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Why Are People So Passionate About Target Coming To Vermont?

Signage in front of a soon-to-be Target in 2013. The first Vermont store, to be located in the University Mall in South Burlington, has attracted strong feelings from Vermonters.
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Signage in front of a soon-to-be Target in 2013. The first Vermont store, to be located in the University Mall in South Burlington, has attracted strong feelings from Vermonters.

Reactions to the news that Target will be opening its first Vermont store have been all over the place. Some are lamenting the arrival of another "big box store," while others are barely able express their joy in words — instead relying on strings of celebratory emojis.

Reaction to the news that Target will be taking over the Bon-Ton location at South Burlington's University Mall in October 2018 ran the gamut.
Credit screenshot of VPR's Instagram post announcing Target's impending arrival.
Reaction to the news that Target will be taking over the Bon-Ton location at South Burlington's University Mall in October 2018 ran the gamut.

VPR digital reporter and resident skeptic Taylor Dobbs (who has lived in Vermont since he was two and shopped at Target once) didn't understand how it could possibly be such a big deal to have a new store coming to Vermont.

Senior producer Emily Alfin Johnson is, let's say, an experienced Target shopper. She was among the first to suggest that Target's arrival in Vermont is momentous.

62% said they were excited about a Target, while 38% said they were not.
Credit screenshot, Instagram
We asked folks on Instagram how they felt about the news that Target will be coming to Vermont in 2018. 62% said they were excited about a Target, while 38% said they were not.

But why? Plenty of brands have expanded into Vermont in recent years with relatively little fanfare; CVS and Five Guys Burgers opened Church Street stores recently, and neither sparked the kind of social media revelry that came with Target's announcement.

We decided to do some informal research to try to understand why Target is such a big deal, and why the reactions ranged from literal screams of disapproval to shrieks of joy.

To hear Taylor and Emily wander around Burlington asking strangers for their thoughts about Target's arrival, listen to the audio above.

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