Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! gives us the ultimate gross-out this Halloween, courtesy of the dollar-candy aisle at Target. It was there that they discovered the "Zit Popper" and "Box of Boogers" candies, thereby introducing a whole new low to the world of novelty food. Like Racked says, “Get 'em while they're fresh!”

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rushing the Holidays

I just HATE it when retailers rush the holidays. They’re putting up Valentine’s junk by Jan. 1st, and Easter eggs galore as soon as Feb. 14th is over. And as I blogged about last month, Target started putting up their Christmas displays as of mid-September! Well here’s a MarketWatch article that agrees with me, but claims that it’s consumers who want the early start.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The return of footless tights

Like it or not, footless tights have returned to the fashion forefront for Fall. Now that other Target blog has a very humorous take on this trend, and I am in complete agreement. If you already lived through this trend in the 80’s, you probably shouldn’t be revisiting it. Nevertheless, there is a whole 80’s fashion revival going on, which is why the very young (and very thin) have resurrected this look, along with (shudder!) legwarmers.

All that said, Target still has a great selection of traditional footed tights available, which are the perfect thing to wear under Fall/Winter skirts and dresses. I prefer the Merona brand for quality, although Xhilaration also has some cute patterns out right now. But for the best selection, check out the offerings in-store vs. online, as Target doesn’t seem to have all their styles available for purchase on their web site.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And sometimes imitation is NOT a good idea!

You may have heard the recent news story where Madonna caused a controversy over in the UK by wearing Chanel’s “gun heels” to a red carpet event. Protesters in England argued that the shoes – with heels shaped like pistols – promoted violence. Well like it or not, Target seems to have gone ahead and copied the idea… using brass knuckles instead of a pistol for the heel part. First off, the concept was a bad one to begin with; I’m sure Chanel (and Madonna) were just going for “shock value”. And secondly, I can’t imagine Chanel being cool with their designs being knocked off!

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery....

This page from Target’s Weekly ad last Sunday struck me because it looks SO much like this look from Banana Republic’s website. I really have to hand it to the visual design team over at Tar-jeh; they do a great job at staying current and on-trend.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Going, going, gone...

With retailers (like Target) nervous about lower-than-usual Christmas sales, look for stores to stock less this holiday season in anticipation of the downturn. Combined with consumers pinching pennies, that means that the best gifts - those that are stylish as well as at a fair price-point - are apt to the the ones snapped up first. Like these gorgeous metallic gray leather gloves from Mossimo. And right now, they're on sale for just $17.99.

My advice? If you see any gloves, hats, scarves, or other "giftworthy" items $20 or under, grab them NOW before they're gone.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Clearance Alert: Halloween Costumes 30% Off!

Also from today’s Target Weekly Ad, all Halloween costumes for adults, kids, and (yes, even) pets are now on sale for 30% off. Of course, at this point (being so close to Halloween) the selection of styles and sizes that are left on the racks is probably pretty slim. But if you still need a last-minute costume, now’s the time to get it.

Pick of the Week

It's pick of the week time: time for me to pick out one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. Today's pick was pretty easy since everyone has Halloween on the brain this week. And starting today, Target has all "treat size" candy - like Snickers, Skittles, and Reese's - on sale for 2 bags for $4. I just wish I had known they were going to put this on sale yesterday.... before I had already loaded up on Halloween candy.

Popular brands of "treat size" candy: on sale this week for 2 bags for $4 at Target.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Missed Connections".... even at Target

Have you ever read those "missed connections" ads on CraigsList? They're pretty funny... so much so that my friend Martine reads them regularly just for the entertainment factor. They usually start out like "you were waiting for a train, carefully drinking a latte; I was next to you, trying not to stare into your big brown eyes" etc. etc. Well apparantly, they've become a wildly popular way to "meet"... so much so that some "found" connections have resulted in happy-ever-afters according to this CNN article. And Target just happens to be one place in NYC that's a top-spot for these encounters:

"There's one elevator in the Target on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn that seems to be a real hot spot for romance. If I were single, I'd ride that elevator up and down."

