Monday, April 29, 2013

Coming to Target: Wired-endorsed products

According to AdWeek, Target will start selling products endorsed by Wired Magazine. In its first big retail foray, Wired is putting its name behind an assortment of gadgets sold by the Bullseye.  Target stores will feature products picked by Wired editorial staff, like an Adonit stylus for tablets, NuForce earbuds and Olloclip camera lens for the iPhone 5. The products will be displayed in Wired-branded endcaps (as shown here) in Target's 1,800-plus retail stores and on

Wired will get an undisclosed share of the revenue from the endorsed products.  But rather than reap a lot of money from the deal, it's a way for the brand to test the retail waters by establishing itself with a trendy retailer to get exposed to a huge audience of potential new readers.

The promotion will last for 12 weeks, just in time for dads-and-grads season. If it goes well, there's the potential for it to expand to other shopping seasons.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vera for Target is here!

Today is the launch date for Vera for Target scarves, both online and in stores. It looks like there are a total of 17 prints to choose from, and some are available online only.  It also seems this is a "limited-time only" collection, so get 'em while they last.  The good news is they're all priced at $19.99, including this "Williamsburg" print, shown here.

Sonia Kashuk Clutch Giveaway

Sonia Kashuk is having a clutch/brush set giveaway on her blog.  Enter for your chance to win one Part of the Tribe 6pc Brush Set or Native beauty 4pc Brush Set. To win, you need to "like" the Sonia Kashuk Beauty page on Facebook or "follow" her on Twitter or Instagram; head on over to her blog for full details.  But hurry: entries are due by midnight tonight!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Preview Pics: Sam & Libby for Target

Remember last year when I told you that Target was planning to partner with shoemakers Sam & Libby on a low-cost footwear line? Well SheFinds has gotten their hands on the preview pics (shown here) and say they're "shocked by how closely some of the styles resemble Sam Edelman’s classic designs" and that "with prices starting at just $24.99, these shoes are a total steal."

As for me: I think the shoes are cute and all, but nothing special compared to some of the recent Mossimo and Merona styles available at Target.  And it's funny that the Bullseye hasn't been creating more "buzz" around this partnership, like they have with their recent collaboration with Kate Young.  The Sam & Libby for Target collection debuts on May 5th.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Double-Take: Arteriors Home vs. Threshold

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Target and match it against a lookalike - yet pricer - piece. Today we have two similar brass cage hurricane lamps, both in size large (approx. 12" high by 10" wide).  The big difference is that one is from Arteriors Home (at Zinc Door) and will set you back a whopping $228, whereas the other is from Threshold (at Target) and is currently on sale for a paltry $21.24.  Which one is which?  The answer appears in the comments section below.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Consumer Alert: Target recalls lasagna pans

Target is recalling nearly 150,000 Giada de Laurentiis brand lasagna pans due to a laceration hazard. The cream-colored pans are 9 by13 inches in size and they were sold individually and as part of a six-piece set.  The bottom of the pan is stamped "Giada de Laurentiis for Target."

Target has received 39 reports of the pan or its handles breaking or cracking during normal use.  Cuts and lacerations were reported in six of those incidents. The pans were sold exclusively at Target stores nationwide and on from January 2009 through October 2012 for about $22 for individual pans and between $35 and $50 for the six-piece sets.

For refund information, contact Target guest relations at (800) 440-0680 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or online at, click on Product Recalls at the bottom of the page and then select Home & Kitchen.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Method Body Wash still missing from store shelves...

Back in February, I ranted about all my local Target stores being out of stock of Method Body Wash.  Something similar happened last year, and when I wrote to Method at that time, they quickly got back to me explaining they were working on new formulations and assured me that Target stores would be re-stocked soon (which they were).  But this time the "Method drought" has lasted 4 months, so I decided to write Method again to see what was up.

