Corporate Profile Module I: 1) Introduce your company. what does it do? How did it get started? How does it add value? Who are the customers it competes for? What risks confront the company? What type of business is it-goods-producing or service? What industry does it operate in? What is it knowe for? Write an opening paragraph that engages your reader from the outset! 2) State its mission, vision, and values. Define these terms using the definition from Bovee and Thill. The mission: Most companies state their mission on their websit. Use your company’s own words in your paper. The vision: You may have difficulty finding a statement of you company’s vision; if you can’t find it, you should state the vision in your own words based on what you have read about the company’s philosophy and values on its website. 3) Analyze your company’s mission statement. Is it just “vague happy talk” or does it really say why the company exists?
Corporate Profile Module II: 1) Discuss corporate ethics. Define business ethics. How does your company approach corporate ethics and what guidelines does it set forth? Does it adhere to what it says? 2) Discuss the concept of “Corporate Social Responsibility. ” Who are the company’s stakeholders? How does your company fulfill its responsibilities to its primary stakeholders-owners, employees, and customers? What approach does it use to CSR-Minimalist, Cynical, Defensive, or Proactive? 3) Discuss workforce diversity. Define this concept. Why is workforce diversity important? How does your company obtain or try to obtain a diverse workforce? Does it have a diversity policy? What evidence do you find that your company carries out ( or fails to carry out ) its policy?
Corporate Profile Module III: Discuss the marketing concept and why it is important to a business. What factors in the external environment affect your company? (Cosider economic conditions, the natural environment, social and cultural trends, laws and regulations, and technology-p. 293 of Bovee and Thill.) who constitutes your company’s target market? What market-coverage strategy does your company use-undifferentiated, differentiated, concentrated, or micromarketing?) what media does it use to communcate the company’ image and marketing message?
Globalization 1) why do companies engage in international trade? (pp. 49-50) Is your company “global”? If it isn’t, why do you think it has chosen to remain purely domestic? 2) If it is global, what cultural and legal differences does it encounter in the global business environment? (pp. 58-61) 3) what form of international business activity does it engage in? (pp. 62-64) 4) Which strategic approaches does your company use? (pp.64-65) 5) If your company does not engage in international business activity, what country do you think would be good for your company’s expansion, and what strategic approach would you suggest? 6) if your company does have international operations, do you think the selected strategy is working? Would you change anything about your company’s strategy?
Corporate Profile Module IV: Google finance and Yahoo finance are excellent resources for your discussion of the financial performance of your company. Comparisons to other companies in the industry will serve to enhance your paper. Follow your class finance notes for this section. 1) Describe your organization’s financial performance. Insert the financial tables as explained in class. 2) Include and describe the Value Line report for your company. 3) How would you evaluate your company’s performance? 4) What are the prospects for future performance? 5) Perform a brief SWOT analysis on your company
You can use tables to summarize the data in this section.
Corporate Profile Module V: 1) find an article ( or multiple articles) that discusses an important issue currently facing your company. 2) How do you think your company is positioned for the the future? Is your company an industry leader who will continue a position of leadership? Is your company losing market share? Look into the future and predict how your company will perform in the next five years with some justification for your answer……………….
Target Corporation an American retail company ranks second after Walmart in the discount chain of retail companies. It operates stores in 49 states in the United States and is considered to be one of the market leaders in the retailing industry (Hoovers 2011). Customers of the retail industry are no longer looking for cheap products rather, they expect suppliers to supply chic but fair priced products. Target is regarded as one such retail company that endeavors to supply customers with differentiated products at low costs than its competitors (Target 2011).
The subject matter of the essay is to create a complete corporate profile of Target Corporation and this will range from: Its history, formation, mission, vision and values, corporate ethics and social responsibility, marketing, international trade, among others.
History and Formation of Target Corporation
Over the years the company has evolved tremendously since the first business began. Its history dates back to 1902 in Minneapolis when the Dayton Dry Goods Company was first formed. Real investor and Banker George Dayton bought shares of the Goodfellow’s Dry Goods Company to form the business. Because it dealt in a variety of goods and services its founder George Dayton changed the name to Dayton Company, to show that it did not deal in dry goods alone. In the years to 1962 the business operated as Dayton Company before it changed its name to Dayton Hudson when the first concept of target was created. However some years later, after many target stores which emphasized on upscale discounting had been established, the company name was changed to Target Corporation in 2000 (Target 2011).
