Friday, January 31, 2014

Fab Find: Merona Capri Blue Blouse

With most of the country still in a deep freeze, I realize the last thing you probably want to do is shop for Spring clothes. But Target has just put a bunch of new stuff on sale, like this adorable sailboat-print blouse by Merona. I've added a close-up of the print so you can see the cute little white and yellow sailboat motif. Although this blouse is still full price (at $24.99) online, I've seen it in stores this week for 50% off. This blouse also comes in a solid-coral color called Red Flame.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

L'Oreal Paris coupon on

Attention shoppers! Target is running an online coupon right now for $5 off your $20 or more purchase of L'Oreal Paris products. This covers all L'Oreal makeup, haircare, and skincare products. Just use code TARGETLP at checkout on for your $5 discount.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Double-Take: Crate & Barrel vs. Threshold

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Target and match it against a similar - yet pricer - piece. Today we're looking at two rustic red accent cabinets. Both are attractive and functional pieces, but one is from Crate & Barrel and will set you back $595 on sale (regularly $699) whereas the other is from Threshold (at Target) and only costs $119 on sale (regularly $149.99). Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shakira teams with Target on deluxe album edition

ONTD reports that  Shakira is teaming up with Target for her tenth studio album. Available at for pre-order on Jan. 26, Target’s exclusive deluxe edition of Shakira’s album hits stores on March 25 and features three bonus tracks.

“There were three special songs I recorded for ‘Shakira’ that I decided to save for the version of the album available only at Target,” said Shakira.

Shakira fans can get a preview of the partnership with Target’s television spot (be on the look out for the signature red Target mic, as shown here) to debut during the 56th Annual Grammy Awards® on CBS on Sun., Jan. 26. Directed by Marc Klasfeld, the Target commercial was shot this winter in a centuries-old church in a small town outside of Barcelona, Spain.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Target's troubles continue, with layoffs and slashed benefits...

USA Today reports that Target is laying off 475 workers after the massive information-security breach over Christmas.

Target has also eliminated another 700 vacant positions over the last six months, company spokeswoman Molly Snyder said. The cuts are across the company's operations, although no workers in Canada are being cut. "Retailing is in a transformative time,'' Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said. "We're making decisions that will help us thrive and grow in the future.'' Snyder declined to say what parts of Target bore the brunt of the cuts, although news outlets in the Twin Cities area (where Target is headquartered) reported large cuts in marketing, finance and technology services functions.

Meanwhile, Target also announced plans to drop health care coverage for its part-time employees on April 1, becoming the latest national retailer to scale back benefits in response to new regulations under the federal Affordable Care Act. Target follows the lead of Trader Joe's and Home Depot, which also have announced plans to scale back on employee health benefits.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Target to Introduce Premium Skincare

Earlier this month WWD broke the news that Target will be introducing an assortment of skincare featuring seven premium brands this spring. And this week, top magazine editors were treated to a sneak peek (as shown here) of the skincare lines, which include more than 140 products ranging from $9 - $55. Available on beginning Feb. 17th, the lines will roll out to select U.S. stores beginning in March.

What do you think of this, readers? Target is obviously betting that while we’re shopping for everyday essentials, we'll also pause to browse - and hopefully buy - the latest in skincare advances. Are premium skincare products something you'd purchase at Tar-jay?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A peek inside the Target data breach...

For those of you curious as to how hackers managed to pull off the Target data breach, The New York Times has published a lengthy article outlining their plan. The NYT report starts with the terrifying statement that "It was, in essence, a cybercriminal’s dream," and continues with the revelation that "Entering through a digital gateway, the criminals discovered that Target's systems were astonishingly open — lacking the virtual walls and motion detectors found in secure networks like many banks'. Without those safeguards, the thieves moved swiftly into the company's computer servers containing Target's customer data and to the crown jewel: the in-store systems where consumers swipe their credit and debit cards and enter their PINs."

