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The New York Times reports this morning that Target Corp. may not be seeing the kind of success that it expected with its "cheap chic" strategy.

Product lines by designers Todd Oldham and Philippe Starck have been discontinued, as well as have other such arrangements, as consumers remain more impressed by low prices than designer names. The NYT interviewed one Target shoppers who was in Target looking for Martha Stewart linens…which are, of course, sold by competitor Kmart.

The Times writes, "Irma Zandl, president of the Zandl Group, a market research and consulting company, who interviewed scores of Target shoppers at more than two dozen outlets around the country last summer for her own research, said that there was a chasm between Target's groovy ads and streamlined aesthetic and its somewhat stolid client base."

Target, for its part, seems resolute in its conviction that "cheap chic" is the way to go, and pledges to stay the course with new designers, new product lines, and new approaches that will differentiate it from Wal-Mart.
KC's View:
We should note that this last bit about "new approaches that will differentiate it from Wal-Mart" is our interpretation, not part of Target's statement. But keeping a separate image from the Bentonville behemoth has to be of major concern to the company, if only because it doesn't make any sense to play on precisely the same field as Wal-Mart.

That's something that Target seems very good at doing, and there's no reason to think it'll change courses now.