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Big Things Come In Small Stores

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Big Things Come In Small Stores

Evie Lubak

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Hillsborough street got a new splash of red to go with its usual Wolfpack colors in the form of a new Target store.This Target is not the supercenter size most shoppers might be used to. Instead, it is one of two small-format stores, the only two in the country, with the first being the Target on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill that opened in July according to Faye Prosser of WRAL.com.

These small-format stores are about 23,000 square feet, around six times smaller than the average Target, but they still carry most of the products a larger Target would by narrowing aisles and cleverly cramming the shelves.

These mini Targets are built specifically to cater to college students’ needs, evident by their locations next to UNC-Chapel Hill and now N.C. State University. The Hillsborough mini Target provides goods such as “quick meals, organic produce, apartment and dorm furnishings, beauty aids, men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, portable technology devices, and Wolfpack gear,” says Craig Jarvis of The News & Observer. There will even be a CVS Pharmacy and Starbucks Coffee in there soon.

My sister Madeline Lubak, a sophomore studying Food Science at NC State, is one of several college students hired to work at the Hillsborough mini Target (she’s the one smiling at the camera in the cover photo). While she does not work in any particular department as most new employees normally are. All these employees were trained to handle working in any part of the store, she is most often manning the Salesfloor.

When asked what it was like to work in a store for several weeks without any customers, Lubak said, “It was really nice. It made it super easy to bond with the team and learn the ropes of how a Target Express works, since we weren’t running around trying to assist guests the whole time. It was really chill and almost relaxing to come in and know that you’re just pushing a truck or just zoning, and it gave a lot of time to refine skills. [It] definitely helped create a team dynamic with people who worked similar hours.”

My family and I due to my sister’s employee status were allowed to attend a sneak-peak opening of the mini Target on Tuesday, Nov. 7th. There were a handful of stations set up with games and red-themed food such as cupcakes, twizzlers, Coke a Cola, and Howling Cow ice cream from NC State.

There was even a student jazz ensemble from NC State playing by the cash registers. I personally, was surprised by how much they managed to fit in such a small space and that all the sections you would find in a usual Target like Electronics, Produce, and Books were all present in this mini Target. I had assumed that “mini” meant that less would be offered than the larger store. It was a good thing to be surprised about.

After so much time preparing, Lubak thought it was “awesome” to finally open the store to the public on Nov. 7th. “There were so many people. It was cool to see all of our hard work paying off when customers were able to successfully find and purchase everything they needed. It was a complete change of routine, which was good in a way since we were running out of jobs to do in just setting up,” she recounts with a laugh.

The Hillsborough mini Target was available to the rest of the public for its “soft” opening the following morning on Wednesday, Nov. 8th. After several days of soft sales, the mini Target had its grand opening on Sunday, Nov. 12th, and is now open from 7 a.m. to 10p.m. on weekdays and 8a.m. to 10p.m. on weekends.

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Big Things Come In Small Stores