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.


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

Keyes, D. (2017, August 2017). Target sees in-store and online improvements. Business Insider. Retrieved from

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

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

Thomas, L. (2017, August 16). Target shares jump as shoppers return to stores, boosting sales. CNBC. Retrieved from

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


Check Out My Closet: Curtsy App

Having designer taste in clothing and being on a college budget can be a difficult combination. However, the Curtsy app has alleviated this dilemma and revolutionized the way that women can share clothing. Designed by Sara Kiparizoska and William Ault at the University of Mississippi in 2015, Curtsy allows you to rent dresses, rompers, tops and skirts from women in your neighborhood, for a fraction of the original cost of the garment. Think of it as a local version of Rent the Runway, with a particular focus on college towns- ranging from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Athens, Georgia.


Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.

The app allows you to post the clothing you have with photos, a description and pricing. Then, we can browse all the garments listed in your area, and refine the search based on sizing, color, style, occasion, etc. Also, you can “love” your favorite pieces to be able to go back later and find them easily. If you find the perfect dress for your next date night or for the upcoming football game, nav-logoyou can message the owner to try it on and then rent the garment for five days before dropping it back off in the original condition.

Recently, I have taken the time to list multiple of my favorite garments on the Curtsy app and am planning on potentially utilizing the rental service for any of my upcoming events this semester. If you are a local Athens girl and are interested in renting from me, check out my closet on Curtsy!

Seamless Fashion: Prime Wardrobe

From food to fashion, Amazon has done it again. After announcing their purchase of Whole Foods last week, Amazon quickly introduced another new component to their growing empire— Prime Wardrobe.

Amazon capitalized on the main reasons many consumers do not purchase clothing online- fit and sizing issues, complicated returns and hefty shipping fees. By eliminating all these risks, Amazon Wardrobe appears to be seamless. According to Amazon, the service will include products from brands outside their private label, such as Calvin Klein, Levi’s, adidas, Parker, Milly and Theory, among others.

Aside from clothing, shoes and accessories delivered directly to your door, Prime Wardrobe includes other unique features. According to Lauren Thomas of CNBC, there is “no upfront charge,” and customers only pay for the products they keep. In addition, Nick Wingfield of The New York Times reports that “customers can return the items they don’t want in a resealable box with the preprinted shipping label that the order came in.” As another component of Prime Wardrobe, discounts are central to the service. Wingfield shares that Amazon will offer “10 percent off the purchase price of an order for anyone who keeps three to four items, and 20 percent off for anyone who keeps five or more items.”

Although I personally value and thoroughly enjoy the process of shopping in-store, the introduction of Prime Wardrobe has certainly peaked my interest. Often, I purchase clothing from local department stores and boutiques, but take them home to try on with my own undergarments, shoes and jewelry and assess if I truly will wear the item. If Prime Wardrobe provides me with that same experience but eliminates my time spent shopping in-store and the hassle of returning to a physical location, I may become a convert. I cannot say definitively, but it may not be too long until Amazon delivers my first Prime Wardrobe order.

Works Cited

“Prime Wardrobe.” Amazon,, Inc. Accessed 26 June 2017.

Thomas, Lauren. “Amazon announces Prime Wardrobe, tackling fashion retail head on.” CNBC, CNBC LLC. 20 June 2017. Accessed 26 June 2017.

Wingfield, Nick. “Amazon Will Let Customers Try On Clothes Before Buying.” The New York Times, The New York Times Company. 20 June 2017. Accessed 26 June 2017.

Where to Shop: Bijou Eliene

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but I know plenty of women who also love to have a jewelry box full of statement pieces. Statement jewelry has become quite prevalent in today’s market of fast fashion. Because of this, it is often hard to find pieces that have both affordability and quality.

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One of my guilty pleasures is online shopping, and recently I stumbled upon an online jewelry retailer that provides both high quality pieces and a modest prince range. Bijou Eliene prides themselves in adorning the woman in jewelry “to reflect who she really is.” According to their website, the Bijou Eliene woman is a trendsetter who is interested in quality jewelry from a range of designers and styles herself uniquely with her garments and accessories.

Carrying brands such as French Kande, Jenny Bird, Sheila Fajl, Vanessa Mooney, Elizabeth Cole and Jenny Dayco, Bijou Eliene targets a variety of different women. As a nineteen year-old college student, I am particularly intrigued by the Sheila Fajl and Vanessa Mooney collections; whereas, I could see my thirty year-old sister loving a French Kande piece.

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2016.

About one month ago, I purchased a pair of Sheila Fajl’s Everybody’s Favorite Hoop Earrings in Brushed Gold from Bijou Eliene and I am very pleased! Not only were the earrings $7 less than most other retailers, but Bijou Eliene provided free shipping and notified me via Facebook Message about my order. I received updates after I placed my order, where my packages was during the delivery process and then a final message when it was delivered to my home. Bijou Eliene certainly has great customer relationships and communication skills.


