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Company History and Operations

Each student will develop a case about, analyze, and make recommendations about an organization listed on Chart 2. Professor approval is required. Deliverables are a written case analysis (strategic audit) & PowerPoint presentation – 35%% of grade for class).
I. Introduction to the Organization - History of the Company & Current Status A. When was the organization founded, 
why and by whom? Discuss unusual history associated with the organization. B. Is it privately or publicly held? C. Who 
are its top executives in terms of experience, academic credentials, diversity, etc.? D. Discuss the organization’s Business

Model? E. What is the impact of globalization on this organization? F. Other information?
II. Identification of the Industry and the Competitors -- Industry definition is necessary so that competitors can be identified; macro-environmental forces that affect the organization and its industry can be assessed, and the organization’s relative strengths and weaknesses can be compared to other organizations within the industry. 
III. Analysis of the Industry (Include global considerations)
A. Strategic Group(s) in which the company exists and competitors in it/them.
B. Intensity of rivalry among existing competitors. Use Porters 5 Forces for B, C, D, E, and F. (C). Threat of new competitors entering the industry; (D) Threat of substitute products or services; (E) Bargaining power of buyers and (F) Bargaining power of suppliers
G. Potential Profitability of the Industry - What organizations have succeeded and failed in the industry and why?
H. What are the Critical Success Factors for the industry?
IV. Analysis of the Macro-Environment (Includes identification & analysis of global factors & application of analysis to business situation) 
A. What political/legal forces affect the industry?
B. What economic forces affect the industry?
C. What social forces affect the industry?
D. What technological forces affect the industry?
E. What are the threats and opportunities facing the organization?
V. What is the organization’s measurement and control system? (Include Global Considerations.)
A. Current financial position - Is the organization financially sound?
B. Compare with competitors and standards.
C. Use financial analysis tools.
D. What are the organization’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)?
VI. Analysis of the Organization (Mission, Vision, Core Values, Operating Guidelines, Core Competencies, Goals)
A. What is the mission of the organization? Has the mission changed over time?
B. What is the vision of the organization? Has the vision changed over time?
C. What are the organization’s core values and operating guidelines? Analyze current problems that conflict with the 
organization’s core values and operating guidelines.
D. What are the organization’s core competencies? How are they unique?
E. What are the organization’s broad and specific goals?
VII. Analysis of the Organization – Organization-Level and Business Unit Strategies (Identify Organizational Strategies(including Global Strategies) and Evaluate Their Application to the Organization.)

A. What are the current organization-level strategies? Business unit strategies?
B. To what extent is the organizational structure compatible with the organization’s strategies?
C. How are the strategies aligned with the goals?
D. Compare this organization’s strategies with those of competitors. 
E. Use SWOT analysis and Gap analysis to suggest strategies. 
F. Evaluate Strategy Application (advantages & disadvantages of each strategy). 
G. Key performance indicators (KPI’s) 
VIII. Analysis of the Organization – Functional Strategies. Articulate ways to coordinate use of financial & human resources and other functional areas to meet organizational goals & objectives.
A. Marketing – Finance – Operations – Purchasing – Human Resources – Information Systems
B. How well are the functional strategies aligned?
IX. Analyze organization’s improvement/change initiatives (e.g., Six Sigma, SQM, TQM, Lean Manufacturing, JIT, Process Reengineering, High Performance Work Teams, Assessment using Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria, ISO 9000, ISO 14000, Benchmarking, Balanced Scorecard, etc.)
A. Previous & current impact/success of improvement initiatives.
B. Alignment of improvement initiatives and integration into strategic management of the organization.
C. Comparison of improvement initiatives with other organizations within and outside the industry.
X. Conclusion and Future of Organization - Comment about the organization’s profile for future competitiveness and success. What does the organization have to do right to succeed (organization’s Critical Success Factors)? What are the expected results in terms of short-and long-term profitability and survival?

Company History and Operations

Target Corporation is one of the largest retailers in the United States and is only second to Walmart, the market leader in the segment in United States.  It operates as a seller of general merchandise in the United States.  Target Corporation belong to the S&P 500 index and had been founded by George Dayton (Target Corporate, 2018). The company has its headquarters in Minneapolis and initially had Goodfellow Dry Goods as the initial name in the year of 1902 which was later changed to Dayton Dry Goods Company.  However, the first target store was opened in the year of 1962 and the parent organization was named as Dayton Corporation.  The company formed a merger with J.L. Hudson Company and was renamed to Dayton-Hudson Corporation consisting of several chain of stores such as Mervyn’s, Marshall Field's, Hudson’s and Dayton’s. Target was the division have maximum sales and profit margin among all the chain of stores in Dayton- Hudson Corporations (Target Corporate, 2018).  This is the reason that organization expanded the Target chain of stores and developed the brand name.

