Sunday, April 29, 2012

New at Target: Spritz Spring Colors

Target's in-house brand of stationery and party supplies, Spritz, never fails to please with eye-catching colors and bold graphic prints.  Yesterday I noticed a Spritz encap in a colorful combination of navy, red, coral, tan and white (pictured here).  Best of all, everything is just $2.99 or under, making it affordable to attractively wrap the Mother's Day gifts or birthday presents on your to-do list.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Target turns 50!

In May, Target will celebrate its 50th birthday. But their retail roots go even deeper than that: the company was actually founded in 1902 in Minneapolis as the Dayton Dry Goods Company, and the first Target store was opened in 1962 in nearby Roseville, Minnesota.  Target grew and eventually became the largest division of Dayton Hudson Corporation, culminating in the company being renamed Target Corporation in August 2000.

Target is now the second-largest discount retailer in the United States, right behind rival Walmart.  Target's empire has grown to include 1,765 stores and more than 375,000 team members across the globe, and as reported yesterday, they are planning to expand to Canada in early 2013.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Target releases list of Canadian locations

As I first reported two years ago, Target is expanding north to Canada.  And the expansion is impressive: in early 2013, the Bullseye will open over 80 stores, including 13 in Alberta, 13 in British Columbia, 3 in Manitoba, 1 in Nova Scotia, 37 in Ontario, 13 in Quebec, and 3 in Saskatchewan.  For the full list of exact locations, click here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Double-Take: Kenneth Jay Lane vs. Target

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from the Bullseye and pair it up with a lookalike - and pricier - designer piece.  This time we have two goldtone cuff bracelets with an interlocking circle-motif.  While they're quite similar in style, one is by Kenneth Jay Lane and will set you back $75, while the other is from Target and is currently on sale for just $15.99. 

Which one is which?  The answer appears in the comments section below.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Target's epic Photoshop fail...

Target Australia (which -  as a reminder - is quite similar but actually a separate entity from Target US) recently had a major Photoshop fail.  In one of their ads this month, they featured a happy-looking family wearing fleece tops and pants, which were advertised as 30% off.  The issue was that before the ad circular went to print, no one noticed that the dad in the picture had one hand too many!  All three hands are shown circled here. 

According to The Daily Mail, the accidental "extra hand" is the one sitting on mom's shoulder, in an attempt to make the idealized family unit look even more close-knit.  At some point that idea was nixed, but the additional hand remained (and wasn't caught) in the proofing stage before the ad went to print.

Honey, they shrunk the Target Bag!

As I reported last week, Target gave away (as usual) reusable shopping bags on Earth Day. However, a funny thing happened when I went to get mine yesterday.  I went to grab one, and realized it was a whole lot SMALLER than the bags in years past.  As in about half the size.

In measuring them, the new bags are about 9" wide by 10" tall and 6" deep.  In comparison, the free Target bags in the past have been the more "standard" size of 12" wide by 13" tall and 8" deep.

Now I'm not sure whether other Target stores gave away full size bags, or if there were also full size bags available at my store and they just didn't hand them out.  I just found it a bit odd.  While the smaller bags are convenient for quick shopping trips (when only picking up a few things) they don't fit much stuff.  Which means you either have to bring another bag with you to the store, or just use another bag altogether (as I'll probably do).

So what's the verdict, readers?  Did you encounter the smaller-sized bags this weekend as well, and if so, did you like the new mini-size?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Double-Take: Target vs. Pottery Barn

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Tar-jay and pair it up with a dead-ringer designer piece.  Today we have two pretty (and functional) drink dispensers, just in time for warm-weather entertaining.  Both are fashioned to serve your chosen beverage in the top section and to display fruit on the bottom.  The only real difference is the price, because one is from Pottery Barn and will set you back $89, whereas the other is from Target and costs just under $49. 

Which one is which?  The answer appears in the comments section below.

A Method to their madness...

As regular readers of my blog should already know, I am a huge fan of Method products.  Just over a decade ago, the brand's co-founders Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry revolutionized the world of cleaning. They developed effective products derived from non-toxic ingredients (no more bleach or phosphates) that are beautifully designed (no more hiding bottles under the sink) and also smell delicious (no more fake pine scent!).

The duo managed to make cleaning products cool. With a focus on product design and innovation, their stylish line of cleaners doesn’t sacrifice on performance.  Plus, Method products are better for the health of people, pets, and the environment.

The San Francisco-based company sold its first product back in 2001, and today Method is proudly displayed everywhere from bathroom countertops to Target shelves. This year, Method launched their first global brand campaign - dubbed “Clean Happy” - with a colorful, quirky music video set to the song “Young Blood” by indie rock band The Naked and Famous. Check it out below:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Preview Pics: The Cos Bar at Target

Preview pictures have arrived for The Cos Bar, part of the soon-to-be-launched Shops at Target.  Check out the full gallery over at BettyConfidential. 

