10 Little-Known Facts About Target

Shopping at Target
@juliamateian

From Chip and Joanna Gaines's modern farmhouse pieces to minimalist housewares by Made by Design (and everything in between), Target (pronounced "tar-jay" by woke fans) remains one of our absolute favorite spots to cop quality goods with impeccable style. And just try to imagine a time when you walked out without purchasing at least one thing that wasn't on your list. But, despite continuously spending hundreds of dollars on impulse buys, we wouldn't have it any other way.

Considering how much we love the mega-retailer, we're taking our Target obsession to the next level by Google-stalking the big-box giant. So if you love the big bull’s eye as much as we do, these surprising, little-known Target facts will certainly tickle your fancy—and may even save you some money along the way.

Target Rose From Ashes

In 1902, real estate developer George Draper Dayton incorporated Goodfellows Dry Goods in place of a burned-down church on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota. By 1965, Goodfellows had morphed into what we now know as the Target Corporation, becoming the world's first mass-market discount store that's still headquartered in the same spot.

Buffalo-Check Loveseat

A mint-green and white buffalo-check love seat.
Skyline Furniture Buffalo-Check Love Seat $800
Shop

Red Balls Mean Safety

Those huge, red concrete balls parked in front of every Target location aren't odes to the store's aesthetic, although the large spheres are apropos of the brand's logo. Rather, they were erected as a safety precaution that prevents vehicles from plowing through its doors, and into unsuspecting shoppers.

Fleecy Slipper Chair

A slipper chair by Project 62 that's covered in shearling upholstery.
Project 62 Thurlow Wood Base Slipper Chair $200
Shop

Target Made History

In March 1993, Target opened 11 stores in the Chicago metropolitan area—all on the same day. And this history-making feat is still a record number. The aggressive launch was deemed an act of retail war on fellow discounters, Wal-Mart and Kmart, as all three were already well embroiled in bids to out-price one another. And that year, Target also accused Wal-Mart of playing fast and loose with its comparative pricing, forcing the Sam Walton-led company to scrap its misleading slogan, "Always the low price. Always," and adopt the more innocuous, "Always low prices. Always").

Modern Farmhouse Rug

A woven jute rug with a navy stripe on both ends.
Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Jute Rug Charcoal Stripe $250
Shop

Target Schedules Mark-Downs

Let's say you've had your eye on something but don't want to pay full price. Scoring a deal on something before it sells out really depends on the day you choose to make that Target run. According to AllThingsTarget.com (a site dedicated to those who love to shop there), you should hunt for markdowns on everything from beauty products to sporting goods on the following days. Typically, you can expect any item's first markdown price to be 30% off.

  • Monday: Accessories; Baby; Books; Electronics; Kids' clothing; Stationery
  • Tuesday: Women's clothing; Pets; Food items
  • Wednesday: Men's clothing; Health and beauty; Diapers; Lawn/Garden; Furniture
  • Thursday: Housewares; Lingerie; Shoes; Toys; Sporting goods; Décor; Luggage
  • Friday: Auto; Cosmetics; Hardware; Jewelry

Midcentury-Style Nightstand

A black nightstand with a rattan door, brass handle, and brass feet.
Threshold Duxbury Nightstand With Storage $170
Shop

Target's Price Tags Reveal All

Whenever you're shopping in-store and you see a price ending in $0.06 or $0.08, it means that Target will mark that item down again (as long as inventory exists) after two weeks have elapsed. But when a price ends in $0.04, it's usually considered "final clearance," and is, therefore, the lowest possible cost for that item.

When a Target item is marked down, the number printed in the upper right-hand corner of its price tag connotes the percentage by which it has been discounted.

Spitzmiller-Inspired Lamp

A table lamp with a marbled gray base and white linen shade and brass accents.
Jonathan Y Anya Mini Glass LED Table Lamp $29
Shop

Target Knows You're Preggers

In a Big Brother-esque twist, Forbes maintains that “Target has figured out how to data-mine its way into your womb, to figure out whether you have a baby on the way long before you need to start buying diapers.” This somewhat creepy revelation came on the heels of a story The New York Times ran about a father’s indelicate discovery of his teenage daughter's pregnancy. His complaints to Target about receiving seemingly random diaper coupons pointed to hard data that—correctly—suggested she was with child.

