Monday, June 30, 2008

New interim Go International collection

With the remaining Rogan Gregory inventory now on clearance, it looks like Target has a new interim (read: in between the name designers) collection for their Go International line. And it looks to be…ho, hum, boring. I mean, this look (pictured) is cute and all, but hasn’t the puff-sleeved jacket been done to DEATH by now? And with Richard Chai’s designer duds looking to be a downer as well (read my post tomorrow and you’ll see why) I’m not sure WHEN we’ll have any stylish designs to look forward to at Tar-chez.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pick of the Week

It's pick of the week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's weekly ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. Today's pick is simple, and sweet....because really, it's often the simple things in life that are the best. My pick is Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, for 3 for $10 (1.5 qt. size) in assorted flavors, on sale this week at Target. That's a pretty darn good price for ice cream, especially since dairy products have been skyrocketing with the fuel crisis (with remote places like Hawaii selling milk for over $6/gallon!). And also this week at Target, you can get a free 1.5 qt. of Dreyer's ice cream with the purchase of 3 12-packs of A&W Rootbeer or Sunkist Soda (of course, quantities are limited, and no rain-checks). cream on a hot summer day. Is there anything better?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fashion for our Four-Pawed Friends

Dressing your dog has never been so fashionable. From hoodies and spa robes to sunglasses and pajamas, your four-legged buddy can have it all, making it very possible for your pup to look better than you do.

Some dogs - mostly smaller breeds - have complete wardrobes for all seasons, all occasions and clothing in every color and texture imaginable. Some dogs need clothing to stay warm. The toy dog varieties - poodles, Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahuas - tend to have the most trouble maintaining body heat, so they don't mind wearing a nice wool toggle coat on a brisk day. But the dog-clothing industry has grown beyond the winter months with retailers now selling summer tees, Halloween costumes, and even life jackets.

And don’t be fooled: the pet fashion industry is a huge one. As pet owners continue to consider their animals members of the family, they're spending a staggering amount on services and products - more every single year, in fact. They spent a record $41 billion in the U.S. last year and are expected to fork out even more this year - $43 billion, according to American Pet Products Manufacturing Association.

Target used to carry a great pet line by designer Isaac Mizrahi, but with his collaboration with the company coming to an end, they seem to have phased it out. Savvy shoppers can still scour eBay for select pieces from that line. Currently at Target, you can find both the Woolrich and Boots & Barkley lines for canine apparel that’s off the charts on the adorable scale. From leather-like bomber jackets to frilly formal gowns and clothing for just about every holiday, there's an aisle at Target most dog lovers can't pass by without at least looking. Like this too-cute-for-words doggie “rocker tee” for $19.99 at at The band “The Beagles” is pictured (get it??) and also available are “Bone Jovi” and “Notorious P.U.G.”

Friday, June 27, 2008

itso at Target

Target had a new storage solution offering called "itso". According to their web site:

Itso is a standard-setting storage and organization system based on individual units that are compatible with one another. Easy to assemble and endlessly adaptable, itso is uniquely designed to form to any function, in any configuration, in any space. This modular storage system is designed and engineered around the ways people live and work. A storage and organization system that optimizes space, no matter what life has in store.”

Visit to check out the full range of itso products for home organization in your closet, foyer, laundry room, kid’s room… and even your home office or dorm room.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wii Fit coming to Target this Sunday

In case you missed it, Target just replenished its supply of Nintendo Wii systems. They were advertised in Sunday’s Weekly ad for $245. Now I’m not sure about your neck of the woods, but in mine (Northern California) I’m sure they sold out FAST (as usual). They've been so popular that Target just hasn’t been able to keep them in stock. Of course, now that they have the Wii in stock, the Wii Fit package is currently sold out. However, two different Target employees tipped me off that this Sunday (June 29th) Target is supposed to get new shipments of the Wii Fit to their stores nationwide.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday’s Rave: this Perfect Little Bench

Target’s Global Bazaar came and went many months ago…but a quick search on today still found over 40 results for the term. Sure, it’s not the selection of hundreds of items first offered in February during Target’s yearly “Global” promotion, but it did produce this perfect little bench at 50% off. This sleek piece would look smart in an entryway or corner, and would be a great accent piece in a living room. You could even add it to your bedroom, at the end of the bed, complete with a lush throw blanket on top.

