Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Editorial: Target's abandonment of the South Side

Target's recent decisions to close their locations in both Chatham and Morgan Park are still being discussed in the community. I want to share with you an editorial by Chicago Tribune's Kristen McQuery
Target, which descended on the Chicago area with its Greatland outlets in the early 1990s, is closing six stores next year in Illinois, New York, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Two Illinois locations are closing and both are in South Side neighborhoods, Chatham and Morgan Park. So those red splotches on the Chicago map will be mostly on the North Side come February.

In other words, the South Side loses again. Hundreds of workers will be displaced. Nearby stores that rely on Target as an anchor will suffer. And left behind? Two vacant behemoths, each the size of three football fields.

Here’s the extra salt: Target is expanding and building on the North Side. The developers of a $58 million Target mall expected to open at the Edens Expressway and Foster Avenue secured $13 million in tax increment financing from the city. So Target is abandoning two South Side stores while taking taxpayer money to build anew on the North Side. That’s greedy.

Nationally, Target is renovating hundreds of locations and opening retail hubs to serve college towns and metro areas. The store planned along the Edens Expressway looks like an architectural gem with soft lighting and rows of landscaping, not the brick boxes built elsewhere.

But lopsided treatment is something to which South Siders, including myself, are accustomed. We’re stuck in the marketplace of low expectations. It’s not unusual to be pushing a shopping cart that is missing the lower rack where ordinarily you’d toss cases of water or pop. Company executives apparently have determined, based on my address, I might sneak items through the checkout without paying. So they rig my shopping cart. 
And let me share this with you also:
Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th, helped bring Target to the Morgan Park location and fought organized labor’s “big box” ordinance at the time. The ordinance would have required large retailers to pay a higher minimum wage. She knew Target wouldn’t come unless she blocked it. She also acquiesced on the size of the store, the grocery component and alcohol sales. The neighborhood didn’t want a superstore, but Target wanted it. And her ward needed the economic development.

She learned of the store closing via news release. Same for U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, who has been holding community meetings and talking about a boycott. He led a protest Monday at a Target store in the West Loop.

“The killer for me is you (Target) want to capture the Christmas dollars and then you’re gone,” Austin said. “That is just such heartbreak for me. We fought to keep you and keep you and keep you. And now you say you’re not making enough money. And then no warning. They didn’t tell the store managers or tell us until they gave out a press release. How do you dog people like that?”
I want you to read the whole thing when you get a chance.

Also from Worlee Glover's Concerned Citizens of Chatham. The Chatham Avalon Park Community Council is behind a boycott of Target on Black Friday though it still seems with or without this boycott the decision isn't likely to change on Target's end.

No comments:

Post a Comment

PLEASE READ FIRST!!!! Comment Moderating and Anonymous Comment Policy

While anonymous comments are not prohibited we do encourage you to help readers identify you so that other commenters may respond to you. Either read the moderating policy for how or leave an identifier (which could be a nickname for example) at the end of the comment.

Also note that this blog is NOT associated with any public or political officials including Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer!