Is Target Too Expensive? Profit Down 41%

Consumers are cutting back — and the AP says that shoppers are abandoning Target for even cheaper stores. In addition, Target’s credit card division is running into trouble as shell-shocked shoppers aren’t able to pay their bills.

The company also has seen rising delinquencies in its credit-card business, another source of trouble. The credit card business dragged down fourth-quarter results with a one-time, pre-tax loss of $135 million.

So, what do you think, is Target too expensive?


Target 4Q profit falls 41 percent amid downturn [AP](Thanks, j!)
(Photo:intangiblearts)

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  1. Copper says:

    I have found that it depends on the item. In my area, Target is cheaper when it comes to dishes (plastic…I’m in college), towels and other household items. When it comes to food, I go to the local grocery store (HEB). If I’m looking for cleaning products or toiletries, I go to Wal-Mart.

    • NightElfMohawk says:

      @Copper: Woohoo! HEB! That’s my store! I do most of my shopping there, but the items I can’t find there I pick up at Target (Like the Annie’s Shells & White Cheddar mac-n-cheese, which is still cheaper than anyone else at $1.29 at Target, or my Light Phish Food, which HEB *still* won’t carry). But HEB owns my heart on food and toiletries. Especially for soda. I *heart* my Mexican Coca-Colas and Sidral Munet and Barrilitos there… Target’s still my place for toys and household items.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Copper: My local Target doesn’t carry a ton of food items, so I feel as if having only two or three brands to choose from means there’s fewer opportunities to comparison shop at a store.

      I’ve always been able to find better deals at regular grocery stores on things such as paper towels.

  2. Ameer Hashw says:

    Well, I’m from Minnesota, so Target is basically the only store around within reasonable distance(one is less than half a mile away), so I’ll keep shopping there. I don’t see much price difference between Target and Wallyworld(WalMart). *shrug*

    • johnva says:

      @Ameer Hashw: I think a lot of this perception of Target being much “more expensive” than Walmart is just the unconscious result of all the hammering on by Walmart about “low prices”. I think their prices are pretty comparable, actually, though I’m sure each is cheaper for some things.

      • joel. says:

        @johnva: I think you’re right. That, and Target actually pays attention to design – in their marketing, clothing, goods. And that probably contributes to the “higher class, higher price” perception of their store. WalMart kind of just looks white trash.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Ameer Hashw: I agree, going to Wal Mart is simply not as nice of a shopping experience as going to Target. I used to work at Target (“softlines” –clothes & accessories, and as a backup cashier) and I NEVER solicited people to sign up for a “Target Red (credit) Card.” We are too deeply in debt as a nation already.

  3. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Copper is right, it really depends on what you are buying. I used to shop there for my groceries in college, and would, on average, spend about $30 MORE at Target then I would at walmart, just nickel and diming my way up.

    • rainbowsandkittens says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: You’re right on. Target is a more pleasurable shopping experience, sure–but I have a super Walmart and a super Target about 3 miles away from each other where I live on the Charlotte NC/Fort Mill SC border. Item for item Target is consistently more expensive–$0.40 more for the soup I take to work for lunch, $2.00 more for paper towels. One of the biggest differences I see is in pet food. Walmart might be a cut throat corporation with employees that have rocks for brains, but I estimate that we save about $45 every two weeks during our weekend grocery stock up trips.

      • formatc says:

        @rainbowsandkittens: I’d rather pay extra than deal with the nonsense at Wal-Mart. Between the apathetic employeees and rude customers, it’s just not worth it. If forced to choose, I’d rather do Target. I drive about 3 miles past both to do most of my shopping at a locally owned organic shop, though, so I’m probably not in a demographic that either of them care about.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @formatc: At least at Target, if you ask an employee for help, they’ll be able to.

          I know how this might get interpreted, but as one person to another (I’m talking about you, Wal-Mart employee): please learn passable English and don’t just stare at me when I ask you a question.

          This isn’t about race or immigrants. I’m just saying, if I can’t get someone who understands basic requests (where can I find _____?) I’m not going to go there, hence why I always avoid Wal-Mart. Target employs people of all English-speaking levels, and I’ve never encountered someone there who was not knowledgeable about the store.

          • Elcheecho says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: 2 and 1/2 weeks till pi day!

          • frodolives35 says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: Where do you live. If you have lots of non english speakers working for that min wage in your area thats the problem. Move to rural TN every one has a yall thats understandable and wallmart is considered a good job here. (shudder) but hey the cost of living is very low and no state income tax.

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              @frodolives35: Yeaaah but I won’t be able to find a job in rural TN, would I? I live in the D.C. metro area. Moving to rural TN for the sake of people who speak English isn’t an option. Also, just cause people speak English there doesn’t mean I can always understand them and their southern twangy ways. Trust me. Mr. pi is from the south – it took me a while to decipher what a third of the people there are saying.

      • HogwartsAlum says:

        @rainbowsandkittens:

        The pet food is going up too. I quit buying the brand name stuff at Walmart and went to Pet Warehouse and got something called ProPac. The cat eats the heck out of it and she’s not throwing up anymore either. It’s better all around even though it’s a tad higher.

        I still get the little cups of wet Meow Mix that I give three times a week at Walmart, but the price is getting higher on those too.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @HogwartsAlum: Is it any cheaper online? Would Amazon grocery sell it in bulk?

          • HogwartsAlum says:

            @pecan 3.14159265:
            I don’t know. I’ll have to check. Thanks for suggesting that; I always forget that Amazon has a grocery!

            But I do know I’m not giving her any more of the Meow Mix dry food. Apparently it doesn’t agree with her and I’m tired of cleaning up her puke. Also the lowfat ProPac made her lose some weight. The vet said she was too fat.

    • Rob Weddle says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: Sounds like you’re shopping for name-brand goods.

      I do better by buying Target’s store brands than by buying name-brand food anywhere. On top of that, the Target “Archer Farms” brand has stuff for which you can’t find a name-brand counterpart, and the quality is often better than anything name-brand anyway.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        @Rob Weddle: No, I was in college – I couldn’t afford name brand goods. But still, Target’s generic runs anywhere from $0.30 – $.80 on average more than Walmart’s Generic, and I bet they’re made by the same factories.

    • kaceetheconsumer says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: @Copper: Agreed. Target is cheapest for toiletries, HEB is cheapest for food (with Central Market as backup for organics and higher quality stuff), IKEA is best for furniture and organizational stuff, Amazon is best for books and DVDs, Hobby Lobby is best for crafts. Costco is better than any of them in any category if it has what you want in a size that you can actually use. And on the occasion when you need cheap plasticy stuff, there’s always the dollar store and/or Oriental Trading (great for kids’ parties, fun’n’cheap holiday decor, etc.).