Target Global Bazaar Dark Wood Bench: $39.99 (regularly $79.99)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday's Rant: Different Targets = Different Discounts

On Tuesdays I take the opportunity to rant about something I do NOT like about Target …because although I love them to death, they ain’t perfect. Today’s rant is about different discount schedules at different Target stores. Now I understand if, say, Target Store A only has a couple of the cute navy eyelet Isaac Mizrahi skirts left in stock, so they put the last two on sale for 30 or 50% off….whereas Target Store B (just a few miles away) still has almost a dozen such skirts in stock, so those won’t be discounted until later. What I don’t understand is when both stores have OODLES of the same item that have been languishing on store shelves, not budging an inch, and one store puts them on sale for 30% off, and the other immediately goes to 50%. Case in point: as of Friday, one Target store near me had marked down the Joy Gryson handbags (you remember, the ones I hated) to 50%, whereas another store I went to on Sunday only had the bags discounted by 30%. I just don’t get it.

Do Target store managers have discount discretion at their fingertips? A friend of mine once worked at Pottery Barn, and told me that was the case with them; some managers were more aggressive with the markdowns than others. Hence, some stores had deeper discounts and better buys.

I guess the lesson learned is: shop around for the best bargain, IF you’re lucky enough to have more than one Target within driving distance. And, with gas prices as they are, you might be better off just ordering online from (especially with all the free shipping promotions Target’s been running lately).

Monday, June 23, 2008

New at Target: JR Watkins

A few weeks ago I praised Target for showcasing smaller lines like Weleda, Alba, and Kiss My Face. Another name to add to that list is JR Watkins. Their background sounds similar to the famous Kiehl’s story out of NYC: J.R. Watkins Natural Apothecary is a 140-year-old line of good-for-you, good-for-the-earth beauty products.

“Joseph Ray Watkins, an amateur remedy concoctor, launched the company in 1868 with a single product, red liniment, which is still available today. The company has maintained independent ownership (a rarity these days), and continues to operate out of its original building in Winona, Minnesota. They recently gave their entire line a complete makeover, tweaking formulas and giving the packaging a chic vintage look. And everything is 95% natural, and with most products coming in at 99.40% or higher.”

For more background info on JR Watkins, check out this fun article. And to buy JR Watkins (outside of Minnesota) just visit your local Target beauty section or browse the selection on

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pick of the Week

It's pick of the week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. Today's pick is this adorable rouched tank top from Mossimo. Made of 100% cotton, this top does the basic tank one better, because of its ruffle detail for added flair. It can be easily dressed up (or down) and even worn to work on these hot summer days. The straps are wide enough to easily hide bra straps, too. My only complaint? That this cute top doesn't come in more colors.

Mossimo Rouched Tank Top, size XS-XXL: $9.99, on sale this week at Target.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kim Kardashian Glams up Target Event

Following the 2008 MTV Movie Awards earlier this month, Target and Converse One Star hosted an exclusive afterparty for all of the night’s winners and attendees. And Kim Kardashian was all about hamming it up on the red carpet. The “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” starlet sported a black and white ballerina-style dress along with a pair of black ultra-modern-looking heels and matching handbag.

I knew I liked her for a reason…

This just in, from the cover of US Weekly: Michelle Obama shops at Target! Just another reason to join Team Obama.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Target Stores Getting a Green Makeover

Target is testing stores that are bigger and greener than current models. The retailer is currently developing two prototype stores -- a general merchandise and a Super Target -- to open in October. Then starting in March of next year, Target plans to build 100 more of the stores.

