US retail giant Target is to focus on opening smaller shops in urban areas as part of its roll-out plans over the next two years. 

The value retailer plans to open 15 new stores by the end of 2017, starting with a 33,000 sq ft site in Long Beach, California, in March.

Target is in the midst of a turnaround plan under chief executive Brian Cornell. In November it reported third-quarter sales up 2.1% to $17.61bn (£11.65bn).

The majority of the new stores will range from 19,000 sq ft to 45,000 sq ft, compared with its regular store size of 80,000 sq ft to 160,000 sq ft.

The strategy mirrors that of some UK grocers who have been turning away from big-box store formats by investing in more convenience stores. Furniture specialist Ikea is also experimenting with smaller store formats in the UK. 

Target’s small stores will offer departments such as fashion, home, tech, beauty, and groceries. Some of the shops will reportedly feature departments geared specifically toward city dwellers, such as home sections with a focus on apartment living.

“Guests in urban areas tend to travel great distances to get to a Target,” a company spokeswoman said. “We are bringing the store to them and meeting them where they are.”

Three smaller stores will open in New York this year, as well as Philadelphia, Brookline, Chicago, Cupertino, and Chicago. More urban stores are planned for Massachusetts, LA, and Philadelphia in 2017.