Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday’s Rave: Target’s new online receipts

On Tuesdays I usually take the opportunity to rant about something I do NOT like about Target (because although I love them to death, they ain’t perfect). So surprise surprise when the rant I had planned to write about yesterday – something which had bugged me for a very long time – turned out to be fixed! I’m talking about the online return system at Target. Previously, if you bought something from Target’s web site, you had to go through not one step for online returns but TWO. First, you had to look up your account online and print out a “Return Receipt”. Problem is, for some bizarre reason this “receipt” did NOT include the item price. Bizarre, eh?? So then you had to go through a second step to print out the original “Invoice” for the purchase, which showed exactly what you paid for the item. Now you’re probably thinking “can’t they just scan the item at the register to find the price?”. Well yes, they can…..but the problem is that since you bought it, the item may have been discounted in that particular store. Which means you’d possibly get back LESS than what you paid for it. Again, crazy, I know, but their systems just didn’t seem to be in sync, and I repeatedly wondered WHY they just didn’t have the prices printed right there on the receipt. Well lo and behold, Target must have finally “gotten it”, because I noticed a new format for their online receipts the other day that finally includes a column for prices. So now there’s only one form to print out and bring along if you need to return something bought online to the store. Yippee!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Catch the Whim-sy while you can...

As previously reported, Target is introducing a new line of outdoor products called Whim by designer Cynthia Rowley (pictured here with her daughter, Gigi) who is known for her graphic prints and bold colors. The collection offers products such as beach towels, picnic baskets, dinnerware and backyard games. But catch it while you can: Rowley's line debuted on Sunday and will only be available through June 14.

UPDATE: Better yet, just shop the entire Whim collection online here.

Rogan for Target to debut first at Barney’s

To pick up from yesterday’s post: Rogan Gregory's capsule designs for Target hasn’t even debuted yet, but he sure has a fan in Barneys New York. Julie Gilhart, the Barney’s fashion director, has worked her magic by persuading Target to launch the Rogan for Target collection at her Manhattan and Beverly Hills flagships in advance of their launch at the superstore. The collection, which marks the first time Barneys has carried Target merchandise, will arrive in New York and Los Angeles on May 8 and 15, respectively, and will be carried on the Co-op floor. The pieces will only be in stock for five days; after that, shoppers will have to wait for the mass debut.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Here comes the bride...

Maybe it's because I didn't get a chance to blog all last week...or perhaps it's because this week is my wedding anniversary. No matter what the cause, I'm in the mood to blog, and tonight the wedding bug has caught me. Check out this classic (and classy!) wedding dress (on SALE, no less!) at Target.com. It's very similar to my own wedding gown...at a fraction of the cost.

Isaac Mizrahi for Target® Classic Princess Dress in Opal Cream:
on sale for $90.99. Available only at Target.com

Rogan Gregory for Target


Rogan Gregory's collection for Target, to be unveiled in May, will consist only of women's bathing suits. The designer (pictured) told Time Out Chicago: "I said, 'If you let me do it in the summer, I’ll do it.' It’s sexy. It’s all women’s swimwear, which is something I was really excited about because I wouldn’t get that chance with my own brand in the near future."

CORRECTION: It looks like Rogan’s collection won’t be limited to swimwear after all. The eco-friendly line will include bathing suits, but is also comprised of lightweight sweaters, animal-printed shorts and skirts, dresses, leggings, vests and more. You can check out the collection on Target’s press site.

Now some in the blogosphere (namely The Budget Fashionista and the readers of Nitrolicious) have already weighed in with less-than-rave reviews for the Rogan line, but I want to see the clothes first-hand and judge for myself. After all, some of the Go International Private Label offerings looked rather cute in pictures…..only to discover in person that they were made in cheap fabrics and boxy cuts.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Converse One Star Clearance at Target.com


Clearance alert! While web surfing a few minutes ago I found a great selection of the Converse One Star line on sale at Target.com. I was also at my local Target store earlier today (I know, I have a problem...that's why I'm a Target addict!) but didn't see the same items discounted, so this clearance seems to be limited to Target's web site only. As I've already blogged, I LOVE this line...which is why I just spent over $100 at the online sale. Shop now and you too can get this snazzy little tank top (pictured) for just over ten-bucks!

