Evaluate A Selected Range Of Approaches

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The two companies our team chose to research are Target and Wal-Mart. We chose these two companies because they are prosperous companies where most Americans shop regularly. Even with this economy, these companies find strategic ways to get customers to buy merchandise. While companies have differences, they have similarities in their communication and marketing styles.

Wal-Mart was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton. Walton's envisioned goal when he opened his first store was to save people money to help them live a better life. The first Wal-Mart store was opened in Rogers, Arkansas. It is now the largest grocery retailer in the United States. There are over 8,800 Wal-Mart stores located in 15 countries. There are 2.1 million employees worldwide. In 1983, the first Sam's Club warehouse was opened. The first supercenter opened in 1988. Ten years later, Wal-Mart introduced the neighborhood market. The original stores are now known as discount department stores. The headquarters and distribution center are located in Bentonville, Arkansas. In 2010, Wal-Mart's sales totaled $405 billion ("Wal-Mart," 2011).

Target was founded in 1902 in Minneapolis, Minnesota by George Dayton. It was known as the Dayton Dry Goods Company. The first Target store was opened sixty years later in Roseville. Target is the second largest discount retailer in the United States. Its headquarters is located on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. There is a Target or Super Target in every state except Vermont. Target Greatland is a general merchandise superstore that does not carry a full-line of grocery products. There are 1,743 stores throughout the United States. There are approximately 351,000 employees. This year, Target announced they will be expanding and building businesses in Canada. By 2013, they hope to be operating up to 150 stores throughout Canada. In 2010, Target's revenue was over $65 billion ("Target," 2011).

Both stores have expanded and merchandise can be purchased over the internet. It makes shopping quick, easy, and hassle-free. Customers no longer have to wait in lines to get the items they want. Both Target and Wal-Mart showed relevant increases in their annual report last year. For the fiscal year of 2010, Wal-Mart's annual report shows increases in sales. The net sales were up $405 billion, which is an increase of an increase of one percent from 2009 ("Wal-Mart Annual Report," 2011). Target's total revenue increased .6 percent. This was an increase of $65 million. Target's earning increased 12.4 percent during the fiscal year. This was an increase of $2.4 million ("Target Annual Report," 2011).

Wal-Mart and Target both have websites that are easy to navigate for prospective customers. Wal-Mart's website is Walmart.com and Target's site is Target.com. Each store has a search bar that makes finding exactly what you want easier. You can also navigate through the websites by departments. You can also see clearance items and sales items on the websites. The images of the items are spectacular, so the customer can see exactly what they are buying. You can have the items shipped to the local store or your home.

Corporate structure Wal-Mart http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_t6rV3U9ZEHM/S9W7G8EqiAI/AAAAAAAAwk4/0oPhXM9SAtI/s1600/walmart-logo.gif

http://walmartstores.com/Media/Cache/rx3666_6bfi8bfk8efkkn8zfkni8tyfxxxxxx8u9fji87fdk8atfxs3aw8tuf.jpg Now more than ever my dad built Wal-Mart for these times. 

Rob Walton

http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/11/112761/Bill_Simon-roundededge.jpg Bill Simon, President and CEO, Wal-Mart US

"This year has been one of innovation and positive change for Wal-Mart US. From our scheduling system, improvements to inventory management and our new store management structure, we have delivered significant results to our business. Our store remodels and merchandise clarity have allowed our customers to live better in a very difficult economy Sam Walton taught us that we must never get set in our ways, to innovate and change; we always look for ways to run our business better so we can continue to offer our customers lower prices" (B Simon, EVP & COO Wal-Mart US).

Senior Leadership Team

Raul Vazquez -EVP and President of Wal-Mart West

Rosalind Brewer - Wal-Mart South EVP and President

Hank Mullany - EVP and President of Wal-Mart North

Eric Zorn - President of Wal-Mart Realty

Johnnie Dobbs -Executive Vice President of Logistics

Corporate structure Target http://media2.picsearch.com/is?7iUfYivQhG1Tz1Uc8tYJbAhu7BxoE17aArUKHv2IBbk

Target is an upscale discounter that provides high-quality, on-trend merchandise at attractive prices in clean, spacious and guest-friendly stores. In addition, Target operates an online business, Target.com.

http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/global_images/spacer.gif "At Target, diversity is much more than a goal or campaign. It's a core value we integrate into every area of our business - from our suppliers, to our teams, to the shopping experience in our stores. We foster an inclusive culture that allows our high-performing and diverse team to drive innovation". By Gregg Steinhafel Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Gregg Steinhafel

Gregg Steinhafel

Executive Officers

Timothy R. Baer -EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Michael  R.  Francis -EVP and Chief Marketing Officer

