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Retail Super Giants: The Case of Target Vs. Walmart

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Retail Super Giants: The Case of Target vs. Wal-Mart

As the holidays are approaching at a rapid speed, it seems as if we are making those last minute mad dashes to the stores to make sure our holiday lists are completed. This season is also a time when consumers need to watch their pocketbooks the most, and thus discount retail stores like Target and Wal-Mart are often the most popular choices for those crazed last minute shopping runs. Each store has such a wide variety of products to choose from, but the two stores are not completely alike. Generally, both stores have comparable prices and services; yet Target has more types of services available, more discount programs, and a reputation for higher quality products making Target, I feel, the one with the more diverse choices out of these two discount retail facilities.

When examining the two major retail stores, it is clear that they have both comparable and different services to offer their clientele. Each store specializes in selling discounted retail products at cheaper prices and higher volumes than traditional retail or grocery stores. Thus, each store both offers a wide selection of clothing, kitchen supplies, cleaning products, small appliances, electronics, music, video games, furniture, and jewelry for the whole family. Both stores have an enormous inventory of hundreds of thousands of products, from bathroom d├ęcor to cosmetics and fragrances. Still, this is not where the offers end. The two stores also offer traditional services most often found in larger retail locations, like a photo studio, pharmacy, optical services, and even Internet services.

Both locations have recently adapted their store strategy to include general groceries among their available merchandise as well, thus expanding the already enormous product listing each has within individual store locations. Target and Wal-Mart each offer groceries that would traditionally be found in a grocery market. This includes perishable products that cover any meal of the day. Moreover, Target and Wal-Mart also boast an in-store bakery, deli, meat, and produce sections.

Target has a select number of services not available at most Wal-Marts. These services are designed to provide the consumer with a level of convenience not paralleled in Wal-Mart locations. Target offers services like baby and wedding registries through programs like Club Wedd. These allow consumers to make registry lists for special occasions like weddings and baby births so that guests can get the right products they need without overlapping with the gifts of other guests. This type of service is traditionally seen in higher end department stores like Macy's, but has been successfully used by Target to provide further convenience for their consumers. Additionally, Target also offers Target Receipts and business printing services, which go beyond what most Wal-Marts are capable of producing for their consumers. Despite possessing a similar product base, Target clearly differentiates itself from Wal-Mart by the increased number of services it provides for its consumers to take advantage of.

There are a number of obvious similarities within price point structures when evaluating the two stores side by side. Both stores are discount retail stores, meaning that they sell traditional products at cheaper prices than normal grocery or retail stores. Each store sells products found in traditional grocery markets and retail stores, but at a lower price point than their competitors. Moreover, each store carries their own branded products which are also a cheaper option for consumers than other brands found in traditional grocery stores. Wal-Mart has Wal-Mart branded products as well as brands not found in any other retail setting. Target also has its own brand, known as Re. These offer similar products



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