Friday, February 28, 2014

My Method is back!

The other day I mentioned that I happened to see ONE random bottle of my favorite Method Body Wash sitting on a clearance endcap at Target. Well lo and behold, now my local store seems to have fully restocked the entire line - in Olive Leaf, White Tea, and Magnolia scents. I still have NO idea why this product disappeared from shelves for over a year, but I'm very happy to have it back!

The Look for Less: Mossimo vs. Vince

While this isn't quite a true "double-take," check out the similarities between these two leather-sleeve tees from from Mossimo (at Target) and Vince (at Neiman-Marcus)

Sure, the Vince one in "Blackberry" (at far left) boasts REAL leather sleeves and has a crew vs. a v-neck. But it also comes with a $117 price-tag (on sale!). The Mossimo one in "Dark Red", on the other hand, has "pleather" sleeves, a bit more oversized fit, and a much more UNDERSIZED price of just $14.44 on clearance.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sam & Libby relaunches shoe that made them famous...

Sam and Libby Edelman met and fell in love at a shoe fair in 1979. Then this "perfect match" started their eponymous brand, Sam & Libby, in 1987. They found their calling after a trip overseas inspired them to re-create the fashionable European ballet flat for the American girl. Now after nearly 30 years on the market, the brand re-launched the classic design with Target in 9 colors and priced at just $29.99.  Recently A Bullseye View  sat down with Libby to get the story behind the iconic shoe.
What makes the ballet flat so iconic?
Really, it was Bridget Bardot who made the ballet flat so famous. She always wore them in St. Tropez and loved the ballet more than anyone! Women across America fell in love and it soon became the “must-have” shoe—everyone owned a pair! We created our first ballet flat almost three decades ago, adding a bow to the toe.

Why re-launch the ballet flat now?
It’s a great shoe for spring because it works with skirts, dresses, shorts and jeans. And they’re not just great for warmer months; ballet flats have become a go-to all year round. They’re easy to pack and they travel well.

What does the ballet flat mean to the modern woman?
The ballet flat is a staple in any woman’s wardrobe—she wears them every day. Women want to feel a bit sexy and the Sam & Libby bow ballet flat is going to be what she’s looking for this season. Half the fun is deciding what color to choose!

What is your favorite feature about the shoe?
The bow ballet flat has stood the test of time—it was as perfect then as it is now. We are proud not only of the overall design, but also the emotional response that women have to the shoe.
[Shown above in yellow is an original pair of Sam & Libby flats, next to the new Target version in red]

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New at Target: Method Summer Scents

I noticed two new Method Foaming Hand Wash varieties at Target the other day as part of their "Summer Limited Edition". I didn't try them (shown here) but according to Method's website, the Brambleberry Gelato and Orange Ginger Sorbet were "inspired by delicious, gourmet ice cream" and both formulas "will give you soft, clean hands that smell good enough to lick."

As an aside: my local Target stores still aren't stocking my beloved Method Body Wash. So you can imagine my surprise when I recently found ONE random bottle of my favorite body wash scent - White Tea - on a clearance endcap. It rang up at regular price (and not on sale) but I don't care - I was just glad to find one!

Data-breach takes toll on Target...

The Associated Press reports that Target will be feeling the financial pain for a while from December's data-breach. The retailer said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit slumped 46 percent. It also reported that revenue slipped 5.3 percent as the breach scared off customers.

During the holiday shopping season, personal data from millions of Target customers was stolen by hackers who targeted credit card terminals in its stores. The incident has scared shoppers away, and the company says its profits will be affected well into 2014.

"As we plan for the new fiscal year, we will continue to work tirelessly to win back the confidence of our guests. ... We are encouraged that sales trends have improved in recent weeks," Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target, said in a statement.

The data breach comes on top of other woes for the retailer, including already sluggish sales in the U.S. and a disappointing foray into Canada. Revenue fell to $21.5 billion from $22.7 billion. Revenue at stores open at least a year, an important retail measurement, fell 2.5 percent.

