Target And I Are a Match Made in Retail Heaven

by Jackie Hennessey
Originally Published: 

If you want to put it a nice way that won’t embarrass my grandmother, I’m a marketer’s dream. But in reality, I’m a Target whore..

Oh, I said it. I usually walk in to this particular store with a list, but come out with 27 additional items that I don’t need. There is no logic to it; Target is my crack. I’m usually practical when it comes to shopping. I’m a sucker for a sale, but I also buy “investment wardrobe pieces” like peep toes and suits from higher-end stores. But this store covers everything in between. It messes me up the minute I walk through the automatic doors. It actually puts me in a Target trance.

All natural linen spray for under five dollars? Do I need it? When in the heck am I going to use it? Not sure. Oh wait, there’s matching scented hand wash too? I already have soap, but it matches. And it’s cute. Why should I even bother thinking about whether I need it or not? It’s already in my cart.

If a famous designer made it for Target, if it has polka dots or bright paisleys, there’s no question. I’m talking anything from candles to colored colanders. There are rare occasions when I don’t buy it on the spot. Sometimes I’ll turn the aisle and forget about it, and remember it the next day, when I have too many conference calls and meetings to do any damage.

I can count on one hand the number of times I left Target without spending $100. I go in for shoelaces and soy milk and leave with a carton of crap that costs $97. Greek yogurt for $2.29? My mother AND grandmother would yell at me. But I’m already there, the car is parked. I have 30 minutes until I have to pick up my daughter from practice, so I might as well throw it in. I have friends who have to go on Target diets. They can’t step foot in the place. They haven’t gone in months! Months I tell you!

As I’m blazing through the aisles that are so obviously and creatively marketed-especially-for-women, what I don’t realize until it’s too late is that all of these items are going to add up. No, like some crazed mother strung out on caffeine and cotton candy-flavored jelly beans, not until I’m standing in the check-out line, shamelessly arranging my purchases and throwing a pack of gum on top (because it’s pink) that the cashier (who looks like she’s 12, because I’m 40) gives it to me straight. “That’ll be $127, ma’am.”

What the… ?

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