Target’s Reclaiming Of “Tar-Jay” Title

As headlines often mention the “retail apocalypse” in today’s market, it is necessary to argue that retail is not dying—but it certainly is changing. Many factors—such as the increase in ecommerce retail, shift in consumer behavior and ever-changing trends—can all lead to transformation in the retail space. However, some retailers are adapting to this change better than others. One retailer that has successfully combated the pressures of today’s market has over 1,800 stores in 49 states—Target.

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.

Target realizes that they need to change, adapt and reinvent multiple facets of their company to stay relevant in the retail space. Often, people compare Target to Walmart, K-Mart or other big-box stores. However, Target set themselves apart in the 1990s and early 2000s with more refined, fashionable clothing brands. Now in 2017, Target recognizes that their exclusive brands need to be transformed. According to Kavita Kumar (2017a), Target “is saying goodbye to well-known brands such as Merona and Mossimo and introducing new labels in an effort to not only make the retailer more relevant in the face of newer competition but also to pick up market share from those chains that are struggling.” In addition to revamping their clothing selection, Target also has plans to expand their beauty products. According to Lauren Thomas (2017b), “the collection, called Glow Studio, will feature four-step routine kits that simplify a typical 10-step Korean beauty regimen, making it more accessible to users.” As another private label endeavor, Target aims to sees much value in “growing its beauty offerings at a time when players like Ulta and Sephora are expanding their physical footprints” (Thomas, 2017b). Therefore, Target realized the need to change their product selection and is actively taking action to do so.

Along with reinventing their clothing and beauty brands, Target will use this change in product to help streamline their position in omnichannel retailing. Kumar (2017a) adds that “over the next 18 months, Target will launch more than a dozen new brands, four of which begin hitting stores in coming weeks. They will be accompanied by a ‘More in Store’ marketing campaign that will feature TV and print ads, a big direct mail piece and an increased digital investment that includes tapping into social media.” By promoting these new clothing brands via TV, print, mail and various social sites, Target maximizes their potential to target a wide variety of consumers via the platform they prefer.

In addition to the store level, Target is also making changes at the corporate level. As of August 2017, Target hired Minsok Pak to fill the role of Chief Strategy and Innovation. Pak comes with experience such as “senior vice president of Lego’s stores and e-commerce sites around the world” (Kumar, 2017b). With the new leadership of Pak, Target hopes to hone their presence in the sphere of retail innovation and technology. For example, “innovation efforts are being embedded across all of the work Target does, such as current efforts to launch more than a dozen private-label brands in the next two years, remodel hundreds of stores with an eye toward integrating more digital elements, and remake its supply chain for the digital era,” says Kumar (2017b). Once again, Target plans to focus on digitalization to streamline the omnichannel experience.

Another connection to omnichannel retailing is Target’s plan to remodel over 600 outdated stores. By doing this, Target “will focus on creating more engaging guest experiences on the shop floor,” according to Pamela N. Danzinger (2017). This approach should see much success as many consumers now look for an aesthetically pleasing, fun shopping experience, rather than just a dull warehouse full of poorly-displayed merchandise. Along with the designed stores, “Target also plans to operate 130 small-format stores by the end of 2019 located in college communities and dense urban areas,” adds Danzinger (2107). By doing this, Target is making themselves physically available to more consumers, despite the limitations of location.

Potentially the most notable of the aspects, Target is bringing new, innovative thinkers into their retail space. With their Techstars Retail Accelerator program, “Target invites leaders from ten startups to work with and be mentored by Target executives for 13 weeks” (Danzinger, 2017). The opportunity allows Target to give real-world business advice to young, aspiring entrepreneurs, with the potential that those entrepreneurs could have their inventions sold across the nation at Target. The program is certainly mutually beneficial, and benefits Target in the sense that they are using young Millennials and members of Generation Z to then market specifically to those cohorts.

