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Target vs Walmart: Who Comes Out on Top?

Those of us who love to shop have a burning question: who’s better, Target or Walmart? The two brands have wildly different reputations but share a lot in common.

We looked at quality, prices, and return policies, and the winner between the two retail giants might surprise you.

Grab your favorite bag and get ready to play favorites while we share what we discovered.

Let’s go shopping!

Target vs Walmart 

George Dayton opened a shop named Goodfellow Dry Goods in 1902, which became the Dayton Company in 1910. He grew the brand nationwide. The company opened the first Target in 1962 as a discount store. But with the success of the red bullseye, they adopted the name.

Today they have nearly 2,000 locations throughout the U.S. The store has various setups, including CVS pharmacies and Super Targets. You’ll find everything from groceries to household decor, or even the latest electronics. The company’s eco-friendly initiative has reduced its carbon footprint yearly since 2017.

The first Walmart also opened its doors in 1962. Since its inception, this company has focused on selling high volumes of goods at low prices. They run nearly 11,000 stores in 24 countries. Like the competition, they also operate various store formats.

You can have your eyes checked or get a mani at a Super Walmart, or pick up fresh produce at a Neighborhood Market. The two similarly-aged stores sell the same types of goods, so how do you know which one to patronize? We’ll dig into the details. 

Walmart is the ultimate one stop shop.

Does Target’s Merchandise Quality Beat Walmart’s?

You’ll be getting a bargain on your merchandise if you shop at either store, but one clearly wins in quality. You may want to try Target if you want to make durable purchases.

Their reliance on store brands allows them to make high-caliber, affordable products. Whether you’ve stopped by for a trash can or pet toys, you’ll find exceptional quality. Shoppers especially love their recent collaborations with clothing designers. You’ll find racks of fashionable clothes in all sizes that you’re sure will last more than one season.

Walmart, on the other hand, strives to make profits by selling a lot of goods, not necessarily reliable products. They choose to emphasize quantity over quality with their business plan. This fails to live up to the durability you’ll find elsewhere. But they may still be the best place to buy basic items where durability is unimportant. 

Pro Tip: Save your budget by using these tips on How Not To Go Broke at Target.

Return Policies, How Do They Compare?

Everyone is more likely to buy something with less risk. A good return policy encourages shoppers to trust the product and gives them peace of mind when purchasing. Luckily both companies have one. We decided to factor these in when choosing which one we prefer.

If you haven’t been satisfied with any Target-branded item, you have one year to get your money back with your receipt. They’ll accept other merchandise for 90 days after your purchase. If you’ve opened a beauty item like makeup and decided you don’t like it after trying it, you can still return it. You can still bring back items easily if you’ve lost your receipt. 

Walmart also has a 90-day return policy and can also issue a refund without a receipt. Some items have shorter windows, like televisions, which you need to bring back in 30 days. The store doesn’t offer generous cosmetic exchanges like Target and won’t accept opened items unless they’re defective. 

Target is known for its cute homeware, chic clothes, and groceries.

Are Walmart’s Prices More Competitive Than Target’s?

Walmart has made a fortune undercutting the prices of its competitors, but is it really cheaper than Target? We’ve looked into the specifics to see how much you actually save. 

The website Yo! Free Samples ran an in-depth comparative study and found that the two locations have similar price points, usually within one percent of each other. The most significant difference is in the health and beauty section. 

Walmart’s costs beat the competitors by nearly two percent, but many shoppers consider Target’s cosmetics return policy worth the extra cost. 

Target customers also continue to patronize the stores because they price-match. If you find the item you want cheaper elsewhere, like on Amazon, they’ll match it.

You may want to shop at Walmart instead for a larger selection. They offer marginally cheaper products but significantly more options on all their goods. 

Pro Tip: Make sure you know these 10 Unwritten Rules for Shopping at Walmart before you go.

Who Delivers the Better Shopping Experience, Target or Walmart?

You might’ve been to a Walmart and had to ask to have something unlocked. Even inexpensive items like deodorant require a key for access sometimes. Frankly, it can be embarrassing to ask for help getting your toiletries. Many expert shoppers agree that their aggressive theft prevention deters paying customers. It seems like the aisles at this crowded store become narrower every visit. And don’t get us started on the ugly fluorescent lighting.

Meanwhile, Target has upgraded to energy-efficient LED lights. Their spacious aisles leave plenty of room to marvel at their thoughtful displays. We find the store to be more roomy and organized than its counterpart. Consumers consider it easy to navigate with its clear signage and lack of clutter. 

So, Who Comes Out on Top?

Walmart has marginally lower prices than any of its competitors, including Target. They focus all of their efforts on keeping costs down and selling the most items possible. You see it in the lack of quality items found in the stores.

On the other hand, Target only costs one percent more and invests in its customer experience. They have a more generous return policy and thoughtful layouts in their stores. They even care about their impact on the planet. 

Next time you make a grocery run, think twice about the company you want to visit.

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