Wal-Mart or Target? Sound off.

Posted on April 20th, 2009 – 4:24 PM
By John Ewoldt

I spent most of my work week two weeks ago going up and down every aisle in Target and Wal-Mart on University Avenue in St. Paul. Much of that time was spent writing down prices for a price comparison chart in today’s column, but it also gave me time to compare the vibe in each store.

The thing that surprised me the most is how many departments Wal-Marts have that Targets don’t: Live fish, notions, yarns, fabric, floral stems, fishing poles and lures, paint, paintball supplies, hunting knives and BB guns. Target has exclusive designers/collections: Thomas O’Brien, Michael Graves, Mizrahi, Smith & Hawken as well as newbies such as Alexander McQueen, Victoria Hagan, Richard Chai, Dean Harris and Monica Botkier. Wal-Mart is better one-stop shopping (about 20,000 more individual items than Target, said retail analyst Britt Beemer). Target is better for fashion, a category that Wal-Mart keeps trying (and failing at).

Observations: Wal-Mart’s ceiling is exposed beams and shop lights. Target’s is a finished drop ceiling. Before Easter, Wal-Mart had an endcap in the DVD section called something like ”Religious Easter movies for kids.” Target had an endcap for “kids movies.” Wal-Mart also had a live human-sized Easter bunny available on the Saturday before Christmas for photos. Target didn’t hire the Easter Bunny or maybe he called in sick. Wal-Mart puts its colognes and perfumes under lock and key. Target sells them off the shelf in blister packs. Wal-Mart’s greeters didn’t say hello to me when I entered. No Wal-Mart employees asked me if I needed help finding anything. Target doesn’t appear to have greeters anymore. Did they ever? But I was asked three times by employees if I needed help finding something, just on one visit. When I asked the price of Charmin because I couldn’t see it on the shelf, a Target employee shocked the heck out of me by noting that the Charmin wasn’t on sale but two other brands were and they might be a better deal. To Wal-Mart’s credit, the prices on the shelves include a price per unit, which can be very helpful if a bargtain shopper is comparing similar products of varying sizes, such as canned tomatoes. I couldn’t find any unit prices on Target’s shelves.

Once I got to the checkout, any attempt at good customer service was dropped. With few exceptions, the cashiers at both discounters appear to hate their jobs. I usually try to make the best of it by saying hello first and making small talk. That beats thinking to myself, “What a jerk” because the checker didn’t say ”hello or “thank you.”

What are your observations about the discounter you like and the one you don’t?  (Without resorting to class warfare, please.) 

58 Responses to "Wal-Mart or Target? Sound off."

Marcia says:

April 20th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Both stores have their good and bad. Walmart in Brooklyn Park is nice, clean though dimly lit. Target seems small in comparison. Bigger does mean more products, more aisles to shop, but I do get tired of walking. I am not old either! I am cheap so a lot of my decision gets based on needs. If I need a few items I go to Target. If I need a lot of odds and ends then I go to Walmart. Okay maybe I am simply not a loyal customer to anyone anymore.

Pat says:

April 20th, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Wal Mart Stores are dirty, cluttered. And that is just mentioning the surface things. I’ll never walk into a Wal Mart.

Susan says:

April 20th, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Target always, Wal-Mart never. Just a hometown shopper, I guess, and Wal-Mart always feels too bright and a tinge “desperate”.

Margaret says:

April 20th, 2009 at 7:06 pm

I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart, mainly because of the way they treat their employees, and the methodology of driving the small town retailers out of business by low, low pricing and when the competition is dead and buried, raising the prices. Also, don’t ever expect any help at Wal-Mart. Target employees almost always ask if I need help when I visit one of their stores.

Matt says:

April 20th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Grew up a half-block from one of the original Target’s so I never knew anything else existed… but I rarely if ever shop there anymore. Grocery basics from Aldi, other grocery items as needed from Cub, almost everything else at WalMart. I shop the one in St. Anthony which is newer and nicer (I agree that some of the older stores are crowded and messy). I’ve scored some pretty big savings on select WalMart grocery items too… you just have to look and know your prices at Aldi and Cub for comparison…

Deneenc says:

April 20th, 2009 at 7:11 pm

I am not loyal to either, however I do much more shopping at walmart than target. Target is about a 3 minute drive from my house (at Hiawatha-Lake), but I go out of my way to go to Walmart, even driving to Eden Prairie or New Brighton because I love their Dr.Scholl’s shoes and can get everything I want in one trip. I find Target to be more expensive with poor selection. Walmart has a lot of selection, but is often out of stock.

