By Corinne Saunders
This April, the first Target store in northeastern North Carolina that’s east of Greenville is expected to open its doors in Kill Devil Hills, according to a member of its management team.
The 80,000-square-foot store, located at 1901 N. Croatan Highway, has been undergoing an extensive remodel from its former life as North Carolina’s last operating Kmart.
“Inspections have been conducted regularly and the work is being done in a very timely manner,” Cameron Ray, assistant planning director for Kill Devil Hills, said in a Dec. 15 email about Target’s progress.
The Target will have an Ulta Beauty section, CVS, grocery section and Starbucks, according to Nags Head resident Brittany Stewart, who is the store’s specialty sales team leader.
Stewart said she was the first person hired as part of the Kill Devil Hills management team; the store director was already employed with Target and moved to Manteo from California.
Hired in mid-December, Stewart has begun her four weeks of company training at Target’s Chesapeake, Virginia, location. The store director, Randy Cunningham, is also currently commuting to work at that location from Manteo.
“I love the training,” Stewart said. “The whole Target environment is just what I expected; everyone is really warm and welcoming. You can tell they really care about their employees.”
She expects to receive Kill Devil Hills store keys in late February and looks forward to helping direct the store’s interior visual transformation.
“Visual merchandising” is her passion. Stewart earned a fashion merchandising degree from East Carolina University and, before her most recent job working remotely for Tiffany & Co., was assistant manager of visual merchandising at Michael Kors in Nags Head.
“I’m excited about seeing the store come together,” Stewart said. “I know that they plan on opening in April.” The Target in Kill Devil Hills offers a unique opportunity, she noted: “Being able to start in a store that’s brand new, everyone’s learning together.”
As of Jan. 5, the Kill Devil Hills store lists five job openings on jobs.target.com.
Stewart said open management roles are currently being advertised and more jobs will be posted online in the coming weeks. “It’s definitely going to produce a lot of jobs for the area.”
Marshalls, Rack Room in Southern Shores also set to open this spring.
The Marketplace in Southern Shores is also expected to have two new retailers opening their doors this spring as well.
New construction of a 24,000-square-foot Marshalls and a 6,000-square-foot Rack Room Shoes began in May 2022. “Construction is nearing completion; it is anticipated that both tenants will open this spring,” said a statement Emma Kelly, Aston Properties’ marketing and leasing associate.
As with Target, until the store opens, the nearest Marshalls—a department store that sells clothing, shoes and home goods—to the Outer Banks has been in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Rack Room Shoes, meanwhile, has two other Outer Banks locations — one in Nags Head and one in Kill Devil Hills.
Aston Properties has been redeveloping a section of The Marketplace, “correcting an imbalance between small shops to major anchor tenants that had existed since purchasing the center in 2014,” the company statement said. “With approval of our plans by the Town Council and Planning Board, we were put on a path to bring The Marketplace at Southern Shores to full occupancy, improving foot traffic for existing tenants and bring new shopping options to local residents.”
Since that site plan approval in September 2020, Coastal Rehabilitation relocated within the shopping center, Keller Williams underwent an expansion and Sherwin Williams and OBX McGriff Chiropractic each moved into spaces in The Marketplace. Only one vacancy now remains, according to Aston Properties.
The company has begun a complete renovation of the front parking lot, which “will take the better part of this spring to conclude,” according to Aston Properties.