Picket line outside closing South Side Target location turns away Black Friday shoppers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Black Friday shoppers at the Chatham Target location were greeted by a group of protesters.

The protest was a last-ditch effort to save two South Side stores that are targeted for closure early next year. Protesters have set up picket lines by the Chatham and Morgan Park stores since the company announced those stores would close.

On Friday, the protesters were joined by local and state leaders as they asked shoppers to stop spending money at Target.

Many voiced concerns that once this Target closes, the abandoned lot will attract crime to the area.

"We know that they are going to close the store, but they're not going to close the store without consequence," said United States Representative Bobby Rush, who joined the protest.

Protesters were able to convince a few shoppers not to go inside the Chatham Target. Some joined their protest, while others left in discomfort.

"He's a very convincing guy, he seemed passionate so you know, I took him serious," said shopper Lynn Reed.

"We feel uncomfortable now, so hey, we're forced to go somewhere...even though we need a TV," said shopper C. Clark. "It's Black Friday, c'mon guys what's going on? What's really going on? There's bigger issue out here."

The retailer attributed the shutdown to "years of decline and under performance," but local leaders said closing the stores will hurt consumers more than the company's bottom line.

"Target provides fresh food, there's a pharmacy here. It's the anchor of the shopping center," said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Protesters said the closure is made more upsetting by the fact that Target plans to open more locations in the city's north side, which they take as proof of "disinvestment in African-American communities."
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