Sarah Palin hearts Target

Love her or hate her, you have to admit, Sarah Palin has style. And according to this article, she's a "thrifty, low-maintenance lady" who shops at places like Target (unlike what the political pundits would have you believe). And about that $150,000 shopping spree the media has jumped all over.... before you rush to judge her, check out this brilliant editorial by Campbell Brown on the incredible double-standard between men and women and the simple reality that women are judged based on their appearance WAY more than men.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Clearance Alert: John Derian for Target

The John Derian collection (including the papergoods, shown) has been marked down on clearance for 30% off. At least that's the case at my local Target store. A quick check of the Derian items on Target's web site, however, still shows them at full price, so this sale is probably limited to in-store items only. Better snap up this stuff fast, as the selection was slim to begin with!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Cult of Domo

As I blogged about a couple of weeks ago, Target has designed its entire Halloween promotion this year around the lovable Japanese character Domo. Well apparantly, this little guy has quite a cult following back in his native country. Here's a fun article detaling Domo's rise from underground Japanese character to bigtime corporate mascot for American retailer Target.

Monday, October 20, 2008

SuperTarget Coupons

Lucky enough to live near a SuperTarget store? Like using coupons? Then you'll love the coupons on Target's website. Log in before every shopping trip to print out SuperTarget coupons for your grocery items. These coupons can be used in conjunction with manufacturer coupons, so stack them to maximize your savings.

Tip: Out of printer ink, or want to save yours? You can print the coupons in-store at the gift kiosk. Just access the Target website, and print away.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shop for the Cause

Boots was established in England in 1849 as a pharmacy, and today it's the U.K.'s top beauty brand (they even supply the Royal Family). Now it's here in the United States and available at your local Target. And in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, if you purchase items from its No7 line now through Nov. 9th (like Lash 360 mascara, Limited Edition Rainbow Palette, or Limited Edition Glisten Gloss Pencils - all under $10) Boots will donate 10 percent of all proceeds to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Available exclusively at Target stores and at

Halloween flavors of Jones Soda

Jones Soda has released these super-cute mini-cans of soda for Halloween (pictured). The Mummy, Frankenstein, Wolfman, and Dracula star in these limited edition cans, available exclusively at Target. The flavors are Lemon Drop Dead, Spooookiwi, Candy Corn, and Buried Pomegranate.

I'm hoping that creative marketing ideas like this can keep Jones afloat, because the company on a whole is not doing well. They recently slashed 40% of their work force, and the 21-year-old cult soda company continues to struggle in this weak economy. You can read more details in this CNN Money article. In the meantime, go out and get some of these cute cans!

Pick of the Week

It's pick of the week time: time for me to pick one great buy from this week's Target ad (in the Sunday paper) and share it with y'all. And this week's pick is appropriate for today's belt-tightening economy. It's this Singer Sewing Machine, and it's on sale for just $99 (that's 26% off regular price) this week at Target.

You might want to sew to save money by making your own clothes or doing your own alterations to your existing wardrobe at home. Or better yet, you may want to channel your own Project Runway character by creating you own "unique style" of fashion. No matter what your goal, this Singer model is a great basic machine at a bargain price. It features 34 stitch patterns (80 functions in all), an easy 1-step buttonhole maker, a drop feed and needle threader. And best of all, no assembly is required.

Singer 34-Stitch Esteem Sewing Machine, on sale this week at Target for $99.

Friday, October 17, 2008

And a Thankoon in a Pear Tree...

WWD reports that the next Go International collection - this time from designer Thakoon Panichgul - will hit Target stores on Christmas Day. “'They were very easy to work with,' Panichgul said Saturday in Dallas. 'They wanted a lot of prints, and I chose silhouettes that have done well in the past.'”

Hmmm.... that's an interesting day to launch a collection, seeing that Target stores aren't even open on Christmas.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Target's Family Days at Local Museums

This Sunday, Bay Area residents can explore four of the San Francisco's liveliest museums - the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora, Zeum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - as they offer activities, performances and free admission as part of Target's Family Day. More details are available at and if you happen to live elsewhere, don't despair. Target has a whole slew of events across the country this month, so just check your local newspaper. And year-round, Target sponsors free admission to museums nationwide on certain days of the month; a full list can be found here on Target's web site.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tie One On

Scarves are - without a doubt - a cold-weather necessity. But look around, and you'll see that while there's nary a snowflake in sight, scarves are gracing the necks of everyone from the soccer mom down the street to celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Jessica Alba (pictured).