John  D.  Griffith -EVP, Property Development

Beth M. Jacob -EVP, Target Technology Services and Chief Information Officer

Jodeen A. Kozlak -EVP, Human Resources

Douglas A. Scovanner -EVP and Chief Financial Officer

Terrence J. Scully -President, Target Financial Services

Gregg  W.  Steinhafel -Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Tina  M. Schiel -EVP, Stores

Kathryn A. Tesija -EVP, Merchandising

Laysha  L. Ward -President, Community Relations and Target Foundation

Mission, Vision & Values

The missions of both of these companies focus on making sure to that the customer is satisfied by saving money when shopping in their store. Targets mission is to make Target the preferred shopping destination for their guests by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and an exceptional guest experience by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less. ® brand promise ("Target", 2011). Saving people money to help them live better is Wal- Mart's mission. Saving people money so they can live better is at the heart of everything Wal-Mart does that is Wal-Mart mission to the community each and every day, simply put, helping people live better is more than something to do ("Wal-Mart, 2011). Both companies focus on providing responsible prices for their consumers. Wal-Mart and Target value their customers and work hard to continue to keep their customers satisfied.

Benefits and Compensation C:\Users\mylene01\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\A22LSX8U\MC900056127[1].wmf

Americans are trying to be more patriotic since the tragedy of September 11. They are trying to buy more goods that are made in America. A majority of the people shop at America's two leading retail stores, Wal-Mart and Target. While Target sells more American made goods than Wal-Mart, finding the items can be time consuming and expensive. American made items retail for more than items from other countries. Fifteen percent of Wal-Mart's goods are produced in America and over twenty percent of Target's are. Wal-Mart is the single largest importer of foreign goods. Eighty percent of Wal-Mart's suppliers are located in China with over seventy percent of the items sold made there. The large number of goods being imported to large retailers could mean losses of jobs in America by destroying manufacturing jobs that produce American made goods ("America's Union Movement," 2011).

With Wal-Mart having 8,500 stores in 15 countries, it is not surprising they have more employees than Target. In 2009, Wal-Mart employed 2.1 people worldwide. The majority of the employees are full-time. Average pay for a full-time employee is $10.78 per hour ("Wal-Mart," 2011). Target has fewer stores and employees than Wal-Mart. As of 2009, Target only had 2009 employees located only in the United States. They had plans to expand their business to Canada. Their full-time employee wages are lower than the average at Wal-Mart. The average employee makes $8.50 per hour ("Target," 2011).

Both Wal-Mart and Target offer benefits and compensation to employees. Wal-Mart's benefits include medical, dental, 401k matching, and training. The health insurance program has incentives to help employees quit smoking and providing 100% coverage on preventative care. They have also implemented a program for pregnant mothers that offer support before, during, and after pregnancy. There is free, confidential counseling available to all employees 24/7. Other benefits offered include company-paid life insurance, dependent life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, critical illness and accident insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance, business travel accident insurance, and an associate eyewear program. Employees are also covered under illness protection, where they are given paid sick time off from work. There are also many financial benefits for employees working at Wal-Mart. The company matches contributions to 401k up to 6 percent. Associates are allowed to purchase stock within the company. A discount card is given to new employees that give a 10% discount off regularly priced general merchandise. Wal-Mart pays employees for holidays, vacation, personal time, bereavement, and jury duty ("Wal-Mart Stores," 2011). Target's team members get 10% off their purchases at the store. Target also offers a tuition reimbursement program for team members wanting to continue their education. Target has implemented an adoption program that offers up to $5,000 for adoption fees. They also partner with many different financial institutions trying to help their workers get loans to purchase homes. Team members are also offered discounted rates for daycare. Dental and medical insurance is offered, along with pharmaceutical discounts. There is also confidential, free counseling offered 24/7 to employees. Other benefits offered at Target include 401k contributions, paid vacation days, personal holidays, disability and life insurance options, and wellness resources ("Target.com," 2011).

Giving to the Community C:\Users\mylene01\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\2M4DKNQQ\MP910216391[1].png

