In a move meant to bolster Target’s already impressive share of the domestic retail market, the Minneapolis-based retail giant announced over the weekend that it has opened new locations inside twenty-five currently operating Kmart stores.
Target’s move into the still-occupied and operating Kmart retail space occurred this past Friday at over two dozen randomly selected locations across the U.S. and Canada, with hundreds of Target employees rushing through the front doors, barking orders through high-powered megaphones, and shooting flare guns randomly throughout the store.
The move—described by one retail industry insider as “more emotionally jarring than 9/11 and Pearl Harbor combined”—took both Kmart employees and customers by complete surprise.
“I was organizing the bin of clearance ColecoVision video games on Friday, when all of the sudden three guys dressed in red shirts and tan pants came running into my department blowing these really loud rape whistles,” said Anthony Gilbert, a high school dropout and the electronics department supervisor at the Fargo, ND Kmart. “Next thing I know, they’re throwing the our merchandise off the shelves, urinating on it, and then replacing it with their own products.”
Witnesses present at the Kmart in Oakdale, MN said that several invading Target employees told them they would not be able to proceed through the checkout area with any items not containing Target pricing stickers, even going as far as to knock Kmart items out of their hands and push over carts not containing Target products.
“I was in line at the one open checkout lane Kmart usually has open, when this red-shirted guy comes up to me and asks me if the clearance Mad About You t-shirt I was buying had a Target price sticker on it,” said Kmart customer Bill Lapsowich. “When I said I didn’t know, he held a utility knife up to my throat and had one of his cronies re-sticker the tag. I was so scared that I pooped in my already-full adult diaper. Those things can only hold so much!”
Under this latest strategic initiative, Target has outlined a plan to display their merchandise in front of Kmart’s existing shelving and racking, use more colorful signage to draw customers’ attention away from Kmart’s traditional black-and-white price signs, and have Target employees closely shadow all Kmart staffers around the store. Target management has also instructed their security team to help shoplifters elude Kmart security staff, should the items being stolen contain Kmart stickering.
While industry reactions to the onslaughts were initially mild, several consumer and business advocacy groups were said to be arranging nationwide protests to be held at the overrun Kmart locations in the coming weeks.
“We were hoping to stage our protests during the day or days of the week when the most Kmart customers are present,” said Daniel Abernathy, executive director of Consumer Now. “Unfortunately, our contacts at Kmart are having difficulty pinpointing a time during the week that is even remotely busy. They’ve informed us that the holiday season is sometimes busy, but we don’t envision waiting for six months.”
Responding to the widespread criticism directed at Target’s latest strategic venture, company spokesman Darren Lively denied charges that Target is attempting to force Kmart out of its current locations and steal its customers.
“Contradictory to what you may have heard in the liberal media, Target Corporation is in no way looking to force Kmart out of its present locations or run them out of business,” said Lively while studying a map of all present Kmart locations at Target HQ. “We simply see this move as a way to offer Kmart’s regular customers the higher-quality, lower-priced products associated with Target, all without having to leave the store in which they are most comfortable.”
For their part, Kmart’s senior staff has begun preparing a response to what they view as “bully tactics” on the part of Target.
“We fully intend to fight this retail invasion in court,” said David Curtis, Kmart’s CEO. “However, at present, we do not have the funds to hire a lawyer. If the sales projections for our big ‘Spring into Summer Sale’ prove accurate, we are hopeful that we will have enough money to hire a modestly priced attorney for a consultation. Until then, we’ll just have to weather the storm.”
In related news, hundreds of Walmart employees were spotted gathering in the parking lots of more than a dozen Kmart locations in Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia on Monday. Attorneys for Target have reportedly instructed all Walmart staff to “back the fuck off.”