A customer service rep got back to me within 24 hours, telling me "don't worry, we're still making our body wash. we replaced the marine naturals line with our new pure naked line. it's available at most Targets (make sure to check the body wash section), Bed Bath & Beyond, and Kroger stores, or you can order it online at or".

I wrote her back reiterating that none of my local stores have carried the body wash - in the body wash section or anyplace else - since late January. She replied by repeating the  suggestion to try buying online at or instead.

The odd thing is that at several Target stores I've been to recently, there are actually "empty spaces" in the Body Wash section that are unfilled, as if there's a space for the Method bottles but no inventory to put there.  At this point, I'm giving up on finding it at Target, and will head over to BB&B instead.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Talk by Target's SVP disappoints...

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the FUSE Design & Brand conference in Chicago.  I had attended once before (back in 2007) when the conference was a lot bigger and used to be held in NYC.  But I wanted to attend again this year because the keynote speakers included designer Jonathan Adler and the SVP of Marketing for Target.

Adler's session was wonderful: he's smart, thoughtful, funny, and he walked us through a visual history of his work - from his humble beginnings as a potter to top designer of ceramics, textiles and now furniture.  I wanted to ask him - but they ran out of time and didn't take my question - whether he'd ever do a designer collab with The Bullseye.  As you might recall, he did design a festive canister of drinking straws with Pepsi last year for Target.  But it'd be amazing for him to create a full line of affordable home decor.

Unfortunately, the session with Target's SVP was disappointing. He basically just ran through a visual history of Target's television commercials.  It was fun to see a couple "vintage" ones from the 1970's and 80's, but the ones from the past 10 years are so iconic and familiar that we'd all seen them already.  He only briefly touched on Target's other media campaigns, in print and social media, and the significance of the designer collabs to their business.  But he offered no revelations on how they select the people they collaborate with or what drives their creative choices.

All in all, it felt like just one big "advertisement" for Target. Maybe The Bullseye is just too protective of their brand to offer any real insights.  But that wasn't the case with other corporate speakers - like those from Unilever and BlissWorld - who walked the audience through their creative process and illustrated how they got there.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fab Find: this witty luggage tag

A couple of weeks ago I was perusing Target's "Gifts to Go" section, and I came across this awesome luggage tag (shown here).  I was about to go to a birthday celebration for a friend with a great sense of humor, and so I picked it up as a small gift for her.  Needless to say, she LOVED it, and I couldn't resist picking one up for myself the other day  There's a similar one that says "MINE" on it, but my friend and I agree that this one's better.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Update on Target's Earth Day bag giveaway...

As I reported several days ago, in celebration of Earth Day (which is actually tomorrow) Target will give out 1.5 million re-usable bags in stores today, April 21st.  However it sounds like it won't pay to get there early.  Most (if not all) Target stores should open at 8am today, but this notice (shown) in their Weekly Ad states that they won't be giving out the bags until 10am.  I have NO idea why they're waiting until 10, unless they need time to stuff some of them with the "freebies" from Method, Annie's, Burt's Bees, etc.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Double-Take: AEO vs. Mossimo

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from The Bullseye and match it against a similar - yet pricer - piece. Today we have two pairs of pretty pink strappy sandals.  The difference is that one of these styles is from American Eagle Outfitters and will set you back $29.95, whereas the other pair is from Mossimo (at Target) and only costs $19.99.  Can you guess which one is which?  The answer appears in the comments section below.

Friday, April 19, 2013

And the winner is...

The winner of my latest blog giveaway - for the Polka Dog Bakery for Target braided dog toy - is reader "Savannah Slate"! Savannah's entry was picked by the random number generator over at Congrats, Savannah; I've already sent you an email asking you for your mailing address, and as soon as I get it I'll mail out your prize. And thanks again to everyone who entered and for reading my blog!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New at Target: Vera Neumann Scarves

Women of a certain age (read: 40 or older) might remember the brand name "Vera" on their mother's or grandmother's scarves.  I sure do, and I'm sure if I rang up my mom right now she'd give me a whole drawerful of them.  And now Target is re-introducing this classic brand to the masses.

