Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Target takes extra security measures...

As I reported a few months ago, Target will be transitioning to the more secure microchip-enabled credit cards in early 2015. In the meantime, Target stores are taking the additional security measure of asking you for the last 4 digits of your credit card upon checkout. This means that after they've already swiped your card - but before they hand you your merchandise - they will ask you for the last 4 digits on your card. To that end, it'd be best to either memorize those numbers or keep your card out until you actually have your goods in hand. One Target clerk told me this is becoming commonplace at other retailers (not just Target) but so far Tar-shay is the only store I've experienced this at.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Target's largest East Coast store opens today...

Racked.com reports that Target's sprawling King of Prussia, PA location - the largest Target store on the East Coast - will open today. Local police and fire crews were on standby for the store's Sunday morning debut, anticipating large crowds and increased traffic on the already-clogged Route 202.

Here's what to expect after you shoulder your way through the crowds: 135,000 square feet of general Target goodness, including a grocery section that's 40% larger than those in standard Target stores. There's also an iPad-equipped browsing lounge - staffed by black shirted employees - where you can comparison shop Target's electronics online. The construction of this behemoth is different, too: part of the store is on elevated on stilts over an 800-space parking garage.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Double-Take: Home Depot vs. Target

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Tar-shay and match it up against a lookalike - yet pricier - designer piece. Today we have two paper orb pendant lamps, which look virtually identical. Only one of them is from Home Decorators Collection (at Home Depot) and costs $42, whereas the other is from Adesso (on Target.com) and only costs $26.99. Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New at Target: Method Fall Scents

While at Target the other day I noticed some new Method Fall Scents (with packaging that looks similar to the prints & patterns on the old Orla Kiely for Method bottles). Shown here is the foaming hand wash in "Kelly Moss" (which I bought) that is supposed to smell like "a bright, botanical medley of moss, lavender and loveliness." Other Fall Scents include "Rice Milk & Mallow" (which I smelled in store and didn't care for) and "White Cranberry" (which wasn't available at my store).

Method's Fall Scents are available in the gel hand wash, the foaming hand wash and body wash products, and are available at Target and other select retailers.

Fab Find: Xhilaration Fit & Flare Dress

After not being able to find a cute striped Xhilaration dress in my size in stores, I headed to Target.com to find it online. That's where I found this similar dress (also by Xhilaration) which had rave reviews. The bad news is that it's pretty much sold out online in most sizes. The good news is that it's still available in stores, where I was able to get it in the Black/White print (which also has hints of turquoise and pink). I'm still on the hunt for one in the Navy Aztec print shown here.

What's great about this dress is that the cotton knit is substantial and not flimsy like a lot of Target's knit dresses. And despite the junior sizing, this dress isn't too short nor too skimpy in the bust. Just throw a cardigan or blazer over it and it's office-appropriate for hot summer climates.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Analysts tell Target to consider bailing on Canada...

Several news outlets - including The Calgary Herald - are reporting that the future of Target in Canada is being questioned by some analysts after the U.S. discount retailer fumbled its initial launch across the country and has since struggled to recover.

Michael Exstein, an analyst with Credit Suisse in New York, said in a recent note to clients that Target should "decide one way or the other on whether Canada is worth diverting time and management capital away from the U.S. business.... We think it may be more prudent for Target to cut its losses and devote 100 per cent of its resources on the U.S., which comprises over 97 per cent of the company's current sales," he said.

Extein added "If Target exits Canada in 2015, we estimate it will incur $3.5 billion in charges, but generate $1 billion in cash proceeds. We estimate Target would see a nearly 10 per cent decline in equity and the largest decline in FCF (free cash flow) since 2007."

Monday, July 21, 2014

Target's new app: In a Snap

Have you ever flipped thru a magazine and immediately fell in love with a product — a rug, chair, lamp, whatever — and just HAD to have it? Like, right there and then?? Well that desire for instant gratification is the idea behind Target’s latest mobile app, In a Snap.

Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod, this new image recognition app lets you easily shop Target items directly off the pages of magazines and printed ads without having to scan confusing codes, look up links or search for product information online or in store. Using the camera on your mobile device, In a Snap recognizes select ads, makes a “snap” sound to let you know when it’s ready, and then shows you additional info about each product in the ad, making them easy to immediately purchase or to consider later.

According to A Bullseye View, the app launched last week and is featured in ads for Target’s Room Essentials brand in current issues of RealSimple, Architectural Digest, and Domino magazine. The app also works with Target’s new back-to-college catalog. Depending on guest feedback and results from initial testing, Target will consider using In a Snap with more ad campaigns in the future.