Heads up, Champaign Target customers: wishes do come true.
The store confirmed that its oft-dark food service will be transformed into a Starbucks sometime later this year. The current cafe, “Food Avenue,” will close on June 18, a sign on the counter reads.
“I almost cried when I saw this today at Target,” said Savoy mom Theresa Green, who posted this photo to her Facebook page on Saturday.
The sign also says in small print, “Starbucks opening date will be announced at a later time.”
Many, if not most, Targets have a Starbucks kiosk inside. The move is hardly groundbreaking, considering Target began a licensing partnership with Starbucks officially in 2002 and has since opened more than 1,100 Starbucks cafes in its stores.
But the Champaign Target store had remained a holdover, and was best known for selling popcorn, ICEEs, fountain drinks, and packaged snacks at its existing cafeteria.
The move is hardly a surprise. Among declining sales and a difficult retail climate, Target’s CEO Brian Cornell announced in late February plans to spend $7 billion renovating stores over the next three years. By 2019, the retailer expects to have refurbished some 600 of its stores.
“They’re old, they’re tired and they haven’t been updated in years,” Cornell said in a call with investors. “Each store’s going to look and feel like a totally new Target.”
Target moved to its current Champaign location on North Prospect in 1995.
Target filed a building permit application with the City of Champaign in February to remodel the front part of its store, and Chambanamoms.com reached out to Target at the time to confirm the Starbucks transition.
Target’s corporate communications team member Megan Boyd responded, “There are remodel plans for the store but the details are still being worked through.”
Further inquiries have not been addressed by Target. We will update this story once the timeline for the new Starbucks is released.
This isn’t the first time a local big box retailer has opened a Starbucks inside its doors. Longtime Meijer Champaign shoppers will recall that the coffee giant once had a kiosk inside that store; the space is now occupied by an Espresso Royale.