Now that the long anticipated on-campus Target is a few weeks old, we can begin to see it’s impact on student life and other campus retailers. This addition to Price Center is part of Target’s new business objective to open small-format stores on over 20 college campuses across the nation.
Occupying the second floor of the bookstore, the small-scale Target with an in-house CVS Pharmacy had its grand opening on Sunday, October 25. Previously, students would have to travel over 5 miles to Target off campus. In past years, UCSD has even hosted events known as “Target Night” where buses would take students to and from Target on Mira Mesa.
Now, for many campus residents, the new Target means an easier way to shop for groceries and essentials. “There’s less of a need to go off campus for some basic supplies. It’s easier to buy stuff in bulk, which is really nice. There’s also going to be less of a need for ordering everything off of Amazon, which is great,” said Ben Powers, a first-year Seventh College student.
The Target has also provided new employment opportunities with the store employing about 50 team members. It is likely that the store will continue hiring students throughout the academic year.
However, some students are also speculating the possible negative impact that the Target could present. “I think Target being on campus will definitely negatively affect the other retailers on campus because personally, I would rather shop at Target than the Sunshine Market because of the prices and also because Target is more familiar to me,” said Thiviya Sri Indran, a second-year ERC student.
The addition to the Price Center could also effect pricing at other stores on campus. “It definitely has significantly lower prices than the other stores, which might push the generally overpriced markets down a bit, which would be good for students,” said Powers.
One such retailer is the student-led General Store, an on-campus Co-op. Already struggling due to the COVID pandemic, small businesses in the area have a potential new competitor. “We already lose customers to the bookstore, so I personally was worried if we were even going to stay afloat after the Target was built” said Zaya Gooding, a co manager at the General Store. However, Gooding does not believe the new Target spells doom for the Co-op. “I think that the Co-op Union is the most resilient group on campus. G store has been around for over 40 years and the cards have been stacked against our small, student-run business ever since it was founded. We got through everything back then, I know we can get through it now.”
Although the General Store has been closed since March due to the COVID pandemic, it is in the process of reopening so students can expect to shop there soon.
Amanda Gonzalez is a staff writer for the Triton.