Target SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats)

Since 1902, Target has been a significant player in the retail supermarket business. Owing to its success, most people wonder which competitive advantages have enabled the company to thrive over the years.

So, if you’re after a detailed SWOT analysis of Target that lays out its current position and potential for future growth, read on to discover more interesting facts!

What is Target’s SWOT Analysis In [currentyear]?

Target’s SWOT analysis identifies the store’s unique strengths in selling variety and quality products as well as earning by selling private label brands. The analysis also reveals how data security issues and other weak areas might hamper Target’s growth. Furthermore, the analysis discovers opportunities in strategic partnerships and threats such as intense competition in [currentyear].

Read on to have a deeper understanding of Target’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats!

What are Target’s Strengths?

Target has long billed itself as the home of great value at discounted prices, and its tagline, ‘Expect more. Pay less’ is a testament to this.

The company has put several internal strategies to help fulfill this unique value proposition for its many customers, and listed below are internal strategies that comprise its strengths:

  • Wide variety of quality products at great discount
  • Private label brands
  • Very loyal customers in an attractive age and income bracket
  • Key corporate partnerships
  • Enjoyable shopping experience
  • Target’s financial position

Below, we’ll examine these strengths in more detail:

1. Wide Range of Quality Products at Great Discounts

While Target’s product range is not the widest in the market, it’s broad enough to offer numerous products under one roof.

Target’s catalog includes apparel, health and beauty, groceries, electronics, toys, furniture and furnishings, and much more.

The ‘all goods under one roof’ approach offers great convenience to customers and contributes to increased spending in Target store locations.

Target also strives to offer premium products and beats its competitors who offer similar goods. Additionally, it offers excellent discounts on its products.

2. Target Owned Brands

Target’s private label brands offer a unique strength in its growth.

Target owns 48 private label brands in various products, which it offers at a lower price and in direct competition with similar products in the market.

These owned brands enable it to consolidate customer loyalty and increase capital since most of the profits from these owned brands are plowed back into the retailer.

Moreover, these owned brands bring in substantial revenue, accounting for a third of its sales and over $2 billion in sales in the first quarter of 2021.

3. Loyal Customers in a Desirable Age and Income Bracket

Customers are the reason for running any type of business, meaning their satisfaction is paramount. Target has found strength in its ardent customers, ranking customer loyalty at 86%.

The company has also achieved this strength by offering affordable premium products, a hassle-free customer experience, and loyalty programs.

Typical Target customers are female, young, and more prosperous than those who shop elsewhere.

Additionally, almost a third of those who shop at Target are between 18- 44 years old, making an average of $65,000 a year.

This demographic drives the demand for Target’s premium products and private label products.

4. Key Corporate Partnerships

Target has found strength in key partnerships with several corporate partners.

The retailer signed a partnership with Disney, allowing the company to operate stores within some Target outlets.

Additionally, Target has built a store at Walt Disney World, Florida.

Starbucks has also long maintained outlets at Target stores, and CVS has partnered with Target to run its pharmacies.

These partnerships have enabled Target to enhance the experience it gives its customers and benefit from its partners’ customer base.

5. Enjoyable Shopping Experience

Target outdoes itself in providing the ultimate shopping experience.

All of Target’s stores are so efficiently laid out and have helpful signs across the store, that customers are easily able to navigate their way through the store and complete their shopping in a timely manner.

As well, the product display lets the buyer get every opportunity to spend more as they walk through the aisles.

Target is a leader in providing the seasonal selections experience, drawing in buyers interested in the unique seasonal experience.

Moreover, Target’s strategic partnership with other businesses also enhances the customer experience and may increase purchases.

6. Target’s Financial Position

As of the first quarter of 2021, Target is in robust financial health on every measure.

The company posted record sales and growth, gaining on some of its major competitors.

This remarkable growth came on the back of strategic alliances, increased online retail efforts, same-day delivery capabilities, and private label brands.

Robust financial health is vital to Target’s survival and is already fueling growth into different sectors for the retailer.

What are Target’s Weaknesses?

What are Target's Weaknesses?

In certain circumstances, Target’s internal structures have been inadequate to respond to the needs of the industry and propel growth.

These weaknesses include the following:

  • Data security concerns
  • Limited international presence
  • Coming late to the online space
  • Higher prices
  • Limited product line diversity comparable to competitors

1. Data Security Concerns

Target suffered a data breach in 2013 that was one of the largest to hit a large retailer.

Hackers stole credit card information whose total cost was valued at over $200 million from customers who had shopped in the store over the holiday season.

Data breaches take time and money to overcome. Ultimately, Target had to overhaul its data security protocols and reach a settlement to pay $18 million to 47 states.

Unfortunately, Target’s security concerns became public knowledge, and in a world that increasingly relies on e-commerce, news like that can drive away many customers that the business has acquired over the years.

