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Target vs WalMart-Interesting Perspective from the Boston Globe

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Target vs WalMart-Interesting Perspective from the Boston Globe

Old 11-11-05, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Rocketdog2000
One other thing that I don't think has been mentioned as a difference, are the sales people. The folks working at Wal-mart, I've found to be as clueless as they come. It's not even worth asking them a question about something - because they really don't know. Traget employees, on the other hand, I've found to be very helpful, and informative - and if they don't know about something, they at least have the sense enough to ask someone else working who might.
I must be those ugly blue smocks with the huge yellow happy face on the back.

One benefit to Wal-Mart (and remember I HATE them), is the fact that you can check out in a department. So, if you are just buying a dvd, you can purchase it at the electronics department and leave. I think they have the same setup at Target, but I NEVER see anyone manning those department registers.

When my girlfriend and I went to the local Wal-Mart to get the latest Harry Potter book at midnight on release day, it was PACKED!!! Once people grabbed the book from the front of the store, the lines immediately stacked 20-25 people deep. I immediately grabbed my girlfriend's hand and led her back to electronics.

Luckily, there was someone there and we didn't have to wait. We walked out the door with people glaring at us (and Im sure some left the line and headed back there).
Old 11-11-05, 01:14 PM
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I do not like Wal-Mart, but we shop there almost exclusicvely due to few options in a close proximety. We have a Super Center 2 miles from the house, 2 Albert$on'$ 2 miles away and 2 Walmart Grocery stores about 3-4 miles away. Everything else is a bit of a drive. If we had a Target Super Center close to us, the only 2 I know of are about 15-20 miles away, we would shop exclusively. There is a Wal-Mart SC about 6 miles from us that is brand new, rural/suburb and is never busy, clean and not filled with the underbelly of society I have seen.
Old 11-14-05, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by RockStrongo

One benefit to Wal-Mart (and remember I HATE them), is the fact that you can check out in a department. So, if you are just buying a dvd, you can purchase it at the electronics department and leave. I think they have the same setup at Target, but I NEVER see anyone manning those department registers.
That is a solid point. You have to find Target employees to check out in the other departments. They will do it, but you have to get them. It is usually b/c they are helping a customer though.

I was at Target yesterday, they had 10 registers open and lines were only 2 people deep. The cashiers wait in the aisle and pull customers to their register for a quick check-out. I like that. It runs like a well oiled machine.

Unless you check out in various departments at Wal-Mart you are most definitely screwed into a long line. And damn their people are unfriendly. It is like they go out of their way to hire lazy rude people that hate their station in life.
Old 11-14-05, 09:57 AM
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Where I live we don't have a Target. Though they are supposedly building one that will open next year. I've been to a Target once when I was in another state & it seemed okay. We have a regular Walmart (snacks, no groceries) & a Super KMart (big grocery section). Neither of these stores seem dirty to me. I usually go to Kmart if I can because it's not as busy. It always seems like the Walmart is packed. The Walmart here has a very good return policy & I have found some a few good deals on electronics, like a dvd recorder I bought there once. I'm not one of the rich people on here & can't usually afford to shop at a huge upscale department store. So sometimes I buy a cute top at Walmart. I don't really care for the jeans at either.

Originally Posted by brainee
They make me feel like a criminal -- with their receipt inspection on the way out, and keeping all the DVDs behind locked glass. And it's not like the prices are that much better than Target. I just do my best to stay out of Walmart unless I absolutely can't avoid it.
They used to have the dvds locked up here a couple of years ago & I wouldn't even bother most of the time, I just went next door to the Kmart. Once when I was visiting a relative we were in a Walmart & had just spent a couple hundred dollars an employee who was seated near the door got up out of what I had thought was her wheelchair (but apparently wasn't) & demanded to see out receipts & go through our bags. We were pretty pissed off when we left.

Originally Posted by ChrisHicks
the best thing about Wal-Mart is watching 3 70+ year old people trying to run after someone because that buzzer went off at the front door as they were leaving.
We usually have one or 2 of these elderly people on watch. Recently someone apparently knocked one of them over so they could run away with whatever they were stealing.

I agree with whoever said that the people at Walmart don't really know about electronics. We don't have any Best Buys or Circuit Citys here but on the occasions I've been shopping about an hour away & went into those stores with a guy friend they completely ignored me or acted like I didn't know anything because I was a woman. In reality my friend was the ignorant one. So it's a good thing that I usually know what I want.

Most of the cashiers at our Walmart seem nice enough.

