McHENRY – Target Corp. said Tuesday it plans to shutter 11 underperforming stores, including the one in McHenry, early next year.
The move will affect 117 employees at the store, 1860 N. Richmond Road, McHenry, according to a news release from the city of McHenry. The store will be closed Feb. 1.
"The decision to close a Target store is only made after careful consideration of the long-term financial performance of a particular location," the Minneapolis-based retailer said in a news release. "All eligible store team members are being offered the option to transfer to other Target stores. Team members who choose not to transfer will be offered a separation package."
The city said "a Target representative cited multiple years of declining sales and underperformance as the reason for the closure of the McHenry location."
McHenry officials said they had a good working relationship with the company.
"[The city of McHenry] maintained regular contact and benefited from a positive relationship with Target representatives and supported the concept potential for expanding the McHenry Target store location at its current site," McHenry City Administrator Derik Morefield said in a statement Tuesday. "Further, the city offered to assist in relocating the store to a more suitable site within the city limits of McHenry which could accommodate a larger store footprint. Unfortunately, no formal plans or proposals for this expansion or relocation proceeded to the City Council level for consideration/action."
The McHenry Target store takes up 95,888 square feet in the McHenry Plaza shopping center. The store opened in the early 1990s. The loss of several big-box retailers in recent years – including Wal-Mart and Sears – has left McHenry with several large commercial vacancies along Route 31. The city has been making efforts to fill the vacancies, including offering incentives to attract businesses.
It has had some successes. In June 2011, the City Council approved a $1 million incentive package to help bring in Hobby Lobby and others to fill a vacant space left by Dominick's in 2007.
"Target has indicated a commitment to actively market the site for redevelopment and, through staff communications, Target has indicated that their first preference is to sell the property," Morefield said.
Despite an "extremely challenging" commercial real estate market, Target's decision to close its McHenry store could "create an opportunity for someone to come in and redevelop the site," said Doug Martin, the deputy city administrator.
Target Corp. owns the building and about 9 acres on which the McHenry store is located, he said.
A spokesman for Target said the store's pharmacy would likely close before Feb. 1, but he didn't have an exact date. The pharmacy's prescriptions will be transferred to Jewel-Osco on West Elm Street, he said.
In McHenry County, Target has stores in Crystal Lake and Algonquin.
Other Target stores slated for closure Feb. 1 include Calumet City; Lithonia, Georgia; Clinton, Iowa; Castleton, Indiana; Wichita East, Kansas; Bay City, Michigan; Monroe, Michigan; Northland, Michigan; Austin, Minnesota and Carrollton, Texas.
The big-box retailer has 1,934 stores in the U.S. and Canada. The company has closed 12 stores in the past three years, according to media reports.