Walmart employee

Justin Sullivan/Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America

Walmart often has the best deals when it comes to price. Yet some people refuse to shop at the chain retailer, choosing Target even when prices are higher. While Walmart is the country’s biggest employer with 1.5 million employees in a whopping 4,756 stores, some consumers refuse to shop there. Why?

In the battle between Walmart and Target, Walmart has received a lot more negative press about how it pays its employees, which some shoppers point to as a turn-off. According to the Washington Post, CEO Doug McMillon received a pay package worth nearly $24 million in 2018, and store managers average $175,000 a year, but most full-time hourly employees earn $14.26 an hour and start at just $11 an hour. Because pay is low, Walmart employees rely on food stamps, Medicare, and public housing, which ends up costing taxpayers $6.2 billion in tax dollars per year.

Target doesn’t pay much more (and CEO Brian Cornell made a pretty lofty $21.6 million last year), but it doesn’t seem to inspire as much dissatisfaction. The chain, which plans to pay all its workers a minimum of $15 an hour starting this year, has a much higher employee satisfaction ranking, with many giving the retailer props for work-life balance, job resources, company culture, career opportunities and more.

But even though shoppers grumble about how employees are treated at Walmart, what really motivates them to pay slightly more at Target is likely more personal — a better shopping experience. While Walmart has celebrity designers like Sofia Vergara and Ellen DeGeneres, Target is perceived as making higher-quality clothing with better, more contemporary designs. Many Target shoppers also remain loyal to the store’s other highly-rated in-house brands. Additionally, many Target stores are better organized, more pleasant, and cleaner than Walmart stores. While shopping isn’t as much fun as it used to be, Walmart’s reputation isn’t helping it these days, either. While Walmart is promising sterilizing and more frequent cleansing due to the pandemic, the fact many stores were messy and disorganized to begin with doesn’t give reluctant consumers a lot of confidence.

Also, don’t forget the other perk most Targets offer that can’t be found at Walmart: Starbucks counters. Never downplay the importance of a good latte for shoppers, especially when shopping has become a more stressful task than anyone expected it to be this year.