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Target to shutter Uptown store

The Minnesota-based retailer says the store, which opened in 2017, will close May 13 after "multiple years of working to improve performance."

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota-based Target confirms it will close its Uptown store this spring, saying the decision is performance-based. 

In an email to KARE 11, Target said the store at 1300 W. Lake Street will close on May 13. The retailer said the location's 45 part- and full-time employees will have an opportunity to stay with Target by moving to any number of nearby locations. 

"The decision to close one of our stores isn’t something we take lightly. It’s an action we take only after multiple years of working to improve performance," said Target spokesperson Joshua Thomas in a released statement. "We remain committed to the Minneapolis metro area, including the more than 50 stores we operate in the metro area."

"The big stores, basically Target and Walmart, grew very rapidly during the pandemic. Now they've come off that high. So right now, the last 12 months, their sales have been lower than inflation," explained George John, a marketing professor at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. "Sales are up about 3%, but inflation is running about 5-6% so they're moving less merchandise. So that's the big picture. My personal opinion is that... the store closing has very little to do with the big picture. They're not in any kind of trouble."

In 2017, when the Uptown Target opened, the corporation was embracing smaller stores which were thought to be more efficient and appealing to consumers since they could stock a product mix geared towards that specific neighborhood. They also allow Target to establish a presence in urban neighborhoods and other areas where a full-size Target cannot fit. The Uptown store is just 22,000 square feet. 

While the company announced last fall it will be upsizing new and remodeled large-format stores — about 20,000 square feet larger than the current average Target — its small-format stores are not going away. 

Target has more than 150 small-format stores. This fiscal year, the company will close four of those. But Target is also planning on opening 20 stores in 2023; roughly half of the locations will be small-format stores. 

The Uptown Target is one of many businesses that have left the neighborhood in recent years, suggesting the problem is bigger than one retailer. 

"I think if you look at all the other stores that have gone out of business in Uptown, as well, you can see that Uptown is struggling," John said.

"I guess today we're seeing stress tests of banks and I think this has been a stress test of our neighborhood," said Bradley Urberg-Carlson, who has lived in south Minneapolis for 20 years. "I'm confident that other businesses will move in."

Target does not own the building that houses the Uptown location, and the corporation is discussing the next steps with the landlord. 


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