La Cañada Flintridge is getting a Target.
The national retailer announced Wednesday that it has signed a lease to move into the former Sport Chalet space, with plans to open in July 2018.
The popular discount store will operate a 45,865-square foot “small-format” store in the La Cañada Flintridge Town Center. This Target will be the 10th of its kind in the Los Angeles area. It will operate next door to the new City Hall, which also is scheduled to open next year, occupying the former Sport Chalet corporate office space.
“I am delighted; it’s going to be great for our community,” said Pat Anderson, CEO of the LCF Chamber of Commerce.
Target began discussions with the IDS Real Estate Group, which owns the Town Center, last November, according to Rob Fuelling, IDS’ senior vice president.
“Welcoming Target to La Cañada Flintridge completes our five-year strategic plan to reposition the Town Center as the pre-eminent neighborhood shopping center within the San Gabriel Valley,” said Fuelling, an LCF resident, in a statement.
Said Target’s Senior Vice President Mark Schindele in a statement: “We are excited to provide the many residents in the San Gabriel Valley with a more convenient option to shop Target. Target’s La Cañada small-format store will provide the community with the best that Target has to offer, curated for an inspirational and quick-stop shopping experience.”
The goal, according to the company’s news release, is to reach customers in dense suburban and urban neighborhoods by tailoring merchandise to meet local needs. In LCF, that will mean apparel and accessories for the family, including merchandise. There also will be a grocery selection that will include produce; elevated beauty assortment; home and decor essentials, a CVS Pharmacy and Starbucks.
“They customize their inventory based on the community in which they’re located,” Anderson said. “And I’m sure many people are going to think, ‘I’m going there to buy my kids tennis shoes and my workout clothes.’”
Before it filed for bankruptcy and closed in 2016, Sport Chalet — the sporting goods chain that was opened in LCF by Norbert and Irene Olberz 57 years earlier — was a prime spot for shoppers seeking items such as shoes and workout attire.
The Sport Chalet chain was purchased in 2014 by Vestis Retail Group, which two years later closed all 47 Sport Chalet stores, including the one that anchored the Town Center, which IDS acquired in 2011 from the Olberz family.
As the shopping center’s new anchor store, Target plans to hire nearly 100 employees before it opens next year.
“The hiring aspect and job opportunities, both full time and part-time, that’s one of the reasons I think this is a very healthy choice,” Anderson said. “And no doubt they’ll have seasonal employment, too, during Christmas and the holiday season.”
Anderson expects the new addition will also prove positive for neighboring retailers.
“It going to be very good for the other businesses in our community, especially those in the Town Center,” she said. “It will drive so many people into the Town Center, and we’re certainly hoping they will have lunch and buy jewelry and other things.”
Target’s business appears to be in good shape, too, according to news reports Wednesday, when the company reported earnings of $1.23 a share compared with a forecast profit of $1.19 per share; revenue of $16.43 billion instead of the estimated $16.30; and same-store sales climbing 1.3%, more than the anticipated 0.7%.
In addition to the six small-format facilities currently operating in the area, Target plans to add similar stores in Mission Hills, Glassell Park, Burbank and Koreatown in the coming months. The retailer plans to operate more than 130 small-format stores nationally by the end of 2019.
“We are appreciative of IDS’ efforts in securing a quality tenant to the center, and we look forward to working with both IDS and Target in creating a good corporate partnership in the city,” Mayor Michael Davitt said.
The vacant space was the source of much speculation over the past several months, even startling some when a prankster taped a sign to the front alerting residents — falsely — that a Hooters restaurant was scheduled to move in.
“I was hoping it would be a national chain that would generate a huge amount of sales tax,” said Anderson, who guessed it might be electronics distributor Best Buy. “That was the one I came up with, and I was wrong, but that’s OK. Target is the perfect thing.”