By Alex Alusheff
Target Target might have seemed to host an average crowd of shoppers Tuesday afternoon based on the amount of cars in its parking lot, but on the inside, customers described it as a ghost town. “It looks half empty,” said Jackie Flooring of Toledo, who has been shopping at the store since it opened in 1994. “Everything is pulled from the walls.” When Target at the Mall of Monroe closes Saturday, Mrs. Flooring, who lives near the state line, will have to travel a little farther to the Toledo location. “We thought it was sad, but that’s the way malls are going,” said Paul Flooring. Target announced its closure of the mall location in November, citing financial problems caused by the mass hacking scam that “ It’s unfortunate that Target decided to close this store,” said Joe Bell, director of corporate communications for Cafaro Co., the Youngstown, Ohio- based operator of the mall. “ We don’t think it’s necessary they close them to do so, but this isn’t the only location — they’re closing all the stores in Canada.” The Monroe location was one of 11 stores Target announced earlier that it was closing. On Jan. 15, it announced it would close all 133 stores in Canada. After being in the community for 20 years, the possibility of it closing was not expected by Jessica Jones of Newport. “I was surprised because it’s been here since I was little,” she said while searching through what was left of the shoe department. “ This is one of the big things to get people to come to the mall.” Doris Dunn of Monroe was visiting the store to look for furniture deals, but they were all sold out. advertisement Ads by Rubicon Project “It’s too bad for the mall; there are way too many stores closing,” she said. “ It lost Elder- Beerman, Sears, JCPenney and now Target. We need bigger stores.” Elder- Beerman is now Carson’s, and its two stores remain open in the mall. When Target is gone, Ms. Dunn and Ms. Jones think the mall will see decreasing attendance. “It’s undeniable,” Mr. Bell said about a future attendance drop. “It’s a large portion of foot traffic that goes through the mall. There will be a drop off of the total number of people on the property and that will be detrimental to the overall economy.” Though the mall is losing Target and Deb Shops this year, six new businesses opened in the last year — Pat Catan’s, Planet Fitness, Clothes Rack, Justice, Vanity and Luxe Nails and Spa — while Phoenix Theatres added new seating. Hallmark has been closed the past few months, but a new owner is expected to take over. The mall also has been in talks with prospective retailers since November to fill part or all of the 96,800- square- foot space Target will be leaving vacant. Because Target owns the building it is in, the mall will have to negotiate with it as well when it does find a replacement. Target is marketing the building for sale, said Evan Lapiska, public relations specialist for Target. Target is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and is listing some items between 30 and 50 percent off. Other Target closures in Michigan are in Southfield and Bay City.
Read more at: http://www.monroenews.com/news/2015/jan/30/customers-mall-monroe-will-miss-target/