|Traded as||NYSE: TGT (S&P 500 Component)|
|Founded||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States (1902 , as Dayton Dry Goods)</small>|
|“||"We will offer high-quality merchandise at low margins, because we are cutting expenses. We would much rather do this than trumpet dramatic price cuts on cheap merchandise."||”|
As a result, Target stores tend to attract younger customers than Walmart, among other competitors. The median Target shopper is 41 years old, the youngest of all major discount retailers that Target competes directly against. The median household income of Target's customer base is roughly $63,000. Roughly 76% of Target customers are female, and more than 45% have children at home. About 80% have attended college and 48% have completed college. 97% of American consumers recognize the Target Bullseye logo.
In October 2008, Target announced plans to fight the perception that their products are more expensive than those of other discount retailers. It planned to add perishables to their inventory, cut back on discretionary items, and spend three-quarters of their marketing budget on advertising that emphasizes value and includes actual prices of items featured in ads. Target also planned to slow its expansion from about 100 stores a year down to 70 stores a year.
Target stores are designed to be more attractive than large big-box stores by having wider aisles, drop ceilings, a more attractive presentation of merchandise, and generally cleaner fixtures. Special attention is given to the design of the store environment: graphics reinforce its advertising imagery, while shelves are dressed with contemporary signage, backdrops and liners, often printed on inexpensive material such as paper, corrugated and foam boards. Some stores, particularly those in the vicinity of major airports, have a bullseye painted on the roof that can be seen from above: the stores in Atlanta, Georgia near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Rosemont, Illinois, near O'Hare International Airport; Potomac Yard, Virginia, near Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport; College Point, New York (Queens), east of LaGuardia Airport; and Richfield, Minnesota, adjacent to Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport are among such locations. Target doesn't use music in its stores, nor does it promote items or services through its public address system.
Some people jokingly give Target the pseudo-French pronunciation // tar-ZHAY, as though it were an upscale boutique. This trend is incorrectly believed to have been started by Oprah Winfrey, when she used the French pronunciation to refer to the store on her television show, but has actually been traced back to 1962, the year the first Target store opened. Target once sold a line of shoes called "Ms Targe" this was reinforced by a 1980s television advertisement starring Didi Conn. This pronunciation has also led some people to incorrectly believe that the company is French-owned. In recognition of the nickname's popularity and cachet, Target Corporation licensed its name and logo to Brand Central LLC in 2006, complete with accent over the letter "E", for a new line of clothing intended for more up-scale fashion customers. The line, "Targét Couture", was originally sold at Los Angeles-based store Intuition, which deals with high-end brands.
Target uses a practice that was derived in 1989 from The Walt Disney Company by calling its customers "Guests", its employees "Team Members", and its supervisors "Team Leaders". Also, managers are known as "Executive Team Leaders (ETLs)" and the Store Manager is known as the "Store Team Leader (STL)". Further up the "chain of command" are "District Team Leaders (DTL)", "Group Team Leaders (GTL)", Regional Team Leaders (RTL) (sometimes also Regional Vice President), and finally corporate-level executives.
Target stores do not sell firearms. In the early 1990s, they ceased sales of toy guns that looked realistic and limited its toy gun selection to ones that were brightly colored and oddly shaped. In 2014, Target also "respectfully" asked their customers to leave any firearms at home when visiting the store. They do not sell tobacco products and have not sold cigarettes since 1996. This is a key point of differentiation with Target's chief competitor Walmart, which offers firearms and tobacco at many stores.
Product lines and partnerships
Target has many exclusive deals with various designers and name brands, including architect Michael Graves; athletic wear company Converse; Italian fashion label Fiorucci; fashion designers Liz Lange, Mossimo Giannulli, and Isaac Mizrahi, among others. To further increase their fashion profile, Target also created its fashion-forward Go International line, which hires famous designers to design collections available only for a few months.
Target, after hiring architect Michael Graves to design the scaffolding used to renovate the Washington Monument and contributing $6 million USD to the restoration plan, introduced its first designer line of products in 1999, the Michael Graves Collection of housewares and home decor products. Walmart and Kmart have followed Target's lead by signing exclusive designers to their stores as well. Target also partners with well-established national brands to create exclusive collections for its stores.