Target Corporation’s headquarters are in Minneapolis close to the place where its original stores were located. It is known for being the second largest store in the retail industry after Walmart which is also its main competitor. It is known for providing customers with upscale products for fair prices as compared to competitors, and Fortune magazine ranked it at number 30 for being among the best companies (Hoovers 2011) in America.
Target Corporation’s stores range from their conventional target stores which carry a variety of products which mainly include electronics, health, clothing, beauty, kitchen, automobile, and hardware products. It also sells groceries which are mostly non perishable but in limited amounts (Target 2011). PFresh stores which mainly retail perishable, dairy and meat products. Target Greatland stores which also contain general merchandise, Super Target stores which sell merchandise that can be found in the target stores, and a wide selection of groceries. It also operates as a service company through its subsidiaries where it provides services such as financial services and interior decoration services (Target 2011).
When it comes to value creation, Target creates value for its customers by constantly striving to offer customers that combination of quality and differentiated products or services at low prices (Target 2011). This is likely to satisfy customers while making them view the company as the ultimate value creator. Customer value creation is a strategy consistent with its long term goals of shareholder wealth maximization.
Even though Target enjoys its large scale presence In the United States and in Canada due to its recent international development, it is faced with a major risk of negative publicity because of the rumored low wages that it pays its employees. More risks facing the company include concerns about its corporate ethics and social responsibility.
Target’s Mission, Vision and Values
A mission statement describes the overall and unique purpose for a company’s existence. It basically states what the company is all about, who the customers are and what values it deems important (Kotler and Armstrong 2011). Target’s mission states “to make Target the preferred shopping destination for our guests by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and an exceptional guest experience by consistently fulfilling our Expect More – Pay Less brand promise”. It is committed to improving its operations and also to improve its customers’ experience (Target 2011).
A vision statement gives the details about where the company wants to be in future. It is from the vision statement that a company derives its mission statement which is intended to drive it to that future state (Kotler and Armstrong 2011). Target’s vision is to be the best retail store in the world, offering its customers unique and quality products and services that should ultimately satisfy every customer and make them see value for the purchases they make.
Values represent those principles that guide a corporation’s conduct when dealing with its internal and external stakeholders. They are the beliefs that the company holds dear and they help to form an organizational culture within the company (Kotler and Armstrong 2011). Values that Target incorporates in conducting its business include; high ethical standards, professional and personal integrity, delivering quality products and services at fair prices, respect for customers, customer satisfaction, building trust among customers, among others.
D. Analysis of the Mission statement
A mission statement should be concise and comprehensive. It should have meaning attached to it and should not be used solely for public relations exercises (Kotler and Armstrong 2011).
In order to work towards achieving its vision, Target’s mission provides the guidance needed to reach that future state. It has gown fast to become one of the largest retail stores in the United States, serving customers promptly by delivering products and services to meet their expectations. Even though it sometimes experiences difficulties in attaining the performance levels it sets, it manages to turnaround and make the most from its stores. The pressure from competitors also makes it come up with ideas about how to continuously improve their products so that customers are fully satisfied. This shows that it works in accordance to its mission’s requirements and uses it to measure its progress towards customer satisfaction.
Corporate ethics refers to the application of principles of morality in the day to day activities of the business (Vilcox and Mohan 2007, p. 1). Companies that are ethical must satisfy the three levels of ethics, that is, the macro, corporate and individual levels of ethics.
Macro level business ethics relates to those standards that a corporation must satisfy on a national and international scale. That is, doing good or behaving morally right when faced with political systems of countries in which it operates in and observing the culture of those countries. Basically it refers to the role of a company when dealing in an international scale. Corporate level business ethics are those standards that a corporation should observe when working towards achieving their strategic objectives. Individual level ethics refers to the behavior of individual persons within the organization that determine whether it is behaving ethically or not (Vilcox and Mohan 2007).
Target approaches corporate ethics by encouraging its staff and the leaders to work towards putting its values in action, to be the world’s most ethical retail stores. It also encourages everyone to follow suit on the practices of the Dayton brothers when they were company leaders. To ensure that this is the case it has established very firm processes and policies, with a complete governance structure of board of directors to ensure that all individuals within the company observe business ethics (Target 2011). It has also developed a section on its website that specifically deals with its issues of corporate governance and ethics where it gives detailed information on how it works towards achieving high standards of ethics. It has also received awards for being the most reputable and admired company, this is a true reflection of its efforts in observing corporate ethics.
