Monday, March 31, 2008

Thunder Down Under

Following the frenzy experienced last Spring when Target stores in Australia released a limited collection by Stella McCartney, the retailer has tapped an American star to follow in her footsteps: Zac Posen. The 27-year-old New York fashion designer -- a favorite of Hollywood stars like Demi Moore, Katherine Heigl, Gwyneth Paltrow and Uma Thurman -- will bring his red carpet looks to Target when they debut on April 3.

Unfortunately, we Americans will miss out on all the fun unless we happen to take a trip Down Under, as Zac’s Target line will only be available at Target Australia (which is not affiliated with Target USA).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pick of the Week

It's pick of the week time: each Sunday I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in Sunday's newspaper) and highlight it on my blog. But this week I can't pick just one, because it's DOLLAR WEEK at Target! Which means that there's a bargain bonanza to choose from. For me, this is the time I stock up on all the essentials for my home and Bounty paper towels ($13 for 12 big rolls), Clorox bleach (2 for $3), Ultra Cheer detergent ($3), Energizer batteries (2 packs for $13), Target Home plush bed pillows ($4 each), Cherokee Men's Ultimate polo shirts ($10), Boys graphic t-shirts ($7) and Women's flip flops (2 pairs for $5). And, since we're a two-kitty household, Fancy Feast cat food (box of 24 cans for $11). Check your Weekly Ad for your own dollar deals, and happy bargain hunting!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Just don't call her the Piano Girl...

Alexa Ray Joel isn’t letting a small detail like not having a record deal stop her budding career. The savvy 20-year-old spawn of “Piano Man” musician Billy Joel and supermodel Christie Brinkley has instead produced a self-released debut EP that’s already been picked up for exclusive nationwide distribution at Target stores.

In a 2006 People Magazine interview, she described her musical style as "a bit more soulful, more blues than my dad's. He’s more pop rock. And his piano playing is better than mine, but that's okay. I don't want to be the Piano Girl."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Coming Soon to Target: Joy Gryson

Target is teaming up with handbag bag designer Joy Gryson -- formerly of Marc Jacobs Handbag Division -- for a limited edition handbag collection. The collection will feature around 8-10 different styles, and prices will range from $19.99 to $49.99 for bags that look VERY similar to previous Marc Jacobs designs, but at a fraction of the cost. Gryson also has a devoted Hollywood following, with her bags gracing the fashionable arms of Jessica Biel and Michelle Williams.

According to the Target press release, “Gryson’s edgy collection combines luxury design and practical details, such as multiple straps and pockets. Gryson has become known for her mix of Italian leather in rich hues (burgundy, chocolate, khaki, black, white) and understated details like woven top handles, brass hardware and signature hanging ID tags.”

The Joy Gryson for Target collection will be available at Target from April 6 through June 21, 2008.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Loeffler-Randall clearance at Target

The Loeffler-Randall handbag line (which I first blogged about several weeks ago and was not that impressed with) is now on clearance at Target. At last check, this line doesn’t seem to be selling well; it’s been out for about 3 months now, and every Target I’ve been to is still well-stocked with plenty of Loeffler bags in multiple styles. Check your local store for better deals; at my neighborhood Target, the Loeffler bags are marked down to 50% off, whereas online they’re only 30% off.

Target is probably discounting the bags to make room for their NEW designer handbag line….which I’ll write about in tomorrow’s post.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday's Rave: Riedel Vivant Glassware

So your cousin is getting married next month, and as a wedding present you could buy her Riedel champagne flutes – at $64 a pop (yes, that means PER glass) at Williams-Sonoma. Or you could be smart (as well as frugal) and instead get a whole set of Riedel Vivant Champagne flutes (4 total) for $44.99 at Target. Vivant is the more budget-conscious line of stemware from Riedel produced for Target, and take it from my wine-snob husband: you cannot tell the difference between Riedel’s original and Vivant lines.

