I stopped by the corner of Aberdeen and Van Buren in the West Loop yesterday for a look at the state of the new Target store that’s scheduled to open in July of 2012. Site activity was at a standstill at lunch break, but it’s clearly progressing.
Real estate developers have been touting the new store as a major plus for the area, and there’s little doubt that consumers agree. Target’s cheap chic strategy ranked it first on the Retail Buzz index among discounters in consumer perception for the first half of this year.
One of the raps on the West Loop as a residential area has been that it’s under-retailed. The West Loop residents I’ve talked to during the past year have shown genuine enthusiasm about Target’s coming to the area – a greater level of enthusiasm, I suspect, than would be occasioned by the arrival of an equivalent square footage of the locally-owned retail boasted by more established residential neighborhoods and theoretically valued by urban sophisticates.