Sometimes manufacturers will create red-colored items, exclusively for Target. In 2002, Nintendo produced a red special edition variant of the Game Boy Advance, which featured the Target logo above the screen.
In 2005, IFC began a partnership with Target to promote a selection of independent films, both in Target stores and on IFC Monday nights at 9:00 pm Eastern. Originally titled IFC Cinema Red, the promotion was rebranded on air as The Spotlight in 2007. The in-store headers refer to the selected titles as IFC Indies – Independent films chosen for Target by the Independent Film Channel.
The Target GiftCard is the retailing division's stored-value card or gift card. Target sells more gift cards than any other retailer in the United States and is one of the top sellers, by dollars and units, in the world. The unique designs of their cards contribute to their higher sales, as well as Target's policy of no expiration dates or service fees. Past and current designs include lenticular, "scratch and sniff" (such as peppermint during the Christmas season), glow in the dark, LED light-up, a gift card on the side of a bubble blower, a gift card that can function as a CD-ROM, and even a giftcard that allows the sender to record a voice message. A current environmentally friendly giftcard is made from bioplastic manufactured from corn. Target rolled out a new MP3 player giftcard for the 2006 holiday season. It holds 12 songs and must be purchased with an initial value of at least $50.
Beginning in January 2010, Target Stores rolled out Mobile GiftCards, through which one can produce a GiftCard barcode on any web-capable cell phone. This data matrix barcode can be scanned at a Target POS like any physical card barcode, and balances can be stored, retrieved, and gifted with the convenience of a cell phone.
Some of these unique design ideas are patented, and these patents are assigned to the Target Brands subsidiary. For example, some such Target GiftCard designs feature a wooden front side. On May 24, 2005, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted U.S. patent D505,450 for the "ornamental design for a credit or stored value card with wood layer" to inventors Amy L. Lauer and John D. Mayhew. U.S. patent 7004398, for the "stored-value card assembly including a stored-value card, an edible product, and a wrapper", was granted to Michael R. Francis and Barry C. Brooks on February 28, 2006. Both patents have been assigned by their inventors to Target Brands, Inc.
Target GiftCards are also collectors items. Some of the first gift cards issued are valued at over $300 (even though the card doesn't have any money on it). Every year Target introduces new Holiday GiftCards. In 2007, Target's Holiday GiftCards featured a wind-up flashlight, a musical gift card, a gift card that lights up, and a scented gift card.
In 2005, Target introduced a major revision of prescription bottles, which it calls the ClearRx system. The redesigned bottles are color-coded, flattened-out and turned upside down, providing more room for the label. This system was based on the patent by student Deborah Adler and was named one of TIME's "Most Amazing Inventions of 2005".
Cartwheel is an app that allows users to "stack up the savings: Use your offers again and again. You can even pile them on top of other coupons, sales and your debit or credit REDcard savings" and to "play more, save more: Keep saving, sharing and interacting with Cartwheel to unlock even more offer spots."
Target Corporation is consistently ranked as one of the most philanthropic companies in the US. It ranked No. 22 in Fortune magazine's "World's Most Admired Companies" for 2010, largely in part to the donation efforts of the company as a whole. According to a November 2005 Forbes article, it ranked as the highest cash-giving company in America in percentage of income given (2.1%). Target donates around 5 percent of its pre-tax operating profit; it gives over $3 million a week (up from $2 million in years prior) to the communities in which it operates. It also gives a percentage of charges from its Target Visa to schools designated by the cardholders. To date, Target has given over $150 million to schools across the United States through this program.
Further evidence of Target's philanthropy can be found in the Target House complex in Memphis, Tennessee, a long-term housing solution for families of patients at the city's St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The corporation led the way with more than $27 million in donations, which made available 96 fully furnished apartments for families needing to stay at St. Jude over 90 days.
Target has a no-solicitation rule at its properties, as it seeks to provide a "distraction-free shopping experience for its guests." Exemptions to this policy were previously made for the Salvation Army red kettles and bell-ringers outside Target stores during the holidays through Christmas. In 2004, however, Target asked the organization to explore alternate methods to partner with Target. Target donates to local Salvation Army chapters through its grant program and annually to the United Way of America (the Salvation Army is a member of the United Way coalition).
