CHICAGO (CBS) — Black Friday is the day to begin a boycott of Target.
That’s the wish of U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush, who set the retailer in his sights. He’s been out in the cold for four hours demonstrating in front of the store.
He had a face-to-face meeting with Target officials but failed to get a commitment from the company to reverse its decision to shut down two South Side stores in a matter of months.
Rush said consumers shouldn’t spend another penny inside the Minneapolis-based retailer.
That way, he believes consumers will make Target pay a price for its decision to shut two South Side stores including one in Chatham.
What’s particularly troubling for the former Black Panther-turned-congressman is…
“At the very same time, they’re closing down these two stores, they’re opening two of them up on the North Side,” Rush said.
Target said the Chatham and Morgan Park stores have long been underperformers.
When asked if the decision is based in economics or race, Cook County Board President and city of Chicago mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle said she’s not sure.
“Hard to know since they haven’t disclosed what their reasons were,” Preckwinkle said.
What’s easier to know is that the Chatham Village Square Shopping Center will be left with the gaping hole once it loses its anchor in February.
The protesters want Target to lose business unless the company reverses its decision. That’s why would-be Target shoppers found themselves targeted by Black Friday boycotters.
And some people did indeed turn around.
But others still came out wheeling TVs and carrying packages.
“We all spend money. We might as well get it wherever it’s close,” said shopper Travis Henderson.
The city has offered target tax incentives to keep its stores open, so far to no avail.
Target officials said it understands people are upset by the decision. The company said it plans to help with redevelopment efforts for its properties.
Officials added that all employees at the two stores that will be closed will have a chance to continue to work for Target at other locations.