In this week’s edition of “How could this possibly go wrong”, Target announced today that more than 650 stores across the country will get a Mario Kart makeover in honor of the launch of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Switch on April 28th. The promotion will turn some shopping carts into “Super Target Karts” featuring Mario, Luigi, and Peach (sorry Bowser), and shoppers will be greeted by flashing lights and the Super Mario Bros. theme song as they walk past the checkered start line at the store entrance.
If you’d rather not get trampled by teens and/or grown adults racing through the store on their karts, you can catch a glimpse of additional decorations outside the store — Target’s will transform the big, red bollards into disembodied Mario and Luigi heads. Target did a similar promotion last year for the launch of Pokémon Go, painting the bollards like giant Poké Balls.
The experience will only be around for the next few weeks, which hopefully shouldn’t cause too much store damage. I’m probably being overly pessimistic here, but this could be another short-sighted corporate marketing effort that ends up putting more strain on its retail workers — like how the limited-edition Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino drove a fed-up barista to go on a passionate rant on now deleted Twitter video: "I have never made so many Frappuccinos in my entire life. My hands are completely sticky. I have unicorn crap all in my hair and on my nose. I have never been so stressed out in my entire life!”
Turning shopping carts into Mario Karts and a store into a race track is practically daring shoppers to misbehave. If your local Target has a supermarket section, you should steer clear of it even more, unless you want to slip on an actual banana peel. Though if you do end up getting injured, Target always has band-aids in stock. Marketing!