"It's Like, Ugly" — American Woman Visits Target in Australia and Is Stunned by How Different It Is

Kelly Corbett - Author
By

Jan. 4 2024, Published 2:59 p.m. ET

If you live in the U.S. you likely know a thing or two about Target. The popular retailer is a cultural icon like Taylor Swift. While you may not like her, you know a lot about her, and her work, and likely have friends who are major stans.

Similarly, you are naturally privy to Target. Even if you haven't stepped foot in a Tarjay in years, you already know that the brand follows a red-and-white color scheme in-store and has a bullseye logo. You are also well-versed in where Target stands in the unofficial hierarchy of department stores (above Walmart, but below Macy’s).

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In a nutshell, you know and understand Target.

That said, if you ever found yourself in a Target store overseas and weren't greeted by its familiar year-round candy cane aesthetic and bullseye-emblazoned shopping carts and baskets, you would likely feel like you were in an alternate universe. I mean ... can you really call a department store without any hint of red Target? Apparently, in Australia, you do.

customer shopping in a target store
Source: Getty Images
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An American woman is taken aback after visiting a Target store in Australia.

Texas TikTok creator RaeAnna was thrown for a loop when she visited a Target store in Australia. In a 20-second video, she is seen inside a very unexciting department store laughing to herself. The color red is nowhere to be seen. Some of the flooring is white, but some of the flooring is wooden. Overall, everything looks outdated per American standards.

“When an American enters an Australian Target for the first time, “ reads the video’s copy.

As RaeAnna tries to suppress her giggles, a friend's voice is heard in the background.

“What do you think about Australian Target?” the woman asks RaeAnna.

“It’s like Walmart, but worse,” she answers, still trying to compose herself. “It’s like,” RaeAnna pauses, “ugly.”

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In the video’s caption, RaeAnna pens an important message to Australia Target.

It reads: “Dear Target … Our Target and your Target are not the same. We are not obsessed with your Target. We are obsessed with ours. I promise if you visit, 1. It will be fun. 2. You will be shocked. 3. Target is a magical place."

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TikTok users agreed with RaeAnna’s assessment that Target in Australia is kind of a letdown. But while RaeAnna had compared it to Walmart, others had a more fitting comparison: Kmart.

tiktok comments australian target
Source: TikTok
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Kmart, once a booming retail empire in North America in the late 20th and early 21st century, has only a few stores left in the U.S., most of which aren't located in the contingent U.S.

The bygone retailer struggled to stay afloat once competitors like Walmart and Target emerged. Unlike these retailers, Kmart did not invest in technological advancements to manage its supply chain. And in terms of styling its stores, it relied on a bland color scheme.

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"I was not ready for Australian Target to be Kmart but it was," wrote one user in the comment section of RaeAnna’s video.

A second user who identified as an American living in Australia agreed with that sentiment, adding that "Australian Kmart is like American Target."

Others compared the Target store in RaeAnna's video to a different defunct American department store, Sears, which merged with Kmart in 2005.

tiktok comments australian target
Source: tiktok
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So, why does American Target vastly differ from Australian Target? It has to do with the owners. In Australia, the conglomerate Wesfarmers oversees Target. But in the U.S., institutional investors manage the beloved corporation. Prior to this, Target in the U.S. was a long-time subsidiary of the Dayton-Hudson Corporation.

That said, shout out to all the folks calling the shots for Target stores in the U.S. because you've really hit the bullseye with us.

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