Competitors of Target | The race to be the World’s No. 1 retailer


Established in the year 1902, in Minnesota, United States, Target Corporation’s journey from being a modest departmental store to being one of the top retailer brands in the world is nothing short of inspirational.

The company has a total of 1,844 stores throughout the United States which includes the discount store Target, the hypermarket Super Target, and “flexible format” stores previously named City Target and Target Express before being consolidated under the Target branding.

Achieving 6% y-o-y revenue growth and 5.1% growth in comparable sales was not a cake walk for the company. The initial strategy of providing products at low prices was making it hard to compete with the likes of Walmart and K-mart.

The need of the hour was to have a change in the strategy and the positioning. What happened next was a brand overhaul.

Rather than being a discount retailer, Target decided to re-position itself as a mass merchandiser of affordable chic goods. In 2011, Target began selling clothes designed by Missoni exclusively for Target.

The response was amazing. Stores sold out by 9 am on the day the collection became available. Target continued to build on that success by developing new partnerships, and ads hammered home the message by listing the designers by name.
Now, Target is worth an estimated $64.948 billion, which makes it second only to Wal-Mart, in terms of sheer size.

When you are on the road to success it’s important to always have a close look at what your competitors are doing.

This article talks about the top 5 competitors of Target and try to understand their strategy



The first on the list of competitors of Target is Walmart, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar discount retailer. Headquartered in Bentonville, Walmart operates a chain of Hypermarkets, discount stores, and grocery stores under 55 different names.

True to its core, the company offers everyday low prices to its customers and for this reason, is able to cater to a wide range of customer segments.

Walmart has maintained a proper mix of its offline and online growth strategy to sustain its leadership and ward off competition.

Apart from laying down aggressive e-commerce growth targets, Walmart is on a shopping spree acquiring companies like Flipkart, Hipster, Bonobos, and Modcloth to boost its e-commerce presence.

Its the strong emphasis of Walmart on both offline and online business strategy is what makes it the biggest competitor of Target.


Costco Wholesale Corporation is another American multinational corporation which operates a chain of membership-only warehouse clubs.

Considered as the largest retailer of choice and prime beeforganic foodsrotisserie chicken, and wine, Costco has a great customer acceptance and its continued sales results reflect that. In times ( December 2018), when many other retailers have struggled to maintain their store customer activity flat, Costco has managed to increase traffic by 5.6%.

Costco globally operates 770 warehouses, out of which 531 warehouses are present in USA alone. Rest of the warehouses are situated in Canada, UK, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and others.

Costco’s wide global presence, right pricing strategy, customer’s affinity towards the brand and strong sales numbers ( an increase of 7.8%, from $14.3 billion in the previous year to $15.4 billion ) are the main reasons that make it one of the main competitors of Target.


Its time to make way for the French multinational retailer, Carrefour. Headquartered in Boulogne Billancourt, France, the company has over 12,300 self-service shops and operates in over 30 countries Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa.

The main strength of Carrefour is adaptability, which is reflected in the online and offline strategy that it has adopted to outdo its competitors and to adapt to changing times and customer needs.

Carrefour distinguishes itself from discounters like Aldi and Lidl, by focusing on food quality and transparency. The company is investing heavily in Food-e-commerce and aims to have a 20% market share of France food e-commerce industry by 2020.


“DATA IS THE NEW OIL” – The modern day adage that Tesco is living by.

Tesco is one of the few retailer brands which have successfully been able to use customer data and technology to their advantage and growth.

Operating in over 11 countries, Tesco is one of the first supermarket chains that begin tracking customer activity through its loyalty card system and use it for a successful transition to online retailing.

The company’s prowess in Data analytics and Big Data adoption is what gives it the edge over other brands and make one of the main competitors of Target.

Real-time analytics and the Internet of Things have helped the brand solve some of the most important problems that all the leading retail chains in the world face

  • Gain a better understanding of the changing nature of consumer behavior
  • Creat logistic and distribution efficiencies to curb operational costs.
  • Reduce the amount of food which goes to waste at the stores.

Its technological advancement is why Tesco is regarded as one of the top competitor of Target.


The Kroger Co., or simply Kroger, is another American retail giant which is the second largest general retailer and seventeenth largest company in the USA.

As of March 2019, Kroger operates, either directly or through its subsidiaries, 2,764 supermarkets, and multi-department stores. Not just this, Kroger also operates 38 food processing or manufacturing facilities, 1,537 supermarket fuel centers, 2,270 pharmacies and 232 The Little Clinic in-store medical clinics.

Of late Kroger has been facing major competition from the likes of Walmart, Amazon, and Target. But that’s not it!

The reason why we consider Kroger to be a competitor of Target is not because of the competition it faces from tech giants but because of its will to fight off this competition.

With changing times, Kroger shifted its focus towards technology and how it can redefine the customer shopping experience with tech

Kroger launched Scan, Bag, Go, an app that solves the problem of long queues and let the customer to get through the checkout counter in less than a minute.

The company entered a partnership with Ocado to build 20 robot-operated facilities to assemble its online orders for delivery.

Apart from these innovations and partnerships, Kroger is also bettering its product mix to offer wide variety of products to its customers.

For all the above effort that the company is making, it is regarded as one of the top competitors of Target.


Last but not least – is the name everybody must surely have heard about – Amazon.

The food industry is valued at $1.5T making food overall an important and attractive market. Amazon surely didn’t want to lose on such opportunity. With an aim to capture the retail market share, Amazon launched AmazonFresh and to learn this business much better it, later on, acquired whole foods.

The strategy for Amazon was simple – Make customers buy groceries from them and then incentivize those customers for apparel, shoes, home furnishings, furniture, media, electronics, books, and other products and services.

Amazon is set to change the rules of the retail game by doing what it does best – Understand customer needs and provide them with the best possible solution.

Utilizing AI and analytics, Amazon will be able to anticipate what their customers require, especially when it comes to groceries. Combine this with the excellent last mile delivery and distribution network capable of delivering groceries to customers faster than they can travel to shop for groceries on their own, this is when Amazon becomes unbeatable.


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