The company is one of the largest discounters in the market and are close competitors in Walmart.  The success of the Target brand was huge in the 80s and 90s which is the reason that the name of the parent company was changed to Target Corporation.  In the year of 2004, Target Corporation divested their other food chains to focus on the development of Target brand.  The organization operates 1,822 stores in the United States of America (Target Corporate, 2018).  Target Corporation have different types of retail stores depending upon the nature of their business and they are hypermarket such as SuperTarget, flexible format stores such as TargetExpress and CityTargetand discount stores such as Target(Target Corporate, 2018).  The company is a public organization where Brian Cornell is the chief executive officer, Douglas Baker is the leading director belongs to the company Ecolab Inc and the other board members of the company are Robert Edwards, Donald Knauss, Kenneth Salazar, Monica Lozano, Calvin Darden, Mary Minnick and Dmitri Stockton.

The key executives of the organization are Brian C Cornell (Chief executive officer), Catherine R Smith (Exec VP/CFO), John J Mulligan (Exec VP/COO), Michael E McNamara (Exec VP/Chief), Don H Liu (Exec VP/Chief Legal & Risk Officer), Richard H Gomez (Exec VP/Chief Marketing Officer), Arthur Valdez (Jr Exec VP/Chief Supply Chain & Logistics Officer) and Minsok Pak (Exec VP/Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer)(Target Corporate, 2018).  The major part of the business model of target is their orientation towards the consumers, which has enable them to compete with Walmart without cutting of their prices. Walmart can provide products at minimum process due to their economies of scale but Target’s consumer assistance strategy has provided them with competitive advantage. Target have set up phones all-round the stores and consumers can call any employee to answer their questions (Wirtz et al., 2016).  The employees in the store are provided with a radio which enables them to communicate with all the employees within the store and help the consumers when needed.  The checkout linesin Target stores are also well managed the employees where they make sure that employees are able to check out as soon as possible by opening up clear lanes for them.

Leadership and Key Executives

Globalization had positive impact on Target organization and they have expanded their business in Brazil and India.  They have also launched 125 stores in Canada and supporting service affiliates in Bangalore which facilitates in centralizing the functions (, 2018). Moreover, they have been trying to develop a better ecommerce website which is a step forward in expanding their business.   The organization has 39 distribution all over the United States so that they can support the growth of the stores. Target has also made exclusive deals with well-known brands such as Marimekko, Converse, Pair of Thieves and Fiorucci.

 The retail industry in the United States is the largest market which is even 50% larger than China which is one of the fastest growing economies in the world (, 2018).  There are 12 major companies in the market that contribute to the one third of the share in the market. These are all American companies and the foreign countries have been struggling in gaining sustainable competitive advantage in the market (, 2018).  United States is densely populated consisting of metropolitan areas and suburbs and consumers in the metropolitan areas have disposable income. The majority of the purchasing of the retail products are conducted through brick and mortar stores but online retail segment have grown rapidly.

In the year of 2014, the total sales in the retail industry was 2.9 trillion, out of which only 12% was represented by non-store retailing (, 2018).  There has been permanent change in the retail environment which has resulted due to demographical change, non-store growth and decrease in store traffic. This has also resulted in the downsizing of the retail space.  However, the consumers have not reduced their purchasing intent but have become strategic while visiting retail stores. The retail industry in the United States experience downfall for a brief period due to the recession but have bounced back and is steady growing. Mixed macro-economic signals have made the consumers cautious in making a purchase. However, the disposable income of the higher income groups have increased and the gap between the low income groups and high income groups have increased significantly. This is the reason that premium supermarkets have experienced a growth rate of 12-17% (, 2018).  The mixed retailers consist of the largest segments followed by Home and Garden, and Health and Beauty.

The retail industry is highly competitive and most of the segments are highly consolidated.  The average turnover of the retail industry is 82.4 BSUD and 12 companies hold 35% of the share in the market (, 2018).  The top 10 retail companies in the United States are Wal- Mart, Kroger, Costco, Target, Home Depot, Walgreens, CVS, Lowe’s, Amazon and Safeway.

The ecommerce industry has grown significantly in the fast few years and is the fastest growing segment in the retail industry.  The demand for online accessibility has increased significantly and is expected to increase even further.  However, brick and mortar is responsible for the majority of the sales in the retail industry which amount to around 85%.  Amazon is the largest ecommerce retailer and dominates the market with 17% share (, 2018).   The United States retail market is highly saturated due to the presence of large number of global retail giants.

