Earlier this year, one of Target’s biggest competitors closed two stores in the Pacific Northwest. Now the popular retailer will follow in their footsteps. 

Typically when a big box retailer is closing, you can understand why. While the nostalgia of shopping in a physical Toys R Us location can’t be beaten, the toy store couldn’t keep up with growing competition from online giants like Amazon. Amazon was able to offer a larger selection of toys and ship them directly to your door. 

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Bed, Bath and Beyond was widely criticized for their cluttered stores and failure to embrace e-commerce at the right time. Their reluctance to embrace online shopping allowed competitors like Wayfair to slide in and steal customers, especially at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, they decided to liquidate all of their locations. The brand’s website is now a branch of Overstock.com and the old Boise location is becoming an indoor pickleball facility. 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps
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But when Walmart announced they were closing seven locations, including two in Portland, earlier this year we were stunned. We’ve never heard of an “underperforming” Walmart store but apparently, they existed. 

Does Target Have Underperforming Stores Too?

Just a few months later, Target announced that they plan to close nine locations before the end of October. Three of those locations are also in Portland. Two more are in Seattle. But Target isn’t closing these stores because they’re “underperforming.” A press release from the company reveals the locations are closing because they’ve been targeted by theft and organized retail crime. Not only does that hurt their bottom line, but it has also made things dangerous for their employees and other shoppers.  

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They tried to combat the problem by adding increased security, third-party security companies and theft-deterrent tools in the stores but the methods didn’t work. That includes locking up certain items prone to theft behind plexiglass, which is a huge inconvenience for shoppers who are truly looking to make a Target “run” and get out of the store quickly. 

We shopped at a Seattle Target location in March and had to buzz employees to grab deodorant and toothpaste for us. In both instances, it took employees at least five minutes to get to the aisle because they had been helping other customers grab similar products or other goods like laundry detergent, vitamins and ice cream.

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We were also a little uneasy by the presence of security guards who were outfitted the way you’d see an on-duty police officer in Boise dressed. This particular location near where Emerald City Comic Con is held isn’t on the list of closures, but it seems to demonstrate what Target addressed in their press release. 

Which Pacific Northwest Target Locations are Closing?

The following stores will be shuttered on October 21. After they close, Portland will have 15 Target stores remaining. Seattle will have 22. 

Portland Store Closures

  • Portland Galleria, 939 SW Morrison St.
  • Portland Powell, 3031 SE Powell Blvd
  • Portland Hollywood, 4030 NE Halsey St

Seattle Store Closures

  • Seattle University Way: 4535 University Way NE
  • Seattle Ballard: 1448 NW Market St, STE 100

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