Both prototypes are being built under a U.S. Green Building Council program that allows them to be certified under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports. Among the green design features: low-flow water fixtures, more efficient heating and cooling units, and designs for lighting fixtures that require fewer bulbs. Target also plans to recycle or salvage 75 percent of construction material for the stores.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sun Protection with Style

Right now much of the nation is getting hit with some seriously sticky heat. Not the kind of heat and humidity that, with a bit of mousse, gives our hair volume, but the kind that makes us feel like we're stepping into a sauna every time we go outside. When spending time outdoors in the summer, it's best to remember to safeguard not just your skin, but also your hair. Sometimes, that means product. Sometimes, it means a headband. But for the really steamy days, we've just got to go with a hat. This Cynthia Rowley for Target Floppy Hat is a great item to have in your closet. It's funky and floppy, so it'll bring some interest a simple outfit. And the cute rope design lends it a nautical theme, which is perfect for summer. Plus it's only $9.99.... so even if you only bust it out on rare occassions, your cost per wear is super low.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday's Rant: Lazy Target Employees

All you readers get a BONUS rant today, because I'm down on Target this week. To continue the theme from my previous rant: what is up with Target's employees? How LAZY can they be? Lazy enough to litter? Why yes; just read my previous post. Lazy enough to not open a line when the only 3 lines open are TWENTY PEOPLE DEEP? Yes, that lazy. It took me three tries at informing a customer service rep before I got them to open more lines. One just looked at me blankly and said "sorry, but I'm training a new clerk". Yeah....that's great training. They SHOULD be training them that the customer comes FIRST.

Target, if this trend continues, I may have to abandon this blog. Either that or turn it into a Target-hater blog, which I really don't want to do.

Tuesday’s Rant: Littering at Target

Apologies for Tuesday's rant being late, but I've been working 14 hour days on a product launch. Where were we? Oh yeah, the rant: you won't believe what I saw last weekend at Target, in the parking lot, while entering the store. A Target employee, rounding up the shopping carts....and in doing so, DROPPING ON THE GROUND (aka, blatantly littering) all the garbage that sloppy customers had left in their carts. You know, the usual: empty coffee cups, food wrappers, old shopping lists, discarded packaging....the whole enchilada. So I thought: maybe someone (another Target employee, per chance?) will come back later to sweep it all up. But NO; when I exited the store, there was all the trash, blowing in the wind. Geez, Target get a clue already!! Give a hoot; don't pollute!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Target selling Marshall Field’s

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is selling its Marshall Field's business unit and nine Mervyn's stores in the Twin Cities area to St. Louis-based The May Department Stores Co. for $3.2 billion in cash. The nine Mervyn's locations in the Twin Cities will be closed as of late July. Those stores are the only locations affected, according to a company release.

Mervyn's is a middle-market department store, based in the San Francisco Bay area with 266 stores in 14 states, primarily in the west and south. In 2003, Mervyn's generated $3.6 billion in revenue.

Under the terms of the agreement with May, Target will sell substantially all of the assets directly involved in its Marshall Field's business unit, including 62 Marshall Field's stores, three distribution centers and about $600 million of Marshall Field's credit card receivables.

To be perfectly honest: while I knew that Target owned Mervyn’s, I had no idea they also owned the iconic Marshall Field’s. I thought that The May company already owned them, so it makes sense that they’re snapping them up. May already operates 438 department stores under the names of Lord & Taylor, Famous-Barr, Filene's, Foley's, Hecht's, Robinsons-May, Strawbridge's, and David's Bridal, just to name a few.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pick of the Week

It's pick of the week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's weekly ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. Today's pick is ripped from the silver screen....or the new Sex and the City movie, to be exact. When the girls head South of the Border for some R&R (and for Carrie to mend her broken heart) they all sport the latest summer trend, the maxi dress. At left is a shot of the SATC girls out for a night on the town in Mexico, next to a pic of Mossimo's take on the trendy maxi dress. This dress comes in a variety of patterns and colors, so go ahead and channel your inner Carrie (or Samantha, or Miranda, or Charlotte) with this cool, comfy, fashionable style.

