Target to close in Macon next year

Shoppers walk out of Target on Dec. 26, 2006.
Shoppers walk out of Target on Dec. 26, 2006.

Macon’s Target store will close for good next year.

The last day of operations is set for Feb. 3, store manager Virlecia Haywood told The Telegraph on Tuesday.

“It’s going to be a huge hit to the community, and we hate it,” Haywood said.

The store was notified of the pending closure Monday, according to Erin Conroy in the company’s communications office.

All 80 Target employees at the store “are being offered the option to transfer to our store in Warner Robins,” Conroy said in an email.

Eleven other stores across the country also are closing.

The reason for the store closure is similar to what other major retailers — including Sears, JC Penney and Kmart — have said as they downsized their brick-and-mortar stores.

“We have a rigorous process in place to evaluate the performance of every store on an annual basis, closing or relocating underperforming locations as needed,” Conroy said. “Typically, a store is closed as a result of seeing several years of decreasing profitability. This decision was not made lightly.”

The store opened in the Presidential Parkway shopping center off Eisenhower Parkway in 2001.

While the company closes unprofitable stores, it is opening others.

Last month, Minneapolis-based Target announced plans to open 12 small-format stores across the country in one week, according to a release. It opened 32 new stores this year, with plans to open another 35 new stores in 2018. Also, it is remodeling more than 1,000 stores by the end of 2020.

Although there have been rumors that a Target is planned for north Bibb County, “we have not announced plans for a new store in the Macon area,” Conroy said.

To compete in the online arena, Target is growing its digital capacity to fulfill online orders faster, the company said.

It is the second large retailer this month to announce it was closing in the Macon area.

The Kmart on Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard is one of 45 stores the company plans to close in late January, it announced Nov. 2.

Laura Corley: 478-744-4334, @Lauraecor

Linda S. Morris: 478-744-4223, @MidGaBiz