Target's Consumer Assistance Strategy

Target corporation face highest level of competition from Wal-Mart Stores, Costco and Amazon.  Wal-Mart Stores and Costco are quite similar to Target Corporations and there are have similar strategies as they are heavy discounters. Consumer experience and discounts are two aspects which these companies focus on as they provide staple consumer goods. Wal-Mart provides the major discount when compared to Target and Costco where consumers segment of Target and Costco are quite affluent when compared to Wal- Mart (, 2018).   The ability of connecting with the consumers and providing them and keep margin good enough to provide the investors with benefits and profits. Amazon is also causing issues for these companies due to rapid increase in the growth of online sales.

The overall value of the retail industry is USD 23460 billion measured in the year of 2017 and it is expected to reach a CAGR of 5.3% in the next five years.  This means that by the end of 2023, the retail industry is expected to reach USD 31880.8 billion(, 2018).  The retail segment has different segregation and can be classified into internet retailing, specialty retailer, convenience retailer and others.   The retail market has matured in the continents of Europe and North America and growth is quite saturated in these market. On the contrary, the growth in the markets of the developing economies are quite high and they are driving the growth in global retail industry. These constitutes Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East. Consumer spending have also increased and its accounts two-third of the global GDP which indicates the health of the retail industry (, 2018). The growth of the online retail industry has also increased significantly which has also driven the growth of the retail industry.   The technological growth in the industry has also driven the growth of the industry due to the increase in usage of the smartphones all the over the world. This has provided numerous touch points for the consumers and they can access the products from anywhere they want to.

Internet retailing has become the trend among the current generation and use of smartphones for product purchasing has increased significantly in the past 5 years.  The market size of the retail industry tripled due to the inclusion of technological gadgets which has facilitated in improving the growth of the retail industry. The Asia Pacific region is expected to grow at the fastest rate due to the increase in disposable income of the population in countries like China and India which has been experiencing high economic growth.  In countries like India, the government allows FDI of 51% for the multi brand companies and 100% for single- brand retail (, 2018).  The major players in the global retail industry are Alibaba Group Holding Limited, Best Buy Co., Inc.,, Inc., Walmart Inc., The Home Depot, Inc., Target Corporation, The Kroger Company, Tesco PLC, Metro Group AG., Costco Wholesale Corporation, Inter IKEA Systems B.V. (IKEA) andCarrefour S.A (, 2018).  The analysis of the industry shows that Target Corporation falls in the category of the mixed retailers that offer variety of consumer goods and have major global competitors of the country are CostcoWholesale Corporation, Tesco PLC, Walmart Inc.,, Inc.,Alibaba Group Holding Limited and Carrefour S.A.  This reflects the fact that majority of the global market players are direct competitors of Target Corporations.

Expansion and Exclusive Deals

The porter’s five forces is a model used by the companies to analyse the attractiveness of an industry and future prospects of opportunities and growth.  This is conducted based on the competitive trends in the market.  In this scenario, the porter’s five forces will examine the global industry to evaluate the intensity of the rivalry, threat of new entrants, threat of substitution, bargaining power of the consumers and bargaining power of the suppliers.

Intensity of rivalry among existing competitors

 The intensity of the rivalry in the retail industry is high and the competitors in the market are facing issues in developing sustainable competitive advantage in the market.  The retail industry consists of various firms of different sizes competing for share in the market. There are numerous numbers of firms in the retail market which shows that they exert strong force on the market. The variety in the retail industry is high and different companies aim to fulfil the diverse changing needs and wants of the consumers.  This also signifies strong force in the market due to the aggressiveness of the retail companies (Moatti et al., 2015). They are constantly adapting to the changing needs to the increase their share in the market. This shows that competitively rivalry and intensity is high and companies have to be innovative, competitive and consumer oriented to gain sustainable competitive advantage in the market.  In respect to Target Corporation, same thing is applicable and they are facing strong competition from the existing companies in the market.

Threat of newcompetitors entering the industry

 The retail industry is competitive and with the advent of web 2.0 and ecommerce, the threat of new entrants in the market have increased significantly. It is easier for the new entrants to enter the market even though, the industry consists of global industry giants. Small retail companies can compete with the major organization by means of specialty, location, convenience, innovation and others (Yeung & Coe, 2015). The brand development cost in the industry is moderate and cost of operating in the retail industry is quite low. The overall cost of capital in the industry is moderate and this shows that companies does not require much resources to enter into the market. The new companies can use their innovative idea to address the particular type of needs of the consumers. This means that smart and creative ways are being used by the new entrants in the retail industry where they only require a warehouse and online store to commence their business. They does not even need a brick and mortar store to sell their products which significantly shows that threat of new competition in the market is high.  This is same for Target Corporations, as there are facing strong threat from the companies that are new to the market and catering to the specific needs and wants of the consumer segment.

