I frequent both Target and Wal-Mart and have my reasons for going to one or the other. While the basic concepts of the stores are similar, they offer two completely different shopping experiences.
Let’s start with Target. It offers the same basic items as Wal-Mart, but usually at a higher price point. The one thing you can be certain of, is you will spend at least 5% more than you would have at Wal-mart, 10% if you’re grocery shopping there. That being said, that is the only drawback I can find with Target.
When I am shopping at Target, I know that every time I enter a new department of the store, someone will be there to ask me how I am doing. The other day I was in Target, and I counted 12 different people asking me if I was finding everything okay, and I was only in the store about 30 minutes. Some may find this annoying, but any Wal-Mart shopper who has ever needed assistance will revel in the fact that they don’t have to search the entire store to find an associate.
The other benefits of Target include the clean and secure parking lots, quality of merchandise, great clearance items, a nice clean atmosphere inside, and no long lines at the checkout. If the line is more than 3 people deep, they immediately call for assistance and open another lane. So if you’re looking to get in and out, Target is by far the fastest of the two.
When comparing the two stores, the only thing that Wal-Mart has over Target is price and familiarity. It is by far the cheapest way to go as they price match all competitors, and virtually all Wal-Marts are set-up the same way. However, for many that is not enough.
The things you’ll have to deal with at Wal-mart may be more than any sane person would like to experience. First, there is the traffic. Until they install stoplights in the aisles, and put blinkers and horns on the carts this will always be a problem. People in Wal-mart can be scary, and will run over you(or your small child) if your not careful. It is best to go there early in the morning or late at night to avoid the rush.
There is also no customer service at Wal-Mart. Besides the greeter and the checkout person, no one will talk to you unless you chase them down and follow them into the back warehouse. Seriously, if you have a question when you are in Wal-Mart, get out your cell phone and call them. That is the only way you will get an answer.
Lastly, the lines at Wal-Mart are ridiculous. There have been many times when I have spent 30 minutes waiting to checkout. They do not even attempt to open more lanes, probably because all their employees are hiding from customers with questions.
Overall, I like shopping at both Wal-Mart and Target. Target offers me quick friendly service, and sometimes that is worth the extra cost. On the other hand, Wal-Mart is great for my budget and since I am well acquainted with the layout and products they offer, the lack of assistance doesn’t usually bother me. I guess the point is to find out what you appreciate more in a shopping experience, and then go from there.