They were hoping for a miracle, but the people of Austin, Minnesota, will have to make do without their local Target store, which shuts its doors today.
The retail giant's decision to include Austin on its list of 11 stores earmarked for closure towards the end of last year prompted a city-wide campaign, with customers facing a 34-mile trip to Owatonna if they want to shop at Target.
The movement gain support, with thousands of people joining a Facebook protest group, while the Austin Daily Herald reported 200 people attended a public meeting calling for the store to remain open.
But despite a spirited campaign, the corporation would not change its mind, so the Facebook protest group changed to one thanking Target employees for their hard work.
KIMT reports that the feeling among campaigners is disappointed, but hopeful, with the focus now turning to ensure the city's remaining retailers are well supported.
"I was hoping for a miracle, I really was," campaigner David Hagen said, before adding: "This is a great opportunity for Austin to take a look at how they react to retail in the market. It is so important that we support our local businesses. We have a little bit over 50 percent of our spendable income leaving the community."