Threat of substitute products or services

 The threat of substituteproducts is high in the market due to the increase in the number of players in the global market.  The availability of the substitutes in the industry are high, high variety of substitutes and lower cost of substitutes. In majority of the cases, the substitutes of the products are readily available in the market and in the overall industry, the products are highly available (Asiedu, 2015). However, in case of Target corporation, the threat of substitutes are low in the market as there are only select few organization that can compete with company offering such diverse products in the market.

US Retail Industry Overview

Bargaining power of buyers

  The bargaining power of the buyers are high in the market due to the presence of the large number of consumers. It is difficult for companies to impose pressure on these consumers because of large population, small sizes of the purchases made by the consumers and high diversity of the population.  The buyer power is significantly high due to the availability of large number of substitutes in the market and the buyers can switch easily (Rothaermel, 2016).  The switching cost of the buyers are quite low so in order to increase consumer loyalty, the companies in the retail industry are using loyalty programs and developing products to address the current needs and wants of the consumers.  In case of Target corporations, as they cater to the consumers having adequate level of disposable income, they are forced to develop products that are in accordance to the needs of this segment.

Bargaining power of suppliers

 The bargaining power of the suppliers in the industry is low due to the availability of the large number of suppliers in the market.  The majority of the companies are focused on using green management as one of the facets of supply chain management and it is essential for the suppliers to meet the supplier selection criteria. This is the reason that major companies always affects the bargaining power of the suppliers as they have many options. Moreover, there are companies that use backward integration for developing in house products (Wang&Zhang, 2015). This has significantly reduced the bargaining power of suppliers due to the high number of suppliers and limited availability of the spaces in the retail stores. Target corporations also enjoys low bargaining power from the suppliers in the market due to the large number of available retailers.

 Tesco PLC. is the market leader in the United Kingdom retail industry but they have failed miserably while making an expansion  in China and United States of America. In China, Tesco was unable to understand the needs of the consumers and cultural differences.  Wal-Mart failed miserably in Germany, Sainsbury’s in Egypt, and Marks& Spencer in Europe and Best Buy in United Kingdom. This shows that making an overseas expansion is tough for even industry giants as they are unable to grasp the cultural values and diversity (Hopkins, 2015).  Tesco was only able to capture a small portion of the grocery market in China and had incurred high amount of losses.   The organization was forced to team up with local players in the market to boost their sales in China.  They merged their 131 outlets to 2,986 stores of China Resource Enterprise where Tesco was left only meager 20% share (Hopkins, 2015).  This was a desperate attempt from the parts of the company to recover their losses. They had followed the format of the hypermarkets which was extremely popular in the United Kingdom and believed that club card scheme would be able to gain the loyalty of the consumers. However, the Chinese consumers preferred shopping from different outlets and carried a many cards. Tesco also faced intense competition from the local companies that had full understanding of the market and had efficient supply chain management. This shows that it is essential for analyzing a foreign market for successful expansion strategy development.

Competition in the Retail Industry

The critical success factor for the retail companies that are more focused on brick and mortar stores are branding, store experience, personal touch and inventory control. Brand equity is a key factor for the companies as the consumer relate a product segment with the brand image. The next factor is developing a unique and satisfying store experience for the consumers. There are consumers that are more focused on the overall shopping experience and facilitates that the retail companies provide to the customers.  The next factor is adding personal touch to the services so that the consumers can avail customized service as per the needs (Luthra, Garg&Haleem, 2016). This is a crucial factor in the industry as the companies prefer to have customize service and it is a key criteria for retaining the consumers.  The effective management of the inventory is another factor for the companies for achieving economies of scale and delivering products and services at competitive pricing in the market. These factors are crucial for the modern retail industry and their sustainable competitive advantage.

Political/Legal Forces

· Trade policies in different operating markets affects the operation

· Public policy process participation

· High supplier compliance standards

· Social and political issues involvement

Economic Forces

· Retail sector is experiencing slowdown in developing countries and high growth rate in the developing countries

· Globalization facilitated free trade and new untapped markets are available

Social Forces

· Consumer preferences are changing rapidly

· Increase in diversity in the global market

· Increase in disposable income in the developing economies

Technological Forces

· Technological insourcing and increase in technological availability

· Developing countries becoming technological sound


·  Difficulties in adapting to new environment and market conditions

· Intense competition in the local and the global market


· Development of online retail stores

· Expansion of the food retail in  the industry

Table 1: Pestle Analysis

(Source:, 2016)

