What do you get when you mix a quality department store with a scaled down grocer, and throw in shades of a furniture store to boot? Target, of course! Perhaps it is this unusual blend of offerings that makes the chain so appealing to so many shoppers, or simply the environment that the brand has cultivated, but it’s clear that Target is seriously beloved by its customers.
On Trend, On Budget
Target describes their store as having discounted trendy merchandise in a space that’s clean, comfortable, and inviting to guests. Outside of the brick and mortar, Target shoppers can also purchase items from the store via their website. The company aims to assert itself as a one stop shop.
With everything from clothing and furniture to household items and fresh fruit, Target has done an excellent job of living up to that goal since it was first founded. Today, Target intends to foster responsible corporate citizenship as they lead the charge on design and innovation within their product offerings.
Targeting Value Shoppers
In the 1960s, a department store called Dayton’s realized that they could appeal to specific demographic by creating stores that were geared specifically toward value. Thus, the first Target was opened in May of 1962 in a Minneapolis suburb. The difference between Target and other discount stores was the fact that they still carried department store quality items, meaning they were a place shoppers could feel proud to go.
Less than 15 years later, Target was making Dayton’s more money that their department stores, with annual sales reaching $1 billion in 1979. In the 1990s, Target locations began offering groceries, a pharmacy, and even photography studios.
Today, Target operates more than 1,800 locations in the United States alone, and employs more than 350,000 people worldwide. Target is still a discount store, but it does cater to a slightly elevated clientele, with the median household income of shoppers landing at $64,000 and about 57% having a college degree.
Though Target was an early adopter of the discount model, it is not the only store to have seen these benefits. Some of the brand’s main competitors are Walmart and Costco. Costco is a fair amount smaller than both of these chains, but Walmart (being a larger grocer with lower prices) is the bigger company.
As online shopping becomes increasingly popular, Amazon has also begun giving Target a run for its money, though there are plenty of areas in which the two brands aren’t in direct competition.
Marketing and Memes
Target has done its fair share in trying to generate buzz, through the use of a cute dog mascot and their tagline “Expect More. Pay Less,” but perhaps the biggest draw for recent visibility is one that Target hasn’t even had to pay for.
Since the chain has amassed an almost cult like following, memes discussing how addictive the store can be have become more and more popular, circulating the internet and in turn drawing attention for Target.
Credit Card Hack Does Little to Morale
In 2013, Target suffered a security breach that put the credit card information of many shoppers at risk. In response, Target offered customers credit monitoring, and shoppers were largely undeterred by the event.
Now, Target ranks at 39 on the Fortune 500 with a 4.8% revenue increase from the previous year, indicating that the chain is faring well against giants like Walmart and Amazon (though Walmart still sits at number 1 on the list).
Founded upon bringing value without compromising quality, Target maintains the same mission today, and has achieved great success with it.