Target vs. Walmart: which is better?


Fact Box

  • Target was founded in 1902 by George Draper Dayton in Minneapolis, MN, under the name Dayton Dry Goods Company, which became known for its “dependable merchandise, fair business practices and a generous spirit of giving.”
  • Walmart was founded in 1962 in Rogers, AR, by Sam Walton, who had successfully operated Walton’s 5&10 in nearby Bentonville. “Mr. Sam” was known for a business model based on “leadership through service.” 
  • According to, 75% of the US population lives within 10 miles of a Target store, whereas Walmart states that 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart.
  • Walmart’s total revenue for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2021, was $559 billion, while Target’s was just over $93.5 billion. 

Trinity (Walmart)

Walmart is better than Target for several reasons. Firstly, the Walmart 'Save Money. Live better.' slogan encompasses what it means to be a low-cost leader. The retail giant is so committed to having the lowest prices around that they do price matching--if a customer finds an identical product for a lower price somewhere else, Walmart will then sell the product at that price to that individual. Because of this low-price guarantee, Walmart is more accessible to the general public than Target is.

While low prices make Walmart more financially accessible, its geographic disposition contributes to its physical accessibility. Walmart has over 11,000 stores worldwide and has twenty times the market share of Target. Their dominance over the market allows them to reach more customers. 

Aside from the more extensive distribution of Walmart stores, they also offer more convenient hours of operation. Walmarts are typically open from 6 am to 11 pm, while Target is only open from 8 am to 10 pm. 

While the product selection between Walmart and Target is similar, the quantity and prices differ. Both are considered big-box retailers, but Walmart has a broader and cheaper selection of groceries. For instance, Walmart's fresh produce is $1-$2 less than Target's. Additionally, on average, Walmart Superstores are 180,000 sq. ft., allowing them to have far more variety and volume of items. Target's square footage lags behind, averaging only 130,000 sq. ft

Therefore because of its larger footprint, Walmart has a greater economic impact on communities than Target does, as it employs 2.3 million people, while Target only employs 350,000

Overall, Walmart is better for the community and the consumer. 

Anna (Target)

It’s clear that Target and Walmart are both conquering the business of general merchandise retail stores, but they’re both attacking from vastly different angles. And in this retail competition, Target undoubtedly comes out as the top contestant. 

Compared to Walmart, Target has a better shopping experience overall. Target boasts more attractive aisles, better customer service, and more family-friendly shopping. In fact, Walmart ranks much lower than Target in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which takes into account the reviews of over 70,000 customers. On top of that, customers also flock to Target for another reason: Starbucks. The familiar coffee chain has been a partner with Target since 1999 and has over 1,300 shops in Target stores.

In a study of quality versus price of items between Target and Walmart, it was found that Target--while not always having the lowest prices across all departments--still exhibits the highest quality of products all around. The departments that Target did have the lowest prices in were still a surprising majority, considering the differences between the two stores. Specifically, baby formula, diapers, laundry care, pet supplies, toys, and personal care items--all of which are essentials. 

While Target and Walmart are competitive in many different aspects, one thing continues to set Target apart: its collaborations with several exclusive brands. These include the well-known jean brand Levi Strauss, in addition to Hunter, Lilly Pulitzer, and Missoni. By offering these “exclusive” lines only at Target, Target has expanded its customer base beyond the standard retail-store expectations and has set itself apart from other general merchandise retailers, including Walmart. 

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