Mossimo Maxi Dress: on sale for $15 (regularly $21.99) this week at Target.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ripped from the pages of the Preppy Handbook

Ah, the Eighties. My formative years. Preppy style ruled at my high school, so for me that era meant Izod polo shirts, denim skirts, and driving moccasins. Which is why these Isaac Mizrahi for Target leather moccasins immediately sent me back in time. They have a quirky, pebbled rubble sole (reminiscent of Tod's skimmers) and come in seven delightful colors, including yummy lime green (shown), sunny yellow and of course, preppy pink. As you'd expect from Isaac, this classic shoe style delivers comfort and are slipper-soft. So toss out your grubby sneakers and grab a pair of these cute mocs instead. For under $30, you'll bump up your style quotient a notch, plus your feet will feel great.

Isaac Mizrahi for Target "Gail" Leather Moccasins: $29.99 in stores and at

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Linens with a Latin Beat

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Sami Hayek (baby brother of actress Salma) has a new limited-edition collection of home furnishings, accessories, stationery and bedding at Target. Internationally known for his sleek, environmentally-conscious creations, Hayak (a native of Mexico) brings a Latin vibe and clean mid-century modern lines to his design (as is evident here with his brightly-colored bed linens, pictured).

Well come to find out, most of the items in his collection were designed with dorm rooms in mind. Or in other words: aimed at small spaces, as well as small budgets. The chic sheets, comforters and other furnishings all feature a palette of industrial gray, fuchsia, chocolate and lime green, in bold graphics and packaging meant to be recycled or reused.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday’s Rave: this Xhilaration watch

I love accessories that seem basic at first, but then reveal a devilish twist . You know what I mean: the necklace with the surprise detail at the clasp, the shoes with something a little offbeat on the sole. You have to look a little more closely to pick up on exactly what's so interesting, but once you do, you have a new appreciation for the item. That's the case with this Offset Squares Watch by Xhilaration, which is just $12.99 at Target. At first glance, it's a simple black bracelet watch. But then, when you look a little closer, you notice that the links don't quite line up -- a little unexpected fun in an otherwise plain band. Which is why I’m so drawn to it, because it looks equally at home with a casual weekend outfit as it does with work attire. Although I must admit that I also love the price!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday's Rant: Club Wedd

On Tuesdays I take the opportunity to rant about something I do NOT like about Target …because although I love them to death, they ain’t perfect. Today’s rant is about Target’s bridal registry service, dubbed Club Wedd. Now I admit that when I got married several years ago, I toyed with the idea of registering there. After all, it IS my favorite store! But then I reconsidered (much to the relief of my mother!) and registered at some of the more traditional outlets like Macy’s and Williams-Sonoma instead. But I have to say I’ve heard MANY complaints about the service, enough to recommend steering clear of it.

Think about it: a registry is a “wish list”, viewed by many friends and relatives. Meaning, duplicate gifts are bound to occur, which makes returns are the most important policy to consider when setting up a registry. Since registries aren't updated in real time, duplicate purchases occur all the time. A restrictive return policy offers little recourse to a couple stuck with two extra fondue pots. And therein lies the problem with Target, in that they require receipts for ALL returns. That means couples trying to return a duplicated item must ask the guest for a receipt — which is not exactly stellar wedding etiquette. Do you really want to include that on the invitations — 'We cordially invite you to the wedding of Jack and Jill. P.S., please include gift receipts'?" Um, no, I don’t think so. While Target does allow two returns annually without a receipt if the item is valued at $20 or less, that’s really no help since couples are unlikely to have many registry items below that threshold. So how can this be solved? Very easily, I think: Target just needs to have a separate return policy (no receipt necessary) on their registry items.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Botkier = Blah

NY Magazine's TheCut has new pics of designer Monica Botkier's bags for Target, which debut in stores next month. Botkier describes her line as "a mix of luxury and utility with a downtown edge. It is for the chic, modern woman — it features rich textures and luxe metallics, combining my signature use of hardware as the jewelry of a handbag while still keeping a focus on functionality."