2. Limited International Presence

Many large businesses have been able to cushion themselves from business’s instabilities and grow by expanding into new regions, but Target has been unable to do this successfully because it’s a distinct weakness.

The only foray abroad was when the retailer entered the Canadian market and embarked on vigorous expansion.

However, this attempt was short-lived, and Target exited Canada in 2015, choosing to expand its growth efforts elsewhere.

Other than that, Target has a global capabilities center in Bengaluru, India, and about a dozen sourcing points elsewhere.

Currently, the middle class has expanded in South America, Asia, and Africa, but unfortunately, Target is failing to position itself to exploit this.

3. Coming Late to the Online Space

Target’s online presence has made huge advancements and has born much fruit. However, the retailer’s outlets are still predominantly brick and mortar.

Ultimately, competitors who have structured logistics around online shopping have covered so much ground over the last few years that catching up is difficult.

4. Higher Prices

Target claims that its products are of superior quality, but most prices are 15% higher than its competitors.

When spending is restrained in times of financial difficulty, this causes problems.

In fact, Target stores have noted a decline in clothing sales, which are pricey but have slim profit margins for the seller.

Though higher prices attract the type of consumers Target desires, it also disadvantages it against the competition.

5. Limited Product Line Diversity Comparable to Competitors

Target’s product line is more limited in diversity than its main competitors, which has caused a lag in sales, both in physical and online stores.

The company’s reaction has been astute, focusing on providing variety to its core customers rather than trying to satisfy everyone.

This move has resulted in growth, but one wonders how effective it will be against competitors who will spare nothing to lock in customers.

What are the Opportunities for Target?

Some changes in the external retail sector are only obstacles to the extent that the business has not prepared for them.

Here are some of the opportunities that Target can exploit to propel growth:

  • Smaller stores
  • Further leverage private label brands
  • Form more strategic partnerships
  • Expansion into new markets

1. Smaller Stores

Small local retail outlets present both a challenge and opportunity for the growth of Target.

Many people who would otherwise shop at Target prefer these small outlets since they offer a more authentic touch.

At the same time, they are easier to acquire and would bring with them customers of their own. Consequently, acquiring them will increase Target’s market share.

Additionally, they will increase Target’s brick-and-mortar footprint and can be used as delivery points for the online part of the business.

Indeed, Target is already undertaking significant efforts to increase the number of its retail outlets.

2. Further Leverage Private Label Brands

Private Label Brands are an area in which Target enjoys a clear advantage over its competitors. As noted above, owned brands contribute significantly to Target’s bottom line.

Other companies have tried to replicate this success, which indicates that it’s an opportunity not to miss.

Private labels enable better control over pricing and cost management and, therefore, higher profits.

They also increase brand visibility and loyalty, and these are all benefits Target can enjoy by expanding the scope of its private-label brands.

3. Form More Strategic Partnerships

Target has enjoyed decent growth recently because of intelligent decision-making and strategic partnerships.

Target’s partnerships with Starbucks, Disney World, and CVS have led to positive growth for all partners.

This casts Target as a valuable partner, which the company can use to enter into more strategic and profitable partnerships.

4. Expansion into New Markets

The US market still has vast growth potential, but it’s becoming harder and harder to gain a foothold.

On the other hand, emerging markets are easy to enter and thrive in. Moreover, doing business is relatively cheaper, and the market is significant.

South America, Asia, and Africa have a burgeoning middle class with increased spending ability hungry for premium products, which is a perfect opportunity to exploit.

What Threats Does Target Face?

The threats Target faces are due to factors that are extraneous to it and can hinder its growth.

Target faces the following threats:

  • Aggressive competition
  • A decline in consumers’ purchasing power
  • Changing customer trends

1. Aggressive Competition

Target faces stiff competition in all sectors of its operations. Walmart is the stiffest competition in brick and mortar retail outlets, and it enjoys a considerable market chunk and broader footprint.

The online space faces almost unassailable competition from Amazon, which dominates the segment. Besides that, it faces competition from many other smaller retail outlets.

2. Decline in Consumers’ Purchasing Power

Due to dampened economic growth across many sectors globally, there is less disposable income.

Consumers are now more likely to spend on essentials, primarily groceries. Consumers are also more price sensitive.

This is terrible news for retailers like Target that offer premium products at a higher price, especially if the profit margin is small.

3. Changing Customer Trends

Changing customer trends can be an existential threat for a business if it cannot adapt quickly.

Moreover, changing trends can mean that structures established to satisfy customers have become obsolete.

Therefore, Target must constantly be on the lookout for evolving customer trends to continue thriving.

To know more about Target, you can also see our posts on what is Target, Target competitors, and Target statistics & facts.


The Target SWOT analysis shows where the company’s growth potential lies and internal structural deficits and threats that can hinder its growth.

All of this helps to formulate a strategy that offers an assured path to survival and progress.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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