Sunday, November 8, 2015

It's More Than a Store...


It has been 6 days since the news spread like wildfire across our small town. Whether you live in New Ulm, close to New Ulm or just flat-out know someone from New Ulm you no doubt know what I am referring to with that hashtag. That hashtag has put our little town on the map in a way. We no longer are just a small town known for our German heritage, but apparently our incessant love of our Target. I wholeheartedly include myself in that aforementioned group (both solid German and a Target fan) as well.

Here it is....our awesome New Ulm Target. 
I found out the news via my husband informing me of the announcement last Monday night. Not to sound dramatic, but my heart stopped for a second and then it dropped. I instantly started babbling about how this could NOT be happening! I couldn't get the news out of my head. Twenty minutes later we were headed to our daughter's Teacher Conference where I broke the sad news to her teacher who, quite honestly, ended up literally reeling from the news. That night it was all over social media, and it was quite THE talk the next day at work. This got another co-worker and me saying, "I admit I'm pathetic! What is the big deal? Why are we so upset? It is just a store!"

While the shock of the news has subdued it most certainly has not gone away, I'm still sitting here wondering why I'm so upset about a store closing. So I started to analyze that thought....would I be that upset if it was another store? Is it our location? Is it what they offer?? What is my deal!?!?

Hence the title of this blog....our Target is more than a store to me. (Let me insert here that this blog is not being written to undermine other businesses in our area, just explore why Target has a "spell" on us.)

For me, Target is a place where I can shop for my family on a budget and still get quality merchandise. I appreciate that, especially since we don't have lots of options in a smaller town.

I appreciate that it is always neat, clean, and has fantastic customer service. Not many big box stores can lay claim to that, but our Target clearly can.

You want to talk about a small town feel in a big box store? That is our Target. I have a feeling most of the staff at Target in a weird way knows our "stories." This is not meant to say they stalk us, but think about it. I moved back to New Ulm 11 years ago. Back then my purchases were fun clothes to wear, possibly a new CD or two, and all the basic necessities life throws at you. A few years later I got married and suddenly there was male merchandise being bought. Jump forward a few more years and suddenly diapers, formula and car seats were working their way past the register....and again two more years later...and now I have two young girls with me always in tow. They might not call me Sarah when I walk by, but they have seen me on a regular basis (dare I say every other week?) for 11 years now. They have often asked if I needed help finding anything. They have seen me struggle with a meltdown from one of my girls in the store. They've talked with my girls. We've chatted about craft projects and good gift options. They've given me a kind smile when this mom needed it. Not to sound too dramatic about this, but you get the feeling that this staff cares. For most customers I know, that is a huge deal. Our Target feels like our community does...small town. I love it. 

Let me conclude with the overriding reason for most people. IT IS RETAIL THERAPY! I had heard the term before, but honestly never really bought into that theory or that it really was a "thing." Now that I look back on it, I know it to be true. I'm sure there are many other women out there that know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Not to rule out any men reading this, but I'm pretty sure my husband has no idea what in the world I'm referring to. The men see it from the perspective that most memes on Facebook show, "I went into Target for toilet paper and came out $100 later." There are friends of mine that actually have experienced that "spell" that Target can put us under.  :)

For me the retail therapy isn't even always about buying something. There are just times that it is nice to get out of the house, and even if I have my girls with me I just enjoy walking around and looking at things. Why? I don't know!! It is just step away from reality?? What will I do if Target is gone!?!?

So, is there a chance for our dear Target? A few days ago we heard some city officials were going to be meeting with upper level management of Target. The glass half-full part of me thinks our dreams will come will stay open! But, the glass half-empty part of me has no real faith in big corporate America. I don't know the business world, and I won't pretend to, but I'm pretty sure we'll be saying a fond farewell in January. I know that Target isn't the only place in town like this. I love our grocery store of choice for the same reasons - maybe not the retail therapy part as much as hunger cravings, but still....I have confidence in knowing it is possible for another company to come in and make a difference.

.....but it will still never be Target. Ah!! Why can't I stop saying that?  :)  In all seriousness, until then I'm going to appreciate every Target run I do until it closes. I might just let myself get sucked into the dollar bins and the token endcap display more often. Who am I's all calling my name!

Simply has been more than a store to me.

Thanks for reading! I had to add this on since this happened after I wrote the blog. All in all, got some quick retail therapy in...  :)
So I went to Target today for some necessities (quite the mix as you can see), and walked away with only ONE splurge buy. In all honesty I was on a time schedule, so never made it to the clearance rack of clothes.
The bag of Caramel Apple Pops were in the Dollar Bin...of COURSE I bought them. Who doesn't love those bad boys?!?!

1 comment:

  1. Nice write up, Sarah! As the mother of a next year freshman at MLC - this was not good news. I'm sure our other son and his wife, current New Ulm residents are not happy with the news either....We lost ours in Bay City last year and it's still empty - just not a positive vibe for the community. I still wonder if it stems from the credit card debacle on Black Friday a couple years back....