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Target Stores Provide Great Customer Service & Best Practices

August 24, 2009

This past week I personally witnessed a few retailing Best Practices at a Target® store in Arizona. My husband and I drove our youngest son to college last Wednesday. This is not a new task for us, this is our third time bringing a college freshman to school to move into a dorm room. You would think by the third time we would have everything that we need, especially since we had already shopped at Target® and Bed Bath & Beyond close to our home in Southern California. But there is always something that you missed packing. We loaded up two cars and headed southeast along with many other parents and their children.

Thursday morning was move in day, we arrived early, my son registered in his dorm and we were given 30 minutes to unload our cars along the sidewalk then move the items upstairs. The staff directing this process wanted one person to stay with the car at all times, so I volunteered to stay. I had a birds eyeview of every other kids belongings piled up along the sidewalk. It was evident that most students shopped at Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, as well as, a few others I’m sure.

Once the cars were unloaded and the items hauled to the dorm room, we were instructed to move our car to a parking lot so other families could utilize the spaces closest to the building. The entire process was very organized and we were done setting up my son’s room within two hours time. You can just imagine the three of us in this small room along with the roommate and his 4 other family members, it was quite a scene.

After setting up everything that we brought with us, both families made a list of more items that were needed. We set off for the closest Target® to campus, as many more families did, too. As we entered the Target® we were greeted by a few employees. Target® set up bins by the front door with $1 items that would be useful for school. Target® advertises to a target audience with catchy phrases, "Get More Out of College for Less" and "One Stop Shop from Bedding to Kitchenware, find Dorm Essentials at your Local Target®" As we progressed further into the Target® store employees were stationed at the end of numerous aisles and all through out the aisles that housed anything that a college student might need for a dorm room or apartment. Target® utilized merchandise strategies such as display design, cross merchandising, visual merchandising and merchandise mix on shelf space. It was very obvious to my husband and I that  Target® not only created a superior strategic plan for this segment of business, they also planned well, practiced and executed a retail practice that answered the college shoppers behavioral tendencies. The sales force operated liked a well oiled engine, offering assistance before the customer even had to ask, by personally showing customers the various selections that were being offered and helping the multitude of people trying to complete their college shopping.

The end caps displayed many items that college girls and guys might want for their rooms. The products that were very popular with the students could be found in more than one place in the store, for ease of shopping.  Target® got it right!!

This Best Practice will create Customer Loyalty for the future. These same strategies, operations and retail practices can be applied to any retail establishment. First you must identify your target audience, then study their shopping behavior so that you can design a strategic plan to build customer loyalty to your store.

Kudos to Target® in Tucson, Arizona for providing a delightful shopping experience at a momentous time in a parent and college students life.

You have earned my loyalty!

These are my outside views…Marcia Blake