Walmart vs. Target Essay Example

Pages: 13 (3776 words) Published: November 3, 2012

Prepared for
Professor Devon Bazata
Business and Professional Writing

Prepared by
Kathryn Haines

Fall 1, 2012


Many discount retailers have come and gone over the years, but Wal-Mart and more recently Target, have employed business models that continually deliver profits, even in the struggling economy of the United states in recent years. Wal-Mart and Target both have expanded rapidly since their inception and while Wal-Mart has become an international retailer with stores in fifteen countries and all over the United States while Target has stayed closer to home with stores in Canada and the United Sates. Both retail giants provide well designed stores, online shopping, bargain pricing, large selection and for the most part, good customer service. Target seems to excel in the customer service area though while Wal-Mart is just adequate. Wal-Mart stores are warehouse design and bargain shoppers appreciate that they can buy tires and groceries at the same time while Target stores are more of a department store design and shoppers enjoy bargains but the trendy products provide for a different type of shopper. The product mix for these retail superstars is similar but their customer base is very different which allows both companies to succeed. There are many similarities but the differences are what makes these companies great. The fact that both companies are successful even when the economy is down shows their dedication to to providing the products that their individual customers want and need and their ability to adapt to be more competitive with each other.

Wal-Mart and Target's success can directly be attributed to their marketing and the communication styles they employ. Although both Wal-Mart and Target's advertising, merchandising and communication styles are different, the desired result is the same just with a a significantly different customer base. Wal-Mart targets the bargain shopper that has less money to spend while Target aims to appeal to the customer that is more slightly more affluent. Their target customers can be seen in pricing and product quality of similar products offered. Wal-Mart offers the lower price but also lesser quality items while Target's prices may be slightly higher their merchandise quality is significantly higher. The difference in each stores customer base is what allows both companies to succeed in the same BIG BOX retail market.



Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., with headquarters located in in Bentonville, Arkansas, was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton, with the opening of the first Wal-Mart discount store in Rogers, Arkansas. The company was incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., in 1969 and became publically traded in 1972. Even though it is publicly traded; the Walton family still is the largest shareholder and still retains control. Wal-Mart's 8,500 stores in 15 countries provide sales and service to customers over 200 million times each and every week. Wal-Mart is considered the world's largest public corporation and with 2010 sales which topped $405 billion, I can see why. Wal-Mart employs more than 2 million employees worldwide making them the largest private employer. As a leader in business, Wal-Mart has consistently ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Companies and other business categories.

Consumers typically accept Wal-Mart as a great place to shop because of roll back prices shown by a yellow smiley face but Wal-Mart also has a positive impact on the economy because consumers dollars stretch further and the many job opportunities offered to all, including people with disabilities and the elderly.


Target Corporation, with headquarters located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was founded in 1902 and was originally...
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