East Harlem residents along with government officials are reeling from the news that East Harlem’s Target, considered by Deputy City Council Speaker Diana Ayala to be a “lifeline for many East Harlem residents,” is set to shut its doors for good next month.
The retail giant made the announcement this past Tuesday, September 26th, stating:
We have made the difficult decision to close nine Target stores across four states, effective Oct. 21.
The decision to close the stores is reportedly due to theft and organized retail crime, which are “threatening the safety of [their] team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance.”
According to a statement, the decision to close wasn’t made lightly, and the corporation took prior steps to attempt to avoid the closures, such as:
- Adding more security team members
- Using third-party guard services
- Implementing theft-deterrent tools across their business
However, regardless of these steps taken, they state that they “continue to face fundamental challenges to operating these stores safely and successfully.”
East Harlem residents, however, are saddened by the news.
“I think it’s a tragedy because everybody in the area pretty much shops and you can get pretty much things that at low price,” said East Harlem resident Rafael Rosado according to NBC.
Former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito added that Target was a staple in the area, providing goods “at a price point important to the community” and closing it is a problem.
Target says, however, that more than 150 locations remain open in the markets where the closures are taking place. The Harlem store is the only one set to close in the NYC market.
And, as one door closes another door opens–a 33,000-square-foot Target is set to open in Union Square next month on October 22, as well as stores at Bronx Bruckner Commons (139,000 sq. ft.), Brooklyn Kings Plaza (90,160 sq. ft.), Chelsea (28,000 sq. ft.), Harlem (44,000 sq. ft.), Astoria (47,000 sq. ft.), and Yonkers (132,000 sq. ft.).