In 2005, Target and the Salvation Army created a joint effort called "The Target/Salvation Army Wish List", where online shoppers could donate goods to the organization for hurricane victims by buying them directly from Target.com between November 25, 2005, and January 25, 2006. In 2006, they created another joint effort called "The Target/Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree", which is an online version of the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program; in addition to donating proceeds made from the sales of limited edition Harvey Lewis angel ornaments within Target's stores. During the Thanksgiving holiday of 2006, Target and the Salvation Army partnered with magician David Blaine to send several families on a shopping spree the morning of Black Friday. The challenge held that if Blaine could successfully work his way out of a spinning gyroscope by the morning of Black Friday, then several families would receive $500 shopping certificates. The challenge was completed successfully by Blaine.
During disasters, Target has been a major benefactor for relief efforts. Target provided monetary and product donations during the September 11 attacks; it also donated money for relief efforts for the 2004 tsunami in South Asia and donated $1.5 million (US) to the American Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It also allowed its store properties in the affected area to be used as command centers for relief organizations and donated supplies such as water and bug spray.
Target will often donate its unused, returned or seasonal merchandise (particularly clothing) to Goodwill Industries.
In 2007, Target Corporation agreed to reduce their sales on all materials containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Testers found toxic lead and phthalates and large amounts of PVC in toys, lunchboxes, baby bibs, jewelry, garden hoses, mini blinds, Christmas trees, and electronics. Several studies have shown that chemicals in vinyl chloride can cause serious health problems for children and adults. The University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago states that people who use products containing PVC can become exposed with harmful toxic phthalates and lead, which eventually can become a big contributor with dioxins. Lois Gibbs, executive director of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, stated, "Target is doing the right thing by moving away from PVC and switching to safer alternatives." Other companies reducing the PVC on their shelves include Walmart, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, and Apple. Target stores have been taking environmental measures by reusing materials within their stores and recycling products such as broken hangers, cardboard, and rechargeable batteries. Target is beginning to reduce energy use with energy-efficient storefronts, and reducing waste with recycling programs. All Target stores in the United States use plastic carts with metal frames. In mid-2006, Target took it a step further when it began introducing a newer cart design made entirely of plastic. It also uses the same design in its hand-use baskets.
Target released a 13-page report in 2007 that outlined their current and future plans for becoming more earth-friendly according to LEED. Such efforts include installing sand filtration systems for the stores' wastewater. Recycling programs will be aimed at garment hangers, corrugated cardboard, electronics, shopping carts, shrink wrap, construction wastes, carpeting and ceiling tiles and roofing materials. All stores in Oklahoma will be partnered with Oklahoma Gas & Electric to exclusively use wind power for all Target stores in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Stores nationwide use only LED and fluorescent lights and low-flow restrooms that reduce waste water by 30%. Some Target stores are installing roof gardens or green roofs, which absorb storm water and cut down on surface runoff, mitigate temperature fluctuations and provide habitats for birds. There are currently four green-roof Target stores in Chicago.
Target carries over 700 organic and alternative products from brands such as Archer Farms, Burt's Bees, and Method Products. They also sell clothes made from organic cotton, non-toxic cleaners, low-energy lighting and electronics, non-toxic and non-animal tested cosmetics, and furniture made from recycled materials. As of June 2007[update], Target has been offering reusable shopping bags as an alternative to disposable plastic bags. Target gift cards are made from corn-based resins. All of the stores' packaging is done with a modified paperboard/clamshell option and has goals for phasing out plastic wrap completely.
In collaboration with MBH Architects, Target's first "green" building was a 100,000+ square foot Target store built in 1995 in Fullerton, California. It was a part of the EPA Energy Star Showcase for its use of skylights that cut the original energy consumption by 24% with a 5-year payback. Target and MBH Architects were awarded the "Green Lights Partner/Ally of the Year Award".
Target is the only national retailer employing a Garment Hanger reuse program, which keeps millions of pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills. In 2007, this program prevented 434 million hangers from entering landfills.
On June 15, 2009, the California Attorney General and 20 California District Attorneys filed a lawsuit in Alameda County alleging that Target stores across the state have been illegally dumping hazardous wastes in landfills.