As to the clothing, I have not found anything in the women’s apparel for years at Target, and in the last 6 months, Walmart has gone downhill, focusing on large women and juniors. I have had a lot of success finding clothes previously at Walmart from Jacklyn Smith or whichever one is at Walmart.

I agree with John about the help. I was at Target yesterday and they were out of both products we went there for, but we were asked if we wanted help so much it was annoying. Need help at Walmart, it is hit or miss, more miss.

I’m guessing Pat must go to a nice Suburban Target, because I have seen many a dirty Target. I have found that for both Walmart and Target, the ones in the city or inner ring suburbs are nowhere near as clean or as “nice” as the suburban ones, with the exception of recent SuperTarget conversions. I often wonder if us shoppers are making it dirty or whether the stores think we are not worth the effort.

Pat says:

April 20th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

So Deneenc is one of the people that go to the closet Wal Mart to me. No self respecting EPer would go there. Also, I’ve been in the downtown Minneapolis Target, it’s nice and clean!

MomNStPaul says:

April 20th, 2009 at 8:41 pm

I have tried to do the Walmart thing. Really, I have. I have tried several different ones thinking they might be better at providing some kind of customer service or attempt to have prices on the merchandise that I can actually find, but it hasn’t happened yet. I have not been back to a Walmart in nearly a year a year now and I can honestly say that I don’t miss it. I always dreaded going, so I’m not surprised.

Target in Midway and Target in Roseville are very different – I know because I shop both. I prefer Roseville, I’ll admit it – the store is cleaner and the employees are more helpful. Target also has some great generic groceries that we have been very pleased with – love thy Market Pantry! I will add that on a rainy Sunday afternoon, we have been known to load up the kids and just go hang out at Target – we actually enjoy going there that much. Looking through the isles with the kids and hanging out in the books & movie section is a great way to learn about the people our children are becoming. I would never take that much time in a Walmart – it was always get what I need and GET OUT.

Jeff says:

April 20th, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Shopping at Wal Mart is truly un-American. If you think that saving a few bucks here and there is worth it to you, think of the bigger impact that this evil empire has on our country’s economy. Wal Mart will continue to never get a dime of my family’s money.

thop1084 says:

April 20th, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Target or WalMart
I have worked for both companies and found that Target was much better with what they did for thier employees. The WalMart HR promised me and my wife positions in the managerment training program and then said they did no such thing.
With that as a major problem, we have found that the products at Target have better quality that those at WalMart. I have had clothing from WalMart start coming apart 2 months after I bought them. I am still using clothing from Target that I bought several years back. We have found that we would spent twice as much for things from WalMart than we would the same type of products. We have found that Target is a much better store than WalMart and we don’t have any problem spending slightly more at Target and don’t have to fight the crowds at WalMart. Target or WalMart? Give us Target any day.

Deneenc says:

April 20th, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Of course downtown Target next to all the downtown workers in professional outfits is clean. I’m so sorry that Walmart is above some people. I don’t think someone can adequately rate something they refuse to walk into. I too have a hard time with the studies that say Walmart workers are likely to qualify for welfare because of low wages and benefits. It’s just that I think that too many successful companies these days got there on the backs of those they could trod upon and then where do you draw the line?

People have valid reasons for liking or not liking things, and often our reasons are more subjective than objective. Luckily we do have a choice and can go where we feel comfortable, whatever that may be.

Amy says:

April 20th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Walmart is evil and has thousands of human rights violations in the countries where they run their sweat shops. Watch the documentary on Walmart and you will never shop there again. I’m not saying Target is perfect, but they are far better. I understand the need to save money, but by buying Walmart it allows them to continue their slave-like practices.

Grapeguy says:

April 20th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

After my experience at Target yesterday it will be a cold day in hell before I go back to the Bloomington Target. The cashier was very rude. Target had a earth day bag promo. When I checked out and asked why I didn’t get a bag she replied “one bag per family” I was there myself. She thought the lady in front of me was my wife.

