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Miesian Corners

Is Target the new Wal-Mart?

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I always liked Target, but these days it seems they are freakin everywhere! I have been guilty of being a Wal-Mart basher, mostly because of what they did to my hometown. As I learned more on how they single-handedly control the wages of entire Continents, I grew to hate them more.

Now Target is ruining the landscape with enormous new stores surrounded by seas of asphalt and closing older stores and leaving their carcases littering the second ring suburbs of American cities. They are no better than Sam's evil empire.

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There really isn't any difference with Walmart and what they do to cities. Any bashing directed towards Walmart should be directed to Target as well.

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Sorry, I dislike Walmart still but I do like Target. Perhaps it helps that Target in Atlanta is in some 'reasonably' urban development - at a retail development that incorporates new urbanism near my home, in Buckhead that at least incorporates a parking deck & also in future projects that involve some new urbanist ideals in Buckhead & Atlantic Station.

Otherwise, it is simply a matter of the store quality - I'm not a big shopper (though Ikea is proving me wrong) but I simply find Target to be a far more enjoyable shopping environment than Walmart. Not to mention Walmart has historically avoided city centers, which unfortunately is starting to change as two Walmarts are planned on the outskirts of Atlanta's older suburban ring.

But to be honest I know little regarding Target abandoning stores but I can assume in the suburbs Targets have massive parking lots. Certainly in that sense they are no better than any big box store.

But if I was to judge Target on personal aesthetics, I don't mind them & as for Walmart - I simply avoid them.

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I dont really mind walmart for the most part cause i dont really care about sprawl as much as many forumers here do but target has always nicer looking stores and does try some urban developments like in Kendall, Florida a suburb of miami but it isnt that different cause it is a box store just better looking then walmart. :whistling:

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I agree with monsoon: if Wal-Mart is inherently evil in their business practices, then Target is inherently evil in the same regard.

Put into another context, Target and Wal-Mart occupy the same market postions JCPenney and Sears did 30 years ago. Penney's has become the standard bearer department store as of late. Sears, sadly, is the new Montgomery Ward.

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I thought about this question some more and have come up with a few examples as to why Target is not the new Wal-Mart.

Target stores never look dirty. I know there are some run-down Target stores out there, but from what I've seen, heard, and read Wal-Mart is infamous for having dirty stores.

Target seems to attract a different demographic. The store trys to be a little more "upscale" and fashionable than Wal-Mart.

Target is more urban than Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart just opened it's first urban store in the country last year (located in the Midway area of St. Paul).

Target always has bright and colorful ads and who can forget the red bullseye?

Target has yet to invade markets outside the US.

Read about the accusations against Wal-Mart (eg labor practices)

Read about Wal-Mart's impact on local economies.

Wal-Mart now ranks behind the federal government as the most-sued entity in the country.

Target can open stores in the New York City area, while Wal-Mart has been rejected.

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I'm sorry NorthStar, I have to rebut your points about Target versus Wal-Mart. They are not better than one another; they're just slightly different.

Target stores never look dirty.  I know there are some run-down Target stores out there, but from what I've seen, heard, and read Wal-Mart is infamous for having dirty stores.

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Typically, Target stores are smaller and newer than Wal-Mart stores and have lower employee turnover. Those factors are condusive to a higher level of cleanliness, but that alone does not make the case for Target being cleaner. I've been to several dirty Targets (the men's room is a problem area)

Target seems to attract a different demographic.  The store trys to be a little more "upscale" and fashionable than Wal-Mart. 

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Target's upsacle nature was bolstered by its association with the Dayton-Husdon family of department stores. There are a lot of nicer designs at trget, but most of the merchandise available is typical department store merchandise.

In terms of demographics, Target trends more upscale, but it's because they don't typically locate in poor or rural neighborhoods.

Target is more urban than Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart just opened it's first urban store in the country last year (located in the Midway area of St. Paul).

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Target's location strategy is more flexible by design. they're following the money, that's all.