The Cos Bar at Target collection offers affordable, limited-edition beauty items designed and co-created by the shop owners, Lily Garfield and her son Oliver. They opened their first store in Aspen in 1976 and have expanded to eight states.Their budget-friendly collection for Target includes body care products, bath accessories, beauty and manicure tools, and cosmetic bags in a signature bright leopard print.

While I appreciate that Target's Cos Bar collection is priced from just $1 - with nothing over $20 - I'm afraid that as was the case with Privet House, I'm underwhelmed.  The one thing that caught my eye (and I might buy) is the wrapped soap, available in Orange Citrus, Blueberry White Tea and Cucumber Melon; at just $4 each, they'd make cute hostess gifts. Other than that, I'll probably pass on this collection.

Double-Take: Dolce Vita vs. Mossimo

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Target and match it up against a lookalike (and much pricier) designer piece.  This time we're looking at summery-slingback espadrilles.  Now both pairs are gold-tone with a wedge heel, but one is by Dolce Vita and will cost you $78, while the other is by Mossimo and will only set you back $29.99. 

Can you tell which one is which?  The answer appears in the comments section below.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Target's 2012 Earth Day Bag

As in years past, Target will be giving out reusable bags on Earth Day, April 22.  This year, they'll be giving out 1.5 million of them, and the new design is shown at left.

The stats are impressive: if you use a reusable bag just ten times, you save 25 plastic bags from going to a landfill. Over a lifetime that equates to about 22,000 plastic bags per person.  This is a small change that can make a big difference in reducing waste and saving money.

The new bag, which encourages you to “fill, refill, repeat” will make your shopping trip a little less routine and a lot more stylish and sustainable. If that wasn’t incentive enough, did you know that you also get a 5-cent discount at the checkout counter for every reusable bag you use during your Target shopping trip?  Target's had the 5-cent discount in place since late 2009 to encourage Target guests to bring in their own bags.

Monday, April 16, 2012

New at Target: The Typography Collection

Target has a new home furnishings line based on antique typography, and when I first saw it in the store the other day, I thought that perhaps they'd put out their Privet House collection early.  As stated in my last post, Target's own home line rivals anything I've seen from the Privet House preview pictures, and this new Typography assortment is no exception.  Target uses symbols like ampersands, faded letters and bold numbers to adorn pillows, posters, vases and more. And materials with a vintage-vibe like burlap, metal, wood and zinc help add a modern twist to an aged aesthetic.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Preview Pics: Privet House at Target

Preview pics for the Privet House collection (part of The Shops at Target) have surfaced; check out The Budget Babe for the full photo gallery.  With two locations in Connecticut, Privet House offers antique and vintage furniture, artwork and housewares with a Parisian flea market appeal. Target's take on Privet House will be more "shabby-chic" and wallet-friendly than the original version, with prices ranging from $3.50 to just under $80.

IMHO, I'm not that impressed - at least not by the pictures.  Target makes plenty of cute housewares and home furnishings under their own label; this doesn't look like anything special or "new" to me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bridesmaid dresses on a budget...

Several weeks ago, Target made the news when the cast of Glee used cheap & chic dresses by Merona for Rachel Berry's wedding scene.  [You can read a recap here on The Recessionista blog]. Now the Bullseye is officially getting into the bridesmaid business by offering a whole collection of dresses in a variety of colors and sizes, ranging from 2-28.  You can view the entire selection on

Double-Take: Target vs. Design Within Reach

It's time again for another double-take, where we take a designer piece and pit it head-to-head with a lookalike item from Tar-shay.  Today we have two sleek, modern black leather chairs vying for your attention.  One is the "Swan" chair from from Design Within Reach for a whopping $7,410, whereas the other is the "Xenia" chair from Target and is waaaaaay cheaper at just under $400.  Which one is which?  Check the comments section for the answer.

Product Review: L'oreal Evercreme

Those that know me know that I have a love/hate relationship with my hair.  I am blessed with the thick, wavy hair of my maternal grandfather, but the downside is that it can be hard to keep smooth and frizz free.  To that end, I am constantly on the prowl for the "next, best haircare product" to try.

So while at Target a few weeks ago, I found the new EverCreme line from L'oreal.  I've seen lots of ads for it (I think Eva Longoria is their spokesperson...and really, who doesn't want to have HER hair?) and it was also on sale, so I tried the following: EverCreme Nourishing Shampoo, EverCreme Intense Nourishing Conditioner, and EverCreme Leave-in Spray.  And can I just tell you that my hair hasn't been so soft and managable in years??  It seems far less dry, and is easier to blow out straight as well.  It also has a soft, pleasant lingering scent, which I can't quite seem to put my finger on, but is a cross between vanilla and almond.