The breach resulted in $17 million of net expenses in the fourth quarter, Target said, with $61 million of total expenses partially offset by the recognition of a $44 million insurance receivable. The company said it can't yet estimate how much more the data breach will cost. Target said expenses may include payments to card networks to cover losses and expenses for reissuing cards, lawsuits, government investigations and enforcement proceedings.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Look for Less: Merona vs. Michael Kors

While this doesn't qualify as a "double-take," I was taken aback at the similarities between these two colorblock bags from Merona (at Target) and Michael Kors.

I'm very familiar with the Kors bag (at left) because I've been eyeing it for awhile. I no longer see it online on Kors' site, and according to one of their recent mail catalogs, it's now only available in stores. The Merona bag offers a similar colorblock vibe but in an opposite pattern - with white side panels and contrasting black front and back. Both bags can be held as satchels or convert to crossbody style. But the Kors bag clocks in at $360 - which is WAY out of my budget - whereas the Merona bag is just $34.99.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Target scrapped Olympic ads...

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports that Target had intended to launch a new advertising campaign during the Sochi Olympics, but CEO Gregg Steinhafel scrapped those plans following the retailer's data breach.

The ads were to highlight Target employees' efforts to give back to their communities, but Steinhafel's "gut told him it wasn't right," according to a story published in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Fearing customers would think the company was "tone deaf," he canceled the campaign. 

No word yet on whether these new ads will eventually air, although the theme of "giving back to the community" is a welcome change from your typical ads that just "sell stuff." Shown here is a still from last year's Target commercial featuring interior designer Sabrina Soto.

Friday, February 21, 2014

New at Target: Nate Berkus' Spring Collection

The latest Nate Berkus for Target collection has hit stores, and for the most part, I like what I see. The geometric gold lamp (shown here) is impressive in person, as is the tall modern white one. I also love the studded pillows (shown) which feature alternate-patterned studs in triangles and circles. The white-washed accent table would tuck perfectly into a corner, and coordinates with the wood handled tray (shown) which also comes in black.

You can view the entire collection here on, and you can also hear Nate's take on the line (in his own words) in this short video on A Bullseye View.

The return of the jumpsuit...

I've been in denial about the "jumpsuit trend", but I guess I can't avoid it any longer. According to  SF-Unzipped, "From runways to red carpets, jumpsuits made a huge comeback in 2013. Designers Rachel Zoe and Jason Wu were among the many who embraced the trend with takes on the piece ranging from fitted and kittenish to relaxed and elegant. For those of you thinking 2013 marks the end of the revival, think again: Spring 2014 is offering even more reinventions of the look."

And now Target has jumped into the fray with their own versions, like this one (shown here, from Mossimo) I've seen displayed prominently in stores. A quick check of Target's site shows several jumpsuits for sale, by Mossimo as well as Labworks. And guess what, folks? Rompers (which are basically jumpsuits with shorts) are back, too.

What's the verdict, readers? Is this a trend you'll embrace or pass on?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Double-Take: J.Crew vs. Tar-jay

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Target and match it against a similar - yet pricer - piece. A shout out to eagle-eye reader Channyn who brought this lookalike to my attention. Here we have two glitzy gold and pave "diamond" link bracelets. Both are lovely, but one is from J.Crew and will set you back $125 (although through today, J.Crew's site is having a sale whereby you can get it for 25% off). The other bracelet is from good 'ol Tar-jay, and costs just $20. Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Is Meijer turning into Target? reports that Meijer - the Midwest grocery superstore - is becoming more fashion-focused. The chain has new apparel offerings plus an in-house "style team". It's also unveiled a a new website called "Meijer Style" (which, one could argue, is not unlike Target's site Target Style.)

To help spread the word, Meijer has taken out ads in national fashion mags including Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle. Also similar to Target, they plan to launch a Spring "lookbook" soon.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New at Target: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Collection

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, the magazine is teaming up with Target for a Limited Edition Collection of gold swimsuits.