Pick of the Week


It's pick of the week time: each Sunday I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad and highlight it on my blog. And this week I'm excited because one of my favorite lines, Assets by Sara Blakely, is on sale! I've blogged about Assets before (as I'm a big fan of their Fabulous Footless and Perfect Pantyhose) and now it looks like they've expanded the line to include control camisoles and thigh shapers. Slimming inner fabric provides control where you need it; outer fabric keeps everything invisibly smooth under clothing. Assets provide that added little "help" you need to keep looking good in your clothes (and we all know we can use a little help!).

Assets by Sara Blakely: on sale this week at Target, in stores and online.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pick of the Week

It's pick of the week time: each Sunday I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad and highlight it on my blog. Today's pick is this beautiful blue Catalina dinnerware from Target Home, on sale this week for just $17 for a 4-piece set of dinner or salad plates. Now I just love it when Target has their stoneware on sale; not only are they usually available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and styles, but the Target Home brand is durable enough to stand up to kids and multiple dishwasher loads per week. I really can't see buying fancy dishes at Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn when Target's offerings are just as pretty, and at a fraction of the cost. And at this price, you can afford to change out your dishes each season (which I've been, ahem, known to do....guilty as charged!).

Home Catalina dinnerware: 4-pk. dinner or salad plates, $17 at Target.

And now a programming note: I'm jetting off tomorrow for a week-long business trip, so there won't be any more posts this week, sorry! But I'll be back next Sunday with another Pick of the Week.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

On a whim...

Target may be losing Isaac Mizrahi, but it is gaining an old friend in Cynthia Rowley. The designer is reported to be returning to the mass chain this year with a new, limited-edition brand called Whim by Cynthia Rowley. According to sources, Whim will not be part of the Go International initiative, and there will be no apparel. Instead, it will focus on novelty items such as outdoor games and inflatable pools, all given Rowley's irreverent touch. The collection is expected to hit Target stores at the end of April. Rowley is no stranger to Target, where she once had the Swell collection, which was quietly phased out two years ago.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The voice behind the Target ads

You may have been wondering who is the voice behind the now iconic Target ads, which started running over a year ago. I’m talking about the catchy “Hello, Goodbye” TV ads based on the Beatles song of the same name. The songstress behind the campaign is Sophia Shorai, and you can learn more about her and her unique musical upbringing on her web site.

Unfortunately, for fans of her particular version of the song, we’re out of luck; last year, Ms. Shorai posted on her site that a release of her rendition [of "Hello, Goodbye"] was “not in the cards at this point. Maybe, someday!”.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

CL by Laundry at Target

With Target launching so many new designer lines lately, it's hard to keep track of them all. So I wasn't that surprised to find another name-brand offering simply by accident when perusing Target's web site. It looks like Target has a trendy new (albeit small) bag collection by "CL by Laundry". The line has been launched with virtually no fanfare, though, and they don't even have a press release out on it. By the name, I wasn't sure if this was associated with the "Laundry by Shelli Segal" line or not...and a quick web search proved not; instead, it is an offshoot of the budget shoe line Chinese Laundry. From the shopping site Endless.com, I found out that CL is "priced for the discriminating customer who's looking for the hottest trends. While definitely dress-oriented, CL by Laundry also introduces a bit of street-smart, casual attitude into its distinctive fashion mix. CL by Laundry appeals to the customer who's unabashedly edgy and young in spirit. She's got her own sense of style and her own unique scene -- as well as her own keen eye for what makes a standout statement."

Whatever CL is (and whomever it's designed by) most of the offerings are pretty darn cute...especially this polka dot hobo (pictured) and the patent-leather look clutch bags. And it's certainly WAY more attractive than the fugly Joy Gryson line recently introduced at Target.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday's Rave: there ain't one, so here's Eva instead


I’m still upset from yesterday’s post, and have no raves for the Bullseye today. Instead, let Eva Longoria Parker speak for me and spread the Target love. She still shops there……at least I think she does.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday's Rant: Target Strikes Out....Twice

Each Tuesday I take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target…because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. It is with a heavy heart that I report this, but Target has struck out not once, but twice, with their recent designer offerings.

