Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
I love Target. No, really. I LOVE Target. I could go there once a day and see everything in the store 40 times and not get tired of going there. It’s soothing, it’s comforting and oddly seductive. If Target were a person, I’d marry it, jack my hair like Kate Gosselin and become it’s baby machine. I. love. Target.
What I don’t love is the “new” Target store brand, up & up™. Target Home products, their former store brand, used to be so good. I could buy any Target knock-off of the fancy brand and know, quite certainly, that it would be just as good. Since they re-branded their store brand to up & up™, everything’s gone down & down.
Take, for instance, the toilet paper — I used to buy the blue label Target Home brand premium paper, compared to Quilted Northern Ultra. Not the pink one, compared to Charmin Might-As-Well-Be-a-Towel Ultra Premium, just your garden-variety mid-range bathroom tissue. It was totally the same as the name-brand, as advertised. I bought the same brand for years… and a lot of it. Not because I have some weird bathroom habits or I’m a hoarder, but because I have a very staunch 6-roll minimum rule in my house. At 6 rolls I have to start reminding myself to buy more — if I go below 6 rolls, I’m down to the last square on the roll before I remember to get more.
Sometime, last year I think, they changed to up & up™ and when it came time to buy Ye Old Faithful TP, it was replaced by what I assumed would be the same product in a different wrapper — more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This paper is a mere suggestion of what it once was. It still says “Compare to Quilted Northern Ultra”, but it was like they took one-ply paper, peeled it apart and called it two-ply. It was like half-ply. I wouldn’t TP a house in this paper, let alone my business. After enduring it for a full 12-pack, I grudgingly bought yet another 6-pack because it was that or Scott Tissue and sandpaper ain’t my thing.
The next time, I bought the actual Quilted Northern Ultra and found it to be the toilet paper I knew and loved. I just have to get over paying a little more for it. But, in my opinion, I’d rather pay a little more for a quality product. I believe ‘generic’ store brands can be awesome — take Costco’s Kirkland brand, for instance. Fabulous, especially when their vodka is rumored to be Grey Goose. It just seems like when Target changed brands, they may have changed manufacturers. So far, I’ve not tried an up&up product that’s been decent — not the “compare to Glad Forceflex” trashbags (flex? yes. force? laughable.), not the “compare to Ziploc” sandwich bags (the bags separate from the zipper constantly or the zipper is inside out), and certainly not the toilet paper.
I’m curious to know if anyone else has experienced this, or if perhaps my ass is just spoiled.