Plus I'm pretty happy with the Vision Center in our Walmart.
Old 11-18-05, 06:44 PM
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I could care less whether the customers are redneck or high society. I don't buy customers nor do I associate with them. So why would that effect my decision to shop there? Well, u know the answer to that one. The most important factor in my buying decision is price and I know I'm not in the minority here. The fact that stores like this are flourishing proves my point. The customer wants the best price. Customer service comes next, plain and simple.

The article was very interesting as I had never thought about the Target vs. Walmart debate. The article is dead on though. I have never heard a bad word said about Target by anyone even though their practices are very similar to Walmart.

To be honest with you, Americans have a stigma against what they refer to as "redneck". People associate Walmart with rednecks and therefore have something against the store. My mother, for example, does not shop at Walmart because she feels the store is beneath her. I've asked her why she does not shop there and she never has a legitamit(sp?) answer.

To be honset though Walmart's just an easy target(no pun intended).

Just my 2 cents.
Old 11-21-05, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by C_Fletch
I could care less whether the customers are redneck or high society. I don't buy customers nor do I associate with them. So why would that effect my decision to shop there?
Because they can affect your shopping experience.

Honestly, I didnt think it was a big deal. I shopped at both Wal-Mart and Target. After the numerous bad experiences at Wal-Mart (some due to other customers), I wont go there anymore. Period.

So, yes, for some people, other customers CAN be a factor in where they shop. I know it is for me now.
Old 11-21-05, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by RockStrongo
Because they can affect your shopping experience.

Honestly, I didnt think it was a big deal. I shopped at both Wal-Mart and Target. After the numerous bad experiences at Wal-Mart (some due to other customers), I wont go there anymore. Period.

So, yes, for some people, other customers CAN be a factor in where they shop. I know it is for me now.
Exactly. It's just not worth saving a few bucks to go home in a bad mood from getting bumped into by rude people that don't say excuse me, having some welfare monger hold up already long lines by cussing out the cashier over a 50 cent price discrepancy etc.
Old 11-21-05, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by C_Fletch
I could care less whether the customers are redneck or high society. I don't buy customers nor do I associate with them. So why would that effect my decision to shop there?.
It can also affect how the employees treat you. If they are used to dealing with an overly high percentage of difficult customers they are much more likely to assume you are one too - and to treat you that way right off the bat - should you have any problems/returns/special requests.
Old 11-21-05, 12:24 PM
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Eh, just about all these big stores now a days pretty much suck much ass. But what can you do? The fact is price is still my major sticking point. And no matter how much I bitch and moan about how much this store or that store pisses me off, Im still there come time to pick something up if it has the best price. Its the reason why I will go to Best Buy, or Circuit City, or Target, or anywhere for that matter ( I live in NYC so no Wal-Mart for me, but as much as I used to say I hated it, I would give anything to be able to shop at one now) eventhough the customer service sucks beyond compare. And just dont give redneck shoppers a hard time, I was born and raised in the South, so I know how much they can annoy, but Ill put any number of shoppers in Queens against a redneck anyday when it comes to low class and rude.
Old 11-21-05, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom
And just dont give redneck shoppers a hard time, I was born and raised in the South, so I know how much they can annoy, but Ill put any number of shoppers in Queens against a redneck anyday when it comes to low class and rude.
Yeah, there are rednecks everywhere (whether they actually have red necks or not).

I really think it has to do with the lower income. Im not trying to paint all people with lower income as assholes customers, but I personally believe the percentage is higher than middle class.

I cant tell you how many times ive been cut in front of in line by someone who looks to be lower income. Of course, im going on their looks alone and sometimes their ATM/credit card doesnt go through.
Old 11-21-05, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom
And just dont give redneck shoppers a hard time, I was born and raised in the South, so I know how much they can annoy, but Ill put any number of shoppers in Queens against a redneck anyday when it comes to low class and rude.


You sound like a man who's shopped at the Target on 20th Ave. in College Point.
Old 11-22-05, 08:11 AM
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Since I've moved to NC, I prefer Target. The stores are newer, more organized, and less crowded than Walmart. However, Walmart pricematches and Target does not. Which is why I still do some shopping at the big W.