Target always has bright and colorful ads and who can forget the red bullseye?

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Target's ads differ from Wal-Mart's ads mainly in merchandise presented and typeface. Nice logo though, I have to admit.

Target has yet to invade markets outside the US.

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They're headed to Canada as we post. The main thing holding Target back from international expansion is the capital needed for an undertaking of that magnitude.

Read about the accusations against Wal-Mart (eg labor practices)  Read about Wal-Mart's impact on local economies.

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Target doesn't typically locate in poor or rural neighborhoods. Those areas are where Wal-Mart does locate and has an impact. That said Wal-Mart also provides oppurtunity and jobs, however mediocre, to local residents. Placed in a simlar context, Target can and would do the same types of things.

Wal-Mart now ranks behind the federal government as the most-sued entity in the country.

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They're the world's largest corporation; it comes with the territory.

Target can open stores in the New York City area, while Wal-Mart has been rejected. 

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That's more about PR than actual superiority. Target gets good press, Wal-Mart gets bad press. People make their decisions on companies based on sound-bites and heresay.

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I wouldn't mind Walmart or Target if they would build up to the street and be integrated into urban neighborhoods better, as opposed to being surrounding by massive parking lots. Put them up to the street, throw in a sidewalk, and for those who drive throw in a parking garage behind the building with a cut through to the front entrance on the street.

Of course that would only work for urban neighborhoods, suburbs require that sea of parking cause that is their nature...

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You should see this.. take a look at the marketing tactics Wal-Mart is now using to convince residents that a Wal-Mart will be good for their area. Colorful flyers and all. The article is about a proposed Wal-Mart in Miramar, a South Florida suburb of 100,000, known for its Med-Rev architectural theme (even the gas station canopies have red-tile roofs).

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StevenRocks, I really enjoyed reading your excellent response.  Thanks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You're welcome. You had good points as well.

Sometimes it helps to put things in perspective.

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StevenRocks, great reply.

I worked for a WalMart while I was in college in Tennessee and I saw firsthand the closing down of local stores that couldn't compete with WalMart. But the other side of that coin is that WalMart came into an area where there are no jobs and employed 300.

And if people choose small town loyalty over saving a dollar on a bag of dogfood, then WalMart couldn't put the little guys under.

There are good and bad points for everything in this world.

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My belief is that Target treats their employees better than Walmart and I believe their stores are more aesthetically pleasing, too. Walmart tries to squash unionization in absolutely abominable ways. Target is nothing like Walmart, other than they are a discount store.

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I wanted to say first that I am not an urbanite. I live in a small city in northern Minnesota, and I believe the only thing I have in common with cities is massive growth that is really tearing the "locals" apart.

It's as simple as this: When Target and Wal-Mart both wanted to build in 1991, Wal-Mart would only come in on the condition that they could build a supercenter and own all hte land surrounding the store so it could sell it to other developers.

Target agreed to a small store with room for expansion when the city was ready and only buying the land that hte store itself needed. The city council chose Target, and 6 years after opening it expanded and the land next to it developed with several national chainstores and a locally owned grocery store. (The grocery store owner owns the land and leases it to the national chains. That money stays in the community).

In the late 1990s a commercial boom hit the city and Home Depot, several national chain restaurants, and several strip malls opened on the edge of town. In 2000, Wal-Mart came back to the city council asking to build on an old property across the road from Target. After much haggling and threats from Wal-Mart to build a store in a neighboring town (yes, Wal-Mart will do anything to get what it wants), the city council bent over backwards for Wal-Mart.

They razed a property that had been the site of many old pine trees and maples and plopped their super center down on top of it facing the highway so that when you drive by on the main highway through town you can see all the loading docks, etc.

It appears that the city council is ready to give hand outs again. In 2003, a woman sold land on the south edge of town to a developer (the man lives here, but essentially built the Outlets at Albertville). He had similar plans for this property. The land was not part of the city, and the township rejected the proposal to build the 75 store/7 restaurant/hotel/water park lifestyle center.

