Signs of trouble at Target?

storewanderer
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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by storewanderer » July 5th, 2019, 9:31 am

veteran+ wrote:
July 5th, 2019, 9:17 am
klkla wrote:
July 4th, 2019, 6:42 pm
storewanderer wrote:
July 4th, 2019, 11:55 am
The logic is that if "minimum" wage rises it should push other wages up too, but will it? We will see.
That's the key that a lot of people don't get. That's what it's really about. There is plenty of statistical evidence to prove it is true.

But a lot of the other points you make are valid, as well. This topic is probably is too complicated for a thread about Target but suffice to say that if companies like Target were forced to pay a higher minimum wage it would help to start narrowing the income gap.
Yes, it's complicated but root cause analysis would reveal (and has revealed) that excessive corporate wealth (Executive compensation and Stock Holders' profit demands) is what drives the abusive income disparity.

Trickle down is stunted or withheld in the name of competition, research/development, capital expenditures, technology, mergers, acquisitions, etc., etc.

Many of these "excuses" often do not show substantial increases in expenditures to support the reason for low wages and benefits for the rank and file.
I think high debt levels and high debt servicing costs both for corporations and individuals are also a big part of this problem that gets less attention than it should, since the whole economy is driven by debt.

Let's use private equity owned retailer for instance. I won't name names. Private equity owned retailer has numerous properties in California that have been in the company for decades. Extremely valuable real estate. Private equity owner pumps said retailer full of debt. So much debt, the company can't make any money. Private equity retailer then engages in a practice of selling selected old properties off for millions of dollars then takes draws out of the company. Company keeps losing money but private equity gets paid. "Investors" bought the properties (with loans...more debt) and now there is a higher rent payment on these stores so the stores are less profitable than before since they now have a rent payment (I guess they can make up for it by increasing prices and not increasing employee wages), the company has just as much debt as before since all the proceeds from property sales were drawn out by the private equity owners, and now in addition to the debt service costs that were already making the company unprofitable, now it has a higher rent payment on the store than it had before to further pressure profits.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by rwsandiego » July 5th, 2019, 10:35 am

storewanderer wrote:
July 5th, 2019, 9:31 am
veteran+ wrote:
July 5th, 2019, 9:17 am
klkla wrote:
July 4th, 2019, 6:42 pm


That's the key that a lot of people don't get. That's what it's really about. There is plenty of statistical evidence to prove it is true.

But a lot of the other points you make are valid, as well. This topic is probably is too complicated for a thread about Target but suffice to say that if companies like Target were forced to pay a higher minimum wage it would help to start narrowing the income gap.
Yes, it's complicated but root cause analysis would reveal (and has revealed) that excessive corporate wealth (Executive compensation and Stock Holders' profit demands) is what drives the abusive income disparity.

Trickle down is stunted or withheld in the name of competition, research/development, capital expenditures, technology, mergers, acquisitions, etc., etc.

Many of these "excuses" often do not show substantial increases in expenditures to support the reason for low wages and benefits for the rank and file.
I think high debt levels and high debt servicing costs both for corporations and individuals are also a big part of this problem that gets less attention than it should, since the whole economy is driven by debt.

Let's use private equity owned retailer for instance. I won't name names. Private equity owned retailer has numerous properties in California that have been in the company for decades. Extremely valuable real estate. Private equity owner pumps said retailer full of debt. So much debt, the company can't make any money. Private equity retailer then engages in a practice of selling selected old properties off for millions of dollars then takes draws out of the company. Company keeps losing money but private equity gets paid. "Investors" bought the properties (with loans...more debt) and now there is a higher rent payment on these stores so the stores are less profitable than before since they now have a rent payment (I guess they can make up for it by increasing prices and not increasing employee wages), the company has just as much debt as before since all the proceeds from property sales were drawn out by the private equity owners, and now in addition to the debt service costs that were already making the company unprofitable, now it has a higher rent payment on the store than it had before to further pressure profits.
To take this a step further, one private equity-owned retailer after another is filing for bankruptcy. The creditors and the employees take the loss and the private equity firm is relatively unscathed. In essence, the other stakeholders pay for the private equity firm's bleeding the company dry. The result is lower profits for the creditors and financial ruin for vulnerable employees.

Meanwhile, back at Target, the appearance of many of its employees has deteriorated. I liked the days where everyone wore a red polo and khakis. Not sure whether they subsidized the polos/khakis or provided a discount on "uniform" clothes like many other retailers do (for example, a general 20% discount plus 40% off a certain number of pieces that are worn to work), but it provided a more uniform appearance. Thinking back to Catholic grade school, it also eliminates any outward display of status. When everyone wears the same thing you can't tell who earns what or who has a what sense of style. Then again, I haven't been able to bring myself to wear a gold polo shirt (my school's uniform shirt for boys) since 1979. :)

That said, I don't think Target is "in trouble." To me, they are evolving as a retailer. While I liked the popcorn, I haven't bought it in more than five years. A display of watermelons or mini-fridges on a pallet also doesn't bother me. I don't know how else they would display them. The in-aisle displays were annoying at first, but I've become accustomed to them. Frankly, the ones that look like a giant shopping basket are cute.

