Target to close 11 stores before year end

architect
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Re: Target to close 11 stores before year end

Post by architect » December 3rd, 2017, 12:26 pm

storewanderer wrote:
December 3rd, 2017, 10:36 am
Also that the margins on those men categories tended to be lower than the margins on the categories Target was heavily selling to women back at that time (clothing, seasonal, home). Target made a profit decision.

However I am not entirely sure Target's current "target customer" is the suburban mom. When I look at the Target Stores in my area which is probably representative of most medium size areas, what I see shopping in them is primarily a younger customer, typically one who lives in an apartment and does not really buy much at once. There are also a few people in the store buying groceries. I don't see many people in the stores with children (a few, but not many; not like Wal Mart which is full of families). I have made similar observations at Target Stores in UT, OR, WA, and AZ.

Target Stores in California, in suburbs of the larger cities, which are generally VERY high volume, yes, they have quite a few customers in there who appear to be the "suburban mom." So maybe it just depends on the market. But in medium markets Target seems to be lost. Wal Mart seems to be packed with customers in medium markets as well as suburbs of larger cities. So does Fred Meyer. So does Meijer. So it seems to me Target is underperforming its competitors in a lot of places.
One of the biggest reasons which Target is seemingly struggling to attract families is due to their poor private-label selection in food which is often not priced competitively either. With food prices increasing over the past 5 years or so along with the increasing awareness and quality of private-label products, many families are electing to frequent stores such as Aldi, Walmart and Kroger to take advantage of private-label products which stretch their grocery dollar further. Outside of SuperTarget stores, Target's grocery selection has become so hit or miss that many parents would be forced to go to another store anyway to pick up items which Target does not carry. This is why P-Fresh has been somewhat successful in urban young professional settings, but has largely flopped in suburban and rural areas which are primarily family-oriented.

Target's primary draw for families has traditionally been affordable clothing and household items. However, over the past 10 years or so, many parents found Target's clothing offerings to be of increasingly poor quality and out of touch with their target audience (particularly in girls' clothing, which was increasingly too skimpy and deemed inappropriate for girls of a young age). Their new Cat & Jack line shows promise, I just hope that Target can keep this momentum going as the product line begins to expand. Even still, this does not ensure that shoppers will frequent the stores on a regular basis, as your typical suburban shopper makes far more trips to their neighborhood grocer than they do to a store such as Target.

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Re: Target to close 11 stores before year end

Post by buckguy » December 5th, 2017, 3:12 pm

The Target near my work in the middle of the suburbs and the one near where I live in the city both get plenty of families despite vastly different demographics. Neither gets many older folks but most of the arguments fall flat. Target went with higher margin merchandise that doesn’t require different shelf space over a the course of a year. Even in places that aren’t “cold”, car wax and a lot of lawn/garden stuff doesn’t move for half the year. Lowe’s and Home. depot have taken away hard line business that used to be common in discount stores like lighting, electrical, paint, etc. clothing changes through the year and choosing styles is a gamble but given the margins, it’s an easier gamble than being stuck with snow shovels on a warm winter or grass seed in a rainy spring where no one wants to plant anything yet. Target made the mistake of listening to Wall Street on food, but OTOH they haven’t boxed themselves into the kind of model that has stagnated WM for years——centralized everything and and a reliance on cheap land and subsidies. Target has gone into more urban and well off areas and the stores always reflect their trading areas while WMs often trend Lowe income than this surroundings. Target may have lost some luster but WM aid tainted in much the way that KMart came to be a few decades ago.

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Re: Target to close 11 stores before year end

Post by storewanderer » December 5th, 2017, 10:54 pm

I find Target to come across as much more centralized than Wal Mart is. Target's stores get to make zero merchandising decisions and are on very rigid directives about what to put where, pricing, clearance, etc. Corporate dictates all merchandising and items carried and the stores have zero latitude whatsoever to bring items in. Wal Mart stores have much more flexibility over merchandising, mix carried, bringing in vendor items, pricing, and clearancing of merchandise. As I have visited more Wal Marts, I have actually become surprised how inconsistent they are and how much flexibility is given to their stores on merchandising decisions.

I would agree with the unfortunate downscale nature of most Wal Mart Stores. Wal Mart does seem to be remodeling the ugly yellow wall stores though; one in a rough part of Reno was recently remodeled into a simplistic looking white wall/black wall sign interior which still looks downscale, but at least not repulsive.

Target isn't much better. Some of their newer stores the past couple years look very promising, but that is not the majority of their store base. There is nothing classy about those red walls or the odd neon. It feels downscale as well as repulsive. The Reno Target had buckets all over the floor and missing ceiling tiles all winter last year to capture water leaking in; the local Wal Mart had similar issues but seemed to fix the leaks after a couple weeks. At Target, those leaks were there for months. Then there is the other Target I visit often in Carson City, Nevada which has its original 1995 interior, neon stripe around the wall, departmental signage, and even some original shopping carts/hand baskets. It feels on par with a Kmart or older Wal Mart. Nothing upscale about it. The Wal Mart 1/2 mile down the road probably does 15 times the volume too.

