Target is opening new stores this weekend and now's a great time to shop the chain, even if you don't have a shiny new big box opening nearby. The company will be rolling out new merchandise and expanding the selection of grocery items at existing stores.

Target will grand-open three new locations on Sun., July 25, but it's the Harlem location that really gets the star treatment. Celebrities like, er, the Seinfelds turned out for an event earlier in the week but it's the designers with whom Target has partnerships getting the most buzz.

In honor the first store in Manhattan, Target has released the Harlem Designer Collections including swimwear and towels by Isabel and Ruben Toledo; kitchen linens and tees from Chef Marcus Samuelsson; and urban apparel by Stephen Burrows. Prices range from $3.99-$19.99, and of each sale from the collection goes to a charity of the designer's choice.

But don't blink or it will be gone. Target is known for its "exclusive" designer partnerships but New York seems to have spurred Target to new levels of exclusivity. The Harlem Designer Collections are available only through Aug. 1, and only at the Harlem store, online and a smattering of additional "select" locations with a similar shopping demographic to the Harlem site.


For the rest of the country, Target is expanding the grocery selection to include some fresh items such as produce, meats, prepared foods and deli items. At the new Chicago store opening in the Uptown neighborhood on the city's North Side, several center displays of fresh fruit and vegetables were flanked by refrigerated cases filled with perishables. Deals include strawberries for 99 cents a container and ground beef for 99 cents a pound. Target calls it "P Fresh" and is busily remodeling 350 stores to include the department this year.

I love shopping a brand new store. It's spotless, well stocked and has the newest lines including shoes by Dolce Vita for Target (not yet online) and a not yet picked over back-to-school selection. It's a great time to pick up items that are often sold out, or to simply enjoy the exuberance of employees all pumped up by enthusiastic management and the thrill of a new job. Even if you don't live in Chicago, Harlem or Malvern, Penn., there may be a newly remodeled "P Fresh" store to enjoy near you.

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