Is Wal-Mart copying Target or is it the other way round?

With competition becoming tougher by the day, it is no wonder that top two names in the U.S. retail universe are looking at each other for policy cues. It would not be long when we in India also start witnessing this phenomenon. Following is an interesting story that has appeared in the Blogging Stock. Fortwayne, the link of which has been provided, also has similar story:

wallmartphotoTarget Corporation being so successful in being the larger version of the “anti Wal-Mart” in many respects, America’s second-largest discount retailer seems to have found a magic formula for competing with the scale and low-price strategy of Wal-Mart. In fact, Target has done so well, it’s not surprising that Wal-Mart is now examining Target’s strategy in detail to see if it can take marketshare away from Target.targetlogo

Target’s now perceived to be a “cooler” and more affluent store, with higher-end goods — and margins, probably — combined with a public perception of being the discount retailer that does not drive small businesses out of business or that haves constant issues that always crop up with Wal-Mart about labor and employee health insurance. Truth is, Target may have some of these issues, but the iconic Target sure doesn’t get the attention that Wal-Mart seems to invite, being the biggest target after all.

But when Target copies Wal-Mart’s new generic prescription drug program a few hours after Wal-Mart announced theirs, this kind of smacked of being a strategy copier. Not that this is bad – it happens constantly and is even expected. Bold new moves by any company in any industry are usually copied in some form by the competition out of fear of customer loss. But, is Wal-Mart really “out-Targeting Target” as this article suggests? I’m not sure Wal-Mart’s bold new generic drug pricing plan was something Target would do to grow sales and get new customers in the door. Wal-Mart seems hell-bent on getting foot traffic to increase in its stores, which is easily evident by all the recent strategy moves that should result in that fact.



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