Target, I love you, but we need to talk.

For the past 15 years or so, you have been going downhill, Target. The first five years, it was so gradual, I barely noticed it. Subconsciously I knew things were not the same, but when the garden centers closed and you added groceries to the stores, that’s when things went to hell.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the fact that I can pick up some milk and eggs while also getting my cleaning products and bath towels, but here’s the problem… YOUR SHELVES ARE EMPTY MOST OF THE TIME.

Empty shelves at Target
So many empty shelves at Target these days

The worst offender is the grocery area, but I’ve seen so many empty shelves throughout the store that I wonder if I somehow go transported to the Soviet Union in the 80s. I mean… has the CEO actually been to a store outside the one in downtown Minneapolis? He really should be ashamed of what’s going on there. How do you think you run a successful store when YOUR SHELVES ARE EMPTY MOST OF THE TIME?

Also, why do you have the folks who work at your stores stocking shelves when your stores are open? I have to dodge and weave to get to the cat food. That really makes me want to get the heck out of the store as fast as possible and not browse and dream like I used to back in the day. It doesn’t matter if I go at 8:00 AM on a Tuesday or 2:00 PM on a Friday, every other aisle has someone stocking shelves. And what’s sad is that YOUR SHELVES ARE EMPTY MOST OF THE TIME.

I used to love perusing the dollar section near the front of the store. With Halloween coming up, I would look forward to seeing cute knickknacks and decorations. Now, every time I see it, the area looks like a tornado hit the dollar section. Seriously, CEO dude. This is the first thing people see when they come into your stores. Is that the kind of message you want your customers to see?

And it’s not a problem that is localized either. I’ve been to Targets in Minnesota and California and all of them look like some degree of hell.

Pro tip: You know that annual fall meeting you have in Minneapolis where 13,000 Target employees descend on the Target Center to dress alike to see Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars dance and sing? NO ONE REALLY WANTS TO GO TO THAT. Sure, they will say in public “Oh, it’s so much fun and I learn so much!” But what they are really thinking is, “Great. Now I have to fly to some freezing cold part of the country and be away from my family for how long? Who is going to pick up my kids from soccer practice or guitar lessons?”

I’d also like to know how much that boondoggle costs. Wouldn’t those millions of dollars be better spent by paying your employees at the stores a living wage instead of just $1 above minimum wage?

Target, I don’t know what the solution to your problem is. Maybe you need to stop worrying about the investor’s cut of the action. Maybe you need to focus on actually getting your revenue up instead of cutting as many corners as possible to artificially inflate your profit like every other corporation does these days. Maybe you need to give a shit about the people who work in your stores so they will give a shit about doing their jobs well. Maybe you need to realize that YOUR SHELVES ARE EMPTY MOST OF THE TIME.

Signed, a frustrated customer.

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