When Target placed full page ads Sunday asking what more the discounter can do for us, I was curious about shoppers’ responses. I asked you to tell me what me what you would tell Target and more than 100 of you did so. After reading the comments, many of them contradictory, I sympathize with a big box retailer that can never be all things to all customers. Still, a few suggestions stood out as hitting the bulleye, in my opinion.
1. Improve the quality and quantity of your plus-size fashions. Find a corpulent celebrity or designer and make him/her create affordable, fashionable clothing. Hire Kirstie Alley to model them and then schedule a fashion show on Oprah. Diets and fitness crazes notwithstanding, plus sizes are not a fad. We’re a fat society. Accept it. Now help us look better.
2. Enough with the Target Visa solicitations at the checkout. It’s annoying and it’s gotten old. Although it made Target a lot of money in interest, now it’s blowback time. Find another way to reward your cashiers. See #3.
3. Train cashiers to say “hello” and “thank you.” Reward them when they do. But let’s be real. Don’t have them ask, ”Did you find everything you were looking for?” because that’s a waste of the customer’s and the cashier’s time. Target doesn’t have the ability to answer such questions quickly. You’re not a mom-and-pop shop.
4. Make it easier to return gifts from the wedding and baby registries.
5. Train cashiers how to bag groceries. Bread goes on top. Customers who bring their own reusable bags probably don’t want frozen items placed in plastic bags.
6. Allow online purchases to be shipped to a store free. Wal-Mart and REI allow it.
7. Show some love for the Y chromosome. Wal-Mart kicks your butt in sporting goods, automotive, and the paint departments.
8. Drop the Global Bazaar department in January. We know that if we wait two or three weeks after the temporary department is set up, it’ll be marked down 25 percent. If we wait four or five weeks it will be 50 to 90 percent off. Nice stuff, nice global awareness, but we’re on to you.
9. Wait until November 1 to put up holiday decor. Note we didn’t say Thanksgiving. We’re somewhat realistic, but mixing Christmas and Halloween decor is just wrong. Be a leader and take a stand. Christmas fatigue is real.
10. Pay more attention to shoppers who need scooters or handicapped carts.
11. Make prices the same at all of your stores. OK, I’m just kidding about this one. It infuriates customers when they see baby formula for 75 cents more at the Apple Valley store compared to Eagan. But c’mon people, do you ask Super America to standardize its gas prices at all of its stations too? Never gonna happen.