Monday, October 31, 2011

New at Target: Albertus Swanepoel

The Albertus Swanepoel hat collection that I told you about back in June is now available on I haven't seen it yet in stores, but The Recessionista has, and you can check out her review of the line here.

While the hats look lovely, they're really not my style, so I think I'll pass on this collection. The Dana Kellin jewelry line has also hit Target, which I'll blog about tomorrow.

UPDATE: another complaint I have about Target's re-designed website is that the landing page for capsule collections are literally BURIED. If you do a search on "Albertus Swanepoel" on Target's site, all you'll get is are the products. So to find his landing page, please click here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Target's jump on the Holiday shopping wars

According to The Wall St. Cheat Sheet, Target is getting a jump on Black Friday by announcing stores will open at midnight on Thanksgiving Day. That’s four hours earlier than last year. Target’s spokeswoman Susan Kahn said the change was in response to customer demand

Every year it seems like Black Friday starts earlier, and Target is among many retailers who are pushing the limit of the "day after Thanksgiving" shopping tradition. Sears and Kmart opened for Thanksgiving Day for the first time last year, while Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic have been open on Turkey Day since 2009. Toys-R-Us will open at 10pm on Thanksgiving, and last year almost all of Walmart’s stores were open by midnight on Thanksgiving evening.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fab Find: Merona Plaid Trench

I found this darling Merona plaid trench coat at Target yesterday, and immediately snapped it up. Not only is it stylish, but it's also treated with water and stain repellent, making it extra-functional as well. I also like that Target offers it in a range of sizes: regular misses, petites and plus-size. I happened to be lucky enough to find it on clearance for 30% off, but even at full price ($49.99) it's a pretty good deal.

To note: Target's web site describes this as a long trench, but I wouldn't call this coat long. It comes right to my knee, and I'm only 5'3". Also: Target has mistakenly listed this item as "online only", which is incorrect as I saw a whole rack of these at my local store.

Coming soon to Target: America's Next Top Model, the fragrance

Just when you thought that maybe America’s Next Top Model would finally go away, Tyra Banks has found another way to make money from the franchise. In a couple of months, Tyra will introduce Dreams Come True - ANTM’s first fragrance - which will be available exclusively at Target.

According to Stylite, the idea for the scent was hatched on Wednesday’s episode. The all-star contestants were asked to design and present their own fragrance to Ben Bennett, creative director of Hatch Beauty, the company that will ultimately produce the fragrance. Bennett spent the episode interviewing the models and creating scents based on what they want to smell like, and the girls are told later that whoever wins this cycle will be the face of the fragrance.

So what will the sweet scent of winning ANTM smell like? Bennett told Women’s Wear Daily he wanted to capture the “sweet, ethereal sensibility” of what it feels like to actually have your dreams come true. Therefore, the scent is both fruity and sugary at the same time. It’s “top notes are red currant, honeydew and pink freesia; the middle notes are Amazonian lily, plum blossom and empress peony; and the bottom notes are blondewood, Tahitian vanilla, pink sugar and sparkling musk.”

If this scent sounds appealing, you can check it out come January at Target stores nationwide; a 1 oz. bottle will run you $21.99 and a 30 ml. roll-on tube will cost $12.99.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Missoni for Target now on clearance in stores... if you can find it

A few of you have alerted me that the Missoni for Target collection is now on clearance (what's left of it, mind you) in Target stores. At one of my local stores it's 30% off, but the selection is very slim: perhaps 4-5 items of women's and children's clothing, a few pairs of shoes, and several travel eye masks.

Over on, the prices haven't dropped yet; everything is still full price. And, the site infuriatingly has over 110 Missoni items still listed with at least 80 of them out of stock. You can still get this lovely glass vase (shown) that they list as an "online only item"... which is incorrect as I bought one for myself in the store on the first day of the launch.

Target's Toy Coupon Book leaked online... has posted a copy of Target's Toy Coupon & Wish-List. It contains 48 coupons that are valid through Nov. 23rd, encouraging shoppers to do their holiday shopping early. GottaDeal's site is a bit hard to navigate, so to tab through the booklet, hit the tiny "next page" blue button at the bottom of the screen.

However, I'm not sure whether Target accepts coupons that aren't "original" copies. For the actual coupons, look for the booklet to hit your Sunday newspaper the first weekend in November.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Target's website crashes yet again...

Target's website crashed again Tuesday, adding to the discount chain's online troubles.

