After the fourth consecutive night of riots in Minneapolis and St. Paul following the death of George Floyd, Target has temporarily closed 47 of its stores in the area. TJ Maxx, another retailer that has experienced property damage, also has closed a number of stores. Walmart has also closed a number of stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
There were reports of looting and property damage at Target’s store near the Minneapolis 3rd Precinct and the Midway Target in St. Paul in recent days. Protests erupted after the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who had been in police custody. A widely circulated video showed ex-police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder, Riots and fires have continued, despite Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz having activated more than 500 members of the National Guard.
Protesters spanned out in Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Indianapolis and Portland, Oregon among other cities Friday. In some cases, these violent demonstrations led to outbursts of violence and burned buildings.
As of Saturday morning, Target had temporarily closed 47 stores in the Minneapolis area – 19 more than had been closed as of Friday. A Target spokesman declined to comment Friday morning about the amount of financial damage that has been caused by looters at a Minneapolis area Target store earlier in the week. As for whether Target will close additional stores in other states, he said there wasn’t any additional information to share at this time.
The spokesman referenced the following statement, “We are heartbroken by the death of George Floyd and the pain it is causing our community. At this time, we have made the decision to close a number of our stores until further notice. Our focus will remain on our team members’ safety and helping our community heal.”
In addition to its numerous stores in the Twin Cities, Target has its headquarters in Minneapolis and is the state’s largest employer. The retailer has more than 350,000 employees worldwide. The $75.4 billion company has been based in Minneapolis since the first Target store opened there in 1962 under the Dayton Company. The recent closures in the Twin Cities represent a small fraction of the company’s 1,871 stores in the U.S.
A spokesman for TJX, TJ Maxx’s parent company said, “We are heartbroken about the events unfolding in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and hope for peace in the region. As the safety of our associates, customers and the communities we serve is important to us, we have temporarily closed a number of stores in the greater Minneapolis- St. Paul area.”
The TJX spokesman declined to specify how many stores have been shuttered. He said the company is not in a position at this time to share information about the amount of damage caused at the TJ Maxx location in St. Paul. He did not say whether additional stores will be temporarily closed in other states where protests are being held.
A spokesman for Walmart said Friday night, “As we continue to monitor the situations in Minneapolis and across the country as they unfold, we will keep our focus on prioritizing the safety of our associates and customers.”
In addition to Target, TJ Maxx and numerous other businesses in the greater Minneapolis area, Walgreens, Dollar General and Dollar Tree were also reportedly broken into by looters or damaged in recent days. A spokeswoman for Dollar Tree said that some stores may temporarily close, due to damage or “out of an abundance of caution.” She declined to specify how many stores.
”Our top priority is ensuring the safety of our associates and customers.” the Dollar Tree spokeswoman said.
Executives at Walgreens and Dollar General did not respond immediately to requests for comment.