On May 1st, 1962, the Dayton Company opens their first discount retail store, Target.
The Dayton Company traces their roots to the Goodfellow Dry Goods Store opened in downtown Minneapolis in 1902.
The company prospered as a traditional downtown department store for over 60 years and in the 1950s began to expand to suburban shopping malls.
John Geisse, a Dayton’s employee, suggested opening upscale discount stores in the suburbs. The company and its board were originally hesitant since their did not want to “cheapen” their brand. The name Target was used to prevent customers from associating the discount store with their traditional department stores. Geisse would go on to founded the Venture chain and the Warehouse Club.
The first Target opened in Roseville Minnesota and was an immediate success. Three additional stores were opened in 1962. In 2000, the parent company, Dayton’s, changed its name to the Target Corporation and in 2004 divested itself of its last department store.
Ever looking to expand, Target formed. bought or sold a number of other companies over the years including J.L.Hudson’s, Marshall Field’s, Mervyn’s and Lipman’s department stores along with Shreve & Company Jewelers, Lechmere Appliance & Electronics and B. Dalton Books.
In order to enhance service and better meets the demands of the customers, Target expanded their formats. The first Target Greatland (50% larger footprint) opened in Apple Valley, MN. in 1990. The first SuperTarget hypermarket opened in Omaha, NE. in 1995. The first CityTargets opened in 2012 and Target Express near the University of MN campus in 2014.
As of 2015, Target operates 1802 stores and is the second largest discount retailer in the U.S. with over $73 billion in income.