 Target corporations have a market cap of USD $33.74B and the majority of the investors consider it too big a company to go bankrupt.  The debt to equity ratio of companies vary depending upon the industry and some companies use more debt financing than other companies.  According to the thumb, a debt to equity ratio of less than 40% is considered to be healthy for any company (Kinsey, 2018). In case of Target Corporation, their debt to equity ratio is more than 100% which signifies the fact that the company more debt than their net worth.  Therefore, Target corporations will face difficulty in meeting their debt obligations during the times of financial crisis (Kinsey, 2018).  However, there are different ways of examining the sustainability of the level of debt and it can said that a company generating thrice the amount of its interest payment is sound financially.  In case of Target Corporations,  the earnings of the company excessively covers the interest as ratio is 8.58x and this means that companies are ready to invest in such companies as the payback is safe

This figures clearly show that organization has been facing immense pressure from the market but have a stable position. However, in order to gain majority of the shares, it is essential for Target Corporation to improve their operational processes and strategies.

The key performance indicators of the company are as follows:

  • Financial health of the company
  • Intrinsic value of stock
  • Earnings consistency
  • Total Debt to equity ratio
  • Quarterly EPS change
  • Annual earnings growth
  • P/E ratio
  • Current price levels

Providing superior quality of products in reasonable price range was the primary mission of this organization at the very initial stage of Target Corporation. With the gradual flow of time, the organization has decided to incorporate additional core values for gaining competitive advantages. In the mission of maintaining business sustainability the organization has rendered innovation within services to grab customers’ attention. Emergence of rendering business innovation within services has become one of the most effective missions to achieve organizational goals and objectives.

The primary vision of this organization is to expand their entire business in the international market.

Ecommerce and Brick-and-Mortar Ratio

Target Corporate is the second largest retailers in the United States. They are devoted to satisfying their customers and bringing about more innovation in their services. Over the years they have been concentrating on bringing about different innovative and dynamic techniques in their production process so that they can increase the quality and the quantity of the goods and services being provided by them.  They have been working hard in bringing about many changes within their organizational set up (Groysberg et al., 2018). In other words, they have focused on bringing many changes and development in the internal affairs of their company. Some of the areas where they have been focusing over the years are hiring more number of employees, strengthening their delivery services.

Their main vision was to increase their international presence so that they can become more popular and can focus on their brand loyalty. In order to stay in the tough competitive retail market in the United States, they have to develop an international presence and provide their customers some extra additional benefits that they are not getting anywhere else.

They have also realized that the customers in this modern marketing scenario are searching for some extra added benefits. They have carried on an extensive research and development procedure in order to do an in-depth market survey. They have got this result that the customers are looking for some additional services like same-day delivery, order picks up, drive up services and several other facilities. This will help them to develop a greater connection with the customers. They have also started investing a lot in the e-commerce domain so that they can sell their products online. They have realized that in order to connect with the customers better they have to develop many innovative and dynamic online strategies. However, their online strategies have not been successful so far. They have to undertake a number of digital facilities so that they can make their online sales much more user-friendly and profitable (Todor, 2016).

The core values of the organization are to give a boost to the purchasing power of their potential customers and also to fulfills the needs and demand of their customers. They always try to follow the policy of constant improvement by bringing in the best innovative techniques within their products and selling services. One of their major goals was to provide good quality products at a discounted price so that the customers can make better purchases and can be satisfied at the same time. One of their major concepts was the discount retail shopping.

They had to survive in a very tough and highly competitive market. At the same time, they had to carry on their operations along with the leading supermarket chains that are Walmart. The organization operates 1,822 stores in the United States of America (Target Corporate, 2018).  They have also opened many new discount stores like the TargetExpress and CityTargetand discount stores such as Target.

They realized that along with the brick and mortar stores they also have to develop many online stores as well. As a result of this, they started investing in developing many e-commerce sites (Lamberton & Stephen, 2016). One of the major operating guidelines was to concentrate on all the store operations like the design, customer service, product inventory, administration, cash, fraud, and internal controls. It is seen that they have to apply more effort in order to strengthen their online sales. In comparison to their competitors, they are lacking in some of the other places in terms of online sales or the e-commerce presence.

The core competency of this company is satisfying the needs of the customers and also trying to give a greater impetus to the buying behavior of the potential customers. It can be seen from the history of the company that they are dedicated to their CSR activities as well. Dayton who was the then owner of the company (Dayton) was involved in many charitable activities. One of their uniqueness is that they keep on finding many innovative strategies that will help in keeping their customers happy even during the holiday seasons (Nguyen & Nguyen, 2017). This is because they always keep the needs and demands of their customers in the top of their priority list. Target Corporate has realized that they have the opportunity of making the maximum amount of sales during the times of holidays. So, they decided to hire some temporary workers as well.

