Target Aims To Wipe Smiley Off That Face

Mar 15, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Marshal Cohen, chief analyst at NPD Group, told the Star Tribune that Target’s decision to seek buyers for its Marshall Field’s and Mervyn’s department store chains so
it may focus entirely on its discount business means, “Wal-Mart is in for a rude awakening. Target is going to aggressively pursue the Wal-Mart customer.”

What that means exactly or if it is true are matters of debate.

Popular wisdom is that Wal-Mart and Target draw two distinct customers. Wal-Mart shoppers tend to be lower-income and primarily focused on price while Target attracts more affluent
consumers with it cheap chic flair in apparel and household goods.

Moderator’s Comment: What do you expect Target to do if it sells its department stores?

There seems to be a split of opinion on whether Target should put greater emphasis on its SuperTarget format.

The company’s chief executive, Bob Ulrich, has expressed happiness with the supercenter format but the majority of new units being opened are discount stores.
Anderson – Moderator

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