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Target Corporation facts for kids

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Target Corporation
  • Goodfellow Dry Goods
  • (1902–1903)
  • Dayton's Dry Goods Company
  • (1903–1910)
  • Dayton Company
  • (1910–1962)
  • Dayton Corporation
  • (1962–1969)
  • Dayton-Hudson Corporation
  • (1969–2000)
Traded as
  • S&P 100 component
  • S&P 500 component
Industry Retail
  • June 24, 1902; 121 years ago (1902-06-24) (corporation)
  • May 1, 1962; 61 years ago (1962-05-01) (store)
  • George Dayton (corporation)
  • Douglas Dayton & John Geisse (store)
Number of locations
Increase 1,956 stores (2024)
Area served
United States, Canada (formerly, see Target Canada)
Key people
Brian C. Cornell
(Chairman & CEO)
Products Clothing, designers, footwear, accessories, jewelry, beauty products, groceries, food, drinks, electronics, housewares, appliances, bedding, bath, furniture, home decor, books, toys, games, movies, music, lawn and garden, pet supplies, health and hygiene products, gifts, optical, snack bar, and pharmacy
Revenue Increase US$109.1 billion (2022)
Operating income
Decrease US$3.848 billion (2022)
Decrease US$2.780 billion (2022)
Total assets Decrease US$53.34 billion (2022)
Total equity Decrease US$11.23 billion (2022)
Number of employees
440,000 (2023)
  • Dayton Corporation (1962–1969)
  • Dayton-Hudson Corporation (1969–2000)
Subsidiaries Shipt

Target Corporation is an American retail corporation that operates a chain of discount department stores and hypermarkets, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the seventh-largest retailer in the United States, and a component of the S&P 500 Index. The company is one of the largest American-owned private employers in the United States.

The corporation was founded in Minneapolis by businessman George Dayton in 1902, and developed through the years via expansion and acquisitions. Target, the company's first discount store and eventual namesake, was opened in 1962. The company became the Dayton-Hudson Corporation after merging with the J.L. Hudson Company in 1969 and formerly held ownership of several department store chains including Dayton's, Hudson's, Marshall Field's, and Mervyn's. The parent company was renamed the Target Corporation in 2000.

Target is notable for its focus on upscale, trend-forward merchandise at lower costs. Its stores typically sell general merchandise—including clothing, household goods, electronics, toys, and more—as well as groceries. Its name and logo refer to the center of a shooting target, and its canine mascot is named Bullseye. Target expanded throughout the U.S. in the late twentieth century, cementing its place in American popular culture. Its main competitors include Walmart and Amazon. The corporation also operates 41 distribution centers, a financial services division, and a global capabilities center in Bangalore, India.

As of 2023, Target operates 1,948 stores throughout the United States, and is ranked No. 32 on the 2022 Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue. It has been consistently ranked as one of the most philanthropic companies in the U.S. Attempts to take the chain international have proved unsuccessful. Target Corporation's headquarters is located on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis.

Target stores footprint 2020-12
Map of Target stores in United States, as of December 2020


Target logo (1968)
Target's original bullseye logo, used from 1962 until 1968

The history of what would become Target Corporation first began in June 1902, when George Dayton purchased a company called Goodfellow Dry Goods. The company was renamed the Dayton's Dry Goods Company in 1903 and later the Dayton Company in 1910. The first Target store opened in Roseville, Minnesota, in 1962 while the parent company was renamed the Dayton Corporation in 1967. It became the Dayton-Hudson Corporation' after merging with the J. L. Hudson Company in 1969 and held ownership of several department-store chains including Dayton's, Hudson's, Marshall Field's, and Mervyn's. In 2000, the Dayton-Hudson Corporation was renamed to Target Corporation.

Store formats/history


Target Rock Hill, SC (7151362297)
The exterior of a typical Target store in Rock Hill, South Carolina, in May 2012 (Store #1371)
CVS Pharmacy inside of a Target store (store #1910 in Savannah, Georgia)

The first Target discount store opened in Roseville, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, on May 1, 1962. Present-day properties are roughly 135,000 square feet (12,500 m2) and sell general merchandise, including hardlines and softlines. While many Target stores follow a standard big-box architectural style, the company has focused on "customizing each new store to ensure a locally relevant experience [...] that best fit the surrounding neighborhood's needs" since August 2006. Initially, only SuperTarget locations operated Starbucks Coffee counters, although they were integrated into general-merchandise stores through their expanded partnership beginning in 2003. Many Stores also feature Pizza Hut Express counters, along with Starbucks.

