My husband thinks he’s funny. Well…okay, he is. But as we all know, funny people can be annoying sometimes. This little annoyance inevitably creeps up when you just don’t need it. His always comes around when I mention I am going to Target. He interrupts me, always saying “Please, please, a little respect…it’s Targe’t (pronounced Tarzhay). Rolling my eyes, I just walk away.
Founded in 1962 as a cheaper version of the Dayton’s Department Stores, it has taken decades to achieve the success in the marketplace we see today, namely the $59 Billion in sales for last year. Now called the Target Corporation, the little store has outlasted all the original high-end department stores that founded it – Dayton’s and Marshall Field’s, to name a few. Growing up in the Midwest, Target was just another store to me, similar to K-Mart. But in 1994, I came back to college, walked into the local Target for supplies, and was shocked to see a completely different brand. They had finally figured IT out and I was happy as can be.
The IT was items that were low cost, but felt high end, and for one word, designed. By the late 1990’s, Target was finding itself. They commissioned architect Michael Graves to design 200 items for the stores and it proved to be another hit with customers. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, CEO Bob Ulrich commented on how amazing it was that Michael was able to take a $135 teapot and produce it for Target at only $35. Soon other designers were beating down the door, as well as Celebrities wanting to endorse the product. (A few of my favorites Target designers are Amy Coe, Mossimo, and Liz Lange.)
Today, Target is even more upscale then it used to be in the 1990’s, and is now the fifth largest retailer in the nation. In fact, when affluent people are asked where they shop for supplies, Target is the first store they mention. When you move to Minnesota, you will quickly find that most Targets are now Super Targets. Target has such a monopoly on the Twin Cities market that Super Walmarts are rarely seen. Don’t be surprise when you walk in and find a Starbucks Coffee in the new stores. How much more upscale can you get then that?
With the success of Target comes its charitable side. A little know fact is that it is written in the corporate by-laws that 5% of its pre-tax earnings must be given to charity. So far, the Target Corporation has given over $150 Million to schools across the nation. It also donated $1.5 Million to the Red Cross to help Hurricane Katrina victims.
Where ever you decide to shop, know that Target is a staple here in the Twin Cities…they are everywhere. A good thing as far as I am concerned. For the last 13 years, I have been a loyal customer, not only because they are always updating their selections, but because the customer service is pretty good, too. Target would probably be pleased to know that I still use four deep blue bowls that I bought in 1995…they are just beautiful. When people ask me where I got them, I proudly say, “Tarzhay”.