Thursday, February 28, 2013

Target expands Geek Squad in stores...

Target is adding tech-support services by Geek Squad to more of its stores, expanding a partnership with Best Buy that first launched last year. The Bullseye - which started putting Geek Squad agents in 20 stores in Denver last October - extended the test to 20 stores in Kansas City, Mo., last week based on positive feedback.

"Future partnership plans will be determined following the results of these tests," said Kathee Teija, Target's vice president of merchandising and supply chain, during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call this week. The partnership appears to be a success for both Target and Best Buy. Target wants to "focus on service as a value-added differentiator" in the ultra-competitive electronics category, Tesija said, so adding Geek Squad tech support certainly fits the bill. And for Best Buy, it's another way to expand its Geek Squad brand and service offerings beyond the retailer's own brick-and-mortar stores.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Coming Soon: New Sonia Kashuk Spring Nail Colors

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Target swimwear makes a splash in Sports Illustrated

The latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition features more than sexy models like Kate Upton and Katherine Webb. This year's version also includes a special pullout section sponsored by Target, titled "Secrets of Swimsuit."

The Bullseye is the sponsor of a 12-page "style guide" in the magazine - including buying tips and trends in swimwear - which Target officials insist is aimed at its women customers, as researchers claim that 18 million women read the SI swimsuit edition, or one-third of its total readership. "From a business standpoint, swim is a huge business for Target," Michelle Mesenburg, a market vice president at Target, told The New York Times. "We wanted to have something that was a little more innovative and not just an ad in the book." 

The famed Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition was released on Feb. 12th, and reports that the two Xhilaration bikinis shown here were modeled by Jessica Perez and Hannah Davis. For a full selection of the Target swimwear featured in the magazine, check out this special section on

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Target's Garden & Patio Section returns...

Remember the seasonal section in Target (usually near the back of the store) that used to hold the Holiday merchandise, then swapped to The Great Save stuff early last month?  Well now - with Spring approaching - it's being converted to their Garden & Patio section, carrying items like planters, pots, garden tools, seeds and patio furniture (like this Brooks Island Collection by Smith and Hawken, shown here).

And incidentally: I noticed that The Great Save stuff never went on clearance like it usually does - at least not in my local stores.  The most they marked it down was by 15%, whereas in years past it would be slashed to 50% off.

Target janitors threaten strike...

Salon is reporting that janitors who clean Target stores in Minnesota (where the Bullseye is based) have threatened to strike if employers do not address grave complaints about working conditions by Sunday (today). The non-unionized workers led by the labor group Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL) have demanded that contractors meet to discuss the alleged safety and labor law violations, including being denied proper safety training and being locked inside of Target stores during work hours.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Lace Look for Less

Lace is still a top trend for Spring, with the Prabal Gurung for Target lace overlay top being one of the first items from the collection to sell-out. Over at CheapChicDaily, they featured several affordable lace looks this week - from retailers like Express and Piperlime - so I thought I would see what I could find in the lace department at Target.

A quick search of shows a dozen or so lace tops, most under the Xhilaration label. The issue with lace is that there's a fine line between looking tasteful and tacky.  Also, I think lace is best suited to darker colors and neutral pales (like white, cream and blush) vs. brights and pastels.

Therefore, the best of the bunch at Target - IMO - is this Xhilaration lace peplum top in Navy. Besides the lace, this top is also rocking the peplum and exposed back-zipper trends.  I also like that the top is lined, and has a circular "doily motif" vs. a standard floral pattern.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Two former "Shops" brands expand their retail space...

The Webster Miami and Kirna ZabĂȘte - who both participated in last year's "The Shops" concept at Target - have both announced expansions to their retail empires this week. reports that The Webster will open a second store at at 29 Greene Street in NYC. The 4,000 square feet space - which isn't bad by New York standards - is significantly smaller than the 20,000 square foot space The Webster occupies in Miami. 

Meanwhile, luxe boutique Kirna ZabĂȘte is getting an upgrade. Last Fall they announced that they had outgrown their old Soho space at 96 Greene, which Rebecca Minkoff will move into. Kirna's owners Sarah Easley and Beth Buccini have now confirmed that their new home at 477 Broome Street will open in May.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Coming Soon: new Nate Berkus at Target

As I posted earlier this month, the current Nate Berkus for Target line has gone on clearance in stores. Many items from his debut collection are still available online at, but they are still full-price there. In stores, on the other hand, I've noticed that the collection disappeared quickly  once it was marked down, and I've been wondering when Target was planning to re-stock this line now that his shelves are practically bare.

