Target acting like Wal-Mart

Target reinvented American retailing. By democratizing design, it rescued the family budgeter from the aesthetic provinces of dinette sets and acid-washed jeans. Target was one of the first to use famous fashion designers to cast a halo over its brand and draw people into its stores. (…)

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Now the charge is that Target is copying its archrival, and its executives are bristling. They insist they provide a superior store experience. Nor have they any plans to abandon their 15-year-old slogan: “Expect more, pay less.” (…)

All the same, a kind of role reversal is under way in Retail Land. Wal-Mart has long borrowed from Target. Now Target is stalking Wal-Mart. Target’s magic has always been about pushing its low-cost business model relentlessly upmarket. But to get itself through the Great Recession, it appears to be going downmarket.

via BusinessWeek.

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