Wag Guy says:

April 20th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

I am a Target shopper thru and thru. I will not even walk into Walmart. The floors are always dirty, boxes everywhere, and half of the employees don’t even care if you are in the store or not. I do not see the big difference in price savings between the two. If there is any, it’s minor at best. I would much rather pay money to a company that cares about it’s employees, than one that has been charged with violating Dakota County’s employment laws.

paul says:

April 20th, 2009 at 11:00 pm

I’ll never understand Twin Cities WalMarts … and I’ve only been into, a few others, Marquette, MI, Spokane, WA, East Helena, MT and Santa Fe, NM … as friends shopped there. I didn’t buy anything at these WalMarts, yet have bought a few DVDs (years ago) twice at the Inver Grove Heights store. What did I hate at IGH WalMart … they put their merchandise (or rather dump it like it’s so much crap) so one has to dig through these large wire bins to find anything. Did anyone reply to my customer comment card I filled out at WalMart, no, when I said maybe if they displayed items better, it’d be easier to find stuff, especially if one is disabled or elderly. So WalMart doesn’t value it’s customer comments is my experience. Giving them a second chance, I decided to later try the West St. Paul store which felt dirty, dark, dingy, cluttered. I’d rather shop where it’s easier to find stuff, get access to stuff, be in a cleaner environment. WalMart needs to remodel some stores and look at how they merchandise stuff and how they do customer care or addressing people’s concerns … maybe some people think if the store looks cheap, it’s got to be cheap. My experience is … never shop at WalMart for a lot of reasons, including it’s just not fun or pleasant shopping there. And I can do better overall on sales everywhere than WalMart’s supposed low prices, which they aren’t overall or all of the time. WalMart isn’t worth shopping at locally, and I won’t shop at them nationally based on how they treat their employees, vendors and the general public.

Pat says:

April 21st, 2009 at 4:36 am

I’ve walked into a WalMart, and found the store lacking on many fronts. I don’t have to even walk into a Wal Mart to know what a crappy quality of merchandise they sell. One of my coworkers refuses to shop anywhere else, and the clothes they wear are worse looking than I’ve seen on homeless people.

Kate says:

April 21st, 2009 at 7:34 am

My tendencies run more towards Target for most of my shopping, although I have gotten some pretty decent deals at WalMart and can attest to their prices being much lower. The WM in St. Croix Falls WI, now a SuperCenter, has some of the best grocery prices around and a basket full of regular items bought there will be far cheaper, by a long shot, than the same products purchased at either Cub or Target. Groceries at Target, esp. the MP and Archer Farms labels are less expensive and of good quality but I think the produce is poor and the meat selections are ridiculous. And whenever I shop at Target, I am always surprised to find that they don’t carry a few very basic grocery items. WalMart used to have some decent clothing- it was a good place to get very basic cotton t-shirts of reasonable quality but this has changed quite a bit lately. More often I leave WM empty-handed, and yes they can feel dirty and cheap and warehouse-like. In terms of customer service, it’s unfair to say that it seems the employees for both stores hate their jobs because this is prevalent no matter where you shop these days. Customer service has gone so far downhill that its utterly ridiculous, but someone in that position has it bad all around; you try keeping a smile on your face for 8 hours, while you stand in one spot, scanning 1000′s of products, your register beeping in your ear, everyone yelling at you if a simple price is wrong- which is NOT your fault but its made to feel that way- and peoples kids are crying and yelling due to overload while you know that each hour that ticks by you only make about $8, and Uncle Sam wants most of it. It doesn’t excuse it, but it sure can wear on you.

E Wait says:

April 21st, 2009 at 7:35 am

I shop at the Walmart and Target in Elk River. Target recently opened a Super Target there. I will occasionally shop at Target if they have some good coupons, but 95% of my money goes to Walmart. The Super Target is disappointing. It may be twice the size as the original Target, but it’s just more of the same stuff that the smaller Target carried. They just don’t have the variety of goods that Walmart carries. They also don’t have a Plus size women’s clothing section. The Walmart in Elk River is clean and uncluttered, and while I’ve never been asked by an attendant if I needed help there, that’s not happened at the Target either.