The American artist-turned-textile designer Vera Neumann is heralded as introducing the first signature scarf in the late 1940s. After searching for alternative fabrics for her designs during World War II, Vera came across parachute silk at an army surplus store and transferred her whimsical art onto the scarves from her kitchen table. Soon enough “Vera scarves,” typically embellished with her signature ladybug for good luck, were everywhere. Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly were fans of her work.

Now Target has tapped the Vera Company—the brand that celebrates the life and artwork of Vera Neumann—for a limited-edition collection of scarves, available at Target stores and on starting April 28th. Inspired by the beloved artwork Vera’s known for, the 17-piece collection reflects her iconic aesthetic and bold use of color. Check out a preview of some of the designs on A Bullseye View.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kate Young for Target: my first impressions

The Kate Young for Target collection is now "live" on, and in tabbing through the offerings, here are my initial thoughts:

Although there are some wearable day-dresses - the best of the bunch shown here - this line is mainly focused on eveningwear.  So if you're looking for something to wear to a formal occasion or to go out clubbing, then this is the line for you.

I don't have a need for formalwear, which is why I honed in on these three dresses that could work in a variety of settings: the office, going to brunch, out to dinner, attending a wedding, etc.  From left to right, we have the Yellow Beaded Shift Dress at $59.99 (available in stores only), the Black & White Rose Print Peplum Dress at $49.99 (available both in stores and online) and the Cosmo Pink Drop Waist Dress at $49.99 (also sold both in stores and online, and also available in Black and in Purple).

Keep in mind that I haven't checked these out in person/in-store yet, so I have no idea what the fabrication is like.  With some past designer lines Target has "cheaped out" on fabric materials and construction, but hopefully that won't be the case with Kate Young.  I do notice, however, that her line goes up to size 16 (whereas most of Target's designer collabs only go to 14) so kudos to her on that point.

What about you out there, readers?  Have you checked out the Kate Young for Target line?  And if so, what are your impressions?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Reader Giveaway: Polka Dog Bakery Dog Toy

Hello readers!  I'll be traveling on business this upcoming week, with no time to blog.  So in lieu of regular posts, I've decided to hold another "reader giveaway" as a token of appreciation to all of you who read my blog. This giveaway is aimed at dog lovers because I'm offering up a BNWT braided dog toy from Polka Dog Bakery, one of the collections from The Shops at Target last year. Shown circled in red is the particular toy I'm giving away.

To win, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post - along with your email address - by midnight on Thursday, April 18th.  Limit one entry per person. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only, and the winner (picked at random) will be announced on Friday, April 19th.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Target to hand out reusable bags for Earth Day...

As they've done in years past, Target will again be giving away free reusable bags to celebrate Earth Day.  Shown here is last year's design, as I haven't been able to find pics of this year's style yet.

While Earth Day officially falls on a Monday this year (April 22) Target will be handing out the bags on Sunday, April 21.  The Bullseye plans to give away 1.5 million bags, and is loading 250,000 of them with free samples from such leading sustainability brands as Method Dish Soap, Annie’s Bunny Grahams, Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent and Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Cream. Target also plans to distribute sustainable product coupon books this month, offering up to $40 in savings.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Maggie Gyllenhaal hearts Target

Look who else hearts Target?  It's actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, shown here with celebrity stylist Kate Young at the launch party for the Kate Young for Target collection. Held earlier this week at The Old Cathedral School in New York, the party was "prom themed", decorated with disco balls and streamer-covered bleachers while guests sipped pink champagne and snacked on pink-frosted cookies and bite-sized strawberry shortcakes. Tunes were provided by DJ Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor, daughter of Duran Duran's John Taylor.

Additional notable attendees included Michelle Williams, Jason Wu, Eddie Borgo, Lauren Bush Lauren, Charlotte Ronson, and Target's resident home decor & food experts Sabrina Soto and Giada De Laurentiis. 

