Sunday, May 31, 2009

No Tar-jay for Canada… yet.

I am back from a wonderful week in Canada, and wanted to share with you all a bit of information I got from a shopkeeper in Montreal’s Old Town. The shop – Eternal Noel – doesn’t seem to have a web site, but I was able to find this great picture on Flickr (and yes, this store is as charming on the inside as it is from the outside). When I went to pay for my purchases, the shop’s owner commented on my Target RedCard, and he shared with me that unfortunately, Canada does not have any Target stores yet. Walmart, yes, but Tar-jay, no. He said that it is hard for American-based retailers to enter the Canadian market because everything – all the signage, pricing, advertising, etc. – needs to be in both French and English. He said that he’s heard that Tar-jay is making strides to try and enter the Canadian market, but that it will take time to coordinate all the bilingual efforts.

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 the Converse One Star collection, on sale this week for 20% off. In addition to all clothing (both men’s and women’s) the sale also includes women’s accessories as well as men’s, women’s, & kids shoes. Now if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I’m a big fan of the Converse One Star line… so I personally plan to shop the women’s selection, as well as pick up a new pair of my hubby’s favorite sneakers for him.

Another thing to check out: this cute Converse one-piece swimsuit that was recently featured in Real Simple magazine (the May issue; see page 104) as a top pick if you have “full hips and thighs”. To quote: “The perfectly cut leg lines on this slimming tank have a minimizing effect”. And this week, it’s on sale for just $23.99 (regularly $29.99).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

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. Now if you haven't already noticed, scarves are all the rage right now. This once winter-only accessory is now a year-round trend. You cannot even pass a Gap window anymore without seeing display of a summery-dress paired with a color-coordinated scarf. But rather than pay $20-25 to experiment with this trend, head on over to Target and pick up one of their Xhilaration scarves on sale for just $14 each. Other selected women's scarves are also on sale this week, like this Ombre Jersey Wrap by Merona for just $13.49.

And now a programming note: I'm off on vacation for the next week, so I won't be blogging again until next Sunday's Pick of the Week. Until then, Happy Shopping!

Clearance Alert: Felix-Rey for Target

Attention, bargain-hunters! Most of the Felix-Rey collection of bags for Target have been put on clearance. Some of the larger totes seem not to be on sale, but many of the other bags - like this cute envelope clutch (pictured) which The Recessionista fell in love with - are now 30% off. So snap them up while you still can; I know in my local stores the Felix-Rey collection has pretty much sold out already.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Jaime Pressly hearts Target

Here’s a shot of “My Name is Earl” star Jaime Pressly at the Loomstate for Target launch in Los Angeles last month. At the event she stated that the Loomstate/Target partnership is "a great opportunity for everyday people who can't afford $300 for a pair of jeans to come in and get a pair of jeans from the same designer for a reasonable price."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Clearance Alert: Loomstate for Target

The women’s collection from Loomstate for Target just went on clearance on for 30% off. Now while I wasn’t an initial fan of this collection, it grew on me over time. You can get this cute LBD I raved about on sale now for just $27.98, as well as this cute & comfy tank top (the front is grey, and the back is bright pink) for just $11.89. I ended up getting both this one plus the one in black/grey.

One note: although the women’s Loomstate collection is on clearance, the men’s collection - for some reason - is not.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday’s Rave: an array of cute bridesmaid gifts

Yes, it’s that time again: wedding season is upon us. And surprisingly, Target has an array of cute – and affordable – bridesmaid gifts. Like this adorable polka-dot Bridesmaid tote (shown) for just $21.99. There’s also a pink Bridesmaid tote at an even lower price point ($14.99) that comes in a Maid of Honor version as well. Still lower (at just $13.99) is this pink floral Bridesmaid cosmetics case.

If totes aren't "your thing", you can go the more traditional jewelry route with these charming “one word” sterling charm bracelets in Believe, Dream, and Laugh (just to name a few) for just $29.99 each.

Or you can choose a practical gift, and get each of your bridesmaids a Pashmina shawl (only $14.99 each, in a variety of colors) to wrap around their shoulders should your wedding day weather turn dicey.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday’s Rant: Target trying to be too much like Walmart

Most Tuesdays 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. Today's rant echoes something I mentioned in Saturday’s blog post: that Target’s new price-point driven TV ads seem just a TAD too much like Walmart’s. I have, in fact, confused their new ads for Walmart’s ads on more than one occasion. Now I’m all for Target trying to keep their ground and not lose any more market share against Walmart. But can’t they do it in a more original way?