Overwhelmed says:

April 21st, 2009 at 8:38 am

I avoid WalMart because there are too many people. You can’t get through aisles and customers are generally less considerate of others. When you get to a checkout, there are never fewer than five people ahead of you in line. My time is money, and I appreciate Target’s extensive checkout lanes that keep me moving out the door. Also ditto to the previous comments about Target being better organized and employees being easy to find and accessible when you have a question.

Kate says:

April 21st, 2009 at 9:03 am

I have shopped at Walmart a few times, largely because my MIL has given me gift cards to Walmart. I always find myself cranky and depressed by the end of my shopping trip. The stores are dirty and, even if they do carry a lot of stuff, I frequently find that I cannot locate everything on my shopping list, either because they don’t have it or it’s well-hidden. When I’m done shopping, I have to wait in a long check-out line.

In addition, I have a LOT of experience with Walmart merchandise, particularly children’s clothes, because my MIL shops there, and I have to say that I think their stuff is pretty shoddy.

Dwayne says:

April 21st, 2009 at 9:14 am

Target is not any better at treating thier employees than Walmart. I have a friend who has worked for Target for years and has not seen a raise in over three years. I like Walmart myself, because I get a lot more for my money.

Bob says:

April 21st, 2009 at 9:18 am

Live in Richfield so I’ve got 2 SuperTargets & a regular store within a 10 minute drive. Not much reason to go to WalMart.
The closest WalMart is closed for remodeling & that’s a good thing. The Bloomington WalMart was a nightmare to shop at. If I ever went to that store, I tried to make it early in the day. It seemed like after about 3:00, the store fell apart, crowded, never enough cashiers, and there never is enough room to move through the store. Why does Walmart put so much crap in the middle of their aisles?
I’ve been to a couple Targets where the check out staff ask if I found everything & when I said No, the subject died, “Oh that’s too bad” was one comment, never an offer to help.
I will go out of my way to look for a (very) few things that WalMart will carry, but for the most part, I’ll stick w/ Target.

John says:

April 21st, 2009 at 9:40 am

I won’t waste a lot of digital space here. Ditto what Margaret says about Wal-Marts unethical tactics. Target gives employees a decent wage, and gives back to the community.

Carrie says:

April 21st, 2009 at 9:48 am

We shop Costco first — better savings, great produce/ meat – freeze extras– large quantities mean time saving with less trips. For groceries not available at Costco, we buy at Cub. For cleaning, health/ beauty, misc not available at Costco, go to Walmart. Our trips to Cub and Walmart are limited. Only shop Target occasionally for home products. Being over age 50, I no longer shop at Target because of “rumors”: 1) Target ships jobs to India; 2) Target doesn’t hire, promote and gets rid of older workers; 3) Target buys overseas just like Walmart does; 4) Target advertises heavy donations to community but it should be disclosed how much is cash vs non-cash 5) Target pushes political agendas; 6) etc

David Dyer says:

April 21st, 2009 at 9:51 am

I was laid off by Target in January and I still will not set foot in a Wal*Mart. Ditto what everyone else has said about how WM runs businesses out of town, treats employees unfairly, ruthlessly negotiates prices with their suppliers, and employs overseas slave labor. Plus the stores are just dirty and they sell crap. I have seen many item for item comparisons that show you are not saving any money by shopping at WM over Target. Check out the movie “The High Cost of Low Price” if you don’t think the bad things about WM are true.

Mike says:

April 21st, 2009 at 10:01 am

The 2 stores you compared are not equal. You should have compared a Super Target (which you did) with a Wal-Mart Super Store (which you did not) to get an equal evaluation. The Target you went to was just replaced a year or so ago and the Wal-Mart has been there for years. The old Target was a dump just like the Wal-Mart on University is.
As for the better deals I would say Wal-Mart but you need to shop both if you really want to save money. Just check the ad’s on Sunday, that’s what I do. Same thing I do between Cub and Rainbow.

Nathan says:

April 21st, 2009 at 10:08 am

I absolutely HATE Walmart. The times I’ve been there I felt like I needed a shower after leaving. I’ll take Target any day over Walmart. I don’t care if their prices are low or not, their merchandise is CHEAP, and I’ll gladly pay more to NOT set foot in one of their stores. ICK!!

Ottarr says:

April 21st, 2009 at 10:16 am

I bet you’d get much better service in the burbs from Target than from Walmart. I have found this to be the case.

Molly says:

April 21st, 2009 at 10:24 am

I <3 Walgreens.