Well, now my question is answered, thanks to this post on A Bullseye View.  New Nate stuff will be hitting Target stores and very soon - on Feb. 24th.  The line is supposed to include a lot of metallics, like this gold-dipped shallow bowl.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Double-Take: J.Crew vs. Target

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Target and match it against a similar - yet pricer - piece. And I just realized that my last double-take also featured J.Crew, so I guess the Bullseye must be looking to them for inspiration.  My friend "R" gave me a heads-up about this particular copycat item.  One of these pretty enamel "Zebra Head" bracelets is from J.Crew, and set her back $98 around Christmas-time.  And the other one is currently on the racks at Target for a paltry $12.99. Which one is which?  The answer appears in the comments section below.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Target's Spring 2013 Lookbook

Target has published their 2013 Spring Lookbook, which you can check out in detail here on The Budget Babe. I noticed it included this Mossimo blouse (shown here in Soft Aqua) which I bought the other day in a deep-coral color (dubbed "Lollipop Red").

In years past, Target would release separate Lookbooks for their in-house brands (Merona, Mossimo, Xhilaration, etc.) but this time they've mixed & matched pieces together into wearable outfits. Look for lots of prints (florals, polka-dots and tie-dye) and colors ranging from pastels to vivid brights.  In short, a little something for everyone.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Kirna collabs with Nine West...

After successfully collaborating with Target last Fall, the founders of NYC's cult boutique Kirna Zabete have now moved on to front a new capsule collection for Nine West. And Kirna's Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley say they weren't afraid to push the envelope and take risks with this collection. Sarah explains "The footwear category is where you can really be inappropriate on a lot of levels. You can be weather appropriate, or you could push the envelope on the fashion frontier a little bit more. Feet are sort of an ageless zone where you can break a lot of rules and take a lot of risks."

Priced between $59 and $169, three styles of Kirna Zabete for Nine West will be released each month, starting in February and concluding in July.  Shown here is a preview of April's gladiator sandal styles; for more pictures of the entire collection, click here.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My review of Prabal Gurung for Target...

Although the public at large seems to have gone bonkers for the latest Target designer collab, I decided to sit this one out after reading accounts on Sunday that lines were already forming to get into stores. And since I had a crazy/busy work week, I didn't get over to Target until just late yesterday to check out the Prabal Gurung for Target collection in person.

What are my thoughts? Well, I largely share the opinions of my fellow blogger The Recessionista. Many of the cuts are unflattering, the neon prints are too loud, and the fabrics seem cheap. The only two items I bought - ordered online and which ironically also arrived yesterday - were this top (shown here) and a similar one in the black/white floral print.  I had intended to wear them under a new white blazer I got for Spring, but both tops fit baggy and droopy, and I don't think going down a size will even help. Plus the fabrication is so flimsy, I fear neither top would last more than a couple of washings.  Therefore, both tops will be headed for the returns department.

At the Target I visited, there were a few dresses left, lots of tops and cardigans, and one pair of the short-shorts.  While there, I saw several women and teenage girls check out the Prabal racks, hold things up, then put things back and move on to Mossimo, Merona, and other in-house Target brands.  And that's exactly what I did, moving on to grab this Mossimo blouse in "Lollipop Red" (really more of a vivid coral) that will be perfect for work.

To be fair, I did not check out the Prabal shoes, bags or jewelry, so I cannot comment on those. Some bloggers have called out those items as the true "stars" of the collection, but I didn't bother with them as I wasn't impressed with the pictures of the jewelry and I generally can't wear Target shoes due to my fussy feet.  Plus, I already have a Prabal Gurung bag from the Target + NM holiday collection which I scored for 70% off.

What did you think, readers?  Were you impressed by this collection, or not?  And what - if anything - did you buy?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

New Liz Lange for Target

I got an email from Target today hyping their expanded "Liz Lange Brand Shop" on, as well as new "online-only exclusives".  After checking it out, it looks like Liz Lange has produced another great collection for The Bullseye, offering both everyday basics and trendier separates.  One of the standout pieces is this pretty cutout-neckline dress (shown here) which comes in 3 vibrant colors (including this gorgous sapphire blue) as well as basic black. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Prabal's collection deemed a "smash hit" for Target...

According to Business Insider, the Prabal Gurung for Target collection almost sold out completely online in just one day, indicating that the era of designer collab may not be over all.

