How has the arrival of Target economically impacted Port Washington



Target officially opened in Soundview on October 18, 2017. Since then, Soundview Plaza has seen an increase in visitors and competition amongst business owners.

Sydney Kass, Staff Writer

In October, Target opened a new store in the Port Washington Soundview Marketplace.  Selling a large variety of products in one place, the establishment has proven convenient for many local customers.  We know how Target has affected people, but how has it affected the economy of the shopping center?
For one, Target has lead to a greater demand for labor, which means more jobs. This provides opportunities for individuals to be employed who might not otherwise have found work in a small town such as Port Washington.
“As Target’s presence on Long Island continues to expand, we are proud to serve guests in the North Shore area and be able to add approximately 100 team members with the opening of our Port Washington store,” said Ms. Shannon Egan, store team leader at Target, to the Port Washington Patch.
Although there were fears that the introduction of Target to an area that features small businesses such as local tailors and restaurants would be detrimental to business, the opposite has been true. Target has thus far stimulated revenue for places like Bellissimo Pizzeria, which opened in 2010.
“Business has evolved for us and the movie theater [Soundview Cinemas].  From what I’ve heard, in sales, we’ve been gaining more customers,” said Mr. Sal Cam of Bellissimo. “We are glad that they came. Hopefully more stores will open up too– that would be nice.”
Following King Kullen’s closing in December of 2014, Bellissimo experienced a decline in business.
“Business went down because most of the customers came from the workers and people who came by after [shopping or working,]” said Cam.  “Without Target, we would have been in trouble.”
Target has definitely changed Bellissimo’s business for the better, but the same can’t be said for every business in the Marketplace.
“Business has not increased here–we’re too much of a competitor with them [Target],” according to a worker at Soundview’s Rite Aid who wished to remain anonymous.
This isn’t to say that Rite Aid has experienced a particular decline, but it makes sense that its business hasn’t at least improved.  Target and Rite Aid offer many of the same products to their customers, so in some respects, Target is doing better at the expense of Rite Aid by driving up competition.
However, there are also stores in the shopping center that haven’t experienced any financial changes since Target’s opening.
When asked about how business fared both after King Kullen closed and after Target opened, Bob from GNC said, “Business is affected by online business. This market has no effect on us.  People buy more online.”
In other words, with the GNC’s strong online presence, Target’s new physical presence bares little relation and effect on GNC’s business.
Ace Hardware also remains in its pre-Target financial standing, saying, “Business has stayed about the same.”
Target’s effects on the individual establishments of the Soundview Shopping Center is dependent on the particular stores’ industries.  Ace and GNC both cater to different markets than Target does, so logically, they are left unaffected. Rite Aid’s business hasn’t increased because of competition with Target for customers. Bellissimo, in the small restaurant industry, is seeing more business because Target is bringing in more potential eaters.
Although it is too early to assume the effects of the new target on the Soundview Plaza as a whole, it appears that the introduction of Target will only bring good news to the smaller businesses of Port Washington. And, since Target provides healthy competition to larger chain stores such as Rite Aid, the people of Port Washington can enjoy the convenience of having a new store to shop at while supporting the local economy.