South Side community leaders are spearheading several efforts to try to discourage Target from closing two stores on Chicago's South Side, and the company has agreed to hear concerns directly from the public.
Congressman Bobby Rush, who held a community meeting on the store closures Thursday night, revealed that the company will host a meeting on the decision next week.
"Black money matters too," he said.
Rush also announced that a rally will be held at the Target location in the 1100 block of South Clark Street. That rally will take place Monday at 11 a.m., and will feature elected officials and community leaders.
City officials were scrambling to try to convince the retail giant to change its mind about closing the stores, one in Morgan Park and one in Chatham, saying both are critical to the predominantly African-American communities, and residents were upset with the decision.
"We need this store," one resident said. "The employees in there, they need a job. They have families, they have homes. They need to eat."
The Minneapolis-based retailer announced plans to shutter the stores last week, calling it a "difficult decision," but one that had to be made based on performance.
"The decision to close a store is always difficult," a store spokeswoman said in a statement, "and follows a rigorous annual process to evaluate the performance of every store in the portfolio and maintain the overall health of the business."
The company said it also considers the proximity of other Target stores before deciding to close a location.
"Target remains committed to Chicago and will continue to serve guests at nearby stores,” the spokeswoman said.
The company also said that they will work to find jobs for all affected employees, saying that they would try to put those employees in place at other stores.
But Rep. Bobby Rush said he is hoping Target will reconsider, sending the company a letter last week and on Thursday night hosting a community meeting to hear from residents.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed an executive order Wednesday to keep developers from seeking TIF money for retail projects and getting incentives if a tenant plans to close their stores.
"If you are going to be a Chicago store, you are going to be in all parts of Chicago," he said.
He has also spoken with Target's CEO since the company made the announcement and though it may be a long shot, he said he's hoping the retailer might change its mind.