So, the city forcefully annexed the land and the project has been approved. Construction begins next month.. and by next fall Bemidji, Minnesota will be the premier shopping destination north of Minneapolis... but God forbid you take a stroll downtown to do it!

Back to where I started, though... Target was willing to work with the community to raise its bottom line. Wal-Mart is so stubbhorn heartless when it comes to its new stores... and besides, every tax that Target pays as a company goes to Minnesota.. so I can't complain about that.

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I always liked Target, but these days it seems they are freakin everywhere!  I have been guilty of being a Wal-Mart basher, mostly because of what  they did to my hometown.  As I learned more on how they single-handedly control the wages of entire Continents, I grew to hate them more.

Now Target is ruining the landscape with enormous new stores surrounded by seas of asphalt and closing older stores and leaving their carcases littering the second ring suburbs of American cities.  They are no better than Sam's evil empire.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

tell me about it even though targets are cleaner!

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i love target compared to wallyworld. walmart is trashy and everything is unorganized with stuff falling off the racks. the product is of poor quality. anytime i go to walmart i feel unclean. target on the other hand is neat and their product is tasteful and geared towards younger generation. as far as i know their entire clothing brand is manufactured in bangladesh instead of china. i dont know if this is any better than walmarts ties with china but it couldnt be any worse. anyway i just think target is a lot better than walmart or kmart. or atleast here in jville.

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I personally worked for Target on the sales floor for a little over a month. Naturally they view themselves as the direct competition against wal-mart. As much both are similar, they are both very different, in that Target aims to be cleaner, aims to have friendlier staff, and will punish or fire employees that do not meet up to their standards. I rememer one day they were having a competion for us (a forced competition) we had to greet every single customer that we saw, and they would watch us on the cameras to see if we were greeting customers. If we were not they would yell at us over store radios so all the associates in the store knew that YOU were not greeting guests. The winner won a free meal, and the "problematic" people, which included me, were forced to walk a lap around the store greeting and smiling at every single customer, to make up for a lack of our greeting. I am sorry, but I was doing m job stocking shelves and other things, and did not ave time, in my opinion, to greet EVERY SINGLE customer that walked passed me. Also, since i was a new employee, my manager made me do the beotch work. Go out and get buggies in the rain, go and clean up childrens vomit off of the floor, and made me do the hourly bathroom check-ups that they have. I would also get "special projects" and have so many hours to do them in. Also when i was hired, they gave me my training schedule for two weeks. after that I had no schedule.....I went to the head store manager about it and he pushed it off onto the manager directly above me. And he didnt do anything about it.....now despite my complaining, because of Target's efforts to compete against wal-mart, they have a better public perception and I do enjoy shopping there. But I will never again work for a corporation that pushes you to be a robot.....

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From the outside, Target seems to stand out better as a corporate citizen, with its philanthropic efforts (donating 5% of profits to charity, etc.).

From an aesthetic perspective, what I like about Target (tar-zhay?) stores over Wal-Mart is no merchandise blocking the aisles, low shelving, and the drop ceilings and improved acoustics don't hurt either.

Also, the store layout of the SuperTarget store is much better than the Wal-Mart SuperCenter layout: the pharmacy is placed between the grocery area and the general merchandise, so someone doing a regular grocery run doesn't have to head across to opposite side of the store to buy their essentials.

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I like Target. They don't have that warehouse look that Wal-Mart does. And I can also understand what the Target employees are saying to me. The only issue I have w/ Target is their TV commercials. They're just odd.

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In my area, there is a target and walmart are a little over a mile apart on the same road. The target store is techincally in another town but right on the border. The target store looks a lot better since it blends in more with the landscape. The target store opened last March and the walmart opened about 2 yrs or so ago. I have never been to the walmart but i heard that it is very dirty, kind of dumpy inside. I've been to Target a lot. They have better selection and to a certain extent, it doesn't seem that I'm shopping in a big box.

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