Meanwhile, yesterday two men were arrested in Texas with a batch of 96 cards stolen in the breach. As one police officer reported, the criminals who lifted shoppers' info are "selling the data sets by region" with the two men arrested holding cards of South Texas customers.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lim leaves

In December I reported that the 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target collection had cleared out of stores, but was still available online. Now almost one month later, I'm surprised it hung around for so long, but a quick check of their website today shows it's finally gone for good.

I ended up buying more from this designer-collab than I had expected, mainly because of the items I was able to score on sale. Of those items I originally bought at full price, I only kept the green blouse and the large black tote, as I'd used them already. But I had a change of heart on the brown tote and thus returned it, and got a price adjustment for the sparkle peplum top (as well as the floral print one) once they got marked down as they were still BNWT. I nabbed another bag marked down on clearance, as well as this Powerline Dress (shown) for the insane price of just $8.98. And online I got the ruffle tanks in both navy and cream for just $9.44 each.

Has anyone seen the Lim stuff show up at Goodwill yet? I'm sure it will. Meanwhile, the coveted mini-bags are still garnering insane markups on eBay, with this yellow one selling for $224!

Coming to Target: Sonia Kashuk's Spring 2014 Collection

As usual, Sonia Kaskuk will debut new, limited-edition items for Spring, and here's a preview of a few of them. The Dewy Luxe Lip & Cheek Balm in Charmed (a pretty peach hue) is a multi-tasking balm that can be used both on the lips and cheeks. The wand applicator makes it very easy to blend and it offers a dewy finish. It also contains lychee extract for hydration and antioxidant protection.

Sonia is also offering an array of ultra-glossy new Nail Colors in varying shades (9 shades in total) for Spring 2014. Shown here is Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a minty green hue; Petal Pusher, a slated lilac hue; and Sunset Blvd, a bright coral.

And though the Defining Longwear Gel Eye Liner (shown above in Ebony) is not a new product for Spring, the formula has been updated to offer a longer-lasting wear, precise application, and now contains anti-aging antioxidants with Vitamin E and pomegranate sterols.

Sonia's Spring 2014 Collection will also include:

The Make a Face Brush Set ($24.99) – This set of four deluxe powder brushes contains everything you need for a flawless face and are fit for display with floral printed handles, pastel aqua bristles and a touch of gold trim.

The Completely Compact Brush ($14.99) – This antique-inspired Compact Brush features a full sized mirror and substantial powder brush that flips open for easy touch-up’s.

The Gold Standard Vanity Tray ($12.99)  – This Vanity Tray channels old Hollywood glamour and creates a beautiful backdrop to display makeup, brushes, or jewelry. The black and white blooms and muted gold trim complement all décor and lend a luxurious boudoir feel to any space.

The Gold Standard Vanity Cup ($7.99)  – The Vanity Cup, outfitted in Sonia’s black and white floral print and gold trim, conveniently stores makeup brushes for easy access and adds a sophisticated look to your bathroom.

The In Bloom Completely Organized Bag ($14.99) – Sonia’s signature Completely Organized bag will be done up in limited edition black and white floral print, offering convenient compartments to organize everything in your purse and keep all of your essentials within reach.

The Completely Organized Bag/Petite ($12.99)  – This aquamarine organizer in a convenient smaller size fits perfectly inside your more compact handbag and features slots to keep daily essentials in check.

Sonia Kashuk's new Limited-Edition Collection for Spring 2014 will be available in March both in stores and on

Consumers wary of Target's email to customers...

The Associated Press reports that an email sent to roughly 70 million Target customers who may have been affected by a pre-Christmas data breach is causing panic among those who fear it could be an attempt to victimize them again.

Target says the email - which offers free credit monitoring services to potential victims of the breach - is legit. But consumers have been on edge since news of the data breach broke last month. And they've been warned to be on alert for possible follow-up attacks that could come in the form of phishing emails, electronic messages designed to implant malicious software on their computers or draw them to websites that prompt them to enter personal information. So when Target's email began circulating earlier this week, many recipients questioned its authenticity. The email was especially suspicious to people who say they haven't set foot in a Target store in years.

