As I stepped outside the Target store in East Harlem, the warm breeze and bright sunshine made me feel like it was Memorial Day rather than the end of September.
Lisa Rodriguez, a regular customer at the store, shared her emotional experience. “I felt overwhelmed seeing the cashier break down in tears. It’s like we have a special bond with each other here,” she said. Lisa empathized with the cashier and offered her a comforting hug to show her support and solidarity.
As Wednesday dawned, a multitude of shoppers flocked to Target, with many of them unaware of what was about to unfold.
The retailer has gained immense popularity among customers.
Katherine Griffin expressed concern over the community’s lack of options. “Where will people go now?” she asked. “The only option left for them is to travel all the way to the Bronx.”
On October 21, the East Harlem branch, along with eight other stores, will shut down.
“It’s disheartening to see that we can’t even shop peacefully with our elderly community. I feel sadness creeping in knowing that even simple tasks like shopping can become a source of discomfort and uneasiness,” expressed Patricia Ryan, a fellow shopper accompanying the senior citizens.
Target is a beloved store within the Black and Latino community, where local mom and pop stores and street vendors typically dominate the scene. It’s known for its affordable prices and convenient location, making it an ideal shopping destination for those on a fixed-income. This tight-knit community values the accessibility and variety of general merchandise that Target provides, all within easy walking distance from their homes.
Martiza Fabian expressed her sadness over the closing of the Target store, which is located within walking distance from her home. She mentioned that the store is like home, and one does not need to travel far to go shopping. It is unfortunate that such a convenient place is closing down.
Target has attributed the closures of its stores to the rampant theft and organized retail crime. Despite implementing theft prevention measures, such as extra security and locked up merchandise, the company has been unable to curb the ongoing problem of thieves stealing from the stores.
According to Denise Niles, a regular shopper, the stores are being invaded and looted without any regard for the consequences. She states that the looters are not concerned about the losses they are incurring and seem to be acting recklessly.