Ardmore has Suburban Square, new housing going up, a quaint downtown with emerging retailers, and soon a mini-Target.
Target Corp. announced Tuesday that it will open a smaller-format Target in July 2019 near the intersection of Lancaster and Ardmore Avenues.
The Ardmore Target, like its sister stores, including four in Philadelphia, will present a grocery section; beauty, baby care, and kids' products; apparel and accessories for men, women, and kids; and a CVS pharmacy and online order pickup counter.
The move is part of a larger trend in which shoppers are buying more items online with curbside pickup so they don't need big box stores as much.
"Our new Ardmore store will offer guests a convenient, one-stop shopping experience on the Main Line near the Ardmore Station and Haverford College," said Mark Schindele, Target's senior vice president for properties, in a release.
The store will be Target's eighth small-format outlet in the region in three years. The fourth mini-Target opened in the Art Museum area on Oct. 18, joining smaller-format stores at Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square West, and Roxborough.
Three more stores will debut next year. One at Fifth and Spring Garden Streets is projected to open in July to serve the booming Northern Liberties and Fishtown neighborhoods. Another at the intersection of West Cuthbert and MacArthur Boulevards in Haddon Township, Camden County, also is to open in July. A third store is set for Broad Street and Washington Avenue at the Lincoln Square shopping center in South Philadelphia. It is to open in October.
The big-box retailer remains committed to its smaller-store model, which is expanding in dense suburban and urban areas, and near college campuses. It helps Target broaden the brand where real estate is hard to come by for larger stores, analysts said. Suburban consumers are also moving quickly to mobile shopping with free delivery lessening the need for big-box emporiums.
The retailer is on track to operate 130 small-format stores throughout the U.S. by the end of 2019. Target also announced last month it was closing a dozen underperforming large stores, which are typically more than double the size of a mini-Target. None are in the Philadelphia region, where there are 39 large Targets.
Target, which seeks out neighborhoods with growing populations and lots of families, signed a lease with RMC Developments LLC for the 31,000-square-foot Ardmore space. "The store's convenient location and curated assortment will be a great asset for residents, college students, and commuters," said Joseph Hopkins, RMC's chief executive officer.
The Ardmore store will employ 50 to 70 workers. In October, the company announced plans to raise its minimum hourly wage to $11, along with a commitment to increasing that to $15 by the end of 2020.
Business advocates for Ardmore say they don't expect the new Target to cannibalize existing retailers, many of whom are small and independent.
"Anticipation and conjecture about construction and development impact are often worse than the reality," said Christine Vilardo, executive director of the Ardmore Initiative, a business improvement district. "Ardmore's businesses are not of one mind on most issues and the Target is no different. Many feel that it will bring more shoppers to the downtown.
"Because it is … not a full-size Target, we don't anticipate much competition in the way of goods offered," she said. "There are future steps in place to address any negative traffic impact."
Dario Zayas, 39, co-owner of Lulu's Casita, an indoor playground for kids with a small coffee shop at 6 Cricket Ave., said the new mini-Target "will definitely attract a lot of traffic, including some that have never been here."
"There will be pros and cons for sure," said Zayas, who's part of a new wave of small business owners downtown. "Hopefully, more pros. We always hope for the best, that the new folks coming in will stop in our shops. Eventually, it will be a good thing. Everybody loves Target, including my little ones."