That's because these days, the scarf has reinvented itself from something that merely keeps your neck warm to one of the "it" accessories of the season. And with good reason: Scarves are simple, chic and an affordable way to liven up the look of any outfit.

"Scarves are incredibly inexpensive, but they allow you to add a punch of color and pattern to any outfit," says Joshua Thomas, trends spokesman for Target in Minneapolis. "Loop them around your bag, hair or belt loop or wear them in a more traditional way around your neck."

The key is to pick a scarf made of fabric that flows. It shouldn't be stiff or shiny; think sheer pashmina, lightweight cashmere, even rayon -- fabric that's soft and has a lot of drape to it. And don’t worry about tying it too precisely. That’s exactly the point: you want it to drape casually, as if to say “Oh this thing? I just threw it on while heading out the door”.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Got my Anya bag yesterday...

...and actually, I picked up two: first, the clutch I mentioned yesterday, and also this basic black hobo for everyday use.

I agree with the reviewers on Target's web site. Overall, Anya's bags for Target seem well-made, which is a welcome improvement over Target's other recent designer collaborations. One slight annoyance, however: on some bags, the front buckle simply states "Anya Hindmarch for Target". I like this treatment: it's simple and understated. Other bags in the line, however, instead use Anya's logo mark (the little "bow" shown at left) with "Target" underneath. I think this treatment is a bit tacky; the bow is hard to see, and you really zone in on the TARGET part. And while I love Target, I really don't want their name to be the focus of my bag!

Target scores naming rights for Twins’ ballpark

Target has struck a 25-year partnership deal with the Minnesota Twins that includes naming rights to the team’s new downtown Minneapolis ballpark, to be dubbed Target Field when it opens in 2010.

Part of the ballpark project includes construction of Target Plaza, a public gathering space that will incorporate a pedestrian bridge between the ballpark and downtown Minneapolis. The Minnesota Ballpark Authority, public owner of the facility, will oversee the design of both the ballpark and the plaza. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The most lucrative baseball stadium rights deal in recent years was the one Citigroup struck with the New York Mets two years ago to name that team’s new stadium Citi Field in a 20-year pact reportedly worth $400 million.

“Our organization has been active in the community for years and we wanted a partner with similar values,” said Twins spokesman Kevin Smith, who said the Twins also wanted a locally based partner.

Target’s corporate headquarters is in Minneapolis.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where's Anya?

So you can imagine my disappointment yesterday when I visited my local Target store, fully expecting to shop the new collection of Anya bags (as advertised to debut on Sunday)... with the merchandise nowhere in sight. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Not even the signage was in place; the old "Botkier" endcaps were still there, with the Botkier bags replaced with Merona and Mossimo bags to fill the space. I probably should have asked, but what was a Target employee going to tell me? "They're not actually in yet" or "We haven't had a chance to display them" - ? The fact is that they weren't there, so anything they said wouldn't have helped.

I just hope that they're out at the other Target store near my work, because I plan on going there at lunchtime to try and nab this cute clutch. From the review posted on Target's web site, it sounds like THIS bag line is classy and well-made (unlike all the other bag lines in recent memory):

"This is a timeless little clutch perfect for special events or holiday parties. Its looks classy. It does NOT look cheap, as some of the other Target Designer Handbag collaborations have. Well done!"

Target pharmacies to offer flu vaccinations

Target will be offering flu vaccinations at most Target pharmacy locations starting this week. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends nearly everyone protect themselves against this potentially serious illness.

No appointments are necessary for the vaccinations. Vaccines offered will include flu vaccinations (ages 9 and up) for $29, and pneumonia vaccinations (ages 18 and up) for $45. Visit for specific times as they may vary by store. Target Pharmacy accepts many different insurance plans so the vaccinations are often covered at no out-of pocket charge to guests.

“Target wants to make flu vaccines affordable and accessible,” said Keri Jones, senior vice president of health and beauty, Target. “We are always striving to make our guests’ lives easier while keeping their families healthy. Now, Target guests can conveniently take care of themselves and their household in one visit.”

