business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe reports that when prime commercial real estate became available in the downtown area earlier this year, there was significant opposition to the notion that Wal-Mart might move in – even as there was support for Target taking over the same location.

The Globe writes: “Community groups organize against Wal-Mart, bloggers rail against it, and major unions - including the nation's two top teachers unions - have urged consumers to boycott it. The Arkansas-based chain, the nation's largest retailer, is routinely vilified for destroying mom-and-pop businesses, underpaying employees, resisting efforts to unionize, and selling foreign-made goods. Target, on the other hand, seems beloved. It's an anomaly that puzzles many - Target, they argue, also undermines local businesses, shuns unions, squeezes employees and suppliers, and buys from overseas.”

It is possible, the Globe notes, that the situation can be attributed to politics and culture and stereotypes – and not to the reality of the companies or the situation.
KC's View:
The fact is that Target has been able to capitalize on the fact that it just seems cooler than Wal-Mart…which by itself doesn’t seem fair to either company, nor to the customers and communities that both companies serve.