EDITOR'S UPDATE: Since this post was originally published there's been more news about the big-box stores.
June 2011: How does K-Mart compare to Wal-Mart when it comes to selling American-made products?
July 2012: AAM's Leigh Raup investigates Target a year later.
August 2013: PR Ploy Or Not, Walmart's 'Made In America' Push Means Something
September 2013: AAM interns search Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and the Container Store.
Last month we investigated Wal-Mart’s claims that they’re selling more American-made products-- and found that stores across the country were actually selling predominantly foreign-made goods.
Yesterday we took a look at the origin of the items Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Field Coordinator Dan Lawson found in his local kmart, and determined that the vast majority of the store’s inventory — including quintessentially “American” items such baseball gloves — were manufactured abroad.
Today, as we continue our quest to find out which large chain discounter offers the largest selection of American-made products, we bring you Dan Lawson’s report from a Target store in Bangor, Maine:
As I walked in the door, they were getting a delivery checked in, sofa and chair sets, country of origin China, not off to a good start.
All shoes were Made in China, a big display of Croc’s sandals, also all Made in China.
Woman’s Handbags priced from $5.00 to $49.99, all Made in China. Totes Umbrella, Made in China. Hanes white socks were Made in the USA and El Salvador, same package, same price, you really had to look to see where they were made. Fruit of the Loom socks, white, Made in Pakistan.
Men’s casual shorts, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
Levi’s shorts, Made in Egypt.
Levi’s straight leg jeans Made in Lesotho. Where the heck is Lesotho? It is actually a small land-locked country in South Africa.
Levi’s boot jeans, Made in Pakistan.
Wrangler’s boot jeans, Made in Nicaragua.
Polo Shirts all Made in Vietnam.
Pullover shirts and T-shirts all Made in Honduras and Haiti.
All the dress shirts in the store were Made in Bangladesh.
I could not find a TV, Clock Radio, or Stereo Made in the USA.
Electronic Picture Frames, Sony, H-P, Kodak, all models Made in China.
Pots and Pans: all except on was Made in China.
Lamps: desk, table and floor models all Made in China.
Restyle Bookcase was the only piece of furniture that was Made in the USA.
Steam Irons: 7 models all from Sunbeam all Made in China.
Ironing Boards: 4 to choose from, one for $13.99 and another for $19.99 both Made in the USA, one from China for $37.99 and one from India for $54.99.
Fans: Honeywell had 7 different models, all Made in China. Holmes Brand, (A.K.A. Sunbeam) 5 different models all Made in China, Hunter, 2 models, both Made in China. Vernado, 1 model, designed, engineered, and assembled in the USA.
Bissell Sweeper: Made in China.
Shark brand: Made in China.
Dirt Devil: Made in China.
Eureka brand: Made in China.
Hoover Wind Tunnel: $299.00 Made in Mexico.
Oreck: $299.00 Made in the USA.
Dyson: 3 models $399.00, $499.00 and one for $549.00 all made in Malaysia. Interesting side bar on this, as I was pulling boxes out to see where they were made, I am on my knees with my notepad in my hand. A young couple asked if I worked there, I told them sorry no, I was doing a project. The young woman laughed and said on vacuums? I explained I was looking to see if any were Made in the USA. Well, they said they would look at the Oreck. I hope I made the sale.
Lawn and Garden:
Wooden Rocking Chairs, Made in Vietnam.
Gazebos, all Made in China.
All Lawn furniture were either Made in China or Indonesia.
Webber Grill, proudly Made in the USA.
Char-Broil Grills all Made in China, gas and charcoal.
Huge display of 66 different bikes from 4 manufacturers, Schwinn, Magna, Tony Hawk, and Mongoose, every single one was Made in China.
Barbie Dolls, an American Icon, or so you would think. 18 different Barbie dolls, 6 Made in China, 12 Made in Indonesia.
Legos brand blocks, Made in Denmark, Hungry, Mexico, and Czech Republic. Fisher Price Brand blocks, Made in China. Special Edition Games, in stylish wooden boxes, Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, Life, and Risk, all Made in China. Last but not least, a childhood favorite of mine, Lincoln Logs. I think of all the hours I spent building forts and houses, are now Made in China.
So there you have it. A not-so-encouraging report on the types of American-made products sold at a Target in Bangor, Maine. Have you been able to find many American-made items at your local Target? Let us know what you find and we’ll post your discoveries right here on ManufactureThis! You can submit your reports as comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org