Major chains are starting to think outside the big-box, at least where cities are involved. Stores like Walmart, Target, and Office Depot are willing to do what it takes to follow young adults who grew up in the 'burbs to their new urban homes, even if that means shrinking floor plans, paying high rents, and rethinking the items they carry, reports the New York Times. These smaller, express-style stores tend to be a fraction of the size of their suburban brethren, sell fewer bulk items (too tough to carry on the subway), and try to make shopping a quicker experience with clearer signs and shorter aisle heights.
The first "City Targets" opened in Chicago, LA, and Seattle yesterday, each about half the size of a "regular" Target (also half-size: the patio furniture the stores offer—a city-friendly three-piece balcony set, versus a six-piece patio version). An Office Depot in Hoboken designed as a city model is just one-fifth the size of a normal one, and stocks half the number of items. Walmart is currently testing both small- and medium-size stores. (Read more Walmart stories.)