Laura says:

April 21st, 2009 at 10:45 am

I’m one who picks and chooses. Walmart is much better prices and varieties on baby food than anywhere else, and with a 7 month old, I buy baby food by the case right now. Variety is great, 10-15 cents less per jar is huge when you’re buying 24-36 jars at a time. I rarely need to ask for help but when my toddler disappeared on me recently, Walmart was great in helping me locate her.

In my mind, though, Target is definitely better quality, but it’s also higher prices. For things such as baby food where Gerber is Gerber no matter where you buy it, who cares? I don’t shop for clothes at either store – I prefer Kohl’s or thrift stores because you can get much more unique items there for better prices and I hate paying retail for anything I don’t have to these days. But I have been pleasantly surpised lately to discover that Target’s standard pricing on some groceries is far better than Cub or Rainbow’s *sale* prices. So I’ve been going to Target for some of these staples far more often recently.

Val says:

April 21st, 2009 at 11:09 am

Me, I’m with Laura for clothes…I like thrift stores better for clothes. Shop 1/2 price sales at Arc, gotten good brands like J Jill etc for $3. Kohl’s for clearance clothes. Don’t like WM or Tgt for clothes–pretty shoddy. Am more of a Target shopper for misc items, but for hygiene and personal items,I like and prefer Walgreens. Use Easy Saver rebates and coupons, get many things free that way. Use Aldi, Target, and Rainbow Double coupons day and know which place has which things for the least, that I buy frequently. I am not store loyal or brand loyal and I am a queen of coupons. Have only been to WM (the one in Brooklyn Park) twice in 8 years–the first trip was a nightmare and the store was a mess. Once a few weeks ago to check out the groceries. It had good prices but it is just too big for me to go there all the time. Too much walking for just a few items. I too have bad feelings about Walmart’s practices. Read Nickel and Dimed by Barb Ehrenreich, and it influenced me.

Mini-sotan says:

April 21st, 2009 at 11:13 am

Susan has it right with the “tinge of desperation” insight about Wal-mart. Every time I step into one and look around I just can’t help but think that it’s “a little slice of Arkansas.”

Joshua says:

April 21st, 2009 at 11:20 am

Looking through most of these comments it looks as if taboo to shop at Walmart. My guess is most may have but weren’t going to give it a chance anyways. I have nothing against either store but I do most of my shopping at Walmart. And as for their clothing I buy socks and underwear there but everything elsewhere. As for the workers being treated like slaves I couldn’t disagree with that more. I have worked for Walmart and Menards in the past and going off both those experiences Walmart was the better working environment because I always got my hours and wasn’t forced to work 14 hour shifts like at Menards.
As for the lawsuits against Walmart I have received about a dozen letters from lawyers claiming the Walmart violated my rights. I have thrown them all in the trash as far as I’m concerned people think are out to get a easy buck. In fact one of them said out of a Muti million dollar lawsuit I was going to get just under a hundred dollars.
In the end people are going to believe what they what to believe. I am sure I will be called an idiot by others that response to this article. If a person chooses shop at Target or Walmart it doesn’t make a difference to me. No matter where you shop these days its “Made in China”.

April says:

April 21st, 2009 at 11:23 am

I have noticed that Target does not include the price per unit or oz on its labels. Cub does this and it is very easy to see what is a better deal. Sometimes the sale item is still not a better price than other similar items. It is very convenient and something I would like to see at Target, at least at Super Target.

missoliveb says:

April 21st, 2009 at 11:25 am

@ Deneenc: The Super Targets in Richfield and Edina are brand new and very clean and nice. I have been in one or two nasty Targets (in Chicago more than here in Minneapolis) but they are the exception. Without exception every WalMart I have ever been in is disgusting. Also, WalMart has spun this brilliant marketing myth that they have the lowest prices around. I frequent an online sale tracker that rates prices in circulars, and WalMart sales are consistently rated “poor”, better deals can be had elsewhere.

