Target rolls out collaborations

Tapping into the popularity of limited runs, the retailer brings in new fashion and home lines.

Altuzarra at Montreal Fashion & Design FestivalAfter apologizing to Canadians this summer for its shortcomings since setting up shop north of the border, Target is looking to get into consumers’ good graces by rolling out new collections this fall.

The retailer just kicked off two limited-edition collections, Altuzarra for Target and Wit & Delight for Target, a strategy that Livia Zufferli, VP marketing, Target Canada, says consumers respond well to as it creates an urgency to purchase. Moreover, they enjoy the frequent availability of new and special merchandise, she adds, so limited runs generate excitement.

Target has also teamed up with Toms Shoes, a brand known for its model of giving a pair of shoes to someone in need each time a consumer buys a new pair. The limited-run collection, which launches Nov. 16 and features 30 items such as shoes, scarves and home products for under $50, will take a similar charitable approach, and is a chance for consumers to show their generosity in time for the holidays, says Zufferli.

Although the program is North American, when Canadian shoppers buy items they will be supporting domestic organizations, with purchases translating to donations such as a blanket for the Red Cross or a food bank receiving a week’s worth of meals. Tags on the items will specify where the support is going.

Zufferli says the breadth of the collection means there is something to appeal to everyone.

The collection will be set up in the women’s apparel area when consumers first enter stores so it is easy to find, while signage will also direct shoppers to the area. It will be supported through social – the medium through which Toms founder Blake Mycoskie announced it – along with print and likely a digital video, Zufferli says.

Meanwhile, Altuzarra for Target, developed for the North American market with up-and-coming designer Joseph Altuzarra, hit Canadian stores earlier this month.

Zufferli describes the collection as confidence-boosting, feminine and sophisticated, while tying into the retailer’s proposition “to make great design accessible to all.”

Zufferli expects the line to resonate with the retailer’s sweetspot of 30- to 40-year-old women, appealing to a more mature female guest given the numerous work pieces, in addition to some evening wear.

To promote the launch, the brand turned to earned media and showed them the products, as it often does for these kinds of style collaborations, while three looks from the collection were featured during Montreal’s Fashion & Design Festival. Moreover, the retailer “invested quite a bit in print” to depict the collection’s aesthetic and tone, says Zufferli, in addition to promotion via a digital buy and its social channels.

Similarly, the retailer took a social and earned media approach to promote its latest limited edition home line – the final installment in a seasonal series designed by online influencers.

Kate Arends, whose background is in graphic design and is well-known in the online community, developed Wit & Delight, named after her blog. “The craft social collection” is geared towards intimate events, tailored to serve things like artisan food and craft beer.

And like similar collections, Wit & Delight is highlighted in store with signage and merchandized to draw attention, being located on an end cap, with packaging Zufferli describes as colourful and innovative so it stands out.

The previous two collections generated a significant amount of social chatter, says Zufferli, noting the “glamping” vibe of the Poppytalk for Target line resonated well with Canucks, given our camping heritage. Curated by Vancouver’s Jan Halverson, the collection launched in June, and followed the March Oh Joy! for Target line, which tapped into a colourful garden party aesthetic.

The latest Wit & Delight is geared to anyone who enjoys entertaining, says Zufferli, while all three collections would appeal to anyone who is keen on the particulars of hosting.

Over the past 15 years, Target has undertaken more than 100 design partnerships.

“It’s really part of what our DNA has been as a brand,” she says.