This is the third time that Target's re-designed site has crashed since its debut back in August. Target faced harsh criticism last month after it drummed up so much hype around its offerings from Italian designer Missoni that its website crashed and was down for most of the day the that that the collection launched. And just two weeks ago,'s president, Steve Eastman, left the company to "pursue other interests" the day after the website crashed for a second time.

Company spokesman Lee Henderson confirmed that Target's site was down for 2 1/2 hours midday Tuesday. The company did not give a reason for the site failure. "Target strives to deliver an exceptional experience in its stores and online, and we regret the inconvenience to our customers," Henderson said.

Target supposedly ranks #22 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide (with Amazon at #1) but I have a hard time believing they'll keep that spot at this point. I personally avoid these days, as it's so slow and hard to navigate. The search feature is useless, bringing up dozens of items that have nothing to do with my query. And they continue to have hundreds of items still listed on their site that are "out of stock", and have been for months (dating back to March!).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Product Review: Archer Farms General Tso Stir Fry Sauce

Note to readers: I am forever on the hunt for a GREAT bottled stir-fry sauce. So if any of you out there have recommendations for me, please send them in, because I have yet to find nirvana in a bottle.

In my quest for the perfect sauce, I recently tried Archer Farms' brand (available exclusively at Target) General Tso Stir Fry Sauce. And like many others I've tried, it was a disappointment. While it did boast a low sodium count (which is a major complaint I have with most bottled sauces) its' flavor failed to impress me. In fact, it was bland to the point of having to add soy sauce and red chili pepper flakes to get any flavor out of it at all! This picture is actually of one of Archer Farm's grilling sauces; the General Tso sauce comes in the same type of bottle, and I would have taken a shot of it, except I already tossed it in the garbage. Please do NOT waste your $$ on this product!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Target to try and be as "Canadian" as possible

According to CanadaEast, Target will try to make its stores as "Canadian" as possible when the Minnesota-based merchant opens in Canada in 2013. Part of that endeavor will include tailoring its food assortment to local palates, according to its head of property development.

"We don't want to simply replicate Minnesota stores here," John Griffith, the retailer's executive vice-president of property development, said recently in a speech to the International Council of Shopping Centres Canadian convention in Toronto. Target tries to cater to the demographics of the area where it sets up shop, he said, citing images of stores with Spanish-style architecture in California, prairie architecture in Wisconsin and tropical landscaping in Hawaii. Beyond fitting in with the look of the neighborhood, a key component is food.

"You might find one ethnic group that really enjoys long-stem brown rice," he later elaborated. "Then you might find somebody else that wants white rice - that's their culture and that's what they want. If you don't have that product in the store you lose an opportunity to connect."

Beyond Cute: Hello Kitty Duck Tape!

Target now sells....are you ready for it?....Hello Kitty Duck Tape. Yep, Duck Tape brand duct tape has added the Hello Kitty logo to its product line. Individual rolls can be found in Target stores, and you can also buy a six-pack (for $34.98) at

Consumer Alert: Target recalls frog masks

Approximately 3,400 children's frog masks has been recalled by Target because they lack proper ventilation and present a suffocation risk to children, according to a memo issued by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The Commission says it is liaising closely with Target during this voluntary recall.

CPSC says purchasers should stop using this recalled product immediately. The masks do not have adequate ventilation, a fault which could pose a suffocation hazard to the child when secured in place across his/her face.

Target insists this is a precautionary measure. No reports of incidents or injuries have been received. The masks were sold for approximately $1 between the beginning of August 2011 and the end of September 2011.If you have any of these masks (as shown here) take it to any Target store for a full refund.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Target's Kids' Room Color Coordinator

Clueless on how to style your child’s room? Sometimes decorating can be overwhelming, with far too many options for furnishings and accents to choose from. Thankfully there are now ways to color coordinate your child’s room with ease. Paint masters Benjamin Moore have teamed up with Target to create a simple pairing between bedding and paint.

So how does it all work? DIY decorators can head to Target's website to view a girl’s room, boy’s room or paint colors. Those who venture into children’s bedding can select their favorite collections and see them paired with recommended Benjamin Moore paints. Still on the fence about how to decorate? Just click on a paint color for recommended Circo bedroom collections. Once you have decided on the bedding & accessories, you can purchase the entire collection - including the paint!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mad for Harajuki Mini!

