Target Corp. is closing 11 stores, including one in Minnesota.
The Austin, Minn. store and the rest will close Feb. 1, Target said Tuesday.
The Austin store is the Minneapolis-based retailer’s only physical presence in the city. A Walmart Supercenter is right down the street.
“Absolutely it’s a big deal,” says Calumet City mayor Michelle Qualkinbush. “It’s so disappointing, because really we have worked to be helpful to them.”
Qualkinbush says Calumet City has offered incentives and gained extra licensing to keep the retailer, but Target Corporation decided to close the store anyway.
“Often these decisions are made at the corporate level, without any conversation with the city when maybe we could help or prevent it,” she says.
Target would not provide anyone for an interview but in a press release said, “The decision to close a Target store is only made after careful consideration of the long-term financial performance of a particular location.”
The Target announcement comes as other big retailers have recently left Calumet City. In the same strip mall there are already two large vacancies.
The president of the City’s Chamber of Commerce encourages residents to shop local but that becomes a hard sell when retailers change course.
“I don’t know if they know how much they really affect the small town communities that we are here in the suburbs,” says Allen Babiarz, president of the Calumet City Chamber of Commerce.
Calumet City officials say they already convened a study to determine what they can do to attract more retailers. Employees from these locations, as well as the other 9 closing Target stores, will be offered transfers to other Target locations, if eligible, and any who choose not to stay with Target will be offered a separation package. All 11 stores will remain open through the 2014 holiday season.