Saturday, August 31, 2013

Double-Take: DV by Dolce Vita vs. Mossimo

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Target and match it against a similar - yet pricer - designer piece. And this installment is courtesy of The Budget Babe, who spied these similarities earlier this week.

Here we have two super-cute black suede ankle booties, both with contrasting brown buckle-strap trim. But one of them is from DV by Dolce Vita and will set you back $99 (on sale from $129) at both and Piperlime, whereas the other is from Mossimo (at Target) and only costs $34.99. Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below. 

Target considers building smaller CityTargets...

According to the StarTribuneTarget thinks its smaller format CityTarget stores can get even smaller.

During a recent conference call with analysts to discuss second quarter earnings, CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the company was looking at ways to reduce the size of the urban centric store. “We are building the capability to operate stores in smaller spaces, particularly in urban markets,” Steinhafel said. “We are analyzing results in our [existing CityTargets] to understand where in the stores we have the ability to reduce space even more allowing us to further shrink the size of this store format.”

Launched last year in major cities like Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle, CityTargets are typically 80,000 to 100,000 square feet compared to their regular stores, which typically 150,000 square feet or larger. For Target, the obvious advantage of the format is that you can find more places to stick one in a dense urban core. Target was pretty lucky to find the urban real estate to accommodate the seven CityTargets it currently operates, said Amy Koo, an analyst with Kantar Retail consulting firm in Boston. “It’s really hard to find these spaces,” she said. Going smaller will presumably give Target more options as it scouts future locations for the format.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Double-Take: ROMWE vs. Xhilaration

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Target and match it against a similar - yet pricer - designer piece. Only this time, it's a reverse double-take (courtesy of reader Deja Vu) because in this case the designer piece is actually less than the Target version.

Here we have two adorable kitty motif sweaters, which look almost identical. But one is from Xhilaration (at Target) and is $24.99, whereas the other is from online retailer ROMWE and is currently on sale for just $19.99.  Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New at Target: Labworks Fall Styles

Regular readers of my blog know I've written about Labworks before: the "edgy" line of women's separates available only on Well Target has just released Labworks' new Fall collection online, which you can view here. After perusing the new offerings, the collection seems heavy with colorblocking in dark shades of black and gray, with detailing of faux leather, neoprene, peplums and exposed zippers.

What I DO like about Labworks in general is the range of sizing, which includes Petites and Plus in addition to Misses... although in my experience, the sizing lacks consistency and can be a hit or miss experience. That said, if you see something you like online it might be worth it to order it in a couple of different sizes to make sure if you get the right fit. And now is the perfect time to do just that, because has a "Spend $75, get 20% off your entire order" (thru 9/7/13) and the Labworks line is part of the promotion.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sneak Peek: The Nate Berkus for Target Fall Collection

A Bullseye View has posted a sneak peek of the next installment of the Nate Berkus for Target collection. Click here for an interview with Nate, in which he shares the design aesthetic behind 10 of his favorite pieces from his Fall line and talks about drawing inspiration from estate jewelry sales and antique markets.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Target's twin Down Under...

I've written several times in the past about Target's twin in Australia: the company that shares the same name, logo, slogan, and even produces designer collabs, but is a completely different entity. However it wasn't until now that I learned the backstory - as limited as it may be - behind the similarities.

According to this article from the Star Tribune, Target officials want to make something crystal clear: The two retailers are completely different companies. “Target Corp. has no affiliation with Target Australia,” said company spokesman Eric Hausman. “There is no relationship between our companies.”

But lest you think that some opportunistic Aussie opened a knockoff store in the remote outback, Target Australia operates 300 stores in major cities and suburbs across the island nation. Last year, the retail chain generated $3.7 billion in revenue, according to financial documents from corporate parent Wesfarmers. And the similarities are so strong between the two Targets that people sometimes get them confused, a problem that might get worse as U.S. Target further expands across the globe. Earlier this year, Target expanded to Canada, the first time the company has ventured beyond its American borders.

A spokeswoman for Wesfarmers would not comment on the situation. Founded in 1919 as a farmers cooperative, Wesfarmers has grown into one of Australia’s largest companies with over $57 billion in revenue in 2012. The company owns everything from supermarkets and department stores to makers of fertilizer and industrial equipment. So this naturally brings up the question: how did two retailers from opposite sides of the world ended up with the same identity? The answer is that the similar trademarks were neither the result of a coincidence, nor a formal business deal.

