| Exterior of a typical Target store.
Target Stores is a division of Target Corporation. The discount retail chain in the United States has 1,272 stores in 47 states that operate under the mastheads of Target, Target Greatland, and SuperTarget. The first Target store opened in 1962 in Roseville, Minnesota. That store was closed and demolished on January 8, 2005 to make room for a SuperTarget in its place. The current slogan of Target Stores is "Expect More. Pay Less."
In order to create a niche for itself, Target is known for differentiating itself from competitors like Kmart and Wal-Mart by offering more upscale, trend-forward merchandise. In fact, Target refers to itself as a "discount department store" instead of just a discount store. To further differentiate itself, Target does not play any music in its stores, the stores are typically cleaner and more organized than its rivals, and it calls its customers "guests".
The Bullseye logo of Target is one of the most recognized corporate logos in the country.
Many of Target's biggest fans often refer to the store as "Tar-ZHAY" (pronounced in pseudo-French accent), a reference to its staunchly middle-class clientele.
There is also a Target operating as a department store under the same logo and a similar style in Australia with over 150 stores. The brand in Australia is owned by Coles Myer. Target USA does not and never has operated stores outside of the United States.
Target: Charity and the Salvation Army
The Target Corporation has a policy of philantropy and is a member of the "keystone program". Under the program, companies aim to donate between 2 and 5 percent of their federally taxable incomes to charity. Target is consistently ranked as one of the most philanthopic companies in the country, and gives over $2 million a week in the communities it operates.
Target has a standard no-solicitation rule at its properties, as it wishes to provide a "distraction-free shopping experience for its guests". Exemptions to this policy were always made for the Salvation Army to station its traditional red kettles and bell-ringers outside Target stores during the Christmas season.
Target Stores made a corporate decision that during the 2004 Christmas season, the Salvation Army would no longer be allowed to station the red kettles and bell ringers at store entrances. Target based this decision on the fact that other organizaitons were asking for solicitation space on its properties, and Target felt it could no longer make an exception for one organization. Target informed the Salvation Army of its decision to no longer allow the bell ringers in January 2004, in order to allow the Salvation Army to make alternate plans. The Salvation Army estimates that previous placements of kettles outside Target stores generated 8% of their annual revenue. To make up for the loss of the kettle revenue, Target asked the Salvation Army to submit a grant request in line with Target's standard donation procedures.
Target Corporation states on its website, "while some of our guests may welcome the opportunity to support their favorite charity or cause, allowing these organizations to solicit means that Target would also have to permit solicitation by organizations whose causes or behavior may be unacceptable to our guests." Target cites no specific organizations, causes or behaviors as an example.
Some right-wing organizations and individuals have called upon customers to boycott Target Stores as a result of the decision to prevent the Salvation Army from collecting donations at Target stores. This boycott has seemed to have failed as Target's sales increased 11.3% in December, and same-store sales increased 5.1%. By comparison, Wal-Mart's comparable sales for December only increased 2.6%.
Meanwhile, competitors such as Wal-Mart have responded by making explicit statements to allow red kettles to be stationed outside their stores. Other national retailers, such as Circuit City and Best Buy, also have no solicitation policies at their stores, and do not allow the Salvation Army to solicit.
Possibly in response to Target's decision, Wal-Mart pledged to match kettle contributions outside Wal-Mart locations during the Christmas 2004 season up to 1 million dollars. Target continues to make corporate donations to the Salvation Army.
- Target USA (http://www.target.com)
- Target Corporation (http://www.targetcorp.com)
- Target in Australia (http://www.target.com.au)