Target’s commitment to quality in many areas, including sustainability, helps some customers overcome the retailer’s most recent security mishap.
I am a fairly regular visitor to Target. And while I’ve long been aware of the company’s focus on sustainability, I realized just how seriously Target takes it on a recent shopping trip.
The learning began when I grabbed one of the store’s new shopping carts. The carts had been redesigned some time earlier, to great fanfare, but this was the first time I had actually seen one. While it resembled your prototypical shopping cart, it had a sleeker design and a more space-age feel. The cart was lightweight, didn’t pull to one side or the other, and made no annoying squeaks—and it turned on a dime! It was obvious that a lot of planning had gone into the final product.
As I was checking out, I made a remark to the cashier about the new cart design, and she immediately started to rattle off facts about it. While I don’t remember every stat, she specifically mentioned that the cart was made out of recycled plastics and that parts could be replaced, giving it a longer functional life than that of a metal cart. And while these facts were impressive, what really caught my attention was how knowledgeable this Target employee was.
I read regularly about companies that theoretically embrace sustainability, Target among them. But it is rare to find it embodied in frontline employees who actually interact with customers and help color-in brand perception. As a customer, I walked away with the feeling that Target really cares about sustainability and is investing in educating its employees about it, not just publishing an annual corporate sustainability report for the sake of investors, environmentalists and general PR value.
And that perception is critical for Target now. Like millions of others, I received a call from my bank right before the holidays saying my account was compromised because of the security breach of credit/debit card records and PINs at Target. And, like millions of others, I was pretty ticked off about it. Although we live in a world where financial data theft is a common problem, and this type of thing has happened to me before, I expected more from Target.
So the dilemma for me (and millions of others) is whether to shop there again. I have some faith Target will install safeguards and do everything in its power not to let this happen again. But I weigh this alongside other factors, such as product selection, customer service and sustainability efforts. The upshot? I will shop there again, with some portion of that decision based on Target’s sustainability efforts. If this had happened at a different retailer, I would not likely be so forgiving.
The key takeaway here is that a commitment to sustainability shows me a desire to consider all the things that matter and not to cut corners for the sake of profit. And while that attention to detail was overlooked in a critical area in this case, Target’s sustainability commitment shows me that they do want to get it right. I’m guessing their new dedication to security will be even stronger than that of other retailers. And I’m willing to give them a second chance.
A good shopping cart can really make a difference!