I, on the other hand, describe them as BLAH. The metallic clutch would make a cute acccompaniment for evening-wear, but the rest of the bags aren't anything unique or different. In fact, some of the designs look VERY similar to Kenneth Cole's bags from 2-3 years ago. Yawn.....

Bigger, Bolder Beauty at Target

Last month I blogged about luxury beauty brands invading the aisles at Target. Now comes confirmation that this trend is here to stay, with Target expanding its Design for All concept to the beauty aisle by rolling out three budget versions of up-and-coming makeup lines.

Makeup artists Jemma Kidd, Napoleon Perdis and Petra Strand have all signed on to collaborate with the retailer to bring out more affordable and slightly different versions of their existing prestige lines for the Target beauty shopper. The initiative marks a watershed moment for the retailer's beauty department: testers will finally be present in the new presentation's beauty space and will play a large part in introducing the new goods to shoppers.

"We understand that buying cosmetics is different than buying a top or sneakers," said Joshua Thomas, a member of Target Corp.'s communications department. "When you buy [beauty] there is that emotional investment. We understand and appreciate that and the [new beauty displays] will reflect that." He continued, "We want to see guests walk in the section of the store and interact with the beauty brands. It gives them a chance to touch, smell and feel the brands." The new 11-foot, in-store presentation will also have lit features and bold beauty graphics, Thomas said, adding that each designer will have a bio by their respective product line explaining their philosophy and brand. To make room for the new items, Thomas said the chain took a hard look at its current beauty mix and "right-sized it" based on product performance.

The new beauty move is a long-term plan, Thomas added. The three beauty lines are scheduled to enter about 1,400 Target stores at the end of August. Target maintains it will also continue its successful relationship with makeup artist Sonia Kashuk, who’s own line of makeup and tools has been a fixture at Target for years.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pick of the Week

It's pick of the week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad and highlight it here on my blog. This week's pick is aimed at Grads and Dads, since it's the season to celebrate both. When I saw these Converse One Star sneakers in this week's ad, it immediately brought a smile to my face because I knew they'd be perfect for both my eldest son (who's "graduating" from 8th grade in a couple of weeks to enter high school) and also for my hubby for Father's Day. Both of them love these "skater style" kicks, which usually can be found at PacSun and similar stores for twice (or even three times!) the price. I plan to pick up the all-black pair for my son (since that's his favorite color) but I'll probably get these fun camo-print ones for my husband.

Men's Converse One Star Sneakers: $34.99, on sale this week at Target.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Trading down from Target

Apparantly, the news is true: in today's challenging economy, more and more folks are trading down from Target to shop at Wal-Mart instead. I find it interesting that although Target and Wal-Mart are within just 1-3% of each other (price-wise) on many core items, consumers have a perception in their head that Wal-Mart is automatically going to be cheaper. Perhaps if they plastered tacky oversized price signs all over the store (like Wal-Mart does) consumers would "get it"; I don't know. What I DO know is that I'd rather shop at Costco or a discount grocery chain before setting foot in a Wal-Mart. Or, at least the one Wal-Mart that's within driving distance of my house (and the only one within a 20 mile radius). Perhaps Wal-Marts in middle-America are better, but the one in my area is dirty, messy, and downright seedy. So no thanks: I'd still pick Target over Wal-Mart any day of the week.

Friday, June 6, 2008

What a girl wants...

Target knows exactly what a girl wants. More bags and shoes! To that end, they've just announced two new exciting designer accessory collaborations: a handbag collection with British designer Anya Hindmarch and a footwear collection with Sigerson Morrison, both to be available October 12 through December 26 at select Target stores nationwide and online at Per the Target release:

"Target is partnering with internationally acclaimed accessories designer Anya Hindmarch to launch a limited-edition handbag collection, Anya Hindmarch for Target. This collection is the sixth handbag launch in a series of limited-time-only accessories designers at Target."