The collection (three styles of which are shown here) will be available exclusively at Target stores and In addition, part of the collection will be featured in the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, available on newsstands today (February 18th). And to kick off the launch of the collection, Stylist is giving away five $50 Target gift cards away on Twitter. All you need to do to enter is to follow @StyleList on Twitter and retweet 1 of 10 promotional tweets to enter for a chance to win. Click here for the full list of official rules.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Clearance Alert: Giada Cutlery & Kitchen Tools

Target has put all the entire Giada de Laurentiis line of cutlery & kitchen tools on clearance for 30% off (in stores only). I've actually seen a few Giada cutlery items lately on clearance endcaps with even deeper discounts, at 50% off. I wonder if this means that Target is phasing out this particular area of the Giada line, or just making way for new offerings - ?  Giada herself is pretty busy these days, gearing up for the opening of her new restaurant on the Las Vegas strip.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

New at Target: Ambar

Earlier this week Target released Ámbar, a new line of women’s clothing geared toward the Latina shopper. The collection will be available online and in 50 select stores around the country.
“With the rate the Hispanic population is growing, it is critical for us to offer a relevant assortment at a great value,” said Target’s segmentation merchant Jenny Panske.

So what exactly is "Latina fashion"? And how much does that differ from the way non-Latinas dress? That’s still not totally clear. According to A Bullseye View“While we think the new line will appeal to just about anyone with a flair for style, Ámbar was designed specifically with the Latina fashionista in mind,” After viewing the collection online, that seems to translate into bold colors, bright florals, trendy black and white prints, and colorblocking. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Choxie Chocolates

Remember Choxie? Back in 2005 Target introduced this line of chocolates in both "traditional" varieties (like nuts, chews and caramels) as well as more exotic offerings like their "Hot Chocolate Bar" (infused with chipotle chili) and "Artisan Truffle Tiles" (in flavors like Cafe Latte, Key Lime, and Jasmine Tea). I was a HUGE Choxie fan, both for their inventive flavors as well as their brightly-patterned packaging.

Unfortunately, Choxie is now nothing but a memory, as Target has discontinued the line. I had suspected as much, since Choxie disappeared from store shelves several months ago. My fears were confirmed by this thread on Target's Facebook page. A Target representative states "We have discontinued our Choxie line of chocolates. We're sorry for any disappointment. We’re currently testing some other concepts, and hopefully will be able to launch some exciting new Target-exclusive upscale chocolate soon!"

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Target's look back at Barbie...

A Bullseye View has posted a fun retrospective on the history of Barbie via Target's Weekly Ads - from the 1970's (when "Malibu Barbie" was just $1.97!) to 2000's "Millenium Barbie". Shown here is 1981's "Western Barbie", complete with her pet horse, "Dallas".

Barbie's newest incarnation is the Sports Illustrated Edition, complete with swimsuit, sunglasses and heels. Available exclusively at Target, the doll sports an updated version of the iconic bathing suit in which she first appeared back in 1959. This special edition celebrates the legendary models of Sports Illustrated in honor of their 50th anniversary swimsuit issue.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Who's Target's next guest designer? No one you've ever heard of...

Is the high-profile designer collab a thing of the past? Maybe, considering that Target's current collab is with the little known Peter Pilotto brand, and their next partnership is even more obscure. This time around, Target is turning to Pinterest for design inspiration. The retailer announced today that it's working on party-planning collections with a trio of "top pinners" on Pinterest — Joy Cho of Oh Joy!, Jan Halverson of Poppytalk and Kate Arends of Wit & Delight. The limited-edition products - to launch throughout 2014 - will include party décor, paper products and serving pieces.

“Pinterest is such a popular destination for entertaining inspiration, so we’re partnering with the platform’s top tastemakers to bring their inspiration to life through beautifully designed party collections,” stated Rick Gomez, Target's senior vice president of marketing.  “We are proud of Target’s pioneering efforts in the design space and this collaboration is the first-of-its-kind in retail.”

Cho's collection, inspired by a modern garden party, will debut online and in stores March 16. It will include everything from whimsical banners and sparkly party hats to gold-rimmed cups that range in price from $3 to $25. Halverson's collection will launch in June, followed by Arends' collection in September.

My short review of Peter Pilotto...

