Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tuesday's Rant: Target's Silly "Basket" Displays

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. I haven't done a 'rant' in long time, but I've been meaning to do this one for a while. 

Have you noticed these oversized store displays that look like giant shopping baskets? I have, and I think they're ridiculous. Not only do they look stupid, they also cheapen the store experience. Target seems to be using them to promote items on sale, and they're usually found awkwardly placed in main aisle in the Food & Beverage or Household Essentials sections. But instead of enticing me to buy, I avoid these displays like the plague. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Velour/Velvet: make it stop!

I've noticed a disturbing trend in retail lately: Velour/Velvet is everywhere, including Target. You can't walk anywhere in the Womens' department without running into a top like this one (shown) which I call 'velour' but is probably just a poor attempt at crushed velvet. I can't tell you how bad these tops look IRL. The fabric just screams "cheap". This particular top was at regular price, but I also saw a ton of similar Mossimo velvety tops already on the clearance racks. And if do a search on 'velvet' on Target.com, you get over 200 results for clothing alone.

While Target is a prime offender, they're not the only one. During a trip to the mall yesterday, I noticed a ton of velvet clothing at stores like Banana Republic and Madewell. But to be honest, some of their stuff - despite being a lot more expensive - looked just as bad as the options at Target.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fab Find: Who What Wear LBD

Last night I went to a fancy cocktail party and I wore this lacy little black dress (shown) by Who What Wear (at Target). Not only did I get a ton of compliments, but the dress was comfortable as well, which you can't always say about eveningwear.

Unfortunately, this dress is pretty much sold out on Target.com, but it's still available in some stores. I've seen it in a variety of sizes for as low as $10.48 on the clearance racks. I found my size on sale for $17.99, which is still a great deal.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Target to slow down Christmas promotions...

The Associated Press reports that Target says their customers want to pause the "Christmas creep." So in order to be more in tune with their customers' mindset, Target plans to ease in holiday promotions this year while better recognizing Thanksgiving.

The retailer's holiday plans also include a new e-gift service, adding kiosks that focus on impulse presents mainly under $15, and launching a wallet feature to its app. It's also offering more weekend deals since shoppers do more holiday buying then.

While all retailers need to worry about online growth and the expansion of Amazon, Target is spending $7 billion over three years to remodel old stores, open small ones in cities and college towns and offer faster delivery for online orders. It's also been refreshing its store brands and trying to be more convenient to shoppers. Eight of Target's new brands will be available for the first time this holiday season.

The company is also expanding its marketing focus and increasing its holiday marketing budget compared to a year ago. For November, Target will keep Thanksgiving signs and displays at the entrances and its marketing will play up Thanksgiving meal preparation and entertaining for shoppers. "They want us to pause, and be really intentional and recognize Thanksgiving," said Rick Gomez, Target's chief marketing officer. "What they don't want us to do is go right into Christmas. So, we are going to respect that."

And as it eases into the Christmas holiday the company isn't repeating the "Ten Days of Deals" strategy, which it had for two seasons in a row. Instead, it's increasing weekend deals starting Nov. 11, as Gomez says customers are shopping on the weekend twice as much as they are during weekdays.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Target to offer free shipping for the holidays...

The Krazy Coupon Lady reports that you can shop for everything you need for the holidays on Target.com and receive free shipping with no minimum requirements. Starting Nov. 1st and running through December 23rd, all of your Target.com orders will ship for free, with no $35.00 minimum purchase required. Plus, you can use your Target REDcard to receive an additional 5% savings.

Watch this space tomorrow for more details on Target's holiday plans.

Coming Soon to Target: Sugar Paper Holiday Collection

For the third year in a row,  Sugar Paper will bring a holiday assortment of gift wrap and seasonal decor to Target. This time around, in addition to traditional red and white, they've added a chic new color scheme - grey and navy, as shown here - to their signature gift wrap collection.

The Sugar Paper for Target holiday collection has everything you need to deck out your tree to match the presents underneath. From a sweet star tree topper to glittery ornaments, every detail will help you achieve holiday d├ęcor perfection. The collection will be available in stores and online at Target.com starting on Oct. 29, with prices ranging from $2 to $15. You can check out more preview pics here on A Bullseye View.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

New at Target: Mia and Mimi Toddler Dresses

If you're looking for fancy little girls' dresses, look no further than Target. Their new brand Mia and Mimi offers a selection of pretty frocks made from brocade, lace, tulle and glitter. Offered in baby sizes up through toddler, the dresses range in price from just $19.99 - $24.99. I've seen these in store and they look even better in person, and they'd be perfect for the upcoming holidays or any dress-up occasion.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Consumer Alert: Archer Farms Bagged Veggie Recall

You may have heard about another bagged salad & veggie recall recently. Now Consumerist is reporting that this recall has expanded, and Target is one of the retailers affected.