Being involved and giving back to the community is important. Each company owes their success to their customers. Without their customers neither company would be able to survive. For these two companies giving back to the community is important. Wal-Mart and Target takes great pride in giving back to the community by supporting everyday causes of their customers. Wal-Mart provides support to over 100,000 charitable and community organizations. Wal-Mart has set in place a program called The Wal-Mart Foundation. This foundation focuses on improving the lives of people in the community. This foundation provides support in education, workforce development/economic opportunities, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. Wal-Mart also focuses on hunger relief. Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation made a $2 billion commitment through 2015 to hunger relief efforts in the U.S. in order to support the record 1 in 6 Americans who do not know where their next meal is coming from ("Walmart stores", 2011). Most of Wal-Mart's giving is done locally. Wal-Mart does this so they can help to improve the lives of the local residents. In fiscal year 2009, Wal-Mart and its foundation gave more than $378 million cash and in-kind gifts to U.S. nonprofit organizations ("Wal-Mart", 2011). The basic needs such as hunger, homelessness, education, job training are some of Wal-Mart main focuses. Target also provides support to the community through their foundation. The Target Foundation provides support to education, arts, safe families and communities, and team member involvement. Since 1946, Target has contributed 5 percent of their annual income to support families and communities, and today Target remain one of very few companies that maintain this level of sustained giving("Target", 2011). Today that equals more than $3 million every week to support education, the arts, social services and volunteerism ("Target", 2011).  Community giving and support have been a part of the Target legacy well before they officially opened our doors they work with organizations big and small in their areas of focus to help them achieve a profound and lasting impact in their communities("Target", 2011). Giving back to community is a priority of both Wal-Mart and Target.

Major Accomplishments

http://media2.picsearch.com/is?7iUfYivQhG1Tz1Uc8tYJbAhu7BxoE17aArUKHv2IBbk In 2005 the Start Something Character Education Program started by Target and the Tiger Woods Foundation, surpassed the three million mark ('Target", 2011).  Target ranked 14th out of 119 companies on Business Week's Best Places to Launch a Career survey ('Target", 2011). Target was the top-ranked retailer on the list, followed by Macy's (ranked #56), Walgreen's (ranked #79), Kohl's (ranked #94), Abercrombie & Fitch (ranked #98) and Sears (ranked #110), respectively('Target", 2011).

2009 Experience.com named Target one of the "Best Places to Work for Recent Grads" ('Target", 2011). The next year, 2010 J.D. Power and Associates ranked Target the highest in overall customer service for mass merchandisers for the fourth year in a row according to its National Pharmacy Study('Target", 2011).

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_t6rV3U9ZEHM/S9W7G8EqiAI/AAAAAAAAwk4/0oPhXM9SAtI/s1600/walmart-logo.gif In 2002 Wal-Mart was Forbes magazine recognized us as one of the most philanthropic companies in America ("Wal-Mart stores", 2011). The same year Wal-Mart received The Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership, a presidential award that recognizes companies for outstanding achievement in employee and community relations ("Wal-Mart stores", 2011).

In 2009 The National Urban League honored Wal-Mart with the 2009 Corporate Leadership Award during the organization's 53rd annual Equal Opportunity Day Awards Dinner ("Wal-Mart stores", 2011). In 2010 Wal-Mart was named Donor of the year by Feeding America for providing funds, and vehicles, and more than 100-million pounds of food ("Wal-Mart stores", 2011).

Marketing Strategy C:\Users\mylene01\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\8YS67MK6\MP900422803[1].jpg

Both Wal-Mart and Target focus on a unique style of strategic marketing. Looking at the overall goals and settings of both stores we as the consumer know and understand that they are attempting to reach their client base. The individualized way in which each goes about the tactic is very interesting in nature. Wal-Mart focuses on the lower and middle class buyers. Their forward marketing strategy is appealing to the customer's wallets and focusing directly on cost and affordability. Wal-Mart has committed to a particular pricing scheme that is used in their marketing strategy that allows customers to think savings. Using numbers in their pricing such as eighty-eight cents and ninety-six cents, allows customers to visualize savings. This is one of Wal-Mart's strategies to appeal to the lower income customers. Another marketing strategy that Wal-Mart uses is through their vendors. Wal-Mart will not use any one vendor more than four percent of their total sales. This is to market to their customers' variety and competition, thereby keeping the prices low for lower and middle class customers. Wal-Mart continues to think affordability.

Target on the other hand appeals to affluent, middle and lower income customers. Their strategy tends to be a little more edgy in nature. Target wants name recognition more than pricing. Gregg Steinhafel the company's CEO has pushed in the company's marketing strategy that pricing is not the main focus. They believe the way to cater to their consumers is to provide a shopping experience that appears to classy and above the normal low cost competitors; all the while providing regular household items that customers need on a day to day basis. This marketing strategy allows for Target to be able to offer name brand items in the stores for consumers, such as, Lancôme, LEI, Vanity Fair, and many other items. Another strategy Target uses is the actual décor of the store and the layout of the merchandise. Target focuses on appealing to consumer's eyes by placing vivid colors throughout the store, including merchandise offered to purchase. Placing oversized graphics and pop art throughout the store, they are attracting the customer using sight.

Both companies have placed lots of effort in their marketing strategies, ensuring that they attract their customers and keep them revisiting their locations. They each take pride in research and developing the marketing strategy that has carried and allowed their companies to succeed.