The Kate Young for Target collection will range from $14.99 to $89.99, and will be available in Target stores and on starting Sunday, April 14th.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More offensive labeling on

Remember last week's post about offensive labeling on Target's website?  Well, it's happened again. An alert reader sent this screen capture to Consumerist yesterday, showing a style of women's Mossimo sandals named "Orina", which unfortunately translates to "urine" in Spanish.  The reader, who also seems to be a Target employee, had this to say:

"This isn’t a color name, but a style name. At my Target, at least, we have been asked to remove all signs with this shoe’s name as well as cover the name on both the box and the shoe tag. Seeing as there are so many Spanish-speaking people who shop and work at Target in various areas of the country, I can’t see how this got past whatever process Target uses to ensure that inappropriate names for shoes don’t reach the shelves."

Consumerist reported that as of yesterday they found 4 cases of "Orina" being used on, all pointing to shoes. But in checking this morning I found none, so Target must have removed all references to the word.

JCP's CEO ousted...

By now you've probably heard the news that JCP ousted their controversial CEO Ron Johnson earlier this week.  But this Point of Sale blog post breaks it down better than any other account I've read: JCP stores needed a turnaround - not a reinvention - and Johnson is a reinvention guy.

As a reminder, Johnson is the guy credited with reinventing retail twice in his career: first as the Target executive who helped create its “cheap chic” persona, and second as the Steve Jobs’ co-partner behind Apple’s famed retail stores.
So why couldn’t Johnson work his magic on JCPenney? Because JCP needed a turnaround guy, not a reinvention guy.  Turnaround and reinvention are not necessarily the same things. Apple and Target were already successful companies when Johnson worked there, and his ideas helped keep them on top. But JCP was entirely a different matter. Growth was stagnant. Shelves were messy. Identity non-existent. But all for its problems, JCP was a a financially stable company with a core group of loyal customers.

Problem is, Johnson didn’t see much in the old JCP worth preserving. That's why his broad, sweeping changes - including getting rid of sales and coupons - alienated JCP's customer base and ultimately led to his demise. Not even borrowing old Target tactics - like hiring the Bulleye's former ad agency and adopting a "shops within a store" model - could salvage the situation.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Target's Home Decor Event

As promoted in this week's Target Weekly Ad, the Bullseye is having a Home Decor Event.  All home decor is on sale for 20% off, and in addition to Target's own Threshold line, this sale extends to the Nate Berkus collection and Smith & Hawken as well.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fab Find: Merona Lace Top

While perusing Target yesterday I found this super-cute lace top by Merona for just $19.99.  I'm showing it here in sunny Yellow, but it also comes in Red, Navy, Periwinkle Blue, as well as crisp White.  I bought one in go-with-everything white, but I'll  probably go back and get a couple more colors. This top looks a LOT more expensive than it is, and reminds me of something you'd find at  J. Crew or Kate Spade.  It's also lined (except for the cap sleeves) which is great because you don't need to wear a cami underneath it like many lace tops I've seen at other retailers.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Walmart's stocking issues...

By now many of you have probably heard the news about Target's biggest rival - Walmart - having issues keeping their shelves properly stocked.  According to Bloomberg, in the past five years Walmart has increased its total number of stores in the U.S. by 13%, while at the same time paring down its total number of employees by around 1.4%. Thus, the math tells you that some stores are under-staffed, and there are actually piles of inventory in the back but not enough employees to stock the shelves.

Walmart has dismissed these claims as isolated instances of store mis-management and gripes by former employees, but Consumerist  asked Walmart staffers to reach out with the truth, and they didn't hold back. Among the scarier comments is one from "Julie", who had this to say about the back-log of inventory at Walmart stores:

"When we do have a no-truck night [meaning no truck deliveries] they pull as much out of the back room as possible to fill those empty shelves… It is amazing what you find. I have stocked things in electronics and toys that were dated 2-3 years ago. Sometimes we’d find stuff months after a holiday that never got put out. Or a Black Friday item that never got put out."

