Big-Box Retailer Target Attracts Viral Following with Its Unique, Creative Store Designs

Big-Box Retailer Target Attracts Viral Following with Its Unique, Creative Store Designs

Check out these exciting examples of what Target has done to turn its stores into statement pieces!


When looking for commercial real estate to expand your business, do not always think you should select a typical, cookie-cutter design and layout. Looking for value add properties, no matter their previous use, and then twisting that design, preserving the building’s history, and adapting to your surroundings has become a new investment trend! Notorious for doing this is big-box retailer, Target.

Target has been trending on social media platforms, like TikTok, after revealing a few of their unique property designs. Customers are traveling across the nation just to experience these stores. Yes, these are just normal, functioning Targets, but their property design has turned them into a viral tourist attraction!

Check out these exciting examples of what Target has done to turn its stores into statement pieces!

1. The Goth Target | Chicago, IL

Located just west of Millennium Park on the corner of State and Madison is the historic building – once the headquarters of department store, Carson Pirie Scott, and a registered Chicago Landmark since 1975 – it features a dark, ornate metal façade with Target’s red bullseye logo beaming out. The juxtaposition is a little jarring, and a little goth.

It’s unclear who originally coined the phrase, but—like most recent internet trends—Goth Target found a viral following on TikTok, where the hashtag has picked up around eight million views since this past summer.

Goth Target
Bowling Alley Target

2. The Retro Target | Portland, OR

The Retro Target gets its unique look and fame from previously serving as a bowling alley. Developers purchased the classic bowling alley on SE Powell Boulevard last year, hinting that a national retailer would be taking over the space. The small-format Target is similar to the one downtown, offering a similar Target shopping experience with wares “tailored for local residents” in an urban setting.

This Target features some of the original bowling alley designs such as wall murals, bowling balls throughout, and even the signature red bollards are painted like bowling balls!

3. The Movie Theater Target | Brooklyn, NY

Located on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn, the Movie Theater Target used to be an actual, active movie theater! Target shoppers found several features unique to the Bensonhurst location, including a “community center” with seats and a game table, a self-service “Starbucks on the Go” kiosk, and the restored crown molding and balconies from the Walker Theater. The wall art in the checkout area depicts 18th Avenue with the former movie theater, and the store plans to install some of the old theater seats in its windows.

Movie Theater Target

4. The Mountain Lodge Target | Silverthorne, CO

This Target in Silverthorne, CO features large timbers inspired by Colorado’s lodge architecture theme. In addition, the metal roofs and covered walkways not only add to the theme but also protect guests from harsh Colorado winters.  This “mountain lodge” Target adds to the Colorado theme and brings tourists nationwide to see it to believe!

5. The Eco Target | San Rafael, CA

Not only does this target sit right on San Francisco Bay with an impressive view of the city skyline and Mount Tamalpais, but it is known for being one of the most environmentally responsible

buildings. This Target earned the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

 The store is built on a former landfill, requiring nearly twenty years of cleanup before it could be developed. Today, recycled content makes up more than 26 percent of the building materials, 41 percent of those materials were regionally manufactured, and all wood used was FSC Certified from responsibly managed forests. Overall, 83 percent of all construction waste was recycled and diverted from landfills. In addition, a connection was built to the nearby shoreline walking trail, along with interpretive signage highlighting the natural habitat. Dedicated spaces were added in the parking lots for pedestrian access to the San Francisco Bay Trail, connected to more than 300 miles of trails.

Eco Target

Final Thoughts

As you can see, some of the best commercial properties can inspire a following and become a marketing statement in and of themselves with just a little creativity. By preserving historic buildings and adapting to your environment, you can go a long way in attracting consumers from all over. These unique and extraordinary Target locations are an excellent example of how you can create unique value for your commercial business, not only through your products/services but also through your overall property site-selection, design, and history.

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