Target Reveals Online-Only Brands, New Mobile Vendors

Shortly after adopting a year-round online price-match policy and reporting flat December sales at stores open for at least a year, Target is introducing six online-only brands; the retailer separately announced plans to cut ties with RadioShack and begin working with two new mobile phone partners.

Target Corporation recently announced changes to both its offerings and its vendors by unveiling six online-only brands and selecting new companies to operate its “Target Mobile” in-store stations.
 
The new online brands, which Target revealed Tuesday, have already made their debut on the Minneapolis-based retailer’s website. One of them, modern décor collection TOO, was developed by Minneapolis-based furniture maker Blu Dot. The other five are:
• Labworks: A contemporary line of “daring designs” in missy, plus, and petite sizes
• Room 365: Consists of various items for the home that feature modern prints and crisp colors and that aim to deliver “freshness”
• Zutano Blue: A collection of children’s clothing, bedding, and décor
• MudHut: An eclectic collection of bedding, textiles, and home accessories that feature the bold textures, vibrant motifs, and saturated hues of Africa, Asia, and Latin America
• Boho Boutique: An assortment of bedding, table linens, curtains, shower curtains, and other home items featuring “whimsical prints and patterns”
 
“We’re excited about these new brands and how they’re helping us further differentiate Target.com from other online retailers,” Theresa Schmidt, a Target divisional merchandise manager, said on Target’s blog. “We know our guests are increasingly connected and are shopping online more, so we wanted to offer guests something new, unique, and unexpected.”
 
Target’s announcement about its new online-only brands comes just a week after the retailer said that it will match prices with select online competitors year-round. The move extends its holiday season price-matching policy that ran from November 1 through December 16. Two weeks ago, Target reported flat December sales at stores open for at least a year.
 
Meanwhile, Target said Monday that it is ending its mobile phone partnership with RadioShack Corporation and has chosen two new service partners for the “Target Mobile” stations housed in 1,500 of its store locations.
 
Fort Worth, Texas-based RadioShack said Monday that it had been renegotiating the terms of its partnership with Target since October 2012. The company said that at that time, it executed a termination notice that would allow it to cut ties with Target if an agreement couldn’t be reached.
 
“In order for RadioShack to have continued this relationship, we needed to establish a new agreement that would be financially appealing to both companies,” Telvin Jeffries, RadioShack executive vice president, chief human resources officer, and general manager of retail services, said in a prepared statement. “Ultimately, we amicably agreed to dissolve the relationship.”
 
The RadioShack partnership will end April 8. That same month, Miami-based wireless distributor Brightstar Corporation will begin providing phones and active contracts for Target Mobile, and Alpharetta, Georgia-based sales and marketing company MarketSource will begin handling in-store sales.
 
Target is Minnesota’s second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $68.5 billion in its fiscal year that ended in January 2012.