Rep. Bobby Rush speaks at a protest over the planned clossings of Target stores on the South Side.

WBBM Newsradio/ Mike Krauser

South Siders Boycott Closing Target Stores On Black Friday

November 23, 2018 - 10:56 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Activists and elected officials are asking Black Friday shoppers to boycott two South Side Target stores that are set to close. 

The protesters were in the parking lot of the Target at 85th and Cottage Grove in the Chatham neighborhood. They were protesting Target's plan to close the store in Chatham and another in Morgan Park after the holiday season. 

One protester yelled, “Don’t do it bro, stand with the people,” convincing shopper Lynn Reed to turn around and go back to his car.

“I didn’t know they were leaving, especially after the holiday season,” Reed said, adding that he supported the Black Friday boycott.

Activists said they hoped people would abandon the store for the remaining weeks that it’s open.

Both targets on the South Side are scheduled to close in February. The decision has drawn the ire of South Side leaders and even Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who authored an executive order making it harder to businesses to use TIF funds if the plan to shutter bix box retail locations. 

The company says it’s a business decision, that the stores are under-performing. 

Rev. Dr. Mark Robertson, was approaching people as they walked toward the doors, attempting to convince them to shop elsewhere. 

Cheers erupted every time someone walked away.  

“For them to say it’s under-performing, yet they’re going to open two new stores on the north side, that’s a little fishy,” Robertson said.  He also noted the company is getting taxpayer dollars.  

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who’s running for mayor, stood with the protesters. 

“It’s a very public disinvestment by Target Corporation in African American communities,” she said.  Target provides fresh food, there’s a pharmacy here, it’s the anchor of the shopping center, just like the one at 115th is the anchor of the shopping center.   I think it’s important that we convey to that corporation how  disappointed we are.”

At one point a woman with a walker made a slow trip toward the front doors and after hearing the pleas from the protesters, she turned around and slowly made her way back to the car. 

A man who ignored the group, said as he left with a shopping cart, “I’m a victim of circumstance.” 

Congressman Bobby Rush, who was also there, said, “This is going to leave a gaping hole.”  He said other stores will fail after Target leaves. 

“This whole shopping center is going to be thrown into a crisis because of this abandoned store,” he said. 

Nobody seems to believe Target’s argument that the stores it’s planning to close are under-performing.  ​