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Target Seeks Reinvention With Modern Home

Minneapolis — As part of its in-progress “home reinvention” project, Target Stores is hoping to boost its home business with several new collections, including the soon-to-come unveiling of a proprietary brand called Modern Home, the company reported during its second quarter earnings call last week.

Gregg Steinhafel, Target Stores' president, limited his comments about this new in-house brand to saying it was “a greater value to our guests.”

Other new home features debuting this fall include the Thomas O'Brien designer collection, which comprises “hundreds of items,” and the addition of 600 TC sheets to the Fieldcrest line, Steinhafel said.

For the garden, patio and front porch, Target Stores is also adding a collection with a new partner — upscale gardening and outdoor living brand Smith & Hawken. The product line, which includes furniture and decorative items, will be available in Target garden centers in late 2005 and in Target stores nationwide in March 2006.

The home category has admittedly performed “slightly” below the total company, Steinhafel, with some pockets more successful than others. In home textiles, which he described overall as “OK,” Steinhafel cited bedding as “very strong,” versus bath as “a little weaker.”

“But we're making progress and we're seeing, from first quarter to second quarter, business get a little stronger,” Steinhafel added.

In other news, the company said it continues to step up its direct sourcing activity, adding resources and improving its infrastructure.

Food and consumables — which led sales during the quarter — are areas of expansion at the stores, with more space being devoted to these categories over the next season.

The Target.com Web site's assortment is being enhanced by yearend to 200,000 from 90,000 items. This includes new categories, like hardware, fine jewelry and tabletop, as well expanded assortments in existing popular categories, including home and seasonal goods.

Finally, also by the end of this year, Target expects to open 60 new units, representing its largest store-opening cycle ever. The new sites include 32 new discount stores and 17 Super Target units.

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