Target closes some stores amid George Floyd protests, will reopen when 'it's safe to do so'

Target said it will close six locations across the country, including two locations in Minneapolis, due to outbreaks of violence during protests over George Floyd's death.
Image:
People stand outside of a damaged Target store in Minneapolis on May 28.Brian Peterson / AP
/ Source: TODAY

Target announced on Sunday that it will be temporarily closing at least six of its stores in areas with ongoing demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

According to a press release on the Target website, the closed locations include Broadway Oakland in California, Buckhead South Atlanta, South Loop Chicago, Lake Street Minneapolis, Uptown Minneapolis, and Washington Square W Philadelphia.

"The safety of our team and guests is our top priority," the statement read. "At this time, we are making the decision to adjust store hours or close stores temporarily."

The stores will resume normal hours "as soon as it's safe to do so," and employees who lose work due to closures will be paid for up to 14 days of scheduled hours, the company said.

Target stores have faced vandalization and looting as peaceful protests in major cities across the U.S. over the past several days have turned increasingly violent.

NBC News reported Sunday that the Minneapolis-based chain was closing 175 of its stores, but the company has since revised its announcement. It's no longer clear how many stores will be closed or operating with reduced hours. The company did not immediately respond to TODAY's request for comment.

The statement added that its "prioritizing rebuilding" the Lake Street Minneapolis location, with the goal of reopening in late 2020.

That store is near where Floyd died, and it was reportedly looted last week. Photos and video from the scene showed cars on fire in the parking lot, empty shelves knocked over and goods scattered across the floor.

A ransacked Target store near the Minneapolis Police Department's third precinct on May 27. Stores across the country have faced looting as peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd turned increasingly violent. Adam Bettcher / Reuters

"We appreciate members of the community and our team who have assisted in cleaning in and around that location," Target said in its statement. "We are now boarding the store up until we can survey the location and begin recovery efforts."

Target's University Avenue location in Minneapolis was also looted last week, according to local NBC affiliate KARE. Police said 50 to 60 people rushed into the store Thursday morning and ran out with items without paying, the station reported.

Protests over Floyd's death were prompted by a cell phone video from May 25 that showed a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee into the 46-year-old's neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest.

Four police officers involved in the incident were fired Tuesday. On Friday, former officer Derek Chauvin, who was shown with his knee on Floyd's neck, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.