Corporate Social Responsibility
For companies to prove to society that they are observing business ethics, they need to be socially responsible. Corporate social responsibility therefore means that a corporation should maintain moral standards in dealing with its stakeholders in order to enhance their welfare and at the same time respect their rights (Vilcox and Mohan 2007, p. 5). Being socially responsible ensures that the company lives peacefully within its society because it is through such responsibility that society forms an informed opinion about any company.
Corporate social responsibility also means observing the triple bottom line and working towards sustainability development, so that the needs of all stakeholders in society and not just the needs of the shareholders are met. Other stakeholders in this context include the employees, customers, regulators, government, and the environment, among others (Vilcox and Mohan 2007).
To some shareholders, companies that engage in corporate social responsibility are depriving them of their right to wealth maximization, however, at Target Corporation; corporate social responsibility is a way that enables it to do well while doing good to its shareholders. The company therefore releases annual CSR reports to show how they have fulfilled their responsibilities towards their stakeholders (Target2011).
Responsibility towards primary stakeholders
Target’s responsibility towards its owners is to maximize their wealth. Target does this by using its resources in the most efficient ways. Also it realizes that in doing good to society it is able to continue doing well in terms of its profitability. This is because when a company’s mission becomes to satisfy customers, they respond by making purchases and this provides the means by which the company makes profits (Vilcox and Mohan 2007).
To show its responsibility towards its employees, Target hires individuals with talent and commits itself to giving them the best training, and rewarding them appropriately in order to gain their trust, and in order for them to use their skills and experiences in furthering the company’s interests (Target 2011).
To improve their employees’ value proposition, the company incorporates its corporate values in its human resource planning. Employees are allowed to exchange their experiences at Target and this motivates employees to engage in fulfilling the company’s mission (Target 2011).
Target’s responsibility towards its customers is to ensure that they are always pleased with what the company has to offer them. Therefore the company ensures that all its products are safe for the customers to use. It also ensures that it strives to improve them continuously so that the customers are paying to get products and services that meet and exceed their needs. The company also ensures that its stores are safe so that customers are free from accidents that might occur while shopping (Target 2011).
Target’s Approach to Corporate Social responsibility
Target uses a social contract approach to CSR, because it believes that it is through doing good for the society that it is able to do well in terms of its performance. It engages in programs that are aimed at improving the health and safety of communities and being philanthropic to society. It has even been ranked at number 22 by Fortune magazine for being a philanthropic company. It does everything to avoid all other approaches that undermine the society especially the minimalist approach which puts the interests of shareholders above those of other stakeholders (Target 2011).
Workforce diversity refers to appreciation of those attributes that make individuals within an organization unique from each other. It involves creation of policies and practices which take into consideration people within the organization that are said to be different from the rest (Harris 2009, p. 2).
Workforce diversity is important because, through it a company is able to show that it is socially responsible by including people within the society who are disadvantaged. It allows companies to have a competitive edge because, for them to be competitive they need to prove that they do not discriminate on people and their practices. Legally companies are required to show that they do not employ people on discriminatory grounds and these policies show that they comply with such requirements (Harris 2009). Workforce diversity has proved as an effective tool in marketing because such employees offer important insights on what the different communities expect from companies. Further a diverse workforce is a true reflection of the diverse customer base that a company has.
At Target Corporation, diversity is more than a requirement of the company; it is a core value in the company and it is the company’s way of life. It has specific policies that deal with workforce diversity and it ensures that it is part of the business’ human resource planning process. This is because it strives to represent to the whole world the kind of people it works with and the customers that they work towards satisfying (Target 2011). Evidence that Target implements its workforce diversity stems up from awards it has won for including people from multiple backgrounds in its workforce, and for developing supplier relationships with women owned businesses and minority vendors (Target 2011).
Target strives to abide by what its mission states in order to reach its vision that is to be the best retail store offering quality products and services for its customers. It also ensures that it practices business ethics from all perspectives by having strict policies that emphasize on ethics. Further it realizes that social responsibility is a requirement if it has to live in good terms with society and for it to have long term profitability.
The marketing concept
Unlike the selling and production concept, the marketing concept emphasizes on the customer. That is, before a company can embark on producing products, it has to first identify what its customers need and desire of a company’s products, and afterwards it can produce the products and then sell them to the customers (Drummond and Ensor 2005, p.1). The end result should be satisfied customers who are willing to make repeat purchases if not convincing other to purchase a company’s products.