      If you’ve got a little kid obsessed with Sesame Street, nothing beats Target’s bargain bins for Sesame Street books, pencils, crayons, activities, and hair accessories all for a buck. Holiday-themed socks too. Why pay $3 for a pair of socks that will still wear holes when you can pay $1 and have a fun print on it?

      I have to admit that I don’t know if Walmart is cheaper, because I don’t stoop that low, not ever, not for anything. Plus from what I read in CR, it looks like Walmart is frequently midline on prices anyway.

  4. Magspie says:

    I haven’t changed what stores I shop at (I still go to Target and never WalMart) but I am buying less crap I don’t need. If other people are doing the same thing, that may have more to do with the profit drop than Target’s prices compared with other stores.

  5. Drowner says:

    Target decided a long time ago to enter the market as a high class big box store. Now that no one thinks they have money to spend on high class stuff, consumers are flocking to places they deem cheap like thrift stores and Wal-Mart.

    I always find their toiletries expensive but DAMN if target doesn’t have the best prices on stylish clothes. Yea i could root through thrift stores for a month to find suitable light winter jacket but Target had one new on sale for $30. COME ONE!

    • johnva says:

      @Drowner: Like I said above, I think a lot of this is PERCEPTION rather than reality. Most people don’t bother to actually compare their costs on things at different stores…they just make decisions based on their perception of how “upscale” the store is. Wal-mart has the “blue collar” image, so they assume it must always be cheaper than Target with the “upscale” image. Same goes for grocery stores, where people constantly talk about how expensive places like Whole Foods are in comparison to other grocery stores when in reality it depends on what specifically you’re buying and whether it’s exactly the same item at the different stores.

      Marketing is reality for way too many people.

      • cabjf says:

        @johnva: I certainly agree that perception counts for a lot, in this case, I think Target also specializes in a lot of extraneous decorative stuff that people just do not buy when the money is tight. I’m sure their margins are the highest on these items compared to others.

        • failurate says:

          @cabjf: Lots of faux-art.

        • johnva says:

          @cabjf: That’s almost certainly true, but then again, I have to wonder who buys all that useless crap in the first place? I’ve barely changed my buying habits because I never bought stuff I didn’t need in the first place. The only things we buy at discount stores is stuff that is way cheaper than at the grocery or otherwise not available there. I don’t get why people are spending so much there that a 2% price difference would make an enormous difference to their budgets. For me, saving 2% on what we spend at discount stores would be like saving a dollar a month or something.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            @johnva: I moved last year and didn’t have anything of my own for a home, like end tables and art and an ottoman. Hello, Target. Meet my living room.

            I dislike the company Design Within Reach for the precise reason that their designs are often NOT in reach. But I often look at their site, take note of the details and styles I enjoy, and then shop at places that I can afford. That means Target and Ikea, sure, but I’m young and $400 for an end table at Pottery Barn is NOT what I’m going to be buying. I did get two really amazing practically new Pottery Barn end tables off Craig’s List for $100 though.

        • KristinaBeana says:

          @cabjf: We just bought our first home and are way into the decorative stuff at Target – lamps, bath mats and shower curtains – basics that are cute, and not at all pricey, and should last us for a good amount of time.

          • SteelersAreGo says:

            @KristinaBeana: I like Target for style and price, but the drawback is their stuff falls apart a lot sooner.

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              @SteelersAreGo: I don’t find that necessarily to be the case. I’ve had cardigans and shirts from Target that have lasted for years and years. I even find really cute professional wear there. There are things I owned 4 years ago that are too big to wear now. In that aspect, I’m ok with Target’s clothes wearing down after a few years. You get what you put into it. One day I might be able to spend all of my money at Neiman Marcus, but right now it’s Target and middle-tier department stores.

              • Elcheecho says:

                @pecan 3.14159265: yeah, i’ve been buying their superhero t-shirts off and on for two years and I still wear the older ones. some are getting a bit threadbare cause i wear them so much, but no holes and no ripped seams so far. oh and a few dress shirts and ties, but i don’t wear/wash those that often.

      • Rachacha says:

        @johnva: But According to the Consumers’ Checkbook, Whole Foods IS more expensive (at least in the DC Area) almost 45% above the average and about 60% higher than the lowest priced store (which also has the highest rate of customer satisfaction).
        [www.myfoxdc.com]

        • johnva says:

          @Rachacha: That doesn’t negate what I said. I said it depends on what specific items you buy. I agree that they are more expensive if you just blindly buy everything in one place. That comparison was based on a “152 item basket” if you look at their video carefully. What I’m saying is that it’s stupid to buy everything at one place.

      • Claytons says:

        @johnva: Wal-Mart doesn’t sell the same product at 4 different prices, though, and Target does. They’re tricky like that. I personally avoid both of these places when possible.

      • Boulderite says:

        @johnva:

        I agree!

        I shop at Target and compare prices to Walmart and other grocery stores and routinely find that Target at least in my area (Boulder, CO) is less expensive. We stopped shopping at Walmart because I’ve been unhappy with them quite a few times, but before even if something was cheaper at Walmart it was only by a few cents and therefore wasn’t worth driving 7-8 miles to Walmart when Target is 3 miles down the street.

        I feel this way about Whole Foods too. (Which is right across the street from Target) Do they have some expensive items? Yes, but all grocery stores do. I shop there all the time and find better deals and know that any packaged products I buy are trans fat free.
        And their 365 Brand food items taste so much better than other store brands that I’ve purchased.

        • johnva says:

          @Boulderite: The Whole Foods store brand is one of the main reasons we go there often. It’s really good, and still cheaper than many name-brand items at regular grocery stores (especially when you’re comparing it to the “organic” name-brand items, which tend to be outrageously priced everywhere, Whole Foods and elsewhere). My guide to shopping at Whole Foods and not spending way too much: stick mainly to the store brand, and don’t constantly splurge on gourmet items that are far more exotic (and expensive) than anything you can find at a “normal” grocery. We also go there for their bulk bins, which none of the other grocery stores here have with even close to comparable selection or quality, and which can save you a lot if you cook things from scratch.

          • HogwartsAlum says:

            @johnva:

            That is a good idea, and it costs more money to get things from a “cheaper” store and then waste them. If the store has the stuff you like and you will actually eat it, it’s worth paying a tiny bit more than if you bought something cheap and then pitched it.

            I just discovered a health food store here that is a little more than what I normally spend, but it has great stuff that I CAN afford. Like bins and bins and bins of granola, lentils, grains, etc. etc. Gardenburgers, which I can’t find anywhere else.

            OH! And raw, local honey!!!! Weeee haaaawww!!

    • Parapraxis says:

      @Drowner:

      no no…. let me teach you.

      *ahem*

      COME ON!!!!

