Target claims devoted partisans willing to pay slightly higher prices for products they regard as higher quality than other stores' brands, particularly the fashionable clothing lines. They also praise the calm, easy-to-navigate stores. Amenities such as full grocery departments aren't as widespread as Walmart's and additional services are fewer, although Target's credit and debit cards offer 5 percent off.
Our runner-up pick for best discount retailer, Target lays claim to the affections of a large segment of the shopping population. Our Target review concluded that cheap prices on a wide assortment of goods -- from groceries to medications to toys to clothing, housewares, electronics, auto supplies, and more -- well-run stores, and a reputation for quality offerings, often make Target the retailer of choice for thrifty consumers. A virtual shopping cart of 30 items totaled $1,866.10, which is slightly more expensive than a basket of identical and like items at Walmart and quite a bit cheaper than the same basket at Kmart. An informal poll of shoppers and reviews posted online cite factors such as products that last, value pricing, helpful employees, clean stores, and a calm atmosphere as reasons why they prefer Target over Walmart and Kmart. Experts say the upscale budget image Target nurtures is a strategy that pays off handsomely.
Our in-store shopping experience at one Target location was largely positive, as well. The only small hiccup we encountered the day we visited was the checkout line -- too many customers and too few cashiers -- but that was an issue at each of the stores we visited. Our Target review found that the clothing department excels, boasting a large selection of fashionable, affordable clothing bearing in-house labels for infants through adults. Target's proprietary line of baby products endears it to many parents, as well. The discount retailer also maintains a large electronics department with a plentiful selection of quality items at low price points and is currently expanding its grocery offerings at many locations; the range of organic food products also draws in shoppers. Target's pharmacy charges $4 for generic prescriptions and offers a rewards card that lets customers earn a 5 percent discount on one day of shopping after filling five eligible prescriptions. Health clinics operate in select Target locations in several states and some locations also operate a vision center. Target maintains a website that consumers like to grumble about in Target reviews. The site offers free shipping on select items totaling $50 or more.
You can't go wrong at Target, but you won't find quite the selection -- either online or in stores -- that you can at Walmart. Although you might pay more, a lot of consumers assert the lasting quality and better shopping experience is well worth it.