Where companies have to develop profitable relationships with customers, marketing proves to be an essential tool. Marketing is aimed at making customers aware of the products and services that the company has to offer and also shows how the company intends to meet customers’ needs (Kotler and Armstrong 2011, p. 4-5). The marketing concept is therefore important for businesses that want to establish good relationships with customers and which intend to have long term profitability.
Marketing at Target Corporation
External Factors that affect the company
Assessment of the external factors in the market environment that affect Target constitute the market research that it needs to carry out in order to satisfy itself that its marketing efforts are targeted at the right customers. Also it helps to ensure that the company comes up with the required marketing strategies which will eventually lead to successful marketing (Drummond and Ensor 2005). These external factors include:
Rising standards of living in America is one of the major economic changes that occur and affect a company’s operations. The US economy is also occasionally faced with periods of recessions, which makes companies reduce prices so that they can continue making substantial sales. Target has managed to keep its prices at a fair rate and still have its sales increase over the years to 2011 (Target 2011).
The natural environment which includes resources used in production of products, water that occurs naturally and climatic changes, are a big influence on a company like Target’s market environment. For instance, while planning on how products will reach customers, climatic changes should be considered as incidents such as heavy rainfall and storms can delay product delivery to the desired destinations, and this may affect service delivery to customers.
Social and cultural trends
Analysis of the social and cultural trends is vital because companies need to know what their customers’ culture is all about. For a retail store the demands of society will mainly include its ability to sell products at affordable prices. This is unlikely to affect Target Corporation’s pricing strategies as it already sells its products for lower prices than most of its competitors (Target 2011).
Laws and regulations governing companies also change as time goes by. Environmental laws for instance can influence how a company does its product packaging, which is a major influence in appealing customers (Drummond and Ensor 2005). Target so far does not have any problems with packaging products because they mostly retail them rather than manufacture. However, laws relating to what can be advertised to the general public can influence their marketing strategies.
Advancements such as new production methods are likely to impact on the marketing strategy of a company (Drummond and Ensor 2005). Where the company uses sophisticated methods of production, it is likely that its marketing efforts will be vigorous to ensure that more people are aware of the effort it takes to provide quality foods. Target uses online resources to market products to customers, and to ensure that each customer’s demands are met it uses customized search engines. The company however needs to be constantly aware of any changes that may occur in technology so that the products are always up to date.
The Market and marketing strategies used at Target corporation
Target Corporation’s targets many customers because of the many products it sells to them. It therefore needs to target each age group and gender that is interested in buying its products. People are always demanding one product or the other from the company, be it kitchen appliances, automobiles, or even toys. Because of this wide target market the main strategy used by the company is a combination of differentiated and low cost strategies, where it strives to offer better services to customers than competitors can (Hoovers 2011). As a differentiation strategy, it introduced the groceries section in most of its stores so that customers can have a chance to purchase groceries without worrying about when they will pass by the groceries stores as is the culture of most Americans.
The main form of advertising media that the company uses is the television because through it more people become aware of what it has to offer. It also uses radio advertising and newspaper advertising to ensure that everyone has access to information about the company (Target 2011). Internet advertising is also a major form of advertising that it uses.
Globalization is the process by which people interact with others around the world without any restrictions (Steger 2010, p. 48). Globalization can be viewed from several dimensions, that is, in terms of cultural, political, technological, ecological, and economic globalization. A global economy involves a situation where companies in one country are allowed to trade freely with others across the globe, thus the concept of international trade. Economic globalization is possible when international trade is encouraged through reduction of trade barriers such as import quotas, tariffs and export charges (Steger 2010, p. 49).
Companies engage in international trade because they want to increase their sales through finding new markets for their products and services, continue to have sustained competitive advantage, minimize incidents of risks such as cyclical and seasonal effect on sales, and also to obtain resources that they are deficient in (Steger 2010, p. 50).
Target has not yet established itself fully as a global company because it only ventured to Canada recently and it is yet to see whether operating as a multinational company is a viable strategy to them (Target 2011). The main reason for establishing operations in Canada was to have its presence felt on a large scale so that it continues to have a competitive edge in the retail industry. Target Corporation chose to expand its operations to Canada because most of its non American customers are the Canadians. Further over 70% of Canadians were aware of its influence in the American states and would therefore serve as a better additional market to them. In Canada, it sells the same products and services that it sells to its American customers.
