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Braving the back-to-school crowds inside East Liberty’s Target

September 16, 2018
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There were plenty of cashiers to handle the long lines at Target in East Liberty on Aug. 24. It was the final push for those last-minute back-to-school items.

Shelves of binders were near empty.

Microwaves and mini-fridges were stacked high.

Nearly everything someone could need to head to school -- whether college or kindergarten -- can be found in the aisles of Target’s store in East Liberty. And on days in late August, it seems like nearly everyone is there.

“It was hectic in there,” said Claudia Hardy, a junior at Duquesne University, who is from Baltimore. “There were a lot of people shopping today.”

The Target in East Liberty is close to Pittsburgh’s universities, suburban school districts and man Pittsburgh Public Schools students. It can be mobbed as kids and their parents start back-to-school shopping.

The shopping cart escalator transported buggies full of must-have -and a few must-want -- school supplies on a busy Friday morning. All of the cashier stations had a line. They even opened a mobile express lane for those will 10 items or less, paying with a credit card and no coupons to get everyone on their way.

“Target has everything,” said Zoe Soteres, from Squirrel Hill, who is a junior at Winchester-Thurston in Shadyside. “It is so easy to shop, there because they have everything you need from supplies to clothes to sweepers.”

The vast parking lot is a plus, said Soteres’ mother Desiree. And the fact the back-to-school area is organized so well makes finding what you want easier. They did spend more time in the store than they planned.

“It was pretty crowded in there, but we got here late,” Desiree Soteres said. “They were out of some things like binders and paper, but that’s to be expected since some schools are already in session. But we found most of what we needed.”

Loading a rug into the back of the car was Pitt sophomore Meryl Greenfogel, of Wyomissing, who was shopping with her mother, Vivian.

“This is like our 500th trip to Target, between home and here, ” said Vivian Greenfogel.

“This is such a great location,” said Meryl Greenfogel. “From Pitt, we can take a bus here easily. And we always find something we need and often some things we want.”

Anne Svelling, of West Chester, stopped by to make a few returns and pick up a few items for her daughter, Hannah, who is a sophomore at Pitt. The mother-daughter duo traveled to Pittsburgh in a 1967 Volkswagen micro bus. It was full of back-to-school items when they arrived, Anne Svelling said.

“We brought a lot of stuff with us, and found out we don’t need some of it, but we need other stuff so while my daughter is at orientation I came to Target,” Anne Svelling said. “I just asked (my Smartphone) where the Target is and here I am. Target is the best. Everyone loves Target.”

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