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Penn students may soon have an even shorter commute to late-night snacks — a TargetExpress could be on its way to campus soon.

Target is currently searching for potential sites near Center City and University City to build as many as four TargetExpress stores, the smaller versions of a regular Target store.

For Penn students, the potential opening of a University City TargetExpress will provide them with more grocery shopping options. The opening of TargetExpress, which offers fresh food, as well as grab-and-go options, may bring direct competition to grocery stores near campus such as Wawa and Fresh Grocer.

But several students agreed that convenience is their primary concern, and the store’s opening may not majorly affect their shopping choices.

“I guess it all depends on the distance between the TargetExpress store and where I live,” Lily Jiang, a College and Wharton sophomore, said. “I now live in the Hill College House, and I prefer to shop at CVS or Wawa. Even FroGro seems to be too far for me. If I move to the other side of the campus next year, I might change my shopping routines depending on the store location.”

For busy Penn students, time is an important factor.

“During the week, I feel that I’m too busy to shop at a place that’s not near the center of the campus. I prefer to grab food at Wawa near Sansom Street, close to where I live,” Olivia Sun, a student at the Graduate School of Education, said. “I wouldn’t walk long distances unless the merchandises are far superior.” However, she added that she might consider trekking to TargetExpress over the weekends, since the store may provide a wider variety of products.

The TargetExpress’s location will seemingly determine the bulk of its business, with Penn students ultimately seeking quick trips.

“I’d say that it’s a smart move for Target to build a smaller version [of its] store near campus areas. I think it will give us more options,” Xinying Xu, an Engineering sophomore, said. “I will still go to places that were more convenient for me.”

Tom Londres, the chief executive of Metro Commercial Real Estate Inc., the firm that has helped Target build more than 50 locations across Pennsylvania areas, was unable to comment on the specifics of the project.

Since Target Corp. is still working with local realtors to find lease deals, according to reports by the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC News, it is too early to determine what TargetExpress store will offer to students in University City.

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