A company that can take the hassle out of back to school shopping is a company that has definitely won our vote and our business as customers. The days when back to school shopping was fun for us are long gone to say the least. For some reason, the thought of getting every color crayon that Crayola made or digging through piles to find the cutest lunch box, are not as enticing as they were in the past. Back to school shopping as a college student is now viewed as a huge inconvenience. Over-crowded stores, lines a mile long, and over-aggressive parents that feel the need to bulldoze their way down the book bag isle are usually reasons to steer clear of any store on back to school weekend.
The Target in Wilmington, North Carolina has taken these pains into consideration and concluded that something needs to be done. This year Target partnered up with UNCW to take the stress of back to school shopping off of students. Advertised on UNCW’s website was a night where Target devoted its store exclusively to UNCW student shoppers. On August 18th, Target had a shuttle running a continuous 20-minute loop from 10pm to 1am transporting students to and from UNCW’s campus to Target’s New Centre location.
This is a brilliant marketing plan. Target is a company that knows its consumers and pays close attention to their wants and needs. College students are not wanting to devote an entire day to going from store to store in an effort to find all of the items on their shopping list. And even those that do, the goal is to get in and get out as fast as possible. By opening the store late at night for college students, Target was aware that students would be more inclined to taking their time browsing the store and seeing what all they could purchase for their dorm or apartment. This plan was likely to make Target more money than if students were to be overwhelmed with people and having the “in and out” philosophy.
Target has once again put themselves ahead of the curve and made it exponentially harder for competitors to compete with their brand. Known for being a more high-end store, Target has taken back to school shopping to the next level and to the most profitable target market imaginable. College students ranging from 18-24 are known for impulsive buys and back to school is just the time to boost their sales. They have taken their ideal market and closed off the store specifically for them. Many new students coming to college do not have the luxury of owning a car or having their family living close by and this can become troublesome when trying to make those back to school purchases. The fact that Target has taken this into consideration when shuttling students not only tells you about them as a company but gives you an idea of the loyalty they have for their customers.
They then took this a step further and went beyond your everyday college student. Target gave kids living under the poverty line in Wilmington a chance to stock up on new supplies, clothes and necessities for the new school year. This says a significant amount about Target as a brand. Not only do they strive to meet the needs of college students in Wilmington, but as a community they want everyone to have an equal chance for success in the upcoming academic year. This makes us love Target even more. As as a consumer and college student it definitely makes us proud to shop there.
-Kaitlin Batson, Alex Corrigan, Parker Farfour, Caitlin Ford