    • madanthony says:

      @Drowner:

      I’ve noticed certain food items are noticably cheaper at Target than grocery stores – I drink a lot of Propel. It’s $3.99 at most of the grocery stores near me, $2.99 at Target. It’s $2.59 at Wal-Mart, but it’s never actually in stock at Wal-Mart when I go there.

      Clothing at Target can be a steal if you root through the clearance racks when it’s 75% off.

      I suspect part of the drop in profits is that some of the stuff like interior design is probably the most profitable, and probably not selling real well right now.

  6. Adrienne Willis says:

    I find the Target on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn is much more expensive than the Target in East Setauket Long Island. I find better deals at discount stores in lower manhattan or downtown Brooklyn.

  7. FlyersFan says:

    I’d go to Target over Walmart any day, I cant stand going to walmart. The small difference in price is not worth the extra 20 mins standing in line at the only open register in walmart. Plus i dont have someone stopping me at the door to take 5 mins to read my receipt to make sure i didnt steal anything. I HATE WALMART

    • Parapraxis says:

      @FlyersFan:

      it’s like you snuck into my bed last night and stole my brain.

    • lalaland13 says:

      @FlyersFan: Ever since we got a Target, I have drastically cut down on my Wal-Mart shopping. I can get a fair amount of groceries at Target, or go to the store down the street. Sometimes I still go to Wal-Mart, but a lot less often. I leave Wallyworld feeling like I’ve lost a bit of my humanity. But mileage may vary, but the ones here are so damn crowded all the time.

      • madanthony says:

        @lalaland13:

        About once a year, I get it in my head to go to wal-mart. I usually end up leaving frustrated, because whatever I want to buy is out of stock and the store in general is disorganized and unpleasant. Then I go back to shopping at Target.

      • ZekeSulastin says:

        @lalaland13: … am I the only person reading this blog who has a soul NOT allergic to Wal-Mart?

        Pissed off about receipt checkers? Voting with your dollars instead of being an asshole is the right way to deal with it. Register issues? Fair enough. FEELING LIKE YOU’RE LOSING HUMANITY? Uhm …

        • lalaland13 says:

          @ZekeSulastin: While Wal-Mart isn’t all bad, sometimes I just don’t want to deal with the hassle. It’s not that my soul is allergic to it, just that I prefer to go elsewhere. And yes, I do leave there feeling drained, and while I sometimes get that feeling other places, at Wal-Mart it’s more pronounced.

          But I live in Wal-Mart country, so maybe it’s more pronounced here.

      • DidSomeoneSayCookie? says:

        @lalaland13: “I leave Wallyworld feeling like I’ve lost a bit of my humanity. ” Exactly. Precisely. Thank you!

    • alstein says:

      @FlyersFan:

      At least locally, Target is worse about that checking garbage then KMart. I saw them once seriously hassle some granny.

      Wal-Mart isn’t as bad.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @arstal: I’ve never had anyone check my receipt at Target. Is this something they’re only doing at yours? Maybe there’s a higher than normal shoplifting rate?

    • cynicgrl says:

      @FlyersFan: Target treats their employees better too, I believe.

    • wednesdayam says:

      @FlyersFan: The level of unattended, poorly trained children at Wal-Mart is so much more incredibly high than Target – that’s probably my main reason for keeping to the Big T. Not to mention the adults that those unwatched children grow into… standing in the middle of the most busy aisle, staring into nothingness while people are trying to get around them (or waallllkkkkinnnngggg verrrrryyyyyy sllllooooowwwwlllyyy). Grrr. Wal-Martians frustrate me too much to think of shopping there.

  8. friendlynerd says:

    Target pants are where it’s at. $20 for khakis that actually fit me? I’m there.

  9. rdm says:

    I detest Walmart but it would be silly to pay Target’s prices (at least for food) when we are trying to save money and get out of debt.

    • JamieSueAustin says:

      @rdm: Same here. Especially when it comes to things like kiddy toys/books/crayons yadda yadda. Those things are dirt cheap at Wally World, but not as cheap at Target. I’d rather shop at Target if I could afford it, because its a much more pleasant experience. But, on the whole I stick with Wal-mart because it’s slightly cheaper and they have a huge craft department.

  10. sicknick says:

    I live just outside of Detroit (literally, just north of 8 mile of movie fame) and other then Walmart, there’s nothing cheaper around here.

    Plus, I don’t feel like a mouth-breather like I do walking into a dollar store or Walmart.

    Add in, around here, the closest Walmart isn’t near any freeways AND is further north. During the day I’m at Target and at night I hit up Meijer’s. CostCo works when I need things you buy in super size.

    • Elcheecho says:

      @sicknick: i smashed my hand in my car door the other day and got alcohol, cotton swabs, bandaids, gauze, and athletic tape for about 7 dollars from the Dollar Store. and they let me use their gross bathroom

  11. Closed captioning provided by Homerjay says:

    Hold your ground, Target! Don’t become WalMart II! DON’T DO IT!

  12. pjsammy says:

    It’s the extras at Target that people are cutting out (ie, fancy candleholders or other household decor items). From my comparison shopping, the “essentials” at target are within a couple percent of WM’s price.

    Target barely even did their “Global Bazaar” sham of a sale this year. They just immediately brought out 30% off home decor items that had “foreign” designs to them.

    • stepone says:

      @pjsammy: It wasn’t even Global Bazaar, really, it was a “Design Event,” and that’s part of the problem: it was boring stuff.

      I definitely agree with those who praise Target’s house brands. The Archer Foods frozen pizzas are delicious, and always under $5. Likewise, their ice creams are great, and many of their pasta and risotto kits–frozen and off the shelf–are so much tastier than their counterparts (where they even have counterparts). I cook mostly from scratch, but when I’m at a SuperTarget, I load up on these kind of meals for nights when the only effort I can imagine is getting take-out. Their chocolate soy milk is spot on perfect (I won’t buy any other). And the apple fritter bread available in the bakery is madly addictive.

      But I generally won’t buy regular groceries at Target, because HEB is usually better, and because I’m not thrilled with the fresh meats and produce at Target (shrink-wrapped zucchini for $2/lb? Not really). But they are the only place in town where I’ve found Niman Ranch sausages, which are delicious, and while not cheap, meet my personal demand for ethically and sustainably raised animals. I cannot buy meat like that at my local HEB, unfortunately, so I don’t buy meat there at all.

  13. Hodo says:

    For items I buy regularly (i.e., household cleaning stuff, consumables) Target is roughly 2.5% to 5% more expensive than Wal Mart. This may not be the case for stuff you buy, but the wife and I have compared prices on our normal buy and Target does cost a bit more.

