Thursday, June 9, 2011

Has Tar-zhay lost its cachet?


There was an interesting article in The Wall Street Journal yesterday (which you can read online here) posing the question of whether Target has lost its cachet. Analysts say that Target has confused its shoppers by emphasizing food and low prices at the expense of its hip, cool image. Target shoppers are still stocking up on toilet paper and foodstuffs, but the stores are having a hard time enticing customers to spend money on stylish clothing and home goods—which are more profitable and make up more than 40% of annual sales. And it was precisely those apparel and decorating items — mixing mass with class — that set Target apart and allowed it to be one of the few discount chains to thrive against Walmart's relentlessly low prices.

10 comments:

Kcookski said...

I love Target even more now that my neighborhood store is expanding its grocery section. Doesn't make me think any less of it. One-stop shopping, which means a lot when you usually have an entourage (read: children) in tow.....

Peggy said...

I read the article yesterday and couldn't disagree more. I am so happy they added more groceries!! I can get all my weekly needs and then get my fab clothing finds. Because of the expanded food section I am there much more often and able to scan the bargain clothing better!

Judy C said...

One thing that may be a problem is that after you buy groceries, there isn't enough money to do much more. The economy. So they might be in worse shape if they didn't have food also.

Critifur said...

I agree to a degree, but I am not sure for the same reasons... I do miss the garden section a great deal, and so I bring my business to Lowe's. As well I just don't see the benefit of adding the grocery department. Supermarket traditionally have a hard time making a profit. I still shop at the supermarkets I have always preferred; Publix and Whole Foods. The only item I ever go out of my way to purchase at Target is the Ice Cream.

My issue is also with clothing. Many of the menswear items I have traditionally purchased at Target, was always made with 100% cotton, is suddenly being produced with 40% polyester. I won't buy it. I know they are trying to keep the price point the same, but I am just not interested in poly blends in my basics. I live in south Florida, and it is just to insulating and hot to wear.

Those changes, along with Target's political issues has made Target a hard sell for me in the past year.

et said...

Our target is enlarging its grocery section, and we really like their food brand. But I tend to go there & either do grocery shopping or other shopping, not both in one trip.

Also, my complaint is that their women's knit tops are getting to be such flimsy fabric that I've switched to men's (even though the fit is wonky). When it's tee weather here it's too hot to be wearing more than one layer.

Sara said...

My local Target is fairly small and only has a few aisles of groceries, so I don't typically shop there for food (although they do tend to have some good coupons on their website). I still like a lot of their clothes, but considering they are a mass market retailer, they seem a little overpriced. I try to stick to the 75% off racks.

purplegreenpanda said...

Yeah... the quality of the clothing seems to have gone way down (that seems to be true everywhere) so I haven't been buying.

Target-Addict said...

Thanks to all of you who weighed in on this topic. I hate to say it, but over the past year or so, my love for the Bullseye has waned. I am much less of a "Target Addict" then when I started this blog 4 years ago.

While I do like the fact that Target has expanded into the grocery field, there are only certain food items I buy there. They usually have deals on cereal, soft drinks, and canned goods - things that are bought in bulk, and which Target can pass the savings on to us. For the most part, I avoid the "fresh section", except for the blueberries (which are better priced than my grocery store or farmer's market).

I agree with Critifur that the Garden Shop is sorely missed. I now go out of my way to OSH, or have to spend an outrageous amount at my local nursery. I also miss home designers like Victoria Hagen (who left Target last year) and Michael Graves (who still has some items at Target, but only a precious few).

I also think that Target has gone too "collab happy" with the designers in the past couple of years. I would rather they partner with a select few designers - and produce truly quality goods - then troll out a new designer every two months with cheap crap made in China.

For these reasons, my love of Target has faded. I'm still a fan, but not as much as I used to be.

andrea said...

I live intown in Atlanta, and while we have a Target on about every corner, we don't have SuperTarget close by, so the expanded grocery thing isn't much of an issue for me. I do like to buy my Starbucks coffee their because they tend to be cheaper than the supermarkets. I rarely buy household goods like paper products there because they seem to only sell warehouse sizes and I have a family of only 3...we don't need 20 rolls of TP at one time. I still love their clothing, shoes, towels and sheets. I don't seem to find as many items in clothing that I love, but I'm finding enough.

gigiofca said...

The clothes don't do it for me like they did in the past. I *do* appreciate being able to get milk and a couple of things at Target if I also need to do a drugstore run. Yeah, things seem cheap in the clothing & shoes dept and that makes Target much less fun.