Born out of Dayton Hudson Corp., Target opened its first store in Roseville in 1962. Four years later, the discount retailer filed its first trademark claim and then another claim in 1967 that covered its bull’s-eye logo, according to documents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A year later, Target Australia, then known as Lindsay’s Target Pty Ltd., adopted the Target name.

Hausman said Target never licensed anything to the retailer. Instead, the founders of each company “had a conversation” at that time, he said, without specifying what was actually said.

In addition to Target, Wesfarmers also operates a retail chain called "Kmart" with a similar logo to the Kmart owned by Sears Holdings Corp. in the United States (as shown here). And oddly enough, they also own a chain called "Coles" which sounds an awful lot like our "Kohls".

It would not be surprising if the two Targets had some sort of informal, handshake agreement. Fifty years ago, retail was primarily a local business and there were very few global brands. The idea that Target U.S. and Target Australia would somehow cross paths seemed remote back then at best. But today, the growing prominence of the Internet has virtually eliminated geographic boundaries. Consumers can access Target Australia’s website just as easily as it can surf Target’s web page.

Target officials in Minneapolis deflected questions about whether the company will one day enter Australia, saying such a decision is many years away. But it’s not too hard to imagine Target would want to do so. Like Canada, Australia is a wealthy, English-speaking country whose 22.3 million people offer an attractive market for Target’s global ambitions. But Target could not legally enter the country without changing its name or buying out the Australian retailer. Same goes for Target Australia if it wanted to expand into the United States, however unlikely that might be.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

New at Target: Boots No7 Lift & Luminate Serum

Popular British beauty brand Boots is launching a new product called Boots No7 Lift & Luminate Day and Night Serum.  According to their press release, this new anti-aging serum debuts following “the largest scientific study the company has ever conducted (six years, 1,000 women, 20 clinical trials).” Boots No7 claims that the serum - targeted at mature women 45 and older - is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, visibly lift and even skin tone in just a few weeks.

This two vial set - which is hypo-allergenic and kind to even the most sensitive skin - targets the signs of visible aging both day and night. The Day Serum utilizes a skin brightening complex designed to help diminish the appearance of age spots, along with a firming complex to provide smoother and firmer looking skin. And the Night Serum contains PHA to exfoliate the skin's surface to revitalize and even skin tone.

The serum starts working on day one to soften and smooth skin. In trials, most consumers said they saw a significant improvement in the 3 key signs of aging in 4 weeks. Already available for $24.99 on, Boots No7 Lift & Luminate Day and Night Serum will launch in stores on Sept. 1.

Friday, August 23, 2013

And the winner is...

The winner of my latest giveaway - for the NP Set lip gloss compact - is reader Always Chic! Her entry was picked by the random number generator over at Always Chic, I've sent you an email asking for your mailing address; as soon as I get it, I'll mail out the lip gloss to you. Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks for continuing to read my blog!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New at Target: Sam & Libby Fall Styles

Sam & Libby - the iconic 90's footwear brand that was revived by Target this past Spring - has just debuted new styles for Fall. As shown here, the collection is heavy on boots and ballet flats, with a classic leopard print pump thrown in for good measure. You can check out all the new offerings here on And if you're still craving Summer styles, most Sam & Libby sandals are now on clearance for 30% off.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Buying in bulk isn't always better...

Here’s a humorous Target story, courtesy of Consumerist: reader Mark spotted this non-deal at his local Target store – a pack of 16 batteries for $9.09 (or about $0.57 per battery) vs. a pack of 8 batteries for $1.48 (or $0.19 per battery). As Mark puts it, “This is either a great deal on batteries, or a terrible deal on batteries, depending on which one you choose.” And by that, of course, he means that “the great deal” is the one where you’re paying less for batteries.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Target Canada receives poor grade from shoppers...

Target arrived in Canada with a splash back in March, stirring up a buzz about its cool factor and drawing throngs of shoppers. But a new survey cited by The Globe and Mail indicates they haven't been able to live up to all the hype. Shoppers complain that its stores have been short on inventory and that prices are higher than those at its U.S. outlets.

