Downtown Stores Ponder New Target's Impact In Wake Forest
Posted March 4, 2003 5:27 a.m. EST
WAKE FOREST, N.C. — A new Super Target store will hold its grand opening this weekend in Wake Forest. Many people agree that the store will change the small town. What many disagree on is whether it will be a change for the better.
Eastern North Carolina's first Super Target is ready to go at Highway 98 and U.S. 1. The store, with almost 300 employees and 32 check lanes, covers 176,000 square feet, making it the largest commercial building in Wake Forest.
Company officials said they plan to share some of the store profits with the community.
"Our corporation gives 5 percent of the pre-tax profits back to the community, and this store will certainly contribute financially to the well-being of the community through grants to nonprofit groups," store team leader Dale Abernathy said.
Away from the sprawling site in Wake Forest's quaint downtown of small shops, some are saying life is not so sweet. At B&W Hardware, store owner Buddy Willis said he is worried about customers heading away from downtown.
"I think we need to be very careful of how many of these stores we let come in because it gets to where the market is so diluted that no one can survive," he said. "You get so many people to pick from. They can only go so many places."
"To the skeptics out there, I just hope they'll give us a chance to let us prove ourselves, and we're going to be a great part of this community and make it better for everybody," Abernathy said.
Another debate comes before the Wake Forest Planning Commission Tuesday night. Several opponents have signed up to speak against a Wal-Mart planned for the south side of town.