PS: Riedel Vivant comes in a variety of styles -- white and red wine glasses, martini, tumblers, etc. – in addition to these elegant champagne flutes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday’s Rant: Rivals Stealing Target’s Thunder

Each Tuesday I take the opportunity to rant about something I happen to not like about Target…but today I’m taking a different tact and ranting instead about Target’s rivals. On the heels of last week’s post about Wal-Mart stealing market share from Target, I found this excellent article from the Chicago Tribune about Target’s recent struggles. The article highlights some topics that I’ve already blogged, such as how the loss of designer Isaac Mizrahi is a huge blow to Target, and how Wal-Mart is jumping on the design-for-the-masses bandwagon by introducing a collection by Norma Kamali.

So now Target’s retail woes are starting to make sense: everyone else is jumping on the cheap & chic bandwagon, which is eroding Target’s sales. But they are imitators (not innovators, like Target) and my money is on the bullseye to bounce back soon.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New at Target: the Subversive Jewelry Collection

Late last year Target successfully partnered with designer Dominique Cohen for a line of Victorian-inspired, luxe-for-less bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings. Now the next installment of jewelry designers for Target will feature Subversive Jewelry's Justin Giunta. Best known for his work with metals and vintage objects, Giunta's collection will feature 10 pieces, including these fun & fanciful bracelets. The Subversive for Target collection is available at select Target Stores and at now through July 20, and will range in price from $14.99 to $59.99.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! And just a reminder that all Target stores are CLOSED today in observance of the holiday. Additionally, the Target Weekly Ad won't be printed this week in the Sunday newspaper, so I won't be posting my usual "Pick of the Week" today. Instead, you can view Target's March 23rd Weekly Ad online at

Saturday, March 22, 2008

And in truly bizarre Target news….

I hesitate to even repeat this incident because of its crude nature. But right on the heels of the story that broke earlier this week -- about the guy who ejaculated into a sleeping woman’s hair on an American Airlines flight -- it’s being reported that a man masturbated on woman in a Portland, Oregon area Target store.

A man accused of what Clackamas County sheriffs called a “repulsive” act at a local Target store was cited and released on Sunday, authorities said. Deputies said 25-year-old Ricardo Jose Faulk turned himself in and was booked and cited for harassment Tuesday afternoon. Because he was only charged with one misdemeanor count of harassment, he was released. Deputies say no sex crime charges apply. The outraged victim said she believes what he did should count as a sex crime. Faulk allegedly committed a lewd act in the aisle at the store on SE Sunnyside Road. Surveillance photos showed he somehow ejaculated on the 31-year-old victim, then left the store, according to investigators."I'm going to start looking into that and lobbying for different laws, because that is not the same thing as spitting on someone or any other type of bodily fluid. It's a sex crime and it's gotta be changed," the victim said. Deputies could add more serious charges if Faulk is found to have a sexually transmitted disease.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tips for bargain-hunting at Target

Here’s a helpful article on how to find items on clearance at Target. A lot of these tips were already familiar to me, such as browsing the aisle endcaps for bargains. One new nugget of information, however, was the “daily markdown schedule”, outlining Target’s system for marking down their merchandise.

It’s also rumored that there’s a “secret code” to Target’s famous red clearance stickers. If you look up in the right top corner of those red stickers, you'll find a teeny-tiny number: 15, 30, 50, or 75. Those numbers supposedly equal the percent off the item. I checked it out the other day while at the store, and sure enough, the formula seems to ring true.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Are Consumers Choosing Wal-Mart over Target??

This article scares me; it claims that cost-conscious consumers during these tough economic times are picking Wal-Mart over Target. So if that is really the case, then why did Wal-Mart just score the LOWEST of ANY retailer (for the second time in three years) on the American Customer Satisfaction Index ? This just doesn’t add up.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday’s Rave: Assets

Today’s rave is about “Assets”: the budget offspring of Spanx shapers. Now if you haven’t tried Spanx or Assets, you’re missing out, because let me tell you, they REALLY WORK! Spanx was the original “smart shaper” that smoothed and toned without feeling like a girdle (or vice grip!). Now it seems like everyone is peddling these shaper undergarments, from mainstream retailers (like Chicos) to home shopping networks (via Dr. Rey from the TV show “Dr. 90210”).

But Spanx was the original pantyhose-style solution: created by Sara Blakely, a former standup comedienne who decided to try and use modified hose (with the feet cut off) to give a smooth line under her white pants while on stage one night. It worked, and soon the Spanx business was born. And now Spanx has spawned Assets (cute name!) which is the budget-friendly version of shapers, available exclusively at Target.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday’s Rant: Is Target Skimping on Isaac?