Jim Reid, 60, of Minneapolis says he was a little nervous about clicking on the link in the email and he questioned whether it was a good idea to send Target even more personal information when they were unable to protect it in the first place. "There's too much uncertainty," Reid says. "They keep changing what they're saying about how many people were affected, about what kinds of information were stolen. It's obvious that they really don't know."

According to Target, hackers stole data related to 40 million credit and debit card accounts and also pilfered personal information, including email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses and names of as many as 70 million customers. Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder says it's those 70 million people that Target contacted by email. And while Target believes the theft of the roughly 40 million debit and credit card numbers only affected cards swiped between Nov. 27 - Dec. 15, the 70 million people whose personal information was stolen could have last shopped at a Target store months - or even years - ago.

Meanwhile, consumers are right to be wary of emails purportedly sent by Target. Snyder says that in recent weeks the retailer has stopped more than a dozen operations that sought to scam breach victims by way of email, phone calls, and text messages. Target says all of the letters it's sending to shoppers are posted on the company's website, along with information about what customers need to do to sign up for Target's free credit monitoring. Shown here is a screen capture of the email as it appears on Target's blog, A Bullseye View.

Snyder confirmed that the information gathered for the free service won't be used for marketing purposes. While shoppers are offered the option of continuing the monitoring service after a year, they won't be automatically re-enrolled in the service or receive a bill.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Introducing TargetExpress

Back in 2011, Target introduced their CityTarget model: a fleet of smaller stores in big cities. Now Target's thinking even smaller with the debut of TargetExpress.

The first store (rendering shown here) will be located in the retailer's hometown Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota campus. Conveniently located for students and urban residents in nearby neighborhoods, the store will be approximately 15% of the size of a typical general merchandise Target store. In addition to essentials in Health & Beauty and Grocery - including a pharmacy and larger selection of grab-and-go food options - TargetExpress also will carry a sampling of other products, from home décor basics to portable electronics.

To me, this sounds similar in concept to the CVS or Duane Reade stores you see in places like Chicago and NYC. My guess is that TargetExpress is aiming to compete in this area in urban centers.

Peter Pilotto for Target Lookbook

Hello readers! I'm back after a week not being able to blog with my computer being "in the shop". Thanks to the Apple Store, my MacBook Air is now equipped with a whole new motherboard, sound card, and video cable. Now back to our regular Target news...

Racked has posted the entire lookbook for the upcoming Peter Pilotto for Target collection. This collab seems skewed to the younger set - complete with bustier bikinis, crop tops, and short-shorts - and The Recessionista confirmed earlier this week that the sizing "looks best suited to teens or juniors like many previous Target Go Collections" and that it "seems to run smaller than Phillip Lim for Target."

This Red Iris Dress (shown here, at $79.99) seems like one of the most wearable looks, which could take you anywhere from date night to a summer wedding. What do you think, readers? Do you like what you see, and do you plan on shopping Peter Pilotto for Target?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Fab Find: C9 Supersoft Zip Pullover

I've been scoring some great buys in the Athletic Wear Department at Target lately, like this C9 by Champion Supersoft Zip Pullover. While it's still available online in a variety of sizes and colors, I nabbed mine on the clearance rack in store marked down to just $7.48! (regularly $24.99).  Mine is in a vibrant shade I don't see offered online called "Power Purple", although this "Coral" color (shown) is pretty as well. And the reason I'm showing both views is because the back of the shirt sports a super cute ribbon detailing, which ends around mid-back.

Target's data breach now stands at 110 million...

NBC News reports that Target has amended their stats to now reflect 110 million affected by their recent security breach. Additionally, Target has cut its earnings outlook for the quarter that covers the crucial holiday season and warned that sales would be down for the period. And some analysts believe the breach could be a financial drag on the company for several more quarters. "This is going to linger like a black cloud over the company's financials for the first half of the year," said Brian S. Sozzi, CEO & chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors.

