The Valley Stream Target store is scheduled to undergo a remodeling project beginning in May that will cause the location to be closed for six months. The store’s last day of business before construction begins will be April 29.
Of Target’s 275 employees at the Valley Stream location, eligible team members will be able to transfer to another Target store during the remodel and then transfer back once the store reopens, according to Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder.
Plans to remodel the store, which opened in Valley Stream in 2000, started in 2010, Snyder said. According to village Building Department Superintendent Tom McAleer, Target first submitted an application for renovations in April 2010, and in December 2011 the application went back to the Board of Zoning Appeals for revision.
The project will add 13,000 square feet to the store. “During the remodel,” Snyder said, “we will remove the entire front wall of the building and push the front of the store out 55 feet, completely redesigning the front of the store including the cashier lanes, guest services and food avenue.”
She added that the parking lot will be reconfigured and the current three-level stock room, which operates inefficiently, will be converted into a two-level stock room with an elevated access walkway and merchandise conveyor. Also, the entire interior of the store will be redesigned.
According to Snyder, more than 800 Target stores have already been remodeled, and by the end of 2012 that number will jump to about 1,100. Target’s Valley Stream store is one of two locations in the country that is not a Target “prototype,” meaning the locations were picked up from other retailers. The current Valley Stream Target store was formerly a Caldor, while the other location, in Portland, Oregon, was formerly a Montgomery Wards.
“Due to the significant demolition and construction work involved in completely redesigning both of these stores, each needs to temporarily close during construction,” Snyder said. Other Target locations have remained open during renovations.
Target is currently in the midst of a National Labor Relations Board trial that began in February after charges were filed against the retail chain by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500. The charges, which began in March 2011, are in response to a June 17 election in which Valley Stream Target employees decided not to unionize by a vote of 137-85. Local 1500 filed charges stating employees were threatened to not unionize or they would lose their jobs, among other claims.
Snyder said that the upcoming renovations have nothing to do with the charges filed and added the reinvestment in the store is, “yet another indication of Target’s commitment to our guests and our team members in this community.
“Target welcomed the opportunity to present the facts during the NLRB hearing and continues to believe the election was a fair one in which our team members rejected unionization,” Snyder said.
Valley Stream resident Carolyn Pean said she is most concerned with Target’s employees and what will happen while the store is closed. “This is a union issue,” Pean said. “Six months is a ridiculous timeline for renovating a store that is established.
“I understand that the union tactics are down and dirty,” Pean added, “but there has got to be a better way. The losing party are the employees.”
The length of time Target will be closed has other residents concerned as well, but Joanie Velardi-Wendt also sees an upside. “Six months seems like a long time to renovate,” Wendt said. “I suppose it will be worth it if it means a neater and more organized store.”
Glen Amato, who has been a Gibson resident for 12 years, was surprised by the construction timeline. “New stores are built and opened in two to three months from the ground up,” he said.
Snyder said that Target is excited to welcome back its employees and customers to the newly remodeled store later in the year. She added the renovated location will include expanded fresh and prepared food sections, as well as enhanced beauty, home, shoe and baby departments.