One of Hastings’ largest retailers is closing.

The Target store on General Sieben Drive will close in February 2018, store team lead Sari Raway confirmed. Raway said that the closure was announced to employees Nov. 6.

The store will remain open until Feb. 3.

Kristy Welker, a Target spokeswoman, said that the decision to close took a lot of thought and consideration, but it was a result of seeing several years of decreasing profitability.

“It’s not a decision we make lightly,” she said.

The store, located at 875 General Sieben Drive, opened in March 2000. It employs about 94 people, full- and part-time. Welker said that eligible team members will be given the option to transfer to other stores. If they opt out, they will be provided with a severance package based on the number of years of service.

“It’s disappointing to see the Target store closing in Hastings,” Mayor Paul Hicks said.

Hicks said that he knows there are community members who love to shop at Target. In fact, a petition was launched to keep the Target store open shortly after the announcement. There were over 1,600 signatures by Tuesday morning.

“Walmart should not be the only option,” one petitioner wrote. “Invest in improving that Target and keep it open!!!”

Hicks said he would encourage anyone to go ahead and sign the petition that has been started to save the Target in Hastings. Whenever there is the voice of the people going through the private or public sector, it is a good thing, he said.

According to a news release issued by the City of Hastings, although the news about the store closing is disappointing, it will not deter the city from continuing their efforts to support the local business environment.

The Target property is not owned or controlled by the city. However, the city intends to communicate with Target to learn about the opportunities and challenges of the property.

“We want them to be aggressive, we don't want it to just sit there and grow weeds,” Hicks said.

The city’s news release said that the city is “committed to working with the property owners and local developers to market this property, along with other existing opportunities in the community.”

There are a total of 12 Target stores closing after their 2017 fiscal year. The Fergus Fall location is another Minnesota store that will close its doors in February.