This or That: Target

courtesy photo

courtesy photo

As the heated big-box retail battle rages day by day, two of the biggest competitors are undeniably Walmart and Target. Both have their pros and cons and choosing between the two for your weekly shopping trip can be a tough decision. In regards to prices, quality and variety, the competition is surprisingly close, but Target comes out on top.

In 2017 Target had almost $72 billion in sales, and last year Target made the nation’s top ten retailers according to Stores magazine. Those statistics are impressive, but what exactly is it that gives Target an edge over Walmart when it comes to consumer satisfaction?

A bulk of big-box retailers’ sales comes from clothing, accessories and swimwear. That is why it is crucial for retailers to remain competitive in this area. Upon walking into Target you are presented with a nice variety of contemporary clothing selections. The accessories and swimwear are not only fashionable, but reasonably priced. Though slightly more expensive than the clothing options found at Walmart, the clothing prices at Target are significantly less than what you would find at a typical department store. The quality of the clothing at Target is also generally much higher than what can be found at Walmart.

When it comes to food items, Target has all the basics. Every essential grocery item can be found among the neat and orderly aisles. Target also offers its own private food brand label, Market Pantry. According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, in a blind taste test, many people preferred Market Pantry brand ketchup over Heinz. Tests involving other food items had similar results.

Target and Walmart’s food prices do not differ significantly. Walmart usually comes out with the lower price but only by mere pennies. The difference is so subtle that it makes sense to sacrifice a few cents for a better overall shopping experience.

Target also has another private brand label, Up and Up, for everyday items. Up and Up products include everything from light bulbs to diapers. For almost any essential household item that you might need, Up and Up is a cheaper alternative to the big-name brands.

The prices of these products may be significantly lower than the prices of big-name brands, but Up and Up products offer the same amount of quality if not more. A study by Consumer Reports found that Up and Up brand LED light bulbs and floodlights last just as long as more expensive brands for a fraction of the price.

It is true that Walmart generally offers slightly lower prices than Target does, but price is not the only factor to be considered when deciding where to shop. The price differences between the two are very subtle and Target beats out Walmart in plenty of other categories. Ultimately you should not let a few dollars deter you from choosing Target, the retailer that offers consumers the best quality and value.

Shopping at each of these two retailers has its advantages and disadvantages. What factors one person considers important in regard to his or her shopping experience might not be the same for someone else. When all is said and done, it is up to you, the consumer, to decide which retailer to shop at.