Target Goes Nameless on Logo

(Target logo article updated with comment from company.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Target ( TGT) is following in the footsteps of Starbucks ( SBUX), quietly shedding its name from its iconic bullseye logo.

The discounter removed the word "Target" from its Web site, leaving its well-known, red-and-white bullseye to speak for itself.

Apparently, according to Target, the company has been going sans-words for several months. "Target uses both logos -- with and without the Target name -- for different purposes and has been doing so for some time," a spokesperson for the company said.

The change comes as Target looks to make a foray into markets dominated by rival Wal-Mart. The company has been beefing up its grocery offerings with its P-Fresh format and in October introduced its 5% loyalty program.

Last week Starbucks decided to drop the text from its logo, instead relying on its trademark mermaid to represent the company.

In a video posted on the Starbucks Web site, CEO Howard Schultz talked about coinciding the update of its emblematic logo with the 40th anniversary of the company in March.

Starbucks' revised, streamlined logo removes the outer green circle that bares the Starbucks Coffee name, enlarging the mermaid in the company's signature green hue.

Schultz said "this new evolution of the logo does two things that are very important. It embraces and respects our heritage and at the same time evolves us to a point where we feel it's more suitable to the future."

The CEO noted that the original Starbucks logo was brown, but was changed to green in 1987. It has gone through two other small changes since then. But now "the world has changed and Starbucks has changed," he said.

Gap ( GPS) had also attempted to change its logo in October, but decided to return to its original version after significant backlash from consumers and marketing gurus.

"Ultimately, we've learned just how much energy there is around our brand. All roads were leading us back to the blue box, so we've made the decision not to use the new logo on any further," said Marka Hansen, the president of Gap Brand North America, in a statement posted on the company's Web site.

--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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