Comparing Target and Wal Mart

Wal-mart and target are two of the most successful chains in the United States today, with both boasting outlets in nearly every major city and town in the country. However although they both sell a similar range of products, there are many differences between the two stores. These being both in the way their stores look, and I the way that the businesses themselves are run on a day to day basis.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

Wal-mart firstly was founded and created as a simple grocery store, which then slowly became a chain of supermarkets. This has more recently of course morphed into the massive cavernous one-stop shop for everything under one roof places that it is today. Its largest sector and sales area is still its groceries, although you can now buy very nearly anything you could think of there. This being mainly how Wal-mart has become more and more powerful than its competitors, and allowed it to expand into virtually any market it wants to. To the extent that you can now even get things like insurance, auto parts and furniture in many of their larger stores.

Despite this its base is still groceries with a lot of the other sections being much smaller and only for common things you might want on a regular basis. Their sporting goods sections for example are very good, but don’t really compare to a store like Dicks sporting goods, who deal exclusively in this area. In reality many of Wal-marts different sections are only for those who know what they are looking for and the most popular and common products. That being said it is still often easier to shop there than to run all over the place to different stores when you need a variety of items.

Target on the other hand is based much more on their home goods, clothing and furniture sections, with their grocery sections being much smaller. Also generally Targets grocery section is only good for buying certain things and having bulk deals on certain products from time to time. Although target stores generally tent to be smaller than Wal-mart stores, a greater percentage of their floor space is devoted to home goods, clothes and electronics than groceries. Which of course contrasts to Wal-mart’s larger focus on groceries.

Target tends to do a lot of its business in its clothing and electronics departments, which are usually fairly comprehensive in terms of choice. Also Target has the benefit of not being associated in peoples minds with grocery shopping. So when someone thinks of getting groceries thay might think of Wal-mart of Giant Eagle. However when they think of other goods they are more likely to think of target, despite the fact that Wal-mart stocks them as well.

As for which is a better store would depend on what you are looking for. Groceries are much cheaper and more diverse at wal-mart, but then home goods are often better at Target. Something that is a big plus for me at wal-Mart is that there is usually someone at a desk permanently on each section who can help you. Which there isn’t as much of at target, where the staff are mainly situated at the front cash desks, and there are fewer smaller sections located aorund the store.

In terms of financial success Wal-mart is far larger than Target, and is a much more profitable and powerful company. Because both chains are very large companies they can also both offer goods cheaper than many smaller chains or individual stores could afford to. The reason for this is that larger companies can achieve better economies of scale because of the fact that they place huge orders for many thousands of each item that they sell.

Overall for greatest choice, price and diversity I would personally tend to pick wal-mart over target for general shopping. Also the fact that their stores are usually much bigger as well means that there is usually a greater spectrum of goods that you can choose from. Price wise, Wal-mart tends to be cheaper for many everyday items such as groceries, although when it comes to things such as DVDS, CDs etc the two stores are fairly similar.