Target introduced the "PFresh" store prototype in 2008, which expanded its grocery selection in general-merchandise locations by upwards of 200%. Newly constructed stores that follow the PFresh format are roughly 1,500 sq ft (140 m2) larger than properties without groceries, although retain the Target branding because their offerings are considerably more limited than SuperTarget. PFresh sells perishable and frozen foods, baked goods, meat, and dairy. The company remodeled 109 stores accordingly in 2009, and renovated another 350 stores the following year. The company's decision to close their garden centers opened floor space for PFresh expansion and larger seasonal departments beginning in 2010.

CVS Health

On June 15, 2015, CVS Health announced an agreement with Target to acquire all of Target's pharmacies and clinic businesses for around $1.9 billion. The Target pharmacies were rebranded as CVS Health pharmacies, which totaled 1,672 pharmacies in February 2016. The Target clinics were also rebranded as MinuteClinic. The acquisition of the Target pharmacies enabled CVS to expand its market into Seattle, Denver, Portland, and Salt Lake City.


The exterior of a SuperTarget in Omaha, Nebraska, in 2020: This store was remodeled in October 2017. (Store #1777)

The first Target Greatland location opened in Apple Valley, Minnesota, in September 1990. They were about 50% larger than traditional Target stores, and pioneered company standards, including an increased number of checkout lanes and price scanners, larger aisles, expanded pharmacy and photography departments, and a food court. Target Greatland locations have since been converted to stores following the PFresh format beginning in 2009.

The first SuperTarget hypermarket opened in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1995, and expanded upon the Target Greatland concept with the inclusion of a full grocery department. The company expanded their grocery assortment in 2003 and adopted the modified tagline "Eat Well. Pay Less." (in reference to their tagline "Expect More. Pay Less.") in 2004. In the early 2000s, 43 locations (of nearly 100) featured E-Trade trading stations, although they were all closed by June 2003 after E-Trade determined, "we were not able to make it into a profitable distribution channel."

When comparing itself with rival Walmart Supercenter hypermarkets, then-chief executive Gregg Steinhafel opined that Walmart operates like "a grocer that happens to also sell general merchandise," where in contrast, its less aggressive expansion of SuperTarget stores is indicative of their position that the grocery industry as a "high-impact, low-cost" side project. The company operated 239 SuperTarget locations as of September 2015; they each encompass an estimate of 174,000 square feet (16,200 m2).

In article written in August 2015, Target was quoted as saying, "Big or small, our stores have one thing in common: they're all Target." Since then, newer stores have opened under the Target name.

Small-format Target

Target Boston Fenway (MA)
The exterior of the CityTarget in Boston, Massachusetts, in October 2015, now rebranded as Target (store #2822)

While typical Target locations are about 135,000 sq ft (12,500 m2), most "small-format" CityTarget stores are roughly 80,000 sq ft (7,400 m2). The first stores were opened in July 2012, in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle; the 160,000 square feet (15,000 m2) location in Boston is the largest CityTarget and opened in July 2015. TargetExpress stores range from 14,000 to 21,000 sq ft (1,300 to 2,000 m2); the first opened in Dinkytown near the University of Minnesota in July 2014. Products in these flexible-format properties are typically sold in smaller packages geared towards customers using public transportation. Locations built in college communities often carry an extended home department of apartment and dormitory furnishings. In August 2015, Target announced that it would rename its nine CityTarget and five TargetExpress stores as Target beginning that October, deciding, "Big or small, our stores have one thing in common: they're all Target." The first small-format stores under the unified naming scheme opened later that month in Chicago, Rosslyn, San Diego, and San Francisco. The company opened a 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2) store in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York in October 2016. In that same month, three other similar-sized stores opened in Philadelphia, Cupertino, California, and the area around Pennsylvania State University. Target opened a 22,000 sq ft (2,000 m2) store in Austin's Dobie Twenty21, adjacent to the UT-Austin campus.

Nearly all of its planned openings through 2019 were small formats, which are less than 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2). The goal of these smaller-format stores is to win over the business of millennial customers. The nearly 30 newer locations were to be situated in college towns or densely populated areas.

Brands and subsidiaries

As of 2018, Target has four subsidiaries: Target Brands, Inc., Target Capital Corporation, Target Enterprise, Inc., and Target General Merchandise, Inc.

Cash registers inside the now-closed Target (Store #3609, a former Zellers, later Lowe's that opened in 2016 and closed in 2019 and is now Canada Computers) in Centerpoint Mall (Toronto)

Financial and Retail Services division

Financial and Retail Services (FRS), formerly Target Financial Services, issues Target's credit cards, known as the Target REDcard (formerly the Target Guest Card), issued through Target National Bank (formerly Retailers National Bank) for consumers and through Target Bank for businesses. FRS also oversees GiftCard balances. Target launched its PIN-x debit card, the Target Check Card, which was later rebranded as the Target Debit Card. The Target Debit Card withdraws funds from the customer's existing checking account, and allows for up to $40 "cash back". The debit card allows guests to save 5% off each purchase. In late 2017, Target replaced its REDcard slogan, "Save 5% Today, Tomorrow, & Everyday with Target REDcard", when it rolled out new benefits for REDcard holders by offering exclusive products on and preorders with "Everyday Savings. Exclusive Extras."

