Should Target open a store in Athens, Ohio?

This guide can make sure your research is on target 😉


My friends in the Ohio University Business Cluster are researching the feasibility of opening a Target store in Athens, Ohio.  . The purpose of this guide is to point business researchers to some key resources when researching the discount retailer, the industry, and the local market.  This guide lists  the most highly recommended resources when researching the industry and analyzing the market.  I have listed the databases and resources below, with recommendations on how to find the best information in the quickest fashion.

Chad’s research advice

A well-researched feasibility analysis will incorporate information from a majority of the tools below.  Some of the databases will be easier to use than others, and researchers are bound to pick a favorite tool to use more than the rest. However, I cannot stress enough how important it is to use SimplyMap, Bizminer, and Mediamark when attempting to understand the consumer market and industry in a specific market.   Please note that SimplyMap has a maximum of 5 simultaneous users, so you may need to get up earlier, stay up later, and not procrastinate.

1.  Find information about the larger industry and market

When you first get started, you’ll want to gather an understanding about the broader industry and market.  The resources in this section provide a broad overview of the department stores and discount department stores in the U.S.


  • IbisWorld has a report for “Department Stores in the U.S.”

First Research

  • First Research has industry analyses of “Discount Department Stores.”
  • You can also do the same search for “discount department stores” and find the same content in Hoover’s Online

Business Source Complete

  • Business Source Complete has a wealth of information, but the challenge may be in finding the appropriate search terms.  Suggestions include Target, retail, discount retail, department stores, etc.   To avoid being overwhelmed with search results, limit the search to Trade Publications.


  • Statista is a great place to look for statistics about Target Corporation, or the discount department store industry.

2.  Gather a deeper understanding about the consumer

After you get a good idea about the larger industry, you’ll want to research the consumers in your market.  Market research reports, data, and statistics found in the resources below are an excellent place to start.

Passport GMID

  • In  Passport GMID  has reports such as on almost all consumer product categories that you can buy at a Target,  as well as reports on “Store-Based Retailing in the U.S.”   You might also try looking at the Consumer Lifestyles Reports to get a broad understanding of consumer habits.

Mintel Oxygen

  • When using Mintel Oxygen for this project, you will find a market research reports for department store retailing, men’s clothes shopping, etc.
  • Also look in the Lifestyles category for relevant reports about marketing to  specific group, such as boomers, dads, moms, college students.

MRI Mediamark Reporter


3.  Analyze your local market

After you research the consumer market for the industry,  you will want to adapt that data down to the local level.  The resources below can help you find information about your local market to combine with national consumer market trends.

Census QuickFacts

  • Census QuickFacts provides easy access to some of the most-used economic and social statistics.
  • The QuickFacts are an easier way to get to census information than American Factfinder.
  • You will want to use census data to compare how your local market demographics align with the more general national demographics of a consumer market (like what you find in MediaMark, Mintel, and Passport,above).
  • You can also get Census information from SimplyMap.

Ohio County Profiles

  • Ohio County Profiles is a really good resource for understanding the demographic and economic characteristics of Ohio. Other states may have similar resources. You will want to use the demographic data found in the profiles and combine that with national demographic data (such as that found in Mediamark Reporter) to understand the characteristics of your local market.



  • Bizminer contains industry financial ratios, failure and startup rates, competitive market analysis, industry vitality rating, and more for a variety of retail establishments.
  • In looking at the Athens department store and discount department store market, use the Competitive Market Analyzer and the Industry Market Reports to drill down to the local county or zip code level.  When looking at the Athens market, since it is so small, it might be a good idea to look a the broader NAICS code of “452 General Merchandise Stores” when using Bizminer.

Mergent Intellect

  • Use Mergent Intellect companies and competitors by user-defined search criteria, such as size, location, industry, sales, and more.
  • Also use to find nearby companies using the “Surrounding Companies” feature.


Hoover’s Online

  • You can also use Hoover’s Online to fine a list of companies and potential competitors in the local market.
  • Because Hoover’s indexes companies in a slightly different way than LexisNexis, it’s a good idea to run the same search in both databases.



Related Topics: Business Cluster, Class Guides, Industry Guides