Comparing Target to Walmart I'll take Target any day.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by Super S » October 12th, 2019, 9:55 pm

I was visiting a friend in Lacey today, and at one point went to the Target store there. The store was quite busy. But one thing I noticed was how much clutter was sitting on racks in center of the aisle in front the checkstands. People were actually crowded around the displays and it gave the illusion of longer lines than they really were. There were more displays than there were spaces between the checkstands and people were simply forming a line around them instead of standing between them.

Some of the displays were cheap, cardboard type displays too and did not look very sturdy, like somebody could bump them and knock the whole thing over.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by storewanderer » October 14th, 2019, 12:10 am

Super S wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 9:55 pm
I was visiting a friend in Lacey today, and at one point went to the Target store there. The store was quite busy. But one thing I noticed was how much clutter was sitting on racks in center of the aisle in front the checkstands. People were actually crowded around the displays and it gave the illusion of longer lines than they really were. There were more displays than there were spaces between the checkstands and people were simply forming a line around them instead of standing between them.

Some of the displays were cheap, cardboard type displays too and did not look very sturdy, like somebody could bump them and knock the whole thing over.
Target continues to do very well. Looking at their stores they seem to be struggling on staffing levels; employee dress code has deteriorated significantly from what it was 15 years ago, and I encounter long lines/slow checkout almost every time I go there. I was in one a few weeks ago that for some inexplicable reason had all its self checkouts closed on a weekend in the afternoon and only two registers were open. I stood in line on some carpet where they previously had jewelry (gone) waiting to pay the line was so long. They got a few registers opened up...

Also one Target here is being remodeled. This store in Carson City was unchanged from 1995 when it opened. The remodel is interesting. The biggest thing they are doing is adding a Starbucks where the old dated Food Avenue Express was. They also remodeled the bathrooms and took away the paper towel dispensers and only have a hand dryer. Other than that, no P-Fresh. Food is still up front on short little aisles. Pet food and laundry supplies are still in the back center between clothing and toys. Cosmetics got moved to where books were (food expanded a few aisles there). New carpet and displays in clothing, but no new shelving anywhere else in the store, and the same old flooring remains other than that they re-did the carpet. This store was in mint condition for a 24 year old store (pretty low volume place over the years) so nothing looks explicitly run down, but I guess I was expecting more.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by Super S » October 19th, 2019, 9:40 am

Another little oddity I have noticed at several Target stores lately. I have noticed that they have somebody running floor cleaning machines in the stores now during the middle of the day, sometimes during busy periods. This was something you NEVER saw in the past. Target pretty much relegated all cleaning duties to overnight hours when the stores were closed, the exception was cleaning bathrooms and spills. This is another area where Target has relaxed their standards. They did not want the distraction of cleaning crews while the store was open.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by storewanderer » October 20th, 2019, 9:22 pm

Super S wrote:
October 19th, 2019, 9:40 am
Another little oddity I have noticed at several Target stores lately. I have noticed that they have somebody running floor cleaning machines in the stores now during the middle of the day, sometimes during busy periods. This was something you NEVER saw in the past. Target pretty much relegated all cleaning duties to overnight hours when the stores were closed, the exception was cleaning bathrooms and spills. This is another area where Target has relaxed their standards. They did not want the distraction of cleaning crews while the store was open.
I haven't seen this yet, but I have seen some relatively dirty floors in Target Stores in recent years. Clearly not being cleaned every day. I wonder if they took cleaning in house or if this is just a third party contractor doing the work during store hours.

Given most of the floor cleaning contractors are contracted to work 9 PM and later at the grocers, perhaps Target gets a deal allowing them midday.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by Super S » October 21st, 2019, 8:39 am

storewanderer wrote:
October 20th, 2019, 9:22 pm


I haven't seen this yet, but I have seen some relatively dirty floors in Target Stores in recent years. Clearly not being cleaned every day. I wonder if they took cleaning in house or if this is just a third party contractor doing the work during store hours.

Given most of the floor cleaning contractors are contracted to work 9 PM and later at the grocers, perhaps Target gets a deal allowing them midday.
I think it's a third party as the people operating the machine I have seen have a blue apron and no Target identification.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by TW-Upstate NY » October 21st, 2019, 8:48 am

A few observations as of late at my local store:

-I have seen floor cleaning/polishing done during the mornings around 9:00 AM and as was just mentioned I would say it is not done in house any longer because the people running those machines and others doing cleaning in the store are wearing hats and t-shirts all with the same name/design (name escapes me right now) of what appears to be a contracted service. Next time I'm there I'll see if I can get a closer look at what it actually does say.

