Is the New Target Store Worth the Schlep?

The idea behind the new 132,000-square-foot Target store in Goleta is clear: It has a bit of everything, so you can one-stop shop for stuff that you might otherwise have to go to a supermarket, pharmacy, Office Depot, Big 5, toy store, Bed Bath & Beyond, and so on. That kind of essential merchandise is around the perimeter, with clothing—presumably more of an impulse purchase—in the middle.

Whether the store is worth visiting depends on the convenience of the location (across Storke Road from the corner with Home Depot and Costco) and the degree to which you value a bargain. Some prices are indeed good. The bigger issue, however, might be whether Target has what you need. There was often just one or two of a given item, and a lot of shelves and racks were totally bare. I wondered whether the store might have been overrun since its recent opening, but then I realized that it was nearly empty at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

Traditional checkout and self-checkout are both available. The latter can be more convenient, and even sort of satisfying, but of course you’re not helping the employment rate.

There’s an extra-soulless Starbucks, too. Do yourself a favor and visit locally owned Dune Coffee Roasters, a short walk across the parking lot, instead.