Kim says:

April 21st, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I have been and still am a loyal Target shopper. I’m in the downtown Mpls store several days per week. It’s clean, organized and I can find what I’m looking for. (Granted, it’s also the store product reps walk through so it needs to be that way!) I avoid going to Walmart based on my experiences. I don’t care if I have to pay a few dollars more at Target. It’s worth it. I find it annoying when I have to walk around merchandise in the aisles at Walmart. All I want to do is get from one place to the other and I can’t because I have to walk around everything! Then, when they bag my purchases, they put 2 items in one plastic bag and I end up with 10 plastic bags. How so non-earth friendly! I find their cicular bag dispenser thing annoying. I also don’t like how they shop at other stores and put the receipts by the items just to “prove” they are the lowest. When I do have to go to Walmart for something, I have to summon up the courage just to walk in. I usually walk out with a bad attitude. I’ll keep my happy disposition and go to Target instead. It’s a hometown company and I know people that work for them. I don’t know anyone who works for Walmart. And I live near a Walmart that’s directly across the street from Target.

out-of-stater says:

April 21st, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Grew up in MN, now live in Decatur, IL. LOVE Target. Hubby had been trying to move here (closer to his work) for years but I didn’t want to give up my Target in a neighboring city. I find the bathrooms to be the best of any store I shop at, find the employees to be extremely nice – I would even say Minnesota-nice, so it must be part of the training. It’s clean and bright and makes me happy. It reminds me of home!! I’m there 3-4 times a week for everything from prescritions to dog chews and cheesesticks. I even make a point of going there for things like yard waste bags, though 50 cents cheaper at a closer store, because I want to support my local Target, and by extension, my beloved Minnesota.

Paul Baker says:

April 21st, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Walmart and Target both have their faults but at least Walmart is an American corporation and supports our military people. Target is owned by a French corporation and has not shown support to it’s military employees and our troops in general. I’ll spend my $$$$$ supporting the USA.

Teresa Rumppe says:

April 21st, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Target increased the APR on our Target charge to 24%.

We had never paid late, and didn’t know when the notice for this occured. (We would have chosed to ‘opt out’.)

I feel that Target stole $400 from me personally. We paid the total and closed the account.

It has been a year and 3 months since I have been in a Target.

They alienated 2 very good customers.

I understand the economy has been bad… but we were good customers and had a long history of paying our bills on time. Shame on them.

kris says:

April 21st, 2009 at 1:03 pm

How is Target owned by a French corporation? I missed that newsflash, I guess.

Target is my store of choice. I refuse to shop at Walmart for many reasons. I disagree with their employment and business strategies – they pay ridiculously low wages, have had countless discrimination and other lawsuits, come swooping in to small cities and eventually run all the local stores out of business. In addition, I just don’t like the stores themselves. They are trashy looking, crowded, unorganized, have garish lighting and rude, unhelpful employees. Target is clean, bright and organized, the employees are helpful (I’ve had more Target employees come up to me to ask if I need anything that in Macy’s, Bloomingdales or Nordstrom!) and they know where things are when you ask them. The prices really aren’t that much more at Target and in some cases less! For the few extra cents I might spend, I’ll take the nicer shopping experience any day.

T. Booker says:

April 21st, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I am a Target shopper all the way. Discounting the fact that I have to drive past a Target to get to the closet Walmart in Maple Grove, I gave it a try when they first opened. Their aisles are so full of “special deals”, i.e. bins full of crap to dig through, that you can hardly move a cart. Also, to me, time is money and with 18 check outlanes and only 3 or 4 open at a time and waiting 20+ minutes to check out each of the three times we were there was too much. Give me my clean, friendly Target with no-wait checkouts and nice, big donations to my local school district.

MN Supporter says:

April 21st, 2009 at 1:18 pm

I choose Target because their corporate headquarters are here in Minnesota. This means, I support thousands of corporate headquarter jobs and the taxes they contribute to our state economy. They also contribute a percent of all profits to our local communities. I support Target because it supports Minnesota.

Sara says:

April 21st, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I used to shop at Target, but every since they became SuperTargets I cannot stand them. They’re too massive for a quick in-and-out. The grocey side has too small a selection of everything, so it could never be the only grocery store I go to. Cashiers have ZERO idea how to bag the groceries, as well, which is fine because it gives them more time to ignore me and look utterly bored and unhappy. I hear from so many people how Target is so terrific, but I can buy better clothes at similar prices elsewhere; buy my household goods in bulk at Costco; and just steer clear of the nightmare that is Target.

