Target Bulks Up with New Promotion

Discussion
Jan 05, 2010
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Target says its new “The Great Save” promotion
gives consumers all the benefits of bulk deals found at warehouse clubs without
the need for any membership fees.

“The Great Save is a way for Target to offer
our guests exceptional deals on everyday essentials — just in time for their
post-holiday stock-up — and a treasure-hunt experience with a variety of exciting
designer brands,” said Kathee Tesija, executive vice president of merchandising,
Target, in a press release. “This event is a fresh, innovative approach to
meeting our guests’ evolving needs and providing them with the opportunity
to save even more at Target.”

The promotion, which runs January 3 through February
21, is an attempt by the chain to build on the promise behind its “Expect More.
Pay Less.” tag line.

Consumers will be able to buy products across
a host of categories — from apparel, electronics, food, health and beauty
care, housewares and more — at substantial savings, according to the chain.
All items in the promotion will be located in a single “Great Save” location
inside the roughly 1,000 Target stores participating in the event. The chain
operates 1,740 stores in the U.S.

The chain is also making some of the items in
the promotion available for purchase online. Consumers can get more information
by going to Target.com/thegreatsaveevent.

Discussion Questions: Do you see
Target’s “The
Great Save” event as anything more than the limited club pack approach that
others have taken when dealing with warehouse club competition? Do you see,
for example, any format changes either in existing stores or a new concept
as a result of this promotion?

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15 Comments on "Target Bulks Up with New Promotion"


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Dick Seesel
Guest
11 years 4 months ago

There is nothing wrong with “The Great Save” as a way to reinforce Target’s value position. And it’s also a good idea to find a new use for the “swing space” that Target has devoted to its “international collection” of furniture for the past few years following Christmas.

However, if the online assortment of bargains is any indication of the execution of “The Great Save” strategy, the actual success of the strategy is less certain. (Check it out at the Target website.) It’s a very strange assortment of everything from closeout handbags to remaindered books (“Air Warfare from WWI to the Present Day,” anyone?) But there is very little display of the sort of large sizes and multipacks of commodity items that send customers flocking to competitors like Costco.

Doron Levy
Guest
Doron Levy
11 years 4 months ago

Other mass merchants and grocers have smaller club pack sections but they really can’t compete with Costco and Sam’s in terms of selection, price and after service. Although, I would say Target may have an opportunity here if their grocery format doesn’t work out. That space in test stores could be used for a bigger club pack section.

Max Goldberg
Guest
11 years 4 months ago

“The Great Save” is a good promotional gimmick, but it does not represent a major format change. Grocery stores have been offering bulk packs for years. It does reinforce Target’s tagline, “Expect More, Pay Less”, but it does not foreshadow a storewide rollback of prices, like the one Walmart instituted a few months ago. Will it drive more shoppers to Target? Probably not. But it will save money for Target shoppers that want to buy in bulk, and that can build loyalty.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
11 years 4 months ago
Target is an aristocrat getting used to wearing a blue collar shirt. As their mountain of profits developed a crack, it let the light of reality in. For the past few months, Target has become more competitive but they have had to struggle to get that point across to the consuming public. Now they have added another factor in “The Great Save” promotion as they try to emulate warehouse club pricing. Whether that is just a “sleeve out of their vest” or a penetrating, competitive asset remains to be seen. In checking prices I have found that Target is lower than its competition today on many items and some promotions. Many retailers including Cheap Central (Walmart) are subtly and blatantly increasing prices. Target still operates the cleanest and most inviting stores, an asset that doesn’t necessarily convey cheaper prices…but seems to be moving in that direction. So count me in as a supporter of what Target is trying to accomplish…although they may have waited too long to start their offensive.
John Boccuzzi, Jr.
Guest
John Boccuzzi, Jr.
11 years 4 months ago

Target’s “The Great Save” is another win for shoppers, but I am unclear about how it will help them after February 21st when the program ends. Their tag, “Expect More, Pay less” is something shoppers are looking for on a consistent basis (every day). I am not sure “The Great Save” does anything to support “Expect More, Pay Less.” If they ran it every month with new deals then it would tie in nicely. Shoppers would know each time they walked in the store that there would be a “Great Save” opportunity which helps them achieve “Expect More, Pay Less.” Without running consistently throughout the year, these two tags are separate events and don’t support one another.

Sandy Miller
Guest
Sandy Miller
11 years 4 months ago

This is simply a good promotion for them. In fact, today most all good ideas are not truly new.

Steve Montgomery
Guest
11 years 4 months ago

Target’s approach raises a number of questions. Is this a test by another name? By announcing that you are resetting your entire chain for a limited period of time, it sounds that way.

