Target Audience

Malcolm Gladwell said the crux of the teachings of White Plains’ own Howard Moskowitz is that by embracing the diversity of human beings you will find true happiness.

That was not reflected at all at what I saw in a recent trek to Target in the basement floor of the city center. Upon entering the mass merchandiser the first thing you see are seemingly sane people munching in bright red and yellow seating of a pseudo Mc-style  eatery directly before the row of registers. Most of the people have bags or carts still next to them from their shopping venture, gobbling down rubbery deep fried something.

I know, I wasn’t being forced to take part in the feeding session at the gates of the store but, to me, it presumed the exact opposite of the sentiments that are represented by Mr. Moskowitz’s word; the masses are the masses.

I feel the inner me talking in a grouchy voice, growing extra long eyebrows and auditioning as the understudy for the last segment on 60 minutes, every time I walk into a large chain retailer. Am I being too cynical? I do not hold Target solely responsible, there is a reason the word conglomerate somehow seems like something that could block and artery; it’s a flood of discounted access. Borders lucked out, coffee and reading can ride tandem with one another. But when large scale shops create these inappropriate mix of portions of life I become green about the gills.

Another example, upstairs from Target, is the Multiplex that has in its very heart a bar. I never got when friends in high school would bring a six pack of cans into the theatre and I don’t get now why there is a market for getting a few gin and tonics right next to the 10 dollar gallon of popcorn.

It’s not hard to see why Europeans use as a shopping mall and scapegoat for the worlds consumerism.

My basic question here is, why with scale is function and uniqueness seemingly always lost, when true happiness, at least for the customers, is attained more often by the little guy?


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