Hello-Hello and happy day to everybody!
Because we have a lengthy volunteer shift today readers are blessed with an OTT, also known as One Topic Tuesday! And today’s topic is fun, as we are wondering about the possibilities of Le Boutique Targét doing a warehouse-style store.
It all started with the arrival of a flyer yesterday here at the Palace. The advertising literature was promoting The Great Save Event.
The flyer included coupons for what appeared to be so-so savings on products, and while we loved the snappy graphics and appealing design, frankly, we were not overwhelmed at the prospects offered. Nor did we read all of the text in the brochure, so it was helpful to see this story in Women’s Wear Daily today.
“The Great Save, a shopping event now through Feb. 21, features low prices on bulk-packaged items and designer brands in a warehouse-club-like setting, but without club membership fees or ID cards. The event is being held in the seasonal departments of all 1,740 Target stores.”
The trade publication’s take on the promotion was a bit of a jolt, leaving us thinking we underreacted to the ‘event’. (Keep in mind this comes from someone whose primary mantra all those years in teewee news was “‘Tis far better to overreact than underreact.”) And underreacting is a heinous crime, punishable by flogging followed by banishment.
Here is what really caught our eye in Sharon Edelson’s story (note the brand names):
“Examples include Ralph Lauren polos, priced under $25; Samsonite luggage, priced under $100, and discounted Ed Hardy merchandise, $34.99 to $64.99. Other treasure hunt products are a selection of Via Spiga handbags, priced from $39.99 to $149.60; sunglasses by Polo Sport, $69.70, Calvin Klein, $60 and Tommy Hilfiger, $34.99; Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani eau de toilette, $20.80, and a Wenger Swiss Army calendar watch, $135.
This component of the promotion is called ‘Treasure Hunt’ and the merchandise is only offered at 1000 stores. But a little investigation reveals the availability of certain items online, like Hilfiger sunglasses, both left and right, both priced at $34.99.
(Forgive us, but the rhinestone sunglasses? Arguably one of the most hideous things we have seen in. a. long. time.)
We did not see the aforementioned Polo Ralph Lauren polo shirt, but did spot the Polo Sport by Ralph Lauren Unisex Sunglasses, marked as ‘out of stock’ although hypothetically one can sign up to be notified by email when they become available.
There are other Ralph Lauren sunglasses offered, as well as this Polo Duffle Bag.
Neither the Consort nor your trusty correspondent has shopped recently for duffles, so we have nary a clue about prices for such things. If one is to believe the website, the list price’ of this item is $178; it is offered at Targét for $69.42.
We do understand why the retailer did not mention many of the more upscale brands in the flyer; after all, most restrict the way their brand’s name and/or likeness is used in advertising. Additionally they do not allow advertising to show price points below a certain level as another means of controlling the brand’s image.
Is this a step into warehouse stores? WWD asked that question in their story; this is the reply from a Target spokesperson:
““If there are items that are particularly well received by our guests — for example, if the 35-pack of water really hits the bull’s-eye — we’d incorporate it into our assortment. I don’t want to speculate, given that it’s only Day Two of the program, but it’s something we might be able to talk about at a later time.”
As of this writing (1/5/2010, 10am) the Armani is currently available for $20.80, as opposed to $52.
Frankly, we are flummoxed. It is a brilliant marketing maneuver, sure to generate lots of buzz and increased traffic to stores as well as the website. And we have not focused on any of the more mundane offerings, like paper towel and kitty litter, destined to drive sales increases.
The store has long stocked scents from designers like Hilfiger and Polo, but the additional items are clearly new and a bit of a coup for the cheap-chic retailer. Will it increase your visits to the Boutique? Boost spending? Do tell, our expiring minds are dying to know.