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Target vs K-Mart

2009-09-24 16:41:04.877267+00 by Dan Lyke 9 comments

One of the ongoing discussions in Petaluma is about a development that'd take over a good portion of the fairgrounds (and I haven't seen what that would do to the Petaluma Speedway), and whose anchor tenant is supposed to be a Target.

Petaluma has a K-Mart, and my first impression is that they basically carry the same product lines, although the the pro-development faction touts that Target has a more upscale focus.

Anyone know a way to drill down on the realities of this? My first thought was to go take a bunch of notes in the appliance sections, but it'd be nice if someone else had already done that legwork for me.

[ related topics: Consumerism and advertising ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-09-24 17:47:15.471207+00 by: meuon

Nancy and I both prefer Target for most household items. It does seem to be a little more stylish and contemporary, even 'trendy' than WallrusWorld. Prices are often a suprise, better than anything but the Wallrus. Kmart at the base of Signal Mtn died..

as for clothes, no clue, but I'd shop Target at a minimum, I -love- TJ Maxx for good deals.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-09-24 19:33:48.091631+00 by: m

I went into a Target once. They wanted to scan my drivers license into their system for an OTC cough medication that had no controls,limitations or psychoactive substances in it. I have no tolerance for such nonsense.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-09-24 19:34:25.427743+00 by: Larry Burton

Everything I'm wearing at this moment came from Target. I'm talking shirt, shorts, underwear and socks. I'm not wearing shoes. I buy most of my clothes from either Target or Kohl's. The quality difference between clothes I can buy at Target and the clothes I can buy at Kmart or Walmart for pennies difference in price means a much better value at Target.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-09-24 20:41:27.246606+00 by: ebradway

Target is a pretty noticeable step up from K-Mart and Wal-Mart. For instance, K- Mart always had their own little deli - you know the kind with hotdogs on one of those roller machines. Wal-mart usually has a McDonald's inside (and many times an additional one in the parking lot). Target typically has a Starbucks.

I find you can also tell just by the way the products are stocked. I've never been in a Target where it was hard to maneuver in the aisles and products were strewn about. In K-Mart, you sort of feel like you're at a flea market. Wal-Mart's not much better.

I don't know if Target still builds them - but the smaller, non-"Super" Target stores are much more manageable as a shopper and don't compete with local groceries.

  1. Maybe topspin will comment on your experience. He's a pharmacist and has worked for Target in the past.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-09-24 22:51:59.999713+00 by: Medley

Everything I typed made me sound like a total snob so I deleted it. Suffice it to say I rarely enter any of these stores (I either use Amazon or send TheSpouse in instead), but prefer Target over K-Mart.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-09-24 23:12:19.728744+00 by: topspin

Many drugstores, including my employer CVS, require age verification for selling certain cough preperations. I would refer m to this concerning DM (detromethorphan) abuse. We don't actually scan the driver's license for DM, as we do for Sudafed, but CVS policy is not to sell those preparations to minors.

While I don't know, I assume Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc also have such policies, and I'd LOVE to spout off about how altruistic and health oriented such policies are..... but they are probably in place to avoid nasty press if "darling little Johnny" goes Robotripping on CVS Tussin DM and gets himself Darwinized.

It's hardly the biggest issue on the plate at a drugstore and as far back as 15+yrs ago I saw kids buying a bottle or two of Robitussin DM or Nyquil on Rossville Blvd and drinking it all on the sidewalk outside the drugstore before riding off on their "trick bikes."

#Comment Re: made: 2009-09-24 23:23:27.719403+00 by: Dan Lyke

Medley, yeah, very little of our household income gets spent in either store, which is why I have trouble differentiating them. So far as I can tell, Target spends more on advertising and carries clothing styles to match that budget, which is why people think of Target is more upscale, but the clothes aren't necessarily any more durable, simply of a style that goes with more advertising dollars. And both stores carry a range of branded appliances.

Next time I'm headed past a Target I'll have to take some notes so I can compare with the in-town K-Mart.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-09-25 00:13:26.293728+00 by: Larry Burton

Personal experience in wearing cheap clothes is that Target does sell more durable clothes. Of course part of the reason I wear cheap clothes is my propensity to find myself in very dirty environments. That means that I'm not particularly looking for clothes that last forever. Buttons seem to come off of clothes bought from Walmart at a higher rate than those bought at Target. Clothes bought at Kmart seem to fall somewhere between Walmart and Target as far as buttons are concerned but I've had two pairs of shorts bought at Kmart not have pockets sewn together properly. One short pocket and the other with a hole in the bottom.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-09-25 12:51:43.547688+00 by: Larry Burton

Dan, I'm still not sure exactly why one would make zoning decisions based on whether or not the product line and brands matched a similar store in the community. You have one big box discount department store so your community has already allowed one major competitor to your local merchants adding a second can only lower prices charged by the first. You local merchant has to be competing on service rather than price at this point.