History of Target Stores

The first Target store was opened on May 1st, 1962, in Roseville, Minnesota, suburb of St. Paul. It was owned by the Dayton Corporation.

Target actually can trace its origin back to 1902, when George Draper Dayton, a banker and real estate investor, opened a retail store called Goodfellows as a dry-goods store in downtown Minneapolis and became one of the dominant department stores in the Midwest.

In 1903, he changed the corporate name to The Dayton Dry Goods Company and in 1910 he changed it to The Dayton Company (Dayton). By the 1940s, it was a thriving family business that operated department stores called Dayton's in the upper Midwest region of the U.S.
During these early years, Dayton Company was run as a family enterprise and the influence of its founder’s values can still be seen in the corporation’s charitable activities and community involvement. In 1946, the company began its practice of donating five percent of profits to charity.

In 1965, the Dayton Company opened Southdale, the world’s first fully enclosed two-level shopping center, in suburb Minneapolis.

The first four Target stores made about $11 million in sales but did not make any profits in 1962. Slowly, sales began increasing and in 1965, sales were worth about $39 million. In the same year, another Target was opened in Minneapolis. In 1966, Target decided it was time to open stores outside Minneapolis. It opened two stores in Denver. In 1967, Target's parent company Dayton, went public.

The Target name has intentionally been chosen to differentiate the new discount retailer from the Dayton Company’s more upscale stores. Target was the first retail store to offer well-known national brands at low prices.

In 1995, the first Supertarget store opened in Omaha, Nebraska and in 1999 the Target.com website was launched.

In 1967, the Dayton Company went to public, and in 1969, it merged with the J.L Hudson Company of Detroit to create single entity, Dayton-Hudson Corporation.

In 1969 - Dayton merged with the J. L. Hudson Company to form the Dayton Hudson Corporation (DHC). The J. L. Hudson Company operated a chain of department stores called Hudson's in Detroit. Also in 1969, Target decided to open stores without supermarkets.

The Dayton Hudson Corporation also acquired Mervyns, becoming the 7th largest U.S. retailer. By 1979, however, Target became the corporation’s largest source of revenue, surpassing the department store division. Dayton Hudson acquired Marshall Fields in 1990.

In 2000, the parent company, Dayton Hudson, officially changed its name to the Target Corporation.
History of Target Stores
Updated version from: Target Corporation

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