The customer-satisfaction rating survey by Forum Research puts Target at the bottom of a list of major Canadian retailers, showing a decline from just four months earlier. Rival Walmart Canada Corp. improved from four months earlier, and Costco Canada emerged as the clear winner. Overall, the ratings broke out with Target scoring a 2.7 out of 4, compared with Costco’s 3.5, Walmart’s 3.1 and a 3.2 average.

“There was a lot of hype before Target entered the country,” Forum president Lorne Bozinoff said. “Now that people have shopped there, I think there is a bit of a letdown.” The research reflects the pressure that Target faces in its first foray outside of its U.S. home base, as incumbent retailers ramp up their own operations to take on their daunting new competitor.

So how can they fix this? Target needs to "draw more people to its stores for groceries, which tend to attract shoppers more frequently than apparel and home goods," said Amy Koo, senior analyst at consultancy Kantar Retail in Boston. In Canada, Target doesn’t have the extensive fresh food offerings it has in the U.S. And this Fall, it will be crucial for Target to lure back-to-school shoppers with its cheap-chic products, including the Sept. 15th launch of an affordable line by designer Phillip Lim.

Monday, August 19, 2013

FEED USA + Target reaches goal...

The FEED USA + Target collab reached their goal of donating 10 million meals to children and families through Feeding America.

“I am overjoyed that we have been able to reach our 10 million meal goal today through the sale of the FEED USA + Target collection,” says Lauren Bush Lauren, Founder and CEO of FEED, in a statement published today on A Bullseye View. “Hunger is a persistent but solvable problem in our country and FEED is thankful to Target guests for becoming part of the solution.”

Reader Giveaway: NP Set Lip Gloss Compact

Regular readers of this blog might recall that I'm a big fan of the Lip Gloss Compact by NP Set. Unfortunately, Target discontinued them a couple of months ago, but I was able to buy up several before they disappeared forever. This gloss contains both Shea Butter and Avocado Oil to nourish your lips, along with Vitamin C to stimulate collagen production.

Now I'd like to share the love... by giving away one compact, brand-new in-package, in "Cuba" (a light, sheer bronze color, shown here). To win, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post - along with your email address - by midnight on Thursday, August 22nd. Limit one entry per person. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only, and the winner (picked at random) will be announced on Friday, August 23rd. Good luck!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Extra 20% off women's clearance...

Just found this on Target's FB page: today and tomorrow, Target is offering an extra 20% off women's clearance apparel and shoes.  This offer is both valid in store and online, Aug. 16-17th only.

Details about the upcoming Phillip Lim for Target collab... is reporting three important details about the upcoming Phillip Lim for Target collection:
  • The pointy white loafers used in the Lookbook (and shown here) are actually from the 3.1 Phillip Lim main line; they aren't by Target, and won't won't be for sale as part of the collection. 
  • The women's handbags are made of faux - not real - leather, which seems fairly obvious seeing that the price point is $60 and under.
  • There apparently won't be any quantity restrictions for this collection, either in stores or online. Uh oh... this sounds like it could be another Jason Wu wipeout.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Product Review: Simply Balanced Sea Salt & Pepper Potato Crisps

Back in June, I told you about the new food and beverage line - Simply Balanced - at Target. I've tried a few items from this line, and so far it's been hit or miss. One product I liked was the "Sea Salt and Pepper Baked Crisps" (shown here). They have the texture/crunch of your typical baked potato chips, but with the added "zip" of salt & pepper flavor. With 120 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving (about 15 chips) it's a low-guilty way to get your chip fix.

So far, I've only found this flavor and one other variety: "Vinegar & Sea Salt". And the Salt & Pepper one seems to be far more popular, as it's currently sold out at my local Target (probably because it's on sale this week for $2.50/bag).

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Double-Take: Lamps Plus vs. Nate Berkus

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Target and match it against a similar - yet pricer - piece. Today we're looking at two nautical-inspired hurricane lamps. Both have rope accents and can hold a pillar candle... but one is from Lamps Plus and will set you back almost $90, whereas the other is from the Nate Berkus for Target collection (at Target) and is on sale for $12.50.  Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Clearance Alert: FEED USA + Target

For those of you who've been waiting for the FEED USA + Target collection to go on sale, now's the time. Target is dubbing this an "online offer only" (at 20% off) and it only applies to "selected items", which seems to mean only the clothing and accessories.

