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. (…)[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=target+store&iid=1363624″ src=”6/d/1/f/Retailer_Target_Posts_eb34.jpg?adImageId=8005364&imageId=1363624″ width=”234″ height=”163″ /]
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.