Meanwhile, Target investors have been largely unmoved by the company's disclosures. Target's stock, while volatile, has traded at about $63 since news of the breach leaked on Dec. 18. It slipped just 72 cents, or more than 1 percent, to $62.62 in trading Friday. But some observers believe the stock could get battered if consumers stay away from Target stores, and several Wall Street analysts downgraded their earnings forecasts for the retailer on Friday.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Coming Soon To Target: "New" Women's Plus

Earlier this week The Huffington Post reported the brouhaha that Target created when they advertised plus-size clothing on a pregnant model on their website.

First spotted by the eagle eyes over at Jezebel, Target's Merona Women's Plus-Size Short-Sleeve V-Neck Maxi Dress in Black/Cream was placed on what appeared to be a maternity model in product shots on The photos have since been removed, leaving the dress description with no accompanying images for the time being. But Jezebel snagged a screenshot, which you can view here. Target has since responded that the image was an error due to "a garment at a photo shoot being mislabeled" and that they "apologize for any discomfort or offense this error might have caused."

In the wake of that snafu, I noticed a bunch of new signs (like one shown here) at my local Target store yesterday announcing "Women's Plus: Countdown to New. Women's Plus Collection Arriving Early February." Now I haven't been able to find any information about this "new" collection online, so I'm not sure whether Target is expanding it's Plus-sized offerings or simply hyping new Spring-offerings in Women's Plus. But hopefully Target has learned from the maternity-dress mislabeling and will clearly separate the Plus Size Department from Maternity, as I know the two sections have been overlapping in stores now for quite some time.

The Look for Less: Merona vs. Banana Republic

While this doesn't quite qualify as a "double-take," I was taken aback at the similarities between these two blouses from Merona (at Target) and Banana Republic.

The one on the left landed in my email in-box this morning via a Banana Republic ad; it's called the Bold Dart Blouse from their new Spring collection, and weighs in at $79.50. The Merona one on the right I happen to already own, and is available for just $22.99 both in stores and online.

Both tops are made of 100% polyester and have a banded collar (with buttoned placket) and long sleeves that you can push (or roll) up as shown here. The BR one has more uniformly-placed dots, whereas the Merona one has a smaller, dizzy-diamond pattern to it. The Merona one also uses Deep Navy as a complementary color to the Emerald Green, which I think is more "Spring-like" than the Black in the BR one.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Stolen info in Target's data breach increases to 70 million...

NBC News reports that the massive credit card heist at Target stores across the country was nearly twice as large as previously revealed. The retailer now reports that 70 million customers were hit, making it one of the largest security breaches of its kind. The newly disclosed victims included customers whose data was obtained by Target prior to Black Friday.

The company said Friday that as part of its ongoing probe it found that some customer information, apart from the 40 million payment card accounts previously disclosed, was stolen during the data breach. It said this is not a new breach. The stolen information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million individuals.

Target said that much of the data stolen is partial, but in situations where Target has an email address, it will attempt to contact the customers affected by the breach and provide them with tips to guard against consumer scams. Target said it won't ask customers for any personal information when it contacts them.

Even though the data is in bits and pieces, it means some of the previously disclosed stolen credit cards can be used to commit fraud in more places online. It could also be a precursor to more widespread identity theft. "They steal and combine what was stolen in previous breaches," said Avivah Latan, a fraud analyst at technology research company Gartner. "There are warehouses of information on people and dossiers. Now we've got John's credit card, his address, his phone number... they do put it together and sell entire profiles on people."

Thursday, January 9, 2014

DIY Photo Table Runner

A Bullseye View has posted a short tutorial on how to make this lovely (and super easy!) personalized photo table runner. I think this would be a great idea for a bridal shower, especially if you tack the photos onto this fun burlap "Eat, Drink and be Married" table runner from Target. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Target Employee Helps Nab Kidnapper...