This is one of their greatest uniqueness as many stores would not invest money for some employees who will be working on a temporary basis (Chiu, Lin & Han, 2015). The company decided to hire about 880,000 workers who would be working only during the holiday season so that the work does not get hampered during the times of festive and holidays. They have also given a considerable thought to the welfare of their employees. It is for this reason that they have decided to increase the pay of the workers. Each employee would get $12 per hour. It has been increased from $11 to $12 per hour.

The board and specific goals of the company are to creating their presence over the internet or the online domain. They have set different goals and objectives in order to make sure that they can gain profit in the long run. One of their major broad goals is to promote the welfare of the customers by serving them on all year round basis. It is for this reason that they started developing the strategy of hiring temporary workers who would be helping using the times of festive or holidays. Target corporate realized that they have to make sure that the customers are not getting disappointed due to any quality issue in the services provided by the Target corporate company. The specific goals are to increase their online presence by investing in the latest digital technologies (Kannan, 2017). This would ensure that they are being able to satisfy the customers with the different facilities like same day delivery, pick up from the store, drive, and sale, prepare and customize a box and many other such facilities.

The current organizational strategies of Target Corporation include combining its top line innovation, exceptional consumer service along with extraordinary value at attractive prices to all its target consumers through employing their strategy of “Expect more, pay less @ brand promise” (Jarzabkowski & Kaplan, 2015). Organization level strategy of the company also includes expanding in other nations other than its home country through developing brand exclusive organic lines. This can also make consumers aware of its product offerings along with benefits that can be attained by them through their value-added product sale discounts. In addition, the business unit strategies of the company include diversifying the product and service ranges as per needs of international consumers, maintaining will connected logistics services and offering convenient online shopping (Morse, 2015). The business unit strategies of Target Corporation also include focus on leveraging all the aspects of their integration strategy in order to attract huge consumer base.

Target Corporation has an extensive organizational structure that facilitates them in offering a well-diversified product offering at better prices. The company’s organizational structure is functional that makes it organized along with that the management team is well executed (Bock et al., 2016). Such organizational structure is deemed support the organizational strategies of Target Corporation. The organizational structure facilitates in attaining resources, marketing and management expertise shared in all its business units in maintaining an effective and profitable organization. With its highly effective and organized management structure the innovation strategy of the company has been profitable in making positive imprint on the industry (Kouamé & Langley, 2018). The organizational structure of the company is functional and follows bottom-up communication which makes the company’s internal logistics structure strong. This structure is compatible in implementing its strategy of increasing geographical coverage in distribution centers.

Business goals of Target Corporation is to develop an effective website that can attract huge consumer base. In order to attain this goal, the company has implemented strategy of developing an exceptional target community (Seidl & Whittington, 2014). This strategy has been implemented very effectively as it enables its target consumers to find a local store, attaining gift registry and attaining free shipping during holidays. Another business goal of Target Corporation is to decrease the carbon footprint in order to attain this goal, the company has implemented a strategy of implementing energy management system and considering effective use of energy (Palinkas et al., 2015). This strategy of implementing energy management system is focused on monitoring feasibility of retrofitting stores with on-site energy systems along with encompassing renewable energy like the solar cells along with technology of fuel cells. This strategy is aligned with its business objective of decreasing carbon footprint and attaining sustainability (Liu, Li, & Tsai, 2017).

In comparison to its major competitor Walmart, Target Corporation’s organizational strategies is effective enough in developing enjoyable shopping experience for all its consumers (Bedford, Malmi & Sandelin, 2016). In addition, the company is observed to implement an effective strategy of presenting itself as a middle-class brand. This has facilitated Target Corporation to attract consumers those consider traditional discount stores such as Walmart distasteful or lower class (Duffy & O’Rourke, 2015).


· Strong brand name

· Profitable market segments like fashion and household furnishings


· Failed to change its business model to adapt with competitive environment

· Poor e-commerce efforts in comparison to competitors


· Can attain increased consumer traffic through online sales

· Can attain strong expertise in retailing and become more urbanized


· Less being power due to falling incomes in US

· Offering low prices and convenience shopping by its competitors

Business goals of Target Corporation is to develop an effective website that can attract huge consumer base. In order to attain this goal, the company has implemented strategy of developing an exceptional target community (Bromiley & Rau, 2014). Disadvantage associated with this strategy is that Target is not diversified as its competitor retail giants such as Amazon.

Another business goal of Target Corporation is to decrease the carbon footprint. In order to attain this goal, the company has implemented a strategy of implementing energy management system and considering effective use of energy (Elmes & Barry, 2017). Disadvantage related with this strategy is that Target Corporation failed to change its business model in making its ore environment friendly and convenient.

