TARGET, Avon, Ohio

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"AVON -- ... Avon Commons is set to open the doors on its first store ...

Target will be the first store open for business. Ground for the store was broken last May, and a ''now hiring'' sign visible from I-90 was unfurled several weeks ago.

''I'm pleased that they are ready to begin ..." said Mitch Schneider, developer for Avon Commons.

Matt Gardner, the Target store team leader in Avon, said the store has a soft opening set for March 7 [2001] and a grand opening March 11. Store hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The store will be employing 160 people, he said.

Opening dates for other stores include Cost Plus with a quiet opening scheduled for March 13, and a grand opening March 15; Caribou Coffee has an approximate March 19 opening date; Linen 'n Things is scheduled for a March 30 opening; Michael's is set to open in late March or early April; Old Navy is slated to open its doors April 4.

Home Depot should be ready by next spring with Heinen's, the grocery store chain that only opens one new store a year, set for a fall 2002 opening ... "

NEWS ARTICLE from The PRESS, 3-7-01, By Julie A. Short

``AVON -- Travel around the world without even leaving Avon. Sound crazy? Not anymore with the addition of the World Market to the Avon Commons shopping center (slated to open March 15).

Experienced shoppers may know a little about the store and may have even visited the North Olmsted location. Others may ask: World Market? What kind of store is that? Well, it's the kind of store both new and old homeowners will come to enjoy ... The World Market offers shoppers everything they need to furnish their homes, and then some.

The Oakland, California-based chain features an ever-changing selection of home décor, tabletop, gift and decorative accessories, as well as gourmet food and beverages.

The unique collection of items our store offers is gathered from all over the world. Our buyers travel to more than 50 countries and bring back interesting pieces which we than sell at an inexpensive cost, Jeff Grubbs, Manager of the Avon location said ...

It has been the World Market's strategy since its inception that the wine, European cookies, Italian olive oils, Chinese sauces and other gourmet treats brings shoppers to the store more frequently than if they were looking for only home furnishings ...

Customers are able to shop for foods that they can't get at the grocery store. If there is a particular ethnic dish that they miss because they cannot find the right ingredient here in the states, chances are we have it, Grubbs said.

It is also worth noting how popular the chain is among male shoppers. According to the store, 50 percent of its business is from men. The gender group purchases anything from wine and gourmet food items, to lamps and other decorative pieces.

According to Grubbs, the close proximity of the North Olmsted location will only help the Avon store.

We are not worried about having two Westside locations. There are also World Markets in Mayfield, Mentor and Montrose. The merchandise changes every week. Customers will appreciate the store's variety, Grubbs said.

In other Avon Commons news, the long-waited Target store opened its doors to customers today [3-7-01] with a soft opening (Grand opening is March 11). While the Target chain is well known to shoppers, many may not be aware of the chain s strong civic involvement.

Target stores do a lot within the local community. Target volunteers do anything that the area which we are located, needs our help such as cleaning local playgrounds, Target Team Leader Kathy Richardson said.

The chain also has funds set aside for discretionary uses such as donations to the local Boys Scouts or other community groups.

The heart of the Target chain lies in its commitment to schools. The Take Charge of Education program allows for one percent of any purchase made with a Target charge card to be donated to the school of the customer's choice. The store also offers scholarships to teachers and students.

During a special event held before the store's opening, Target representatives presented community leaders with a donation to the local United Way. It has been a practice of the chain to donate money in each city they open a store.

Target set the stage for the opening of other Avon Commons stores. Michael's craft store is slated to open March 29; Linen 'n Things is scheduled for March 30; Caribou Coffee will begin brewing on March 20; Old Navy has an April 4 date set; and Kohl's will welcome customers on April 28 ... ''

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