Target reopens looted store as a symbol of its pledge to do better for Black communities
A Target store near its Minneapolis headquarters gained national attention in May when it was looted after the videotaped death of George Floyd drew national attention to excessive force by law enforcement officers in Black communities and racial inequality across U.S. society. Now, the retailer is reopening the store with the goal of doing better by this community going forward.
Target has remodeled the store to add another entrance and has placed the pharmacy near the front to make picking up prescription medicines more accessible to older customers and those who have a tougher time getting around. The store’s food and beverage section and product selection have been expanded as has the beauty and toy categories.
“It’s all about making sure the people who live in this community feel like this is home,” said Adrie Foreman, the human resources executive team lead at the store on Lake Street.
Locals, according to a Bloomberg report, did not feel at home at the store even after it was remodeled in 2018 to address the perception that it was “dirty, poorly stocked, and a bit of an afterthought” on Target’s part. White residents in the area, some of whom referred to the store as “Tar-ghetto,” drove to Targets that were further away rather than shop there.
The retailer worked with local contractors under diverse ownership and who supported youth training and employment opportunities to rebuild the store. The company also donated more than $125,000 in food and essentials to help those in need in the community while the store was shuttered. It also committed to 10,000 hours of pro-bono consulting services to help Black and other local minority-owned companies rebuild their businesses, as well.
Target CEO Brian Cornell pledged in September that the retailer would increase the number of Black employees it hires by 20 percent over the next three years. The company said it would “focus on advancement, retention and hiring” of Black workers from the frontlines to its executive offices.
Fifty percent of Target’s 350,000 employees are men and women of color, according to the retailer’s “Workforce Diversity Report.” Twenty-four percent of its corporate leadership team are people of color and nearly half of its board of directors are Black or Latino. One-third of Target’s stores are managed by people of color.
- Welcome Back: Target Opens Doors at Newly Rebuilt Stores in Minneapolis and Atlanta – Target Corporation
- Target is reopening its looted store with Black shoppers in mind – Bloomberg/The Boston Globe
- Target touts diversity gains, pledges to hire more Black employees – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your assessment of Target’s response to racial equality protests in Minneapolis and elsewhere? Is Target’s response in line with the majority of large retail chains, or is it an outlier?