Kristina says:

April 21st, 2009 at 3:16 pm

I will drive 100 miles to go to a Target before I’d even consider giving business to Wal-Mart. For every reason that most people have already stated about the appearance and feel of those stores and what they are really doing to our economy by barely paying a living wage but also b/c the prices at Wal-Mart are not as cheap as people think, the ironic part is the cheap appearance has helped people have the perception that Wal-mart is truly cheaper on most things! There’s a few loss leaders that are drastically cheaper but there’s a lot of other products that are higher (how else would they be profitable), espcially in health and beauty! People who think they are saving so much at Wal-mart most likely are not b/c the mix of their basket isn’t the same as the mix of a basket of truly ‘lower priced’tems you’d need to actually spend less there. So Target 100% all the time because the reality is Target is a better value for the dollar spent.

Joan says:

April 21st, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I shop at both stores but prefer Target for general shopping. I do like to stop at WM for craft and sewing items, although they have downsized that department over the past few years which has definitely decreased the number of stops I make there now.

I have a 15 year old daughter who won’t be seen at WM and would rather sit in the car while I shop but she loves Target. The Target Stores and Target online have trendy clothing, a nice selection of jewelry, make up, shoes, etc. and is affordable for her budget.
Since she is usually with me when I shop, Target it is.

jc says:

April 21st, 2009 at 4:46 pm

I hate the checkouts at Walmart. They have the spinning racks with plastic bags on them. They keep spinning the rack and eventually the items I have purchased are on the back side of the rack! I have forgotten bought and paid for items to many times because one of my bags is out of sight and reach. It seems like a pretty good way to make money for Walmart, but I stopped shopping there because I just got tired of spending money on items that don’t go home with me.

Target checkout – the bags always make it in my cart and are usually handed to me with assistance from the cashier.

Thank you, Target!

Greta says:

April 21st, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I live in Dayton and working in downtown Mpls, so Wal-Mart doesn’t make any sense for me, location-wise.

Plus, I love to support a local store, and I LOVE the quality of Archer Farms products. I am continually impressed with some of the other high-quality brands that Target carries to the point often I end up being disappointed when I shop somewhere else.

ClaudesMom says:

April 21st, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Target, all the way. I go to the Midway St. Paul Target, and while it’s a bit more chaotic than some of the others, I love that it has such a spectrum of the community there. I affectionately call it “International House of Target.” Also, the grocery prices, esp. frozen foods, are much lower at Target, sometimes even lower than Cub or Rainbow, and the Archer Farms products has been a constant source of surprise: Great quality, great variety, and good quality. (Try the spaghetti sauce or the salsa … both excellent.)

And of course, Target supports thousands of Minnesota families. So for me, it’s Target.

Pennagirl says:

April 22nd, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Walmart…didn’t grow up here. Target charges more why pay more for something that I can get cheaper at Walmart. BTW at most of the Minnesota Targets the people are RUDE, customers and workers alike.
Especially the Targets in Edina, EP, Chanhassen, Chaska and Bloomington. The customers act like they are the only ones in the store, can’t find anything. The clerk act like you are bothering them…can even greet or say thank you.

Our Walmart in Shakopee is clean and most everyone is nice and they stock at night. I try never shop at either store on Friday evenings, Saturday AM or afternoon or Sunday until after 6PM…too crowded.

Pennagirl says:

April 22nd, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Again the ugly head of Minnesota Nice Bigotry rears its head. Walmart is from the south and of course the “Minnesotans” think that all southerners are slobs, ignorant and illiterate. Also can spin it where all the “Target” people think that Walmart is so dirty…why??? The lower class people? The immigrants? The fixed income people? Stop preaching how great Target is to Minnesotans…Walmart does just as much for the communities too. Stop judging people that shop at Walmart or work there.

Michelle says:

April 23rd, 2009 at 8:49 am

I am not loyal to Target or Walmart, I shop at both. A HUGE pet peeve of mine is at check-out, when you pay with a card.
When the cashier is done with the transaction, and before I can get things put away in my purse and collect my things, he/she is already ringing up the next customers purchases, literally pushing me away.

Both young and old do it. What happened to etiquette? I feel like they’re saying “OK you paid, now get outta here!”

Kara says:

April 23rd, 2009 at 4:03 pm

It’s not really about which store is cleaner or has better product or better pricing. Those are all very selfish reasons to pick a store.
It needs to be about what the store does for their employess and the community. In this category Target wins hands down.