Target Sourcing Services

This global sourcing organization locates merchandise from around the world for Target and helps import the merchandise to the United States, including garments, furniture, bedding, and towels. Target Sourcing Services has 27 full-service offices, 48 quality-control offices, and seven concessionaires located throughout the world, and employs 1,200 people. Its engineers are responsible for evaluating the factories that do business with Target Corporation for quality, labor rights, and trans-shipment issues. It was acquired by Target Corporation in 1998, was founded in 1916 as the Associated Merchandising Corporation, and was previously owned by the clients it served. TSS ceased operations in its department-store group, the division of the former Associated Merchandising Corporation that acted as a buying office for Saks, Inc., Bloomingdale's, Stage Stores Inc., TJ Maxx, and Marshalls.


Target Plaza South
Target Plaza South, a portion of the Target Corporation headquarters complex in downtown Minneapolis, United States: The building originally featured the Target Light System, created by using 3M light pipes, but was replaced by more energy-efficient LEDs in 2011.

Target Corporation has its headquarters on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis near the site of the original Goodfellows store. The complex includes Target Plaza North and Target Plaza South. Ryan Companies developed the complex, and Ellerbe Becket served as the architect. Target had the roughly $260 million complex developed to provide one location of office space for 6,000 employees. The 14-story Target Plaza North has 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) of office and retail space, while the 32-story Target Plaza South has 1,250,000 square feet (116,000 m2) of space. In October 2014, Target completed construction of an 1,600,000 square feet corporate campus in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota called Target Northern Campus.

Brian Cornell serves as board chairman and CEO of Target Corporation. In January 2016, Cornell began making home visits in an effort to understand better the needs and desires of his customers. In January 2016, Target fired Tina Tyler from her job as chief stores officer. She was replaced with long-time employee Janna Potts.

On August 26, 2020, the headquarters building was broken into and damaged during the Minneapolis false rumours riot. Three Minnesota residents were later convicted of federal arson charges for setting fires inside the building during the riot.


Target is consistently ranked as one of the most philanthropic companies in the US. It ranked No. 22 in Fortune magazine's "World's Most Admired Companies" for 2010, largely in part to the donation efforts of the company as a whole. According to a November 2005 Forbes article, it ranked as the highest cash-giving company in America in percentage of income given (2.1%). Target donates around 5 percent of its pre-tax operating profit; it gives over $3 million a week (up from $2 million in years prior) to the communities in which it operates. It also gives a percentage of charges from its Target Visa to schools designated by the cardholders. To date, Target has given over $150 million to schools across the United States through this program.

Further evidence of Target's philanthropy can be found in the Target House complex in Memphis, Tennessee, a long-term housing solution for families of patients at the city's St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The corporation led the way with more than $27 million in donations, which made available 96 fully furnished apartments for families needing to stay at St. Jude over 90 days.

Target has a no-solicitation rule at its properties, as it seeks to provide a "distraction-free shopping experience for its guests." Exemptions to this policy were previously made for the Salvation Army red kettles and bell-ringers outside Target stores during the holidays through Christmas. In 2004, however, Target asked the organization to explore alternate methods to partner with Target. Target donates to local Salvation Army chapters through its grant program and annually to the United Way of America (the Salvation Army is a member of the United Way coalition).

In 2005, Target and the Salvation Army created a joint effort called "The Target/Salvation Army Wish List", where online shoppers could donate goods to the organization for hurricane victims by buying them directly from between November 25, 2005, and January 25, 2006. In 2006, they created another joint effort called "The Target/Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree", which is an online version of the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program; in addition to donating proceeds made from the sales of limited edition Harvey Lewis angel ornaments within Target's stores. During the Thanksgiving holiday of 2006, Target and the Salvation Army partnered with magician David Blaine to send several families on a shopping spree the morning of Black Friday. The challenge held that if Blaine could successfully work his way out of a spinning gyroscope by the morning of Black Friday, then several families would receive $500 shopping certificates. The challenge was completed successfully by Blaine.

During disasters, Target has been a major benefactor for relief efforts. Target provided monetary and product donations during the September 11 attacks; it also donated money for relief efforts for the 2004 tsunami in South Asia and donated $1.5 million (US) to the American Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It also allowed its store properties in the affected area to be used as command centers for relief organizations and donated supplies such as water and bug spray.

