Target's value in the eye of the beholder

NEW YORK -- Target continues to pull ahead of Walmart in the value retail category, according to a recent Harris poll. The company was named the 2011 Harris Poll Equitrend value retail brand of the year. This is the second consecutive year Target has led the way in the value retail category.

Target lead the way with a ranking of 74.1, while Walmart had a ranking of 70.8. The industry average in the value retail category was 67.3.

"In difficult economic times, consumers look for value." said Jeni Lee Chapman, EVP brand and communications consulting at Harris Interactive. "Target is seen as a retailer with strong brand equity especially when compared to its competition. As consumers consolidate where they choose to spend their paychecks, those retailers with the highest brand equity are going to obtain greater share of that spending."

Other winners in the study include New Balance for the athletic footwear category and Bobbi Brown in the cosmetics category.

Harris reported that it devised its results by evaluating measures including: equity, consumer connection, commitment, brand behavior, brand advocacy and trust. The keystone to the program is equity, which provides an understanding of a brand's overall strength and is determined by a calculation of familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration.

This year's study was conducted online among 25,099 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over between Jan. 11 and 27. A total of 1,273 brands were rated in 53 separate categories. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 60 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data were weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over on the basis of age sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, and income, and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online.

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