Monday, July 6, 2020

Column: New downtown Target converted a non-believer

September 19, 2019
<p>Target on Grand River Avenue, photographed on Aug. 12.</p>

Target on Grand River Avenue, photographed on Aug. 12.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News
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I’ve always hated Target. 

I think the main reason is that going to the Target nearest to my house growing up meant taking a freeway to an exit by a mall ­­— but it was outside the mall — so I rarely, if ever, went. 

It seemed like a place that was always overcrowded, the clothes didn’t live up to my ridiculous standards (they didn’t have a Hollister logo, because God forbid I choose my own fashion instead of letting the ads choose my wardrobe for me) and had pretty average pizza in the food court.

So, when everybody was freaking out last year about a Target coming to Grand River Avenue, I was unenthused. I figured, hey, it’s another place to shop, but I’ll still drive to Meijer for groceries and get clothes on Amazon. 

Plus, I grew up as a big drug store aficionado so I thought CVS would still be my place for convenience. 

There’s a chain in the Pacific Northwest called Bartell Drugs, or “Bartell’s” as it is known colloquially, and I accompanied my father to it when I was little every time he went to pick up prescriptions. If I was good, maybe he’d buy me a sports magazine from the newsstand near the photo development center. 

The Walgreens near my high school was a frequent hangout spot, mostly because for the first two years nobody had cars — but we certainly weren’t going to go home and be responsible. So we’d walk around, look at the beer we weren’t allowed to buy, and sure enough, someone would end up stealing a Kit Kat or something.

But I have to admit I’ve been cheating on CVS — and all drug stores — since Target opened. 

I lived on Ann Street over the summer while I interned right across the street as they slowly unveiled the Target, and let me tell you, the first time I walked in, I was amazed. It is so organized. Truly an OCD kid’s dream. 

I honestly couldn’t believe it. It’s a much smaller space than your average Target, owing to its downtown location, but it seems to have just about everything you would expect. 

The grocery section is sizeable enough that you can actually get a good selection, there’s lots of stuff for moving into dorms, houses or apartments and it’s a good place to get, say, a TV. 

The Target is immaculate. Everything is lined up perfectly, it hasn’t been wasted away by generations of students dropping things in it, or coming in drunk, or whatever else plagues any store in a college town. It may not last forever, but for right now, there can be no doubt that Target feels clean. 

It also validates parking, which is nice because very few places in that part of East Lansing do. Usually you’re screwed parking just about anywhere, and when you’re on a college budget, saving the 75 cents to $1.50 per trip to the store adds up. 

I never thought I’d want the Target in downtown. But I was wrong.

They hit the mark. 

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