Target’s opening was right on…. target.
They knew this day was coming; the residents of Forest Hills have anxiously awaited the day when the state’s most convenient department store, Target, would finally open its doors to customers. In the months following the closing of Barnes and Noble, residents of Forest Hills stopped by 70-00 Austin Street (Target’s location) to see what better store could take the place of the beloved local bookshop. For weeks, paper covered the shop’s windows– but eventually the big red dot appeared on the storefront.
Wednesday, July 20th, was the grand opening of Target, and not just Target, but Target in “flexible format” style. Due to the size of the store, this Target was formally known as a Target Express, but now it is called a flexible format store, because every product sold in smaller Targets is unique to that stores location. We’d be better off calling it “mini Target.”
Approximately 21,000 square feet, this mini Target is about one fourth of the size of a usual, suburban Target location. With currently 61 stores operated in the New York- New Jersey-Long Island market, Target will be opening an additional 5 more flexible format stores this year.
Kristy Welker, a PR person for Target, claimed:“We started this urban concept in 2012. We started as city-targets. We first started in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle. That was a test phase for us, just kind of like dipping our toes in the water in terms of bringing stores into more urban settings versus the traditional store in a suburban setting. Since some of our top performing stores are in New York, we were looking to make more Targets available. Our new Queens Forest Hills location was designed with the resident’s needs in mind, including local city dwellers and families with kids in the neighborhood.”
Even though it’s not as fully equipped as your usual Target, this mini Target has about every possible house staple and product that a Forest Hills family would need. Groceries, sports merchandise, beauty products, stationary, technology products and even a CVS pharmacy– which, believe it or not, seemed to be a concern to some Forest Hills residents.
One customer was displeased with Targets new format. He said “We don’t need anymore pharmacies. We now have one on every block. What the Forest Hills community needs is more grocery stores, and I would have liked to have seen more food and produce in this Target. I’m surprised they didn’t put a Trader Joe’s here.”
The Forest Hills community will just have to get used to it’s first ever mini department store, and with time they might even come to love it more than a Trader Joe’s.