On October 1, 2009, Target Corporation agreed to pay a $600,000 civil penalty for importing and selling a variety of toys with lead paint levels that were higher than is legally allowed. The Consumer Products Safety Commission alleged that "Target knowingly imported and sold the illegal Chinese-made toys between May 2006 and August 2007." A similar problem occurred a few months later in February 2010, when Target pulled Valentine's Day "message bears" from its shelves at the request of the California attorney general's office. The bears, which were manufactured in China, contained more lead than is permissible under federal law for children under 12.
A class action suit was filed in 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, on behalf of consumers in Ohio that purchased Target-brand wet wipes. The lawsuit filed against Target Corporation alleges the retailer mislead consumers by marking the packaging on its up & up® brand wipes as flushable and safe for sewer and septic systems. The lawsuit also alleges that so-called flushable wipes are a public health hazard because they are alleged to clog pumps at municipal waste-treatment facilities.
In December 2013, a data breach of Target's systems affected up to 110 million customers. Compromised customer information included names, phone numbers, email and mailing addresses.  Target agreed to reimburse some costs incurred as a result of the breach to financial institutions, but has failed to reach an settlement with MasterCard over the resulting dispute. 
Target Forensic Services
In 2006, The Washington Post revealed that Target is operating two sophisticated criminal forensics laboratories, one at its headquarters and the other in Las Vegas. Originally, the lab was created with the role of investigating internal instances of theft and fraud and other criminal actions that have occurred on its own properties. Eventually, the company began offering pro bono services to law enforcement agencies across the country. Target's Forensic Services has assisted agencies at all levels of government, including federal agencies such as the United States Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The labs have become such a popular resource for law enforcement that Target has had to restrict its assistance to violent felonies.
Animal welfare concerns
In 2011, Mercy for Animals, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies, uncovered animal abuse at a Target egg supplier.
Hidden-camera footage shot at Sparboe Farms—a significant egg supplier to Target, McDonald's, Sam's Club, SuperValu, and Hy-Vee—revealed hens crammed into filthy wire cages, unable to fully stretch their wings or engage in most other natural behaviors. The investigator documented workers burning off the beaks of chicks without painkillers, torturing animals, and throwing live birds into plastic bags and leaving them to suffocate. Dead hens were left to rot alongside birds who were still laying eggs for human consumption.
The investigation received international media attention, airing first on ABC's Good Morning America, World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, and 20/20. As a result of the investigation and the public outcry that followed, Target immediately discontinued its relationship with the company.
The company states that "individuality may include a wide spectrum of attributes such as personal style, age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, physical ability, religion, family, citizenship status, socio-economic circumstances, education, and life experiences."
In February 2012 the company extended the team member discount to same-sex partners of employees. It had received a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index Score, prior to donating funds to Minnesota Forward. In addition, Target Corporation was named one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" in 2004 by Working Mother.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has repeatedly given Target failing grades on its annual Economic Reciprocity Initiative report card, a measure of the company's "commitment to the African-American citizenry". In 2003 and 2005, the NAACP has rated Target an "F" on this report; in 2004, Target was rated a "D-". In 2006, when Target was asked why it didn't participate in the survey again, a representative explained, "Target views diversity as being inclusive of all people from all different backgrounds, not just one group."
In February 2006 the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) filed a class action discrimination lawsuit in Northern California's Alameda County Superior Court, claiming that Target's commercial website contains "thousands of access barriers that make it difficult, if not impossible, for blind customers to use." Target Corporation settled the lawsuit in October 2008, paying $6 million and agreeing to work with the NFB over the next three years improving the usability of the Target.com site.
