As a mass merchant online and in its stores, Target Corp. has a long history of working with various designers to develop and carry lots of affordable niche brands.
Target’s latest effort to diversify its assortment is called The Shops and will debut on Target.com and in stores May 6.
The Shops will offer new niche products that range in price from $1 for a nail file to about $160 for a pouf, which is a type of ottoman. In all The Shops at Target will feature five exclusive designer product lines: various types of candy from The Candy Store; health and beauty products from Cos Bar; dog treats from Polka Dog Bakery; furniture and housewares from the Privet House; and home accessories from The Webster.
Each of the brands is developed and sold by smaller, mostly regional manufacturers and retailers that have loyal customers. Cos Bar, for example, was founded in 1976 in Aspen and currently sells its fragrance and skincare products online and in 12 stores in eight states. “Guests love our design partnerships,” says Target director of fashion and design partnerships Brian Robinson. “With The Shops at Target, we’re building on that sense of discovery by offering our guests a chance to experience one-of-a-kind specialty stores and boutiques through collections that have been specifically tailored to their wants and needs.”
Target is no doubt hoping for a smoother introduction for The Shops promotion than for its merchandising push last fall with the Missoni for Target apparel line. That promotion led to a series of site crashes and other performance problems.
Target says it will expand The Shops at Target throughout the year, although the company didn’t say which new niche brands or products might be coming next.
Target is No 22 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.