[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen you’re a well-known retail corporation with stores operating all over the world and a gross annual income at somewhere around the $20 million per fiscal year, it can be easy to overlook the little guy, though few would consider the men and women of the United States Military to be little in any way. It's true that most of the more prominent retail conglomerates host some sort of annual sale for service members at a minimum. Many even opt for a year-round military discount. Select Michaels stores offer 10% off every Wednesday while some Lowes locations offer 10% off during military-related holidays like the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. These offers usually can't be combined with other sales, but provide a nice little financial reprieve. Target, however, puts itself near the head of the pack with its yearly, [highlight color="green"]Veteran’s Day sale. [/highlight]
In November of 2017 any retired, disabled, or active duty military person was able to obtain a coupon for 10% off on their entire cart. That included those still serving, anyone in the reserves, and retired persons as well as veterans. This show of gratitude was extended to spouses as well as all dependent children. Surviving spouses plus those children of parents killed in active duty could also take part. Granted, 10% doesn’t sound like a lot. There are other stores that offer higher discounts to those who have served our country. What made this particular sale so helpful to its targeted individuals was the fact that it wasn’t limited to Veteran’s Day itself. The sale ran from November 7th all the way through to November 11th. During that time, any military person was welcome to enjoy their discount at their own leisure.
This wider shopping window allowed individuals who might not otherwise have been able or chosen to go out on Veteran’s Day to still be able to take advantage of their well-deserved savings. In order to obtain their discount, military veterans were required to have some sort of connection to a branch of the military. They could be active, reserved, or retired with an honorable discharge. Spouses and dependent children under the age of 18 also qualified for this offer. To register, service retired or active duty military personnel and their military families needed a valid military ID. The coupon was then sent to them in an email. It was up to them whether they either printed it out or displayed it at checkout on their smartphone. This one-time use coupon covered pretty much everything in the store. There were a few exceptions. These included alcohol, some toys (such as Legos), and certain electronic devices. Aside from that, everything in store and online was fair game.
Target is infamous for nabbing customers with items we never knew we needed. Half the time we go in for toilet paper and come out with six storage bins and a decorative giraffe. Their Veteran's Day sale allowed our soldiers the chance to come out with more than they'd expected for the same money. The best part was that each family member could obtain their own coupon. Imagine how fast that fact snowballed into huge savings for families who might be going through more than most people could even imagine.
Now, this sale was great, but it was only a small part of what Target does to support our troops every day. Indeed, the thing that sets this retail king above the rest is the fact that they go so far to say thank you to the men and women who have put their lives on the line for the United States. In fact, the store supports many veterans’ programs both through volunteer work and financial as well as merchandise based donations. They also have a program to hire as many veterans as possible. The number is currently over 300,000 retired and veteran military persons with the goal to grow that number to a mind-blowing one million by the year 2020. Like state and federal workforces, Target puts qualified veteran candidates at the top of their hiring list. If you happen to be a veteran looking for work, that little detail can mean a world of difference to you and your families’ lives.
Let’s face it, that first job after returning from deployment can be one of the toughest steps a veteran can. The truth is that finding work can be hard for anyone these days, but it should never be a problem for those who serve. Target recognizes this sacrifice and has made it their priority to hire as many veterans as they are able. On top of this, they offer their support to other programs that help veterans and their friends and families (including their children). This support lasts both before and after deployment to create as large a safety net as possible for those who protect our country. In this way, as well as so many others, Target and companies like it are paving the path to a better future. By honoring the people who have proven they would give their lives to protect the United States, Target has set the bar pretty high.
Their Veteran’s Day sale was not just another way they chose to support our troops, but a sign to the families who left behind that, no matter what, we have got your back. The sale was so successful, in fact, that many people have been left wondering how 2018 will stack up compared to previous years. Will Target continue to go above and beyond for military members or will it fall the way of so many other stores? Perhaps they’ll surprise us all with something even bigger than their last sale? Unfortunately, this year’s rewards schedule has yet to be posted and will likely not be released much before sometime in October. In the meantime, we’ll just have to wait and see what the New Year brings.