We love Target as much as the next guy, and Wal-Mart’s, you know, Wal-Mart, but does anyone else feel like we’ve walked in on Jim Cramer’s own Fatal Attraction moment in this week’s issue of New York?
What’s ailing Wal-Mart? People don’t mind shopping at a down-market, politically incorrect store, if the prices are low enough. That was always Wal-Mart’s game. But now the other guys have figured it out. A number of Wal-Mart’s competitors now offer similarly low prices and a better shopping experience. Take Target. Wal-Mart’s sloppy aisles, dowdy clothing, and junky presentation have all the charm of GUM, the grim old monopolistic chain of the former Soviet Union. Target, meanwhile, is a joy. And its in-house merchandise, the key to its bountiful profit margins, rivals the stuff you can find in much more expensive stores—at price points that still make you feel like you’re getting the deal of the century.
Maybe he’s trying to show us a “softer side of J. Cra,” but it really just makes us uncomfortable. Even the diehard Cramer fans who won’t be truly happy until he lights the Mad Money set on fire are going, “Um, yeahhh, well, we’re gonna take off now, this was real.” All in favor of chair-throwing manic rages over moments like these, say “I.”
Attention, Wal-Mart Shoppers [NYM]