As mentioned yesterday, I didn't set my alarm to be first in line to buy Peter Pilotto for Target. I did, however, make my way to my local Target store later in the day, and snapped a pic of the collab (shown here). As you will see, the racks (at least while I was there) were fully stocked and organized. I did see a few women circling the racks and picking stuff up to try on, but they seemed hesitant; perhaps the loud patterns and mixed-prints might be a turn-off for some shoppers.

As for the sizing: I didn't personally try anything on, but the rash guards in size XS and S seemed so tiny that they looked like child sizes, whereas some of the dresses seemed more generously sized. Regarding quality: the soldout strapless dress is made of a substantial jacquard fabric, as is the moto jacket, and both look more expensive in person. Some of the tops, however - like the purple floral and red print - are made of a flimsy cotton/rayon/spandex mix that don't look like they'll hold up after multiple washings.

The best of the bunch, IMO, are the beach bags. They're big, colorful and functional. My store only had one one left, so this might end up being one of the more popular items. And a quick check of shows that the black/white print one is already soldout online.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Goodwill hunting...

Looking for Nate Berkus for Target home decor that's sold out of your local store? Try hunting for it at your local Goodwill. This rattan lamp (shown here - sold minus the lamp shade) seems sold out of most Target stores, although it's still available online for $27.48 (which is 50% off of the regular price of $54.99). But I saw several at my local Goodwill store this weekend for just $13.99.  I also saw plenty of these black & gold throw pillows (still full-priced at $19.99 online) for just $4 each! I also spied other Nate Berkus items at deep discounts. The caveat is that not all Goodwill stores seem to get Target merchandise - and some stores get more inventory than others - so you really have to shop around.

Peter Pilotto not an "instant sellout" like past Target collabs...

Until I logged onto this morning (to check out their Weekly Ad) I actually forgot that Peter Pilotto for Target was debuting today. As previously mentioned, I'll be sitting this one out, but reports that two items from the collab are already sold out: the strapless dress and the moto jacket (shown here). My quick check of also shows the colorblock blazer as sold out. But other than that, most (if not all) other items seem to still be available in an array of sizes.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Proenza Schouler vs. Peter Pilotto

I've written before how some of Target's guest designers end up mimicking each other's designs. For instance: last year's Prabal Gurung line featured a shirtdress that closely copied the stylings of the previous season's Kirna Zabete one. So here's another example in honor of "Throwback Thursday": on the left is the Proenza Schouler for Target bustier top from 2009, and on the right is the Peter Pilotto for Target version for 2014. Both are similar with their mixed prints/colors and contrast piping, except that the upcoming Pilotto version is cropped and is actually a bikini top.

Target to transition to chip-enabled smart cards...

Target announced this week that they are accelerating plans to implement smart card technology designed to dramatically reduce the threat of credit and debit card fraud. Target will equip its proprietary REDcards and all of its store card readers in the U.S. with chip-enabled (EMV) smart-card technology by early 2015, more than six months ahead of previous plans. The accelerated effort is part of a $100 million project to put in place chip-enabled technology in all of Target’s U.S. Stores.

Chip-enabled smart cards contain a tiny microprocessor chip that encrypts transaction data shared with sales terminals used by merchants. As a result, even if the card number is stolen in a data breach, the thieves cannot counterfeit the card. Similar technology already use in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia has drastically reduced the incidence of fraud for consumers at physical store locations.

The United States is one of the last industrialized countries to migrate to EMV, but this is about to change, as American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa have all unveiled their plans to migrate the U.S. to EMV by October 2015.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Prepping for Peter Pilotto... has posted a helpful guide to shopping the Peter Pilotto for Target collab (which, as a reminder, debuts on Feb. 9th). It contains the usual tips of mapping out what you want ahead of time (by scoping out the lookbook) and shopping online as soon as the collab hits (which - in the wake of Target's recent security breach - some folks may think twice about). As an alternative, you can shop in store... although not all Target stores will be carrying the line, so it's best to check beforehand whether your local outlet will stock it. Or you can try Net-A-Porter, which will be carrying some - but not all - of the collab.

As for me: I'll be skipping this collab, as the styles look a bit too young (and the prints are a bit too wild) for my tastes.