(photo credit: Me. Took this picture at Target on Nicollet Mall, on 3-7-2015) Which is next to their headquarters, here in Downtown Minneapolis, and I reside 8 blocks away from the store)
I’ve wanted to blog about Target, for a long time now. I’ve had in the last 2 years, a love/hate relationship with the retailer. My own experiences, while I’m not a professor at the Carlson School of Management, like the gentleman, interviewed in the top link, above, while he’s not totally wrong with his deductions of why Target is struggling, in my opinion, which I don’t have a MBA and have a degree in NOTHING (originally went to college though, for Marketing) , I’m still going to give my opinions, trying to separate personal prejudices, from ACTUAL reasons that I think has hurt them over the years.
As well as give my opinion on what needs to change……
Being in size acceptance and as a fat acceptance advocate, Target has gotten some bad press in the last couple of years, for good reason about their clothes, as it applies to antagonizing their plus sized female customers. I know that before my gastric bypass in 2001, it was a lot easier to shop there for clothes at a size 24, in the late 90’s and early 2000 and 2001. I never had a problem finding well made clothes that were affordable, well made and cute. While I’m a size 16 on average, now, I have a terrible time fitting into their plus size clothes. Even their biggest sizes. But their clothes overall, are not made well and the quality of them is not good. As well as they are UGLY. And WAY overpriced. So I choose to shop for clothes, 2 blocks away from “my Target” on Nicollet Mall, at Macy’s.
But even my thin friends say they would NEVER shop at Target, now for clothes. And they come from all different socio-economic backgrounds…….
I can’t take personal, that I refuse to have a RED card to get a discount on my purchases. I do take issue with cashiers who make me feel REALLY bad that I don’t want one (it takes 2-3 days to clear my checking account, not a good idea for someone with the cognitive disabilities that I have). And given the fact that I get all my prescriptions at their Nicollet Mall location, I don’t get a discount because I’m poor enough, to not have a co-pay. I don’t understand penalizing poor disabled people who they are making, such as in my case, thousands of dollars, every month, on my prescriptions.
It’s also frustrating that I can have hold ups with medications because “C2s” have to go through corporate. They also don’t order enough in certain pain meds to meet demand. In my case, it’s a good thing I’m not the drug seeking hypochondriac that I’ve been pegged, by physicians. So I never run into an issue where I’d be out of any of my meds. But for other people that could be frustrating to say the least.
And it’s really irritating that my piece of crap LG Optimus F3 phone that I got last year (right before the Brightspot plan went up) from Target/Brightspot won’t accept a text from their own pharmacy. It doesn’t support that. And it’s annoying that I could be saving $100 a year, even with the $25 I get from Target, in gift cards for every 6 months of service, now that Straight Talk, lowered their price plan but increased hi speed data, compared to what I pay with Brightspot.
See, Target, I’m REALLY trying….. You’re making this a lot more difficult than it should be, though…
Prices are also lower at stores that have a higher median average income, sometimes in a wide variety of merchandise. This makes me super angry. I can’t go by their Nicollet Mall store, that’s here in Downtown Minneapolis, I get that the operation costs might be higher for that store. However there’s really NO middle class for make up of those who live in Downtown Minneapolis. Even though that may be the case for who works in their corporate headquarters or people who work nearby. It’s pretty much poor or wealthy people that reside in Downtown Minneapolis. But I’m sure that wealthy people have just as big of a problem, paying $9 for a can opener, like the not so wealthy. However their Lake Street store, it costs more for me to shop there, then it does at Super Targets in upscale Twin Cities suburbs like Minnetonka, Plymouth and St. Louis Park. They have fresher food and more variety, in their upper market bracket stores.
Because I have a boyfriend who lives in Dakota County, it’s cheaper to shop at their Super Target in Apple Valley or their Target in Inver Grove Heights. It’s actually frustrating, period, to grocery shop in Downtown Minneapolis, that I don’t blame on Target. And I also like their Super Target in St. Paul/Midway. But the point I’m trying to make, I have a lot, as well as lot of us here in MN and Downtown Minneapolis, have to worry about the potential, enormous negative domino effect that these layoffs will have personally to those laid off, as well as the city of Downtown Minneapolis and the state of MN.
Target, somehow, in the last several years, if not longer, kind of went through an identity crisis. While they were able to cater to all socio-economic classes and people of all shapes and sizes, that’s no longer true about them. Somehow they lost the ability to have a wide variety of merchandise that has appeal to all sorts of people. Whether it’s clothes, household items, electronics, there’s nothing outstanding about their variety in their merchandise, the quality of it and certainly not their price points. Except with food. Again, though, that can vary, depending on where you live.
HOWEVER, I’m still spending a good amount of my discretionary and disposable income on food and necessities at Target. And if I wanted organic in all my foods, well that’s what Whole Foods in Downtown Minneapolis, is for…..
As well as the little luxuries I can afford. That’s because I realize how much is at stake for the economic welfare of most, not just in Downtown Minneapolis, but in MN and the U.S. I may not want to shop at Target, like I used to, and I hope some of the things I’ve discussed above, resonates with someone. I’m not totally maschostic though. I can’t just do this on principle, alone. I do shop at other places like Walmart now, in the last 5-10 years. But up until 2008, at least a good 50% of my discretionary and disposable income as a single mother of 2, was spent at the Super Target in Plymouth, that I lived a 1/2 a mile away from. If I wasn’t there every day, it was at least, every other day.
When I did work, I worked for a few large conglomerates based in the Twin Cities.I’ve also been laid off, from them. I think Target, was more than fair, as far as severance for the first round of employees (who I feel terrible for) who were just laid off. I’d like think that it was more than social media pressure that they did that. IF that if they had to restructure the way they did, as far as jobs and don’t take in consideration of that they aren’t meeting the needs and expectations of shoppers, like they used to, I don’t have much hope for their survival, truthfully.
I hope in this case, that my medical, mental health and neurological disabilities ARE a barrier, in not being so optimistic about their survival. And I hope I’ve explained to the best of my ability, that my opinion as a shopper there, should be taken in to consideration. As my being a complex disabled shopper, who is shopping there on principle (even with things that offend me about the store) they still make at least $25k a year from me, because of my medications. That’s more than TWICE my annual income.
I’m not that egotistical, to think that I’m smarter than ANYONE employed at Target Corporation. I’m saying to Target and to Mr. Cornell, I’m around and free if you want to discuss this for lunch (and NO, I’m not delusional), sometime or to thank me for purposely irritating the annoying,loud, scary extremist Christian protesters, who protest against the store, in nicer weather and when there’s a lot of people in Downtown Minneapolis, only because they are infuriated over Target’s support of gay marriage.
Um…. You’re Welcome, Target ……
p.s. I am grateful in my quirky way of my nightly view of the LED show… I suppose you aren’t taking requests for that, either ;)… If you are, I want my “fishies” back…..
p.s.s. If cutting out the nightly LED shows would help save jobs, go for it……I’m shutting up, now….