Target to Open First Standalone Sportswear Store

The C9 Active Apparel store in San Francisco, Target's first standalone specialty store, will carry a line of athletic clothing that the retailer already sells at its regular stores.

Target Corporation announced Tuesday that it plans to open its first standalone specialty store-a sportswear outlet that will be located in San Francisco.

The C9 Active Apparel store, which is slated to open October 14, will carry a line of athletic clothing and accessories called C9 by Champion; the Minneapolis-based retailer has been selling the line in its stores since 2004.

Target spokesman Joshua Thomas told Twin Cities Business that the company has no immediate plans to open additional standalone specialty stores, but he did say: “We always learn from our initiatives and apply them to future endeavors.”

The 3,000-square-foot store will be in downtown San Francisco, in the same building where Target plans to also open a CityTarget-a smaller-format Target store designed to tap high-density urban markets. Target announced last year that it planned to open the smaller stores in 10 U.S. cities.

Meanwhile, another new concept-“The Shops at Target”-was rolled out this week in the retailer's stores nationwide. The stores now feature small boutiques that offer limited-edition merchandise made exclusively for Target. The shops will be open for six weeks-selling in stores and online-and be replaced with another group in the fall. The company announced the boutique concept in January.

The first batch of boutiques that are selling at Target stores are Boston-based Polka Dot Bakery, San Francisco-based The Candy Store, Connecticut-based home goods and antiques store Privet House, The Webster clothing store of Miami, and The Cos Bar cosmetic shop, which is based in Aspen, Colorado.

According to a Star Tribune report, Target has already formed partnerships with four independent merchants for its second batch of boutiques-which will debut September 9. They are Kirna Zabete, a clothing shop in Manhattan's SoHo district; New York menswear boutique Odin; The Curiosity Shoppe in San Francisco, which features home accessories and gifts; and Patch NYC, a home decor boutique in Boston.

Target is Minnesota's second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $68.5 billion in the fiscal year that ended in January. The company has 1,764 stores nationwide.