-Also, a few incidents occurred over the weekend that to me shows their lack of attention to details. I was there both weekend days and on Saturday I took some food items I was going to purchase off the shelf and immediately put them back because I noticed they were outdated. I looked around further and found current product and took those instead. I went to the checkout and mentioned this to the cashier and was told they'd inform someone whom I presumed would take it off the shelf. Yesterday I was there again and decided to look and see if the items in question were removed-they weren't. I did purchase other items and this time didn't even bother to mention it to the cashier because what's the point. And the worst part of it is this isn't the first incident of me finding outdated product in this particular location. Oh, and about yesterday's visit-I was there around 1:00 PM and there was ONLY ONE checkout open and 2 of the 4 self checkouts were closed as well. Can't be sure but I wonder how many people left merchandise they intended to purchase and just walked out because of this.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by Bagels » October 22nd, 2019, 8:42 pm

storewanderer wrote:
October 14th, 2019, 12:10 am
Also one Target here is being remodeled. This store in Carson City was unchanged from 1995 when it opened. The remodel is interesting. The biggest thing they are doing is adding a Starbucks where the old dated Food Avenue Express was. They also remodeled the bathrooms and took away the paper towel dispensers and only have a hand dryer. Other than that, no P-Fresh. Food is still up front on short little aisles. Pet food and laundry supplies are still in the back center between clothing and toys. Cosmetics got moved to where books were (food expanded a few aisles there). New carpet and displays in clothing, but no new shelving anywhere else in the store, and the same old flooring remains other than that they re-did the carpet. This store was in mint condition for a 24 year old store (pretty low volume place over the years) so nothing looks explicitly run down, but I guess I was expecting more.
The quality of renovation varies from store to store. I imagine there's a multitude of factors, including the age, performance, lease of the store, etc. Business Insider had pictures of a remodeled store in Manhattan, and it looks like an upscale department and upscale grocery store. About half the Irvine Spectrum Mall (CA) location received these upgrades as well, with the other half virtually unchanged. And a location in San Clemente (CA) that was previously scheduled for closure (probably lease related, since the place is always busy) received updated lighting and little else.

My parents live in the Midwest, and I noticed that both mid-1980s locations I visited recently received similarly random upgrades; most noticeable, the oversized but always empty Target Cafes were replaced with the new Guest Services, whereas the former Guest Services were converted into the self-service cafe.

One Target to watch: Garden Grove, CA. While I'm certain there's others, this is the only "classic" Target I'm aware of that still exists, with little renovation done through the years sans the removal of the garden center. With much of the surrounding area gentrifying into new Disneyland lodging, I'm pondering if Target's unable to secure a long-term lease.

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Re: Signs of trouble at Target?

Post by storewanderer » October 22nd, 2019, 9:34 pm

Bagels wrote:
October 22nd, 2019, 8:42 pm
storewanderer wrote:
October 14th, 2019, 12:10 am
Also one Target here is being remodeled. This store in Carson City was unchanged from 1995 when it opened. The remodel is interesting. The biggest thing they are doing is adding a Starbucks where the old dated Food Avenue Express was. They also remodeled the bathrooms and took away the paper towel dispensers and only have a hand dryer. Other than that, no P-Fresh. Food is still up front on short little aisles. Pet food and laundry supplies are still in the back center between clothing and toys. Cosmetics got moved to where books were (food expanded a few aisles there). New carpet and displays in clothing, but no new shelving anywhere else in the store, and the same old flooring remains other than that they re-did the carpet. This store was in mint condition for a 24 year old store (pretty low volume place over the years) so nothing looks explicitly run down, but I guess I was expecting more.
The quality of renovation varies from store to store. I imagine there's a multitude of factors, including the age, performance, lease of the store, etc. Business Insider had pictures of a remodeled store in Manhattan, and it looks like an upscale department and upscale grocery store. About half the Irvine Spectrum Mall (CA) location received these upgrades as well, with the other half virtually unchanged. And a location in San Clemente (CA) that was previously scheduled for closure (probably lease related, since the place is always busy) received updated lighting and little else.

My parents live in the Midwest, and I noticed that both mid-1980s locations I visited recently received similarly random upgrades; most noticeable, the oversized but always empty Target Cafes were replaced with the new Guest Services, whereas the former Guest Services were converted into the self-service cafe.

One Target to watch: Garden Grove, CA. While I'm certain there's others, this is the only "classic" Target I'm aware of that still exists, with little renovation done through the years sans the removal of the garden center. With much of the surrounding area gentrifying into new Disneyland lodging, I'm pondering if Target's unable to secure a long-term lease.
I guess this is like many remodel programs. It starts out with top of the line first class remodels on highly visible stores. Then as it gets rolled out to more and more stores, it gets cheapened and more and more watered down, for the variety of reasons you have noted.

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