These Small but Mighty Target Stores Are a College Student’s Dream

  • Jun 25, 2019
a person in a store

Truth: Going off to college means lots of big firsts—like moving into a dorm or first apartment, your first roommate, and maybe even your first solo shopping trip. Kind of a big deal. Luckily, Target’s new stores are making it easier for many college students to shop and get everything they need, from move-in day to finals week.

Last year, we opened 10 new small-format stores on or near college campuses, bringing our total to nearly two-dozen campus stores nationwide, with three more opening just in time for fall. Our team tailors each new store with specially curated product assortments and experiences designed to serve the students and staff, as well as local professionals and residents of the surrounding community. It’s part of our plan to open more of our small-formats in areas where a full-size Target wouldn’t fit, to offer easy and inspiring shopping experiences for new guests across the country. In fact, we now have nearly 100 small-format stores across the country—from college campuses to urban neighborhoods—and plan to open about 30 more each year over the next few years.

Here's a look at the Target stores we’ve opened near colleges so far.

A United States map with bullseyes marking each store location
Target’s Small-format Stores Near College Campuses
UC Berkeley
UC Irvine
UT Austin
University of Minnesota
University of Cincinnati
UNC Chapel Hill
University of Florida Gainsville
Penn State
North Carolina State
Boston University
University of Maryland

Florida State University

Ohio State University

University of Chicago

MIT and Harvard

San Francisco State

Northwestern University

Loyola University

New York University

*University of Vermont


*Brigham Young University

Map data updated August 27, 2019

These stores are like no other college-geared retail experience. Each one’s designed for quick and convenient trips, and stocked with locally relevant products at affordable prices. They also serve as convenient hubs where guests can go to pick up orders from (Speaking of, don't miss our full On to College assortment, along with this handy checklist and more.)

“Going off to college is a new life stage—students are making their own shopping decisions for the first time,” said Mark Schindele, senior vice president, Target Properties. “We want to help make students’ experiences fun and easy, serve up products and services they’ll love and show them the best that Target has to offer, so they become lifelong guests.”

What do college students shop for the most? Food tops the list, especially grab-and-go lunch and snack items like bananas, sandwich bread, Greek yogurt and apples. Essentials like toothpaste, toothbrushes and body wash are big too, along with dorm décor and apparel. Quick stops for school supplies and tech accessories are common—students often pick up notebooks, headphones, batteries, and cell phone adapters. And many students come for the brands they’ll only find at Target, from longtime favorites like our Room Essentials home products to stylish new brands like Heyday tech accessories.

“While all Target store teams strive to learn what local guests need and adapt accordingly, it’s particularly important for small-format stores near college campuses to get to know the unique needs of our student guests,” said Scott Timpani, store team leader at our University Center, University of California Irvine location. “For example, during the school year, about 10,000 students each day cross a pedestrian bridge that starts on campus and ends a few steps from our back entrance. Knowing these guests are often heading to class or simply in a hurry, we have four self-checkout kiosks next to the doors so they can quickly complete purchases and be on their way. And for guests who have more time to spend, we’ve created a cozy seating area near Starbucks complete with outlets for charging their devices.”

Want to see more? Check out these photos from our small-format stores near colleges across the country:  

Learn more about how Target is making it easy for families to shop for everything they need as they head back to school and college this year.

A Target team member wearing a yellow jacket smiles while pushing a cart at Drive Up.

All the ways

We’re here to help all families discover the joy of everyday life – from our distinctive products to easy ways to get them from the store to your door.

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