Can two companies halfway around the world from each other share a name AND a logo? The answer is YES.
A little more than two years we wrote about U.S. retailer Target’s efforts to stop Fairweather from using the Target name in Canada. Now StarTribune.com writes that an Australian company called Target, which has no connection to the U.S.-based Target whatsoever, has been operating a chain of 300 stores for many years. What does American Target have to say about this? Eric Hausman, a spokesperson for Target in the U.S., told StarTribune.com: “There is no relationship between our companies.”
Even the logos are the same. The Australian Target chain uses the same red bullseye as the American retailer. Take a look for yourself — Target Australia’s logo is on the left, U.S.-based Target on the right:
Target Australia is owned by Wesfarmers Limited, which was originally founded as a Western Australian farmer’s cooperative. It is now one of Australia’s largest companies, ranking #3 in Business Review Australia’s list of the country’s largest businesses published in June.The Target division was formed in November 2007 as a result of the acquisition of the Coles Group.
So, have the two companies come up with some sort of agreement between them? Experts believe that’s likely, according to StarTribune.com. U.S. Target’s spokesman Hausman said no licensing deal exists between the two companies, but admitted that the founders of the two companies “had a conversation” back at the time the Australian company began using the name. That was long before the Internet blurred international borders. And speaking of the Internet, you won’t be surprised to read that the two companies’ domain names are also quite similar: http://target.com.au and http://www.target.com.
We’re sure this isn’t the only incidence of similarly named companies around the globe. But this one doesn’t end with just the tale of two Targets. Wesfarmers also happens to own a chain of Kmart stores across Australia and New Zealand.
What other similarly named companies have you run across in your travels?