    Having said that, we still prefer to shop there for several reasons: 1) it’s physically closer to where we live, 2) the whole ingress/egress at most target stores is easier (Wal Mart stores have gotten TOO big, IMHO), and 3) the environment at Target feels better to us, less rushed, the store seems nicer on the inside, the layout makes more sense (to us) and . . . while this sounds awful, it is part of our decision process . . . Wal Mart tends to attract more of what we’d call “scary types” . . . yeah, I know, we’re elitist pigs.

    • ThickSkinned says:

      @Hodo: Consider me an elitist pig too. The overall feel of Wally World is that of a third world country with linoleum instead of a dirt floor. And their workers are physically unappealing. Target seems to hire mostly cute girls while Wally World hires then Appalachian great grandmother who holds a dim view of personal hygiene and dental care.

    • VA_White says:

      @Hodo: Me too, Hodo. Walmarts are nasty and I feel like I need a shower when I leave. I’m not interested in catching hepatitis to save a nickel. Target is cleaner, the employees are far more helpful, and there are always enough registers open.

      • ZekeSulastin says:

        @VA_White: Conversely, I’ve been in more than one Target that made me pine for a store in as good an upkeep as the Walmart closer to me.

        • bcsus83 says:

          @ZekeSulastin:

          The old Target here was in way worse shape than the Walmart here. The floors were always dirty, the aisles were too narrow to navigate a shopping cart through comfortably once you left the main walkways, and things were laid out rather awkward. They’ve since built a new one, and while I do like that it’s more ‘open’, I still don’t think they keep it as clean as the Walmart here, and the layout still doesn’t flow.

  14. acklenheights says:

    My sister-in-law stayed with us a week and she compulsively went to Target. She always came back with these chocolate mints called “Choxies” a small plastic container of them cost $5.

    $5?! Gitouddahea

    Otherwise, I’m pretty ambivalent towards the big red dot. Whatever, it’s just a store.

  15. BlackMage is doing the Time Warp agaaaaaaain!!! says:

    I actually would shop at Target over Wal-Mart any day, if there were any within a 20 mile radius. I hate Wal-Fart with a passion. Every Target I have been in were much cleaner, more organized, and less crowded. Not to mention they don’t treat their employees like pond scum stuck to the dog shit on a janitor’s shoe. I’ve also heard from a very reputable source (read: a shopper addicted to clothes shopping and holder of a Target credit card) that the clothes at Target are awesome.

    Too bad. Kmart couldn’t hack it against the Big Blue, and it seems Big Red may fail as well.

  16. John Harrison says:

    In Riverdale, New Jersey, we have a Target and a Walmart practically adjacent to one another. The Walmart’s packed all the time while the poor Target is a ghost town.

    • madanthony says:

      @John Harrison:

      Towson, MD has a Target and Wal-Mart that literally are attached to each other – they are on opposite sides of a very large shopping center (the Target was there first, Wal-Mart took over a former Montgomery Ward’s). Both usually seem pretty busy, although the Target was recently remodeled and seems busier now that it has been redone.

  17. Andrew Mussey says:

    I tried to walk into Target, but I missed.

  18. courtneywoah says:

    We also prefer to shop at Target even though it is a bit more expensive. The layout is cleaner, the store is easier to navigate, and yes, the clothing is stylish and cheap. For some reason Walmart gives us the creeps, its dark and dingy and the lines are always soooooo long. Target is def. the way to go, especially since they have neat home decor.

    • Ubik2501 says:

      @courtneywoah: I go to Target mostly to buy toiletries and other household stuff. Wal-Mart is probably cheaper in some areas, but Target at least feels like a real store and not like a bombed-out remnant from Mad Max. The last time I went to a Wal-Mart I could practically taste despair coming out of the ventilation ducts.

      Thankfully, Target is far closer to me than Wal-Mart, so that decision is made for me.

    • WorldHarmony says:

      @courtneywoah: You are so right comparing the two. Walmarts I’ve visited seem to be dingy, sloppy and crowded-looking. Staff are less attentive and lines seem to be longer. Target has a more open layout, is cleaner, and shelves are better organizes. Staff are trained better at customer service, and lines don’t seem to take as long. I much prefer Target to WalMart, and would shop there more if I could afford it.

  19. Snarkysnake says:

    I hate the bait and switch credit card game that Target plays. Works like this:

    10% discount and a marginally reasonable interest rate when you sign up. Two,three billing cycles later ,sure as sunrise,there is the dreaded “change of terms and conditions” that jacks your APR into the 23 % range.I don’t carry a balance ,so it really doesn’t affect me,but it seems so sleazy that I just opt out when it’s allowed and start the whole process over again several months later when there is a HUGE closeout on going out of season merchandise.

    For folks that carry a balance,it’s kind of like the relationship that the mouse has with the cheese in a trap…

    • MikeGrenade says:

      I’m amazed that even as their credit card scheme is backfiring, they’re still hocking the damn things. First priority for Target’s front end managers is getting those card applications.

  20. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart years ago. I actually don’t even know where my closest Wal-Mart is in my new city. Even so, I won’t shop there (however they do seem to carry a lot of items that Target doesn’t).

    However, in lieu of shopping in Wal-Mart, I have switched my grocery shopping from Publix to Kroger (I love Publix the most of all grocery stores ever, but I walk out of Kroger for way less than I would Publix).

  21. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    The problem with Target is that because their stuff doesn’t suck, it can be hard to get out of there without spending $100 unless you’re really disciplined!

    I don’t avoid Target when I’m feeling broke because it’s expensive; I avoid it because I know I’ll come home with two more sets of unnecessary but super-cute table linens because, frankly, I have a problem.

    You stay classy, Target — without you and Old Navy, I would be a nekkid pregger lady. I will cry if you change or leave, and that’s no empty threat, since I’m full to my eponymous eyebrows with hormones.

    • katieoh says:

      @Eyebrows McGee: truth. over the summer, i went to target to get a mattress cover for my bed. $200 later… D: butbutbut the jeans are so cute and this little tin of tea was just adorable andandand…

    • ElizabethD says:

      @Eyebrows McGee:

      I agree about being disciplined. I used to shop at Target frequently when I only needed a couple of things, and come out with a giant cart full and a long receipt. Due to our current straitened circumstances (sigh), I try to avoid even going to Target — not because I don’t like it, but because I like it too much for our budget.

    • MissPeacock says:

      @Eyebrows McGee: Word. And have you SEEN those cute dish towels they have for each holiday? I have something like five of them now. They just put out the ones for Easter the other day……..

    • kelmeister says:

      @Eyebrows McGee:

      Congratulations, and be careful. I had my son six weeks ago…buying cute/useless/desperately needed baby crap at Target adds about $50-100 to the usual order, as it opens up a whole new section of the store to you and your wallet, and it only gets worse once the baby’s born.

      I’ve been really good about saying no the the table linens, but now my baby has fifty different blankets he doesn’t need. It’s a wash.

