Starting this morning, the new Target store on the Lower East Side is open for business.
The 22.500 square foot ‘small format” outpost is located at 145 Clinton St., at Grand Street. There was a ribbon cutting and party last night, with community leaders in attendance. They sipped mock cocktails, munched on tuna tartare and posed for photos with Bullseye, Target’s mascot.
We were led on a tour by Elena Ramos, team leader of the LES store. After entering on the northwest corner of Grand and Clinton streets, you take the escalator to the second floor. The first thing you’ll see is the women’s and children’s clothing areas (men’s clothing is also available in a slightly less conspicuous location). There’s a CVS pharmacy, baby supplies, cosmetics, a fairly extensive home accessories department and a grocery with fresh produce and meats, and lots of “grab-and-go” items.
The new store, located within the Essex Crossing project, is part of a big push from Target to expand into urban markets nationwide. The merchandise varies from location to location depending on local needs. “We know there are a lot of families in the area, a very tight-knit community,” said Ramos, “so we have all the essentials a family would need.”
Ramos said more than 30% of the employees at the Lower East Side store were hired from the neighborhood and surrounding communities. The company worked with the Lower East Side Employment Network to recruit local staff members.
There was, of course, lots of blowback last month on East 14th Street, when Target celebrated a store opening there with a facade reminiscent of the defunct rock club CBGB. Jacqueline DeBuse, a Target PR rep, indicated that no similar publicity stunts are planned on Grand Street. “We know with the East Village grand opening,” said DeBuse, “some guests loved it, and others felt we missed the mark. So we really listened to that feedback as we were preparing the opening for this store.”
An opening celebration will take place on Sunday. Today and every weekday, the store will be open from 7 a.m.-midnight. Saturday hours are 8 a.m.-midnight, and Sundays Target will be open 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
Target will be joined in October by a Trader Joe’s, which is located in the basement of the same building.