Here's your feel-good story of the day: in California, a vigilant Target employee is being hailed as a here for cracking the kidnapping case of a 7-year old girl.

Roxanna Ramirez (shown here) inadvertently saved abducted 7-year-old Natalie Calvo's life when she wrote down the license plate number of a "weird" man shopping at her Pittsburg, CA store on Friday.

The 22-year-old loss prevention specialist became suspicious of the man as he appeared extremely nervous in the aisles. "He was just fidgeting around. I wasn't getting a good vibe off of him," she told ABC News. After monitoring him for some time, she followed him out into the parking lot and noted his license plate details. "He was being a weirdo outside, and I just got a weird feeling," Ramirez said to the Contra Costa Times"At one point, he sat in his car and grabbed the steering wheel and started shaking it violently. It was kind of scary,"

Then later that night, cops put out an Amber Alert for the girl - alongside the description of a man which sounded exactly like the freaky shopper. Ramirez called in the license plate information she'd captured earlier and within 45 minutes police had rescued the child and arrested the alleged kidnapper.

David Douglas, 43, is accused of snatching the girl from outside her home. In a bizarre TV jailhouse interview with ABC News, he claimed he did not harm the youngster and that the abduction was not his idea. Denying being mentally ill, he also stated there was a government conspiracy to control his life and that he'd tried to grab three different children that day. Revealing he'd been living in his car parked in the Antioch Marina for two months after being kicked out of his family home, he sad he stopped at several hotels for the pair to stay at.

He was eventually found by cops in the Marina. The child wasn't physically harmed and was reunited with her mom four hours after being taken. Douglas, arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, is being held on a $4 million bond. Antioch police said Ramirez's vigilance was key to keeping Calvo safe. "What she did was what truly broke the case," added Lt. Tammany Brooks.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sneak Peek: Peter Pilotto for Target

Remember my post the other day with the hideous Peter Pilotto dress worn by Kerry Washington? Well, The Huffington Post has a sneak peek (via a photo first published by Elle) of the upcoming Peter Pilotto for Target collection, and the same crazy-calico prints seem to be there, sans the weird cut-outs.

As shown here, Pilotto and his co–creative director Christopher De Vos pose with models showing off some of the items from the upcoming collab, including a drop-waist dress, a cropped tee, a pencil skirt and what appears to be a romper - all in their signature mixed prints. Elle described the 70-piece collection as "ready-made for a Montauk weekend," whatever that means.

You can read more about about the design team behind Peter Pilotto and their upcoming collab with Target here on

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Double-Take: Aqua vs. Xhilaration

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Target and match it against a similar - yet pricer - piece. This time we have two pop-art inspired sweaters - which incidentally, are both reminiscent of the Phillip Lim for Target "Boom" sweatshirt from last Fall.

Both of these slouchy, cropped-length sweaters boast a cartoon "Pop" (or "Pow") motif. The difference is that one is by Aqua (at Bloomingdale's) and will set you back $78, whereas the other is by Xhilaration (at Target) and is currently on the clearance racks for about $12. Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Target's next guest designer given "Worst Dress of 2013"...

Well this doesn't bode well for Target's next designer collab. I was dubious to begin with when Target announced their next featured designer collection would be by Peter Pilotto - a brand I'd never heard of. And now Tom & Lorenzo, a style blog I follow and have infinite respect for, has just named this Peter Pilotto dress (as shown here on Kerry Washington at the Rome movie premier for Django Unchained) as their worst red-carpet look of 2013.  They dub it "the butt-ugliest dress we’ve seen all year", and I have to agree it's pretty hideous. If this is any indication of what we'll see from Peter Pilotto for Target when it debuts on Feb. 9th, I'll pass, thank you. It looks like a Project Runway creation gone horribly wrong.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, readers! Or as we're saying around my house: good riddance to 2013, and welcome 2014 (as I can't wait to put last year in my rearview mirror for a variety of reasons...). And in case anyone's interested in shopping today vs. watching parades or football, all Target stores are open as usual with their regular business hours.