Target Supports Local Before Hunkering Down


TargetIn a front page article of the Business section in The New York Times, journalist Stephanie Clifford covered how Target not only just opened its first store in Manhattan, but donated unspecified amounts of money to the local area it was planting its roots. In our quest for everyone to Buy Entrepreneur, it's good to see the big corporations supporting the communities they are in (at least at first).

Harlem is the lucky area to have such large convenience, and Target didn't just pop up there overnight. According to the article, Target wooed Harlem residents for 10 years in the form of philanthropy, "dinner parties", refurbished a school library, and agreed to carry exclusive gear designed by neighborhood starlets.

We agree with our friend Dan Otero from Launch Collective, a fashion and retail consulting firm, who was quoted in the article: "Whether they're effective or not, at least there is change taking place in how big businesses like Target are approaching their consumers."

Most importantly, we see it as the arrival of the acknowledged importance of the local consumer, that while this may be dubbed as bribery, supporting local was a tactic that Target opted to take. According to the article, Target has donated more than $187 million to communities overall in 2009.

Remember, small businesses and entrepreneurs are carried in big stores like Target. So while one might think that all products carried by them are just mindless mass produced pieces of plastic, it isn't so, and we encourage you to seek out the independent brands at these stores, like Hanky Panky, The Bella Band, and more as you make choices on where to shop.

Read the full New York Times article >