PEI

Target workers 'getting the really crappy end of the stick'

Charlottetown Mall store employees are concerned about how the smaller retailers will fare without a flagship store now that Target is closing, and also say they feel for the department store's workers.

Charlottetown Mall shop employees worry for colleagues at Target, and wonder how their own stores will survive

Target came to the Charlottetown Mall in 2013. (CBC)

Charlottetown Mall store employees are concerned about how the smaller retailers will fare without a flagship store now that Target is closing and also say they feel for the department store's workers.

Target announced Thursday it is closing all 133 of its Canadian stores in the next four to five months, affecting 17,000 workers, including more than 100 people at the Charlottetown Mall.

Virginia MacIssac, an employee of Peoples Jewellers, has worked at stores in the mall for several years. She remembers when she first heard Target was coming to P.E.I.

Virginia MacIsaac has worked in Charlottetown Mall stores for a number of years. (CBC)
"The vibe inside the mall was very positive. We were excited. It was a large United States retailer. We were actually looking forward to that as our saviour after Zellers left," said MacIsaac.

She's worried about her friends who work at Target and the void the department store's departure will leave at the Charlottetown Mall.

"I feel extremely sorry for all the employees that are part of Target division. I have a significant concern for the amount of footfall traffic that will be in our mall, and I have a really genuine concern for who is going to fill such a large space."

Anchor store critical

RioCan, the company that owns and manages the mall, did not respond to CBC News's requests for an interview, or questions regarding what's next for Charlottetown Mall.

CBC cameras weren't allowed inside the mall for interviews Friday.

MasterCuts manager Robin Walsh says the mall needs an anchor store. (CBC)
MasterCuts manager Robin Walsh says traffic increased with Target in the mall.

"I think it's horrible what they're doing to the Canadian employees here in Charlottetown at least. You have the people that were quite loyal, to stick around after Zellers had closed, to stick with Target, and they are just getting the really crappy end of the stick again," said Walsh.

"We need to have an anchor store that is going to generate more traffic flow in throughout the mall and, once again, it's gone. What are they going to bring there next?"

CBC News spoke to local Target employees, but none wanted to do an on-camera interview.

They say they only found out Thursday that the store was closing and still have no word on how much longer they'll have a job.

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