The company behind the recalled products, Mann Packing, exports some products to Canada, and routine testing of those exports turned up Listeria. While there have been no reported or confirmed illnesses from these products, note that the incubation period for Listeria ranges from three to 70 days, so people could get sick more than two months from now.

Now there are a lot of products included in this recall. They were sold under Mann’s own brand name, and also under the store brands of Archer Farms (at Target), H-E-B, Little Salad Bar, Signature Farms (at Albertsons), Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Western Family. You can find a table with all of the items listed here on Consumerist's website, and images of the Mann’s packaging for each product is available on the company’s website.

Mann’s asks that you throw affected products away or return them to the store where they were purchased for a refund. If you have any questions about the recall or the products, contact the company at 888-470-2681 or use its email form.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

New clearance endcaps at Target...

Yesterday at my local Target store I noticed something new: yellow clearance endcap signs (instead of the traditional red ones). I guess Target is trying to better differentiate clearance endcaps from regular ones with the new color scheme. I will admit they're easier to spot, although suddenly seeing yellow signs- in the sea of Target red branding - was a bit jarring.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

At long last, Target expands to all 50 states...

CNN reports that Target will conquer its final American frontier: the state of Vermont. The company announced today that it will open its first store in South Burlington in 2018. Once it's completed, Target will have a location in every state in the U.S.

The new store will employ 75 workers, and have inventory that's specially curated for the neighborhood, with an emphasis on clothing, health and beauty products, home and dorm decor and groceries. It will also be smaller than Target's traditional big-box setup -- by design. Last time Target tried to come to Vermont, it had a difficult time.

Target attempted to open a full-size store in Williston back in 2012. At a meeting of the town's planning commission, the idea was shot down. "Suffice it to say, a single occupant, 160,000 square foot big box was not really what the town had in mind," Ken Belliveau, Williston's planning director, told CNNMoney. "This is a very strong progressive, small-scale, craft, communitarian kind of environment," he said.

That didn't leave Target with many options. At the time, the company was firm on size. But the retail environment has changed since then. Amazon has undercut many discount retailers, and brick-and-mortar stores have been struggling. The new Vermont location, which will be close to the University of Vermont, will be 60,000 square feet."Target's small-format stores allow us to go in much more easily than we would building a full-size Target store," Target spokeswoman Kristy Welker said.

For Vermont, the smaller size changed the calculus. "The juxtaposition of a big box with Vermont's small state, small city, small town feel ... you get into discussion with communities about fit," said Michael Schirling, Vermont's secretary of commerce and community development. Target currently has more than 1,800 stores in the U.S. The company opened its first location in Roseville, Minnesota in 1962.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

New at Target: Cat & Jack Adaptive Apparel

Cat & Jack is expanding its offerings to include adaptive apparel, made specially for kids and toddlers living with disabilities. Based on current brand styles, Target’s internal design team created the 40-item assortment with features like side and back snap and zip closures and hidden openings for abdominal access, all in an effort to make getting dressed easier for everyone (both kids and parents).

Features include outerwear with zip-off sleeves, footless sleepwear and diaper-friendly leggings and bodysuits. Plus the clothing is made from extra-soft, comfortable and durable cotton knits.

Shop the selection of Cat & Jack adaptive apparel pieces in sizes 2T-5T (Toddler) and XS-XXL (Big Kids) exclusively at Target.com starting Oct. 22. Prices range from $4.50 to $39.99, with most items under $19.99.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Target joins Google's anti-Amazon alliance...

Google and the country’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailers have one big problem in common: Amazon. Now both sides are acting taking action to do something about it.

Last week, Target and Google announced that they are expanding what was a years-old delivery partnership from a small experiment in a handful of cities to the entire continental U.S. The expansion will allow Target to become a retail partner in Google’s voice-shopping initiative, which lets owners of the Google Home “smart” speaker order items through voice commands like owners of the Echo can do from Amazon.

