Appealing to Consumer Greed: Target vs. Costco
WALLETPOP -- The aisles of Target are rarely, if ever, criticized for their diminutive nature. But until recently, shoppers who prefer to buy in packages so large that they can't help but save money had to wander the even bigger aisles of warehouse stores like Costco and Sam's Club. Not anymore. For the next seven weeks, Target will offer big bulk items like extremely large packages of paper towels in its seasonal aisles (typically used for post-holiday merchandise markdowns in January and February). Target is calling it the Great Save Event, which will go through February 21 at all of the company's 1,740 stores.
According to retail analyst Mike Duff, the move makes perfect sense, and is consistent with Target's "Expect More. Pay Less" strategy: "It all adds up to an attempt to create more reasons for consumers to visit the store more often, which is important at a time when shoppers remain reluctant to spend on things other than necessities unless they believe they're getting significant bargains," he says.
It will also be great for Target's bottom line. The sort of savvy [MP: greedy and ruthless?] shopper who has been shopping at Costco will be easily convinced to switch those dollars to Target; especially given the chain's reputation for its trendy fashion offerings.
MP: We hear a lot more about how corporations are disloyal to their communities and employees and about "corporate greed" (553,000 Google hits) than we hear about "consumer greed" (19,700 hits), but consumers can be pretty disloyal, ruthless and cost-conscious themselves, as this story demonstrates. In fact, there's a marketing aphorism that sums it up pretty well: "There's no brand loyalty that the offer of a "penny off" can't overcome it."
HT: James Vanke