Thursday, January 12, 2006

a struggling Target?

I was at Target yesterday, and I have this strange feeling whenever I am at this place. It is in a shopping center, not too far from an airport and a horse track. But there is very little drive-by traffic. It always seems empty, and I don't know why. It's a Target, after all, and they have market researchers. What is the problem? Why are there only 10-15 shoppers in the building at the busiest time of the typical day (5pm)? The Stop & Shop next door isn't much better, and I feel that they may have tried to extend the retail properties of the area just a little too far. A mile away lies the busiest, densest shopping strip around (route 16 from Medford to Revere) and it just doesn't spread over that way. Also, there are four other Targets within a 20 minute drive. So, densification has a limit in retail, as Krispy Kreme and Boston Market have found out.

Anyway, I was suprised to find out just what the market is for product placement in supermarkets. After reading some second hand discussion, it seems that the store expects to break even on the sales and turn a profit on the placement fees. I guess this means that you might as well start buying the items at eye level and on endcaps, because they are priced at the closest to cost. Reverse everything you knew.

Finally, a dream that came to me last night. You are in an airport running to catch flight 853 to dallas, and you find that all of the waiting terminal space in the concourse has been converted to shopping. There is nowhere to sit down without incurring some sort of fee. You search in vain, and eventually find a small sign that says, simply, "gates this way". Through the door, outside, you find yourself given the keys for a large buick and directions to the small tent that has been erected for entering the airplane, three miles down the road.

I suppose it suggests the full encompassing of shopping, to the point that there isn't room for anything else. That's the endgame.

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