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Target spotlights SuperTarget at shareholders’ meeting

Ackworth, Ga. — For the first time ever, Target Corp. held its annual shareholder's meeting today away from its Minneapolis home, choosing to spotlight a yet-to-be-opened SuperTarget store here, and a somewhat reconfigured home area.

The new store represents an updated SuperTarget format, fine-tuning a prototype launched in 2004. The Ackworth SuperTarget features a freshened store façade, and the reconfiguration of key departments, including home. It also features new lighting in the food area.

While shareholders and the press were told that home and other areas have been reconfigured, that's as specific as the retailer got, and no details were made available. Indeed, the retailer did its best to keep them out of sight. While Target chose to hold the meeting in a new store sporting the new format, the meeting was held in a small space at the front of the store, and Target officials did not allow shareholders or the press to tour the store to get a sense of the changes.

Bob Ulrich, chairman and ceo, said Target is making an increased commitment to food categories, especially for Target's own brands, Archer Farms and Market Pantry.

He said Target will take steps to further leverage its Internet and credit-card businesses to promote more frequent traffic in its stores and higher tickets.

Still building its store base at a rapid pace, Target will open more than 110 stores in the United States this year, while remodeling and 'right-sizing' existing units, Ulrich said. But, he emphasized, at least for the time being the focus is on U.S. expansion, with no immediate plans to develop an international presence.

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