Every Tuesday I pick a topic to “rant” on Target about….because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. Today’s rant is about the oddly repetitive Isaac Mizrahi offerings showing up in Target Stores. Now we all know that Isaac is leaving Target, and we’re all heartbroken about it (sniff, sniff!) but I wonder if he’s actually already “checked out” and they’re just re-hashing his old designs? Because despite the fact that Target is supposed to keep the line alive until the end of 2008, I’ve found several items from IM’s new Spring line that are almost identical to offerings he had last year.

First was a scalloped-edge cotton blouse that is a carbon copy of one sold last Spring. Another is a seersucker sundress; same as last year’s, except the new version has an added grosgrain ribbon at the neckline. Still another example is the eyelet-trimmed trench coat pictured at left. I thought I was seeing double when I saw this in the store because I bought the same trench last year I and it quickly became one of my favorite items – so elegant and chic. But upon closer examination, I discovered that the coat wasn’t quite the same as the one that I have: the 2008 model has been re-done in a lesser-quality fabric, a less-flattering cut, and they’ve even skimped on the amount of eyelet trim. If Target is simply re-hashing old IM designs, then shame on them for sullying Isaac’s good name and trying to dupe customers.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Go Green, Start Small

In a small gesture towards sustainability, Target now produces a gift card made entirely out of bioplastic. This material has similar properties to regular plastic but is composed primarily of corn and is biodegradable, high-grade, and environmentally-friendly. I’m not sure if all their gift cards (they have many designs) are made of this eco-conscious material, but it’s a start!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pick of the Week

It's pick of the week time: each Sunday I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in Sunday's newspaper) and highlight it on my blog. This week’s pick is a selection of food and drinks from Archer Farms. The Archer Farms brand, exclusive to Target, includes cookies, crackers, snacks, frozen pastries & vegetables as well as ground coffee, flavored spring waters & Italian sodas. They have complete frozen meals as well, with exotic offerings like "Mango & Lime Glazed Tilapia", which comes with toasted couscous and tropical fruit salsa. Archer Farms even offers some organic selections like whole-grain pizzas, pastas, fruit strips and juices.

One of my favorites is the slow-simmer sauces, perfect for braising in the oven or crock-pot cooking. These sauces are almost identical to the Slow Cook sauces offered at Williams-Sonoma....but at about half the price per jar. And here's a hint, straight from the store manager at Williams-Sonoma: cut the sauce in half with water or chicken broth, as the sauces are strong and high in sodium. (This goes for the Archer Farms version as well). And that way, you'll also get two meals out of each jar.

Archer Farms food and drinks, on sale this week; check your local ad or store for prices.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Purse Dogs Allowed

One of my friends has this thing against “purse dogs” – you know, those little pampered pooches that women tote around in their purses? She actually goes so far as to state on her party invitations “No purse dogs allowed”. Whatever… I’m not a hater like she is. Especially since I found this stylish twill pet carrier on Seriously, how could you not love this bag? It looks like a stylish purse from an upscale designer instead of a pet tote. Now I live in a cat (vs. dog) household, and we only take kitty to the vet maybe once a year. But I still may use that as an excuse to get this posh pet purse – er, I mean, carrier.

Twill Pet Carrier: $29.99 (Available only online at

Friday, March 14, 2008

Target Comes to Nation’s Capital

Washington DC’s first Target store opened last week in radically transformed neighborhood, reviving a once overlooked area of the city. The new Target store anchors DC USA, the largest retail project in the nation's capital. The tri-level urban shopping mall was heralded Tuesday as another sign of the city's revitalization following decades of neglect.

The $145 million mall in a heavily populated and diverse section of northwest Washington gives residents the kind of large-scale retailers they previously had to visit by traveling to the suburbs. In addition to Target, the complex will include such stores as Best Buy, Marshalls, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Target officials said they were proud to be opening their first store in DC. The two-level store is connected by escalators that can haul both people and shopping carts, and elevators will carry shoppers to down to a 1,000-space, city-owned parking garage below the complex.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another Target Lawsuit

On the heels of the Diane von Furstenburg lawsuit I wrote about the other day, I’ve discovered that Target is also in the bullseye (pun intended) by the trendy Hollywood clothier Kitson. In a complaint filed in December, Kitson claims that Target manufactured and sold cheap knockoffs of footwear usually found at the high-priced Robertson Blvd. boutique.

