1. What are the possible issues associated with Target allowing liquor to be consumed in its stores? How might it affect sales?
Target serving liquor in their store runs the same risk as any other vendor might. This move will require the store to hire specialized employees to operate what is, essentially, a bar. When Whole Foods made this move in 2011, they worked very hard to ensure the bar did not overtake the carefully cultured atmosphere of the store (Horovitz, 2011). Target will need to do the same, and ensure the bar atmosphere does not distract from the shopping atmosphere of the store. That being said, Whole Foods has found that adding a beer and wine bar in their stores has increased sales. It has the tendency to attract new shoppers, and also encourages them to spend more time, and thus money, in the store.
2. Is it a good idea or not? What rules (if any) should Target have about consuming liquor in its stores?
Based on the results experienced by Whole Foods, serving beer and wine in Target is a good idea. It encourages people to enter the store, and once they are there, it encourages them stay longer. In turn, this results in increased sales. The expense of adding the bar is relatively minor in relation to the results (Horovitz, 2011). The main priority for Target must be to maintain the shopping atmosphere of the store. Unlike a coffee shop in a bookstore, which is an endeavor that goes well together, drinking alcohol is not typically associated with shopping. Target must strive to turn the alcohol consumption into a social experience that encourages spending in the retail outlet. Therefore, Target must not only develop rules that prevent drunken and disorderly behavior, but instead structure the consumption around happenings in the store.
Horovitz, B. (March 28, 2011). Whole Foods tests bars selling craft beer and local wine in its stores. USA Today.
Karp, G. (August 26, 2015). New Target store seeks to serve booze. Chicago Tribune.