Thursday, August 31, 2017

Merona pants replaced by new A.N.D. versions....

As regular readers of this blog already know, I'm a big fan of the Merona Modern Ankle Pant. They also have a Classic Fit version, but I prefer the Modern. Now that the brand is being phased out at Target, I noticed that A New Day brand is still offering two fits to these pants, but under different names. As shown here, A.N.D. has the "Slim Ankle" pant (which I assume runs more like the Classic did) and the "Skinny Ankle" (a likely replacement for the Modern). Then again, it's hard to tell, as as the Skinny is dubbed "high rise, with fitted hip and thigh" (which sounds like the Merona Classic fit) and the Slim is "mid rise with slim hip and thigh". I haven't tried either version yet, so I can't personally comment on the fit. I did notice, however, that both of these new fits come in a wide range of colors, patterns and sizes.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Target's answer to Two Buck Chuck...

It looks like Target is trying to compete with Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck in the wine department by introducing 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. You can choose from Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Blend. California Roots wines launch at over 1,100 Target stores nationwide on Sept. 3.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Two of Target's new brands now online...

I got an email yesterday from Target announcing that two of their new lines - A New Day and Goodfellow and  Co. - are now available for purchase online. As I blogged previously, I'm not a fan of A New Day - at least not with the items I've seen so far in stores. While I'm tempted to order a couple of items to try them on, I'm hesitant as I just don't have a lot of faith they'll work out. IMO, A New Day has more Junior-y sizing and more trendy (vs. classic) styling, meaning these are items meant to last just 1-2 seasons vs. year to year.

I'm also curious how Target is going to handle inventory and turnover with both of these new fashion lines. The aim with both is more of a "fast fashion" model (like H&M and Zara) with the introduction of new styles once a month vs. just once a quarter.  Will Target still want "last month's fashion" hanging around in stores (if they don't sell or are customer returns) or will they keep cycling them out quickly to make room for new merchandise?

Holiday creep...

For those of you who want Summer over and done with, good news: holiday creep has hit the Dollar Aisle at Target. Not only do they already have a selection of Halloween merchandise (as shown here) but last week I also spied Fall/Harvest and Thanksgiving stuff as well.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Fab Find: Multipurpose Standing Desk

Although Target is marketing this rolling standing desk as a dorm room essential for the college crowd, I think it makes a great addition for any home office. Plus, it could also be used as a portable bar, a crafting station, or simply as an accent piece. With six storage cubbies, it comes in 3 colors - Coffee, Oak or White - and costs just $210.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sale Alert: Men's Mossimo Tees

While women have been lamenting the departure of Merona, men seem to be mourning the loss of Mossimo. In fact, Reddit has several threads (like this one) praising Mossimo's men's tees. So before Mossimo leaves the men's department forever, here's your chance to stock up. Target has a variety of men's Mossimo tees on sale for up to 65% off. in both regular and big & tall sizes. Plus, you can get an extra 20% off your purchase online with the code SAVE20 (offer expires Aug. 26th).

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Double-Take: FENTY Puma vs. Mossimo

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Tar-shay and match it up against a lookalike - yet pricier - designer piece. Today we have two trendy bow slide sandals in blush pink. Both are cute, but one is from the FENTY Puma collab with Rihanna and will set you back $90 (at Bloomingdales) whereas the other pair from Mossimo costs just $22.99 (at Target). Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sale Alert: Merona Modern Ankle Pants

As I've mentioned in my recent posts, I'm snapping up as many Merona basics as I can before the brand disappears from Target forever. This morning I was delighted to discover that my favorite Merona Modern Ankle Pants are now on clearance online (for just $13.98 each). Plus, with the coupon code SAVE20, you can get an additional 20% off your purchase. One caveat: there's only a couple of colors left online, so you may find a greater selection in stores.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Target refreshes brands to stay relevant...

The Star Tribune printed an in-depth article over the weekend about Target's new brands and revised marketing strategy. Here are some highlights that I found interesting:
  • Replacing kids' brands Cherokee and Circo last year with Cat & Jack was a smart move, as it grew sales by double digits and just hit $2 billion in its first year.
  • Their new men's brand - Goodfellow & Co. - is a nod to the department store in downtown Minneapolis that launched the Dayton family's retail empire that eventually became Target. In addition to being more fashionable, Goodfellow clothes have been created with attention to how they feel and fit, offering several styles in pants.
  • A New Day will feature new pieces every month, instead of quarterly as with the older brands (like Merona). Target is hoping the change, - which brings it more in line with some of its competitors like J. Crew and Zara - will drive more frequent trips to see new merchandise. This is Target's answer to the "fast fashion" trend.
  • Target also saw an opening in the market for JoyLab, a new fashion-focused athleisure line aimed at a younger customer than the Lululemon crowd. Target decided to create a new brand for it rather than making it part of C9, another major Target athletic brand.
  • Regarding pricing, Target claims that while their new offerings will have better-quality fabrics, the prices will not be higher. Target will start with more of an everyday low pricing strategy from the get-go, with the intent to move away from the cycle of marking items up and then relying on promotions to help move them back down. This might be why the clearance racks at my local store have disappeared.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

New at Target: BARK by Barkbox

Starting next week, Target is stepping up their pet game with the introduction of toys and treats from BARK - the maker of subscription service BarkBox. If you’ve never tried BarkBox, you’re going to love their fun and quirky toy and natural treat offerings, including the Destroyer’s Club, Best Toys Ever, New York City Treats, Best Treats Ever and more - all exclusively at Target.

