The aim of this paper is to highlight the strategic position of the company with an overview of its internal and external environment. The study of its strategy, design and other forces, one can easily gauge why and how target has managed to become the retail giant it is today.
Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is the leading large-format general merchandise and discount retailer in the U.S., challenging Wal-Mart in electronics, toys and apparel while also seeking to differentiate with higher-end fashions and products for an upscale audience. As of the close of their latest fiscal year (FY2011), Target operated approximately 1,760 stores encompassing 233,000 square feet in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The company is divided into the retail and credit card divisions and moves the majority of its products through a highly integrated network of 37 different distribution centers, which include four food distribution centers. Target is one of the most well-entrenched large format retailers in the U.S., has the ability to manage their pricing strategies at a level of accuracy and precision that is comparable to Wal-Mart (Henderson, 2001). Unlike Wal-Mart, Target concentrates on a value-based message that concentrates on quality and price differentiation to sustain their gross margins while Wal-Mart concentrates on supply chain efficiency and a continual reduction of supplier and transaction costs (Krishnamurthi, 2001).
The purpose of this paper is to discuss Target’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This paper will also talk about how Porter’s Five affects Target’s business decisions.
After the recession, Target’s value proposition shifted to simply offer affordable options in a wide array of product areas. However, now with better economic conditions and without the ability to offer lower prices than its affordable retail competitors, such as Walmart, and in order to stay relevant and refresh the company, Target needs to reposition itself as the high-quality concept and style-oriented retail store it was once known for.
Target Corporation is a retail chain specializing in household goods, clothing, food, and accessories at discounted prices. The retail chain’s history started back in 1902 as Goodfellows and in 1910 as The Dayton Company. Initially, the chain specialized in “furnishings, fabrics and decorations for business and other public institutions” (“Target Corporation,” 2016, p. 5). Eventually, Target went public in 1967 and on to acquire Mervyn’s in the 1970s where they became the seventh largest retailer in the United States. Target operates in the United States, where it is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and as of January 31, 2015 Target employs over 300,000 people. “The company recorded revenues of $72,618 million in the financial year ended January 2015, the operating profit of the company was $4,535 million, [and] the net profit was $2,449 million” (“Target
In my personal opinion, Target should continue to develop a specific portfolio that is specifically targeted to its customer’s needs and likes, while focusing on maintaining the same product quality and variety for each store brand. Through its marketing strategy, the retailer has to assure the consumer they are purchasing the same quality product as if they were buying a national brand at a more affordable price; which at the end is more convenient for the consumer and does not have to sacrifice quality. Target should also expand to the South and Northeast where there are still plenty of attractive locations with no Target presence. This will attract more customers and consequently strengthen its store brands.
To understand what Targets distribution strategy is, we must know how many levels they have in their distribution channel and what marketing system they are using. Target looks to be in a vertical marketing system that is more administered. It seems that Target holds the power in the relationship with the companies that it does business with and has invited them to work with them in the improvement process for their distribution dilemmas (et al.) As of 2017 Target’s North American distribution infrastructure is made up of 41 centers. They consist of five different types of facilities. Regional general merchandise distribution centers, Import redistribution centers, perishables food distribution centers e-commerce fulfillment centers, and the
speed at which the company opened their stores up. This didn’t let Canadians grow into the new lifestyle to shop at Target and instead the company collapsed on itself within a year. The second issue is the lack of product availability for customers to purchase. Due to the speed of opening, Target didn’t properly achieve their equilibrium of merchandise to sell and instead left many customers disappointed with the lack of quality service. The third issue is the prices compared to Target’s US stores. There was no foresight into the comparison of quality, price and service which would become evident once they entered the Canadian market. The fact that
Over the past three years, Target has been focusing on an expansion strategy. Target’s goal is to expand its branches not only across the United States, but also in Canada. In 2011 they opened around 21 new stores around the U.S. In addition, they built smaller format Target store called City Target in crowded downtown areas such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco. Target’s initial plan for Canada was to open up to 125 stores, but by August 2014 Target opened about 130 stores in Canada.
Target Corporation has recognized itself as one of the top retailers in the United States market on the basis of excellent service quality, customer experiences, operational excellence, strong financial position, and a wide array of product offerings. Through its high degree of service orientation at physical outlets and adoption of fair business practices, Target Corporation has become the most distinctive retailer in the eyes of its potential customers. Being one of the top-notch retailers in the United States, Target Corporation has to carefully strategize on its business operations and marketing tactics so as to keep itself in the row of competitive brands of the industry.
Thus, Target operations thought that opening over 100 stores all over Canada would be a great opportunity for the company to expand its profitability. However, the exact opposite happened. Instead of reaching their profitability goal, there is an estimated loss between $800-$900 million, since the opening of stores in Canada (Austin, 2014). The cause of this failure was due to a lack of inventory in most stores; leading to empty shelves and many of the favorable brands from U.S. Target’s did not make it to the stores in Canada. Another problem was that prices were higher in Canadian stores compared to U.S. store prices due to shipping costs and tax (Austin, 2014). Target failed to think this whole process through before acting on it. Starting with the 124 stores who all had to be remodeled and up and running in less than a year due to Canada’s policy of not letting any store stay vacant for any longer than that; to having the ability to furnish and fill the stores with all of their merchandise (Nolan, 2014). Soon they came to realize they could not. Target’s lack of looking into the higher prices they would have been paying making it able to get the merchandise over the border into Canada, was another issue leading to the company’s ineffective plans. Having noticed early on that the extra costs of tax will lead to a price mark up on in store products,
There is an abundant quantity of opportunities for Target Corporation to propagate. The first is through the food industry; Target sells food items and must provide more prominence on this division of their company since customers buy food products from here at a low price. Second, Target
In order for Target to ensure its functional strategies are realized, Target must invest in marketing innovations and develop alliances and partnerships. Target is currently investing in R&D teams located in San Francisco to create new ways to reach customers and help Target get ahead of emerging technologies. This requires innovative and creative thinking employees and leading managers. Likewise, Target must spend a lot of time developing partnership with exclusive brand and design collaborations with Target
Target uses many tools to improve business, such as updating inventory, business responsibilities, and store layouts. Target keeps a good control of its inventory compared to Kmart, which use an old system and this affected its performance. “While Kmart has installed a new inventory system, suppliers and analysts say it uses its technology less effective than the others” (The New York Times, 1993) (Retrieved from www.nytimes.com). Target stocks enough products to sell and prevent waste. It conducts a lean inventory to reduce the clearance sales and restock new products, thus help to clear the unsold goods fast and increase profit. “However, Target also drove its profits by keeping its inventory thin. About 33 percent of Target’s Executive Short-Term Incentive Plan depends on a financial metric called “Economic Value Add” (EVA), which measures how well Target grows sales profitably” (Lee, 2013) (Retrieved from www.startribune.com). Even though the company has various shortages on some products, it does not affect its business. Adding food section beside general merchandise helped Target to achieve a fair amount of turns “Yet Target continues to replenish its inventory at the same pace, a little over six times a year. Since consumers buy food items like milk