  22. mbz32190 says:

    The problem is, Target expanded wayy to fast…I mean, 10 years ago, I didn’t even know what Target was, and now they have stores everywhere (obviously so does Wal-Mart). Target had been relying on its credit cards for a quick source of profits and now they are in a huge mess. As for their shopping being down, people aren’t buying…anywhere! I have even been to Wal-Mart several times in the last month and they aren’t as busy as they once were..and those that are there are simply buying the basics..no tacky home goods, electronics, etc. I don’t prefer one store over the other however. When I’m back at home from college, I’ll run into Target as Walmart is very far away.

  23. Corporate_guy says:

    The furniture they sell is crazy over priced. It boggles my mind that anyone would by a dvd shelf for 100+ bucks.

  24. KLETCO says:

    For me personally, I don’t shop much at Target anymore, but it has nothing to do with price. I’ve found I can get better prices on drugstore items at the new CVS we have (which is also closer to me). For clothes, I find Kohl’s prices are just as good and the quality is about the same. For housewares, etc, I can either shop online or somewhere else. Consumerist’s reporting on Target’s policies for returns has prevented me from buying a lot of electronics, software, etc, when I used to buy a lot of that sort of thing from them.

    • merely_a_muse says:

      @KLETCO: That surprises me about CVS. Our local Target is consistently cheaper than CVS, about the same price as similar items at Kroger (at least for gauze and paper tape which were bought post-surgery by the bucketful)

      Target is ridiculously close to where I live, so it makes it easy on me to be able to buy whatever I need at the moment (plus a cute shirt or two, because I’m weak) by just popping in. Were it no so convenient I would probably comparison shop around more.

  25. Dan Seitz says:

    I’m with folks who comparison-shop. Sometimes, it’s got great deals, but I always look at other stores in the area.

  26. katieoh says:

    i did a price comparison once, and for toiletries and household cleaners, target and walmart were about the same, usually varying by a few pennies either way. my mother will still drive the 15 miles to walmart instead of going to the target that we can literally walk to… it seems so backwards.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      @katieoh: I know our Wal-mart and Target both competively price with each other. I know people who have worked there who went to the other store to check prices. *shrugs* It seems like it depends on the store and how agressively the management tries to compete with other stores. I’ve found certain grocery items at our Target, even though they aren’t a Super Target, to be a lot cheaper than the local grocery store and the pet supplies cheaper than the pet store.

  27. econobiker says:

    Dollar General and Freds Dollar Stores must be picking it up too!!! Throw in Aldi and you probably have the lower end market covered…

  28. Repique says:

    I like Target because it’s relatively inexpensive and usually a good shopping experience, but at the same time, I’m happy enough to hear about the credit card trouble. I’m kind of sick of getting asked every *single* time whether I want to sign up. I don’t need another credit card. Almost nobody needs a new credit card right now. If they’re pushing them on people who don’t need them, it’s their own fault if those people turn out not to be able to pay for them.

  29. Margaret Powell says:

    I don’t go to Target as often because when I DO go, I go in for one thing and come out with that one thing, and 14 other things that were each 3.99.

    So it’s a matter of self discipline to keep myself away from target.

  30. Michael Yockey says:

    I don’t shop at Target that often due to their return policies and the fact they don’t price match during or post sale. Their change on price-matching policy has made me stop shopping there.

    I find better deals on small items at Rite Aid with their SCR system. Combine that with manufacturer’s coupons and Internet Coupons and allot of times I actually make a profit.

    If you’re very disciplined you can “stack forward” extra care bucks at CVS and continuously make a profit and get free stuff. “Stack Forward” means to use extra care bucks on items that generate extra care bucks. Combine with coupons (esp. Internet Coupons from coupons.com and smartsource.com). NEVER buy anything from RiteAid or CVS that isn’t on sale or in the ad.

    Walgreens doesn’t let you stack forward. If you use a register reward on an item that generates a register reward, it won’t print.

    • TheSpatulaOfLove says:

      @Michael Yockey:

      I’m with you on the return policies and the pricematch policy. What pissed me off is when they wouldn’t honor the price on their own website and gave me the weak excuse that the website ‘is a different business’. BFD! If it’s labeled Target, it should adhere to the same policies laid out for the store! If you want a different business, name the website Bullseye and use inverse colors!

      In the eye of the consumer, you are one in the same – not separate businesses…

  31. Outrun1986 says:

    The Target where I live IS more expensive than Walmart or Aldi, or going to the mall for clothes, especially since I keep running into many racks of 6$ jeans due to an insane surplus in my area.

    Over the last year to 6 months to one year I have watched Target’s prices creep up and up on regular priced items, and their clearances aren’t nearly as good as they once were. Most of their clothes are so thin and cheap that they aren’t even worth 3$ an item and they have nerve to charge 20$ for an ugly shirt. The generic target brand powdered drink mix went from 1.75 to 2.99 seemingly overnight, while the other stores in my area like Walmart and Aldi did not raise the price on this item.

    It seems like it is cheaper to avoid the so called “cheap by perception” stores for clothing, as I have found many, many clothing items cheaper at department stores or malls due to clearances and sales. Plus you get better quality that way.

    As long as your not shopping at Kohls, their clothes quality is beyond poor and their sonoma in-house brand jeans seem like they are paper thin. Their prices are also insane in my area for clothes.

  32. Segador says:

    My country is called Montalbana.

  33. MoreFunThanToast says:

    The price also differs store to store. There are two Targets near my house, one I think has a sign that says Target greatland or something. That store has a wider selection of things and some stuffs like cleaning products and what not are significantly cheaper than the other Target.

    But yea, Target ftw, no Wal-marts please, at least not the ones in my area.

  34. Andi Lee says:

    Target here is waaaay far out compared to Wal-Mart and even some of the local grocery stores. I really don’t go out to Target unless I’m planning to get something specific. Heck, I don’t even go to Wal-Mart unless I’m planning to get something specific. The closer grocery stores have much better prices on everyday groceries and meats than Wal-Mart ever will.

  35. quail says:

    Our local Target has decreased it’s stock in about all of its departments and twice I entered without hearing any music being piped through the loud speakers. Muzak’s doing or Targets? Don’t know. But the place looked bleak. As to it’s merchandise, I actually prefer to spend the $1 or $2 extra to get better made clothing that lasts longer. And Target offers a cleaner environment to shop in than Wal-Mart.

  36. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    You know how alcoholics aren’t supposed to go into bars? That’s like me and Target.

  37. Tiber says:

    I have a hard time thinking of Target as higher end when they keep hawking their credit cards at every opportunity.

