Strengths and Weaknesses
The internal environment is crucial for a business, as it defines the success strategies of the organization. Before the company evaluates or selects the external plan, it must have a clear strategy on how to compete in the corporate framework. The internal environment is a valuable asset in defining success factors. It includes the internal affairs of the company that helps achieve its mission and vision. There are several stakeholders involved in the construction of complete and reliable assessment of internal environment of the organization. The stakeholders include the employees, management, customers, suppliers. Moreover, the factors of financial strength and strong supply chain contribute to the internal environment. The retailing market industry, in which the Target Corporation operates, has a lot of challenges, including aggressive competitors. In order to survive in the market and conquer the competitors, the company strategizes on its strengths. On the other hand, there are some weaknesses that disturb the management more often. Though the weaknesses are controllable to some extent, they may exceed the potential of the company and management. The current paper discusses the internal strengths and weaknesses of Target Corporation to identify the strengths and weaknesses.
Target Corporation has a recognized brand name. Its logo and the red color of the branding are well known in the market. More than 97% of consumers in the USA identify the brand (Target Pressroom, 2015). Therefore, the brand name has been of great benefit to the company for the past ten years, as it became an icon in the world of retail by the slogan of expecting more and paying less. The company was founded earlier (1893) than its competitors giving it the advantage to establish reputation in the market (Target Pressroom, 2015).
Marketing Tactics/Proper distribution
The company has established the success by the use of powerful tools of marketing communication. It has enlarged its market in the youth's segment by partnering with celebrities and designers. For instance, Target has partnered with brand houses like Michael Graves, Issac Mizrahi, Amy Coe, and Missimo.
The corporation has established approximately 1795 stores in the US (Target Pressroom, 2015). Its stores are located in almost all the states in America. Moreover, it involves online marketing, where various products traded by the company can be purchased through their online stores. The company is capable of recognizing customers' needs. As a result, the marketing is directed to the targeted needs. Apart from recognizing consumers' needs, the company has the ability to create innovative and high-quality products.
Good Relations with Employees and Customers
The company has good retention strategies for its customers. Target Corporation has managed to maintain trust of its customers through timely delivery and favorable pricing. Moreover, Target prioritizes their customers and has managed to win customer's loyalty.
The company is also able to retain its employees for a longer period as compared to its competitors. It provides a wide range of benefits to its workers to ensure that they are loyal to the company and strive for excellence (Target Corporate, 2015). They offer financial, physical, and social benefits to the employees. They provide investment plans and saving schemes to the human resource and assist in making of financial decisions. The company policies help employees to secure health by providing them with insurance plans, maternity support programs, and health education resources. Target also benefits its employees in their social lives by ensuring that they enjoy quality life both in the workplace and in private environment. Employees develop sense of belonging to the organization through social networking, teamwork activities, and fun community programs. Finally, Target invests in employee training by offering free professional and leadership education programs (Target Corporate, 2015).
Technology and Innovation
Target Corporation has been recognized for its strength in information technology. The IT proficiency has enabled the company to monitor product procurement with regards to customer's demand. Its IT systems have also played a major role in the marketing of products in the different locations. Finally, effective technological development has played a major role in product design and innovation (Rueter, 2013).
Customer Database Security
Confidentiality is crucial to any person, and customers do not want confidential information to be shared. Banks and other financial institutions invest in strategies to secure the information of their clients, especially the financial data. The banks use a lot of resources to develop the appropriate platforms to secure the data. However, corporations like Target may lack the capability to employ high rated technology to safeguard the customers information. Therefore, hackers may intrude in the company systems and get crucial information of the stakeholders. For example, in December 2013, through the Target Corporation systems, information of over 110 million customers was exposed through hacking. The data theft continued for three weeks without Target management noticing. It was one of the worst security breaches in American history (Data Security Breach Litigation, 2014). As a result, the financial institutions that issued the debit and the credit cards sued Target, which resulted in a legal expenses and reputation disadvantages (Data Security Breach Litigation, 2014). The loss amounted from the damages claimed by the financial institutions as over 40 million credit card numbers were stolen. Controlling the actions of hacking and background checks of employees in the company Information Technology department is a challenge. Also, purchasing and installing the most secure systems is a very expensive initiative for Target.
Seasonal Employees Dependency
Seasonality of business is an issue that affects a many corporations in the world. During the holiday times, there is a lot of work in the stores and the basic workers are not in the position to handle the situation. Moreover, the regular employees work extra hours at the expense of the company, which is normally costly to the business. For example, in December 2012, the company hired 88,000 seasonal employees to work on the holiday spree (StarTribune.com, 2013). In the December the year 2013, Target hired 70,000 employees to work during holidays (Moore, 2013). The seasonality leads to heavy spending, while inexperienced workers allow many errors on the job. The mistakes increase Targets expenses, as it is very hard to control the holiday spree. Having 1,856 stores in the United States only, Target needs urgent solutions to control the peak seasons.
Target corporations peak sales come in the fourth quarter from the Thanksgiving to the Christmas celebrations. However, during the other quarters the organization closes average sales. Moreover, sometimes Target makes losses, especially the second quarter. The instability in sales affects the company, as it may fail to recover the losses in the high season peak of the business. An example is the case of Canadian operations that reported 5.4 billion pre-tax losses, which is a severe financial disturbance for the business (10-K Part I: 10-K financials, 2012). However, it is challenging to control the customer behaviors, and the company has to stock the products that the clients demand during the low seasons of the year. The restocking increases the expenses if not planned properly.
A company should capitalize on the strengths and decrease the weaknesses in order to stay competitive in the market. However, some challenges, like the hackers actions, are very sensitive; therefore, the weakness of technology requires hi-tech and qualified personnel. Based on the analysis, Target installation of the billing systems had insufficient security, as it connected with the outside contractors mainly named Fazio. The actions should be avoided at all cost, and the company computers with personal information should allow access of genuine users only.
Another weakness of failure to address the seasonality of business requires supplementing the losses made during the low seasons. Thus, the company should use the strong brand image it has and the distribution capability to make more sales. As Target has trust of its clients, the company can take the competitive advantages and attract the potential customers during low sales. Though Walmart has a better investment base than Target, it faces some challenges in its operations. On the other side, corporations like Sears and JC Penny have lower sales than Target. Therefore, its management should develop a strategy to capitalize on the internal strength and counteract the weaknesses.
- annual reports | Target Corporation
- Sept. 20: Target plans to hire fewer seasonal workers - StarTribune.com
- Digital Commerce 360—Retail | Formerly Internet Retailer | Ecommerce |