By JANE BURNS| 608-252-6440| woheaf%25znqvfba%23pbz@no-spam.com | October 16, 2009 | Wisconsin State Journal

A new Target store specializing in office furniture opened in Madison this week, offering products for large office spaces or homes.

Target Commercial Interiors opened Thursday at 1020 John Nolen Drive, near the Sheraton Hotel. The space had been a Target district office and a sales office for Target Commercial Interiors. Now it’s a 6,400-square-foot showroom for the furniture as well as 8,000 square feet of staff offices.

It’s the fourth commercial interior store for Minneapolis-based Target, which has done contract work for big business clients such as American Family Insurance and Covance in Madison. Now the goal is to reach smaller companies and homes, too, said John Jurgensen, director of marketing for Target Commercial Interiors. More retail outlets are planned, including one in Green Bay.

“So many people are working at home, or out of work and starting consulting businesses at home,” Jurgensen said. “This is a market that’s not going to go away.”

The approach, Jurgensen said, is to apply Target’s reputation for sleek design to a higher-quality product than is available in its discount stores. Most products at the showroom will need to be ordered, but some items, such as lamps, can be purchased on site.

Office furniture has been part of Target and its original parent company for decades. Target began as a discount chain of Dayton’s department store, which started a commercial interiors division in 1953.

The first Target Commercial Interiors store opened in Bloomington, Minn., in 2005. Last year, two stores opened, one in downtown Minneapolis and another in Phoenix.

Madison made sense for the next store, Jurgensen said, because the company had owned the John Nolen Drive property since acquiring local office products dealer Rowley-Schlimgen in 2000.

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