    I think Target’s problem is it never really found it’s niche. It’s got groceries, but it doesn’t have the same selection as a grocery store. It’s got electronics, but not as much as Best Buy. It’s got clothes (and people here seem to like their selection & prices), but they don’t stand out as a clothes retailer. It’s trendy, but it’s not upscale enough for that crowd. It’s cheap, but not as cheap as Walmart. In short, it tries to be a big box store, but it’s not big enough to have everything (which is why people go to them), yet it’s not specialized enough to have a target demographic. So, much like Kmart, it’s ended up being forgotten. It’s the kid on the bench that only gets to play when they’re short a player.

    The only thing I can think of is going back to basics, finding what they’re good at, and pushing that.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @Tiber: This is what Target in my area seems like, honestly though, Target just seems like the “alternative” to walmart. Target is the place you go to when other stores don’t have the item you are looking at.

      Target is basically the same as walmart here, and the crowd is basically the same, and I would argue that due to the clientele that our Target attracts, I would probably rather be in Walmart, Wegmans or Sams club.

      Both stores are really no cleaner than one another, they are about the same, they both have merchandise, lots of which I don’t need. The only thing Walmart has that Target does not is a craft department.

      We don’t have any electronics stores in my immediate city, so I buy most of my stuff online. If not, I would have to wait until I am in an area 30-45min away from me just to pay more for the stuff. I am not driving that far to make a specific trip to an electronics store only to find out that what I need has been marked up much higher than online prices for the same item. If they opened an electronics store in my immediate area I might think otherwise, but overall I would probably still shop online.

  38. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    I can’t really say if Target is cheaper than Wal-Mart, as I seldom shop at Wal-Mart. When I am in Wal-Mart, I’m not comparing prices. I do believe that Target carries better quality merchandise.
    This news sucks for me though. Currently, there are 3 Targets closer to me than the nearest Wal-Mart, including one less than a half mile away, which borders our neighborhood. Unfortunately, that Target is relatively old, and a new one opened up 3 miles to the north. They’ve recently closed the garden center at the nearby store too. I suspect that Target will close it in the next year or two. Having a vacant big-box retail location next to our neighborhood will suck.

  39. kwsventures says:

    Many Target credit cards are in default? Really? Next I will be told our planet is not flat. Listen, credit cards are the next bailout area, the Obama administration will stick its nose into. Obama will personally cut down all the trees in Oregon so he can use the paper to print more dollars. If I was tree hugger in this country, I would be looking for something else to hang onto.

  40. pmw says:

    My biggest problem with Target is that they claim to donate 10% of their profit to local schools.

    I do not want to participate in forced charity when I buy my groceries, and I can’t help but wish that Target instead lower their prices by the equivalent amount.

  41. AstraBabble says:

    Target used to be super cheap. Then they tried to get all fancy. I bought my first dish set there $20 for 10 place settings. Now it’s $20 for 4 plates. They don’t even have the full dish sets like they used to. That’s just one example. There are deals to be had, but you have to watch out.

  42. Barney_The Plug_ Frank says:

    Walmart rules!

  43. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    The risk of zombie attack is just too high at Walmart. I shop at Target.

  44. SillyinPhilly says:

    I rarely use Target. I prefer the Discount Warehouses (BJ’s) for most things including electronics. Kohl’s for clothes for the most part.

  45. Jubilance22 says:

    I refuse to shop anywhere but Target. Wal-mart is the spawn of Satan, diry, full of bad-ass kids running around unsupervised and I can never find anything cause they never restock or organize the shelves. Kmart is Wal-mart’s bastard stepbrother. No way will I ever shop in either one of those stores again.

    Target has always had reasonable prices to me, even when I was a poor college student surviving on $8k a year.

  46. erratapage says:

    I buy less of everything right now. Target’s prices are fine. I do most of my grocery shopping at ALDI, and get the rest of the stuff at my local market. Target is still my go-to place, but I’m spending almost nothing on stuff I don’t really need right now.

  47. BytheSea says:

    Target isn’t really that much cheaper than Old Navy for clothes, but they’re of even worse quality and poor fit.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      @BytheSea: Really? Target is my favorite place for plain t-shirts and tanks. I’ve had some for years and they are just now at the point I should replace them. I do wash all my stuff in cold water on delicate, though, to try and make clothes last.

  48. Claytons says:

    I don’t think Target is too expensive, per se, but I have lost patience with their deceptive pricing. As a result, I certainly shop less at Target. When I do need something in these penny pinching times, I think about Target’s deceptive pricing and I go elsewhere. Target’s pretty much an “if they’re my only choice” outlet at this point.

  49. 2719 says:

    I’ve been to my local Target store twice in the last 5 years. Did not like the layout, the selection and the prices.

  50. kaldurak says:

    Target is actually a pretty inexpensive place to shop, and while some things may be a tad more expensive than Wal-Mart – it’s worth spending the extra money to shop in a clean organized store not full of people shopping in dirty sweatpants and velcro shoes/slippers.

  51. jmujeff says:

    Target gets my $$$ given the choice. I’m willing to pay an extra couple bucks per trip to not waste time navigating the Walmart jungle (it probably takes me an extra 10-15 mins during a Walmart shopping trip). Plus I’ve recently discovered that Target’s men’s clothing selection is dirt cheap, stylish, and is sturdy enough to last.

  52. kathyl says:

    I’d drive past three Wal*Marts to get to a Target. Thankfully, I don’t have to. Being in a Wal*Mart honestly makes me feel depressed. Dank, dark, and dirty. Targets are well-lit, well-organized, and have friendly employees. I would rather buy less to keep my bill down than get a basketful of Wal*Mart “bargains”.

  53. meechybee says:

    I don’t know if they’re too expensive, I just think they have 59% too many stores.

  54. ahoy-captain says:

    I used to think Wal-Mart was cheaper, but I recently did some price comparisons, and Target was significantly cheaper for most of the items I buy — mouthwash, toothpaste, soap, etc.

    • Claytons says:

      @ahoy-captain: I’ve comparrison shopped regularly, too. In my market the prices are about the same, but really, I hate both. I especially hate Target for the fact that I have to comparison shop within Target. “Are these the cheapest AA batteries or are they 25 cents cheaper on an end cap 3 isles away.” or “is it really cheaper for me to ‘buy two and save’, guess I’ll have to get out the calculator.”

  55. prag says:

    The Target near me has Progresso soups for $1.52 and Milk 1gal for $3.29 while most other stores near me range from $2.29 – $3.49 and $3.79 – $4.29 respectively. I find Target is generally cheap.

  56. sumgai says:

    I don’t care if Target is .03 or .30 higher than Wal-Mart on any given item. I shop there because the trashy ass people shopping at all Wal-Marts are NOT at Target. I don’t mind paying a tax to not have to shop with low lifers.

  57. alstein says:

    One thing. Target is not inherent less evil then Wal-Mart. They just don’t get the Blame Wal-Mart does due to them being the less obvious target. I remember reading about that on some heavy liberal blog a couple years back.

