Target, just like other retail stores in the USA is affected by economic and environmental factors. One economic factor that has affected the business in the past is labor costs. Since 2015, the retail store has been under pressure to raise its minimum wage from 9 dollars to 11 dollars. The company has also been pressured to stop dealing in items which contain polyvinyl chloride. Target competes with Kmart and Walmart. There is, however, a general perception that the company's products are more expensive compared to other discount retail stores. Majority of its customers are also female.
The company primarily deals in clothes and apparel. It uses an upscale discounting business model as opposed to Walmart's price leadership model. Some of its goals include; elevating their workers' well-being, enhancing their workers' safety and enhancing the lives of more than 3 million people in the factories and communities near their factories (Target, 2013). The company plans on increasing its revenue through advertising and opening up of more stores in different locations. The company is constantly expanding. Every year, it establishes 70 stores in a bid to attract more customers. Target is the second largest retail discount store in the United States after Walmart. However, the company has been shown to be more profitable compared to Walmart. For instance, its gross profit and net profit margins are better compared to Walmart.
One thing that can be done to improve the target's profitability is expansion into newer markets both locally and internationally. Target's main competitors are Walmart and Kmart. The company's competitive strength is its ability to offer upscale products at discounted prices (Trainer, 2017). Target has an opportunity of expanding more since it only has approximately 1795 stores in the United States compared to Walmart's 10,700 stores. The company's biggest weakness is its failure to conduct sustainable expansion. In November 2015, the company closed a total of 13 stores in the United States. Such closures prevent it from expanding and bringing in more profits. The company plans on dealing with these challenges by stocking products which have a higher demand and can bring in more sales turnover.
If I were hired as a CEO of the company, I would heavily invest in marketing and promoting the company through targeted advertisement. I would ensure the retail store serves the needs of people of all age groups and demographics. Due to the increasingly busy lifestyles, more and more customers prefer to shop online. I would, therefore, ensure the company has a heavy online presence, and customers can easily shop without having to visit the physical premises.
Store Layout, Design, and Visual Merchandising
Target aims at ensuring its stores are presentable to the customers. In one of the stores I visited, I noticed that there were wide aisles and drop ceilings. The merchandise was presented attractively. On the roof of the store, there was a painting of a bull's eye. The arrangement of the store made it very attractive to young adults and adults of middle ages. The store that I visited met all the expectation I had. Its ambiance was consistent with the goods which had been stocked. The spotlighting and grey color schemes created a serene and relaxing environment. It was, however, the curved aisles which I found to most interesting. They resembled woodland pathways, and I found that they encouraged customers to explore the store and shop more. The company uses a "racetrack" layout in all its stores (Mirzayev, 2015). There is usually one main aisle and other smaller aisles which run through the centers.
This type of layout ensures the stores have sufficient space for display purposes. It also makes it easy for customers to find anything they need in the store (Harrison, 2017). The manner in which Target has organized its products makes the shopping experience very easy. The store aims at enhancing convenience during shopping. Customers who visit target stores to shop for everyday products do not have to move around the store very much as they can easily find the products they need at the front of the store. The company also groups similar sections close to one another. For instance, electronics, entertainment goods, and toys may be found close to one another to increase the convenience of shopping. I believe target can improve the customer experience by promoting guest interaction with goods.
I found that shopping on the internet was not as fulfilling as shopping in the local store. Even though shopping online was more convenient, I missed out on enjoying the ambiance usually found in the local stores. Shopping on the internet also denied me the chance to touch and feel the product which I was purchasing. Internet shopping has several advantages. For instance, many internet shoppers do not spend money buying gas and do not have to wait in long queues while checking out (Montaldo, 2004). The other significant advantage is that online shoppers can shop at any time of the day. One disadvantage of internet shopping is the inability to inspect the goods being bought physically. The design of the website dramatically influences the internet shopping experience. Websites should be easy to use so that many people can easily shop.
Harrison, O. (2017, March 14). Target Is Changing Its Layout & It's Good News For Grocery Shoppers. Retrieved from https://www.refinery29.com/2017/03/146825/target-new-store-layout
Mirzayev, E. (2015, July 7). Target Vs. Walmart: Who's Winning The Big Box War? Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/articles/active-trading/070715/target-vs-walmart-whos-winning-big-box-war.asp
Montaldo, D. L. (2004, September 24). When It Is Best to Shop Online and When It Is Not? Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-online-shopping-939775
Target. (2013). Then & Now: Target's Store Design Philosophy. Retrieved from https://corporate.target.com/article/2013/07/target-store-design-philosophy-then-and-now
Trainer, D. (2017, January 25). Target Looking Better Than Wal-Mart For Investors. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2017/01/25/target-looking-better-than-wal-mart-for-investors/#5b8b639b42bb
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