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Target to add fresh food, get remodel in 2011

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Target will have a new look and expanded inventory in fresh produce in its Baxter store.

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The changes are coming in the spring.

"It should be a pretty significant remodel for us," said Zach Schmidt, Target store manager in Baxter.

Whether the changes will mean an expansion of the store's footprint - potentially to the north side - or if the changes will be handled through a reconfigured store layout, have yet to be released by Target.

Schmidt said the Baxter store has a large area dedicated to clothing compared to other Targets and that potentially could be changed by remodeling. Although, Schmidt said, the changes will not mean a loss of inventory.

Instead, the plan is to increase the store's offerings in meat and produce. Dairy and frozen food also will be expanded.

In the past Target stores with groceries were referred to as super Targets or Target Greatlands. But the chain has a new model for stores of Baxter's size.

The giant Minnesota-based retailer has what it calls "P-Fresh" stores. A year ago, Supermarket News reported Target Corp. planned to expand its grocery and perishables format of its P-Fresh following encouraging sales results at its P-fresh or prototype-fresh stores.

Schmidt echoed those sentiments and said this will be the first time the Baxter Target will have fresh groceries. The store has a food section and frozen food now. But that will be expanded.

In addition to the fresh produce, Schmidt said the look of the Target building will be updated with new fixtures and will have a new feel. Schmidt said the existing store is about 18 or 19 years old now.

Construction work is expected to begin in the spring and be completed in June. The store will be open during the remodeling and Schmidt said extra effort will be made to make sure customers will be able to find what they are looking for during the construction period.

For many years the Baxter Target has been the subject of conjecture on whether it would be a Target Greatland. But it appears there are fewer of those types of stores going in now. Schmidt said the profitable version is the P-Fresh store, which may not include the full bakery and deli that Greatland stores included. The P-Fresh store is the new model especially for markets of this size.

The store employs about 175-180 people. The remodel is expected to add jobs, but Target didn't confirm a number yet. Schmidt said the work going into the store shows Target is listening to its customers and meeting demands in the marketplace. And long term, Schmidt said it will be good for staff and customers to have a renovated store.

"It's going to be really exciting for us to have a newer store," Schmidt said. "It will be nice to have a good facelift."

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5852.

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889
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