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Target Digging In

New York — Even as Wal-Mart pushes into higher price fashion goods, Target is digging deeper into its trend and fashion position, particularly in home products, with new designers, assortments and price points.

Its online presence is also being expanded, used both as an extension to the store and a merchandise laboratory.

Central to that strategy was the recent introduction of hundreds of skus from the Thomas O'Brien Home Collection with a “soft modern” appeal, the company's most extensive designer introduction to date, Greg Steinhafel, president, recently told a financial analysts' meeting.

He said the company overall is expanding assortments and pricing on both ends of the spectrum to broaden its customer pull and appeal to a wider range of taste levels, reinforcing its “Design for All” consumer pitch. O'Brien's line has appeared in home textiles, decorative home, furniture, lighting and holiday/seasonal.

The O'Brien intro joins a home program that has essentially defined five lifestyle assortments, Steinhafel said: Casual, Classic, Contemporary, Global and Modern. In the current configuration, O'Brien joins the high design of Michael Graves, the contemporary appeal of Isaac Mizrahi, and the vintage casual of Rachel Ashwell's Simply Shabby Chic.

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