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Re: Target to close 11 stores before year end

Post by mbz321 » December 6th, 2017, 10:33 am

architect wrote:
December 3rd, 2017, 12:26 pm


One of the biggest reasons which Target is seemingly struggling to attract families is due to their poor private-label selection in food which is often not priced competitively either.
Really? I think Target's private label selection is pretty decent, for a place that isn't a full service grocery store. They even have odd items like generic Mio under the Market Pantry brand (something that even my local ShopRite doesn't have in their brand), and the prices are certainly reasonable (even better if you combine it with their Cartwheel app). But with the exception of SuperTarget (and even those stores don't have the variety of a grocery store), the food section is only useful to pick up forgotten odds and ends. They just haven't convinced people that Target is a place to do a full shopping trip (and their latest 'Target Run' marketing makes it sound more 7-11 ish and less of a place for a full shopping trip).

I think the big reason Target doesn't attract families is that the selection of products in most departments is just too minimal, mainly because they have too many aisles of food. It is hard to do a full shopping trip and find everything on your list at Target, so families may be going elsewhere or making multiple trips to different stores (Walmart, Costco, or an online retailer).

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Re: Target to close 11 stores before year end

Post by SamSpade » May 29th, 2018, 8:35 pm

Target is going to open 3 stores in the Seattle area through 2020 - Ballard, University District, Bellevue https://www.seattletimes.com/business/r ... ttle-area/
These sound more like the "express" size.

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Re: Target to close 11 stores before year end

Post by klkla » May 31st, 2018, 2:15 pm

I was in one of the small Target stores today that opened a couple months ago in L.A. It takes up most of the first floor of a six story apartment building at 6th & Virgil.

The good:

For the most part the store seemed like a good fit. I usually hate parking at retail stores that are in apartment buildings but this was laid out nicely. Both the parking and the store are at ground level. The store itself was pretty busy with at least two or three shoppers on every aisle except clothing and electronics, yet I had no problem finding parking.

There is a single long aisle that divides the store from back to front. The left side of the store had housewares, office supplies, electronics and a small clothing area. The right side had a CVS Pharmacy, health & beauty items, groceries (including beer/wine/liquor) and a large Starbucks. The grocery area was much bigger than I expected, taking up about 40% of the space in the store.

The bad:

You could enter from the street next to Starbucks and they had a single check out there with a long line. The main checkout was next to parking. The arrangement there created a bottle neck, also. You enter from a single line that has three manned checkouts (which also served as customer service) along the left side and six self checkouts on the right. The problem was only one person manned the customer service area and he had to also help the customers experiencing problems with self checkout.

The electronics area had two employees but no customers. The two workers there were having a very inappropriate personal conversation and seemed oblivious to the customers shopping in the store.

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Re: Target to close 11 stores before year end

Post by storewanderer » May 31st, 2018, 9:36 pm

klkla wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 2:15 pm
I was in one of the small Target stores today that opened a couple months ago in L.A. It takes up most of the first floor of a six story apartment building at 6th & Virgil.

The good:

For the most part the store seemed like a good fit. I usually hate parking at retail stores that are in apartment buildings but this was laid out nicely. Both the parking and the store are at ground level. The store itself was pretty busy with at least two or three shoppers on every aisle except clothing and electronics, yet I had no problem finding parking.

There is a single long aisle that divides the store from back to front. The left side of the store had housewares, office supplies, electronics and a small clothing area. The right side had a CVS Pharmacy, health & beauty items, groceries (including beer/wine/liquor) and a large Starbucks. The grocery area was much bigger than I expected, taking up about 40% of the space in the store.

The bad:

You could enter from the street next to Starbucks and they had a single check out there with a long line. The main checkout was next to parking. The arrangement there created a bottle neck, also. You enter from a single line that has three manned checkouts (which also served as customer service) along the left side and six self checkouts on the right. The problem was only one person manned the customer service area and he had to also help the customers experiencing problems with self checkout.

The electronics area had two employees but no customers. The two workers there were having a very inappropriate personal conversation and seemed oblivious to the customers shopping in the store.
Target has terrible customer service. The employees are not focused on customer service at all. The employees seem focused on going through the motions when a customer is around, but happily standing around if not. And uniforms/appearance have become very sloppy as well. Target employees used to have a neat and uniform appearance. Over the past few years I see different shades of red shirts, some with no collar, some shirts that don't even cover the employee's lower body fully... really sloppy employee appearance at these Target Stores in Nevada.

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Re: Target to close 11 stores before year end

Post by arizonaguy » June 1st, 2018, 7:08 am

storewanderer wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 9:36 pm
klkla wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 2:15 pm
I was in one of the small Target stores today that opened a couple months ago in L.A. It takes up most of the first floor of a six story apartment building at 6th & Virgil.

