Target Launches New Store Format

Target wants to make your home smarter — and it’s opened a store just for that purpose.

Yesterday (July 9), reports Fortune, the retail chain debuted the Target Open House, a 3,500-square-foot retail space at the Metreon shopping center in San Fransicso that houses — well, a house — or at least a life-size facsimile of one.

The “house” is entirely transparent — from the walls to the furniture — a design conceit that highlights the space’s true purpose: to draw attention to the high-tech, smart-home gadgets that are on display throughout it.

The 30 devices in question range from the August smart lock and the Nest learning thermostat to Sonos wireless speakers. And some of them are smart gadgets whose use goes beyond the home — like Jawbone and Fitbit fitness trackers.

According to the report, the intent behind the Target Open House is to show off these cutting-edge products, both on their own and how they work in sync. To achieve the latter, Target is utilizing the cloud-based syncing app Yonomi to put the devices in communication.

The demo space is the brainchild of David Newman and the program he oversees, Target’s Enterprise Growth Initiative team. As Forbes notes, while the primary purpose of the Target Open House is — true to the parent company’s goal — to drive retail sales, the company also envisions the home-styled store as a potential gathering point for smart-home entrepreneurs, where they could give talks and perform product demonstrations.

“We think this area is in pretty early days,” Target’s PR head, Eddie Baeb, told the outlet. “Target and other retailers are trying to figure out where this world is going and what should our strategy with connected devices be. This is a way for us to be actively learning and listening. We want to build relationships for our future growth strategy.”

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