14 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Target

1. From embers to flames to fortune

Yes, the first Target store was resurrected, so to speak, from a church that had burned down back in 1895 in Minneapolis. George Dayton, a real estate developer, bought property that had been the Westminster Presbyterian Church.

He then used the grounds to construct a six-story building. Wanting a main store on the property, he had Goodfellows Dry Goods relocate to the premises, with much success. His family then started Target in 1961.

2. Target… or “Tarjay”?

Personally, I hate the fake French pronunciation of Target (perhaps because mastering a French accent is difficult for anyone, even those of us who took years of French), but I guess it’s been a trend since 1962.

Douglas Dayton inherited the business then and said people began saying “Tarjay” back then! 

3. What are those big red balls outside the store(s) for?

In a word, safety. Made of concrete, the “bollards” help prevent cars from accidentally driving into the door and hitting shoppers. (One couple even started posting pics with them on Instagram… for 365 days in a row!) 

 4. One Target store became known for porn… and kicked everyone out!

In “the happiest place in America,” San Luis Obispo, a shopper made pornographic noises over the PA system, causing personnel to clear out staff and shoppers. 

5. They may be able to tell if you’re pregnant… before your family & friends do!

Yes, once again (as is common these days), data analytics come into play here, based on what one buys when shopping (i.e., more supplements, which is related to a pregnant woman’s second trimester).

Then, Target could send these women specific coupons. This is not a positive experience for everyone, though, especially not the father of a teenager who had no idea she was pregnant until all the baby-oriented coupons arrived!

6. They are pro-breastfeeding in the store

Yes, mothers can feed their babies anywhere in the storeno need to run and hide in the bathroom or a sparse aisle. (A Texas store once asked a mother to do so overtly, which caused much publicity and “nurse-ins.”)

7. Refrigerated Doritos, anyone?

Last year, shoppers became confused over seeing Doritos in the refrigerated area of the store. It turned out that Target was attempting to promote a recipe for “walking tacosincluding not only standard taco fixings like ground beef and cheese, but also Doritos.

8. 11 stores were opened in one (!) day!

In March of 1993, Target opened 11 Chicago stores… on the same day! (Some think this may have been due to competition with Kmart and Wal-Mart).

9. CVS now owns their pharmacies

Gone are the days where Target gave out their own prescriptions. Back in June, it was decided that CVS Pharmacy would take over (for the small price of almost two billion dollars).

It’s said that Target needed the money after plans for more Canadian stores fell through.

10. They helped out Washington, D.C.—specifically, the Washington Monument

Back in 1997, the Washington Monument needed to be repaired, and Target stepped in with $1 million for the National Park Service.

The store chain also got Michael Graves to lend his expertise about the restructure, and he later was the first “name” designer to launch a line of products for Target.

Distraction: Target Will Soon Let You Drink Alcohol While You Shop

11. “Manatee gray” is not a size

In 2013, Target had a line of Mossimo kimono dresses and the sizes were all “dark heather gray”… except for a plus-sized one called “manatee gray.”

After a shopper complained, Target said the latter was a color they found, but it should not have only been used to describe plus-sized ones.

12. Target-related entities (like people) sometimes receive death threats

You may remember “Alex from Target” from last winter. He was the (very) good-looking 26-year-old target employee in Frisco, Texas whose photo went viral in November 2014.

He then became an Internet meme, went from 100 Twitter followers to 100,000 in no time, and started receiving modeling offers.

But, in this New York Times article, Alex revealed that not everyone was a fan. Regardless, he has 1.9 million Instagram followers.

13. Move over metal shopping carts! Plastic red ones are here!

In 2006, Target had Design Continuum create a cart that made steering it easier and more comfortable for the shopper. Not only is it 15-20 pounds lighter than a typical steel cart, but it won’t knick shelves or shoppers as easily, either.

14. The Target Mascot lives like a celebrity (surprise, surprise)

Not only does the bull terrier fly first class, but she can also only work for a limited number of hours when she makes public appearances. 

Check out this YouTube video where she even stole the spotlight from Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti.


H/T Mental Floss

Photo by JeepersMedia


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About the Author
Natalia Lusinski
In addition to Simplemost, Natalia is an ongoing writer for Bustle (sex, dating, relationships, and money), HelloGiggles (pop culture and news), The Delite (feel-good stories), and Don’t Waste Your Money (yep, money issues!). You can also find her writing in the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune's RedEye, xoJane, Elite Daily, Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, among other publications. She has a Ph.D. in couch-surfing, having spent four years sleeping on over 200 L.A.-area love seats and sectionals, all in an effort to whittle down her student loan debt. She still loves couch-surfing in other cities, too (hint, hint).

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