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March 14, 2023

Target to close Center City store, but plans new one near Penn

The company says the Chestnut Street location was underperforming compared to others in the city

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Target Center City Closing StreetView/Google Maps

Target's small-format store, at 1128 Chestnut St. in Center City, will close on May 13. The company is planning a new store in University City at 3701 Chestnut St.

Target will close one of its small-format stores on Chestnut Street in Center City in May, citing declining sales at that location. The retailer also intends to open another store in University City near the campus the University of Pennsylvania.

The store at 1128 Chestnut St., which opened in 2016, will shut down on May 13, Target spokesperson Kayla Castaneda said Tuesday. The new store in University City will be at 3701 Chestnut St. An opening date for that location has not been announced.

"The decision to close one of our stores isn’t something we take lightly. It’s an action we take only after multiple years of working to improve performance," Castaneda said.

The company pointed to a lack of foot traffic in the area of the store and limited parking nearby as possible reasons why the store underperformed. The intersection of 11th and Chestnut streets has been heavily impacted by the construction of National Real Estate Development's medical office building for Jefferson Health, which is expected to be finished next year. 

Castaneda said Target shoppers in the city seem to prefer the stores in Rittenhouse, at 1900 Chestnut St., and at Lincoln Square in South Philly, at 1020 Broad St.

Counting the Chestnut Street location, Target has 11 stores in Philadelphia. Among them is a full-sized store at 1 Mifflin St. in South Philly, a small store at 456 N. Fifth St. in Northern Liberties and another store in Franklintown, at 2001 Pennsylvania Ave. 

The retailer does not believe the performance of the closing store is connected to its small-format design and doesn't plan to move away from properties that size. The store at 1128 Chestnut St. was the sixth small-format Target to be built in the Philadelphia metro area. 

Employees at the closing store will be offered jobs at other Target locations.

Despite the grim retail outlook in Center City during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center City District released a report in January showing an ongoing rebound in pedestrian activity. There was a 25% increase in the average number of pedestrians per day in Center City from December 2021 to December 2022, with the greatest increases in foot traffic seen on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

CCD also published a report last month showing that the ZIP codes of Greater Center City — river to river from Girard Avenue to Tasker Street — accounted for 45% of the city's total supply of new housing last year.

Target said it remains committed to the Philadelphia area, where the chain now has more than 50 stores.