While the company has always been a “value” brand, it has been positioned as a place to shop for the absolute cheapest price. Carrying brands and packages it normally doesn’t carry may afford it the opportunity to provide additional savings but what is going to be the impact on the competing items it already carries? Will they simply be swapping the sales (and margin) they normally achieve?

Is this an attempt to attract a shopper that normally shops elsewhere in the hope that they will then purchase additional items while in the store? By creating a store-within-a-store format, are they encouraging shoppers to bypass their regular stock?

This reminds me of the c-store industry’s flirtation with dollar aisles/sections within the store. Sounded great but failed to have the positive impact they anticipated.

Roger Saunders
Guest
11 years 4 months ago

A tried and proven concept. Target is setting a lofty objective in delving into this space. They have to demonstrate the “chops” to execute against it, while not misfocusing their merchandise, allocation, online, and store operations teams.

Integrating this strategy with the current ones will take ongoing communication and team support. Target does have that resolve. Should be interesting to watch.

Kevin Mahon
Guest
Kevin Mahon
11 years 4 months ago

This is not a new initiative. Target has been running similar promotions for the last couple of years highlighting the values on big packs without the necessity of membership fees.

In my opinion, the trip mission for Club and Target are very different. Shoppers go to Target for products that place a premium on design. They should build on their strength in fashion and design to create strong destination departments.

Until they are able to transform the majority of their stores to Superstores, they will not succeed with a strategy that pushes club packs on bulk necessities. It is not what their shopper is looking for when they go to Target.

Target has lost its identity as it pushes a “Value” positioning and this attempt to be like Club will further diminish their historic unique advantage in the marketplace!

Bill Emerson
Guest
Bill Emerson
11 years 4 months ago

One of Target’s greatest strengths is its continuing testing of and learning from new ideas and strategies, all based on solid research, excellent planning, and excellent execution. For instance, the toy business makes money for approximately 6 weeks every year. Target decided to use the swing space in their store to be in the business for those 6 weeks. Does anybody remember Toys “R” Us? Do I think that Costco is at risk? Absolutely not. Do I think that Target will learn from this test and, if successful, integrate it in some form into its model? My guess is yes.

Li McClelland
Guest
Li McClelland
11 years 4 months ago

At first glance I was hoping that this promotion was going to be something along the lines of a “case price” sale, such as full case of 24 cans of dog food at a 15% savings over individual cans, etc. Guess not. Revolving selections of case price offerings of staples in their own section are one way I think some large retailers could pick up/retain customers who like both the price advantage and convenience that they perceive they get from warehouse clubs.

sean s
Guest
sean s
11 years 4 months ago

I received my mailer last evening. The greatest misstep was the absence of pricing. Simply stating $1.00 off various items does not entice me to go to a store. If you told me that a large container of laundry detergent was $4.99, I’d think differently.

Poor execution and ill-conceived, in my book. I’m a fan of Target. They do so many things well, that this is just a bump.

Carol Spieckerman
Guest
11 years 4 months ago

Target has run similar promotions in the past, however, even if they hadn’t, there’s nothing new here. Target has done a great job of switching gears and going pedal to the metal on value…”Job 2″ will be to find a way out of the me-too quagmire and reinvent the Target brand in a compelling and differentiated way.

Anne Bieler
Guest
Anne Bieler
11 years 4 months ago

Target is moving in the right direction – communicating the new value proposition to shoppers. But this campaign seems a mixed message. The online assortment of “deals” in the online promotion, as other writers have noted, seems a disconnect to “warehouse savings” in the lead-in.

Target has good products and pricing, but getting their new value message as a reason to believe will have to be much clearer and more unified, showing the new packages/club packs in promos and how it delivers new value. With purchase decisions made in seconds, busy, cash strapped shoppers need clear messaging and visual cues. The “Treasure Hunt” promo somehow seems less compelling in subzero January temperatures to holiday weary shoppers.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
11 years 4 months ago

So am I correct in saying that what this amounts to is Target setting aside part of their floor for clearance (or at least clearance-priced) merchandise? Perhaps they can curb the self-promotional blather and say so in less than 50+ words.

I’m starting to worry just a wee bit about Tarjhay: it seems that not a week goes by here without them being the target of criticism (no pun intended). For a long while I was willing to dismiss most of the criticism, but lately I’m tempted to join in: every week seems to bring some reinvention of the wheel, and the latest TV and radio spots are terrible (stupid, turn-the-dial level terrible)…please, oh please, get back to being the place I enjoyed!

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