By LOU WILIN
Shoppers’ protracted pining for a Target store in Findlay won’t end anytime soon, Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development Director Tony Iriti said Monday.
Iriti and his predecessors have been asked for over a decade about when Findlay will get an outpost of the upscale discounter.
“The honest answer is: Probably not for a very long time,” Iriti told Findlay Rotary Club on Monday.
Findlay has two strikes against it. As a smaller town, it has relatively fewer households earning more than $50,000 per year, he said. It also is fairly close to an existing Target store in Rossford.
“Retailers will look at it and say … ‘It’s only 40 miles away. You may have to drive up there, because if we put one in Findlay, we’re going to cannibalize our Rossford store, too,'” Iriti said.
He continues to target Target, however.
“I think every six months, I have a call with the Target representatives and we throw in more numbers” to try to sell the company on opening a Findlay store, Iriti said.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. will be adding 150 employees, averaging about $100,000 annual salary, over the next three years. So Findlay looks better on paper.
But Target representatives are unmoved, he said. Company leaders will not invest in a new store based on what might be coming to Findlay, he said.
“They want to see what you have done in the past. So we’re going to continue to work on that,” Iriti said. “We’re going to continue to upgrade the retail, as we talk about it all of the time.”
It means casting for other retailers.
“There’s got to be something between Walmart and Nordstrom that fits our categories as far as retail is concerned,” he said. “We’re going to continue to work with everybody to try and figure that out.”
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