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2014-10-05
San Diego, CA. Residents Resist "Tiny Target" In Their Neighborhood

Target is the target of angry residents in the neighborhood of South Park, in San Diego, California. What the media is calling a "Tiny Target" has kicked up a mega-storm in this community--and the pushback has already started.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Target plans to experiment with only its 6th. "TargetExpress" store in the nation by opening the 19,000 s.f. store in South Park by next July.

There is currently a Gala Foods supermarket on the site, and opponents say a modern Target format is incompatible with the historic community's local businesses. The Target Express store--bearing a similar name to the small "Wal-Mart Express" is essentially going after the C-store (convenience store) trade.

In a company press release, Target said: "The South Park store will offer an edited assortment that is locally relevant to meet urban guests' quick trip wants and needs at an everyday value. For example, this store could include TargetExpress features such as grab and go food options, a full Beauty department and a Pharmacy."

These smaller formats are designed to stop the flow of sales to stores like Dollar General and small local C-stores.

The Gala Foods property owner told the Union-Tribune that the family running the grocery store was getting older, and after 46 years in the business, were ready to shut down operations. The building needs $3 million to $4 million in renovations "to operate at the level the South Park community needs and deserves," the owner said.

The family who operated the grocery store tried to paint the brightest picture: "Target will be able to offer a lot more than we were able to, because we were scaling back. The community should be pleased. Now you don't have to drive all the way to Mission Valley to pick up some of your necessities. From what we were offering the community and what they're bringing to the table, it's a win-win situation."

But one local merchant saw just a "lose-lose" situation. "What's happening is these big, big businesses want so much more of the market share that they're going into communities like ours and setting up shop. That increases the lease amounts and rubs out the local character, watering it down with features and services that you can get in almost any neighborhood. That's the part that gets scary."

Local residents also found little "win" in Target's plan. On their website, opponents of the "tiny Target" have taken aim at the giant retailer:

"Target has recently announced its plan to open a 'Target Express' in the quaint, historic South Park neighborhood of San Diego California. The addition of Target sets a precedent for the expansion of large chains, threatening our small, unique community by taking away its one-of-a-kind character, weakening the local economy, and eliminating local businesses.

South Park is a close-knit historic neighborhood with an identity largely based on its independent local businesses. Target's presence would damage this identity and set a precedent for the expansion of large chains, threatening our small, unique community by taking away its one-of-a-kind character, weakening the local economy, and eliminating local businesses.

In addition, there have been no reviews or calls for input from the community that would be deeply and permanently affected by Target's presence and the planned development.

There are very few communities that have retained their individuality. Please help South Park keep the individuality that has attracted so many residents, businesses, and visitors by agreeing to keep large chains out. Help us save South Park!

In addition, the commercial real estate company, Flocke & Avoyer, whose portfolio of strip malls is filled with large chains) is also advertising a "new 5,000 SF Shops building" for lease in the same lot and are billing the property as "South Park Retail Shops." In their marketing package, they are listing competition for the new building as large fast food chains and banks. They tout their "thousands of transactions with regional leaders in development and also with virtually every national discounter, supermarket, drug store, soft goods store, retailer, theater and home improvement chains active in Southern California."

Target opponents list the following downsides to the plan: losing the unique and charming personality of our quaint neighborhood known for it's locally owned businesses; creating the precedent and conditions for more big box stores to move in' diverting money from the local economy; increasing traffic, along an awkward intersection, with a high amount of pedestrian activity.


South Park residents are urging supporters to "Help us protect this close-knit community and it's identity by telling Target and Council President, Todd Gloria, that large chains are not the right fit for South Park. Save South Park!" Email Council President Gloria at: toddgloria@sandiego.gov with the following message:
Dear President Gloria,
I know your goal is to leave San Diego better than you found it. So ask yourself this: Target says on its website its proposed store in San Diego is designed to meet "quick trip wants." We don't need to promote our city as a "quick trip" community. South Park has historic and unique streets, and local merchants. All a TargetExpress store will do is capture sales from existing businesses, and attract more national logos---to the detriment of the community's character. This is not about economic development, because this store will only transfer jobs from other stores, and create no new wealth for residents. Instead of leaving money locally, profits need to go to Target shareholders.
President Gloria, you can't buy small town quality of life on any TargetEpress shelf. But once they take it from you, you can't buy it back at any price. Keep it local, keep South Park historic. The tourist dollars are far more valuable than any "quick trip" scheme at Target.

What you can do: To learn more about this South Park, San Diego group,

they have a website and Facebook page: Save South Park SD

Follow them on Twitter at: @savesouthparksd


South Park residents are urging supporters to "Help us protect this close-knit community and it's identity by telling Target and Council President, Todd Gloria, that large chains are not the right fit for South Park. Save South Park!"

Tiny Target opponents can email Council President Gloria at: toddgloria@sandiego.gov with the following message:

Dear President Gloria,

I know your goal is to leave San Diego better than you found it. So ask yourself this: Target says on its website its proposed store in San Diego is designed to meet "quick trip wants." That might leave Target better--but how does another national C-store help the neighbors of South Park, who want to keep their community a great place to live?

We don't need to promote our city as a "quick trip" community. South Park has historic and unique streets, and local merchants. All a TargetExpress store will do is capture sales from existing businesses, and attract more national logos---to the detriment of the community's character.

This is not about economic development, because this store will only transfer jobs from other stores, and create no new wealth for residents. Instead of leaving money locally, profits will go to Target shareholders.

President Gloria, you can't buy small town quality of life on any TargetEpress shelf. But once they take it from you, you can't buy it back at any price.

Keep it local, keep South Park historic. Tourist dollars are far more valuable than any "quick trip" scheme at Target.










 
 
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