This morning's press conference held by Target, the Mayor, and the Naito family seemed just a tad belated, given that plans for a Target store in the downtown Galleria have already entered public discourse, but a couple more details were highlighted. The store is one of Target' s new "city store" projects—smaller stores designed to carry more items that can be easily walked out with. So, as Target's group director of stores, Bill Frerichs, cracked, probably not patio furniture. In Portland's case, the store is slated to take up 89,000 square feet and two stories, including a pharmacy and a Starbucks when it opens (which is expected to be in Spring of 2013.
Frerichs emphasized it as a "clean, safe" place to shop downtown, specifically mentioning parents who could stop in on their way home from work to pick up diapers and such, which seemed like a mild dis toward nearby diaper peddlers like the Pioneer Square Wallgreens. As for Adams, he was very enthusiastic about the shop, recounting how he had "stalked" them into becoming what he sees as an "anchor" for a downtown corridor he aims to be the best in the Northwest, SW Yamhill and Morrison its "spine." He also made it official: We are definitely supposed to call it the "Pioneer District" now. Another highlight: the store is estimated to be bringing approximately 200 new jobs to the city, with a variety of opportunities expected to be announced next winter. Adams also addressed the perceived inconsistency in his attitude toward big-box stores, having loudly and publicly scorned Wal-Mart and now welcoming Target with open arms. What it comes down to, he says, is the fact that part of Target's whole city store concept is to adapt their stores to their respective urban environments. Much was made of the idea that the Galleria's history as a department store and basic appearance would remain intact.
Everyone's been hinting that there are more retail announcements coming in downtown's near future, but unfortunately today they remained hints. Another question that remained unanswered: Whether this location would receive Target's designer-collaborated merchandise, such as the riot-inducing Missoni for Target and the Jason Wu collection. Frerichs told me that those kinds of merchandising details have not yet been determined. If so that could potentially create more competition for the higher priced independent clothing and home boutiques close by, assuming there is significant crossover between the label whore-ism that created the Missoni/Target frenzy and the independent and quality-minded boutique shopper. Guess we'll find out next year.