I just read that Target’s quarterly profit fell 8% last quarter. The same article reports that Wal-Mart’s profits rose 17% and attributed the difference to customers’ perception of Wal-Mart as the place to go for the best prices on basics, and Target as the place to for the best prices on trendy stuff. The article quotes an analyst who says Target needs to market themselves as a store that can help families save money during tough economic times.
I don’t shop at Wal-Mart because there isn’t one convenient to me, but I see many of its prices on various coupon web sites that I routinely read. And so I know that their prices seem to be lower – at least generally – compared to Target’s. In fact, Target’s prices are often higher than supermarket sale prices, especially when coupons are factored in. For example, this week, Target has Frosted Flakes cereal on sale for 2 for $5. But last week at Pavilions (a Safeway company store), there was a “super coupon” for 2 for $3.
Having said that, I still go to Target at least once a week. This week, I picked up a pack of Luvs diapers. Jumbo packs are on sale for $6.99, and I had a $5 off coupon that I’d received in the mail a while back. I’ve never tried Luvs and was waiting for a sale just like this to try them out. (Angie at Baby Cheapskate was happy with them, so I’m optimistic. I’ll let you know my thoughts after Tyler wears a few. But it’s worth noting here that the Luvs jumbo pack of size 5s contains 30 diapers, whereas the Pampers jumbo pack contains just 26.)
But I just don’t spend as much money at Target as I used to. I’ll walk past bottles of shampoo and conditioner on the clearance shelves and shake my head. I can get those for free at a drugstore, I’ll say to myself. I’ve even passed up Pampers on clearance at Target, even though I have coupons, because I can get them for even less at CVS.
Obviously, I haven’t single-handedly reduced Target’s profit by shopping there less. But if there’s a whole bunch of us that have turned to The Drugstore Game to buy what we used to get at Target, then maybe The Drugstore Game has had an impact on Target’s profit. What do you think?