East-side Wichita Target store will close

Target East near Towne East Square is closing.
Target East near Towne East Square is closing. File photo

After more than three decades near Towne East Square mall, the Target store at 301 S. Towne East Mall Drive will close.

Diana Sack, Target Towne East store team leader, said the store’s last full day in business will be Jan. 31.

“Normal store hours,” Sack said. “We’ll be open till 10.”

Minneapolis-based Target said in a news release that its Towne East store is one of 11 in the U.S. that it will close as of 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,” Target said in the release.

The company’s other east-side store is a SuperTarget in the Regency Lakes development at 21st and Greenwich, about five miles away. There also are two Target stores on the west side of the city.

Sack said she didn’t have an exact number of employees at the Towne East store. She said the company will help those employees find positions at other area stores, or provide them with a separation package. “We’re going to take care of all our team members,” she said. Sack said she plans to stay with the company.

She also said the store continues to hire temporary workers for the holiday shopping season.

She said the Towne East Target has been open for 341/2 years.

“It’s a big surprise,” said Mustafa Sawli, owner of Mediterranean Grill at 335 Towne East Mall Drive, when he learned of the store closing. “Actually, that’s the last thing I would think of.”

Sawli said he doesn’t think the closing will affect traffic at his restaurant, which is in the same parking lot and just southeast of the store. “We have a lot of regulars that come in,” he said.

This is the second instance where Target has closed one of its stores near a mall in Wichita. It previously operated a store near Towne West Square but moved it to a larger building it built at 7575 Maple, west of Ridge Road, in 2004. That was the same year it opened the SuperTarget at Regency Lakes and one in NewMarket Square at 2727 N. Maize Road.

The other stores Target will close include two in Illinois, three in Michigan and one each in Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota and Texas.

Eleven stores in one year is the most Target has closed in the past five years. According to its annual reports from 2009 to 2013, the highest number of stores it closed in any one calendar year had been five, a figure reached in both 2009 and 2012.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.