Yes, Target, the big red bullseye from my home state of Minnesota has finally invaded the Las Vegas Strip. Right next to a Walgreens store! So what’s up with that? Well, I went for a visit to answer that same question.
First off, I need to make this clarification. In Las Vegas, we have more Walmarts per capita than any other city in America. Target, for the most part, is here just to let Walmart know they are still in business. Seriously. When you go into a Target store in the Las Vegas Valley, you will start to wonder. You start to count red shirts. You start to feel like there are more employees walking around then there are guests in the store!
So when word got out they were opening on the Strip, the locals started to wonder what was up. as if they would really come down to the Strip to shop a target!!
Rest assured, this is a different type of target store. Just like the Walgreens and CVS stores you see on the Las Vegas Strip, this is for the tourist. However, Target took it one step further and added the distinction of having supplies for the traveler, the road warrior as well.
This is a new idea for Target. A small format store catering to a specific niche; You, the Vegas Tourist. It’s 20,000 square feet of a well-chosen mix of the usual tourist essentials like alcohol, drink mixers, sunscreen, and Vegas t-shirts. But they went one step further than some of their counterparts on the Strip…
Well Stocked “Essentials”
Something you don’t really find at most Strip CVS or Walgreens (other than being cleaner and brighter) is that this Target had a nice mix of real travel “essentials”. The things you may lose while out in the currently closed night club or what you may have lost when you changed planes in Denver and your luggage didn’t.
Need more than the 3-ounce container of your favorite brand of shampoo? They probably have it. Need a little battery-operated addition to go with your romantic night with that new person you met at the bar? They have those name brand essentials too!
I do like its layout. More user friendly. It is brighter, cleaner, and it’s not filled to the rafters with tourist posters. They don’t have overflowing shelves of Vegas branded T-shirts and silly vegas drunk hats. No dirty desks selling discounted tour and show packages, and other knock-offs touristy stuff. You can actually shop here and feel relaxed and not pressured to get out.
I realize it is Las Vegas and tourism is our bread and butter. But there is a way to present it that’s not gawdy and in your face. This is a tourist supply store where you will not need to shower after leaving it.
I like that Target found that balance between what you need when visiting Las Vegas and what you need when traveling on vacation or on business. (when business returns to Las Vegas). Stocked with name brand clothing and health/beauty essentials as well as the usual Vegas party supplies. Road Warriors will like the nice mix.
When it opened earlier this week, the chatter on the web was thinking they would be price gouging. This is Vegas and the Strip is loaded with similar stores. I doubted the claims and I was right. It’s Target. They are value-priced. Target knows how to make it simple for you to shop, get in, get out, and smile when you see the receipt.
Not to mention that millions of tourists have the Red Card, Target’s own credit card, so they already have a built-in customer base of price-conscious tourists to market to who are ready to flash that card at the register!
Compare to Walgreens
So what’s the difference between the new Target and the other way too common CVS’s and Walgreen stores lining the Strip? The answer is “Everything”.
Yes, the Walgreens next door to the new Target was one of the first Walgreens on the Strip. And it shows. Yes, the Target store is brand new and it shows. People do prefer to shop newer, cleaner, brighter stores. Even when on vacation they will choose what feels safer, cleaner, and has what they really need! (Points for Target!)
After walking around the new Target, I stepped next door to see if Walgreens made any effort to clean up their act. Nope. It was like going from a Broadway movie house into a back alley peepshow theater. It looked old, it looked tired and the staff seemed like they wanted to be anywhere but there. Not that CVS or Walgreens were ever great places to visit on the Strip normally, I was expecting something different since the new dog moved next door.
In their defense, CVS has built a couple of newer, modern stores recently. But neither has made an overall effort to clean up the stores and look more presentable. Neither CVS nor Walgreens had nothing to offer that would make me want to shop them over Target other than maybe their locations compared to my hotel. And I guess that can be a great selling point in the Las Vegas summer sun!
If Target keeps the store as is; clean, well-stocked, and well lit, I see another store like this one opening up on the other end of the Strip soon. Closer to the Wynn and the soon to open Resorts World. There are a few prime real estate spots available. As well as maybe a few Walgreens locations that may soon become available!
Check it out and let me know what you think