Retail chain plans two new stores on North Side
Crusader staff report
Target will close its stores in Chatham and Morgan Park in February, the company announced on Tuesday, October 30. The announcement came as the discount chain plans to open two new stores on the North Side.
On the South Side, the closures will be a devastating blow to Black neighborhoods, where residents would be forced to travel greater distances to shop at the popular discount chain. The move will leave just three Target stores on the South Side, including Hyde Park, McKinley Park and Archer Heights.
In a statement, Target, which is based in Minneapolis, said the closure of its stores in Chatham and Morgan Park “follows a rigorous annual process to evaluate the performance of every store in the portfolio and maintain the overall health of the business.”
About 120 employees work at the 126,000-sqaure-foot store in Chatham, which opened in 2002 after plans fell through to open one in the South Shore neighborhood. About 115 employees work at the 128,000 square-foot-store in Morgan Park. That store opened at the start of the Great Recession in 2008.
Target says those employees who are in “good standing” are eligible to transfer to other Target stores.
The Target store in Chatham anchors a shopping center that includes a Walgreens, smaller retail stores and fast food restaurants. Without Target, it’s uncertain whether those business will survive on their own if traffic dramatic decreases after Target closes.
Target Spokesperson Jacque DeBuse said Target does not consider proximity of other stores before they decide on closing stores. Sales figures from stores in Chatham and Morgan Park were not released during Target’s announcement.
“This is based on the business and is not about a neighborhood or geography,” DeBuse said in one news report. “As you have seen, Target remains committed to Chicago, as we’ve been remodeling stores across the metro (area) and continuing to open new stores to serve new guests.”
In the past several years, Target has been expanding in the Chicago area. The retailer has plans to build stores in Rogers Park and Logan Square on the North Side by the end of 2020. Target says it plans to upgrade its 18 Chicago-area stores this year and more than 1,000 nationwide by 2020.