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Cecile Corral

Target homogenizes home

February 25, 2009

Listened to Target’s fourth quarter call yesterday and was not surprised to hear
its home business was down, again.

With home performance lackluster for several quarters now, the chain is planning
to edit its home skus and consolidate the category’s brand offerings this year,
while at the same time ramping up consumables and pharmacy-related assortments.

Disappointing. To me, Target is just homogenizing home, giving its millions of
shoppers fewer decorating choices and limited levels of quality and price
points. 

Instead, it’s feeding me more food products and more medicines and more makeup.

Why? I already have several pharmacies where I can not only buy Tylenol, diapers
and my lipstick but milk, bread and even fresh fruit. What I can’t buy at my
neighborhood CVS is a good set of sheets or a soft bath rug or a pretty dec
pillow to dress up my old sofa, which needs to stick around a little longer.

I worry Target will trim down home offerings to the point where likely I’ll see
the same dec pillows dressing the sofas of my friends and family. 

Boring.  

I realize I need to wait and see these changes as they actually happen. But I’m
worried the customer like me who instead of browsing Target’s home section will
turn her attention to other retailers for a breath of fresh air.

And once that happens, it’s going to be hard to convince her to come back for
something other than Archer Farms chips & salsa and a six-pack of Coke Zero.