Wal-Mart and Target: A duelling history of the two biggest boxes





...Each has its loyalists — and no wonder. The stores market vastly different versions of American exceptionalism: Wal-Mart champions efficiency, thrift. Target offers style, aspiration. Wal-Mart gives us low prices on everything we need; Target tells us what we want....

In 1962, the Dayton Co. opened its first Target store at 1515 W. County Rd. B in Roseville, Minn. The five grandsons of company founder George Dayton hatched the idea for an upscale discount chain based on their existing low-priced Downstairs Store.

“What made them so successful is that they’ve been very clever at executing on their core mandate: They are the upscale discounter,” said Laura Rowley, author of “On Target: How the World’s Hottest Retailer Hit a Bull’s-Eye.” “Bruce Dayton used that language in 1962. The family understood the department store model and made investments in customer service.”...



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