This seems like it’s becoming a pattern. In addition to these two complaints, Andre Agassi also filed a trademark lawsuit back in September alleging that Target Corp. sold over 52,000 pairs of sandals plastered with his name without his permission.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday’s Rave: Liz Lange Maternity

Shhhh… come here. I have a secret to share with you. Sometimes the Liz Lange Maternity tops I see at Target are SO cute that I nab one for myself in an XS or S to wear as a REGULAR top (even though I’m not currently - nor nowhere near - pregnant). The Liz Lange line is THAT cute. And I’m not the only one who thinks so; last year Lucky Magazine ran a feature from one of the style editors admitting that she does the same thing! As for my friends who are actually “in a family way”, they tell me they don’t know what they’d do without Liz Lange for Target because LL allows them to glide fashionably (and affordably) through 8 growing months. Take this cool kimono dress for example: if you ARE pregnant, this piece flatters your expanding shape. And if you AREN’T, the mod print flows stylishly over your curves. Brilliant!

Liz Lange for Target Kimono Dress, Red Print: $27.99

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tuesday’s Rant: The Vanishing Garden Center

Each Tuesday 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. To be honest, I first wrote about this topic several weeks ago, but it’s still got me miffed so it bears another mention. For some reason, Target has closed about half of its Garden Centers in the Bay Area. Now only select stores have a Garden Center, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to which ones get shuttered and which ones stay open. I have scoured the web for information but have found no explanation for this, nor has Target addressed the issue on their web site. All I know is that employees I’ve talked to tell me the lack of a Garden Center is their customers’ most frequent complaint these days. The Garden Center is especially missed this time of year, with Spring upon us and backyard landscaping projects beckoning. Heck, I miss the Garden Center so much that I’m willing to drive to a farther-away store to find one. But I wish Target would just listen to their customers and bring it BACK.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Going to the Chapel....

When I got married a couple of years ago, I sure wish they’d had this adorable wedding planner at Target! It might have made my 8 months of toil and trouble leading up to the Big Day a little more enjoyable. Just kidding…I enjoyed every minute of the planning and prep-work. But this planner IS pretty darn cute, and even if you’re not a bride-to-be, it’d make a really nice engagement gift for someone.

Bride’s Wedding Planner: $14.99
Available ONLY ONLINE at

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pick of the Week

It’s pick of the week time: each Sunday I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in Sunday's newspaper) and highlight it on my blog.

This week’s pick was easy, because in addition to being a Target addict, I am also a devout shoe addict. And this week, Target has all wedge shoes from Merona and Xhilaration on sale for just $19.99! Now being “vertically challenged” (aka, only 5’2”) I practically live in heels, and the wedge makes wearing heels all day much more bearable. And at this price, I can buy several pairs to get me through Spring and Summer.

Women’s Wedge shoes (selected brands/styles): $19.99

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Target Sued Over Dress Design

Diane Von Furstenberg has sued Target for copyright infringement, claiming the discount store is selling dresses with a print that is nearly identical to one of her current designs. Diane Von Furstenberg Studio (owned by DVF) said Target was selling a "Merona Animal Print Wrap Dress" that infringed on its copyright of their “spotted frog design” (this according to a complaint filed in US District Court in Manhattan). Target reportedly stopped selling the dresses on its website on January 23 after the designer sent notice about it, according to the complaint, but the dresses are still available in some Target stores.

Von Furstenberg’s claim to fame was the introduction of her "Wrap Dress" in 1972 – one design suitable for women of all ages and sizes. Her company sells clothes and other products directly from its website as well as at upscale retailers. The “spotted frog design” in question is already used on DVF dresses, luggage, handbags, and swimwear.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Easter Parade

Target has a new line of Easter candy, decorations and partyware (cups, plates, napkins, etc.) called “Chiyo” that is simply too cute for words! Many of the items are only available in stores (like this plush chick, pictured) so run, don’t walk, to your local Target to check it out. And remember, Easter comes early this year! (March 23rd to be exact).