The good:

For the most part the store seemed like a good fit. I usually hate parking at retail stores that are in apartment buildings but this was laid out nicely. Both the parking and the store are at ground level. The store itself was pretty busy with at least two or three shoppers on every aisle except clothing and electronics, yet I had no problem finding parking.

There is a single long aisle that divides the store from back to front. The left side of the store had housewares, office supplies, electronics and a small clothing area. The right side had a CVS Pharmacy, health & beauty items, groceries (including beer/wine/liquor) and a large Starbucks. The grocery area was much bigger than I expected, taking up about 40% of the space in the store.

The bad:

You could enter from the street next to Starbucks and they had a single check out there with a long line. The main checkout was next to parking. The arrangement there created a bottle neck, also. You enter from a single line that has three manned checkouts (which also served as customer service) along the left side and six self checkouts on the right. The problem was only one person manned the customer service area and he had to also help the customers experiencing problems with self checkout.

The electronics area had two employees but no customers. The two workers there were having a very inappropriate personal conversation and seemed oblivious to the customers shopping in the store.
Target has terrible customer service. The employees are not focused on customer service at all. The employees seem focused on going through the motions when a customer is around, but happily standing around if not. And uniforms/appearance have become very sloppy as well. Target employees used to have a neat and uniform appearance. Over the past few years I see different shades of red shirts, some with no collar, some shirts that don't even cover the employee's lower body fully... really sloppy employee appearance at these Target Stores in Nevada.
Target, in my opinion, has about average customer service. Not terrible but not amazing either. There's an employee at the Target I most frequently go to who usually works the self-checkout area and he doesn't even wear a red shirt (and I've seen him on multiple occasions not wearing a red shirt). I probably have overall had a better experiences with Walmart employees than Target ones.

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Re: Target to close 11 stores before year end

Post by babs » June 1st, 2018, 7:49 am

arizonaguy wrote:
June 1st, 2018, 7:08 am
storewanderer wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 9:36 pm
klkla wrote:
May 31st, 2018, 2:15 pm
I was in one of the small Target stores today that opened a couple months ago in L.A. It takes up most of the first floor of a six story apartment building at 6th & Virgil.

The good:

For the most part the store seemed like a good fit. I usually hate parking at retail stores that are in apartment buildings but this was laid out nicely. Both the parking and the store are at ground level. The store itself was pretty busy with at least two or three shoppers on every aisle except clothing and electronics, yet I had no problem finding parking.

There is a single long aisle that divides the store from back to front. The left side of the store had housewares, office supplies, electronics and a small clothing area. The right side had a CVS Pharmacy, health & beauty items, groceries (including beer/wine/liquor) and a large Starbucks. The grocery area was much bigger than I expected, taking up about 40% of the space in the store.

The bad:

You could enter from the street next to Starbucks and they had a single check out there with a long line. The main checkout was next to parking. The arrangement there created a bottle neck, also. You enter from a single line that has three manned checkouts (which also served as customer service) along the left side and six self checkouts on the right. The problem was only one person manned the customer service area and he had to also help the customers experiencing problems with self checkout.

The electronics area had two employees but no customers. The two workers there were having a very inappropriate personal conversation and seemed oblivious to the customers shopping in the store.
Target has terrible customer service. The employees are not focused on customer service at all. The employees seem focused on going through the motions when a customer is around, but happily standing around if not. And uniforms/appearance have become very sloppy as well. Target employees used to have a neat and uniform appearance. Over the past few years I see different shades of red shirts, some with no collar, some shirts that don't even cover the employee's lower body fully... really sloppy employee appearance at these Target Stores in Nevada.
Target, in my opinion, has about average customer service. Not terrible but not amazing either. There's an employee at the Target I most frequently go to who usually works the self-checkout area and he doesn't even wear a red shirt (and I've seen him on multiple occasions not wearing a red shirt). I probably have overall had a better experiences with Walmart employees than Target ones.
I don't think Target has great customer service but Walmart is the absolute worst. I've been unable to return items bought online because the clerk didn't know how to get into the online system that's separate from the store system. Then I got a rant from the idiot working there about how people shouldn't shop online. And my favorite, the self-service checkout clerk couldn't figure out how to unstuck my transaction. I had to show him out to do it.

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Re: Target to close 11 stores before year end

Post by Brian Lutz » June 11th, 2018, 11:21 pm

SamSpade wrote:
May 29th, 2018, 8:35 pm
Target is going to open 3 stores in the Seattle area through 2020 - Ballard, University District, Bellevue https://www.seattletimes.com/business/r ... ttle-area/
These sound more like the "express" size.
If I recall correctly Target had originally planned to build a store (Presumably a full size one)in the location they are building the Bellevue store at a few years ago but abandoned their plans at the time. That location is not far from the Factoria Mall location, but with a bit of a cluster of retail building in that area and light rail coming yo the neighborhood soon it seems like a good time to build.

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