On August 24, 2009, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a discrimination lawsuit against Target Corporation for unlawfully denying reasonable accommodation to an employee with multiple disability-based impairments and substantially reducing his work hours due to the medical conditions. According to the claims in the EEOC press release, Target's actions violated Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2013)|
Target owns the naming rights to the Target Center and Target Field in Minneapolis. It also is a long-time sponsor of the IndyCar and NASCAR racing teams of Chip Ganassi Racing. Target's relationship with Ganassi in IndyCar go back to 1990, sponsoring Eddie Cheever, and some of their most famous drivers in the 1990s include Arie Luyendyk, Michael Andretti and Bryan Herta. In the late 1990s, Target Chip Ganassi Racing had a four-year run of winning championships in CART, winning 1996 with Jimmy Vasser, 1997 and 1998 with Alex Zanardi, and 1999 with Juan Pablo Montoya. Ganassi won their first Indianapolis 500 in 2000. The team moved full-time into the rival Indy Racing League in 2003, and won in its first year of full-time competition, with Scott Dixon. Dixon won the championship again in 2008. The 2009 season marked the 20th anniversary of the Target race program. Franchitti won his second career IndyCar championship, and with Scott Dixon finishing second, gave Target a one-two sweep in the IndyCar Series. Dixon and Franchitti won 10 of 17 races (Dixon-5, Franchitti-5) and tied the team record from 1998 where Alex Zanardi and Jimmy Vasser combined to win 10 in the 19-race 1998 CART season. In 2010, Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500. He also won the series championship for the Target team, by five points over second-place finisher Will Power.
Target started sponsoring stock cars in 2001 with Sterling Marlin, when Chip Ganassi bought into the Felix Sabates stock car team. In the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, the No. 41 Chip Ganassi Target car was driven by Jimmy Spencer, and from 2003 to 2005, Casey Mears drove the car. In 2006, Reed Sorenson took over the No. 41 when Mears moved to a different Chip Ganassi car on the same team. Sorenson drove the car through the 2008 season, and Target has also had some major sponsorship time on the Ganassi Racing No. 40 car with Dario Franchitti and Jeremy Mayfield who subbed for the injured Franchitti. The 40 team has since been shut down. For 2009, the Target sponsorship moved to the No. 42 driven by Juan Pablo Montoya with the newly formed Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Target also sponsored Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's No. 8 car driven by Aric Almirola, which it co-sponsors in some races with other sponsors such as Guitar Hero and TomTom until the team was disbanded in May 2009. Kyle Larson took over the No. 42 in 2014, and Target sponsored the No. 51 of Phoenix Racing for Larson's Sprint Cup Series debut.
Target Corporation is a major sponsor of the annual Minneapolis Aquatennial, where it hosts the Target Fireworks Show. It is the largest annual fireworks show west of the Mississippi River, and the fourth largest annual fireworks show in the United States.
Target also sponsors the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It hosts Target Free Friday Nights, providing to all visitors free admission to the museum during Fridays after 4 pm. The company also hosts Target First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum. A similar Target-sponsored program at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art called "Free after Five" provides free admission in the evening throughout the week. Tuesdays are free at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, courtesy of Target. In its hometown of Minneapolis, Target sponsors the Target Free Thursday Nights at the Walker Art Center, where admission is free after 4 pm as well, as in its sister-city Saint Paul, hosting "Target Third Free Sundays" at the Minnesota Children's Museum. In Boston, Target sponsors $1 Friday Nights at the Boston Children's Museum from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.
Target is the founding sponsor of the Weekend America radio program. Target often supports major awards shows such as the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, and the Golden Globes. In the past,[vague] it has participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade with a corporate float.
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- Erin Texeira (July 18, 2006). "NAACP Issues Corporate Report Cards". The Washington Post. Associated Press.
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- "EEOC Sues Target For Disability Discrimination". ABC. August 25, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- "Target Stores Sued For Disability Discrimination". Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- Ryan, Nate (October 1, 2013). "Kyle Larson to make Sprint Cup debut at Charlotte". USA Today. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
- "Target Ganassi Racing Sponsors". Chip Ganassi Racing.
- "Franchitti Savors Sweet Second Indianapolis 500 Victory". Indianapolis Motor Speedway. May 30, 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
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- "A Very Confetti New Year's". Time. January 2, 2007.
- Leebrick, Kristal. Dayton's: A Twin Cities Institution (2013)
- Rowley, Laura (2003). On Target: How the World's Hottest Retailer Hit a Bull's-Eye. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-25067-8.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Target Corporation.|
- Official website (Mobile) retailing website
- Growth of Target, 1962–2008
- Political contributions and lobbying from the National Institute on Money in State Politics
- Target Canada
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