Strategic approaches used by Target in Globalization
It is not clear which strategy Target Corporation uses in Canada because of the recent expansion, but it should use a multinational strategy for Canada and future expansions, because of the nature of the business it deals in. This is because the parent company will have the final say in decision making and financial management while letting the subsidiaries manage their own marketing and sales strategies (Steger 2010).
To support their global strategy, Target will also have to use different business strategies depending on where they choose their operations. This is because using the same strategies worldwide without consideration of the markets may be disadvantageous if it wants to expand its market and make profits (Hoovers 2011).
Comments on the strategy used
Other generic strategic options available to Target would include:
Franchiser strategy where creation and design of products is done and financed in the home country but they are later produced and marketed in the host countries, this is usually recommended for companies in the fast food industry because their products are perishable and can not be produced solely in the home country. A domestic exporter strategy means that it has to centralize all its operations to take place in the United States; this strategy is mostly suitable for companies in the heavy equipment category. A transnational strategy on the other hand will mean that the company will have to adopt a global standpoint that does not work in accordance to national borders (Steger 2010). Target has not yet reached that point where it can operate without associating itself with the American way of life.
Looking at these challenges that the other global strategies pose for Target it is best that it uses the Multinational strategy as its goods are neither perishable nor are they heavy equipment.
Cultural and legal constraints that Target could encounter in its global operations
Since Target has decided to go international it is best that it adopts the Canadian culture while operating there. This is because, according to some countries imported cultures are known to erode the ways of life of their people and bring confusion among individuals instead of harmony (Steger 2011).
It is important for Target to adopt and abide by the laws of Canada, and those of other countries in case it expands to other parts of the world, to avoid problems with legal bodies. It will have to ensure that it does not violate environmental, labor and taxation laws as these are some of the laws that multinationals commonly violate (Hoover’s 2011).
Target engages in thorough analysis of its market environment to ensure that its marketing strategies are aimed at its customers and so that they create value for them. It uses a combination of low cost and differentiated strategies for different customers who visit different stores in the United States to ensure that they get the best for the money that they are willing to pay. It has also recently expanded operations to Canada to further its market so that sales are increased and so that it always has a continuous market for its products.
Target’s Financial Performance
Statement of financial position as 31st January 2010 and 31st January 2011
2010 in $m 2011 in $m
Cash and cash equivalents 583.00 583.00
Accounts receivable 6,966.00 6,153.00
Inventory 7,179.00 7,596.00
Prepaid expenses 530.00 442.00
Total current assets 15,258.00 14,774.00
Non current assets
Property plant and equipment 23,015.00 20,293.00
Goodwill 2,725.40 2,413.00
Long term investments 1,355.20 1,212.50
Other long term assets 1,710.40 1,589.50
Total assets 44,064.00 40,282.00
Accounts payable 6,511.00 6,625.20
Accrued expenses 1,784.50 1,642.90
Other current liabilities 1,454.50 361.90
Total current liabilities 9,750.00 8,630.00
Long term debt 11,062.80 10,291.50
Deferred income tax 1,320.40 1,244.70
Other liabilities 1,548.80 1,424.80
Total liabilities 23,682.00 21,591.00
Retained earnings 13,458.50 13,924.50
Shareholders’ equity 6,923.50 4,766.50
Total liabilities & shareholders’ equity 44,064.00 40,282.00
Income statement for the year ended 31st January 2010 and 31st January 2011
2010 in $m 2011 in $m
Revenue 65,357.00 67,390.00
Cost of sales 44,694.00 46,451.00
Gross profit 20,633.00 20,939.00
Total Operating expense 14,469.00 14,827.00
Net profit 6,194.00 6,112.00
The company’s profitability as evidenced by the profitability ratios (see appendix) seems to be growing at a slower rate than expected. Gross profit decreased by 0.5% in 2011 and the net profit also shows a decrease of 0.4%. However, return on capital employed has increased by 1.2%. Compared to other companies in the industry, Target Walmart closely which has profitability levels of over 10% annually (Bloomberg 2011).
The stunted growth in profitability could be due to the lowered prices that Target has been offering its customers in order to keep them. It could also be as a result of increased inflation rates that have led to an increase in cost of sales and operating expenses. If the trend does not change then Target’s future is at stake.
