EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) — Target announced the closure of several stores in four states, including one in East Harlem.
The East Harlem location was the first Target store in New York City. It opened with great fanfare in 2010.
The Target store was part of a major revitalization project for the area at the East River Plaza. Along East 117th Street and Pleasant Avenue, the East River Plaza brought food, products and big-name stores to the area.
The people, prices and convenience were a big draw.
“I’m so angry. I wish they would do something about it, I’m so angry,” resident Cookie told PIX11 News. “I was furious … I buy everything there … we need it.”
Target’s corporate office announced nine locations would be closing in areas around the country where theft has been a problem, according to the company.
In addition to the East Harlem location, Target will be closing three stores in San Francisco, three stores in Portland, Oregon, and two stores in Seattle.
Target said theft and organized retail crime have threatened the safety of its workers and customers. Target has also reported lower revenue this year.
The closures are effective Oct. 21.
Restaurant owner Lou Martins operates Bistro Casa Azul across the street.
“It’s beyond ridiculous. The city has to do what it’s supposed to be doing, which is protecting businesses from thievery. Nothing is sustainable if you can steal and steal,” Martins said.
Target said that it will still have a combined 150 stores open in the markets where the closures are taking place. Target will offer affected workers the opportunity to transfer to other stores.
“We know that our stores serve an important role in their communities, but we can only be successful if the working and shopping environment is safe for all,” Target said in a statement on Tuesday.
On the block by the East Harlem store, shoppers said they felt safe inside but noticed a lot of the merchandise locked up.
Company representatives said they tried enhanced security measures, trained staff and added security.