Staying On Target
As the greater Santa Barbara community braces for the return of thousands of UCSB students for the fall quarter, there’s something cooking just down the road that will not only offer dorm-room solutions, but also career opportunities for hundreds.
The new Target at the corner of Hollister Avenue and Storke Road in Goleta is just more than a month away from opening its doors during a grand opening Oct. 20.
“The place is looking spectacular,” store manager Kelli Nassif told the News-Press.
And Ms. Nassif has more good news for the community: The store plans to add an additional 230 employees, with 150 permanent and as many as 80 for the holidays.
This comes on the heels of already adding an initial 150 at a mass hiring event over the summer.
While Ms. Nassif and Target management are adding staff as people apply, there will be three more mass hiring events inside the new store on Sept. 28-29, Oct. 5-6 and Oct. 11-12.
“Santa Barbara is a bit more challenging to hire with school not in session, plus we got the word out a bit later the last time around,” Ms. Nassif said. “A lot of people just don’t have the technology to apply, so they use the mass hire events to utilize the iPads to do the applications.”
There are no full-time positions at Target other than leadership, with all other positions ranging from 24 to 38 hours. According to Ms. Nassif, applications received outside of the in-store events can take up to a week to hear a response.
The current staff has used the past two weeks to start readying the store for it’s close-up in mid-October. With the store unavailable until the first week of September, many of the staff have done training sessions at the Target Galleria on State Street, and as far away as Ventura and San Luis Obispo.
“Tremendous dedication from the staff, it’s really exciting to see that willingness to go above and beyond,” Ms. Nassif said.
The larger format Target allows for new features that will stand out in Santa Barbara — including the option to order your items ahead of time and have them delivered to your car within two minutes of arrival in the designated parking spaces.
Customers will also have the option of ordering ahead and stepping just inside the store to pick them up, with the store’s alcohol section nearby to allow for any additional needs to be met quickly.
“The designer of the store really wanted to make it easy for our guests, for the moms that shop every day,” Ms. Nassif explained. “This gives them the chance to run over to Home Depot and run other errands, and then quickly get their items from Target.”
Ms. Nassif is well aware that there is a cult-like following for Target, and that some enjoy spending multiple hours shopping and perusing.
The front entrance to the building will act as the welcome to that crowd.
The store will feature Food Avenue, which includes snacks, an Icee station and a popcorn station, not to mention a special mom and baby room up front near the women’s restroom.
“We are getting every bell and whistle you can ask for,” Ms. Nassif said. “This will be the most up-to-date rollout for lines and fixtures.”
With the Galleria store on State Street seeing overwhelming success — it was recognized as one of the top two flex format stores in the U.S. this past week — Ms. Nassif fully expects that the Goleta location will also exceed expectations, due to pent-up demand as well as the store’s commitment to customer service.
Its five-year plan is to be a $65 million location.
“I expect that we will exceed our forecasts as well,” Ms. Nassif said.
With that popularity comes logistical obstacles such as parking, one that Ms. Nassif and corporate feel will be accommodated with excess parking behind the store that most can’t see from the road.
“We have a plan. We are ready to serve as many people as want to visit us,” Ms. Nassif said. “We want the entire community to enjoy the Target experience.”