I went to Walmart the other day. I needed something in the way of popsicle sticks, I knew they’d be open, and I knew they’d have them.
Now, I don’t know if it’s just my local Walmart or if it’s all Walmarts, but the difference between Walmart and Target smacks me broadside every*single*time I walk through Walmart’s automatic doors and past their “greeters” (who, judging from the way they “greet,” either operate as prison guards or participate in sleep studies in their off hours). To be fair, it’s not like the Target “greeters” in my area do a whole lot of cheer-spreading either though – they mostly look like they are just itching to get outside for a smoke with their buddies – or catch you using the wrong cart or something.
So, what is the difference between the two? I mean, they seem to cater to the same big-box, one-stop-shop-loving crowd, right? I thought about it a great deal and this is what I’ve come up with in the way of nailing the differences.
Target vs. Walmart: Top 10 Differences
While the prices are right about the same, the quality of clothes in Walmart bellow I WAS MADE IN CHINA with a force usually reserved for moving people out of the way of a fire.
Want something that’s cheaply made, will last a year and cheap – but is trendy, with strong colors and flair? Go to Target. Want something that’s cheaply made, will last a month and cheap – with weak colors that say, “I am poor”? Go to Walmart.
The people in Target look really put out when I ask them a question – usually needing to interrupt coworker chats to do so. They also usually don’t know the answer to my question. Walmart staff on the other hand, do. And they are happy to tell me – even lead me to wherever it is I need to go. “Greeters” aside, I like the staff at Walmart a lot more. Plus, they usually wear things like outrageous false eyelashes neon-bright eye shadows and such that really crack me up.
The fluorescent lights in both places wreck havoc with my brain, but of the two, Walmart’s seem dimmer. That’s usually a good thing, but in this case it isn’t. They appear dimmer in a poorly lit, low budget, seedy kind of way. I feel like I need a shower after shopping at Walmart.
There is no question that the arrangement of goods at Target is much more pleasing to the eye than at Walmart. None at all. The lighting is better, the goods are arranged in fetching displays. The aisles gleam, the wares call your name in soft, glimmering tones.
Here, for example, is an aisle at Target:
And here is one at Walmart:
I think it’s all the red, personally, that makes Target’s that much better.
Target has switched to plastic carts that are delicious to roll around. Smooth like silk, they glide all over the place. Walmart, on the other hand, has archaic carts that cling to one another like terrified bits of velcro. Target has tons of carts that accommodate more than one kid; I usually have a hard time finding any carts at all at Walmart, let alone one that will carry more than one parcel of offspring. This is kind of really a big huge deal when you are a mom.
I said above that the prices are right about the same, but I have actually found Walmart to be the more expensive of the two. This pisses me off because it’s apparent that some really poor people shop at Walmart thinking they are getting the best buy. Walmart has apparently gained the reputation as being the cheapest place to shop….but it’s not. I’m talking about the long-term cost of poor quality; I’m talking about the literal cost of the items for sale there. They are more.
The food sold in both places is pretty awful but of the two, Walmart’s is way worse. Worse quality with same or more expensive prices. Only the non-perishables looked safe-ish to me.
In the stores in my area, the people who shop at Target tend to be smartly clad, rather fashionable. Lots of white people and/or people of color who look well educated. A lot of the same type of (upper) middle class kid accessories (ergo baby carriers, BOB strollers) and Dansko-shoe-wearing Moms. You know the type. Cars in the parking lot are Prius’s or Odyssey’s with a few Civics, Corollas and Lexus thrown in. Lots of Toyota represented.
Walmart, on the other hand, has plenty of large black women who wear high platform wedge shoes, false eyelashes and tight pants that clearly show their sexy thick thighs. Big black guys wearing doo-rags. It also has lots of Mexican families, families that look on the more malnurished side of the spectrum and if they use strollers or at all, they are the flimsy umbrella type of Graco snap-n’go’s. The cars in the parking lot? Mercury’s, Neon’s, old Aerostars. American.
I very much prefer the people at Walmart. They make eye contact with me, say hi (often – excitingly – in other languages! ). They are friendly and move their carts in a considerate manner. They don’t seem as utterly self-absorbed as the shoppers in Target. Maybe that’s also a Berkeley/Oakland difference, I don’t know.
b. Lane Speed:
Target staff push you through those lanes like they are just *dying* to get outside for a smoke (and I’ll bet they are); Walmart staff wants to make sure they have interacted with each and every customer – and each and every item being purchased – and each and every bill being presented – as absolutely thoroughly as humanely possible. This can take time, but it doesn’t seem to bother people much, who have to wait around 30 minutes in the “express lane” for 2 or 3 items that they’d like to purchase.
10. Emblematic of the difference between the two: Target/Walmart meme-stuff online.
People don’t really hate Target. People really, really hate Walmart. But then again, you have to wonder if it’s just the primarily white upper-middle class that hates Walmart? They are the ones making stuff like memes up.
What I can’t help but wonder is why more of the people who shop at Walmart don’t shop at Target.
Location – nope, they are close together in my area.
Price – nope, they are comparable but I think everything considered, Target is by and large cheaper.
Service? Okay, maybe the overall service is better at Walmart.
Other customers? Maybe – they sure are nice.
I just don’t get it. There has to be something more and I don’t know what it is – do you?
Where do YOU shop?
PS2 – Bonus:
Want to see something funny? Google image this right now:
“walmart shopping funny”
And now google image “target shopping funny”