Chain store takes aim at Mint Plaza

A Target store is coming to San Francisco — but only for three days.

On Tuesday, Target revealed plans to open an outdoor store in Mint Plaza from Dec. 11 to 13, saving residents from having to venture to the suburbs to access some of the bargain retailer’s holiday items.

Target selected the 18,000-square-foot Mint Plaza — a European-style pedestrian space located at Jessie Street between Mint and Fifth streets in SoMa — as one of three locations nationwide to open an outdoor holiday store.

Similar stores will run simultaneously in New York and Washington, D.C., the company said.

“We wanted to give our urban markets a little slice of Target,” Shawn Gensch, Target’s vice president of brand marketing, said in a statement.

The City does not currently have a Target store, though there are rumors that the company is looking to move into the nearby Metreon.

The Mint Plaza Target-To-Go store will only offer about 50 items, but they’re “the hottest” and “most affordable,” and customers will be able to buy them prewrapped, the company said.

San Francisco has been notoriously resistant to chain stores, having passed laws in recent years banning them in certain neighborhoods, but some residents look forward to shopping at a Target close to home.

“You have to leave The City to find stuff that cheap,” said Anthony Ianni, 32, a Lower Nob Hill resident who added that a Target would provide competition for the many downtown Walgreens stores.

Target also had expressed interest in the Ferry Building for its outdoor store, according to officials with The City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

Its choice to rent Mint Plaza will ultimately benefit The City, said Jill Helffenstein of the nonprofit Friends of Mint Plaza. The organization is responsible for renting out the space and using the proceeds to maintain and improve the plaza, she said.

Two years ago, Friends of Mint Plaza transformed the space from a downtrodden, treeless area that allowed vehicular traffic into a pedestrian-only square featuring outdoor dining, small concerts and other events. Mint Plaza is also home to the popular Bluebottle
Coffee Co. shop.

Friends of Mint Plaza hopes to expand plaza use to include theater, film, dance and visual arts, according to its Web site.

Mint Plaza derives its name from the nearby U.S. Mint landmark, which housed one-third of the nation’s gold reserves during the Depression.

 

Expect more

The Target-To-Go store opening in Mint Plaza will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 11 to 13. It will offer a selection of the chain store’s top 50 items that are selling well but aren’t a burden on the wallet.

A sampling of the affordable goods to be available:

Wii “Snowboarding World Stage”: $49.99

Burt’s Bees polka dot manicure set: $19.99

Kodak digital photo frame: $89.99

Merona cashmere scarf: $19.99 to $24.99

Source: Target Corp.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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