Target in the Bull's-eye

As value trumps aspirations during recession, discounter attempts to reconnect with consumers.

Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

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“Retailers who came into a recession with an emphasis on something other than price—whether it’s quality, service, unique attributes about what  they carried—have tended to have a decline in sales,” observes John Rand, director of retail insight for Management Ventures Inc., Cambridge,  Mass., citing similar trends for grocer Safeway and department store chain J.C. Penney.

“It doesn’t mean their business will perish; it just means they’ll have a bad year,” he continues. “Target and Wal-Mart is the same story. Target came  into the recession as a differentiation retailer, while Wal-Mart came in as a price retailer. Wal-Mart’s stronger than Target right now.”

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