Monday, February 7, 2011

Wal-Mart vs. Target

I was skimming through the Internet the other day and came upon a blog post by Steve Olson, who is this you may ask. Well IDK but apparently a lot of people follow his blog. Mr. Olson was writing a post based on why he believes, Target is superior to Wal-Mart. Here is the link Steve-Olson.

Now I am an avid Wal-Mart hater, I have not spent money at Wal-mart in over 9 months and had spent pittance in the 6months prior to that. I actively encourage people not to shop there. Why? Because I hate Wal-mart. Mainly because wal-mart coupled with some other issues has led to the downfall of small businesses and thriving down-towns, and has effectively turned as all into commercialized loners.
But I also hate Target, and Applebee's and Kohl's and Best Buy and I think you get the point, in my opinion Wal-Mart gets all the blame for the issues the same way the quarterback gets blamed for losing a game. Wal-Mart is the leader the big guy and therefore the figure head for hating what uber-commercialization has done to the American way of life.
So now I will go through Steve's Ten points and give my opinion, based on my experiences.

Point 1: Crime
"Why did the 911 hijackers buy their box cutters at Wal-Mart? Why do serial killers featured on Court TV buy duct tape and rope at Wal-Mart? Because they feel comfortable there. They’re with their people. Did you know (according to this study) the average Wal-Mart has almost 450% more police calls than the average Target store?" -Steve Olson.

Why do people who do bad things buy stuff at Wal-Mart...Statistically speaking we can assume most people who are shopping for duct tape, rope and box cutters, would rely on a big box retailer, especially if they use these products sparingly. Wal-mart has approx: 4227 locations in the US while Target has only 1743. We will now assume that only Target and Wal-mart exist, because Steve gives us no more variety, we will also negate the possibility that Wal-Mart was the only option in the location of these two unrelated events. Assume an even distribution and equal accessibility to Wal-mart and Target locations and that the culprit chooses randomly, say the first one he comes to. Then in each example the culprit has a 71% chance of walking into a Walmart instead of a Target. So maybe that's why your two examples picked Walmart. 

As for the police calls, Target's are focused on selling to suburbia, whereas Walmarts are more likely to be in less safe areas. Also Target's are generally in plaza type settings whereas Wal Marts are generally stand alone structures, meaning? Less traffic and more escape routes for criminals at Wal-Mart over Target locations. 

Point 2: (this post is going to be long)
Target Doesn’t Destroy Small Towns
I'll concede this point to Steve as I have no data on the issue. But again we can return to the point that Wal-Mart has 3 times as many locations and is thus more likely to infiltrate smaller markets are they have feel they have milked the larger markets the best they can, Target, as a number 2 brand, simply builds in a town with a wal-mart location already present so then all the blame falls on Wal-Mart cause they built there first. 

Point 3:
Maybe this one I have the most experience and opinion, because in the past I worked for both of these companies, at the sales associate level, even if it was for only a couple months each. 

Steve's experience are obviously based on a limited data set, as are mine. However, lets talk about what would make the employee's different. Both are paid wages approximate to the minimum wage applicable, so their is no reason one individual would pick Walmart or Target over the other. Benefits are basically equal and both places take out life insurance policies on their workers, so again no difference. Neither place requires more in terms of education or offers more, BOTH offer tuition reimbursement programs and both have equal levels of promotion opportunities. I could go on but the point is whether you work for Target or Wal-mart you are treated virtually the same and your pay and benefits are equal. Target and Wal-Mart both under staff, and an employee being able to locate an item is less based on training and etiquette than on just knowing something they taught or figured out themselves. So in conclusion no one chooses to work for Target over Wal-mart and Target doesn't hire better people, it's a case by case basis and overall my personal experiences I prefer working for MY Walmart over MY Target, mainly due to the management staff. 