The key performance indicators of the Target Corporation are explained below these have facilitated the organization in sustaining its competitive position in Australia:

  • Financial health of the company has enhanced by 12%
  • Intrinsic value of stock has enhanced by 5.90%
  • Earnings consistency of the company has enhanced by 10%
  • Total Debt to equity ratio of the company has increased by 12%
  • Quarterly EPS change is observed to be increased by 6 TGT
  • Annual earnings growth is observed to increase by percentage of 20%
  • P/E ratio of Target Corporation has increased by 17.7
  • Current price levels of the retail company are observed to be stocks trading with 10% and attaining price of 52 weeks high that is to $65.8

The marketing department of the Target corporate is working very hard in order to open a greater number of shopping outlets in and around the region. They have realized that in this modern scenario they need to make their marketing much more innovative and customer friendly. In order to do so, they have to invest more in their online sale services. It is for this reason that they have opened about 39 new outlets in and the US and at the same time, they are investing in giving a boost to their online presence. They have to use their financial resources in order to make their stores much more organized and customer friendly. They have to improve both in terms of physical store sales and online sales as well.

They have to open up more friendly purchasing options for their customers. They have to realize this fact that in order to say in the proper competition they need to make more discount offers for their customers. They have to provide a similar competition to Walmart and it is for this reason that they need to develop a stronger connecting with the customers. They will have to sell their product at a lower price and also open up many discounts and free gifts.

Human resource is, however, doing a good role by hiring the sufficient amount of manpower that is needed in order to increase the seasonal sales. They have decided to hire about 80000 temporary workers who would be helping to balance the huge work pressure during the times of seasonal holidays.

It seems that Target corporate needs to work hard in order to align some of its functional strategies. For an instance, they have to work over their business operations in the context of online sales. It is high time that Target corporate realizes the need of main some more investment for the purpose of getting some efficient and innovative sales (Sisodia & Reddy, 2019). In order to fulfill their slogan, expect more and pay less, they have to give much more attention over their financial and operational domain.

 They have undertaken the reconstruction and the refurbishment of about 600 stores. On the other hand, they also need to offer more lucrative offers to their customers. In other words, they have to offer more discounts and lower-priced products to their customers. In order to do this, they have to use their financial resources in a very organized manner. They will also have to invest a good amount of their, money over their e-commerce marketing (Lamberton & Stephen, 2016). Target corporate has to develop in the field of digital marketing technologies so that they can satisfy the needs and demands of a large number of customers. They have to be much more apt, active and organized so that the customers can actually start testing the advantages that are being provided by the Target corporate company.

It is the duty of the HR department to make sure that the customer grievances are being taken to the notice of the company so that they can work on taking the proper steps. They can actually get a good R&D team that will be working for doing an in-depth market survey and customer feedback analysis. The HR department might also focus towards the recruitment of some good relationship managers who will be working over the development of the customer and company relationship. Similar to Macy and Walmart, Target corporate might also start investing in getting their trial rooms properly decked up with a greater number of lights and a large space as well. They have also talked about creating online mobile payment options. However, these are just the announcements that have been made so far. So, it is time that Target must gear up towards making all these promises true and actually implements the same in their operations.

Target Corporation has implemented certain initiatives so that it could ensure success in the current competitive business environment (Whittington, 2017). The organization believes in continual improvement along with aligning its products to the varying needs of the customers. According to the perspective of the management of Target Corporation, such alignment would result in product success. However, with the changing tastes and preferences of the customers, the product strategies need to be aligned with them. In opposition, the products become obsolete and the customers might not like them anymore (Ismyrlis & Moschidis, 2015). Some of the improvement initiatives undertaken by Target Corporation to ensure success include the following:

Six Sigma:

Target has undertaken the Six Sigma initiative and named the same as “6Sigma@Target” to identify it as its own. With the help of this initiative, the organization has achieved its business mission and vision, as its objective is to provide maximum customer satisfaction (Dale, Dehe & Bamford, 2016). The organization has stayed true to growing and integrating Six Sigma across the business. As a result, the technology has been integrated into its various business operations including Information Technology, Accounting and Finance, Property Management along with Distribution, Supply Chain and Logistics. As per the corporate social responsibility report of Target, an environment-friendly Six Sigma project is portrayed, which have identified factors like recycle rates and their possible improvements based on which the organization has rolled out the project to distribution centers and additional stores. Leverage is particularly strong in the retail sector, in which the store level projects could be rolled out and the income has the ability to be multiplied by the number of store chains. The management of Target has been focusing on other initiatives like rain checks and transitions all the year. Improvements have been found in both these areas with the help of Six Sigma methodologies for more careful analysis and measurement of business success. Thus, Six Sigma has assisted in maintaining effective sustainable process improvements (Sallis, 2014).  

