Target Misses the Mark

Ms. Violet Hamel-Wade

Vermont is a state that is known for it’s beautiful scenery, endless outdoor adventures, and locally produced farm products. It is without a doubt a gorgeous place to live, and one that many residents are proud to call their home. However, our green mountain state has always lacked the commercial society that has grown considerably throughout the world. Many people feel suffocated by the small town feel and enjoy the journey to the next state over for a shopping mall with enough stores to satisfy even the casual shopper. It is for this reason that the new Target that opened in the University Mall on October 21st, 2018 was such a huge deal.

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Target is known for its versatility and universality. It has things to interest anyone from the pre-teen and the young mother to even the great grandfather. The buzz had started even before a date was set for opening, but shockingly following the autumn grand opening, many locals were underwhelmed.

We waited a long time for Target to come to Vermont,” said “Kacey” on Facebook, “but so far I’m disappointed. There seems to be a little bit of everything, but not a lot of anything.  And I do not understand at all why you would take up so much space of this small store with food!! There is a Hannaford, Trader Joe’s and Healthy Living surrounding Target.” It is true that the University Mall nearly shares a parking lot with Hannaford and if you prefer more niche items, Healthy Living and Trader Joe’s have you covered. It seems highly unnecessary to include a grocery section in this already cramped Target.

CVU parent, Christine Hamel, agrees with this feedback. “It doesn’t feel like a real Target,” she said, referring to out-of-state Target locations as “real.” This Target is also smaller than what avid Target shoppers are used to.

The reason people come to Target is for some of their more unique items such as clothing selections or affordable furniture. In the words of Megan Pettis in an online review, there is a “small, poor clothing selection, way too many groceries and food products,” and is “an overall “meh” store.” She followed up by asking, “why would I buy food at Target?” before ending with a hope that it improves over time.

Despite the majority of feedback being negative, many people are satisfied with the addition to the previously bare shopping mall. A CVU senior, Faith, said that “This [Target] in particular is nice to have because it’s the only one in all of Vermont.” Many Vermonters are familiar with a 1.5 hour drive to Target in Plattsburgh, which was previously the closest location.

A random Target shopper agreed, saying that “[before I moved here eight years ago] I’ve always lived in a state that had a Target, so I was excited. This is a smaller version but I kind of like it.”

Regardless of the feedback, Target has certainly been a popular South Burlington destination over the past few months; it seems as if everyone has at least gone to check it out. There are mixed reviews, but we can look forward to seeing how it grows and changes over the years.