These various efforts toward reinvention and innovation seem beneficial, but have they stimulated recent success for the retailer? According to Daniel Keyes (2017), Target’s efforts certainly have manifested in the retail space. Keyes (2017) adds that Target revealed “a 1.6% year-over-year (YoY) uptick in revenue to $16.4 billion for the period. The retailer also saw its same-store sales rise 1.3% YoY, marking the end of a three-quarter streak of declines in the metric.” Looking toward future success, Lauren Thomas (2017a) claims that “a focus on executing new merchandising, and on offering customers value through pricing and convenience, will differentiate Target from the competition.”

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.

Although Target has certainly seen recent success— a claim that is upheld by specific data—and experts in the retail industry predict continued growth for the retailer, how does the reinvention of Target affect the retail industry, as a whole? Because Target operates with over 1,800 locations, the retailer serves thousands, if not millions, of consumers. Since Target is able to deliver a charming shopping experience, with on-trend clothing products, unique home décor, high-quality groceries and other various household, beauty and electronic items, then their customers will be pleased, affecting consumer attitude and the overall retail industry. In addition, Target’s reinvention may spur its competition to reevaluate the state of their companies. Therefore, Target’s changes and adaptations not only benefit them, but could potentially positively affect other retailers who want to remain competitive. Additionally, because ecommerce retail will likely drive the majority of sales within the coming years, Target’s efforts to improve their online and mobile sites, as well as streamline their omnichannel experience, provides consumers with a platform—other than Amazon—to shop for a vast variety of products.

“Target is pulling out all the stops to bring back its “Tar-Jay” magic” (Danzinger, 2017). After making recent changes and with plans for even more transformation and growth, Target is on the fast track to reclaiming their former glory as a more prestigious, “one-stop-shop,” big box retailer. The retail environment has drastically changed recently, and Target recognized this reality and made the radically bold decision to adapt alongside the industry. Although many consumers already have difficulty walking out of Target empty-handed, the retailer just made that concept even more of a pervasive challenge.


References

Danzinger, P. N. (2017, August 29). Target’s Renaissance: New Blood, Not New Brands or Stores, Will Bring The Company New Life. Forbes. Retrieved from www.forbes.com.

Keyes, D. (2017, August 2017). Target sees in-store and online improvements. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com.

Kumar, K. (2017, August 16). Target refreshes brands to stay chic and relevant, phasing out Merona and Mossimo. StarTribune. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com.

—–. (2017, August 23). Target taps Minsok Pak to be new chief strategy and innovation officer. StarTribune. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com.

Thomas, L. (2017, August 16). Target shares jump as shoppers return to stores, boosting sales. CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com.

—–. (2017, September 6). Target to roll out exclusive K-beauty brand, growing its makeup offerings. CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com.

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Kendra Scott Takes Bethesda

Dontown Bethesda just received a fabulous new addition- the first Kendra Scott boutique on the east coast! Theses iconic jewels- bright, colorful and unique- have taken the city by storm since the store opening on Monday, July 14. Upon entering, I was simply amazed by the clean lines and sophistication of the boutique. The most amazing part is the Color Bar, where you can design your own piece of jewelry and watch the Kendra Scott employees craft your jewelry. Although I have yet to purchase a piece of her jewelry, I might see a Rayne necklace in my future!

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2015

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2015

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2015

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2015

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2015

If Kendra Scott has a boutique in your area (check here), I would highly recommend a visit!

Trends Come & Go; Women Stay The Same

Slim waist, athletic arms, flat stomach, large boobs…society sends signals to women everyday that these traits are most desired in twenty-first century America. But how did we get to this point? Who started this trend? How did these characteristics become popular? Interestingly enough, for over three thousand years women have been overly concerned with fitting a certain “beauty mold.” Therefore, it is no surprise that beauty standards still exist, but as time has progressed, these norms have become more outrageous and unachievable. Check out this eye-opening video from BuzzFeed, it will certainly leave you pondering today’s beauty standards and society, as a whole. 

Red Carpet Fashion: The Highs & Lows

If you did not spend your Sunday night curled up on the couch watching the Golden Globes, then you are doing it all wrong! This Fashionista can certainly proclaim that I indeed watched the full five hours of both red carpet interviews and then the award show, itself. Of course, the nominees and Golden Globe winners are extremely important, but I care much more about what (and who) they are wearing! We certainly saw a great deal of red, cut-outs, white/cream/ivory, metallics & glitter, yellow, open backs…and even some gloves!

