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Target Arrives in Goleta

New Store Opens with Succession of Celebrations

Target store manager Kelli Nassif cuts the ribbon to launch the new store in Goleta. (October 15, 2019) | Credit: Paul Wellman

Store manager Kelli Nassif snipped the ceremonial ribbon to launch Goleta’s new Target at a ceremony held with some friends and families of its 323 new employees. That was just one of the celebratory openers for the South Coast’s newest department store — a small media and elected officials walk-through took place earlier Tuesday afternoon at the former Kmart, in advance of the soft opening on Wednesday — doors open at 8 a.m. — and the grand opening on Sunday.

Employees, both local and from other stores, worked to finish adding shelf tags and to perfect the alignment of the wares on display, which they have been setting up for the past month and a half. At least two semi-trucks have been unloading every day, employees said.

The 117,000 square-foot store contains the goods South Coast shoppers have had to go to Ventura to find, even after Target’s “boutique” version opened in Santa Barbara in April. Goleta is guaranteed to eclipse that one in every way.

For one thing, the parking lot is vast. For another, the store’s contents are legion, and varied enough to satisfy nearly all consumer expectations. With UC Santa Barbara right next door, the merchandise is Tier 1 for colleges, Nassif said, including reasonably priced, 100 percent cotton bedding and UCSB Gaucho-logo items to come.

City of Goleta officials could not disclose what sales tax revenue had previously been at the property, but city revenue projections for the next year were up by about $100,000. The Storke and Hollister intersection, however, is unchanged as the Kmart-to-Target transition didn’t require any. City spokesperson Kelly Hoover said the flurry of crowds and traffic generated by the highly anticipated opening is expected to die down, as it did in Santa Barbara.

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