MINNEAPOLIS - Target Stores Inc. based here is quietly using its new Greatland stores, recently opened in Chicago, to experiment with broader food merchandising, including a private label food line.
The line, called Greatland like Target's superstores, consists of cookies, snack crakers, nuts, juice drinks and soda, and is available in selected stores.
Target has said that the Greatland brand is not a major force and there are no plans at this point to expand to a broader line of grocery products like competitors Wal-Mart and K mart have done. Target has not put any ad support behind the brand to date.
However, a source inside Target said last week that the company is using the Chicago-area Greatland stores to see if private label is viable. The source said the issue is whether or not Target, which has never been particularly strong in food, wants to sell food at all.
'It's obvious that the superstores, where consumers can shop for general merchandise and food under one roof, is where everyone thinks the trends are going, but we're not convinced,' said the Target source.
'Target is not really committed to food just yet, but they are learning that private label means profits,' said one private label food industry observer. 'Right now they are trying to look competitive with Wal-Mart and K mart, but the message to consumers is that they aren't really dedicated to it.'
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