In addition to the BARK line, Target is also rolling out 200+ new finds from their revamped Boots & Barkley line and the addition of natural pet food options from Blue Buffalo.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A New Day vs. Merona

As I blogged over the weekend, Target's new brand A New Day (A.N.D.) and Merona seem awfully similar. But after visiting another Target store yesterday, I do see key differences:
*Unfortunately, the fabrications of A.N.D. seem cheaper and not as nice as Merona was. Case in point: this striped boatneck tee was thinner than identical offerings from Merona.
*Speaking of fabrics, it looks like A.N.D. is using more poly and spandex, whereas Merona would include cotton blends.
*Construction also seems off. In inspecting a lace-up tee by Merona, it had a lot more shape and style to it than the A.N.D. one, which just seemed boxy and shapeless.
* The sizing has shrunk. Again, using this tee as an example, I picked up what I thought was an XS or S, only to be shocked it was a M. So this style seems to run at least a full size smaller than the same top in Merona,

Furthermore, Target seems a bit schizophrenic in its Womens Department right now: you have Merona being phased out, A.N.D. brought in, Knox Rose for the boho set, Xhilaration for Juniors, and Who What Wear with their 'streetwear' (which I'm not feeling anymore - enough with the bizarre sleeves and fringe hems already!). I'll probably be gravitating more towards Mossimo than anything else at this point.

Monday, August 7, 2017

New at Target: Cloud Island

I must have missed the news, but back in May Target introduced a new nursery collection of nursery d├ęcor and bedding called Cloud Island. Now they are adding bath and layette to the mix. Divided into three core themes — Black & White, Adventure Awaits and Floral Fields — there are plenty of products for parents to mix and match as they please. The new Cloud Island offerings will be rolling out in Target stores and online at Target.com throughout August.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Is Target getting rid of their clearance racks?

Today I had a leisurely trip to Target (more so than yesterday) and inspected the new A New Day clothing more in detail. My first impression was correct: it is almost identical to Merona. One difference I did notice is that the dresses seem to skew a bit "younger" than Merona - meaning shorter hemlines and slimmer cuts - which doesn't thrill me. But overall, it's all very similar.

I also noticed that the clearance racks have disappeared in the Women's Department at my local store. Instead, clearance items are tucked into the regular racks. For instance: in this pic, you'll see a few red clearance stickers sticking out (on the Merona denim dresses in the middle) but the rest of the clothing on this rack is full price. One of the articles I read about Target's new brands stated that part of their new retail strategy includes having less sales. I wonder if their plans also include eliminating - or cutting back on - separate clearance racks?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Target's new brand is just like it's old brand...

This morning I had to make a VERY short Target run to buy some household essentials, and as I was walking past the Women's Department, guess what I saw? A whole rack of Target's new brand A New Day, which wasn't supposed to hit stores until later this month. And guess what? It looks JUST like Merona. I know it's hard to tell from this crappy pic I snapped, but literally, it's as if Merona simply got a facelift (and a new garment tag). Slim chino pants? Check. Tunic-length button-down shirts in plaids and clip dot patterns? Check. Boxy cuffed-sleeve tees? Check. It's all there, and the price points seem the same as Merona as well.

So color me confused, readers. I thought the point of cancelling Merona and replacing it with A New Day was to offer customers something new and different, but none of what I saw today demonstrated that.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fab Find: Carter's Baby Bibs

For all the awesome Aunties out there (and you know who you are!) here's a fun gift you can give your infant nieces and nephews. These baby bibs from Carter's (at Target) are adorable, and cost just $7.99 for a pack of 3.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Target rolls out new self-checkout interface...

Yesterday I blogged about Target's new look in the Women's Department, and today I'm highlighting another recent change: a re-designed self-checkout computer interface. Shown here is the screen from my local store; everything is 'bigger' and 'bolder', from the font size to graphics. The annoying 'voice' feature is also gone - the one that would prompt you to scan each item and then say 'thank you for shopping at Target' at the end of your transaction.

I welcome this change; it seemed like my checkout went faster and smoother with this updated system. Overall I'm not a fan of self-checkout, but this improvement might encourage me to use it more often. Now it's your turn, readers: has your store rolled out this new interface yet, and if so, what are your thoughts?