Surrender, you’ve been Target-ed!

Yesterday’s trip to the local Target store took a lot longer than planned. I couldn’t find anything. The toys were the only things that remained in their old location. Perhaps the management doesn’t want to interfere with kids’ mental geography? But young minds are flexible, or so I’ve been told. What about my old, encrusted brain? My first thought was to blame the renovation on a desire to make  shoppers wander the entire store, thereby involuntarily making us see stuff we then might be enticed to buy. This notion soon proved to be incorrect.

Turns out, several departments have been moved (and many have shrunk) to make room for a new, huge food section. It came as a bit of a shock since I didn’t know the food was there. I found it when I tried to find a box of bandaids. To my irritation, they no longer cozied with the cosmetics. In fact, all the drugstore items seemed to be missing. So much for a quick in and out shopping trip.

Steeling myself for a hike, I headed for the depths of the store and uncharted territory, leaving myself open to possible assault by wayward baby stroller. After passing several racks of cleaning supplies I finally found the drugstore stuff. Negotiating an aisle of pain and indigestion remedies, came out the other end and stopped dead in my tracks, eyes wide in amazement.  And staring back at me through the glass freezer doors were Mexican and Italian frozen entrees.

My eyes traveled from the lollipop-like signs for pain pills to the large freezer case, to the meat section beyond and back to the cough medicine at my left shoulder.  I’ll have a medium pizza with mushrooms, cheese, and could you dribble some of that pink syrup on? I don’t think that is the targeted message (forgive the pun) but it’s how I felt. Then, suddenly, I wondered if someone with a warped sense of humor had done work here. Indeed, the corroboration came two aisles down. Directly opposite a row of tampons was a large sign: Eggs. I’ll say no more.

So I’ve been wondering what inspires the “map” inside the store. The most likely explanation may be physical constraints like needing electric hookups for the refrigerators and freezers. If practicality rules the day, it is for the convenience of the store owners, not necessarily for the shoppers. If they wanted to be kind to shoppers, the furniture would be close to the cashiers and exits so there would be less distance to push the heaviest items they sell.

What greets you when you walk in are women’s handbags and jewelry. Close as you can get to the cashiers.Do they think we women can’t control ourselves if we see them?
Talk about lack of control, the exit to the garden shop is now smack in front of a wall of flat screen TVs. The merchandise experts obviously envision a John Everyman who comes to buy lawn fertilizer and instead ends up drooling in front of a 42” plasma screen. I hope he isn’t looking for a lawn chair as well. Logic would have put them near the lawn and garden dept., but those have been moved to the most remote corner of the store, about a block away.

To round out that theme, Everyman’s wife gets pissed off at her husband’s electronic tryst, and makes a beeline for the adjacent menswear section, intent on buying him a new shirt just because she knows he doesn’t want one.

Meanwhile, the kids have run off to the toys. At least the Mrs. will be able to find them.

NOTE: No store clerks were harmed in the composition of this article, although my camera clearly alarmed several of them. One clerk saw me, frowned and said ominously to a coworker, “This is gonna be THAT kind of day.”

Mickey Hoffman is the author of the Kendra Desola mystery novels, School of Lies and Deadly Traffic, published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC. Please check out her website at www.mickeyhoffman.com

6 Comments

Filed under musings

6 responses to “Surrender, you’ve been Target-ed!

  1. Boy, can I relate to this, Mickey. They did the same thing at my local Kroger, a Michigan grocery chain, about a year ago, and I’m still trying to find stuff. Unlike your experience, however, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to now placing candles in the same aisle as cosmetics, or salad dressing and croutons with coffee and tea. Other than to confuse me.

  2. I can see the candles because marketers want to sell scented candles to women, but I haven’t been able to figure out the salad dressing and coffee connection. Coffee is usually with the breakfast cereal. Condiments have a way of appearing where you’d least expect to find them, though. I’ve spent many frustrating minutes trying to locate ketchup.

    • At Kroger, toothpaste and mouthwash used to be with the soap, deodorant, and hair care products. Now it’s in the pharmacy department. Maybe there is no correlation with soap, etc., but I was used to it; now it’s next to wart treatments and antifungal products. Is there a better connection there? I don’t think so.

  3. I’m still laughing. I hope you meant this to be a humorous piece because you sure tickled me. An egg sign by the tampons? Priceless.

    You’ve made me afraid to go to Target, though. I’ll be sure to bring a compass.

  4. Our Target got reorganized for the sake of food as well and I’m still trying to learn my way around.

  5. Yes, the eggs in proximity with the tampons is priceless. You are so funny. They redid our Target a few years ago to put in a food section. And they redid Walmart last year for reasons unknown because they already are a superstore. The only reason I can think of for that is to ensure people walk 2 miles instead of 1 searching for stuff. Or maybe it’s just me. Even the overhead signs don’t guarantee success in finding the products. I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was looking for a sports bra, I asked a clerk where they were, and she said, “For women?” Somehow I said, “Yes,” and politely did not make a smart comment or laugh in her face. I waited until she turned around to lead the way.

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