Here’s a link to a Target commercial I really liked that was price-driven but still kept the “style” of their old commercials, with catchy music and bold imagery. And here’s another one. Both of these were made within the past 6-8 months, and they still jive with some of the classic Target commercials (like this one).

I can’t even FIND the newest Target commercials on the Web that I’m ranting about, but in a nutshell: they follow a family around (each member) with a narrator (no prominent music on this one) telling you how much you can save at Target. Kinda like what Walmart does, especially with this one that is currently running nationally.

Target, you had a good thing going with the commercials I linked above. In short, you had me at Hello, Goodbuy. Why’d you have to go and ruin it??

Monday, May 18, 2009

McQ final clearance at

Those of you letdown (like I am) by the new Tracy Feith Go International collection might want to head over to and shop the last of the McQ Alexander McQueen collection, now on final clearance at 75% off. [And by "final" I mean that I doubt the McQ will go any lower than this, not that it is a final sale and not-returnable].

Check out this one-shoulder tank (shown) marked down to just $6.74. One-shoulder styles were all over the runway this Spring, and here's a way to experiment with the look for less. This edgy mesh-back black tee is also cute; I'd order it but unfortunately it looks like they're out of my size.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tracy Feith? Don't bother...

I got a sneak peek at some of the Tracy Feith Go International collection yesterday at my local Target (which had put it out in advance of today's official debut) and all I can say is DON'T BOTHER wasting your time on this one. The store didn't have all the pieces out on display (and likewise, Target doesn't have the entire line up on their web site yet) but what I saw was "fugly" at best. Like this sweater (shown) that seriously looked like something my grandma would have worn back in the 70's. Wait, I take that back; my grandma was WAY too stylish to wear something as hideous as this. Really, check it out in the store; it's FAR worse in person than even in this pic.

Or this muumuu -- yes, this really is a muumuu. Who needs (or wants) a muumuu? A maxi dress is one thing, but this is definitely a mumuu. I can't see where one would wear this, outside of a luau.

Another disappointing Go International designer line from Target. What a shame...

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. But before I get to this week's pick, I want to share with you something different that I noticed in this week's ad. Target is now promoting items called "The Weekly WOW": products that are at the lowest price of the season, or especially good buys. Hmmm.... has Target been reading my blog? ;-) While I could take the easy route and copy Target's "WOWs", I'm going to instead make it a point to keep choosing my OWN "pick of the week".

This week's pick is this nifty storage ottoman on sale this week for just $19 (regularly $24.99). Blending form and function, this piece doubles as a footrest/seat and storage/stash. Covered in soft faux suede microfiber, the tan one (shown) is only available in stores, but this brown one is also available online.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Target To Open Minigroceries In 100 Stores

According to the Wall St. Journal, Target is transforming a corner of a hundred of its discount department stores into mini-groceries stores that carry a narrow selection of products from 90% of the food categories found in a larger grocery store. It may eventually add mini-groceries to most of its 1,300 outlets as the key to its strategy to reverse declining sales.

The retailer seems to be moving closer to the Wal-Mart mold of selling more food and emphasizing low prices. It also is revamping its adverting to focus on bargains. [Side bar: have you noticed those TV ads, dear readers? I have, and despite the following comment from Target, I have mistaken those commercials for Wal-Mart ads more than once]. However, CEO Gregg Steinhafel says he has no wish to try to be like Wal-Mart, which he characterizes as "a grocer that happens to also sell general merchandise."

Friday, May 15, 2009

New at Target: Glow Chic lingerie

Victoria's Secret didn't sell maternity nighties, so Rebekah Stivers decided she would. "Pregnant ladies want to feel sexy," Stivers says. "I'm not a mom. I just listened to the market."

That's why Stivers (of Minneapolis) launched her upscale maternity lingere line Whoa Mamma in 2007 and sold lacey sleepwear and bra and panty sets to a few online stores and boutiques. All the while, she kept her job as a risk consultant, just in case.

Then Target came calling, and everything changed. Stivers created a second, less expensive line of sleepwear for the discounter called Glow Chic, which is now available at Glow Chic's two-piece maternity sets — bra and panty, chemise and panty, top and lounging pant — sell for $49.

