Comment of the Day: Is Wal-Mart Better Than Target?

Today we looked at another sad Wal-Mart story, this one about how no one likes their clothes. Naturally this prompted you lot to commence the Wal-Mart bashing and Target praising, but one lone voice cried out in dissent.

From FuzzyHorror:

I find all the Wal-Mart hate and Target love extremely... what's the word... stupid? misguided? ignorant?

Having worked at Wal-Mart for 3 years and Target for 2 years and change (I've long since left both jobs), I can say that Target is by far the worst company of the two to work for. Working there filled me with a rage that is difficult to describe without descending into vulgarity. Wal-Mart was just work; I had a job to do, I did it, I went home.

I never had problems with my overtime at Wal-Mart (constant pay issues at Target, including my final check). I was never asked to work off the clock at Wal-Mart, and the times I did, because something had to get done, I was chastised for it. I also had plenty of freedom for advancement, I started as a truck unloader and I left as an hourly (support) manager (at Target I started as a stockroom organizer and I left as a stockroom organizer).

From the customer standpoint Target's products really aren't any better. 90% of their merchandise is exactly the same stuff you can buy at Wal-Mart. Is Corningware bought at Target somehow stronger? Does the Pepto Bismol work faster? the Kraft Cheese more tangy? Does the Black & Decker drill, drill faster? Obviously not.

The only real difference is the price. I joked when I still worked at Target that employees get a 10% discount, but they could double that discount and still be more expensive than Wal-Mart.

Obviously, I'm not counting their self-branded merchandise, but 1) it's a relatively small percentage of what the stores sell and 2) it costs more at Target, so one would hope it's better quality. Anybody that thinks a $4 shirt will be the same quality as a $20 shirt probably isn't in touch with reality. But truth be told I wouldn't be caught dead in either store's shirts.

I'm honestly not trying to be a Wal-Mart apologist, but there is some serious self-delusion going on in these comments. If you don't like the store then fine, that's really all you have to say, don't devolve the argument into yet another us vs. them.

Just as an epilogue to my rather long post, I really do shop at both. Which one usally depends on how much stuff I need vs location convenience.

[Photo via Getty]