Monday, September 25, 2006

Missing the Target

We have been loyal Target shoppers for all the 13 years we lived in Minneapolis. Target had good values, great customer service, convenient locations, and creative designs by designers like Michael Graves. Target was a store that seemed to model progressive care for its employees and energetic involvement in the community. We were hooked on Target. So hooked that when we moved to California over a year ago, we made weekly (now every two weeks) 40 mile trips from Santa Barbara to the nearest Target in Ventura.
But we began noticing a difference here. At first we attributed it to regional differences; different customer preferences, different staffing configurations, maybe even different management. But today our experience was really different. Martha needed to replace her old analogue Timex watch. We found just what she was looking for and asked the jewelry person if she could remove a couple of links to fit Martha's small wrist. Abruptly she said "We don't do that." Martha objected that she purchased a similar Timex at a Target years ago and they routinely removed some links to fit her wrist. Nothing doing. "We don't do that here." she said, and walked away. What?
I'm wondering if we got a grumpy employee or if this is the new way for Target to cut costs, no on-site customer service, cheaper staff, buy the box as it is and take it home? Is this your experience with the Targets where you shop and live?


At 2:05 PM , Anonymous Heather said...

I've added Target cashiering to my jobs (along with Salem and the Vikings). I'm at the Shoreview one on weeknights and Saturdays. I checked and we do adjust watches, put in new batteries, etc. There is the thought that the closer you are to the corporate office (Minneapolis) the better, nicer, etc. the stores will be. Maybe that's the case . . . or maybe you just experienced someone in a bad mood. Hate to think you'd have to go all the way to the midwest to get good service at Target. That's one expensive shopping trip! It was nice to see Martha stop by Salem a couple week's ago. Enjoying your blog!

At 4:14 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Heather; thanks for the response and good news about MN Targets. I'm sure they love your cheery spirit there as much as we did at Salem!

At 6:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

On your next bi-weekly venture to Ventura ask one of the store managers if it is their policy to go the extra step for a customer and explain your experience.

At 8:58 AM , Blogger Rick said...

Hi Don,

Just wanted to let you know that as far as I can tell your church website is down - looking as though your name registration has expired. Better get your techies on it...

I see that your church hosted the memorial service for my prof John Lundberg. A finer man I have rarely met. In those days Westmont's music department had more theological depth than its bible department (which was itself considerable)

At 10:20 PM , Blogger blogadoo said...

This might be an attack on big business.. but Target, Wal-Mart, Stop & Shop(big supermarket chain on east coast), and many others.. typically they're just not as friendly as a mom & pop business that might provide the same service/items at a price that's a little higher. I bought a watch at Sears a few years ago, and promptly broke the pin that holds the band to the watch itself. Sears wanted to charge me for the repair, and send it off to be repaired. I brought it to a local jewelry shop near my home, and they fixed it for free within 5 minutes. I'm more likely to frequent the jewelry shop, despite their prices might be a little higher.

great blog by the way, i found it randomly and thoroughly enjoy checking in on it.

At 11:09 AM , Anonymous Erika Carney Haub said...

Your wife's expereince is EXACTLY how I have found Target to be, at least here in L.A. I purchased drapery panels for our bedroom, and when I got home realized I needed two more. I called the store I had just been to to ask them if they had two more in stock. I told the person exactly where they were and they said they would check, returning promptly to the phone to tell me that there were none. I called countless other stores only to get the same response. Later that day I ended up going back to the first store for something else, and sure enough there were four or five packages for sale exactly where I had said they would be. I think the person just went to the bathroom or got a drink of water and never even checked.

At 7:08 AM , Blogger Brad Boydston said...

Your Target experience in the Midwest reflected Midwest values.


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