A Tale of Two Targets

With the Rittenhouse Target Express open for business at 1900 Chestnut Street, we take a look at how it differs from the other one seven blocks away.

Target - Rittenhouse Square - 19th and Chestnut

The new Target at 19th and Chestnut streets opened with a ribbon-cutting last night. | Photo: Dan McQuade

Colleen Hastings said she never saw someone more excited for the opening of the Target.

It was last night. The girl must have been six or seven years old. She had dragged her father to the outside of the new Target store at the corner of 19th and Chestnut streets, which was about to hold its ribbon-cutting.

“She was so excited,” says Hastings, the store team leader for Center City’s second Target. “She said she wanted to work at Target when she grows up. People would come up and ask what was going on, and she would fill them in: ‘This is the new Target, it’s opening in a few minutes!’”

Residents of Rittenhouse Square might be sharing in that little girl’s excitement today: Last night, the new Target officially opened for business. So how’s it different than the one that opened in July seven blocks away on the 1100 block of Chestnut?

Target stairs

The Rittenhouse Target is two floors (yes, there are elevators). | Photo: Dan McQuade

The 25,000-square foot “flexible format” store has two levels — 5,000 more square feet than the Washington Square West store. But the store actually has even more space merchandise than the first Target location, because it does not have an in-store CVS Pharmacy and Starbucks.

“Target really tries to fit into the footprint that already exists, especially in urban environments,” says Hastings, who also lives in the neighborhood and has been with Target for eight years. “I’m the target audience for this store, so to get to open it is pretty much incredible.”

She said Target did research beforehand with people in the neighborhood to see what people wanted, which led to an expanded section of home goods in several aisles upstairs, as well as a first floor almost entirely devoted to groceries. There is a small clothes section at the front of the store as well.

The second floor has the home goods section, as well as full aisles of animal and baby products — and, of course, a selection of Eagles Carson Wentz gear. (By next month, every store in Philadelphia will be selling these items.) Shoppers will be able to order online and have the products shipped to the 19th and Chestnut store.

Target checkout counter - with mural behind it

Local designer Nate Harris did the mural behind the checkout counter at the Rittenhouse Target | Photo: Dan McQuade

What Hastings likes about running this location is the ability to quickly change according to the tastes of customers. “Target’s really given us the ability to talk to our guests, see what they want and communicate directly with headquarters to get it,” she says. “They have a really quick response time on how I can customize the store for our guests. For example, at Washington Square West, guests were asking for TVs a lot. They have TVs now.”

More Target locations are planned for Philadelphia in the coming year. A 47,000-square-foot Target will open at Ridge Avenue and Domino Lane in Roxborough in March, while a 38,376-square-foot location is scheduled to open in the old Whole Foods in the Art Museum area about a year from now.

The official grand opening for the Rittenhouse Target is Sunday. Shoppers will receive reusable tote bags.