Target’s Latest Design Partnership Benefits Charity

In other partnership-related news, Target has tabled its boutique-within-a-store concept that debuted last year—and it is reportedly involved in testing a new same-day product delivery service that Google is exploring.

Target Corporation on Monday unveiled the latest in a long list of design partnerships, this one involving a charity-based fashion line.
 
Minneapolis-based Target is partnering with FEED Projects to create FEED USA + Target—a limited-time collection that will benefit Feeding America, a New York-based domestic hunger-relief charity.
 
FEED Projects was founded by Lauren Bush Lauren, a fashion model and designer and the collection’s co-designer. Lauren is also the daughter of Neil Bush, the brother of George W. Bush and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Lauren’s husband is David Lauren, the son of well-known fashion designer Ralph Lauren.
 
The collection, which has an Americana aesthetic, will include more than 50 products including home items, sporting goods, stationery, apparel, and accessories. Prices range from $3 to $400, and they will be available at stores and on Target’s website starting June 30.
 
“Through product sales, we hope to provide 10 million meals to Americans in need, which would make it the largest U.S. initiative in FEED’s history,” Lauren said in a statement. “I am proud that we will be able to empower guests to make a measurable impact through the purchase of the FEED USA + Target collection.”    
 
Target said that it will donate 10 percent of the original sale price of each item, excluding tax, to FEED Projects—and every dollar donated is expected to secure approximately eight meals. Given that, and the retailer’s plan to provide 10 million meals through sales, Target seemingly expects the FEED USA + Target partnership to generate about $12.5 million in sales.
 
Each product displays the number of meals that will be donated through Feeding America as a result of the purchase. A Target spokeswoman told Twin Cities Business on Tuesday that although the retailer has previously partnered to support various charitable causes, FEED USA + Target represents the largest such partnership to date for both Target and FEED Projects.
 
FEED Projects was founded in 2007 and it has since donated more than $6 million and provided nearly 60 million school meals to children around the world.
 
Target’s announcement about its new design partnership comes shortly after it reportedly tabled its “The Shops at Target” concept. The concept, which Target unveiled in January 2012, involved opening small boutiques within Target stores that offered affordable, limited-edition merchandise made exclusively for the retailer. Last year, the shops offered everything from dog treats and candy to clothes.
 
A Target spokesperson recently told the Star Tribune that the boutiques won’t appear in Target stores anytime soon. Target reportedly hasn’t ruled out the possibility of bringing them back at some point in the future but is currently focused on its traditional design partnerships—like the one now involving designer Prabal Gurung, whose exclusive collection recently debuted at Target stores.
 
Target hasn’t released sales figures, but some analysts told the Star Tribune that they don’t think the concept resonated with consumers.
 
The same is undoubtedly true for a limited holiday collection that Target and Neiman Marcus launched late last year. Demand remained weak and Target shelves remained well-stocked three weeks after the 50-piece collection of clothing and household accessories debuted in early December—prompting Target to offer steep discounts for the products.
 
In other Target news, the retailer is reportedly involved in a same-day product delivery test being conducted by Google. According to a report by website TechCrunch, Google is testing a service that would compete with Amazon Prime—a service that offers free two-day shipping on millions of items that members purchase online—and is working with eight stores in the San Francisco Bay Area in order to see how well it works. Two unnamed sources told TechCrunch that Target is one of those eight, although Target hasn’t yet confirmed that report.
 
Target is Minnesota’s second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $71.9 billion for the fiscal year that ended February 2—up 5 percent from the prior year. It operates 1,784 stores across the United States and opened its first three Canada stores last week, with plans to open 24 Canadian stores this month.