By ALLISON MATYUS
Target had a soft opening in Hyde Park today, Nov. 2, but its official grand opening is set for this Sunday, Nov. 6.
After being announced in March that a Target would be the core retailer of the Vue53 development, 1330 E. 53rd St., the Target Corporation held two hiring events at Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., in August.
The stores team leader, Clevitta Scott, said that they hired 80 local employees for the Target store, which includes holiday help.
On Nov. 6 when the store officially opens, Target will be giving away Hyde Park-branded Target totes and the signature Target dog, Bullseye, to children while guests are checking out, while supplies last.
The store has men and women clothing, a beauty section, a home goods section, a technology section, a toy section and a large grocery section, among other aisles. Scott said that 25 percent of the 20,000 square foot store is devoted to groceries.
Scott said that based on feedback she has heard from the community so far, shoppers are most excited about the stores home department.
Home necessities have consistently been the main thing that people are excited for, she said.
She said that while the focus right now is preparing for the holidays, after the holiday season, Target plans on engaging with local community groups and organizations for volunteer efforts.
We will do whatever they need us to do, whether thats painting a bench or volunteering at a homeless shelter, Scott said, adding that as a corporate-wide policy, five percent of a Target stores proceeds go towards local schools within that locations area.
Target has always been big on giving back to the community, she said.
Despite an overall positive response on Targets arrival to the neighborhood so far, some residents are still wary about the liquor license that Target applied for in September. According to Scott, they are just waiting on the final approval stages from City Council for the license.
The Hyde Park store already has empty aisles set aside for liquor including 3/4 of a left side of an aisle for spirits, one side of a right aisle for wine, one side of a left aisle for refrigerated beer and about five refrigerators sectioned off for local beer.
Residents main concern with Targets application for a liquor license is that it is less than 100 feet away from a school, Murray Language Academy, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave. According to the City of Chicago, licenses for the retail sale of alcoholic liquor will not be issued for establishments within 100 feet of any church (some exceptions to this rule exist pertaining to locations near churches), school (other than an institution of higher learning), hospital, or home for the aged or indigent.
The Hyde Park Herald reached out to Target, but a representative could not immediately comment to respond to questions about its liquor license application.
Still, some shoppers are just happy they dont have to travel far now for their basic needs.
Im very excited that Target has opened, said shopper and Hyde Park resident, Nedra Warren, who was browsing for holiday items. Now I can get my medicine here instead of 87th and Cottage Grove. Its nice to be able to walk to it.
There is a CVS Pharmacy located inside of Target, despite Target being just a block away from another CVS Pharmacy in Kimbark Plaza, 1228 E. 53rd St. Scott said that the decision to be inside of Target was made by CVS, not Target.
Targets hours are Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Black Friday, Nov. 25, Target will hold regular hours. Target will not be open on Thanksgiving Day.