InStyle Magazine has posted new pictures of Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Mini for Target collection. The rock star/fashion designer’s first children’s line includes accessories and apparel for babies, toddlers, and tweens for just $4 to $30. “The kids clothes are a reflection of things I wear,” Stefani told InStyle (she’s their November cover girl). And her wardrobe references are easy to find — plaid pants reminiscent of her look in No Doubt’s “Spiderwebs” video, and a faux-leather jacket and dress combo that looks like a smaller version of a recent L.A.M.B. runway show. If only they came in adult sizes!! Shop the collection at Target stores and starting November 13th.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Target tries texting for seasonal hiring

The Chicago Tribune reports that Target is testing a program that allows job applicants to inquire about holiday jobs via text message. The pilot is taking place for the holiday season at 170 Target stores nationwide.

Job candidates send a text message from their cell phones to the retailer, then Target responds with a link to the careers section of its website where candidates can apply online. The discount retailer has been posting signs throughout the test stores (like the one shown here) for the past 3-4 weeks to encourage inquiries.

"About one-third of the people who text us follow through and apply, so we do believe the program is resonating with our busy guests," said Eddie Baeb, a spokesman for the Minneapolis-based retailer. Target hired more than 92,000 seasonal workers nationwide last year, and plans to hire slightly more this year.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

President of resigns

Following Thursday's unexpected and still unexplained crash of — not to mention all the other problems the site has had since launching in August — the website's president, Steve Eastman, has "left the company to pursue other opportunities."

A Target spokesperson said she couldn't discuss details regarding his departure, but she said "it's not performance-related."

Eastman, who had been with Target since 1982 and had held a number of positions within the company, is the second top executive to leave Target as the crucial holiday shopping season approaches. Michael Francis, Target's chief marketing officer, recently left the company for J.C. Penney after a decade at Target.

After years of contracting its website to, Target announced in 2009 that it wanted to bring the work in-house to get full control over the design and management of its e-commerce operation. was relaunched in August and faced its first big test on Sept. 13th, when shoppers flocked to the site for the hotly-anticipated Missoni for Target collection. The site crashed that morning and wasn't restored until 10 p.m. Shoppers and marketers criticized Target for being unprepared. Thursday's crash lasted for about six hours before operations were restored at about 1 p.m.

The StarTribune reports that Target has no timeline for hiring a replacement, but is evaluating options and has a "strong bench of talent within the organization."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

eBay's insane markups on Target merchandise

The New York Times published an interesting article yesterday about the insane markups (resulting in huge profits) by eBay sellers on Target's Missoni line. The article also points out similar profits garnered by other past Target designer collabs, as well as designer lines at other retailers such as Jimmy Choo for H&M. Some eBay sellers are routinely making a 300% profit on the items they resell. Case in point: this Missoni for Target bicycle, which retailed for $399.99 but has sold for as much as $1,279.95 on eBay.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Michelle Obama talks Target

On The Today Show this morning, Al Roker talked to Michelle Obama about her recent trip to Target. She revealed that her secret shopping trips happen more often than you'd think, and that most of the time she's able to sail in and out of stores incognito. She also stated that she's taken the family dog Bo (pictured with her here on the White House lawn) to a Petco store without being recognized. You can view the Today Show segment here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jason Wu for Target video

Jason Wu has posted a short video on his web site (as well as on YouTube) with a sneak peek at his upcoming capsule collection for Target. It looks like he's going to use fun prints and stripes in red, white, navy and black, with some spring brights thrown in for good measure. A few bows and skinny belts are shown as well, but no hint of his handbag designs yet.

“My collection for Target embodies my signature aesthetic of feminine sophistication, with a mischievous nod to the 1960s,”
said Wu in a statement. “I’ve had an incredible experience partnering with Target and I am looking forward to bringing these affordable designs to women across the country.”

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Returns Department...

It’s time for another installment of The Returns Department, a sporadic feature on my blog in which I share with you an impulse buy that went awry. So you may remember my LAST installment of The Returns Department, where I told you about the cute Mossimo wedge boots that turned out to be crappy. Well I hate to say it, but the snazzy little foldover cuff boots I'd been waiting for - the ones featured in Target's Vintage Varsity commercial - turn out to be the same lackluster quality.

First off, they're made by Mossimo - not MkLuk, as Target's website would have you believe. Although Target's site said they are "not sold in stores"... so why did I see at least a dozen pairs in my local Target store yesterday? Unless Mossimo made an identical style to MkLuck - ? Weird. In any case, I tried on my size, and the wedge is so high that you need to size up 1/2 size. And still, that does not help, as there's no padding whatsoever in these boots. Regardless: they are made of the same cheap material as the other Mossimo boots I returned, so I will pass on them.