Point 4: (WTF)
Happy Customers
I'll be short with this point because its asinine. I had a mom refused to take her daughter to the bathroom and she peed on the floor, IN TARGET. The store does not control the customers mood, the lighting is the same in both stores and well he hits every point coming up...

Point 5: 
Their is a Wal-Mart where I live which has the nicest bathroom I have ever seen, period. I'll post pictures someday and show you. The Target bathroom is fine. Steve made a big point of bathrooms. As for the rest of the store, both stores employ the same tactics to clean their stores, I have seen dirty WalWal-marts, I will agree that I have never seen a "dirty" Target but if we are comparing one on one some Wal-Marts beat some Targets and vice-versa.

Point 6: (I'm just getting angry)
Better Parking Lots
Not a joke Steve really put this. The parking lots are controlled by the property owners who lease the facility to the stores. So STFU and do some research. Plus how is one way parking dangerous other than the morons who don't understand whats going on. BTW Steve where I live I have one Target that's two way, one that is one way, a Walmart that is one way and two walmarts that are two way. 
The Parking lots look identical!!!

I took a Picture!!! Wal-Mart is tot going to sue me!!! I am scared
 As for Camping in Wal-mart parking lots. Saved me a couple of times and I didn't even get raped.

Point 7: 
Basically a summary of the last well ALL THE OTHER POINTS.
But let's talk numbers. I went to a Target location and a Wal-Mart location both located in the same shopping center, on the same day, just a couple minutes apart. And here are my numbers. Each store measured statistically the same size (a Super Wal-mart and a Super Target) so through my selection I believe I accounted for every variable. 
Number of Employees spotted: (I made one loop through "Action Alley" and counted the number of sales floor team members I was able to see in my lap)
Wal-Mart: 35, and every counter was manned including Paint, Auto, Sporting Goods, Electronics and Jewelery.
Target: 4, (no that isn't a typo I saw FOUR total sales associates on the sale floor at 1pm on a Saturday) Target only had two counters Electronics was manned Jewelery was NOT manned. 
But maybe their's a lot more traffic at the wal-mart for some unknown reason. My dispute Resisters open:
Wal-Mart: 12 of 30 check lanes were open and all had approx 3-4 people in line
Target: 14 of 28 check lanes open again 3-4 people in line

So Wal-Mart had almost 9 times as many sales floor personnel, yet both stores had roughly the same number of individuals checking out.

Point 8:
Wider Aisles
Well this is just utter bullshit, Did Steve really think one cynical person, such as myself, wouldn't go out and measure, I did and the aisles are NARROWER at Target! Wal-Mart's Aisles were 7ft wide and Target's were 5.25ft wide. I even took pictures to prove this, and to prove that I am not going to get sued.
 To go into further explanation the two stores I chose are half a mile away from one another and are in the same plaza. So from this we can assume that the demographics for each store are identical, and therefore a great choice for making broad based claims based on individual locations.

Point 9 and 10 absent....No Joke go read it and count unless...

I’ve Never Seen Anyone Wearing a NASCAR Shirt, Purple Sweat Pants, and Pink Fluffy Slippers at Target

 ...was suppose to be a point but that still leaves us at 9 Steve. And maybe just maybe his constant "Wal-Mart will sue me if i post a picture" is his number 10 but guess what, People of Walmart, I guess Walmart has its work cut out for it. and Target, along with most stores and shopping centers, has a no photography policy as well.

Overall I think both companies leech off of society and are an overall bust for continued local prosperity in every community they enter. I believe we need to limit our dependence on cheap useless garbage and get back to high quality necessary goods produced locally. If you spend money at Wal-mart, Target or and huge chain store you are sending money directly out of your community, if you spend money at farmers markets, local shops and restaurants that money goes into your community and helps it prosper. A lot of people get made that we are sending jobs over seas, but our ignoring that sending jobs to other states has just as much of a negative impact on our community and its survival and prosperity.



  1. Yes Micky you should be, I added some pictures and a couple more observations, but it's about 90% the same article I published in November.