This is Why Target Has Those Big Red Balls

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Every time I go to Target to pick up a small purchase like let’s say a last minute gift for a kid’s Birthday party, I leave with a cart full of stuff costing over $100! This seems to happen to everybody. After all, Target has it all from clothing, cleaning products, household goods and toys. Speaking of toys, my 7 year old daughter loves to roam the toy aisle, picking out future birthday gifts.

The other day, on a Target run, my daughter asked me “Mommy, What are these big, red balls? Are they for playing on?” Definitely not for playing. It is always concerning when she climbs on top of the ball. She tests her balance. This is scary. My first thought was that the balls served a decorative marketing purpose. This led me to a Google search.

While searching I found, the big red balls are called bollards. Many stores use bollards for safety purposes. For instance, Wal-Mart uses bollards which tend to be long and yellow. Target bollards are two ton balls placed in front of the stores to prevent cars from driving on the sidewalks and into the store. So, while these giant red balls are lovely, their primary use is for safety.

The video below shows a lady who drove over Target’s red balls:

According to The Storefront Safety Counsel, there are about 60 vehicle crashes into commercial buildings per day. Considering the data, it is natural retailers would want to install a preventative measure. The Storefront Safety Counsel released a set of statistics in 2014 that addressed the types of accidents that bollards can prevent. Consider these facts:

The majority of storefront incidents are caused by pedal error, followed by DUI, and operator error

46% of all storefront incidents occur in front of a retail or other commercial building

Young adult drivers, aged 20-29, and the elderly have the highest percentages of incidents at 19% and 14%, respectively