in a statement. “But the market is still early and consumers are focused on single-use, single-benefit products. Our goal is to educate and inspire guests about the potential of connected devices, and take learnings from the test to refine the experience with the hope of eventually expanding it to more stores.”
Casey Carl, chief strategy and innovation officer for Target, said the chain has learned three lessons from its Open House experience.
“Storytelling is key to helping guests understand how they might use connected devices, having a knowledgeable team member on hand is extremely important and guests want to see products in a real-life setting,” he said.
After Minnetonka, Target is planning to bring the Connected Living concept to stores in Cupertino, CA and the Tribeca section of New York City.
- Target Pilots Connected Living Experience to Educate & Inspire Guests about Connected Home Technology – A Bullseye View
- Target has an in-store space for explaining the smart home – engadget
- Target’s ‘Open House’ is all about IoT – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see Target as being prudent or overly cautious in its approach to the Internet of Things opportunity? Which of the three lessons Target has learned from its Open House experience do you see as most important to its success in IoT tech?