Target will close its doors in Springfield for the last time late Saturday night, one of a string of national retailers to exit Clark County over the past several months.
The company announced in November that it would close its location at 1885 W. First St. The decision was part of a move that closed a total of 13 stores nationwide, including the Springfield location and one other Ohio store in Columbus. The Springfield location will close for good around 10 p.m. Saturday, said Kristy Welker, a spokeswoman for Target.
Many of the store’s display aisles were barren Wednesday afternoon. A sign at the store’s entrance notified customers of the closing time and directed area residents to the chain’s location on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek.
Company officials have declined to discuss the specifics of the Springfield location’s closure, but Welker has said stores are typically only closed after reviewing a location’s long-term financial performance. The decision to close a store is usually the result of several years of decreasing profitability, she said.
Target’s decision was a blow to area shoppers. As many as 2,100 area residents signed a petition online asking the retailer’s executives to reconsider the decision, although that attempt was not successful.
Clark County also lost major retailers like JC Penney and Macy’s last year after both companies decided to close their locations at the Upper Valley Mall.
However, the area near the mall also received a boost recently when Midwest Retailer Rural King announced plans to open a location in the former Kmart building at 1476 Upper Valley Pike.
Jerry George of Urbana visited Target on Wednesday afternoon to look for last-minute bargains before the store closed. He doesn’t shop much at the store personally, he said, but knows others who do.
“I know some people who hate to see it go,” George said.
Local officials hosted an event at Springfield’s Target store last week to offer resume assistance and provide information about what other services might be available, said Lehan Peters, deputy director of OhioMeansJobs of Clark County. Most managers have been offered positions at other Target locations, but about 42 employees will lose their job, she said.
Several area employers are hiring now, so Peters said she believes most of the affected employees will be able to find work.
Other smaller retailers, including Cardboard Heroes and American Eagle Outfitters, also recently closed their locations at the Upper Valley Mall.
Local workforce development officials have been trying to reach out at former employees at those retailers as well to let them know what services and training might be available locally, Peters said.
“We’re anticipating to see more people from retail that will be coming to our doors,” Peters said.
OhioMeansJobs of Clark County is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the week, but employees who are losing their jobs can also schedule an appointment if those hours are not convenient, Peters said.
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