After disappointing sales on Target's multi-designer holiday collab, which the retailer launched in partnership Neiman Marcus, there was talk within the industry that the wildly successful high-low collaboration model had run it's course. "It's become very formulaic at this point," Mickey Boardman, editorial director of Paper magazine, had told the New York Post. "Everyone does them, and so they don't really seem as special. A sell-out collection from Gurung could be a shot in the arm the concept needs."

Business Insider speculates that it worked for two reasons. First, Gurung stayed true to his aesthetic, offering cheerful, youthful versions of the floral prints and patterns women have come to know and love in his high-end collection. And second, Target stayed true to their affordable pricing scheme with nearly offered for under $50.

Though many pieces of the Gurung collection did sell out quickly online, there are still a handful of dresses available on in larger sizes, and a quick spot check reveals that many of the shoes are still up for grabs. And as several of you have commented here on my blog, many stores are still well-stocked or have even replenished supplies in the last couple of days.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday's Rant: the mysteriously missing Method Body Wash

On Tuesdays I sometimes take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target… because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. And while yesterday I sang the praises of one of Method brand's new products, today I'm ranting about the fact that their body wash line has virtually disappeared from Target shelves. I've checked 3 of my local stores, and none of them are carrying the body wash in any scent. Ditto with their web site. 

The odd thing is, the same thing seems to have happened last year around this time, when I wrote a letter to Method,  and they assured me that Target would be re-stocked soon.  But my question is: if this is the time of year that Method introduces "new" scents and formulations, can't Target better manage their inventory as to not run out for weeks at a time?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Product Review: Method's Tomato Vine Hand Wash

As I mentioned last month, Method is coming out with new hand wash scents, including special edition Orla Kiely varieties. And this past weekend at Target, I saw one lonely bottle of the new "Tomato Vine" Gel Hand Wash (in this cute Orla print, shown) so I just had to try it.  And, I liked it! As predicted, it has a fresh, herbal, and slightly floral scent. It does remind me of "tomatoes fresh off the vine", although it smells brighter and less earthy than what you'd find in your garden.

One thing to note: this scent seems to linger longer than other Method hand washes I've tried.  So you really have to love this aroma, as you can expect your hands to retain this scent long after you've washed them.  In contrast: I'm also a big fan of Method's Orla Kiely "Vanilla Chai" Foaming Hand Wash (which is now on clearance in stores, FYI) but that scent doesn't seem to linger like the Tomato Vine does.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Store shuttered despite "Shops" collab...

And in other Target-collab news: not even their big-time collection as part of the"Shops" concept could save The Curiosity Shoppe, which is closing after 6 years in business.  The boutique of fun gifts, books, quirky home decor and artwork will close their doors on 855 Valencia Street in San Francisco on February 17th.  Until then, everything in stock is 20% or more off.

Several Prabal Gurung items already sold out...

Well, readers, it's happening again: the sellout silliness of a Target designer-collab.  While getting up early this morning to feed my cats, curiosity got the best of me, so I flipped on my laptop to check out the Prabal Gurung for Target collection.  And a spot check of some of the more popular items in the collection shows them to already be sold out online. Like the lace overlay top, which is sold out except for size XL. And the dress I showed in Friday's post, which only has sizes 12 and above left in stock.  And if you were interested in the Nolita print clutch (shown here) I'm afraid you're out of luck (unless you find it in store) as it's already completely sold out on

UPDATE: liveblogged the store opening in East Harlem this morning, where there were lines to get into the store and almost the entire floor inventory was wiped out. You can read the full account here.  As for me, I'll be sitting this one out today and avoiding Tar-jay altogether.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Clearance Alert: Nate Berkus for Target

While at my local Target yesterday, I noticed an entire endcap in the Home Decor Department with the Nate Berkus Collection on clearance for 50% off (shown here).  At half price, I took the opportunity to buy a few things I'd been eyeing, including the round woven basket (regularly $16.99), the studded pillow (regularly $24.99) and the ram's head figurine (regularly $14.99, which I can no longer find online).

Note that this sale doesn't seem to apply to  And also, prices seem to vary by store, as I was in another Target today and none of the Nate stuff was on sale.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Prabal for Target already showing up on eBay...

Well, the inevitable has happened: since the press event for the new Prabal Gurung for Target collection earlier this week, some of the goods have already made their way to eBay at highly inflated prices. Case in point: this floral dress, which I believe retails for $49.99 but is currently posted on eBay for an outrageous $259.  I was hoping that Prabal's collection wouldn't cause the same frenzy as last year's Jason Wu wipeout, but it looks like the eBay vultures will be at it again this time around.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Carey Mulligan loves Target...