Target will often donate its unused, returned or seasonal merchandise (particularly clothing) to Goodwill Industries.

Environmental record

In 2007, Target Corporation agreed to reduce its sales on all materials containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Testers found toxic lead and phthalates and large amounts of PVC in toys, lunch boxes, baby bibs, jewelry, garden hoses, mini blinds, Christmas trees, and electronics. Several studies have shown that chemicals in vinyl chloride can cause serious health problems for children and adults. The University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago states that people who use products containing PVC can become exposed with harmful toxic phthalates and lead, which eventually can become a big contributor with dioxins. Lois Gibbs, executive director of the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, stated, "Target is doing the right thing by moving away from PVC and switching to safer alternatives." Other companies reducing the PVC on their shelves include Walmart, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, and Apple. Target is beginning to reduce energy use with energy-efficient storefronts and reducing waste with recycling programs. All Target stores in the United States use plastic carts with metal frames. In mid-2006, Target took it a step further when it began introducing a newer cart design made entirely of plastic. It also uses the same design in its hand-use baskets.

Target released a 13-page report in 2007 that outlined their current and future plans for becoming more earth-friendly according to LEED. Such efforts include installing sand filtration systems for the stores' wastewater. Recycling programs will be aimed at garment hangers, corrugated cardboard, electronics, shopping carts, shrink wrap, construction wastes, carpeting, and ceiling tiles and roofing materials. All stores in Oklahoma will be partnered with Oklahoma Gas & Electric to exclusively use wind power for all Target stores to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Stores nationwide use only LED and fluorescent lights and low-flow restrooms that reduce wastewater by 30%. Some Target stores are installing roof gardens or green roofs, which absorb stormwater and cut down on surface runoff, mitigate temperature fluctuations and provide habitats for birds. There are currently four green-roof Target stores in Chicago.

Target carries over 700 organic and alternative products from brands such as Archer Farms, Burt's Bees, and Method Products. They also sell clothes made from organic cotton, non-toxic cleaners, low-energy lighting and electronics, non-toxic and non-animal tested cosmetics, and furniture made from recycled materials. As of June 2007, Target has been offering reusable shopping bags as an alternative to disposable plastic bags. Target gift cards are made from corn-based resins. All of the stores' packaging is done with a modified paperboard/clamshell option and has goals for phasing out plastic wrap completely.

In collaboration with MBH Architects, Target's first "green" building was a 100,000+ square foot Target store built-in 1995 in Fullerton, California. It was a part of the EPA Energy Star Showcase for its use of skylights that cut the original energy consumption by 24% with a 5-year payback. Target and MBH Architects were awarded the "Green Lights Partner/Ally of the Year Award".

Target is the only national retailer employing a Garment Hanger reuse program, which keeps millions of pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills. In 2007, this program prevented 434 million hangers from entering landfills.

On June 15, 2009, the California Attorney General and 20 California District Attorneys filed a lawsuit in Alameda County alleging that Target stores across the state have been illegally dumping hazardous wastes in landfills.

On October 1, 2009, Target Corporation agreed to pay a $600,000 civil penalty for importing and selling a variety of toys with lead paint levels that were higher than is legally allowed. The Consumer Products Safety Commission alleged that "Target knowingly imported and sold the illegal Chinese-made toys between May 2006 and August 2007." A similar problem occurred a few months later in February 2010, when Target pulled Valentine's Day "message bears" from its shelves at the request of the California attorney general's office. The bears, which were manufactured in China, contained more lead than is permissible under federal law for children under 12.

A class action suit was filed in 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, on behalf of consumers in Ohio that purchased Target-brand wet wipes. The lawsuit filed against Target Corporation alleges the retailer misled consumers by marking the packaging on its up & up brand wipes as flushable and safe for sewer and septic systems. The lawsuit also alleges that so-called flushable wipes are a public health hazard because they are alleged to clog pumps at municipal waste-treatment facilities.

On April 27, 2017, Target announced a corporate goal to install rooftop solar panels in 500 buildings by 2020 with each project reducing 15 to 40 percent of a property's energy needs. Target also unveiled its first solar installation in shape of the bullseye logo at a distribution center in Phoenix, Arizona.

On December 5, 2018, Alameda County District Attorney O'Malley announced fining Target $7.4 million for putting illegal e-waste, medical supplies and private information into the garbage.

On April 23, 2018, Target announced plans to accelerate their electric vehicle program by installing charging stations at more than 600 parking spaces at over 100 sites across 20 states.

On March 17, 2022, Target announced its first net zero energy store in Vista, California.

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