05 April, 2011

Enfield Target's New Fresh Grocery

The Target anchor store in the Enfield Square shopping mall recently underwent a big addition/facelift. They added a new "Fresh Grocery" section.

There are a lot of supermarkets and small grocers in and around Enfield. Competition is fierce. I really don't know why Target would think it's a good idea to open yet another place to buy the same old handful of national brands, when Big Y, Stop & Shop, ShopRite, ALDI, Price Chopper, and Geissler's are already beating each over the head every week. It certainly isn't because Target can do groceries better than the local supermarkets. If anything, Target is showing off their comparative weakness when stacked up against real grocers.

Take produce, for example. I like supermarkets and small green grocers where I have my choice of a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies, all out on display so I can check them out. Everything in Target is portioned and packaged; there's no real opportunity to take a good look at what's available.

There are a lot of ridiculous pre-packaged items as well.  Individually-wrapped apple slices?  Seriously?

My biggest pet peeve is the meat, though. Nasty-looking fatless cuts pumped up with saltwater and nitrates and sealed up in some sort of sick-looking "pillow pack" advertised as "leakproof."  Holy shit, are people so scared of their food they worry about a little leakage from a package of beef?

There are a few Target-branded "Archer Farms" items that I will probably go in for occasionally - the same items that Target has carried for years without the big Fresh Grocery addition.  I'm not going to bother with the rest of it.  I'm not interested in lowest-common-denominator meats, overpackaged vegetables, or five thousand variations on American cheese.

9 comments:

steve06082 said...

They are the only store that carries the whole line of Smuckers “Low Sugar” Jams, Jellies, and Preserves. There are 5 varieties in total. Most stores carry only 1 or 2. That is the only credit I will give Target regarding groceries. So in 4 more weeks after I polish off this jar I will go back there and try another. Other than that there is no advantage to shopping there for me. It may be nice for the one-stop-shopper that doesn’t care about the prices, variety, or quality, and only want the convenience.

Leeanne said...

Though I frequent Target for everything from Liquid Plumr to inexpensive summer dresses, I can't see myself buying fresh produce there. Then again, their food quality has to be better than Armata's.

Dave said...

I dunno, Leeanne, that whole "bagged everything" approach is why I won't buy veggies at ALDI - it's an easy way for a low-price place to hide less-than-ideal stuff behind plastic. I really like to get a closer look at produce before putting it in my cart.

lavidamd said...

The Target near us carries the Wholly Guacamole snack packs. The packets are a nice size to pack for lunch at work. Otherwise, we haven't purchased much perishable food at the Target grocery store. I do look through the sales circular, just in case they are running a loss leader on something like eggs.

Andrew Green said...

Yeah, it seems like a mistake for Target to be messing around with groceries, although I'm really not surprised.

Are they planning to do this in other cities?

Dave said...

They are working on making some of their stores into "SUPER TARGET" places ... a la Wally World and Meijer and whatever they call the K-Mart stores on that pattern.

lynnafred said...

@Andrew - Every Target around us that I've been to recently - from Manchester to New Haven to Jersey - has been undergoing this kind of renovation, even places that aren't in food deserts.

Anonymous said...

Agree. This is a really dumb move by Target. Maybe providing "fresh" grocery in areas where there isn't a regular grocery store within a 5 mile radius might make some sense but right next to an Albertson, or aKroger is a ridiculous move.

Robert said...

I have 3 Target stores near me with 'Fresh Grocery' - 2 of which are right by my house. Best thing that ever happened!! The fresh vegetables are fantastic, I have never bought anything I was disappointed in. The pictures you show are not representative of my Targets, and the prices are great! I'll admit, sometimes I go somewhere else meat (steaks, tri-tip - when it's on sale) and I get my coffee & eggs at Smart and Final because the price just can't be beat. Overall though, Target has done a good thing and remember you are talking about a converted Target (which I have close to me), the Target closest to me though is FULL SERVICE bakery, deli, and meats.