The Target corporation does not get the same level of public scorn that Wal-Mart attracts, but the Minnesota-based retailer is really just Wal-Mart with an attitude, and richly deserves every bit the approbation that Wal-Mart wallows in. Behind the hip, trendy advertising, and the more fashionable wares, Target emulates Wal-Mart in how it victimizes communities, and exploits its supply chain. Being the number 2 retailer in America has allowed Target to hide in Wal-Mart’s shadow. But any citizens group that has fought this company up close and personal, will tell you that only the logo looks different, but the personality underneath the logo is the same as Wal-Mart. Target currently operates 1,331 stores, less than half of Wal-Mart’s totals, including 141 SuperTargets, compared to more than 1,700 Wal-Mart supercenters. About 25% of these new stores, or 150, will be SuperTargets with full-line groceries. If Target is able to build 120 new stores a year, that means every three days there will be a new ribbon cutting for a Target between now and 2010. America is already so over-saturated with huge discount stores, that the growth now is fundamentally a fight over market share, over which giant will control which market. These excess stores bring no added value to local communities which already have a Target or Wal-Mart within an easy drive. The new 600 Target stores are for their investors, to keep stock price up. In fact, this annoucement of store projections lifted Target shares by 3%. Consumer need and community land use have nothing to do with this annoucement of wasteful developments. Target chairman Bob Ulrich told reporters his company can double the number of stores and triple the volume of merchandise it sells before it will exhaust its growth possibilities in the United States. The only good news was for Wal-Mart, which now gets 20% of its revenues from international stores. Target said it has no immediate plans to expand outside the United States. Both Wal-Mart and Target have told Wall Street that they will expand their square footage of stores by 8% this coming year.
If stores like Wal-Mart and Target don’t reach that target, their stock will be hurt. Community groups opposing Wal-Marts are starting to get the serious attention of investor analysts. For a related story, search Newsflash by “investor”. Many Americans think Target is owned by the French because teenagers refer to its as “Tar-jay”. But Sprawl-Busters has learned first-hand that Target is every bit as unpleasant and bullying as Wal-Mart. To see site fight stories, search Newsflash by “Target.”