The first strike is for their latest Go International line that is designed entirely in-house vs. hiring name designers the likes of Tara Jarmon or Patrick Robinson as they’ve done in the past. I blogged about this last week, and then on Friday I saw the goods first-hand on the store floor. Bottom line is, the news isn’t good. The Private Label offerings look cheap, shoddy, and poorly constructed. Not to mention the bizarre color combinations, such as ballet pink with dove gray (Hello! Last time I saw that color combo was circa 1986!) and charcoal with mustard yellow (which is just plain icky). There were a few pieces that would look good on a tall, thin, supermodel-type, like the pleated-front/racer-back tank top in icy silver. And there is a one-shoulder jersey dress in electric blue (pictured) that would work great as a cute beach cover up…but as an actual dress? Forget it; the material is far too thin and flimsy.

The second strike comes for the much ballyhooed Joy Gryson purse line. I was really hoping that this collection would outshine the mediocre Loeffler-Randall line which I wasn’t crazy about. But I hate to report that it’s actually WORSE. Picture the woven Randall line…only more poorly constructed, with larger woven pieces (which could easily get snagged) made out of cheaper materials, with badly sewn zippers. Seriously, these bags did not even hang well on the racks! If I were Joy Gryson, I would be embarrassed; her name is not only on the nameplate on the bag, but also on the (aforementioned crappy) zipper pulls.

All in all, both lines were a disappointment, and did not give me a warm-fuzzy about Target’s future designer offerings.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Museum for Anything Hit, Strummed or Plucked

Here is another keen insight (from the New York Times) into Target’s current CEO – Robert J. Ulrich – whom is retiring later this year (and whom was part of last Thursday's post). In short: when you make a fortune and love the arts, you naturally want to give money away to support it. And usually, that means building a fancy new orchestra hall. Not so for Bob Ulrich, who is instead donating millions of dollars to establish the decidedly unglamorous Musical Instrument Museum: the country’s only free-standing museum devoted to instruments of world cultures.

The museum, which will be located just outside of Phoenix, AZ, will house about 5,000 items, nearly 1,000 of which have already been acquired and are in storage. The Musical Instrument Museum is expected to open in early 2010.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pick of the Week

It's pick of the week time: each Sunday I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad and highlight it on my blog. This week's pick are these clever C9 by Champion Double Waist Performance Yoga Pants, which come in a variety of sizes and lengths. I'm going to have to tell my friend Kara about one, since we were just shopping for athletic pants week before last. We went to Lucy, which is an upscale women's athletic-wear store, and she got some petite-length black pants that I swear look identical to these. The Lucy ones, however, set her back $50 a pop. Ouch! I almost said to her "have you tried looking at Target?", but I think she was set on having a little shopping spree that day (as she bought several pairs).

For anyone who is vertically challenged (as Kara and I are) these pants are a blessing, as it means no more hemming (or simply cutting off) a couple inches so your workout pants aren't sweeping the floor. And likewise for tall gals, I'm sure the extra length is appreciated.

C9 by Champion Double Waist Performance Yoga Pants
Sizes XS - XXL, in Short (28 1/2") Medium (31 1/2") and Tall (34 1/2")lengths
$17.99 - $19.99 (for the extended larger sizes) this week at Target

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Target’s mystery designer identified… sort of.

To pick up from yesterday’s post: I’ve found additional info on the “mystery designer” who’s launching a collection at Target next week. It is NOT Richard Chai (who helped launch Marc by Marc Jacobs and revived TSE Cashmere) as was reported by Glamour’s Slaves to Fashion blog. Rather, it's been designed in-house, which is why they’re calling it the “Private Label Collection”. The collection includes “a variety of updated wardrobe staples including long boyfriend blazers, printed tunics, wide-leg trousers and cowl-neck printed tees. Additional standout pieces include a long linen vest, satin romper, mod shift dress with circle pockets, square-neck kimono sleeve top and foil printed metallic swimsuits”. It sounds as if they will introduce new pieces every few weeks, and rotate each “capsule collection” on a monthly basis.

