mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, March 16, 2009

This is why I ♥ Target...

So I went to my local Target yesterday to pick up some prescriptions, and also the liquid that helps me get through the day - they had Diet Mountain Dew on sale for 4 for $11. When I pulled up, I noticed they had a chunk of the store fenced off, had torn a chunk of the the front entrance off, and had a big banner saying that "Target will be open during renovations".

Ever since a few months ago, when they finally completed renovations on the Towson store, I found myself wondering and hoping they would do the same thing to the Nottingham Square store, which is the closest one to me. I used to like the Towson store based on the fact that it was great for finding clearance deals - owing to the fact that it was one of the older, less enjoyable stores. It had some odd layout issues, including the only Target I've been in (and I've been in at least 15 Targets in at least 6 states, by my count) that had it's electronics department fenced off by those CheckPoint anti-theft detectors.

But while I lament the loss of my source of 75% off clearance, I do love the new layout - it's lighter, more open, it has a Starbucks, it has a much nicer electronics section, and it has a much bigger grocery section - something I like, because I like being able to do all my shopping in one place.

So I'm glad that these changes are coming to the one I go to most frequently - the cashier confirmed to the woman in front of me that they were bringing in a Starbucks and expanded grocery section, so I expect it will be very similar to Towson.

And this is one of the major advantages that I think Target has over other mass merchandisers - they are willing to pump money into keeping their stores up and making them pleasant places to shop at. Ironically, that seems to be hurting them - it gives the impression that their prices are higher, so they are losing sales to Wal-Mart in "these tough economic times". I predict, however, that once the economy rebounds, they will be in a good position.

Every now and again, I occasionally find myself in K-Mart, which is the opposite extreme. Their stores always look like they haven't been touched since sometime in the late 60's, probably because they haven't. They are one of those places that I can't comprehend how they are still around, and I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years they aren't. Target is the opposite - the Nottingham Square store isn't as nice as some other Targets, but it's not bad - it's not unpleasant to shop at, and it's not horribly beat up. The fact that they are still investing money to make it a better place to shop shows that they want the customer to enjoy shopping there, and I think that's a great thing for a retailer.


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