Because the Golden Globes kicks-off the awards show season in Hollywood, many stars love to start off with a bang! Some were able to be bold quite well, looking extremely elegant and fun; while, others simply missed the mark. Here are the Fashionista’s favorite (and abhorred) looks from the night.

Top 10 Fashion Lows

10. Kate Hudson’s “too-sexy” gown

Do not get me wrong, Hudson looked hot in her Versace. But..,one wrong move and we would’ve had a major fashion faux-pas! Hudson, herself, exemplified sexy, but the dress as its own entity came across as slightly too sultry. I would have loved to see a higher neckline with the beautiful cut-out work, as (in my humble opinion), Hudson is extremely lucky the paparazzi did not catch an “uh-oh” moment!

© Vogue

© Vogue

9. Lena Dunham’s ill-fitting shift

Although this was Dunham’s best red carpet looks thus far, she still missed the mark. Her Zac Posen ensemble certainly radiated its color, but the structure was lackluster. Dunham, with beautiful curves, would look stunning in a more tailored garment. As her style progresses, I believe Dunham will make the best-dressed list by her next awards show.

© Vogue

© Vogue

8. Claire Danes: the flower child

This Valentino certainly is intricate! I can only imagine the craftsmanship that went into this gown, but I find it underwhelming on Danes. The dress swallowed her frame, inhibiting her from shining through her garment. Danes’ look is proof that proper tailoring is completely necessary.

© Vogue

© Vogue

7. Ruth Wilson’s informal garb

Did Prada raid a zipper factory while making this gown? The unfinished edges resemble zippers, and I find the gown to look highly informal- certainly not red carpet worthy. Cut it short & wear it to a cocktail party, and we might have a winner!

© Vogue

© Vogue

6. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s drab & dowdy dress

I’m convinced this Mui Mui was made of the same shade as my grandmother’s nail polish! While the silhouette is simple, so are Gyllenhaal’s accessories and styling. With such a chic haircut and aesthetic, I would have loved to see her in something a bit more daring and bold!

© Vogue

© Vogue

5. Alan Cumming: in the nude

Forget the traditional black tux! Cumming found this fully nude look and accompanying sneakers to be more ‘suit’-able for the red carpet. Personally, I prefer the traditional black or navy with understated details. But, if Cumming prefers to look as if he is wearing women’s Spanx, that is his decision!

© New York Post

© New York Post

4. Lana del Ray: under-the-sea ensemble

Lana del Ray resembles a combination of Ariel from The Little Mermaid and a bridesmaid dress gone wrong! From the vibrant color and the halter neckline to the pleated skirt, del Ray’s look is too busy. Not too mention, her overly-teased hair added to her fussy look.

© Vogue

© Vogue

3. Rosamond Pike’s dental floss dress

Alright, I get it. She just gave birth and wanted to show a little skin, but Pike did not do so in a graceful manner! The open sides and back of her gown, only supported by ‘dental floss’ straps, exude slutty instead of sexy. This Vera Wang had the potential to look flawless, but unfortunately Pike simply could not pull it off.

© Vogue

© Vogue

2. Katie Holmes: hair to toe

This is the red carpet after all! Holmes looked more homely than hot at the Golden Globes. Her underwhelming gown, nonsexist accessories, and awful hair extensions make her look dull and insignificant. I would love to see her in a more vibrant, fun gown with her hair (sans extensions) styled down.

© Vogue

© Vogue

1. Kiera Knightly’s insect frock

Last time I checked, the Golden Globes are not held in a butterfly sanctuary! Apparently, Knightly missed that memo. Many critics are hesitant to chastise Knightly for this atrocious look, simply because she is with-child. The stars have unlimited access to designers who will create beautiful garments for them, with or without a baby bump! From the scattered insects to the dated ruffles, Knightly looks as if she stole this frock from the set of Pride & Prejudice. Better luck next time!