I did go to a new Super Target this past Sunday to get the old War of the Worlds dvd. I must say that was the cleanest, clutter-free department store I have ever been in. It helps that it's only been around less than a year, IIRC. But still....
Old 11-22-05, 09:59 AM
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First of all, I greatly prefer Target. The stores are cleaner and brighter. The employees are more helpful and the checkout lines are shorter. However, I think we need to be careful how we judge the poor.
Originally Posted by Josh Hinkle
Exactly. It's just not worth saving a few bucks to go home in a bad mood from getting bumped into by rude people that don't say excuse me, having some welfare monger hold up already long lines by cussing out the cashier over a 50 cent price discrepancy etc.
I have read numerous stories on these boards about DVDTalk members arguing with the cashier and holding up the line over a price discrepancy.
Originally Posted by RockStrongo
Of course, im going on their looks alone and sometimes their ATM/credit card doesnt go through.
I appreciate that you recognize you are judging by looks alone. There was a period of six or seven months where the system at my local Wal-Mart would not accept my debit/ATM card. None of us see the whole picture.
Old 11-22-05, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by C_Fletch
I could care less whether the customers are redneck or high society. I don't buy customers nor do I associate with them. So why would that effect my decision to shop there?
It effects me, because I don't like seeing the 300 pound mamma-jammas with the skin tight lowrider spandex and the giant thong hanging out the back. My eyeballs thank me every time I shop at Target instead of Walmart.

Last edited by joeblow69; 11-22-05 at 12:22 PM.
Old 11-22-05, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TracerBullet


You sound like a man who's shopped at the Target on 20th Ave. in College Point.
That one plus the one on Queens Blvd. God help us if they ever put a Wal-mart there as was planned.
Old 11-22-05, 12:08 PM
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if you think target is bad, try one of the CVS's on Queens Blvd
Old 11-22-05, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by cleverusername
I have read numerous stories on these boards about DVDTalk members arguing with the cashier and holding up the line over a price discrepancy.
I wasn't implying that only lower class people did that, or that all lower class people did that. Just that a greater proportion of lower class people do that shit than better off people.

The people that live on bargain forums on the net to find the greatest deal and bitch at cashiers trying to get in on some sketchy bargain are easily just as bad.

Fortunately, they're not as numerous and are usually holding up the customer serice line trying to price match or something instead of the regular lines.
Old 11-23-05, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cleverusername
There was a period of six or seven months where the system at my local Wal-Mart would not accept my debit/ATM card.
Another reason not to shop there.
Old 11-23-05, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Josh Hinkle
I wasn't implying that only lower class people did that, or that all lower class people did that. Just that a greater proportion of lower class people do that shit than better off people.

The people that live on bargain forums on the net to find the greatest deal and bitch at cashiers trying to get in on some sketchy bargain are easily just as bad.

Fortunately, they're not as numerous and are usually holding up the customer serice line trying to price match or something instead of the regular lines.
Yeah, I hear ya....I was at Wal-Mart a few years ago standing in line, the women in front of me was arguing with the cashier because her kiddo's folders were ringing up for 49 cents versus 39 cents. She claimed that they were on sale or something. She had about 4 or 5 of them. When the CSR went to check, the customer had read the wrong sign. She barked that she didnt want them now.

The whole thing took like 5 minutes or so. Over 50 cents at the most!!!! Very frustrating.
Old 11-23-05, 05:06 PM
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I've never seen any of what others are talking about in Walmarts. The parking seems fine(they are always busy), the people are fine(nothing different than Target), the store is clean, the items are on the shelves in order, the prices are the best from everything I've purchased, the wait is longer but that is because they are always busier than Target, etc, etc, etc.

To be honest, Walmart stores are the same as Target stores except the Target stores are never as busy. But obviously I live in some alternative universe because I am in the minority here. But honestly, I've never had any problems with Walmart except for the wait in the checkout lane. I buy from both Target and Walmart but spend by far the most of my money at Walmart, they've got the best prices.
Old 11-26-05, 12:19 AM
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I really don't have a preference for either store, to be honest, because I've had bad experiences at both stores, which had to do with the unhelpfullness and rudeness of the employees working there. I probably have more bad experiences from shopping at Target simply because I'm there more often, because the closest Walmart is 10 miles away.

But if you get down to it, Walmart is being targeted more often because they are the largest retailer in the world. The press, and people in general, it seems, tends to go after the biggest name in any field--whether it is Walmart for retailing, Microsoft for computer operating systems, or Apple for the Ipod, when it comes to criticism and lawsuits.

Objectively speaking, most people would say they had a better shopping experience at Target, simply because of the way their stores are designed. With Walmart, they try to maximize every inch of space they have in the stores--for instance, there are displays in the middle of the main aisles, which makes the store seem cluttered and crowded even if the store had very few people in it. You would never see that at Target--how much shelf space they have is how much product they would put out. That's why they sometimes have great clearance sales, because they literally need their shelf space back to make room for the new stuff. Not only that, ever looked at the lighting used in Walmart stores vs. the lighting used at Target stores? Walmart uses really harsh, bright flourescent lighting. Target's flourescent lighting has a warmer tone to it, making the environment seem less harsh. Ambience has a lot to do with a customer's perception of a store, and these are things the store can control, unlike customer service, and whether or not the store is crowded with customers.