"Target is partnering with renowned footwear designers Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison to launch a limited-edition footwear collection, Sigerson Morrison for Target. This is the third footwear collection in a series of limited-time-only accessories designers at Target."

Sigerson Morrison shoes have been around for quite a while, and are best known for their comfy flats and for re-inventing the kitten-heel flip-flop. Anya, on the other hand, is a newer designer who most recently gained notoriety last year for her witty "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" tote that sold out around the world in a manner of days (and now can be found on eBay for 4x the original cost....).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Target Goes Au Natural

Target is aiming for the natural products market, stocking up to 8 feet of such products in its stores, Greenbiz reports. Lines include Dr. Bronner’s, Burt’s Bees, Avalon Organics, Juice Organics, Giovanni, Weleda, Alba, Jason Naturals and Kiss My Face. With sales of $170 million and shelf space at CVS and Walgreens, the natural products market is growing and Target is looking to grab a share as it, like rival Wal-Mart, makes the move toward a greener image.

This news follows plans by the chain to build two prototype stores — one for general merchandise and another Super Target — that are both bigger and greener than current Target stores. The prototypes are expected to open in October 2009.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wednesday’s Rave: this Rogan for Target dress

Ok, ok... so I wasn't crazy about the Rogan Gregory line in general. But I will give him one “rave” for this sophisticated, edgy zebra-print halter dress. [Note: the print is hard to see in this pic, but it’s a tone-on-tone, charcoal zebra pattern over black]. The tailoring is surprisingly well done, and the waist pulls in right where it should without leaving any awkward extra material in the back. As usual with all the Go International pieces, this dress runs extremely small, so plan on sizing up; I ended up buying this dress two sizes larger than I normally take.

Rogan for Target Zebra-print Halter Dress: $39.99 at Target stores or on

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Jamba Juiced

Jamba Juice released a co-marketing announcement with Nestle last week in which the two companies will work together to sell a half-dozen ready-to-drink versions of Jamba's real fruit juices and smoothies at retailers such as Target. Look for them to arrive in stores in the next few weeks.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Just Beachy

It’s hot and humid and time to hit the beach. Sunscreen? Check. Hat? Yep. iPod? Natch. But what you still need for a day in the sun, sand and surf is a new beach towel. One that’s big enough to sit and stretch out on, as well as to wrap around yourself to dry off when you come out of the water. And I found just the thing at Target. Check out this gorgeous design called Modern Girl (pictured) that’s actually large enough for TWO people. There’s a similar design called Retro Girl, and if that’s not your style, check out this fun Palm Beach design or the traditional Bright Striped option.

100% cotton velour beach towel, 72x72” size, $19.99 at Target.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pick of the Week

It's pick of the week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad, and highlight it here on my blog. This week's pick is actually courtesy of my hubby, as I was stumped for a "pick" this week and told him to look in the ad to see if anything jumped out at him as a Father's Day gift. He immediately honed in on this Bose SoundDock portable music system ($399.99 this week at Target). Just dock your iPod (not included, of course!) and it turns your iPod into a home stereo system. It's compatible with all iPod models with a click wheel, the iPod Touch, and the iPhone, plus it charges your iPod while it's docked. And as an added bonus with your purchase, you get a free travel bag for your docking system (a $49.99 value).

Now I know this thing is a bit pricey... so I searched online at and lookey here what I found: a slightly different model of the Bose SoundDock for a lot less, on sale for $269.99 this week. This lower-priced one also comes in white, and honestly, I cannot tell the different between the two models. Perhaps the higher priced one is the newer one, and Target is trying to clear out the older ones? I'm not sure... but if you want to save some $$, and don't care about the free travel bag, it'd be worth it to buy the cheaper online models.

Bose® SoundDock® Portable Digital Music System: $399.99 this week at Target (as shown) or online at for $269.99.