Look who else hearts Target?  It's British actress Carey Mulligan, who made an appearance at yesterday's launch party in NYC for the Prabal Gurung for Target collection.

According to Marie Claire UK, Carey was the star guest at the designer/high street collaboration event, looking relaxed but chic in a black winter coat with leather panels, a blush pink top, tailored black trousers with classic pumps.

Carey (shown here with the designer himself) was in good company with the likes of fellow actresses Elizabeth Olsen and Rashida Jones who also attended the event.  For more details - plus up-close pictures of the collection - check out this post from the launch party by The Budget Babe.

Double-Take: J.Crew vs. Merona

It's time for another double-take, where we pit one item from Target against a lookalike – yet more expensive – designer piece.  Nothing screams “Spring” more than espadrilles, and here we have two tan canvas wedge models that look pretty darn similar.  Only one of them is from J. Crew, and clocks in at $128, whereas the other is from Tar-jay (by Merona) and will only set you back $29.99.  Which one is which?  The answer appears in the comments section below.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Target's Home Winter Catalog

Target has posted a new interactive Home Decor catalog on their web site, with 3 sections to peruse: Hide & Seek (for home organization ideas), Brilliantly Misused (with crafty ways to repurpose everyday items) and Instant Update (which showcases new decor pieces you can find only at Target).  In the latter section, I was amused to see my new Threshold shower curtain... which unfortunately is sold out online, but should still be available in stores.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Target dubs V-Day "Valentopia"

Well, if Subway could give us "Turkeytopia", then I guess it's fair enough for Target to dub the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday "Valentopia".  I noticed a bunch of "Valentopia" signage in my local store yesterday, along with a whole slew of Valentine decorations and novelties in the Dollar Bins.  It's hard to believe it's less than 2 weeks away, isn't it?

Friday, February 1, 2013

My review of Labworks at Target...

Some of you may recall that a couple of weeks ago I blogged about 6 online-only brands available exclusively on  In the comments section I said I was going to try some of the fashions from Labworks, which I did.  And I hate to say it, but I returned each and every one of them today.  Despite the prices being great - as the entire Fall/Winter collection was on clearance - the sizing was all over the map.  Some pieces ran a size too small, whereas others were huge.  Plus, I felt the quality just wasn't up to snuff given what the regular retail prices were on these things (which was an average of $40 or more).

Unfortunately, I can't show you the half-dozen pieces I ordered, as they'e disappeared from  In fact, it looks like the entire Fall/Winter collection was been replaced with their new Spring offerings (as shown here).  So buyer beware: some of these separates may look fun and fashion-forward, but I found them lacking in quality and consistency in sizing.

New at Target: the Facebook Card

According to CIO, Facebook users can now say "charge it," with a new physical gift card the social network rolled out yesterday that people can use to make purchases in retail stores. The product, called the "Facebook Card," is a plastic, reusable card that users can give their friends to redeem at four different partner companies: Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, Sephora and Target. Facebook describes the product as "a new type of gift card" in a blog post announcing its launch.

Here's how the card works: A person can select a gift for a friend on the site's Gift Cards & Digital category to be redeemed at one of the affiliated stores. After the user chooses the amount of the gift, the friend is notified and receives the card in the mail a few days later. When the card arrives, the friend can use it at the retailer that was chosen for the gift amount.

If the chosen retailer were Target, for example, the person doing the giving can choose between, say, a US$10, $50 or even $100 value for the card. Once the recipient receives it in the mail, it can be used at any local Target store, Facebook said (although it will not work at

Facebook did not provide details on whether additional vendors would eventually be included in the program. It is also unclear how the card will be sent to recipients who have not provided their mailing address to the site, or whether there would be any other methods to distribute the product for people who do not wish to share their address with Facebook.

Double-Take: Target vs. Coach

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from the Bullseye and match it against a designer - and pricier - piece.  Enamel jewelry is all over the place right now, especially from retailers like Kate Spade and J. Crew.  And here are two examples of a nail-head motif enamel bracelet, both in a punchy purple-pink... except one of them is by Coach, and although no longer available (except maybe on eBay) retailed for $68.  The other bracelet is from Target, and is a much more wallet-friendly $14.99.  Which one is which?  The answer appears in the comments section below.