Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Target in Silver Spring, Maryland

In 1902, George Dayton built a department store in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, called Dayton's. For 60 years, Dayton's was a fixture in Minneapolis. In 1962, the company opened a retail location in Edina, MN, and called it Target. (Real Target aficionados pronounce it Tar-zhay.)

Today, Target is the 5th largest retailer in the United States behind Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, Kroger, and Costco. Target and Wal-Mart are direct competitors and customers are divided into one or the other camp. When it comes to ads, Target's are the hippest! (Okay, to be fair, I wanted to include a Wal-Mart ad, but I honestly couldn't find any on YouTube. I found a lot of parodies, but no ads. Sorry.)

This is the Target in Silver Spring, Maryland, which is about 10 miles from where I live. In about a month and a half, a Target will open in the District's Columbia Heights neighborhood (about 3 miles from my home) and will be joined by several other big box retailers.

Here's a fun tidbit: the red shirt/khaki pants ensemble Target employees wear is affectionately called "The Target Tuxedo."

Photo: D.C. Confidential, 1/08


Bobbie said...

I love shopping at Target. I have to admit though, that your Target looks just like my Target. Part of that Homogenized America look. lol. You can make even shopping look fun D.C.

Jon DeJong said...

I think most Targets look like that. But this is the one I usually shop at, which is noticeably different. It's the one in downtown Minneapolis, Target's hometown (as you mentioned):

D.C. Confidential said...

Bobbie: You're right about homogenization. There was a time when you could go into regional supermarkets or even national chains and find items that were unique to the area you were in. Now, everyone has all the same merchandise and it's kind of taken the fun out shopping in unfamiliar towns. Sometimes, I think life is too cushy for us.

Jon: Welcome! I've been to the Target you mention. It's a great store. And their headquarters are pretty darn cool, too! Minneapolis is a great city and Target, an equally great company!

Dusty Lens said...

To some, Tar-zhay boutique. ;) I remember when they just had a store called Target. One had an Applebaums grocery store attached. Now we have Target Greatlands and now, Super Target.I wonder what's next.

D.C. Confidential said...

DL: Welcome! I keep wondering the same. Target Gas? Target Warehouse? Oh, I know! I know!

Target Gourmet.

They'll partner with William-Sonoma or Sur La Table as well as Emeril LeGasse and Paula Deen to open a top-of-the-line store that will make being a gourmand affordable...

One thing I'm glad Targets don't have: perfume/cologne counters.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

It looks like a movie theatre! I had heared of Target even before your blog thanks to American TV programmes being broadcast here. It's very flash looking! I hope that being such a big comapany they are leading by example using environmentally acceptable energy sources, plastic bags etc. I like the posh pronounciation! Am trying to hear it said with an american accent doubt nothing like I would say it!

D.C. Confidential said...

Lisa: Interestingly, Wal-Mart is emerging as a leader in environmental and sustainability issues. Unfortunately, their labor practices and cut rate prices (which have put companies out of business because they can't manufacture what Wal-Mart wants at the price point Wal-Mart demands) undermine any good deeds they do. Target is definitely a leader in Green Building. I saw an impressive presentation from their EHS rep, Pat Perry, a couple of years ago at a conference for environmental, health, and safety managers and officers. Even if Target doubled their prices, I'd still shop there.