Take a look at Bijou Eliene’s website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to learn more about the retailer and their brand. No matter what statement piece you feel your jewelry collection is lacking, Bijou Eliene has it!


The Best of 2014

Page 365 of 365. Weird enough, today is our 365th day this year, and 2014 sure did fly by! In order to properly ring in 2015 this evening, I intend to establish proper closure to 2014 with a list of my best moments. The Oxford English Dictionary defines best as “of the highest excellence; surpassing all others in quality.” Therefore, here are my own personal moments of “highest excellence” and my favorite things that “surpassed all others in quality.” Cheers to the end of 2014 and hello 2015!

The Fashionista’s Best Moments in 2014:

  • 17th Birthday: spent with great family members and even better friends; complete with my favorite meal and several surprises

    ©  Molly Donahue, 2014

    © Molly Donahue, 2014

  • Junior Ring Ceremony: a memorable day, receiving my beautiful high school class ring

    ©  Bridget Donahue, 2014

    © Bridget Donahue, 2014

  • Fourth of July Weekend: family reunion with my mom’s side of the family, spent at the beach; complete with many laughs, a lot of sun, and a crab feast

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Trip to Annecy, France: an amazing week with nine classmates, learning about the history of our high school and taking in the breathtaking scenery

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • First Day of Senior Year: hard to believe I’m a senior, but a great start to a fabulous school year

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Trip to NYC: a marvelous day in the city to attend the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, as President of Think Pink Society at my school

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Getting into College: the first acceptance was the most memorable and exciting, but all four letters have been equally amazing

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Kairos XVII: a remarkable four day retreat, spent with close friends and making even closer ones

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

The Best Moments in Fashion & Culture  in 2014 (according  to the Fashionista):

  • Best Trends in High Fashion:
    • Winter 2014: faux fur

      © Marie Claire

      Chanel                                         © Marie Claire

    • Spring 2014: full midi skirts

      Calvin Klein  © Style Caster

      Calvin Klein
      © Style Caster

    • Summer 2014: pastels

      Burberry © Vogue

      © Vogue

    • Fall 2014: shearling

      Tommy Hilfiger  ©

      Tommy Hilfiger

  • Best Fashion Shows:
    • RTW: Tory Burch Spring 2014 
    • Couture: Christian Dior Fall 2014 
  • Best Red Carpet Look: Sarah Hyland at the 2014 Emmy Awards

    ©  Red Carpet Fashion Awards

    © Red Carpet Fashion Awards

  • Best Beauty Product: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in “La La”

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Best Hair Product: Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Best Nail Polish: OPI’s “Christmas Gone Plaid”

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Best Book: Tory Burch In Color by Tory Burch

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

  • Best Songs:
    • Pop: Blank Space by Taylor Swift
    • Country: Leave the Night On by Sam Hunt
    • Hip Hop: Flawless by Beyonce

      ©  iTunes

      © iTunes

  • Best TV Show: Project Runway (Season 13)

    © International Business Times

    © International Business Times

  • Best Movies:
    • Drama: The Fault in Our Stars
    • Comedy: Neighbors 

      ©  iTunes

      © iTunes

  • Best App: VSCOcam

    ©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

    © Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

That’s the Fashionista’s two cents. May all you darlings have a fabulous NYE! Cheers to many more “best moments” in 2015! xo

“APPsolutely” Adorable

You really aren’t using your smartphone to its fullest potential until your home screen is donning your own fabulous monogram. Well, I discovered a gem on the App Store this past week. The “Marley Lilly” app allows users to make their very own savable monogram backgrounds, as well as shop their website, navigate their blog, and so much more! Obviously, my favorite feature is the monogram maker capability. As soon as I downloaded the app, I made hundreds of monogram backgrounds for myself. I also sent several to many of my friends, who all responded, “How did you do that?!?” My answer was simple:



Be sure to make room for your daily dose of online shopping (even if it is just the App Store) and pick up this fabulous app! Here’s a glimpse at some of the beautiful designs. Thank you!

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Let’s Get Technical

Just a few weeks ago, my family and friends rolled out the red carpet to help me celebrate my 17th birthday! The day was amazing, and one of my favorite gifts were some new Kate Spade phone cases!

I just love love love Kate Spade phone cases; not only for their vibrant, happy colors, but also for the witty sayings. These cheery little phone cases make deleting all unwanted emails and making important phone calls *almost* fun! Every time I pull my phone out of my bag, I never fail to receive a compliment or to be asked what my phone says.

So darling, buy yourself a little present, you deserve it!,en_US,sc.html

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© Kate Spade