Now I happened upon the Private Label Collection at Target yesterday by accident, when I was shopping on my lunch break. I guess that although the line isn’t slated to debut until Monday, this particular store put out the clothes early. Without giving too much away, my take on the collection will be part of next Tuesday’s “Rant”. In the meantime, check out this post from The Budget Fashionista about Target’s future plans for designer lines.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A new designer line at Target?

I found this mention on the web from a Kansas City newspaper that “Target is launching a new Go International collection, available April 13th, priced from $16.99 to $49.99”. Hmmmm… no mention of who the designer is, and the only thing I could find on Target’s site is something called the “Go International Private Label Collection”.

I do know that the horrid Jovovich-Hawk collection is due to leave stores April 12th, and not a moment too soon. And I’ve found a fellow blogger who agrees with me. I can’t wait for Jo-Hawk to GO so we can move on to better designer offerings!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Target in Fortune Magazine

Everyone’s been telling me about this excellent article about Target from Fortune Magazine, so I finally had to read it for myself. Although the popular retailer is obviously one of the most admired (and imitated) companies in the world, I had no idea that Target now ranks 33rd on the Fortune 500 - making them bigger than Microsoft, Pfizer, and PepsiCo! This article provides detailed insight into the inner-workings of their management team, and how they strive to keep operations fresh and current despite increasing competition from Wal-Mart and other retailers.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wednesday's Rave: Isabelle Party

Last year Target hired Isabelle de Borchgrave, renowned Belgian artist, to create Isabelle Party, a vibrant collection of hand-painted, paper party d├ęcor. The collection features brightly patterned paper tabletop and stationery items (like napkins, plates, tablecloths and centerpieces) that turn any occasion into an instant celebration. I just love this line, and it seems like each season Isabelle turns out new designs/themes. I still have some of her oversize matchbooks in an autumn falling-leaf print scattered around my house. And in stores now is her “Botanical” garden-themed design, as well as her “Toscana” print which is reminiscent of Italian pottery. You can view the selection here online but keep in mind that the Isabelle Party collection is ONLY available in stores, with the exception of their "Party Packs" (which is a set of napkins/plates/etc. for 8). Check it out because different stores might have different offerings. Yesterday I spied a colorful collection I’ll call “Fiesta” (in bright reds and yellows) clearly displayed on an endcap. I’m going to go back today and snap this design up; it’ll be perfect for my upcoming Cinco de Mayo party!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday's Rant: Why I’m jealous of Target Australia

Last week I blogged about how Target Australia (which is the same in name only, as the two corporations are not affiliated with each other) nabbed Zac Posen as their newest guest designer. Now I find out that they’ve also snagged Collette Dinningan (pictured here) to design an exclusive limited collection of lingerie, debuting April 17th. Here is an excerpt from the official press release:
"Internationally acclaimed Australian designer, Collette Dinnigan, has collaborated with Target Australia to launch a range of intimate apparel named ‘Wild Hearts’. The collection combines Collette’s uniquely delicate design sensibility with her signature attention to detail to create a collection of beautifully designed lingerie that fits every woman’s needs.

Collette Dinnigan has dedicated her life to designing exquisite garments for women and has dressed some of Hollywood’s most glamourous and talented such as Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, Naomi Watts, Kate Bosworth and Halle Berry.

The Wild Hearts for Target collection features Collette’s distinctive style including delicate and feminine designs mixed with decadent silk, which is a first for lingerie at Target. Every piece of the collection will feature an exclusive ‘Collette Dinnigan for Target – Wild hearts’ swing tag and hanger and will be packaged in an elegant Collette Dinnigan for Target carrier bag."


