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Unprecedented Retail Mashup Between Target and Neiman Marcus

Talk about two ends of the retail spectrum! It’s not very often that discount powerhouse Target and high-end fashion icon Neiman Marcus are talked about at the same time, but these two unique retailers are making quite the odd bedfellows this winter as they partner up to offer a limited collection of products this holiday season.

More than 50 products from a wide range of 24 designers, including Tory Burch, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg and Derek Lam, will be available at both stores and on their websites starting December 1 until they sell out. Items in the collection will cost from $7.99 to $499.99, but most will sell for less than $60.

Target pioneered the idea of low-price chains teaming with designers to create limited-time, affordable versions. It made headlines last fall with the launch of a lower-price collection from long-time couture designer Missoni that was so intensely anticipated that Target’s website crashed for almost an entire day, leaving a bad taste for many customers.

But the partnership with Neiman Marcus is unprecedented. Target sells $25 dresses and generates almost half its revenue from staples like food and detergent, while Neiman Marcus has cultivated a reputation for expensive fashion, selling $1,000 shoes and $3,000 handbags.

Now, both want to grab a new segment of customers who are increasingly shopping around, checking out both higher- and lower-price stores. Target, whose sales growth has been uneven since the recession, is seeking new ways to boost its fashion image. And Neiman Marcus, whose affluent customers are back to splurging, needs to step outside its comfort zone to stay competitive. So it has to introduce itself to people who never considered shopping at the store where they can discover it also sells more affordable items for under $100, company executives said.

“Target and Neiman Marcus are known for charting new terrain, and by joining forces for the holiday season, we’ve set the stage for a redefining moment in retail,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target. “This collaboration is unlike anything Target has done before, and we are confident our guests will be thrilled with this extraordinary collection that features some of America’s most preeminent designers.”

Details of the shop design and location are still being worked out. More information about the Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection, including details about the products created by each designer for this limited-edition engagement, will be available in the fall of 2012. In the meantime, updates on the partnership will be shared via ABullseyeView.com and NMdaily.com. On Twitter, design enthusiasts can follow @ABullseyeView or @NeimanMarcus, #Holiday24. Neiman Marcus and Target said their shoppers already overlap, with loyal Neiman Marcus customers going to Target not only for food but to pick up fashions, like affordable versions of Missoni and Jason Wu to add to their original designer versions.

[Source: Target.com]
Sallie Burnett
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