The partnership is new, but solid enough for Stivers to finally quit her day job. In addition to the Target deal, she is also currently shopping her more expensive Whoa Mamma line to upscale department stores.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday's Rant: Target's new "generic" jewelry packaging

Most Tuesdays 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. Today's rant is about a disturbing trend I've seen in the Target jewelry department. I don't mean the "nicer jewelry" - like the Dean Harris line - that is carried behind the glass counter. I mean the costume jewelry that is displayed on the wall racks. Now it used to be that these items were displayed by brand: Merona being a tad more "classic" in style, with Cherokee and Xhilaration trending more towards Juniors. But that seems to be changing. The "old style" jewelry packaging (shown) has disappeared from two of my area Targets, only to be replaced by generic silver-gray hangtabs with no printing at all on the front. You have to flip it over to see the price or see what the item is made of (and whether it's nickel-free). And there's no branding to speak of, outside of maybe stating "Target" on the back.

Now I don't know about you, but I'm not liking this trend. Perhaps the generic packaging is meant to save costs, but the whole thing screams "cheap" to me. [and yes: admittedly we do want our Target jewelry to be cheap, but not to look cheap]. Seriously, check it out at your local store and tell me what you think.

Monday, May 11, 2009

More Tracy Feith pictures surface... is reporting that Target has released more pictures from its upcoming collection from Tracy Feith, which debuts in stores on May 17th. But I dunno... I'm just not feeling this Crazy Daisy Print top (yes, that's really the name!) nor the matching skirt, nor comprehending WHY they would put both these pieces together in such a matchy-matchy way. I mean, why not just make this into a dress instead? And don't even get me started on the black anklet socks with silver sandals...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

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. This week's pick is the Merona Ultimate collection of men's shirts (pictured). Now these shirts are among my hubby's favorites as they come in a variety of colors and are pre-washed for softness. I also appreciate the fact that they're both shrink & fade-resistant, and seem to hold up well to multiple wearings & washings. And this week at Target, both the Ultimate Tee and Polo are on sale.

Merona Ultimate Tee: $6 ($8 for XXL)
Merona Ultimate Polo - solids: $10 ($12 for XXL)
Merona Ultimate Polo - striped: $12 ($14 for XXL)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Loomstate revisited...

As I wrote about last week, I'm a bit lukewarm on the latest Loomstate for Target line. Nonetheless, I did order this summery LBD (little black dress) and had promised to give everyone an update on whether it was a "keeper" or not. And happily, it is! The fabric is light and lovely (called “cotton silk”, it's made of 100% organic cotton) and seems perfect for very warm weather. The dress has cute details like pintucking in front, a key-hole back, and three little seagulls screenprinted in charcoal gray on the back right shoulder (but this graphic touch is really subtle, so don't worry about it looking "weird" or out of place). Some other things to note: IMO, the neckline is a bit lower than pictured at left (but not too low) and for me (I'm 5'4") the dress is not quite as short as shown. I also personally wouldn't wear this dress with sneakers; rather, it lends itself perfectly to summer sandals or flats.

All that said, this dress is definitely a "yay", and a great buy at just $39.99.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

First the good news...

First the good news: Anna Sui is set to follow Alexander McQueen with a capsule collection for Target's Designer Collaborations series. Now for the bad news: her inspiration for the clothing? The four main female characters from TV's Gossip Girl. (no joke). Anna's line will debut on Sept. 13th, and will be available through Oct. 17th in about 250 select Target stores across the U.S.

Wednesday’s Rave: this cool color-coded calendar

Want a cool addition to your office to make it easy to stay on top of work deadlines, important dates, vacations, holidays and co-worker’s birthdays? Then Real Simple’s 18-month customizable wall calendar is just the ticket. It comes with colored labels in four different hues; assign each hue to a different employee, and everyone can stay aware of each others’ schedules. Available in 4 colors: pink, brown, light blue and orange. Best of all, it’s just $10.99 at Target stores or at

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday's Rant: different Targets carrying different merchandise

Most Tuesdays 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. Today's rant is about different Target stores carrying different merchandise. Sometimes this shows up in small ways, like one Target offering 6 colors of a Mossimo tank top whereas another store only has 2. And sometimes it's apparant when only select Targets offer Garden Center supplies, or certain Targets have a greater food and beverage selection than others. But what I don't get is when some Target stores flat out don't carry advertised designer lines. I first noticed this with Orla Kiely's houseware collection; only a couple of the Target stores in my area carried the line at all. Now with the current Loomstate for Target clothing collection, only one Target store I know of is carrying the women's line. None of the 3 stores I've been to is carrying the men's line (shown at left). Likewise, only the Target near my work is carrying the Ashley Paige swimwear line, and the spotty selection they have left has already been put on clearance!

