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In-Store Review

Home Textiles Today continues this series critiquing branded private and captured label programs at retail, shopping one particular store as well as the website for a specific retailer. Rankings are from one star (least) to five stars (most) with the overall score an average of the five individual evaluations. Disclaimer: The reviewer Julian Tomchin worked for the Fieldcrest-Cannon Co. from 1989 to 1993 as head of design. After his departure the company was subsequently sold to Pillowtex, which eventually went out of business after filing bankruptcy. The Fieldcrest brand today is owned by Iconix, and Tomchin has no relationship with the brand's owner, the retailer or the product.
Design
"The collection is not what I expected. Fieldcrest as a brand is represented by an enormous range of solid color bedding which has nothing to do with its history in the marketplace. Towels were always where the color and pattern excitement were, and that history is not represented here. I have to assume this is a carefully plotted plan by Target and that my perspective comes from the past and my own history. Bedding colors are very impressive: 29 colors on a single shelf will make you stop. But bath colors and styles are dull and boring. That's a miss.""
Rating: * * * *

Visual Presentation
"I am enormously impressed by the cleanliness of the store in general as well as the simplicity of structure and the elimination of all excessive fixturing, signing and graphics. The symbolic Target graphic is Red and red is the color used throughout for identity. It defines space and confirms where you are and why you are there. Signage in bedding could not be simpler or more efficient. The strip edge of each shelf is minimal, neat and effective. The store gets the full five."
Rating: * * * * *

Packaging
"Target has directed a major change in the traditional. All sheet, pillowcase and duvet sets are packaged in the cloth itself of what is contained inside. No plastics. (Only the bulky three-piece comforter sets are in plastic bags.) If this is an environmentally based decision or not, it is certainly very effective as you clearly know what texture and color you're buying. But the bedding has no photography and the lack of an image of what the made-up bed will look like can make it very difficult to understand what you are buying. Overall bedding packaging is new, innovative and impressive. It is non-existent in bath. That's a miss and a design challenge for Target."
Rating: * * *

Relevance to Store Customer
"Appropriate? I guess so. There is no competitive merchandise in bedding so I give it 4-1/2 stars. Bath is so unimpressive it gets two stars. This is a brand strategy, not a designer approach. I have enormous respect for Target, but some of their decisions seem odd to my mind - yet I defer to their greater knowledge of their customer."
Rating: * * *

Relative Value
"As I seem to keep repeating, I respect Target for decisions they have made, but this is not what I would have chosen for this brand name. My perception is that the consumer I saw in the store has no knowledge of - or interest in - the Fieldcrest name or history. Does anybody know or care that this brand was created by Marshall Field? So, for bedding, as it's basically alone, I assume it is seen as a value. But in bath? None."
Rating: * * * *
Overall Rating: 3.7 * * * *

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