In stores, the discounts are deeper. At my local store in particular, the scant few items of women's & men's clothing that are left have hit the clearance racks at 30% off.  The housewares and home decor, on the other hand - like these pillows - are still at full price.

3.1 Phillip Lim for Target Lookbook

A Bullseye View has posted the 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target Lookbook, which you can view here. They've also posted a short video of the collection, which Target describes as "both beautiful and functional, the collection boasts a fall palette of neutral tones and prints and features a variety of versatile pieces that easily transition from day to night—think classic trench coats, tailored pants, button downs and structured blazers."

It's always hard to tell from the preview pictures, but for me, what I've seen so far seems "just OK". The handbags look promising, but the cartoon prints seem out of place, and are something only the very young could pull off (so thank goodness there's only a couple of them in the collection). The rest of the pieces seem very plain and conservative, which is great if you need something office-appropriate. Unfortunately, I recently lost my job, so I won't be needing any office attire anytime soon - which means I'll probably be passing on this collection altogether.

Monday, August 12, 2013

New at Target: Lindt HELLO

Candy brand Lindt has a new line call Lindt HELLO, available exclusively at Target. The packaging and messaging is clever and cute, and besides the candy bars (shown here) they also offer sweet sticks, bagged candy (individually wrapped) and gift boxes. Lindt HELLO is available in stores only, but click here to view the entire collection plus get a dollar-off coupon.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fab Find: Sonia Kashuk's NEW Completely Organized Bags

Faithful readers of my blog might recall that a year ago I raved about Sonia Kashuk's original Completely Organized Bag. Now she's updated the collection to offer two additional sizes: a "grande" one in regal purple and a "petite" size in navy (shown here). The original size still comes in black, and is available on Target's website for $14.99;  unfortunately, the new bags don't seem to be online yet, but I've seen them in store. In fact, I bought the navy one the other day, and for me it's the PERFECT size to hold all my essentials and keep them from rolling around my purse. While I loved the original bag, it was a bit too large for my tastes.  And for others, the grande one might be better, so it's great that Sonia is now offering an array of sizes to choose from.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sneak Peek: Phillip Lim for Target

The NYT Magazine has posted a sneak peek of a few of the items from the upcoming Phillip Lim for Target collection (shown here). Interestingly enough, Lim states he used to be a Target shopper himself, which made his goal for the collection to create a solid selection of clothes for “everyday men and women” at Target’s price point. “This is really personal, because growing up, I was a Target customer,” Lim said. “My parents were always taking me to Target for back-to-school shopping, and I would find things, but they were not quite right. This was my chance to go back and relive this and do it right.” You can read the full article here.

And the winner is...

The winner of my latest giveaway - for the men's Odin New York for Target shirt - is reader Amy Lynn! Amy Lynn's entry was picked by the random number generator over at Amy, I've sent you an email asking for your mailing address, and as soon as I get it, I'll mail out the shirt to you. Thanks for entering, everyone, and thanks for continuing to read my blog!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Target buys DermStore

According to BusinessWeek, Target has agreed to acquire online retailer DermStore Beauty Group for an undisclosed amount. Target's press release states that the deal "positions Target to expand its share of the rapidly evolving online beauty market and will further differentiate the company’s offerings in this important retail segment."

DermStore, founded in 1999 by a board-certified dermatologist, is the nation's leading independent skincare e-commerce site. It carries more than 26,000 product SKUs and 750 authorized brands, including SkinMedica, SkinCeuticals, and Dermalogica. In addition to its core site, the company also recently launched and, extending its reach to hair care and cosmetics.

“There is no doubt that the online beauty industry is growing rapidly, and this unique opportunity enables Target to gain insight into the superior, online customer experience DermStore provides,” said Casey Carl, Target's president of multichannel and senior vice president of enterprise strategy. “Not only will DermStore’s 750-plus brands offer Target expanded breadth across the beauty and skincare industries, but also access to exceptional content and helpful resources we know consumers want.”

And content is what DermStore is known for, especially their how-to videos under the moniker "Beauty TV". They shoot the segments - with topics like "How to Create the Perfect Ballerina Bun" - in a studio built in their lone brick-and-mortar store near Los Angeles. In the words of DermStore Chief Executive Dan Obegi (who will stay on after the acquisition as President)  “The goal is to make a shopping environment that is educational and entertaining for things you don’t know you want to buy yet as well as a place to get the stuff you know you want to buy.”