Total Quality Management (TQM):

Target Corporation has implemented TQM so that the product quality could be improved continually available to the customers. The organization has adequate tools and process for assuring product quality and safety at all production stages. Before the start of production, the officials of Target audit the factories along with meeting the manufacturers and vendors. The products to be sold under Target brand should pass all testing before obtaining approval for shipment. Thus, adequate checks are conducted whether the products meet the desired quality mentioned in ISO standards. If the organization finds any problem with its products, investigations are conducted and they are removed immediately from the stores and

As Target Corporation is one of the leading US retailers, improvement initiatives are always undertaken. These are mainly conducted for managing and enhancing quality initiatives for ensuring product safety and quality. Target has developed risk-based product safety and quality program across 10 nations and 1,744 factories manufacturing Target products. In this process, the organization needs independent third party testing for validating quality and safety before the customers buy the products (Target Corporate, 2018). The vendors are expected to deploy effective practices that constitute of clearly-defined and well-documented quality and manufacturing procedures like record keeping and employee training. By using the vendor qualification assessment technique for the imported products and factories, it becomes possible to analyze the abilities of the factories and vendors in delivering safe, consistent and quality outcomes. For some product categories that are regulated highly, Target uses “Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Audit” as a minimal need in relation to production facilities. In 2017, the organization conducted 1,630 factory evaluations at the facilities of the vendors.

At the time of production, Target carries out risk-based product inspections. These inspections might take place at multiple phases starting from product manufacture to shipment (Ross, 2017). The staffs of Target or any third party appointed by the organization conduct these inspections that take into account visual analysis of the product for assuring that aesthetic appearance, packaging, measurements and labeling fulfill the needs of Target Corporation (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). If the products of the organization do not fulfill its requirements, the product shipment might be stopped until replacements or reworks take place. In 2017, the team members of Target and independent third parties carried out 49,033 product examinations.

If there is recall of any product, the organization assures that the same is not sold by issuance of a lock on the item number at the cash registers as well as the online platforms. Moreover, the staffs of the organization communicated with the customers purchasing any recalled item on or utilized a Redcard in stores. Moreover, the customers always find could find updated recall information from the in-store iPads, Facebook page of the organization and the link of recalls on

The main competitors of Target are identified as Wal-Mart and Amazon operating in the retail sector of US. Both organizations have presence in the form of stores and online platforms. Both these organizations believe in adopting innovative practices based on which they provide varieties of products to the customers (Oakland, 2014). These organizations are coming up with innovative products in their websites and the strategies are designed in such a way so that the customers could be attracted. However, in terms of quality, both Wal-Mart and Amazon use Just-in-Time manufacturing technique for ensuring that their products meet the desired standards. Along with this, both Wal-Mart and Amazon both use balanced scorecard approach for evaluating their strategic positions (Beare, Caldwell & Millikan, 2018). If any weakness is identified, corrective actions are undertaken accordingly. Thus, these organizations follow psychological pricing strategy for attracting the attention of the customers, which, in turn, would assist in generating sales revenues for the organizations.


The objective of the paper is was to analyse the strategies implemented by the selected organization Target Corporation along with measuring its effectiveness. It has been gathered that Target Corporation have different types of retail stores depending upon the nature of their business and they are hypermarket such as Super Target, flexible format stores such as Target Express and City Target and discount stores such as Target. Moreover, Target corporate realized that they have to make sure that the customers are not getting disappointed due to any quality issue in the services provided by the Target corporate company. The specific goals are to increase their online presence by investing in the latest digital technologies. They have set different goals and objectives in order to make sure that they can gain profit in the long run. One of their major broad goals is to promote the welfare of the customers by serving them on all year round basis. It is for this reason that they started developing the strategy of hiring temporary workers who would be helping using the times of festive or holidays. Target corporate realized that they in future have to make sure that the customers are not getting disappointed due to any quality issue in the services provided by the Target corporate company. At the time of production, Target carries out risk-based product inspections. These inspections might take place at multiple phases starting from product manufacture to shipment. The staffs of Target or any third party appointed by the organization conduct these inspections that take into account visual analysis of the product for assuring that aesthetic appearance, packaging, measurements and labeling fulfill the needs of Target Corporation. Moreover, in future the company have to provide a similar competition to Walmart and it is for this reason that they need to develop a stronger connecting with the customers. They will have to sell their product at a lower price and also open up many discounts and free gifts.


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