© Vogue

© Vogue

Top 10 Fashion Highs

10. Gina Rodriguez’s fun LBD

Who doesn’t love a fabulous LBD? Especially one with some unique and fun details? Rodriguez certainly does! She looked simply stunning in Badgley Mischka gown. The mesh, intricate details, and fringe added flair to a classic black gown. Well done!

© E! Online

© E! Online

9. Jennifer Lopez: glittering goddess

Talk about perfection! J. Lo looked absolutely sensational in this Zuhair Murad gown & cape combo. From the beadwork to the sexy slit, this gown fits J. Lo perfectly- both physically and her personality! Jenny from the block has certainly made it in the fashion world.

© Vogue

© Vogue

8. Allison William’s old-Hollywood glamour

Although many are claiming that Williams dress resembles Christmas garland, I absolutely love this look! The ravishing red, delicate beading, and old-Hollywood styling make Williams resemble a sophisticated movie-star. She exudes class in this fabulous ensemble!

© Vogue

© Vogue

7. Julai Goldani Telles’s jewel-toned attire

Wow! This rich sapphire Carmen Marc Volvo gown looked effortlessly gorgeous on Telles. The deep neckline and full skirt provide a beautiful silhouette and  I was stunned by the spectacular color. Although Telles received a modest amount of media attention, I believe her gown was a show-stopper!

© E! Online

© E! Online

6. Hiedi Klum: red hot

Red on the red carpet certainly was a trend this year, but Klum’s ensemble surpasses them all. This striking Versace fits Klum like a glove. The intricate bead work, trumpet skirt, and unexpected neckline made for a jaw-dropping garment. Klum certainly looks red hot!

© E! Online

© E! Online

5. Amal Clooney: red carpet royalty

Clooney has been receiving some negative press for her Golden Globes look, with special scrutiny to her white gloves. Personally, I loved Clooney’s look. Her choice of an understated yet elegant Dior Haute Couture gown was wise, as she did not want to steal the attention from her husband on his night. The white gloves added a bit of sophistication to her look. I believe Kate Middleton would approve!

© Vogue

© Vogue

4. Emily Blunt: Grecian goddess

Effortlessly beautiful. Blunt radiated simplicity and elegance in her Grecian Michael Kors gown. From the bright white and the modest cut-out to the accessories, Blunt resembled a modern-day Grecian goddess. Can I get one in my size?

© Vogue

© Vogue

3. Emma Stone’s ravishing romper

Pants on the red carpet? Stone looked absolutely fabulous in her romper. Unexpected yet perfectly executed, Stone is never afraid to take a fashion risk and this one certainly paid off. The metallic bodice and tailored pant looked put-together, but the beautiful bow was the icing on the cake! I can only dream of pulling off such a stunning ensemble.

© Vogue

© Vogue

2. Chrissy Teigan’s glittering gown

Despite her unfortunate facial expression when her husband, John Legend, won a Globe, Teigan looked gorgeous in her gown. The blush pink complimented her skin tone perfectly, the beadwork was exquisite, and the long-sleeve silhouette was to die for! Her simple styling and soft ponytail completed her effortlessly stunning ensemble. Fabulous!

© Vogue

© Vogue

1. Julianne Moore’s fabulously feathered frock

Where can I get my very own version of this gown?! Moore looked absolutely perfect in her on-of-a-kind Givenchy Haute Couture gown. The simple silhouette, silver bodice, and gradual conversion to feathers make Moore’s gown hard to resist. Maybe it’s my obsession with feathers, but I would do absolutely anything to slip into that garment!

© Vogue

© Vogue

The New Dream Team: Target & Lilly Pulitzer

Have you heard? If you’re a loyal Lilly Pulitzer Instagram follower than you most certainly have! On April 19 (only 102 days away), Target will be launching their Lilly Pulitzer for Target line. According to A Bullseye View, “the limited-edition collection features 15 exclusive prints, which are original works of art, created by Lilly Pulitzer artists specifically for this modern collaboration.” From now on, a trip to target will feel like a luxury stroll down Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, FL.