Now I'm not a fan of ALL the "Ever-" products L'oreal puts out.  I tired the "EverPure Smooth" line a couple of years ago and didn't like it at all - neither what it did for my hair, nor the distinct herbal scent.  I also tried the "EverSleek" hair mask and it weighed down my hair and just made it an icky mess to work with.  In any case,  L'oreal has a number of different haircare lines, and if you can find one that works for you, then great.  If not, then find another brand, because life is too short to suffer repeated "bad hair days'.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, dear readers! As a reminder, all Target stores are closed today (April 8, 2012) in observance of the Easter holiday.  After all the controversy last Fall about opening earlier than ever for Black Friday (at midnight on Thanksgiving Day, to be exact) I almost expected Target to give in and be open for the first time on Easter, but they are indeed closed (as is Macy's, Bloomingdales, and many other retailers).

Friday, April 6, 2012

Preview Pics: The Webster at Target

Target has released their lookbook for The Webster - part of The Shops at Target collection I blogged about the other day.  In addition to clothing, the offerings include hats, sandals, jewelry, totes, sleepwear and swimwear. To best view the pics, check out this slideshow over at Refinery29.

Even better: Refinery29 is giving away the palm-print straw bag shown at left (the green/white one held by the gal in the middle) to 50 lucky readers! All you have to do is to sign up for their newsletter by Monday at 5pm, and they'll pick 50 winners at random from the mix.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Coming soon: The Shops at Target

With Jason Wu on the way out of stores, Target is now hyping their new designer collaboration, as was evident in this feature story from yesterday's USA Today. As I first told you back in January, the Bullseye has teamed up with trendy shops from across the country to create affordable limited-edition goods for The Shops at Target.

"The idea came from the fact that we have a lot of people who are out shopping the world all the time, looking for great new ideas, designers, trends," says Target's Home Division senior vice president Stacia Andersen. "As every single group would come back, they would keep saying, 'When you go to Miami, you have to go to The Webster!' or 'Have you been to Connecticut? You have to see Privet House!' It just kept coming back to these shops that we visited and how well-curated they were and how visionary the shop owners were."

And, the opportunity for these small-business owners to showcase their wares on a national level was a dream come true. "As soon as they approached me, I knew already that it was going to be such an amazing experience," says Laure Heriard Dubreuil, owner of The Webster, which will offer more than 200 exclusive accessories and apparel pieces for women, men and children. "I wanted to share so much with them and learn so much from their point of view and the way they work. I think they're extremely dynamite."

In addition to The Webster and Privet House, the other shops include Cos Bar, Polka Dog Bakery, and The Candy Store.  Shown here is one of Target's offerings from high-end Miami boutique The Webster: a wallet-friendly shift dress for just $40.  The Shops at Target debuts in stores on May 6th.

Clearance Alert: Jason Wu on

While the Jason Wu for Target collection has already been on clearance in stores for a few weeks, it's finally also on sale online.  What's left of it, that is, as most items are already sold out or dubbed "available in stores only", except for a couple of skirts and tops (like this cream-colored  Tee with Tie, now on sale for $16.08).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Target taps former Gap exec as new CMO

News broke yesterday that Target has gone outside the company for its new chief marketing officer, choosing an industry veteran who has worked at Gap Inc., Coca-Cola and a number of advertising agencies.

The Bullseye has named Jeffrey Jones Jr., 44, to the position previously held by Michael Francis, who left Target in October to become president of J.C. Penney. Jones most recently was partner and president of McKinney, a North Carolina-based advertising agency. Before that, he served as chief marketing officer at Gap, responsible for its marketing strategy and retail store design.

"Marketing is a key differentiator for Target, and I am confident that under Jeff's stewardship we will continue to build on our long history of surprising and de-lighting our guests," Gregg Steinhafel, Target's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

"Target is a brand I've studied and admired as a marketer for more than a decade, and one my family shops almost daily," Jones said in a statement. "I am ecstatic to lead the marketing team and help shape the future of one of the world's most loved and iconic brands."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Confused between JCP and Target ads? You're not alone...

Last week I recapped how Target rose to become the leader of the cheap/chic retail genre, but I neglected to mention one important fact: the longtime agency they parted ways with - Peterson Milla Hooks – is now the agency of record for JC Penney (or JCP, as they now dub themselves). Which is why you may get the new JCP ads confused for Target ads, as my husband did last night. One of the new JCP ads came on TV (very similar to this one from February) and he said “wait, I thought this was an ad for Target?”  He basically articulated the same thing I’ve been thinking for months: while the new JCP ads are cute, they seem awfully familiar in style and substance to the ones that put Target on the map. Even their print ads (like the sample shown here) evoke the old Target look/feel.

Several high-level Target execs have left for JCP recently, so I’m not surprised they tapped Peterson Milla Hooks as their new agency. They’re a familiar and “tried and true” entity, so it seems natural they’d hire them. And perhaps the confusion is partly intentional in order to make JCP look “young and hip” and to try to lure away Target’s customer base. It just seems as if in re-branding their company, JCP would want to try something fresh and new vs. re-hashing ideas that have already been done before.