Click here to see the Wild Hearts line, as well as sneak a peek at Zac Posen’s designs. But my rant is: why can’t Target US hire great designers like this for their own capsule collections?? Sure, the Go International line is OK, but certainly not as grand in scale and scope as what the Australians are doing. Surely Target US could hire better, more upscale talent.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Target Reducing Usage of PVC

Target, now the fifth largest U.S. retailer with over $59 billion in revenues a year, has committed to systematically reduce polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic in their products and packaging by the end of 2008. This represents a major market shift away from PVC that will have enormous health and environmental benefits. Target made this commitment after the Center for Health, Environment and Justice and a coalition of health and environmental organizations launched a national campaign encouraging the company to phase out PVC. The company joins Wal-Mart and many other companies in phasing out or reducing PVC.

Sunday, April 6, 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. There was a lot of great stuff in this week's ad -- particularly all the outdoor furniture/accessories/plants etc. -- but these shoes just spoke to me. This adorable pair of C9 Athletic shoes looks just like a pair of my dependable (yet now well worn) Steve Madden's, which my friend Robyn complimented me on yesterday and screamed "oooh, where did you get those?!". Truth be told, I've long forgotten where I originally got them, but now I'm going to run out to Target (with Robyn in tow) so we can both get a pair of these cute little kicks.

C9 by Champion athletic footware: on sale at Target this week, starting at $19.99

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Star Gazing




Look what I found! Guess who else loves shopping at Target? Rachel Bilson and Lauren Conrad! See? The stars are just like us; trolling the aisles of Target on the weekend :-)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Housewares, Third Floor

Here’s an interesting article about Target taking over a former Macy’s store at the Glendale Galleria in Southern California and turning it into their first tri-level store. I can only imagine how massive this store must be! I’ve been to a two-story Target before, which is daunting enough, especially if you have a lot of shopping to do. The problem is that there’s so much ground to cover, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the layout of the store. They do have pretty cool escalators, though, that are customized to allow you to carry your carts up and down the floors with ease, in addition to extra-large elevators to accommodate carts as well.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cheap & Chic, Part Deux

Last week I blogged about wannabee imitators stealing Target’s thunder. Now I’ve found this New York Times article echoing the same theme. What I find interesting is that they cite two Target “repeats” I was not aware of: first, Gap is apparently introducing a clothing line by Patrick Robinson, who already did a capsule collection for the Go International line of designer wear at Target last summer. And it looks like Old Navy is now turning to the 1990s phenomenon Todd Oldham -- who designed a dorm-themed back-to-school collection for Target several years back -- to try to promote its hipper new image. So again, two competitors are copying Target, this time by hiring talent already tapped by Target several seasons ago.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wednesday’s Rave: Victoria Hagan

One of my favorite things about Target is their famous pairings with both well-known and up-and-coming designers, thereby bringing fine design to the masses. Case in point: Victoria Hagan, named “Furniture Designer of the Year” in 2005 by Elle Decor, teamed up with Target soon afterwards to develop a line of home accessories and accent furniture at a more accessible price point. I have several Hagan pieces in my home, including picture frames, candlesticks, and a brass lamp. My next purchase just might be this lovely table lamp…..along with the matching bookends, of course.

Victoria Hagan “Amy” table lamp: $49.99 in stores or online at Target.com.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tuesday’s Rant: Target's Dirty Little Facebook Secret

Each Tuesday I take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target….because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. Case in point is this story I found online about Target’s questionable marketing ethics. It seems that back in December, Target was outed in online blogs and discussed in college ethics classes after students allied with the company were told to "keep it secret" while singing the company's praises on the social network site Facebook.com. In their efforts at social marketing to the college-age crowd, Target set up a group – the Target Rounders – recruited via newsletters to receive discounts, CDs and other prizes in exchange for marketing Target products to their friends and providing the company with feedback. Only problem is that Target blatantly told Rounder members “Your Mission: Try not to let on in the Facebook group that you are a Rounder”.

While social marketing (the selling of ideas/attitudes/and behaviors) is nothing new (the practice has been around since the 1970’s) shame on Target for essentially asking students to lie in order to generate buzz. Certainly Target can find other, more ethical ways to market their products and promote their hip image.

And just in case anyone is wondering…..this blog is in no way affiliated with Target Corporation. The opinions expressed here are my own, and Target does not compensate me in any way.