Dear Target, We Miss You

Shopping over a year ago in Target, little ones insisting on holding hands throughout the store.

Dear Target, Our family misses you. If you’ve been social distancing for a few months now you may also be experiencing a strange feeling of loss. I know, I know only a third world problem right? Not only do we miss seeing people, play areas, parks, zoos, going out the dinner, the movie theaters, but my son says he misses Target and honestly so do I.

We have a great local Target just a few minutes down the road. It’s our one stop shop or place to walk around when we’re bored or the weather isn’t so good. (I mean it is Indiana). This Target also is home to our favorite Starbucks with the best baristas around. It’s been our place to work on schooling, enjoy family time with a quick treat, or for a date night getaway with just the husband or little ones included.

The last time we were inside of a Target was early March the day before they closed down their Starbucks and about a week before they stopped all essential business in our area securing the official never-ending ‘stay at home order’ from our state governor. We wondered the emptying aisles uncertain of what the future would bring trying to figure out if we had enough food and essentials for ourselves and the kids to last a couple of weeks. An employee went by us with a shopping cart asking us if we wanted the last package of toilet paper in the store before she put it back on the shelf. (We said ‘sure’ not knowing when the next chance we’d get would be.) Two months later we’re glad we did.

While we’ve been grateful for our health and extra time with our kids, we miss going out places. I’m sure many people do. So this Mother’s Day I asked my husband if we could go as a family to Target, just for some sense of normalcy. Maybe it was selfish and a bit unsafe, but it was time to get out. There’s only so much Drive Up and Click Listing you can do.

So on Mother’s Day we loaded up the car and headed to Target leaving the reusable bags at home (I was just getting in the habit of bringing these with me everywhere before quarantine started *go figure). Here’s what we found.

  1. Quiet: There was a decent amount of foot traffic and the parking lot was steady, but it was so quiet. It was strange. Usually we can go through the store goofing around or the kids being their normal selves. I found myself talking quieter and even hushing the kids a time or two. I felt out of place in the eerie calm.
  2. Clean: The stores seem to be taking proper precautions cleaning and sanitizing carts as well as checkout lanes. We kept the kids in the cart and away from touching everything, like they would normally do. Most guests and many of the employees were wearing masks and everyone was doing a good job keeping distanced.
  3. Empty: The aisles were just as empty if not less product than we were finding in early March. There were less drive aisles, end caps, and displays. While most of the aisles were to the bare bones. We were able to find our essentials, but there wasn’t much else to look at. There was a noticeable absence of overly packed Clarence areas. Target brand Up and Up diapers were well stocked, we found a different packaging on our favorite Up and Up baby wipes. There was a new Up and Up baby wash we picked up Vanilla and Apricot scent. We also got some grocery items and some sad looking bananas.

We did leave with more than just essentials, because it is Target after all. The kids found some Ryan’s World drawing kits from the Bullseye’s Playground & Dollar Spot, a treat at the check out, and our two-year-old found a GIANT pink ball. All essentials for a 2 and 4-year-old. Right?

Overall, I’d say stay home for now. The Target you remember isn’t quite ready for you to be back yet. Who knows when that will be. For now we will continue to do mostly Drive Up at Target. At least until it’s safe or when Starbucks opens up…

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