This announcement comes several weeks after Walmart inked a similar deal with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of products through the service. Other big-box retailers like Home Depot are also jumping on board. You can read more details here on Recode.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lookbook: Hearth & Hand

As reported last month, Target is collaborating with Chip and Joanna Gaines—the duo behind Magnolia and the hit HGTV show “Fixer Upper”—on a new home and lifestyle brand called Hearth & Hand. And now, the complete lookbook is here, with 300+ pieces ranging in price from $.99 to $129.99. Check out all the pics here on A Bullseye View.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fab Find: Pillowfort Lumberjack Set

How cute is this?? Pillowfort (at Target) brings us this adorable lumberjack pillow toy with coordinating throw blanket. This would make a great gift, and best of all, it's just $17.99.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New at Target: Foodstirs

Craving homemade treats fresh from the oven, but don’t love spending hours in the kitchen—or baking from a box? Turns out from scratch can be easy and kits can be chock-full of goodness. Say hello to Foodstirs by Sarah Michelle Gellar. This new line of family-and-planet-friendly baking mixes are quick, easy, organic, non-GMO and deliciously simple. The scrumptious collection is now at Target, with fun flavors like snickerdoodle blondies, chocolate chip pumpkin bread or pumpkin spice pancakes.

You can read more about Foodstirs here on A Bullseye View.  And this week, grab the Cartwheel deal to get 20% off all varieties of Foodstirs.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fab Find: All The Feels Blanket

The other day at Target I came across this super-plush blanket by All The Feels. This cozy reversible blanket - ideal for layering on your bed or just keeping warm on the couch - has soft velvet on one side and faux fur on the other. Plus, All The Feels™ helps improve the lives of young people in need by giving the gift of warmth. For every item purchased, All The Feels™ will donate one blanket or the monetary equivalent to our non-profit partners located throughout the U.S., meaning your kindness will be felt by thousands of youth.

Available in 4 colors and 3 sizes (Twin, Full/Queen and King) All The Feels blankets are $29.99 - $49.99 at Target and on Target.com.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Target tops Two-Buck Chuck...

Back in August I alerted you that in order to combat Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck in the wine department, Target was developing their own line of "cheap wine". Similar to the Charles Shaw brand at Trader Joe's, Target's new brand California Roots offers "wine blends carefully crafted with premium, California-grown grapes at just $5 a bottle."

Well it seems that Business Insider has done a side-by-side taste test, and according to them, Target wins - at least in the Cabernet department. According to BI, "Target's California Roots cabernet has a delightfully smooth and silky mouthfeel that languishes on the tongue. It's full-bodied and has a satisfying consistency — especially when compared to Charles Shaw's rather lanky and watery cab."

Thursday, October 5, 2017

What happened to Who What Wear?

Earlier this year I spoke about my fondness of Who What Wear at Target. Now, however, that fondness has waned. Outside of a couple of cute off-the-shoulder tops I bought over the Summer, I haven't purchased anything from WWW in quite a while. And looking at some of their latest Fall offerings (shown here) I'll pass. Shiny faux-leather bomber jackets with baby blue fake fur collars? Ick. Oversized sweatshirts with exaggerated poplin ruffled sleeves? No thanks.

There still are a couple of bright spots in the WWW line, like this flutter sleeve lace LBD which is highly rated on Target.com. Likewise, this leopard-print coat looks cute and versatile. But for the most part, I'll be avoiding Who What Wear this season.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Everything old is new again...

As I wrote about two months ago, Target's new brand A New Day seems awfully like their old brand Merona, despite the claim that A.N.D. is supposed to be more "hip" and "edgy". Case in point: on the left is a pic of one of the last Merona items I bought back in July: a rust-red chunky cowl neck sweater. And on the right is the same exact sweater from A.N.D., for the same price ($29.99).

And I'm not just judging by the pics: I actually found this sweater in the store and saw for myself that it was exactly the same as the Merona one, only there was the A.N.D. tag sewn in it instead. Likewise, a quick search on Target.com shows other A.N.D. versions of old Merona favorites - like this colorblock hooded car coat and this plaid pullover sweater. My point is that if you've been mourning the loss of Merona (as I have) give A.N.D. a chance. That said, I haven't been entirely impressed by the quality of A.N.D., as it seems lower than compared with Merona. And Target isn't living up to the claim that this new brand will have better price points, as thus far prices are trending the same as Merona.