  58. CFinWV says:

    Depends what you’re buying. I live within shopping distance of one Target, one Kmart, and three (yes three) Walmarts… one of which is fantastic. I hate to say that about Walmart, but there it is. It’s a brand new store and has merchandise the other two dumps don’t have.

  59. DarianAlcestis says:

    Target – they just upped some of their store-brand cereals as much as 90 cents.

    Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s 20 oz. – and some Post products are 25 oz. for 11 cents less.

    Now that they’ve started that, it’s back to Food Lion and Walmart, with the occasional splurge at Lowe’s Foods…

    • mbz32190 says:

      @DarianAlcestis: This is happening everywhere…it’s not a Target-only thing. Target doesn’t make any of their own items, so they are at the mercy at the company that makes the product. I work in a grocery store (with many store brand cereals being made by Quaker) and their prices have gone up and package sizes have shrunk, but there is not much that can be done unless they want to switch suppliers (which ends up costing more money), then the quality goes down.

  60. valthun says:

    I go to Target all the time, lately at least once or twice a week. I like their prices, and selection. However you can tell they are hurting, when they can’t keep enough people at the register on a Saturday afternoon. half the registers weren’t open and there were some serious lines this weekend.

  61. Kevin Doyle says:

    I recently read this great comparison:

    [www.cockeyed.com]

  62. cybercjh says:

    Target needs to start attacking Wal-Mart directly in their ads. Target has basically the same prices on the same items (maybe the difference is a few pennies) but, the stores are always cleaner and you don’t wait in line for HOURS at the check-out.

    Target needs to make this more clear in their ads. Their ads make people think the store is fancy and expensive. That’s not going to work in this economy. Target needs a BACK TO BASICS approach to their advertising.

  63. johnva says:

    I’d like to point out that this “profits down 41%” figure is also meaningless unless we compare them to their competitors, too. It’s like how it’s easy to find stocks that go up in value in the middle of a bull market, and hard to find ones that don’t in the middle of a bear market. You have to compare them to peers to be able to draw meaningful conclusions about what the figures mean.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      @johnva: Good point AND the profits are down but still existent .

      If you know or shop your prices this should be no surprise to no one .But I also read where they want to be step above Walmart .I guess they are/were .

      I think Target traveled on perception as much as anything .The perception they were better than Walmart and the misperception they were as cheap .

      SHOP and PAY ATTENTION to prices any where you go and on anything you read like the Sunday flyers .

  64. MrsLopsided says:

    Focusing on the 41% profit decline makes a sensationalist headline but doesn’t imply the Target is too expensive. Same store sales are “only” down 5.9% which isn’t bad compared to other retailers.

    Same Store Christmas Sales 2007-2008:
    [jetfuelcafe.com]

  65. Brunette Bookworm says:

    I’ve found the prices at Target to be comprable or even cheaper than other local stores. I don’t go into Wal-mart unless I am forced to, but the prices I do know seem inline with Target. I’ve found that Target brand stuff tends to be better quality, too. Their store-branded food is delicious.

    I find Target a more pleasant experience. The lighting at the local Wal-mart gives me a migraine but Target doesn’t.

  66. TerribleDecade says:

    $20 for recent TV seasons on occasion, AND for streches of weeks at a time? That’s cheap.

  67. fett387 says:

    Since I am a capable shopper and can find things on my own, I shop at walmart. I care more about saving my money than if someone is nice to me.
    Plus it’s too difficult to return/exchange things at Target if you lose your receipt.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @fett387: I’m FULLY capable of finding things on my own. It’s that when I walk into a Wal-Mart, things are disorganized and thrown haphazardly on the shelf, making it almost IMPOSSIBLE to find anything.

  68. bcsus83 says:

    For things like clothes, etc…I don’t think they are expensive, but for their prices, I’d much rather go to the mall and get better name brands.

    However, when it comes to everyday items I need for my household (diapers, household paper products, cleaning supplies, etc.), it’s insanely expensive. At Target, I can get a case of 78 of the diapers we use…for $29.99. At Walmart, I get a case of 72 of those same diapers for 18.97. Similar differences for things like paper towels, laundry soap, etc.

    A couple weeks ago, we went to the Target store here to buy a couple carseats (a brand that isn’t carried anywhere else in our small city). While we were there, I let my kids each pick out a new toy. Their toys were $29.99 and $22.99. The next day, I was in Walmart and noticed the same toys for $23 and $16 and change, respectively.

    I don’t even go into Target unless I’m looking for something specific I can’t find elsewhere.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @bcsus83: I really like NY & Company for their business wear. It’s a lot cheaper than The Limited and I can buy 3 or 4 shirts for the price of what one shirt at The Limited would cost.

      Wal-Mart is in a lot of cases, a lot cheaper than Target. That’s something Wal-Mart has been trying to do, with various levels of success. I think it has a lot more to do with how you feel shopping at Wal-Mart, which probably makes up a huge portion of the toy manufacturer’s revenue stream, possibly causing the manufacturer to offset the cost of production and push the costs to other retailers.

  69. bossco says:

    Yes, target is a bit pricier than Walcrap, but I still prefer it.

  70. Boulderite says:

    I use my debit card for all of my Target purchases, so I LOVE their return policy if I’ve lost my receipt. They just look it up with my debit card. It is so easy!

    I always find great clearance deals at Target. From food and toiletries to home decor, video games, household appliances and more.

  71. Felix the Cat says:

    The only stuff I buy at T. is food.

    The last time I did some comparing of prices it was on computers and I ended up buying at WalMart, those stores are a lot junkier than T but the prices are better and they don’t give you a load of BS about returns without a receipt like T does.

    I really don’t like either chain but for lower prices you really have to go first to WalMart.

    http://www.targetfiling.blogspot.com

  72. cfritchle says:

    People are just shopping less. We are just shopping for necessities. No extra packs of gum because we might need it. I think consumers are just buying what we need as we go. I think this could eventually hit wholesalers too such as Costco.

  73. Josh Frantz says:

    I’ll stick w/ Target, I don’t feel dirty and violated when I leave, like I do exiting a Walmart. First thing I do after shopping at Walmart is go home a take a shower.

  74. michelsondl says:

    I Love Target! I don’t have to deal with the usual crowds that are all over Walmart, and I can actually see myself buying their store brand items. I really like the Home Decor dept and the guys clothing. I’ve bought wuite a few shelves, curtains, etc from there and have always been happy with the quality. As for the clothing, I’ve only bought a few things there, but I usually walk through and am impressed that it is reasonably good wuality clothes for a cheap price.

