Target wants to unlock its videogaming potential with a new concept store
A few years ago, Target launched a store specifically to showcase its connected home offerings. Now, it has converted the IoT-focused Target Open House into a new concept store specifically for techies of a different type — the next generation of video game fanatics.
The new concept, called The Game Room, had its soft launch last week in San Francisco, according to the gaming website, Protocol. The store features areas to try out PC gaming consoles, virtual reality and augmented reality headsets, and connectivity to Google and Apple’s cloud-based gaming services on in-store devices, as well as guidance on how to utilize those services. The current offerings on display in the location, situated in one of the nation’s tech industry hubs, are distinct from what is currently available at Target stores nationwide, which tend to stock traditional physical gaming media.
That could change as Target learns from the way customers take advantage of what’s offered at The Game Room and expands some of its features into the chain’s mainline concepts. The retailer could potentially spin out more locations of The Game Room nationwide (though the IoT Open House remained a one-store flagship).
The Target Open House website has been revamped to promote “Game Room at Target Open House.” The site currently features images of people using the gaming hardware, promises upcoming events and solicits partnerships from established vendors and startups in the space.
The new concept comes as the video gaming space continues to change. As console gamers are increasingly able to download full physical games or subscribe to online gaming services rather than buying cartridges or discs, sales of physical media have experienced a downturn.
Niche brick-and-mortar retailers more directly tied to the video game world than Target have likewise been trying to appeal to the evolving gamer lifestyle in order to remain relevant.
Struggling retailer GameStop, for instance, announced the pilot of a store concept focused on providing a place for taking part in e-sports competitions, trying out games in-store and, in some iterations of the new concept, playing classic “retro” arcade and console games.
- Target quietly opens concept store for the future of gaming – Protocol
- Game Room at Target Open House – Target
- Can GameStop become the go-to place for the gaming lifestyle? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does it make sense for Target to launch a video gaming-oriented concept in the Open House location? Can you see Target expanding this concept beyond a single store or should it be used solely as a testing ground for existing Target locations?