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Target Opens in Forest Hills, Drawing Cheers and Some Jeers

 Matt Parry, the store manager, said the Forest Hills outpost will cater to local residents.
Matt Parry, the store manager, said the Forest Hills outpost will cater to local residents.
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DNAinfo.com/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — Target's Forest Hills site opened Wednesday morning, replacing a Barnes & Noble which closed in December. 

The new store at 70-00 Austin St. is part of the retailer’s new "flexible format" shops which are smaller than its usual large-size outlets. This is the first such store in New York, and the chain has signed a 15-year lease.

The outpost offers a selection of men's and women's clothing and home products on the ground floor and grab-and-go groceries, health and beauty items, toys, baby products, tech accessories, tablets and cellphones as well as a CVS Pharmacy on the second floor.

(DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska)

The 21,000-square-foot store will have its grand opening Sunday, but beginning Wednesday morning shoppers were able to browse the aisles and shop there for the first time.

“I’m excited,” said Jennifer Cavins, 33, a stay-at-home mom, who came to the store with her two toddlers from Kew Gardens and was planning to shop for clothing, home products and toys. “I don’t have to get on the train with the kids to get here so this is really nice for me."

Others seemed less welcoming. “Do you sell books here?,” one customer was angrily asking one of the employees. “I know you don’t ... this is a waste.”

Matt Parry, the store manager, said that the Forest Hills outpost will cater to local residents. For example, the grocery section will include a number of kosher items.

“It’s localized so we are trying to get the right product for the guests in this area,” Parry said.

Kristy Welker, a spokeswoman for Target, said that the new store will offer “a quick-trip convenient shopping experience so people can grab items for last minute meals, pick up diapers, pick up a prescription,” as well as clothing and home items. “So a little bit of everything,” she said.

Target drew the ire of the local community last month after it bricked over three sidewalk tree pits in front of its Forest Hills location. The trees had stood there until last fall when they were cut down.

The chain said it is planning to replant the trees, but the city said it’s also eyeing the site for a possible bioswale.

The store will be open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays to Fridays; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays; and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.