  75. Hybriddeathdealer says:

    I noticed both Target & Wal-mart, for the most part, are keeping their prices artificially high. Besides the cost of manufacturing, the largest expense by far in the retail / wholesale business is shipping. Last year when gas / oil prices where artificially high, all stores took a big hit in shipping costs. Of course conveniently the government doesn’t use oil & gas in their published inflation index, which is completely idiotic, but I digress… In any event, many of these stores are keeping their price point sales artificially high. Even though shipping costs have dropped significantly, stores generally are keeping prices higher than they were last year. I noticed K-mart used this technique a while back, when their management took the money and ran. (This was before K-mart used Sears money, to buy Sears and bolster their portfolio.) It’s rather obvious that Circuit City management is setting this new precedent, where they can keep prices artificially high, then make a run for the the new Pirate’s hideaway in Dubai, while leaving everyone else holding the proverbial shopping bag. It’s a brave new world! ‘Freedom from Regulation’ really worked for corporate criminals and it’s still working…

  76. WorldHarmony says:

    I was quite surprised when the Target cashier offered me an application to apply for a Target DEBIT card. The card would be tied to my bank account. I can see how this would benefit Target, as the card allows them to receive their money immediately, but for me, the consumer, that is an awful idea. I don’t need an additional card tied to my bank account, and the cashier’s attempt to convince me by saying that my purchases will benefit preschools didn’t cut it for me.

  77. HogwartsAlum says:

    I like Target. I shop at Walmart and ALDI’s. Also three different grocery stores that are near me.

    I find some stuff at the groceries that the others don’t have. Mostly ALDI’s for groceries, but there are some things that I must have brand name on. The Target here is too far away and the Walmart and ALDI’s are both within walking distance of my house.

    And there’s the added entertainment of laughing at their new logo. :)

  78. f3rg says:

    If I can buy something for less at Wal-Mart, and I won’t have to go through hell returning it should I need to, then why would I shop at Target? Besides, in my city, they’re all the way across town, while we have 3 giant Wal-Mart Super Centers.

  79. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    There’s a WM just 5 minutes from my home, and it is clean, the staff is polite, and the customers aren’t extras from “The Hills Have Eyes”. The K Mart across the street from WM, however, is like Bosnia, Chernobyl, and Ethopia rolled into one.

    20 minutes from my home, there is both a Super WM and a Super Target, on opposite sites of a highway. SWM has the better food deals, while ST has better clothes deals- I found a Green Lantern insignia shirt in my size for just $10! YAY ME!

  80. Casey Jackson says:

    Target is not what I would call “too expensive” when it comes to some things. While WalMart regularly beats it, I still find that Target can sometimes beat the grocery stores for some household and pantry items. Their store brand is generally cheap and it compares taste and size to big brand names.

    On the other hand, their clothes are over priced. I have found myself thinking, “I could probably find a better deal at the mall.” I assume that’s not what Target wants to hear. And don’t get me started on the return policy, especially related to baby shower/wedding shower stuff. People don’t always respect the registry and buy what they want to get you, even if you detest the style or have 3 of the same product in the brand you prefer. If it’s not on your registry AND you weren’t given a receipt or they lost it, then you are screwed. “Too bad, so sad,” says Target.

  81. sumgai says:

    Target screams luxury and Wal-Mart screams white trash. End of story.

  82. dsmitsu02 says:

    target to me has always been the more fancier version of walmart and slighty higher

  83. loueloui says:

    I stopped shopping at Target not because of their prices, which are definitely higher than Walmart, but because of their punitive, and unfair return policy.

    Attention Target corporate morons: If you cheat and humiliate people, and then say it’s ‘your policy’ don’t be surprised if they don’t come back.

    I haven’t been back since January 2, 2008 when they screwed me and the rest of the gift giving public to pad their bottom line.

  84. Stephanie Haller says:

    I will die if Target goes out of business.

    I don’t even want to think about how much money I’ve spent there.

    I frequently go there for food items – bagels, cream cheese, cheese and milk are always cheaper than Safeway or other stores.

    We don’t have a Walmart around here, but there’s one about 10 miles away.

  85. Joyce Godsey says:

    it’s TOO a lot things. the stores too big, they tore down a 100 year old apple orchard to put in a parking lot which is 1/4 filled. i hate walking through the entire store to buy one damn thing, which inevitably they don’t have so i have to do this again with a DIFFERENT big box store. they all stink.

    i ONLY go in walmart for specific items on occasion because we no longer have independent stores. so if i WANT a toaster i have to buy it from a box or online.

  86. Anonymous says:

    I read a study that said that Target’s prices are no more expensive on grocery items and other staples.

    However, I agree that people (like me!) are probably getting better at resisting the useless pseudo-designer decor-crap that Target is famous for.

  87. baristabrawl says:

    This is SUCH a misconception. However, I’m fine with it so I don’t have to shop at Wal-Mart. Ug.

  88. CmdX says:

    Target is hit-or-miss… I live in Chicago so we really don’t have Walmart to worry about, it is basically all Target…

    I rely on my local target for a lot of my local (non amazon, sales tax sucks here) shopping needs. It is reasonably convenient, clean and the staff is helpful. Their food prices are usually crazy (their deals on soda are laughable compared to the soda sales of regular supermarkets) but for basic food and things like milk it isn’t that bad, especially if it saves the time and gas required to extend my trip to the supermarket for stuff that is available in another section.

  89. cwlodarczyk says:

    I do all my grocery shopping at Target – I save about 30% over what I would spend for the same stuff at Safeway.

  90. carlogesualdo says:

    I have other reasons for not shopping at Target besides money. They simply don’t understand customers. Like why you should stock your shelves during off hours instead of waiting until peak shopping hours. Or the brands that are in high demand in my area that they don’t bother to carry. I am forced to shop there on occasion for a few specialty items I can’t find anywhere else, but that means going there 2-3 times per year for minimal spending.

  91. Anonymous says:

    More than being expensive, Target is boycotted by our church members because they do not exchange without a receipt – even if they have the same merchandise on the floor. Their policy is too strict.

  92. Brandon Koller says:

    Target is basically the walmart or kmart for the middle class. It’s cheaper, but not as cheap as the other two, but for the extra money you get a relatively safe shopping experience free of most stress, disorder, and disease. In cleanliness alone, target is utilizing the money better. But then again, Amazon has everything the box stores do, and even with atrocious shipping gets it to your door for 10% to 50% less.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Target is a mixed bag for us. We hate Wal-Mart but it’s the only game in our town. While doing some comparison online shopping, we realized that Target’s prices are in the stratosphere, particularly with home/kitchen items and electronics.

    More importantly, their return policy is terrible. We have had more hassle with returns at Target than I ever do at Wal-Mart. Yes, I hate the long lines at Wal-Mart, and that their price “rollbacks” only occur after they raise the price even higher for a week, but it’s either Wal-Mart or small town grocery stores, which are even more expensive.