Target’s New Shops

On Sunday, Target will launch the long-awaited The Shops at Target, the retailer’s latest installment of its design and limited-edition boutiques. But this time around, the retailer took a different approach. Rather than signing a big designer name like in past years (Zac Posen, Missoni, and Calypso St. Barths, to name a few), Target sought out unique specialty stores and boutiques from around the country. Products from five different boutiques will be featured: The Candy Store (candy, out of San Francisco), Cos Bar (makeup and skincare, out of Aspen), Polka Dog Bakery (pet items, out of Boston), Privet House (home goods, out of Connecticut), and The Webster (apparel, out of Miami). Each boutique has designed and curated a special selection of items that will be available online and in select stores.

Past design collections have sold out within hours of launching and have shut down the Target website. People are naturally reactive to scarcity. Retailers are tapping in to this human quality by providing limited-edition offerings to drive sales and seek out a point of differentiation in the market. It’s especially relevant among Millennials. Data from our latest issue of The Checkout® shows that Millennials are more likely to make impulse purchases to treat themselves.

We’ve seen a few teaser ads for The Shops at Target, such as the video below, and some print ads to get shoppers excited for Sunday’s launch, but not much is being advertised in stores. A lot of the buzz about The Shops is online, from shoppers and fashion publications and blogs. Do you think Target’s new design project will be just as popular and successful as previous collections? Do you think they’ve done a good job of building anticipation among shoppers?