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pick of the Week

It's that time again... time for me to highlight my "pick of the week" from this week's Target ad in the Sunday paper. Today's pick is this sassy silver-tone cuff bracelet by Xhilaration. Now I have a very similar one in gold-tone (also by Xhilaration) that I picked up about 8 months ago at Target... and let me tell you, I get compliments on it every time I wear it. And the delicate metal-work reminds me of Target's designer (and higher-priced) jewelry collection by Dean Harris.

Xhilaration Braided Wire Bracelet: $6.99 this week at Target (regularly $9.99)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Trendy Trench

Trench coats continue to be a hit this fall, and let's face it, they are classic wardrobe staples that will always be a necessity. Just look at this picture of Reese Witherspoon, wearing an anorak-style Vera Wang trench in London: she looks smart AND stylish as she ducks the rain.

Target has several trench options this season, including this snazzy one from Mossimo in a steel gray satin plaid (which my friend Kara's been eyeing). Want something bright to chase away the clouds? Try this one in sizzling faux red patent, or this mustard yellow one for a pop of color. For a different take on the trench, try this snappy one from Merona in teal corduroy. And for a more traditional take on the trench, try this sandy-colored Isaac Mizrahi wrap-style.

All are available at for just $22.50 - $39.99.

Anya Update....

According to this short blurb by British Vogue, Anya Hindmarch's handbag collection for Target -- which went up for pre-sale on her Website this Wednesday -- sold out in less than two minutes! Anya's bags normally cost between $300 and $1,600, whereas her Target line goes for around $50. If you missed the presale, you'll be able to buy the bags in Target stores starting tomorrow. They're also currently available online at, although as I blogged on Tuesday, the web site still states that some styles are "shipping in 2-6 weeks".

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Devoted to Derian

As I blogged about a month ago now, John Derian’s collection for Target has hit stores. And it seems the entire stock has been flying off the shelves. According to devoted Derian fans have been buying up stock in record numbers, and the trays in particular are hard to come by. I didn’t know what all the fuss was about until while on vacation, when I came upon a lovely little store called The Carmel Bay Company and found myself standing in front of a whole wall of Derian wares. Up close and personal, his original retail collection is hand-crafted and special. And then I saw Target’s budget line… and frankly, I still don’t understand all the buzz. Target’s line doesn’t come close to the quality or uniqueness of Derian’s main line. I guess that's what you get when you compare something mass-produced with something handmade.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Target goes toy shopping

Target is planning to go shopping in the toy aisle soon. The Minneapolis-based retail giant said it intends to shop at competitors’ stores for toys this season in order to make sure its prices on “most-wanted items” are competitive. The company said it offers popular toys for $10 or less and said it will offer the “best prices” on “most-wanted items” this season. Mark Schindele, Target’s senior vice president, merchandising, said in a statement, “This is a challenging time for our guests and we know that they are looking for ways to save money.”

The move comes on the heels of an announcement by rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that it would slash prices on 10 popular toys to $10 each, including certain Barbie dolls, a Play-Doh ice cream shop and some Hot Wheels toys.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Anya Alert!

As with the Sigerson shoes I blogged about yesterday, Target has made them available online earlier than their targeted Oct. 12th launch date. Sort of. Click here for the full selection, but take note that at this time they seem to be taking pre-orders only (with the bags arriving in “2-6 weeks”). I think I’ll just take my chances and see what’s actually available in-store next week.

And for more on Anya, here’s a short article on Anya’s bag collection for Target, courtesy of the LA Times. They call it this season’s “it” bag, and predict it’ll be a sellout. Hmmm.... maybe I WILL pre-order one online after all!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back to the Future...

As I just blogged about yesterday, there seems to be a heavy 80's revival going on right now. First Target's Jonathan Saunders Go International collection, and now Target's budget line from shoe designer Sigerson Morrison (see sample at left). Which, by the way, wasn't supposed to hit Target stores until next week, but seems to already be available online.

Hello Sigerson? The 80's called. They'd like their boots back.

PS on Saunders...