The current ratio has increased by 0.1 which shows that the company has adequate assets to cover its current obligations. This could be due to the fact that debtors are taking fewer days to pay their debts. A ratio of 1:1 or above is recommended because if it falls below that then the company might not be able to meet its short term obligations (Carey et al., 2011). The acid test ratio however has remained constant but still the company has enough quick assets. The company is solvent and it is unlikely to have future cash flow problems.
The efficiency ratios show that the company has few problems in managing its working capital. Receivable days have decreased by 6 days and this has favorable effects on the company’s liquidity. This means that the credit management process is a sound one as debtors are paying up on or before the due dates. Inventory days have increased by a day meaning the stock has been held for longer but this does not pose too much danger for the company. Payable days on the other hand, have decreased by a day, and this could be the reason why Target has been able to maintain the current ratio at the required level.
Target seems to be managing its debts well because the debt ratio shows an increase of 0.7: 1 making it have a ratio of 2.2: 1 which is way above the recommended ratio of 1.5:1. The company should consider limiting the amount of debt it borrows as huge debts could pose problems during repayments.
Value Line report
This report is essential for investors for the purpose of making financial decisions on which company to invest in. It usually compares how a company’s stock is performing in relation to other companies’ stock in the same industry. According to The Street (2011), the following represent how Target’s stocks rates in the retail industry in 2011.
Its stock has a timeliness score of 3 which is regarded as average, but investors are required to purchase stocks which have a timeliness value of 1 and when they fall to 4 and 5, they should be sold. Its safety ranks at 1 meaning it is financially stable and therefore has a lower risk level. Investors wishing to buy stocks should buy such stocks while avoiding those that rank at 3 and above because they represent high risk levels. Investors should buy stocks that have a technical rating of 1 or 2, Target’s stock ranks at 2. Its beta is below1 and therefore share price fluctuations are relatively smaller (Bloomberg 2011).
Other pieces of information that are important for investing decisions are the price appreciation and dividends payout. Target’s recent share price is at $ 89.53 and it is expected to have a high and low of 120 and 100 respectively, further its dividend yield is at 2.7% (Bloomberg 2011).
From the above statistics, the company’s share is worth investing in because it offers favorable opportunities for investors to make the most out of their investments.
Evaluation of the performance and future prospects
As evidenced by the results from the ratios and value line report, overall the company is performing well and its future is promising. This is because of the projected rise in share prices backed up by its ability to maintain a balance between its profitability and liquidity.
SWOT analysis is a model widely used in analyzing the strategic position of a company. It helps the company to assess its internal environment in terms of its strengths and weaknesses, as well as its external environment in terms of opportunities and threats (Hindle 2008, p. 44-45). This model if used properly is vital in helping any company find suitable ways of optimizing performance so as to achieve short term and long term goals.
Target’s Strengths and Weaknesses can be summarized as follows
Strong Brand name
Strong distribution channels
Well diversified products
Large Market share
Limited global presence
Low commitment towards employees
Higher prices charged
Limited brand loyalty
Growth to Canada
Availability of market in the US
Target’s brand name which includes brands such as market Pantry and Archer Farms are common among the American society. The Americans associate them with chic products at fair prices and hence the company’s emphasis on “Expect More – Pay less”. Apart from that, Target has a large market share which is mostly evidenced by the numerous stores it has in America which range from the usual target stores to super target stores according to customer preferences.
The company has products which range from kitchen appliances, clothing, automobiles, and other hardware supplies. This is a well diversified range of products because if one section of the products does not sell, they can be offset by sales of another, thereby avoiding massive losses. Target also has strong distribution channels which include regional, food, and import centers, that it uses to transport its products across the different stores in America. To add to its strengths, it further has a good reputation in America and in Canada (Target 2011).
Target has only managed to extend its operations to Canada; this limits its global presence as compared to the popularity of its competitors such as Walmart and K-Mart which are widely known. Because of its insistence on quality it somehow tends to charge higher prices than competitors and this makes customers who are not willing to pay that extra dollar seek other cheap products. This has reduced its brand loyalty among customers and it could soon lose its most loyal customers.
Target is also known to pay its employees low salary rates as other compared to other famous companies in the retail industry. If employees are not rewarded appropriately they may lack motivation and they are not able to work effectively for the sake of furthering the company’s interests.
Opportunities exist to be exploited; they offer companies the means by which they can make good use of strengths to maximize on their capacity to be profitable and at the same time, they offer means by which weaknesses can be eliminated so as to avoid company failure (Hindle 2008, p. 45).