I just don't get it; is Target simply ordering less merchandise so there's less to spread around in stores? Or are they trying to encourage us to shop the designer collections online from their website instead? Whatever the intent is, this trend by Target is annoying.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Target “popping up” in Chicago

Target is coming to the Magnificent Mile... but for only three days. The cheap-n-chic retailer plans to open a "pop-up" store later this week at 455 N. Michigan Ave., marking its debut on Chicago's famous shopping boulevard.

The temporary shop - called the Bullseye Bazaar - will operate May 7-9 in the space formerly occupied by the McCormick Freedom Museum adjacent to the Tribune Tower. Target will take over the first floor of the shuttered museum, showcasing a cross section of merchandise found in Target stores as well as offering a sneak peek at the Tracy Feith clothing collection before it hits stores. Shoppers also will get a look at furniture lines typically available only at as well as the Archer Farms private-label food line.

Now personally, I’m VERY bummed because I’m missing this event by just a matter of days. I need to travel to Chicago soon on business, but it’s the week after the Bullseye Bazaar. If there’s any readers from Chicago out there who decide to attend this, please write in and give us a report on how it was!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

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. This week's pick is also a public service announcement... because I don't want anyone to forget that Mother's Day is less than a week away (on Sunday, May 10th). Now Target has lots of great Mother's Day gifts on sale, but they also have a wide selection of Mother's Day cards starting at just 99-cents each. So while it's early in the week, and there's still enough time, why don't you pick one up for her and pop in in the mail? Unless, of course, you're actually spending Mother's Day with mom... and in that case, you can give her the card yourself ;-)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Review: the Target REDcard Visa

A reader asked me earlier this week whether I liked my Target REDcard and would recommend it. I do like it, and have never had a problem with it, so I guess I'd recommend it with the following caveats…

First off, to be clear: I have a Target Visa REDcard, which can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. Target also offers a standard REDcard which can only be used at Target stores and at Frankly, I don’t see the point of this card, because it seems like you can get all the same perks from the Target Visa (without the restrictions of only being able to use it at Target).

As for the perks: the Target Visa credit card allows you to earn one point for every dollar spent at Target stores. You earn one point for every two dollars you spend on other purchases. Once you have accumulated 1,000 points, you’re given a certificate that entitles you to a 10% savings for a day's shopping at Target. You can only receive one certificate in a month, and unused points are rolled over. You can also enroll in Target's Pharmacy rewards program. Under this program, you earn a 10% savings certificate for a day's shopping at Target after you use your Target Visa credit card for the first pharmacy purchase. After that, every tenth purchase at Target Pharmacy will earn you a 10% savings certificate.

Also, for every dollar that you spend at Target, 1% will be donated to your designed K-12 school. For every dollar that you spend on non-target purchases, 0.50% will be donated instead. Target has donated over $246 million to this program since 1997, which is pretty cool.

Regarding fees and rates: the Target Red Card Visa has no annual fee. There are four APR rates, and the APR you get will depend on the issuers' assessment of your credit profile. The Target Visa uses the average daily balance method (including new purchases) of calculating balances and has a 25 day grace period if your previous is paid in full. You can read more specifics in the fine print on Target's web site.

So to sum it all up: the Target Red Card Visa appeals to the frequent Target shopper – like me – which is why I use it. But frankly, those of you who aren’t Target-Addicts like myself should consider other cards that either give cash back or offer other rewards. To be honest, with the recent credit crisis I can’t keep track of which company offers what, so I’d encourage you to do some research if you’re in the market for a new credit card.

Friday, May 1, 2009

DIY Project: custom Diaper Pouch

Sometimes it’s more frugal to combine store-bought products with some sewing finesse to create your own one-of-kind designs. Yes, you could buy a pre-made Diaper Pouch - also known as a Diaper Envelope - like this one from Target (shown). Or you could opt to make your own custom (and inexpensive) Diaper Pouch out of pre-made placemats instead. First, buy two cloth placemats in a color & pattern that best suits your tastes. Then, visit the JunkMailGems blog for complete DIY instructions (including diagrams) on how to make your very own Diaper Pouch.

PS: JunkMailGems found her placemats at Target on clearance for just $1.98 each!