CC: Target Corporation

We’ve all been there. We go into Target, expecting to only get one or two items that we have a mind. Perhaps we have a routine going on. Going in, we say to ourselves “I only need school supplies. And some new socks.” We say a mantra “Don’t go to the dollar section. Don’t go to the dollar section. Don’t…”

Shoot, the dollar section is in sight. Clearly, the inexpensive stationary is a must right? Wait no, there’s some gift bags on sale for a dollar each. You’re not sure if (and when) you’ll need them, but hey, doesn’t hurt to stock up right? You peruse around some more, not realizing that you’ve spent a solid ten minutes debating if you need new candles or should move on to the clothes section.

Tearing away from the dollar section, you go into the inviting abyss of Target. The clothes section, household goods, personal care, and my personal favorite, the food grocery section. You walk past some of these sections, maybe you entertain the idea of buying a new reusable water bottle with a design that looks like it’s a knockoff of Urban Outfitters. You walk around, seemingly enticed by everything that you see.

But, ask yourself this: What makes Target so alluring? How do we, college students of the world, always seem to sell an arm and leg just to get those great deals?

Well, Target’s got some tricks up its sleeves.

Let’s start with Target’s shopping carts. As it turns out, Target’s shopping carts are unlike other major retailers’, their carts are actually lighter - roughly 20 pounds lighter - than the industry standard of 70 pounds. So, next time when you’re shopping around, realize that if your cart doesn’t “seem” as if it’s full enough, chances are the weight of the cart itself is tricking your mind into thinking “Oh wait, I need more stuff!”

Speaking of getting more stuff, how about them deals? Have you ever noticed that Target has these BOGO-like deals where they’re like “3 bags of Totino’s Pizza Rolls for $9” or “2 boxes of Uncrustables for $6”? Yeah, apparently they do these quote-unquote “deals” to convince you that you’re saving, when in actuality you’re just spending more cash.

Now, I’ve noticed some other things too that happen in my local Target that are more or less not “tricks” but rather customer service amenities that convince me that Target is a master of just taking my money and psychologically programming me to come back again.

Every trip to Target, I notice that the lines at Target are way better than Walmart’s. They’re more or less all express checkout lines since they are doubled up, whereas Walmart’s are all single lines (and not used except for one or two registers). Also, there’s always an employee during the midday rushes directing customers to open lanes. And while I’m making small talk with the cashiers at the register, I notice that the lighting of entire istore s subdued compared to other retail stores that are blinding and stark as hell.

What’s the point that I’m trying to make here?

Oh wait, I lost myself. Just like I did earlier today in Target’s dollar section.

Be warned my fellow college students. Don’t subject yourself to falling for these tricks and customer service charms and spells that Target conjures up…

Now, I’m a creature of habit, so there’s no way I’m taking my own advice here. See you next week Target for my weekly visit!

Sincerely,

A Broke As Hell College Student Under Your Spell