With its strong distribution channels in the United States, in case Target comes up with other new products, there is no need for the company to develop new ones because the existing ones are sufficient for the purpose of distribution. Expansion to Canada will ensure that the company obtains new markets while it continues to utilize the existing ones.
Consumption of the company’s products continues at alarming rates in the United States, and some states where it has not yet established operations continue demanding its products. This means that the company is likely to extend its customer base as the years go by, in order to take advantage of the untapped markets (Target 2011).
Threats in the external environment can be overcome if the company has more strengths than weaknesses. A combination of threats and weaknesses can be detrimental and should be avoided.
Target ranks second after Walmart it also faces immense competition from K-Mart which threatens to take its place in the American market (Hoover’s 2011). The economic factors are also a big threat to the company especially where it is required to lower its prices in order to adjust to the rising levels of inflation. This is because in times of inflation consumers are more concerned with the prices rather than the quality offered (Hoover’s 2011).
Target and Ethical Issues
One of the major issues that affect Target Corporation is the ethical issues. The company believes that it is working hard to prove that it observes the highest standards of ethics but reports from different media channels strive to prove otherwise.
One of the major criticisms of the company is the way they treat their employees. The company is said to have little consideration on how the employees are paid. Employees are not able to work effectively if their employers do not compensate them appropriately. Pay acts as a major incentive and any company should aim at compensating them fairly (De Blasio 2008, p. 5).
Target has been involved in lawsuits concerning employment laws, where it was said that it did not practice equality by refusing to contain a worker who was disabled. The company was forced to pay legal fees and employ relevant training on all workers regardless of their disabilities (Gilbert 2006, p. 9). Other issues concern its inability to comply with laws on equal employment opportunities by hiring more male workers, rather than establishing a balance between the genders.
Even though it has been accused of these violations it still maintains in its corporate social responsibility reports that it is ethically responsible and that it strives to be responsible towards its community (Target 2011). Its CSR reports serves as evidence that it actually takes into consideration the welfare of employees as well as those of other people within the community.
These negative reports about its ethical standards are likely to have adverse impacts on the company performance because consumers are mostly affected by such comments and it is not easy for them to have a change of opinion about Target (Gilbert 2006, p. 9).
The results from the financial statements and the SWOT analysis of the company show that it is well positioned for the future. The reports of the financial statements and its insistence on continuous improvement are evidence that Target is among the industry leaders and it is expected to continue being one as long as its financial performance improves and as long as it continues to serve its customer products that are differentiated from those of competitors.
Articles / Journals
De Blasio, G., 2008, “Understanding Target”, Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and
Organization Studies, vol.13, No.1, pp. 5-12.
Gilbert, H., 2006, “Focus on some on world unethical companies”, Supply Management, vol.
11, no. 9, pp. 9-9.
Carey, M. et al., 2011, Accounting: A Smart Approach, Oxford University Press.
Drummond, G. and Ensor, J., 2005, Introduction to Marketing Concepts, Butterworth –
Harris, P. S., 2009, How Target Prospers by Embracing Inclusion and Diversity, Wiley.
Hindle, T. 2008, ‘SWOT analysis’, Guide to Management Ideas & Gurus pp. 181-182 EIU:
Economist Intelligence Unit Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 14 September 2011.
Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G., (2011), Principles of Marketing, 14th Ed. Prentice Hall.
Steger, M., 2010, Globalization, Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
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Gross profit = 20,633.00 × 100 = 31.6% 20,939.00 × 100 = 31.1%
Net Profit = 6,194.00 × 100 = 9.5% 6,112.00 × 100 = 9.1%
Return on capital Employed
= 6,194.00 × 100 = 18.1% 6,112.00 × 100 = 19.3%
Current ratio = 15,258.00 / 9,750.00 = 1.6: 1 14,774.00 / 8,630.00 = 1.7: 1
Acid test ratio = 15,258.00 – 7,179.00 = 0.83:1 14,774.00 – 7,596.00= 0.83: 1
Receivables days = 6,966.00 × 365 = 39 days 6,153 × 365 = 33 days
Payables days = 6,511.00 × 365= 53 days 6,625.20 × 365 = 52 days
Inventory days = 7,179.00 × 365 = 58 days 7,596.00 × 365 = 59 days
Gearing ratio = 11,062.80 / 6,923.10 = 1.5: 1 10,291.30 / 4,766.40 = 2.2: 1
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