Target is America's second-largest general merchandise retailer, with over 1,100 stores across the country; it employs over 220,000 people. It has recently begun electronic marketing through its Target.com subsidiary. (Pergiovanni, PG).
This paper is a SWOT analysis of the corporation. It concentrates on the Target stores themselves.
I've scanned a listing of newspaper articles with "Target Corporation" as the headline, and a pattern has emerged: Target has consistently grown while many other companies are losing ground. To take just three examples: in August 2002, Target sales grew 7.5% ("Target Corporation August Sales Up 7.5 Percent," PG); In October 2002, they were up 9.8% ("Target Corporation October Sales Up 9.8 Percent," PG); and the most recent article cites a 7.7 percent increase in January 2003. ("Target Corporation January Sales Up 7.7 Percent," PG). This is an impressive record for a company in a country mired in a deepening recession.
The company has declared dividends for its shareholders every quarter as well, making it a good investment. It's also begun to sell its goods via the Internet, and its Website is very user friendly and is proving to be a success.
The company has chosen its approach to retailing very carefully. It aims for "consistency of experience" for its customers by making all its stores nearly identical. It also has to differentiate itself from Wal-Mart, the market leader. Target executives opined there were three choices open to them: "to specialize, to become the low-cost producer or to differentiate ourselves." The first would have made them a niche marketer, and Wal-Mart has a lock on the second option. That left differentiation, and Target has succeeded in making themselves distinct from other low-cost retailers. ("A Tale of Two Stories," PG). We've already noted above the success of their...