A Target location officially opened at 231 S. State Street in downtown Ann Arbor Tuesday, the former location of an Urban Outfitters.

The “small format” store, standing at 12,000 square feet, was first announced in December 2020. These scaled-down stores provide a specifically curated selection of goods designed to appeal to students on campus, according to A Bullseye View

Similar stores have opened on college campuses across the nation, including at Michigan State University, New York University and the University of Southern California.

University of Michigan students have previously raised concerns about the lack of a more affordable grocery store within a walkable distance to campus. The addition of this Target will offer students a walkable, convenient grocery option, according to Tricia George, a team lead for Target.

“I think it’s going to have a huge impact,” George said. “What I’ve been hearing just in the last half hour, I’ve talked to some of the guests, the grocery is the biggest thing that they’re so excited about because there’s not really a grocery store within walking distance for a lot of the students.”

Store Director James Newbill said he hopes the new Target will not only be a place where the students can buy groceries but where they can find community as well. 

“It was really important to us that we entered this community, because the students don’t have a place that’s really quick for them to get those fresh food options, and we’re able to provide them,” Newbill said. “The service piece is super important to me in our entire store, making sure that students are being helped because sometimes it is really fast-paced around here. And they don’t really get that service that they need.”

Newbill said he encourages students to be actively engaged in the process of curating Target’s product collections so that the store satisfies customers’ needs.  

“I want people to tell me the collection that they want because we can order things,” Newbill said. “We can get a different assortment, but it’s literally just to serve students on campus. We can get items that they normally can’t get shipped here or to their dorms.” 

LSA freshman Jessi Hinterman said she is looking forward to having a grocery store within walking distance from her dorm. 

“I’m excited to not wait in Walgreens for anything,” Hinterman said. “I mean, we have (a Target) at home, and it’s the nicest thing. I’m there all the time. Honestly, (it’s) convenient. So having one here is amazing.”

Daily Staff Reporter Emily Blumberg can be reached at emilybl@umich.edu.