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

First Phillip Lim for Target ad surfaces...

Thanks to Popsugar, we get to see the first official Phillip Lim for Target ad (shown here). They found it posted on Instagram earlier today by blogger Emily Johnston, who writes Fashion Foie Gras. As a reminder, Lim's budget collection for Target is scheduled to debut in stores and online on Sept. 15th.

Target's website down...

FYI, Target's website seems to be down this morning.  I'm not sure how long it's been down, but I've been checking it for the last 45 minutes and it's still not working. No idea whether it's just due to regular site maintenance or what, but just thought I'd alert everyone.

UPDATE: their website is back up now.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Double-Take: Allan Andrews James vs. Threshold

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Target and match it against a similar - yet pricer - piece. Today we're looking at two reclaimed wood accent mirrors, both with a casual, beachy-vibe. But one of them is by Allan Andrews James (available at and will set you back about $124, while the other is by Threshold (at Target) and only costs $29.99.  Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fab Find: Melt Lemon Verbena & Sage Candle

Regular readers of my blog will recall I was a big fan of the Lume Luxe line of candles, which used to be carried at Target. They seem to have been replaced by a brand called Melt, which offers equally decadent scents and also boasts a pretty etched pattern. The editors over at dub this variety - Lemon Verbena & Sage - the "perfect summer scent", and after sniffing it in store, I have to agree with them. They call it "fragrant enough to perfume my living room with a summer-appropriate sweet citrus scent" but add "I haven't actually lit it yet because I don't want to melt away the cool carved detail."  This size (shown) is 3x4" and retails for $7.99, and there's also a taller 3x6" version for $9.99.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sale Alert: Orla Kiely for Belkin

Well that was fast! Less than a month after its debut, the Orla Kiely Collection by Belkin for iPhones and iPads are already on sale.  Nab them for 20% off, this week only, both in Target stores and online on

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wardrobe malfunction...

Tonight I saw the movie Blue Jasmine.  Let me just say it's not my favorite Woody Allen film. I did notice, however, a major wardrobe snafu: Jasmine, the lead character (played by Cate Blanchett) is supposed to be a mega-rich socialite who wears Chanel jackets, carries an Hermes bag, and uses Louis Vuitton luggage. Which made this cardigan (shown) she wears in several scenes throughout the movie stand out. Yes, it's Missoni... but it's Missoni for Target, which I recognized right away because I own the same sweater. Jasmine brings it with her when she moves from Park Avenue to her sister's house in San Francisco, but someone of Jasmine's social standing would never be caught dead shopping at Target.

Reader Giveaway: Odin New York Shirt

Hello readers!  I just realized it's been several months (back in April) since I held my last reader giveaway, so I'm long overdue for another one.  And this one has the men in mind, as I'm giving away this BNWT Odin New York for Target men's plaid shirt (shown here). I bought this for my hubby last Fall; he never wore it, and as I was cleaning out our closets this weekend he admitted that he probably never will ;-)  (which is why I'm offering it up here).

This shirt is size XL and made from 100% lightweight cotton - with almost a linen-feel to it - and the full retail price was $29.99.  To win, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post - along with your email address - by midnight on Thursday, August 8th.  Limit one entry per person. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only, and the winner (picked at random) will be announced on Friday, August 9th.  Good luck!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Target stores, then and now...

Target’s store design - bright lights, wide aisles, and strong branded signage - is inherited from the retailer’s rich heritage. Dayton’s Department Store - Target’s predecessor - had the uncanny ability to understand its guests, anticipate their needs and deliver exceptional in-store experiences. That savviness included everything from presenting product in beautiful ways to incorporating research into store layout and lighting.

Products and price may have changed over the years, but Target’s thoughtful presentation and commitment to a premium shopping experience has remained the same. For example: back in 1975, Target introduced the “racetrack” store layout to ensure a consistent experience from store to store, no matter the location. One main aisle circles the store, with additional aisles running through the center and the perimeters, allowing for more space to display product. This racetrack model prevails today. Target also debuted the first planogram, a “map” that helps store teams present clean, uncluttered merchandise displays. 

For more vintage photographs and details of Target stores "then versus now", check out this article on A Bullseye View.