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Stores checking out Robert Moreno | Sat, Jan 25 2014 12:00 PM

Two big name stores in Chula Vista are checking out.

The Target Corp. announced last November that it had plans to close its Chula Vista north store, located at 40 N. Fourth Ave., on Feb. 1.

The decision to shut down that store came “after careful consideration of the financial performance and potential of the specific location,” a Target press release said.

In its final weeks before its closure, customers such as Edgar Torres were taking advantage of the 15 to 30 percent off clearance sales.

Torres, a frequent customer of the north Chula Vista store, said he just received the news that the store was closing.

“I didn’t know it was closing, I just found out,” he said.

Torres said there were a few shoppers taking advantage of the deals inside the store, but said the crowds were “not anything like Walmart.”

One Target shopper, Randall Waller, happened to be in the area when he needed to buy school supplies for a class project.

Waller said because the north Chula Vista store is not his local Target, the closure doesn’t affect him.

“I really don’t care if it’s closing,” Waller said.

He said his neighborhood Target is the one located in Westfield Plaza Bonita.

Yesenia Navarro lives a few blocks away from the Target in north Chula Vista.

She said she is going to miss the convenience of that location.

“It is the closest Target to me, the other Target is located in the mall,” she said. “With this Target I don’t have to worry about mall parking,”

Councilwoman Mary Salas blames the closure on the saturation of Target stores in the region.

“We have a company making a decision to invest in National City and create a Super Target out of it, and really they made a decision not to do that in the Chula Vista site,” she said.

“The market area is just shared by too many Targets.”

Salas said although Target will no longer occupy its current location, it gives the city of Chula Vista an opportunity to further develop the area by attracting a new business that can create better business opportunities for the city.

The north Chula Vista Store, which has been a fixture in the community since 1983, employees 117 workers.

According to the company, “all eligible store team members are being offered the option to transfer to nearby Target stores.

The store’s location was on the border of Chula Vista and National City, thus drawing customers from both cities.

Another big named store in Chula Vista is closing down.

Albertsons LLC announced last week that it is closing 11 of its Southern California stores.

One of them is the Albertsons Savon at 2310 Proctor Valley Road in Eastlake.

The grocery store, which opened in 2007, is set to close Feb. 22.

Lillia Rodriguez, communications manager for Albertsons, said the closure of this Albertsons store is a result of not meeting financial goals.

“This was an under-performing store,” she said. “It wasn’t positioned for future profitability.”

She also said evaluating and closing under-performing stores is something that the company periodically does.

She said by closing stores that do not meet financial expectations, it gives the company “an opportunity to reinvest in

its existing store base and build a stronger division.”
Salas said the closure of Albertsons shows that many residents in Chula Vista don’t shop in the area in which they live.

“What’s happening there is a question of are residents shopping at that particular  shopping center?” she said.
Salas said 72 percent of residents work outside of the city and spend their money in the area in which they work.

To combat this she said, the city needs to work harder at create a job to housing balance.

Customer Carlos Vasquez walked out of Albertsons with bags of dog food and other groceries.

He said he regularly shops at the Albertsons on Proctor Valley Road and considers that store to be part of the community.

“All the employees treated us like family,” he said. “We knew the workers and the workers knew us.” He said he would have liked to see the company survey customers in the area to see how busy the store actually gets.

Rodriguez said Albertsons is working with the employee unions to relocate its staff.

“Our goal is to place as many associates in placement opportunities,” she said.

A liquidation sale started Jan. 22.

Last March, Albertsons LLC acquired  the Albertsons grocery chain from Supervalu Inc. in exchange for $100 million in cash and $3.2 billion in Supervalu debt.

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