Communication style Wal-MartC:\Users\mylene01\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\8YS67MK6\MC910216408[1].png

C:\Users\mylene01\Downloads\Wal-Mart.jpgWal-Mart considers that -"Using the right media for developing marketing plans is important- the correct communication channels can mean reaching your target market or wasting a lot of money". Wal-Mart believes that the concept they have as a "self-service Kiosk" will give to their customer's better services and support, making of the store a better competitor against Target Corporation. Wal-Mart primarily channels of communication are television, direct mail, radio, and internet. Wal-Mart uses the kiosk to provide access to the customers about their products on stock or out-of-stock, the sales, and store products. Therefore the company considers this service as the medium of communication to inform their customers about their service. One of their ways to market their products and services is through television. Transmitting their advertisements during peak hours and most watched shows is part of their business strategies. Wal-Mart has been a successful company for years due to their marketing strategies communication. Some of their mass mediums are, mail service, internet, and telephone telemarketing, helping them in the identification of their "target markets". Their famous weekly shopper is available in hard copy and through the internet. This medium also helps the company to communicate new products and new kiosk services to their consumers.

C:\Users\mylene01\Downloads\Wal-Mart 2.jpg Finally, they consider the self-service kiosk been the most important and most successful as they continue developing their marketing strategies. This new service may require additional education on the part of the consumer. Wal-Mart is able to develop this service and inform new customers by integrating the information through television, internet, and radio marketing.

Communication style TargetC:\Users\mylene01\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\8YS67MK6\MC910216408[1].png

The exterior of a typical Target discount department store. "An early strategic choice to build a brand around the Target name fostered the company's steady growth. Gerald Storch, Target's vice chairman, explained that the company had faced three strategic choices to tackle the increased competition in the retail market: "to specialize, to become the low-cost producer, or to differentiate itself (http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/4319.html#3)".  However this choice would have thwarted future growth, as Wal-Mart was by now a low-cost producer, so Target decided to reposition itself as a mass merchandiser of reasonably priced stylish products. Interesting to mention that, despite Target's commitment to match Wal-Mart's prices on similar items, Target was still perceived as weaker on everyday and advertised prices, as well as on assortment of goods. Obviously, that did not hold Target back and instead decided to build a very attractive clientele. Compared with other discounters, Target's customers referred to as "guests," more affluent, younger guests, and better educated. Their successful is that Target's name is associated with younger, hipper, edgier, and more fun image than Wal-Mart. Even their name pronunciation is in French, "Tar-zhay," to imply its stylish sensibility. Target has achieved its reputation, with its successful branding activities. Target's business goal was to produce a substitute to Wal-Mart's price leadership. It was well planned and executed by utilizing upscale discounting, a stylish concept, quality and price to compete with others. The concept of "cheap-chic" was utilizing designer's partnerships, attractive advertisements and creativity, enabling Target to become a major brand and consumer shopping destination.

"Wal-Mart spends 0.3 percent of its revenue on advertising. Target spends 2.3 percent. With the help of more than half a dozen agencies, it regularly comes up with innovative ad campaigns a singular strategy for a discount store" (http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/4319.html#3).

Target - bullseye Through steady marketing and communication, Target has transformed its signature bull's-eye logo into an everyday life symbol. This unique bull's-eye logo is recognized by 96 percent of American consumers and considered a trademark icon in a class. During twelve-months Target ran a national campaign in unusual spots in 1997some of the advertisements were on the Sunday magazines of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, among others. Advertisements were seen on walls of buildings in New York and in means of transportation from Miami to Philadelphia.  Using unconventional marketing programs to reinforce its message, Target has also engaged in "dimensional advertising". Their success demonstrates the importance of unique communication in reaching long-lasting differentiation on anything other than cost. Target continues to be a mass merchandiser, maintaining basics such as low prices, broad variety, and shopping convenience. It is not a position brand, but, through its promise to design and pioneering marketing communications, it has managed to take ample advantage from Wal-Mart in terms of image and brand, building a large loyal and attractive segment of the American population and growing an extremely profitable business.


Our purpose is to establish a comparison between two biggest retail stores in the US, Wal-Mart and Target. Although both companies are oriented to save money to their shoppers, it is obvious that they are competing against each other for leadership. Both retail stores have different logistics and communication styles. There is no doubt that Wal-Mart's marketing strategies are around food and low prices, while Target focuses on style and fashion. The "self service kiosk" has given Wal-Mart a great advantage over Target in terms of introducing their customers with new products and great services at low prices. To the contrary Target has concentrated all their business marketing strategies and efforts in the concept of "cheap-chic", demonstrating their competitors that they are a mass merchandiser that has a broad variety of goods captivating a different population segment. While one company builds and based their communication in low-prices every day, the other continues to attract the segment that looks for a more stylish and chic products.