After inspecting the Saunders stuff up close and personal yesterday, my view remains the same. The collection also looked cheap and poorly made. The one decent piece I could actually see wearing was this long, black shawl-collar cardigan shown at left... and then I realized that at $45, I could probably get something identical for 20-bucks cheaper if I migrated down to the Merona or Mossimo aisle.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jonathan Saunders hits Target

The new Jonathan Target Go International collection has hit the store shelves... and just like the other recent Go designer offerings, I'm left underwhelmed. There seems to be a heavy 1980's/early 90's influence here. Take the picture at left; I lived through the 80's, and wore this kind of stuff back then. And his vests seem VERY reminicent of something Courteney Cox would wear on Friends back in the 90's. All that said, maybe I'm just too old to wear this stuff. Remember the adage: if you've worn a trend once (mini-skirt, hotpants, etc.) that's enough? Maybe that's me, and perhaps this collection hits it right on the mark for a very young, hip crowd that wants to experience an 80's revival. That certainly seems to be the trend if you look at retailers like Club Monaco (check out the houndstooth and bowtie blouses) and American Apparel (newsflash: leggings are back!).

Pick of the Week

This week's pick (from Target's weekly ad in the Sunday newspaper) was fairly easy because it was featured smack dab on the cover. It's this scarf-sweater coat from Merona (pictured) on sale this week for just $35 (regularly $39.99). At first glance, this sweater-coat definitely looks designer; I can totally picture this coming from Michael Kors or Donna Karan. But no, it's little 'ol Merona, the in-house Target brand, bringing us another stylish look for less. In addition to heather gray, it also comes in basic black. And best of all, it's made of supersoft 100% acrylic (seriously, I tried it in-store!) and not some itchy blend of wool or angora. This is the kind of sweater that'd be perfect for cool, crisp Fall mornings.... kind of like today.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

If you really REALLY want your Anya bag...

As previously reported way back in June: Anya Hindmarch is designing a capsule collection of handbags for Target, debuting in stores on Oct. 12th. But if you really REALLY want to be the first on your block to get one, you have a couple of options:

1) has tipped us off that Anya herself will be offering the Target line FIRST on her website, starting Oct. 8th, at

2) You can snag one off eBay, but be prepared to pay inflated prices. How'd they wind up on eBay already, you ask? Well, as I reported in this post from August, Target made them available at their "Bullseye Bodega" event in NYC last month.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Target Designer gets shot on Project Runway

A second Target designer will get his shot on the hit reality TV show "Project Runway" Season Six. Last month, rumors started swirling that Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman, a clothing designer for Target, was in Los Angeles to shoot Season Six of Bravo's hit reality TV series. Sources now confirm that the rumors are true.

Like all Project Runway contestants, Coleman is muzzled by a confidentiality agreement. But he broke the news to a few members of his inner circle at a small party he hosted on Sept. 12. Katherine Gerdes, a former Target textile designer, was a contestant on season three of Project Runway two years ago. Coleman is still currently employed at Target as an apparel designer.

Season 6 of Project Runway will kick off in January on the Lifetime network (switching from Bravo) and will be filmed in Los Angeles (vs. NYC).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Esquire names Target among the best chain stores

Esquire Magazine has named Target as one of the best chain stores -- especially for “polo shirts and jeans” -- in their Chain Store Cheat Sheet. Nice mention, Esquire… but only a total of 4 retailers on the list? Seems a bit skimpy to me. And, I believe Uniqlo’s only US store is in NYC…which doesn’t really qualify it as a “chain” store in this country.


So how cute is the Domo promo going on at Target this Halloween season? For those unfamilar: Domo is one of those precious little Japanese cartoon characters (think Hello Kitty on steroids). There's a cute little video on Target's web site introducing Domo and his friends, and right now Target has a whole slew of Domo-riffic Halloween items for sale. Check out their web site for the whole collection, but keep in mind that many are ONLY available in-store (and of course, for a limited time only). And also in-store: just look up at the ceiling (near the entrance and in the Halloween aisles) to see oversize Domo paper-mache witches, ghouls and goblins. They are just too adorable!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bargain Botkier

What’s left of the Botkier for Target collection is now on clearance at 30% off. Head to Target’s web site for the best selection, as it’s pretty slim-pickens on the store shelves. This gilded-gold clutch (pictured) might be just the thing to grab for those upcoming Holiday parties. And if you think I’m rushing the Holidays, I’m not; read my post from yesterday and you’ll understand why.