SWOT Analysis – Target Corporation

Target Corporation is today considered as the second-largest discount retailer in the United States. Founded in 1902 by George Dayton, Target is a retailer operating large format general merchandise as well as food discount stores. Currently, the enterprise has a strong market position which consequently improves its market penetration opportunities as well as enhancing its bargaining power. Nonetheless, an enduring economic downturn in the United States may adversely affect the consumer’s spending capacity and subsequently affect the demand for Target Corporation’s products (Alshakhoori et al., 2016).

The SWOT analysis is instrumental in assessing the resources, competitiveness, and capabilities of a company through separating the internal as well as external factors by determining whether they can aid or hurt the company.  Four distinctive categories that emerge with SWOT analysis are the internal strength and weaknesses, as well as the external opportunities and threats. From an internal perspective, Target has maintained a very strong brand that has led to the strengthening of other owned-brands and consequently a loyal customer base (Leinbach-Reyhle, 2014). Additionally, the cleanliness of the stores, overall guest experience, internal financing options, and loyalty programs are crucial strengths that has aided differentiate Target as a company (Target, 2015).

In contrast, some of the weaknesses that confront Target Corporation and needs monitoring include lack of Target’s international presence and lower geographic dispersion of Target stores in comparison with her competitors such as Wal-Mart. After closing down operations in Canada, Target ended its endeavor in international expansion (Alshakhoori et al., 2016). Other weaknesses of Target are their reliance on guest experience in a bid to be valuable enough to offset the higher cost, and the perception of Target as a more expensive store.

There are a number of opportunities that can aid Target in growing the firm. The development of the grocery section reflects a customer shift toward healthier and organic food choices. Through stocking the correct products in a bid to satisfy the changing market, Target stands to benefit from the larger profit margin of owned-brand products, besides third-party suppliers (Alshakhoori et al., 2016). Cognizant that the retail industry is moving towards a multichannel as well as dispersion, Target can continue to update its capacity beyond the conventional applications as well as loyalty programs in a bid to maintain the market share (Leinbach-Reyhle, 2014). Moreover, Target has an opportunity to lead the retail industry in a shift towards responsible and eco-friendly business practices across all sectors of the enterprise (Target Corporation, 2014).

Externally, Target faces threats from the increasingly competitive discount retail industry, which is more shifting towards a multichannel distribution following the lower costs and flexibility linked online clientele. There s need for Target to work towards repairing of its customer confidence in its online presence following an incidence of data breach in 2013 (Alshakhoori et al., 2016). There is need to assure customers that their financial information will be safe. The other major external threat of Target is its reliance on the unstable and soft United States economy where they run the risk of removing its customer base in the event that the customer preference changes (Wahba, 2015). Below is the SWOT analysis of Target Corporation in a tabulated form.




SWOT Analysis for Target Corporation

Corporate Structure & Culture

Functional Areas


·         Well formulated and recognized brands highly respected by customers and considered exclusive deals with high profile designers

·         Partnership with high profile designer

·         Price matching policy

·         Quality of service and customer in-store experience

·         Loyalty Programs

·         Appealing to younger customers

·         Use of analytical tools in creating personalized digital experience, loyalty programs, and promotions

·         Innovative products and store ambience

·         Target credit card, Target Visa card, Target Red card

·         Product range


·         Business model subject to supercenters and many shoppers prefer convenient neighborhood stores

·         Slow expansion. Target planning to open 8 small Target stores while Wal-Mart, a major competitor, opened 270 stores within the same time

·         Presence only in the United States

·         Online presence not comparable with market leaders

·         Perception of higher pricing than competing discount retailers

·         Reliance on the value of differentiating guest experience




·         Increased Push of owned-brand products

·         Globalization by use of physical expansion and use of better e-commerce services

·         Declining incomes in the country can enhance Target’s customer base since consumers are more likely to shop at discount stores

·         Further development of online retail capabilities


·         Continued enhancement of grocery section especially in organic foods as well as sustainable sea-food

·         Providing improved and additional services such as providing same day delivery option



·         Increased minimum wage of employees can affect Target’s profits as many of the workforce are employed for low income jobs

·         Reliance on a recovering U.S economy

·         Loss of customer confidence in online retail services following the 2013 data breach



·         Intensified competition by large as well as small stores offering superior services and better convenient locations

·         Increased development of multi-channel retailing competitors



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