©  Lilly Pulitzer Instagram

© Lilly Pulitzer Instagram

Personally, I never have too much luck in the clothing department at Target (but I still manage to leave there with several shopping bags), and I’m hoping this new collaboration will offer variety to their garments. If not, there will certainly be a host of other bright, bold, and printed items to choose from: “the 250-piece collection includes apparel, accessories and shoes for women and girls, as well as home accents, outdoor entertaining accessories, beach gear, travel essentials and more” (A Bullseye View). Speaking of home accents, I’m also keeping my fingers crossed for some fabulous bedding. Can you say dorm room decor? I most definitely see the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

© A Bullseye View

© A Bullseye View

© A Bullseye View

© A Bullseye View

I cannot wait to see what this partnership has in store, but I’m confident we will not be disappointed by the merchandise. The only hesitation I have about the whole operation is the fact that Jackie Kennedy and Lilly Pulitzer, herself, would not approve. By making the brand available at a lower-end, more prevalent retailer, Lilly runs the risk of being diminished. Although, Tory Burch once partnered with Target and her brand has flourished since then; therefore, I have little worries for Lilly!  I’m sure many more people will make a splash and buy some Lilly from Target, but those who have been buying the brand for years (like my family and I) will continue to stay loyal to the original line, as well as the Target partnership.

© Target Twitter

© Target Twitter

Don’t forget to follow @lillyfortarget on Instagram!


Works Cited

“Ticket to Sunshine: Introducing Target’s Latest Limited-Edition Collection.” A Bullseye View. Target, 6 Jan. 2015. Web. 7 Jan. 2015. http://www.abullseyeview.com

Bump Patrol: Lively & Reynolds

Finally, the day all Gossip Girl enthusiasts and devotees to The Notebook have been waiting for: the most attractive couple is expecting! Congrats Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds! Announcing the bundle-to-be via Lively’s blog Preserve, the actress disclosed a fretting perspective of pregnancy and parenthood.

© Vanity Fair

© Vanity Fair

On Preserve Lively writes, “With family on our mind, we looked to the origin of it all—to the women in our lives who are right there, at that special moment; at the creation of family.” Celebrating women in general, and particularly mothers, it is evident that Lively respects her pregnancy and will welcome the child into a mature and loving environment with Reynolds.

© Preserve

© Preserve

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Works Cited

Lively, Blake. “Preserve Celebration: Falling for Family.” Preserve. Preserve, 5 Oct. 2014. Web. 6 Oct.

          2014. http://preserve.us/blog/celebration/preserve-celebrations-falling-for-family/

Play Ball!

It’s that time of year again: baseball season! One of America’s iconic pastimes, baseball games are a national favorite. From delicious hotdogs with a side cracker jacks, to singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” baseball games are quintessential to American culture. Not to mention, a cute, simple outfit and your favorite team’s baseball cap remains such a classic ensemble. I hope you get a chance to cheer on your team this summer. Go Nats!

Image

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

Unrealistic Icon or Role Model?

Perusing my childhood bookshelves, I stumbled upon some of my most prized possessions as a young girl: my Barbie books. “Barbie: What a Doll!” and “Barbie Millicent Roberts: An Original” were the two books I begged my mother to read to me each night. And by “read” I actually mean flip through page after page, displaying the evolution of twentieth century Barbies. My four year old self was enamored by Barbie’s clothing and accessories, but my now seventeen year old self realizes Barbie’s controversy.

Image

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

Is Barbie an unfit role model for the young girls who constantly attempt to emulate her?

This poignant question is the current controversy involving Barbie and her brand. From racial discrimination to scandalous clothing, Barbie has faced many charges. Although, one controversial topic continues to surface year after year: Barbie’s body. Her well-endowed chest, in contrast with her itty bitty waist and tall, thin legs have sparked discussion on body image for young girls. Speaking from experience, I constantly changed Barbie’s clothing as a girl, but never noticed anything strange about her proportions. In reality, “Her 16-inch waist would also be four inches thinner than her head, leaving room for only half a liver and a few inches of intestine” (Golgowski). Clearly, Barbie’s physical attributes are extremely and utterly rare or even impossible. Despite these shocking characteristics, Barbie’s external appearance does not determine what kind of doll she is.

