NEW YORK - Target is now open in Union Square.
The saying goes 'when one door closes, another opens’ – and that's exactly the case with Target after its East Harlem store officially closed on Saturday after blaming theft and organized retail crime.
The following day, on Sunday, the retail giant opened a new location in Union Square, leaving many shoppers wondering why new stores continue to open in the city.
As nearby storefronts sit empty in the Union Square neighborhood, there was excitement last week leading up to the grand opening with a ribbon-cutting and a visit from the mayor.
Head Uptown about 100 blocks north, and it's an entirely different scenario at the now-closed location on E. 117th St., as construction workers were seen putting up plywood to cover the empty store.
Robert Leung shops at Target, and said the closing is disappointing.
"If they're closing this one, why are they opening the other ones?" he asked. "It seems like it's in special neighborhoods like Union Square, the new one, and Chelsea, so what happened here in Harlem?"
In a statement, Target cites shoplifting as the reason, saying, in part, "...we cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests... we can only be successful if the working and shopping environment is safe for all."
NYPD statistics show in the 25th precinct, where the East Harlem target store was, reports for petit larceny are down 4.1% so far this year compared to last year, and where the company has plans to open another Target, but in Central Harlem on 125th St., petit larceny reports are up 8.4% in the 28th precinct.
Residents such as Dee Valcourt are upset over the news.
"It's a loss to the neighborhood," Valcourt said. "So many shopped here from uptown, downtown, all over. I was like, 'What's happening?' when I came in. Wow."
Between security team members and theft-deferent tools, Target said it will continue making investments to prevent crime.