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Comparing Wal-Mart and Target

For this assignment, I visited Wal-Mart and Target department stores and compared several prices and attentively looked around each store and searched for differences that I thought were important for completing my essay. First, I visited Wal-Mart and looked at many of the prices which were located in many different areas for each product. Some of the prices were displayed at the top of the racks with large letters as well as on the price tags that were attached to each item that was for sale. Many of the tags had other stickers placed over the original prices, allowing for a much less price for the consumer.

On the food and many other shelf items, there was a price label just over or below the items that was for sale. This label also displayed information concerning the product, such as weight, which I found extremely helpful in selecting the best product to purchase. Finding items in the store was rather easy, since there were huge signs hanging from the ceiling, like Deli and Bakery. Also, the customer services representatives always seemed eager to point out the direction of any item which I asked to see. I found the prices to be very competitive at Wal-Mart but the store did lack a sophisticated atmosphere that most stores possess.

They seemed to cater to a less wealthy group of people since I didn’t see any individuals in the store wearing expensive clothing or jewelry. Everything at Wal-Mart was priced under most other store’s prices, including Target, which was my second stop for completing this essay. When I walked into Target, the bright colors were extraordinary. The reds and whites seem to dominate and I felt much happier in this department store. I quickly noticed how bright colors and lights affect the attitude of the shoppers as I; myself was in a better shopping mood.

The prices at Target were either on the tags or listed on the shelf and were comparable to Wal-Mart’s on many items, but I did notice that Wal-Mart was still the winner when it came to lower prices. Many of the food items in Wal-Mart and Target were the same but on other items, such as cleaning products and toys, Wal-Mart had the lowest prices. Target’s logo was red and white and was shaped like a target, which is appealing to the eye where Wal-Mart’s logo was a smiley face in the color of yellow, which was appealing but still lacked interest.

The smiley face showed the simplicity of the Wal-Mart store where Target’s logo was more interesting. I noticed that individuals who shopped at Target seemed to drive more expensive automobiles and bought more clothing and household items than those who shopped at Wal-Mart. Also, the shoppers at Wal-Mart seemed to purchase more necessities, such as food and toiletries, where Target shoppers purchased more frivolous items such as scented candles, more expensive hair products and fancier Kleenex boxes.

It was quite obvious in my observation that Wal-Mart services the poorer population where Target just as aggressively targets the middle income families. To make important improvements in each store, I would begin at Wal-Mart by changing the logo for the store. I would take down the smiley faces and offer a better demonstration to represent my store that would entice other consumers, as well, such as the middle class income population. The logo could perhaps be something more complicated and less childlike in appearance.

Also, Wal-Mart by offering more household decorating items, I think would improve their shopping customers. By adding additional and sometimes more expensive items for their shoppers, I feel that Wal-Mart could drastically improve their numbers in customers. To improve Target’s customers, they could begin by lowering their prices. I wouldn’t recommend this idea to Target, since it would bring in a less desirable group of individuals into their store and cause their former customer base to feel uncomfortable which in turn would cause their former customers to search out other stores for their shopping pleasure.

I feel that Wal-Mart is the store that needs to seriously consider making changes. They should offer their original prices but should still have specific sections in the store that would be more appealing to the middle income shoppers. By adding separate shopping sections and targeting individuals who have a more expensive taste, they would not only maintain their low income base of shoppers, but would entice the higher income group of shoppers, as well. I feel that Target is the better store to shop at.

Their colors and lights offer store appeal. Their prices are sometimes the same as Wal-Mart and aren’t terribly higher than Wal-Mart’s which easily makes the choice in shopping a simple one. Target is the better store to shop at since it offers more appeal, comparable prices and is more organized. Target employers look happier while Wal-Mart’s employees seem discouraged, as if they really didn’t want to be there. Target’s employees seemed neater in appearance. In my shopping comparison, I clearly choose Target as the better store for myself.

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