A Store Transformed: This Flood-damaged Baton Rouge Target is Back and Better Than Ever

December 7, 2016 - Article reads in
New enhancements in Baton Rouge East's home, kids' apparel and grocery areas

On an afternoon in late August, Store Team Leader Fred Regalado walked the aisles of his Target store in Baton Rouge, La. Or what was left of it—after several days of severe flooding throughout the region, much of the building was unrecognizable.

“It was hard to believe what I was seeing,” Fred remembers. “There was massive damage in almost every department. We’d lost millions of dollars’ worth of merchandise. Some parts of the store were covered in as much as 29 inches of standing water.”

Across Baton Rouge and the surrounding area, members of the community faced the same devastation in their homes and neighborhoods, including most of Fred’s team. “In that terrible moment, it was hard to imagine ever getting the store up and running again, or our community back on its feet.”

But the team rallied together to rebuild, and on Dec. 1, the Baton Rouge East store celebrated its grand re-opening. As guests walked through the doors for the first time in 3 months, they noticed a major transformation.

“Once we realized the extent of the damage, the Target team wanted to do more than just repair it. We took the extra time to give this store a full remodel with the latest enhancements Target has to offer,” Fred says. “It’s a big investment in this store and the surrounding community—and part of nearly $1 billion Target is investing companywide to improve our guest’s shopping experience.”

A Bullseye View walked the store with Fred to check out some of the new features:

The Guest Service counter

Guest Service and Order Pickup counter

“Guests here are still focused on rebuilding their homes and lives, so it’s more important than ever to give them lots of convenient ways to shop, order and pick up the things they need. Our updated Guest Service counter is designed to feel fresh and inviting, with updates that make it quick and easy to pick up products ordered online. Today, we’re one of approximately 80 stores across the whole chain that have the revamped Guest Service area.”

The Starbucks cafe


“Our Starbucks has always been a favorite stop for guests on their way in and out of our store, so we’ve updated it with new fixtures, and added more seating and a warming station to serve up more food choices.”

Women's apparel area with six mannequins in front

Apparel & Accessories

“These areas look really different than before—they have a lot of personality now, with engaging displays and mannequins that show how to put the different pieces together to create stylish looks. The new formats tell a story about the products, and everything is much easier to see.”

The Baby area with playpen and cradle on an endcap display


“This area got a big makeover too. We opened up the space, making it easier to interact with products and find what you need. For example, strollers are out on the floor now, so guests can take them for a test run. And there’s an entire wall of diapers, so guests can easily find the brand and size they’re looking for.”

The Electronics area with tech products on display

Electronics & Entertainment

“This layout has been entirely reimagined into a much more open space where guests can discover all the latest products and make more informed buying decisions.”

The Grocery aisles with sweet treats on display


“Here, we’ve done a lot to elevate the presentation and display of products. Our guests come here to find quick, easy and affordable meal ideas for their families, so cross-merchandising displays (think hot dogs next to the buns and condiments) and more intuitive signing will hopefully bring them some inspiration.”

The Home area with new open display


“Convenience and inspiration are key here. The vignettes, versus standard shelving, allow guests to find everything they need for a certain area of their home without having to go to each of the different sections of the store. For example, they’ll see a set dinner table, and can pick up everything from the plates and napkins displayed on the table, to the lighting and chair covers, all in one place. Easy.”

The Baton Rouge team is excited to be back together and celebrating the opening. “When the flooding started, I’d only been on the job at this store for a couple of days, and was just getting to know my new team and store,” Fred says. After it closed, approximately 150 of the store’s 180 team members moved temporarily to help staff the nearby Siegen Lane Target, while the rest took time off to recover.

When it was time to start rebuilding, many of the original team returned to gut the store of its damaged insides, repair the floors and walls, install replacement fixtures and bring all the new features to life. In addition to having the majority of the original team back, Fred and team have hired even more new team members from the local community.

Twelve Baton Rouge team members in red and khaki pose together with a statue of Target's mascot, Bullseye the dog

And true to Target’s legacy of giving, community service remained a priority even during the toughest days. “I’m so proud of the team; how we’ve cared for each other and our community all along,” Fred says.

During the initial flooding, many team members quickly took action, rescuing co-workers and neighbors from danger. Later, hundreds of team members from six local Target stores pitched in to help with recovery—passing out 40,000 bottles of water to flood victims, distributing thousands of dollars in Target GiftCards to local nonprofits, volunteering at shelters, food banks and cleanup events. In all, Target donated nearly $400,000 and countless volunteer hours in support of relief efforts.

As they continue their work, Fred and his team feel connected to the Baton Rouge community like never before. “I’m so excited to finally see all of our guests again, and for them to experience all these enhancements,” he says. “But most of all, I’m happy they’re getting their Target back. It’s always been place where people can come to lift their spirits and feel welcome. For me and my team, that’s what it’s all about.”  

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