You can read more comments from Walmart employees here on Consumerist.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fab Find: Dollar Spot Mini Grow Kits

While perusing the Dollar Spot bins at the front of my local Target store the other day, I spied these cute little "grow kits". They come in tiny 2x2" cubes, and contain seeds, growing compound, and a little pot to start them in; then once the seedlings get over 3" tall, you'll need to replant them either in larger containers or in the garden.  Besides the strawberry and daisy varieties shown here, I also saw tomato and sunflowers.

Target apologizes for offensive plus-size labeling... is reporting that Target will change the way it labels its products after an eagle-eyed shopper sparked a backlash for the retail giant. Susan Clemens, a self-described “plus size” woman from Orange County, Calif., was taken aback when she saw a friend’s Facebook post with a picture of a plus-size Target maxi dress described as “manatee gray.”

When Clemens, 49, went on the site herself to see if her friend’s post was true, she discovered not only that the plus-size style was described as “manatee gray,” but the regular size of the exact same maxi dress was described as “dark heather gray.”

Clemens took to Twitter to express her outrage, posting a screen shot of the two identical dresses with the different descriptors along with her tweet. “What the.  Plus sized women get “Manatee Grey” while standard sizes are “Dark Heather Grey.”  @Target #notbuyingit,” she wrote Tuesday. Within 24 hours Clemens’ tweet had spread across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and blogs. “A lot has happened in a day because it really resonates with people,” she said.  “I really didn’t expect it to spread as widely as it has but people are tired of having the size and shape of their body commented on, and that’s what this color discrepancy seems to imply.”

Clemens’ tweet was also heard by Target, which issued an apology to her on Twitter, as well as an explanation and immediate action. “It was never our intention to offend our guests,” Target spokeswoman Jessica Deede told today.  “We heard from our guest.  We apologized and we are working to fix it ASAP.” Deede says the “manatee gray” color description is a “seasonal color used across many different categories on” and, in this case, the two different descriptions came down to two people updating the website. “There were two different teams that worked on uploading the dresses to, which explains the discrepancy,” she said. The Minnesota-based retail chain is now updating its inventory across the board to say only “gray,” as opposed to more specific descriptors, according to Deede.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Clearance Alert: La Mer Wrap Watches

Remember the cool La Mer women's watches that Target introduced right before the holidays?  Well now some of the collection is on clearance for 50% off in stores, like this two-tone wrap style with chain (shown here).  Again, only certain colors and styles seem to be on sale, and the clearance doesn't seem to extend to (where the La Mer collection is still full-price).

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Target ends partnership with Geek Squad...

Well that was fast!  Just one month after announcing they were expanding their relationship with Geek Squad, Target and Best Buy are now ending their Geek Squad partnership.  Target issued a  statement it was ending the partnership "following our recent in-store test of Geek Squad services in select locations." And Best Buy said in a statement it decided to end the program as it continues its Renew Blue program of staying focused on its core business, which includes "the Geek Squad opportunity with Best Buy's own customers."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Double-Take: J. Crew vs. Xhilaration

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Tar-shay and match it up against a brand-name, pricier piece.  Today we have two cute heart motif sweaters, very similar in shape and design (albeit in different color combos).  But one of them is from J. Crew and will set you back almost $90, whereas the other one is from Xhilaration (at Target) and costs less than a third of that, at just $22.90.  Which one is which?  The answer appears in the comments section below.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Zac Posen for John Frieda at Target

This just in: designer and Project Runway judge Zac Posen is partnering with haircare guru John Frieda to create a limited-edition collection of hair accessories in Spring's biggest trend, floral prints (shown here).  Posen also collaborated with Frieda on a series of color foams (one each for blonde, brown, red, and black hair) which along with the hair do-dads will be available exclusively at Target stores this Spring.