At Target, not-so-Shabby is simply chic in home
Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, November 17, 2003
Simply Shabby Chic will be the newest domestics brand to join the home assortment at Target stores in the coming months, Target Corp. executives said during its third quarter conference call last week.
Designed by Rachel Ashwell, the "flea market look" collection will "target our best guests with a preference for casual styling," said Gregg Steinhafel, president, Target Stores. It will initially begin with sheet sets, duvets and decorative pillows.
Next March, the division will unveil its prototype stores, which will incorporate fixturing, visual and merchandising improvements. The stores will also have an expanded "consumables world", a new "entertainment world" and a "mom and baby world."
Bob Ulrich, chairman and ceo, later said that the company's remodeling plan will not be significantly accelerated because of the prototype store. Normally, stores are renovated between eight to 10 years, he added.
The company has planned an aggressive holiday campaign, which has a slightly greater scope than last year, as well as an additional circular. It also plans to gain market share in small appliances, toys and electronics.
"This time of year is always intensely competitive, and we do not expect this year to be any different," said Steinhafel. "As always we will be vigilant in our longstanding practice of matching Wal-Mart prices in local markets on identical items." Target will also continue to benchmark relevant big box specialty stores to ensure its "similar merchandise represents a compelling value."
The company also continues to pursue several supply chain and technology initiatives, said Gerry Storch, vice chairman, including its work with sourcing organization AMC, which remains an important contributor. Its business with AMC, which sources from more than 50 countries, has doubled within two years, and will continue to grow in the future but at a more moderate pace. The biggest penetration has been in its softlines business, though it is rapidly growing its hardlines area.
Target's web site has also seen considerable growth and it recently tripled the number of items on line, primarily from Marshall Field's with an additional 50,000 skus, half of which are home items. The site's sales grew 80 percent from last year's period and traffic was up 45 percent.
The company is also pleased with the results from the remodeled Marshall Field's flagship store in Chicago. Marshall Field's will now focus the rollout of some of the concepts of that store to its top 14 units, most of the impact which will be seen in the fall season. Half of the flagship store's merchandise is new, and about thirty percent of the top units will be new as it focuses on the successful ideas, said Linda Ahlers, president, Marshall Field's.
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