Sharon Berg says:

April 28th, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I have to agree with Michelle…whenever I shop at Target I feel like I am being pushed “out of the way” after I have paid for my stuff before I can get myself put back together and even get my bags in the cart. It is very rude and I get really irritated at the cashiers for “pushing” me out of the way for the next customer. I like WalMart and Target equally as well but shop more at Target because they are closer to my house. If there was a WalMart close by where I live then I would shop there a lot more often.

Waywrd1 says:

April 28th, 2009 at 6:26 pm


Anyone who thinks that Walmart’s prices are lower isn’t taking into consideration the hundreds of thousands of their employees who have to apply for welfare to survive, and guess what, that’s paid for with your taxes!!! Economics 101- shopping there is death by 1,000 papercuts.

Chris says:

April 29th, 2009 at 2:23 am

“… all the “Target” people think that Walmart is so dirty…why??? The lower class people? The immigrants? The fixed income people?…”

Well, that’s definitely a start…

And to address the comment, “Stop judging people that shop at Walmart”,
were you not the one who suggested the (albeit appropriate), adjectives?

Karen says:

May 4th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

To Paul Baker – That old Urban Myth about Target being French owned and doesn’t support the military, etc. is completely bogus and fabricated. Indeed, look it up as Waywrd1 suggests before you spread that nonsence. There are plenty of websites where you can verify if these things are true or not. Check your facts.

People have their preferances for lots of reasons but to base your choice on something that is false…its a shame.

Has anyone noticed that Walmart changed its logo from a smiley face to an asterisk symbol? Kind of looks more like a sphincter to me, and was a bad choice on their part if they’re trying to improve their image. The new logo seems to imply that they will continue pushing dung onto consumers in their product, service and corporate responsibility. More power to ‘em for tapping the niche of people who will buy it.

I don’t think its worth driving the extra mile to Walmart just to save a few pennies (supposedly) when the quality and experience in their stores is so poor. And honestly any perceived money saved in going to Walmart is wasted on the extra gas and time used to get to, and through, the few stores around town.

Target: closer to home, save gas/travel time, better quality, better service, better experience in the store, equal prices when you factor in all things. Plus they will gladly price match for you as long as you bring in an ad showing the exact same thing from a competitor.

Jade says:

May 5th, 2009 at 11:01 am

I am new to the Twin Cities, have lived all over the country, have zero alliance to either store, and would not shop at Walmart for many of the reasons already mentioned:

1) Compared to every Target I have been in (IL, CA, MO, AZ), every Walmart is dirty, less organized and more chaotic.

2) Customer Service in both is lacking (Target wedding registry is a nightmare, for example), but that is not a concern to me – if I need help I ask for it, bottom line.

3) I lived in MO and experienced, firsthand, a Super WalMart sweep into town and price every single locally-owned store out of business – small hardware store, notions and fabric place, fruit stands, etc., with super low prices, that were immediately raised when each store went under. We are talking family-owned businesses that had been around for decades, that could not compete with the WalMart strategy. This is completely un-American to me.

4) Also un-American? That the majority of WalMart’s goods are not made in America. Basically they marketed themselves in the 80s and 90s as you were un-American to NOT shop there, and they hooked people with low pricing and USA-made goods. Then to make even more $ they switched to foreign goods at higher prices. Not sure if Target has the same foreign-made goods, but Target never positioned themselves as being “All American” like WalMart did (which is no longer is and kind of never was).

Bottom line is, for me, Target is more organized, cleaner, has better quality goods, and in the end the costs are very similar for the items I purchase. And I feel better supporting a company that supports local schools and charities (which Target does, not sure if WalMart does) and also one that treats its employees better.

What about K Mart? I never go there anymore, no close ones and they are ever dirtier in my opinion than WalMart, but I think they may be the cheapest of the three…?

John S says:

June 1st, 2009 at 7:41 pm

For goodness sake when you run ads on general merchandise tell us in a simple manner what you are selling. Why try to convey some egg head’s idea of a superior item just because it has some fancy name and actually an inferior quality product. And if and when you expand and sell basic, basic food products be competitive, like not selling milk higher, just because of some imaginary cow eating some super special food. And I might add it is time to rid yourself of the department store mentality which by now you must understand is really not your field.
J. S.