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The Washington Post has a story about how Target seems to be going back to its “cheap chic” roots, rolling out “limited-time collaborations with established luxury brands such as Missoni, Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier, as well as up-and-coming designers including Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung.”

The goal, the story says, is to turn “around the retailer’s image” and help “establish it as a higher-end alternative to competitors such as Walmart.”

There is a problem though, the Post writes - though it isn’t Target’s.

“Retail analysts say that while the big-box chain has­­ boosted its own cachet, the tie-ups are less fruitful for premium brands looking to attract aspirational shoppers. Sure, partnering with Target may boost brand recognition and awareness in some circles, but to what end? Once the items sell out, often in days or weeks, it’s unlikely, industry insiders say, that Target shoppers will suddenly begin buying Victoria Beckham trousers at Saks Fifth Avenue for 25 times the price. (A version of the designer’s flared trousers sold for $40 at Target last year. A similar item at Saks Fifth Avenue is marked $1,010.)”
KC's View:
This all makes sense, except that Target consistently is found guilty - by friends of mine, and often in the media - of not having enough product and featuring a sometimes creaky, often frustrating website that undermines its ability to make sales and create enduring relationships with shoppers. It’d be nice, the theory goes, if Target were as aspirational in its digital presence as it often is in its brand selection.