Target White Marsh, Maryland
It is with a heavy heart, that on this day, I have decided to end my 10 year relationship with Target.
For the past 10 years, Target has always been there for me. Through good times and bad times, I could always count on Target to help me muddle through the struggles of balancing home life, and work. Target was my release. Oh how I would roam the aisles aimlessly, filling my cart with great treasures for me, my kids or my home. Target has been there for the emergency late night diaper or Tylenol runs and the oh-so-needed late night Caramel Macchiato from their Starbucks to help me get through the long nights with a newborn. It has been there for birthdays, holidays, decorating my new home, my kids first day of school, breakfasts, lunches and dinners etc. My life and my home depended on Target. Target was an everyday part of all of us. My grocery shopping was mainly done at target and everything I needed was there. It was MY bulls-eye, minutes from my home and rarely disappointed me. Wal-mart? pshhh, I couldn’t and didn’t want to be bothered. Target had everything I needed and everything my heart desired. . . until one day.
In July and I was in the Florida keys for a month. When I returned home the first store I went to was Target. Oh the joy of entering through the sliding glass doors, my hair blowing from the ice-cold air-conditioning on a hot summer’s day. As I grabbed my cart, I caught the smiles of my favorite Starbucks employees. It was like they have been waiting for me. I pointed my finger ahead and waved as I threw my purse in my big red cart and made my way down the aisles. I didn’t have to speak, they knew my point and wave meant I was going to get my Starbucks after I checked out. I was too anxious to see all I had been missing the past month. Oh it had been a long time, I was ready, ready for whatever Target may have for me.
It was the first week of August, so I decided to grab school supplies for my children. I debated ordering them all on Amazon, but my best friend told me that was lazy. So why not just get them at Target I said. I mean target always had EVERYTHING I needed. As crazy as this may sound, I had a twinge of guilt every time I ordered something from Amazon I knew I could’ve picked up at Target. As my red cart pulled to the back of the store I could not believe what I was seeing. This couldn’t be MY Target. All out of everything! There was not a folder or black and white composition notebook in sight. As all the other mom’s were frustrated, I rushed to the stationary/office supply aisle. That aisle has saved me every year. It was like the secret jewel of missing school supplies. I always found what I was looking for in the stationery/office supply aisle. But this time it was different, they had nothing. Target was completely out of school supplies. I couldn’t believe it. I decided to just continue my shopping. Since I shop at Target a few times a week, I knew they would stock up and next time I came in, they would have what I needed. Yes, I could’ve ordered everything from Amazon and have it delivered to my home for free, but my loyalty lies with Target. . .I would not give up on them. As I made my way through the rest of the store, everything was different. They had changed so much in a month, I couldn’t believe it. The shelves weren’t as nice and fully stocked as I remember. Target had changed. I grabbed what I needed (what they actually had in stock) and made my way to the register, proceeded to Starbucks and then I left. I really didn’t give it another thought. This was my Target store, I believed in them and I was certain they wouldn’t disappoint me.
I visited Target a few more times that week and they were still out of everything. One would think Target would make sure they kept stock of school supplies, but they didn’t. Over the next 2 weeks I had visited Target at least 8 times, and every time I found myself disappointed. I finally cracked and went to Staples and a few other stores to get what I needed for back to school. This was when I finally questioned if I can truly depend on Target to keep my household running. I believe now that this was the beginning of the end.
I still visited the store at least 3 times a week and every time I went in there, I experienced another issue. It was so frustrating. I finally decided to talk to the management team on the floor because I-had-enough! I went to do my grocery shopping and all the meats, eggs, etc were gone. The manager told me they were redoing the cold grocery section. It was 10am on a Monday morning. This is when all the stay at home moms go to Target. It was our routine, get the kids off to school, hit Target and Starbucks. I couldn’t understand why this wasn’t something they could do on the overnight shift. They have a night crew to stock the shelves. The manager then told me corporate cut the overnight shift. At that moment, it was all beginning to make sense. I looked at him with disbelief and asked if this is going to be something that happens all the time? He looked at me with a crooked smile and shrugged his shoulders. The other manager promised me that they were doing all they can to guarantee I have a pleasurable shopping experience. He promised me it would get better. . .This was over two months ago. It never got better.
I went to Target two days ago and I found myself so frustrated. It’s like I was surrounded by Target employees stocking the shelves. I couldn’t even get my cart down the aisles! It was a disaster. They were putting out all the Christmas stuff which made it virtually impossible to get near the end of the store. Everywhere I turned, all I saw were red shirts and cardboard boxes. I didn’t even go through half of the store when I decided to checkout. I was so frustrated, I completely bypassed Starbucks. I didn’t even need to bring my cart out of the store, I bought so little that I was able to hold my packages and walk to my car. My Target receipt that day was for $64.36 In 10 years this may have happened once or twice. I never spend less than $100 at MY target even on the days I swore I was only running in for one thing. I mean, can we really just run into Target for one thing? No. . .
So I tried again today. Just a few hours ago, I felt compelled to go to Target. I needed a set of Christmas lights, shampoo, plus a few other household necessities. I couldn’t believe it. It was happening again. Red shirts and cardboard boxes everywhere! But this time, there were more. I had to leave my cart at the end of the aisle just to grab shampoo. Target employees were crowding the way stocking the shelves at 10:30 am. I ran into Kyle one of the store managers and he just looked at me. I said, you’ve got to be kidding me, I can’t shop. I mean I cannot fault the employees, they are just doing their job! He just looked at me and said, I am so sorry. So am I Kyle, so am I. I grabbed my $73.46 worth of stuff and left the store, once again bypassing Starbucks.
During the drive home I was just lost in thought. I realized that Target was no longer able to bring me happiness. After all these years, Target had changed. They didn’t take into consideration their customers, they are only concerned about cutting costs. For 10 years I have been a VERY loyal Target shopper. I was Target’s #1 Cheerleader, I was 100% Team Target! But the past few months or so, our relationship has been very one-sided. I continued to be loyal, as they continued to change. . .change for the worse. Once I got home I decided to call the Corporate office in Minneapolis. I mean someone there would listen right? I am a very good customer and Target must value their customers right? The Minneapolis corporate office phone number is rerouted to South America. When I asked the woman on the phone if this was the corporate office, she answered yes. When I asked if she was located in the United States she answered no, and told me she was located in South America. Targets corporate office is located in Minnesota, not South America. This was a clear indication that Target did not care about the views of their customers. It was at that moment I decided to end my relationship with Target. I finally realized, although Target made me extremely happy for many years, the past few months of shopping there has made me miserable.
If I were in the corporate office or the CEO of Target, I would be nervous. You have lost an extremely loyal 10 year customer. Amazon.com is giving many big box stores a run for their money. I will now shop elsewhere for my groceries and depend on Amazon.com for the rest. Goodbye Target, I will probably always remember the good times, and I may even miss you, but you’ve changed and I deserve better. I deserve to be able to walk down the aisles while I am shopping. We’re over, done, finished! You definitely missed the bulls-eye with me.