But here's the thing: before stumbling upon these in the store, I already had these boots (in Olive, as shown here) on backorder. And now that I've seen them in person, I'd love to cancel the order. But I can't, due to Target's AWFUL web site! Every time I go into my account to try to cancel it, I get a "code error". SO FRUSTRATING!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yet another reason to hate Target's new web site... if we needed another one. My latest gripe? They're not updating their site in a timely manner. Case in point: it's Sunday Oct. 9th, yet Target still has last week's Weekly Ad posted (as documented in the screen grab at left). It's almost 9am here on the West coast, and noon in the East. Guess I'll have to visit an actual STORE to find out what's on sale this week.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Preview Pics: Dana Kellin for Target

Pictures have surfaced for the third Target mini-collab to launch this month: Dana Kellin for Target. Prices range from $9.99 to $49.99, and the line will be available Oct. 30 through Dec. 29 at Target stores and You can check out Target's lookbook for the collection over at The Budget Babe.

I'm liking most of what I see: pretty pastel-colored gem stones set in mostly gold-tone metals. It does strike me, however, that some designs - especially her drop earrings - seem quite similar to Target's last designer jewelry collection, Temple St. Clair.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Preview Pics: Josie Natori for Target

There's yet another Target mini-collab hitting stores this month, which I also wrote about back in June. It's Josie Natori for Target, which will hit stores in two waves: the Holiday collection on Oct. 30th, and then a Valentine's collection on Jan. 1st.

There will be over 30 pieces in the collection including bras, panties, robes, knit and woven pants, leggings, camis and chemises, all ranging in price from $9.99 - $34.99. The Holiday collection features lots of reds and patterns (such as the cherry blossom print shown here) and the Valentine's selection is heavy on florals and pinks. You can check out more pics on

Preview Pics: Albertus Swanepoel for Target

As reported back in June, South Africa milliner Albertus Swanepoel is partnering with Target on a mini-collab of Fall/Winter hats. Shown here is just one (and probably the tamest!) of his 14 designs; check out for the full collection, due to launch on Oct. 30th.

No images yet of Target's other mini-collab also set to debut at the end of this month - Dana Kellin's jewelry - but I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This just in: Jason Wu for Target

This just in! is reporting that last night - via a series of tweets - news broke that Target is partnerting with designer Jason Wu on its next designer collaboration. And, Women's Wear Daily confirmed the news this morning. If you recall, Jason Wu (shown here with actresses Diane Kruger and Kerry Washington) designed Michelle Obama's gorgeous inaugural white ball gown in 2009.

“The exciting thing about this limited edition collection of affordable women’s wear and accessories is that it allows me to reach a wider audience and bring my designs to people who may not have been able to purchase them before,” Wu told WWD. “My collection for Target is chic and wearable. I think women everywhere will enjoy it.”

The Jason Wu for Target collection will range in price from $19.99 to $59.99 for apparel and $19.99 to $49.99 for handbags and scarves, and will be available February 5 - March 6, 2012 at most Target stores and via

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gloria Estefan teams with Target

Target and seven-time Emmy winner Gloria Estefan have teamed for the exclusive deluxe edition of Miss Little Havana, Gloria’s 24th album and first English-language release since 2003. As part of this partnership, Target is the only retailer in the U.S. to sell the CD. In addition, the CD includes four bonus songs and exclusive access to downloadable content.

Co-produced by Estefan and Pharrell Williams, the album represents the artist’s return to dance music. Known as the “Queen of Latin Pop,” Estefan’s release celebrates her musical roots and embraces a new pop sound that translates into music full of life, love and energy.

“I am so excited to partner with Target on the release of my new CD, an album that was so much fun to make and is a return to where it all started for me … on the dance floor,” says Estefan. “There are a few extra surprises on the Target exclusive deluxe CD that I’m sure my fans will love. Working with Pharrell and Emilio on this project just felt right. My fans have been asking for a new dance record, and I hope they will enjoy the music as much as I enjoyed writing and recording it.”

The Target deluxe edition - which debuted last week - features four bonus tracks produced by Emilio Estefan, including a remix of the lead single, "WEPA," featuring Pitbull. The release of Little Miss Havana also coincides with the 25th anniversary of Estefan's hit "Conga," and those who buy the album can download a 25th anniversary remix of the track.