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Another Target Celebrity Sighting

Kirsten Dunst stepped out of Cirque Lodge in Utah a couple weeks ago to hit up the local Target store with some friends. Hopefully this means things are going well with her treatment, and that she’ll be back on track soon to making movies. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Cirque “sticks” for her more than it did for Lindsey Lohan (who reportedly has fallen off the rehab wagon after her stint last year at the same treatment facility).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Not Too Posh for Target

Victoria Beckham isn’t too posh for bargain hunting.

The Spice Girl and her son Romeo went on a shopping spree in Los Angeles the other night - and it wasn’t on Rodeo Drive. Instead, Posh Spice was caught walking the aisles of a local ‘Target’ store. Said an onlooker: “She would have looked like just your average mom had it not been for the security team pushing her cart behind her. And she didn’t look much pleased when the photographers saw her - she’s more used to being pictured leaving Hermes or Chanel - so the shades quickly went on.”

Posh - back in Los Angeles following the early end of the Spice Girls reunion tour - is already making plans for her next move in Tinsel Town. Tonight, Posh will appear as a guest judge with supermodel Heidi Klum on the season finale of the reality TV show Project Runway.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tuesday’s Rant: Target Home Collection Towels

Each Tuesday 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 their Home Collection towels. These towels used to be WONDERFUL. I bought a set for our master bathroom 5 years ago, and they lasted through 4 full years of wear and tear from hubby, myself, and our two boys. Last year when it finally seemed time to replace them, I again bought a set from Target Home…..and was thoroughly disappointed. The new set barely lasted through a month of washing before starting to unravel and show wear. So I “field tested” some other styles of Target Home towels (meaning I just bought one of kind each rather than committing to a whole set) and got the same poor results. Needless to say, I won’t be buying these again.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Jovovich-Hawk: Mixed Reviews

Although the new Jovovich-Hawk Go International line didn’t officially hit stores until yesterday, I got to preview the line Friday at my local Target. And I have to be honest: after all the hype and anticipation, it was quite a letdown. While I knew that the line was supposed to “bring a fresh point of view to classic vintage style”, the collection of granny dresses, paisley prints, and peasant tops are reminiscent of the whole Boho craze from a few summers ago and not exactly what I’d call “current”. Especially since this Spring is supposed to be all about structure, with a return to ladylike looks and an emphasis on the waist (vs. the no-waist empire look which is now OUT).

But then again, to each their own. I overheard some teenage girls raving about the offerings, excitedly pouring over the racks and exclaiming “this is the best designer stuff Target’s ever had!”. So go figure. Maybe this line is just aimed at the very young, and at (cough, cough!) my age I’m just too long in the tooth for this stuff to appeal to me.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pick of the Week

It’s pick of the week time: every Sunday I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in Sunday's newspaper) and highlight it here.

This week’s pick might seem a bit odd if you’ve never seen one of these things. It’s a Bosu Balance Ball – and yes, it’s basically a fitness ball cut in half with a no-skid base on the bottom. Looks peculiar, but let me tell you, does it give you a great workout! I was skeptical myself until I tried it in the gym, and then I just had to buy one. The Bosu Balance Trainer builds core strength, coordination, and endurance, as well as improves balance. And this set from Target also comes with a workout DVD and a handy foot pump.

Bosu Balance Trainer set: $99.99

Saturday, March 1, 2008

First Kmart, now Wal-Mart

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how Kmart was obviously trying to copy Target with their “Piper Blue” fashion line (imitating Target’s uber-popular Go International line of designer wear). Now it appears that Wal-Mart is getting into the fray by hiring a REAL designer (vs. a made up one like Piper Blue) to create a line of affordable fashions. Norma Kamali, best known for her cotton jersey knitwear, will “create an exclusive collection that will include women’s wear, children’s clothing, accessories, footwear and home items” (this according to Women’s Wear Daily).

Hmmm…..interesting. While I give kudos for to Wal-Mart for hiring a known entity, I wonder if anyone will care? Norma Kamali is a name mainly known from the 70’s/80’s, and unlike other designers of that era (like Diane von Furstenberg) she hasn’t experienced a resurgence in the past decade. Sure, she has name recognition, but will it translate into sales?