Image

© Mel Yates

Aside from her unrealistic body, Barbie lives each day as the perfect role model for young girls. As many Kindergarteners would know, Barbie has tons of different outfits (which they ask for each year at Christmas). Not only does Barbie have a wide array of ball gowns and bikinis, but she also has every kind of work attire ever imaginable. According to Barbie, “From secretary to executive, model to fashion designer, dancer to rocker, I have never been afraid to try new things. In fact, in 1986 I even wore a glittering pink spacesuit with a clear bubble helmet: the sky’s the limit for us women! Which is why I’ve made a point of playing so many different roles” (Jacobs 81). Barbie emphasizes how a woman is capable of anything she puts her mind to. In addition, With more than 130 careers on her resume, Barbie continues to take on aspirational and culturally relevant roles while also serving as a role model and agent of change for girls” (Barbie). Constantly climbing the career ladder, Barbie shows young girls that women can perform the same work as men, in super stylish outfit. 

Click here to learn more about Barbie’s different careers.

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Works Cited

“Careers.” Barbie. Mattel, Inc., 2012. Web. 19 May 2014.

Golgowski, Nina. “Bones so frail it would be impossible to walk and room for only half a liver: Shocking research reveals what life would be like if a REAL woman had Barbie’s body.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd, 13 Apr. 2013. Web. 19 May 2014.

Jacobs, Laura. Barbie: What a Doll! New York: Abbeville Press, 1999. Print.

Yates, Mel. Barbie’s Body Image. Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc., 3 Feb. 2014. Web. 19 May 2014.

 

Style and Status

First of, I’m incredibly sorry that I have not been too on top of posting lately- more to come, I promise!

I’m extremely fortunate to attend an all-girls, private, college preparatory school in Washington, DC. Today, at my school, we took off a day of classes to participate in Diversity Day. Each year, we dedicate one day to acknowledging and opening up to different types of diversity in our school community. This year, we explored class diversity and distinctions in socio-economic status.

In a discussion today, my peers and I touched on the prevalence of stereotypes for certain social classes. This sparked my deeper individual thought on fashion, and how people outwardly portray themselves through individual style. Based on socio-economic status, some people have the opportunity to enjoy the luxuries of high fashion, and designer brands. People from similar classes tend to participate in shared activities, live in similar areas, have common interests, and dress very similarly. What you wear sends a social signal, and reveals something about the wearer.

Because we all live fast paced lives and rarely stop to introduces ourselves to a stranger on the street, people perceive everything about what we wear. One of the most important lessons I learned to today was the detriment of making assumptions. Just because someone carries a Rebecca Minkoff bag, does not mean she can afford to throw away her money. Just because someone wears jeans and a t-shirt, does not mean they lack to money to wear more ornate clothing.

Despite the fact that clothing does, inevitably, parrot socio-economic status, style is a personal power. The messages you send through your clothing can reflect other’s perceptions. Whether reflective of the social class you technically fall into, you have the ability to chose what you want to put on your body every morning. Make sure you are projecting the best version of your true self.

Stay beautiful. xoxo

 

Style in Sochi

It only happens once every four years, and this time, America came in with a bang! On February 7, the Twenty-Second Winter Olympics began in Sochi, Russia. And none other than the outrageous Americans, marched in donning loud yet creative uniforms.

Credit to Ralph Lauren

© Ralph Lauren

Despite varying opinions on this gear, I absolutely love it! If I saw any random person wearing this (what may seem to be a horribly-tacky Christmas sweater), I’d probably hate it. But for such a triumphant event, such as the Olympics, I think this unique uniforms are perfect! There’s a time and a place for red, white, blue, several American flags, and the Olympic rings- and I believe they are totally appropriate! I applaud Ralph Lauren for not only their extremely patriotic designs, but also for their “Made in the USA” campaign.