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Target’s Retail Curation Fixation Grows (But This Time Online) with Target +

The new invite-only program will partner the retailer with third-party vendors in an attempt to create “thoughtfully selected” assortments of its more popular shopping categories.

Target’s Retail Curation Fixation Grows (But This Time Online) with Target +
Target's corporate headquarters. (Photo by Ken Wolter)

To help online shoppers find more of what they want (or didn’t know they needed), Target is partnering with third-party sellers to build curated shopping spaces on its website. The in-the-works endeavor, announced Monday, is being called Target +.

Brand partners for Target + are formally invited into the program. Thereafter, new items will be “thoughtfully selected” by the Minneapolis-based retailer and assembled into curated assortments for shoppers to sift through on its website

Target said the program, which is in its early stages, will focus on its more popular categories, such as home goods, toys, electronics, and sporting supplies.

“Guests look to Target for great products,” says Rick Gomez, Target’s chief marketing officer and digital officer. “With Target +, we aim to give them easy access to even more great products by partnering with best-in-class specialty and national brands that will help guests save and get more done in just one stop to Target.com.”

Established partners so far include sneaker company Mizuno, toy maker Kaplan, and keyboard manufacturer Casio, according to CNBC. Target says it intends to add running shoes, outdoor de décor and patio accessories, STEM learning toys, musical instruments, baseball gear, and much more to its Target + program.

Gomez told CNBC this approach to third-party partnership is part of Target’s strategy for long-term profit growth in its e-commerce space. The approach—which is largely unlike the tactics its rivals Walmart and Amazon are deploying—involves Target actively reaching out to brands, and having them fill out an application for approval to sell on Target.com.

Standard store benefits, including 5 percent off with a Target REDcard, free shipping, and in-store returns, will apply to Target + purchases.

In addition to Target +, the retailer on Monday also introduced three new women’s undergarment brands. Auden, Stars Above, and Colsie will offer size-inclusive bras, panties and sleepwear. The brands were developed by in-house designers and will be available exclusively at Target. With body inclusivity and individualized quality fit in mind, Target says its designers surveyed hundreds of women and conducted fit tests in developing the assortment.


Models sport Auden bras. (Photo courtesy of Target)

As part of a larger company body positivity campaign, Target is using models of various body types to model its new undergarment lines. In stores, it will also be emphasizing its Find Your Fit tool for more accurate bra size-matching.

“Within intimates and sleepwear, we know our guests want to look and feel their very best,” says Jill Sando, senior vice president, general merchandise manager, apparel and accessories and home. “We want to create the ultimate destination… one that’s inviting and inspiring and allows all women to feel comfortable and confident.”

The new line of women’s undergarment and sleepwear will include nearly 200 bras in more than 40 styles, and more than 200 underwear options in 50 styles, with Auden offering a wide range in size from 32AA to 46G for bras, for example. All items will be under $22.

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