Upholstered Platform Bed

A platform bed upholstered in a green and white leopard-face motif.
Opalhouse Valera Platform Bed - Eulalia Green $1200
Shop

Bullseye Flies First Class

Target's mascot, a pretty, white Bull Terrier named Bullseye, was introduced to Target's marketing plan in 1999—but the total number of Bullseyes the company has gone through in the last 20 years remains a closely guarded secret. Fun fact: The red, bulls-eye pattern on the dog's face is vegetable-based, nontoxic paint that's actually approved by the Humane Society. Perhaps the most pampered pooch this side of Minneapolis, the VIP pup has a closet full of custom-made outfits for special events, including an Iditarod parka and booties, and has even been spotted flying first class.

Windsor-Style Bench

A tall wooden bench.
Smith & Hawken Hardwood Windsor Bench $210
Shop

Target Is Woke

Target currently invests 5% of its profits into the communities it serves, especially via its Target Foundation, which donates roughly $9 million every year in grants toward housing and workforce development in under-resourced neighborhoods throughout Minneapolis.

Since 1994, its plastic hangers have been recycled via a closed-loop, zero-waste reuse program. And according to Target's blog, The Bullseye View, "In 2017 alone, the number of hangers we saved from landfills could circle the globe nearly five times." The company also gives customers back five cents per each reusable bag used during checkout, returning more than $3.5 million to its customers in 2018.

Target has even committed to sourcing 100% sustainable cotton products by 2022—and it's now working with Nest Ethical Handcraft Program to give shoppers clearer indications that certain handmade items are responsibly sourced in other countries. Freshwater stewardship, a willingness to reduce its carbon footprint, and a general commitment to diversity and inclusion in its workforce are just several more of the company's tenets—and its list of philanthropic and eco-conscious causes goes on.

Kilim-Inspired Pouf

A round woven pouf in neutral colors and a southwestern style motif.
Style By Ashley Abraham Pouf $130
Shop

Returns Are Always Free

Regardless of where, or how, you purchased your Target product, returns by mail never incur shipping fees. Simply visit the online return center, print out a prepaid label, and Bob's your uncle. Plus, if you'd like to return something in-store but you lost (or don't have) your receipt, Target's Guest Service can easily find it via your original method of payment.

Sacred-Heart Cloche

A glass cloche filled with mounted metal sacred heart decorations.
3R Studios Sacred Heart Pedestal Sculpture $146
Shop

Target Is An Innovator

Despite the demise of former-heavyweight discounters retailers (JCPenney, Kmart, Sears) in this notoriously difficult retail landscape, Target has grown to be the country's eighth-largest retail brand, with retail sales surging past $75 billion in 2018. And while its profits rise, Target is also rising to the climate's growing challenges. In 2018 alone, the store opened more than 24 easier-to-shop and smaller-scale store formats, adapting to the changing needs of shoppers in urban areas and those near college campuses.

Fast Company has named Target one of the world's 50 most innovative companies, due largely to its adoption of Amazon's same- and two-day shipping practices, and because, over the past three years, it released more than 20 private-label lines that have easily garnered cult status. Six of which (and Project 62 is among them) earn more than $1 billion apiece. And if all that's not cutting-edge enough for you, the company also pledges to raise its minimum wage to $15 (currently $13) by the end of 2020.

C'mon, Keep Shopping

We know you want to.

Seagrass Basket

A woven seagrass belly basket with two handles and a dipped-yellow base.
Northlight Natural Seagrass Belly Basket with Handles $22
Shop

Glam Parsons Desk

A navy blue desk with two drawers and handles and legs that resemble bamboo stalks.
Opalhouse Oslari Painted Desk $120
Shop

Tripod Floor Lamp

An oak tripod floor lamp with white linen shade and metal accents on legs.
Threshold Oak Wood Tripod Floor Lamp $110
Shop

Printed Sheet Set

A set of printed cotton sheets with pink stitching and a blue hand-blocked style pattern.
Opalhouse Printed Cotton Percale Sheet Set - Indigo $31
Shop

Mango Wood Bowl

A round wooden bowl with gold-tone aluminum handles.
Cravings By Chrissy Teigen 13-inch Round Bowl $40
Shop

Related Stories