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Shopko is leaving SE Boise. What are the odds of a Target in its place?

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NEWS ANALYSIS

In the coming months, ailing retailer Shopko will close its store on Broadway Ave.

It will leave a big-box store wide open – and real estate brokers will work to get it leased back up.

So, how about Target? It’s a popular question in our Facebook group. Here’s some analysis:

The shopping center in which Shopko Broadway is located is currently on the market. However, the parcel under the Shopko store itself is owned separately and is owned by M Group LLC of Green Bay, Wisconsin. M Group shares a PO Box with Shopko Stores in Green Bay, Wisc.

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Target mostly owns the real estate under its store locations.

Is the site big enough?

A full-size Target averages about 130,000 square feet, according to the retailer. In Boise proper it currently has two stores – one on Milwaukee St. near the Boise Towne Square. Built in 1990, the mall-area store is 101,909 square feet in size.

The other Boise store is on Eagle Rd. at Chinden (while this seems like Meridian, Boise’s city limits jut out to Eagle Rd. for a ways). This location opened up in 2001 and is 125,400 square feet.

The Broadway Shopko site contains 100,840 square feet – just slightly smaller than the Milwaukee store (and with room on site to theoretically expand).

Since Kmart closed its store in the Southshore Shopping Center on ParkCenter Blvd. in 2003, many have wondered why Target didn’t take that space (it is now used for back office functions for Albertsons). But the Broadway location has some advantages the ParkCenter spot does not: primarily access. The Shopko building on Broadway is located very near Interstate 84 and has a connection over the Boise River to Downtown Boise. The ParkCenter building is blocked to the north by the Boise River and to the south by the bench.

Are there enough people nearby?

Radius map of the two existing Target locations and the Broadway Shopko. Via NASA SEDAC

By next year, 130,000 people will live within 5km (3.1 miles) of the Shopko Broadway location according to Census data.

That number is actually higher than the 2020 population in a 5km circle of the Eagle Rd. (95,000) or Nampa (69,000) Target locations. The Nampa location has strong freeway access and likely pulls from a wider area so the comparison is imperfect – but it helps to illustrate that the Broadway store likely has a strong population to draw from.

The Milwaukee Target store has 130,000 people living within its 5km border.

The intersection of Broadway & Linden St. sees 40,000 cars, according to Colliers. The average household income within a five-mile radius is $72,000 – strong demographics for retail.

Yeah, but Shopko just failed there. Why would Target work?

The easiest answer to this might be the fact that another Shopko is closing less than a mile from a Target store in Boise. Shopko has seen declining traffic counts, and is closing stores nationwide as it struggles with debt and other issues. Comparing the Fairview Shopko store and Milwaukee Target store shows its not necessarily the type of goods sold, but pricing, branding and staffing.

Retail’s in bad shape. Is Target actually building?

A Target store in Richmond, TX. Via Target Corp.

Many retailers (ahem, Shopko) are contracting and slashing stores. But Target is still growing – albeit at a measure pace. This year, the Minnesota-based company has announced plans for 23 new stores, with another ten next year.

Many of the new or announces stores are what the company calls “small-format,” covering as little as 12,000 square feet – but as large as 40,000. While a nearly full-size Target would fit in the Broadway space, it could also theoretically subdivide the building and share it with other retail uses.

Correction: Updates to reflect ownership of land under Shopko store is owned by a Green Bay, Wisc. entity.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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