I’ll be the first to admit that, when it comes to the “mega-stores” of the world, I am not beaming with fondness. It saddens me when an incoming Target or Walmart takes out nearby “mom and pop” stores. I feel connected to the old way of shopping. But that, of course, is just one man’s opinion.
While I am not in love with these options, I do shop in these mega-stores as they are often the most simple and complete option. Truth be told, mega-stores are an inevitability and, as they are inevitable, it’s astute to construct them in such a way as to maximize their potential.
Take my own experience as an example. Each weekend, my wife and I have mapped our grocery shopping between two stores: the local Fresh Market (where we buy all of our produce) and Target (where we buy the rest of our groceries at an astonishingly affordable price). It is a nuisance traveling between these two stores, which is why I can’t deny that, on our most recent visit to Target, I felt a welling twinge of happiness on seeing that they would soon be carrying fresh produce.
Ultimately, this makes our grocery shopping exponentially easier. See, while I dislike these mega-stores, what I ultimately want is convenience and quality at an affordable price. These are qualities I personally do not feel while shopping at Walmart. But judging by its increasing market share (and Target’s drop in share), I am in the minority
But Walmart is not for me. Its check-out lines take 20 minutes, purchased produce goes bad within a day, and the pangs of finding your way through a store designed like the hedge labyrinth from The Shining are excruciating.
As I’ve said before, I do not think Target following Walmart’s lead is good for the Target brand in the long haul. If you copy the market leader, the market leader will win.
But what Target and Walmart are banking on are what is pushing out the local groceries and speciality stores: Convenience.
It’s just business, and I know I’m not in the minority in stating that adding fresh produce to Target’s inventory is a smart business move. It adds to our convenience and makes our shopping experience there complete.
But it won’t help Target beat Walmart. It’ll just help it beat the local shops.