After I produced a map that shows the growth of Walmart, there were tons of comments that were along the lines of, “I would love to see this for insert company here.” I was happy to see the enthusiasm, but the hard part is getting the data for all store locations and opening dates.
Well, fortune was smiling on me last week, and I got a hold of data for Target opening dates and locations (thnx, Cole). So here it is – a map that shows the growth of Target from 1962 through 2008.
Target vs Walmart
You might guess that Target and Walmart expanded similarly (I did, at least), but you’d be wrong. Both started in Central United States, and both were officially founded in 1962 by two men who both owned stores under a different name before the Target and Walmart boom. However, besides more rapid growth, Walmart first expanded outwards from its home state before going country-wide while Target seems to have gone wherever opportunity knocked.. Well, here, watch for yourself.
This animation demonstrates Target’s growth strategy as opposed to Walmart’s really well. Walmart expanded more or less geographically outwards from Bentonville with some infill in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. After building in one city they go to the next place 50 miles down the road. Target takes a totally different approach moving into metropolitan areas. When they move they do so en masse. So look Mineapolis and Milwalkee both had a lot of Target stores early on, but there were none in Chicago. Then all of a sudden a couple of dozen stores open in metro Chicago. The same patterns appears in the pacific northwest and new york
Yet another cool visual. I’m waiting for the wealth destruction in the US over the last 12 months!!!
I think it’d be interesting to see a Walmart Vs Target map
Nathan, love your visuals. What I noticed though, and this could be a problem with the flash loading on my machine, is that the dates did not increase by the same amount of time intervals… i.e. 1 second per year. It seemed to jump a bit and go through a bunch of years faster than others.
Great job Nathan! I love it. What did you use to create it? I would agree with Scot’s comment, a map that combined WalMart locations and Target locations would be interesting to see. Like a Red vs. Blue war map of the U.S.
Oh, alright, if you guys insist. I’ll do the combo :)
I have to agree with Keane’s observation and would have preferred a constant (and slower) time progression.
Otherwise…a beautiful representation!
Could you add a slider control for moving back and forth in time?
And maybe also add in the Mom & Pop stores going out of business;-)
Another fascinating visual. What also interests me is the amount of management needed to pull of such growth. Opening 10+ stores a year is intense. I wonder if they have any data on number of employees or number of management employees, or even square footage of their HQ.
Nathan, excellent work. One request- any possibility of you releasing the flex code behind this or the Walmart visualization? Getting hold of processing.org snippets is possible and hence gives unique perspectives and enhances learning, but Flex code snippets are rare, hence asked.
Anyways thanks, keep up the good work!
@Paul – It’s Actionscript actually… and check the “related posts” under this one. I think you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Thanks Nathan – this is awesome. I really appreciate your work. I saw the comments above, and I’m looking forward to see the combo!
Very cool! Can we see the Target and Wal-Mart maps play side-by-side?
Is the Target vs. Wallmart link broken? It seems to link to the same place as the ‘Target’ only link. Thanks for such great stuff.
Any chance you can post the underlying data for the Target store openings?
Another compelling usage of the method of mapping data per time. The comparison between Walmart and Target would be of interest.
If you decide to satisfy Eric’s request of the underlying data, we’d be pleased to add it to the datazoo (http://datazoo.artillery.ch).
I wanted to let you know there is at least one store missing. Clinton, IA had a Target in the early 70’s. I used to go to it. But it doesn’t show up on your map until sometime in the 90’s.
That was around the time they built a new larger Target to replace the old one.
Just FYI in case you’re interested.
Fascinating way of looking at the data though. Thanks!
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Similar to what Marcus said, there was also a store in Bettendorf, IA in the 1970s that doesn’t show up on your map. It shows up in the 1990s when a SuperTarget replaced it.
FYI, in Tyler, TX a Target store was built sometime in the 1980’s. However, in the late 1990’s, this store was replaced by a new location which is the current store for the Tyler area. According to your map, Target first opened a store in the Tyler area in 1999, so I am assuming this year is actually the opening date of the new store, not the original Tyler store.
Can’t wait for the coming shrinkage!
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Very cool visualization, but only represents 48 states. Target moved into Alaska last year for the first time with two store openings, don’t know how many (if any) in Hawaii. Since the visualization shows geographic distribution, the new presence of Target in Alaska is a significant datapoint.Wal-mart has been here awhile now.
Nathan, did you ever make the combined animation?
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Fascinating graphic. Manish J. … cheer up my friend, I’m sure your anti-Walmart bias will be taken care of once the Obama administration nationalizes Wal-Mart. Perhaps they can then rename it “G.U.M.” just like the old Soviet-style department store in Moscow during the 1970’s.
Any way to overlay the two maps (Walmart vs. Target)? That would really coll to see.
Perhaps the location of each Target store is simply an approximation, but I’m certain there was one in South Bend, Indiana by 1992 latest — doesn’t seem to show up in the animation.
Great work, Nathan! It would be interesting to see your application used to look at other topics, such as the increase in the number of children with autism, asthma, gangs, etc.
Lynn – Zachary Johnson of indiemaps.com has looked at asthma, though only in Madison as far as I can tell: http://indiemaps.com/asthMap/
Nathan – you gotta get a slider in there, and ideally a constant play rate.
@Tom – I know, i know :)
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I love these maps! Another really fun visualization. Making the Target red circle symbols into the Target icon would be interesting as well.
Warning – stop reading here if you are not interested in a couple of critiques. If visualization is important, doing it well is important and that includes using appropriate cartographic principles on maps. You all are doing such amazing work, please push the quality on the maps a bit more. It is worthwhile to study the implementation of maps by expert cartographers as the choices that they make are very deliberate. For example compare the shape of the US on this one versus the New York Times Twitter map. The lack of an appropriate map projection causes a significant distortion of the higher latitudes in this visualization. Also why show a hillshaded topographic base and labels when their only contribution on this map is to distract? Likewise, why show Canada & Mexico when this is a map of the US?
OK, all done.
Again, I love this map! Please keep up the great work. K.
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I would like to see store closures included in these visualizations. I read once that Walmart is the largest owner of vacant real estate in the US due to store closures. It would be informative to compare Target and Walmart on that metric.
I noticed the same thing with Rochester, MN, as other commenters did above with other stores. There was a Target in Rochester from at least the mid 80s, but it seems to show up only when a new Target was built across the highway in the 90s. I wonder if this problem with the data is obscuring a more organic growth pattern?
This is interesting stuff. I grew up in Minneapolis and Target was a spin-off from Daytons’ (Dayton-Hudson Corp., now Marshall Field I believe. A shame.) We moved to Missouri in the mid 60’s and I remember mom putting us in the VW bus and going to Target in St. Louis. Opening no. 3? 4?
Where do you get your data. You don’t have target in Rapid City SD until 2008. I know it was there probably since the early 80s.
Great work again. I hope you keep up these efforts. Maybe a more international one next time. If you want to contact me, I may be able to organise some store data for you on one the “biggies”.
How about K-Mart? It would be cool to see the shrink in stores. Then compare to Wal-mart & Target.
Looks like Atlanta isn’t active. Is this correct, or a mistake?