Shopping is an integral part of our everyday lives. Every person, in some way or another, must shop at some point. There are many places from which to choose. Two of the leading and most important companies out there today are WalMart and Target. Each company has many positive and negative characteristics. Both companies have similar goals but go about achieving in different ways. For instance, both WalMart and Target aim at their marketing at specific demographics and both companies want the patronage of their customers.
Marketing classes point out the importance of demographics to formulating a customer base. Advertising and merchandising are then aimed at the targeted group. While both WalMart and Target have advertising and merchandising plans, it is very evident that they are targeting different demographics. For example, WalMart, with their lower prices, appears to target lower income, small budget people. Target, on the other hand, appears to concentrate on the customer that has more expendable income.
This can be seen both in the price and quality difference of similar product items between the two stores. WalMart tends to have both lower quality and lower priced items than Target. For example, WalMart's advertising is known for their "roll-back" items. Target advertising appears to concentrate on a younger, hipper audience. Another way that both stores look to target customers can be seen in the type of in-store restaurant offered. Here again, demographics comes into play, as for example, most WalMarts have a MacDonald's and most Targets have a Starbucks.
While both MacDonald's and Starbucks both cater to hungry and thirsty customers, the targeted economic group is evident. Having a customer who is not in a hurry to leave to find a meal also adds to the next objective, which is to develop a loyal patron.
The ultimate objective of both WalMart and Target is to encourage their customers to come back. One way to do this is to promote a pleasant shopping experience. Also, the store layout in Target stores is usually more customer friendly. Target accomplishes this way better than WalMart. For example, Target stores tend to be lighter and cleaner than WalMart stores, which are darker and dirtier.
The aisles in Target are wider; navigating WalMart aisles can be a challenge. Merchandise displays in Target tend to be more attractive than displays in WalMart. WalMart's shelves tend to always be in disarray and are overstocked with items, while Target's shelves are much neater, with fewer items on them, giving a less cluttered look.
In conclusion, both WalMart and Target get the job done, but I prefer to shop at Target because I like their product offerings better and I find it a better pleasant shopping experience overall.