As for the argument that Target employees are better than Walmart employees when it comes to customer service, I find that there's good and bad customer service wherever you go. Even when you're shopping in designer boutique stores, it all depends on whether the person there is rude and unhelpful to begin with. It doesn't matter what store they're working at. I've had some truly appalling experiences at a designer boutique store as well as big name department stores that I'd rather not get into.

Another thing Target has going for it is good marketing campaigns. Walmart's ads--every one of them that I've seen, emphasizes their low prices. You can only go so far with that. Target's ads sometimes don't even sell anything in particular, other than their store image. Ever noticed that? They seem to emphasize style and quality of life, subjective things that can't be reasoned--unlike Walmart's "low prices" approach. Another thing is people's perception of Target's place in their community. Target says that they donate 1% back to the K-12 school of their customer's choice when you use your Target card and designate a school. I'm not sure how many of their customers have designated a school for their donation to go to, but if anyone ever raises the fact that Target stores do not benefit their community, Target could use that program to silence the criticisms. And if they consider it "marketing" or a "charitable donation," they could write that off at the end of the year. On the other hand, what has Walmart given to most communities other than traffic jams and small business closures?

I feel like I've given this more thought than the Boston Globe person...So, in conclusion, my opinion is that Target is not all that different from Walmart. They just have better marketing and a better store design. If Target can take Walmart's place to become the biggest retailer in the world, they would. They just can't right now because Walmart has too much market share--no matter how many of us here don't care that much about lower prices vs. ambience, there are still too many people who prefer low prices above all else.

Last edited by TerryMcGinnis; 11-26-05 at 12:22 AM.
Old 11-26-05, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by C_Fletch
I could care less whether the customers are redneck or high society. I don't buy customers nor do I associate with them. So why would that effect my decision to shop there?
Like numerous others pointed out, there are many reasons other customers can affect your decision to go there. Mine? I'd say, every other time I go, there is some dumbass that is driving the wrong way down the one way parking lane. And it is always my lane. If you can't navigate a simple fucking parking lot, you don't deserve the priviledge of a license. Period. Pisses me off to no extent. Just happened again on Wednesday. Never fails.
Old 11-30-05, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
Like numerous others pointed out, there are many reasons other customers can affect your decision to go there. Mine? I'd say, every other time I go, there is some dumbass that is driving the wrong way down the one way parking lane. And it is always my lane. If you can't navigate a simple fucking parking lot, you don't deserve the priviledge of a license. Period. Pisses me off to no extent. Just happened again on Wednesday. Never fails.
Totally agree....finding parking at Wal-Mart is hassle enough, but they always (at least the ones near me) have that angular parking where you can only drive one way. That brings up another encounter that I had at Wal-mart a few years ago...

I was trying to find a parking place and I was driving down one of the lanes. There was a car in front of me looking for a parking place too. There was a car pulling out and I had my blinker on to get the space. Well, the car in front of me had already passed the space and I was waiting. The car that pulled out, came out in such a way that allowed the car in front of me to back up and get the space. I was soooo pissed.

I never have trouble finding parking up close to the store at Target AND they dont have the angular parking (at least the one near me).
Old 11-30-05, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by C_Fletch
I've never seen any of what others are talking about in Walmarts. The parking seems fine(they are always busy), the people are fine(nothing different than Target), the store is clean, the items are on the shelves in order, the prices are the best from everything I've purchased, the wait is longer but that is because they are always busier than Target, etc, etc, etc.

To be honest, Walmart stores are the same as Target stores except the Target stores are never as busy. But obviously I live in some alternative universe because I am in the minority here. But honestly, I've never had any problems with Walmart except for the wait in the checkout lane. I buy from both Target and Walmart but spend by far the most of my money at Walmart, they've got the best prices.
Well, everyone's experiences are different. Maybe the things that we have experienced really dont bother you. In that case, I can see why you wouldnt really care about it.

As far as best prices? The super target near me has very similar prices to super Wal-mart on most things and lower on some (at least what I buy).

Maybe the one close to you has lower prices, but it isnt a staple at my Wal-mart (at least when I used to shop there). Especially since Wal-mart doesnt use standard pricing among its own stores (another plus for Target ). You arent guarenteed that a price at one Wal-mart store is the same as another. That alone is crappy service in my mind.

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