Target’s Room Essentials Brand Gets a Modern Makeover

room essentials front

Almost four months after we first reported that Target had quietly begun to rollout a redesign of the branding and package design for its affordable home décor brand Room Essentials (RE) the Minneapolis based retailer has officially acknowledged it on the blog “A Bullseye View”.

Target’s Room Essentials Brand Gets a Modern Makeover

There’s nothing we love more than a makeover story. We’ve seen nearly every episode of Extreme Home Makeover, and right now we’re hooked on Target’s Best Year Ever dorm makeover series. So when we heard that Target was revamping home brand Room Essentials (also known as RE), we had to get the details.Room Essentials 11

Designed by Target’s own Product Design and Development (PD&D) team, the updated Room Essentials line is more modern — from the logo and the packaging to the assortment itself. Traditionally aimed at the college consumer, RE has been re imagined to also appeal to the growing millennial guest looking for cleaner and simpler, yet authentic and livable looks at an affordable price point.

“Our job was to elevate and evolve Room Essentials by using updated materials, integrating small-space attributes and distinguishing the collection from our competitors,” says James Gallagher, director of design, PD&D.

In 2013, his team had the chance to evolve Room Essentials into a more confident, contemporary collection that easily transitions from dorm rooms to first apartments.

“Research showed that our guests associated RE with basic, low-quality products for tweens and teens,” says James. “That may have been hard to hear, but it gave us an amazing opportunity to revamp this beloved brand.”

Updated, higher quality materials are now at the core of the collection, including solid woods, textural fabrics, cotton blends, hand-dipped ceramics and metals. There are also fully assembled and dual-purpose furniture items ideal for smaller spaces.

James’ favorite pieces include a stacking end table and a “C Table” that can be used as an end table, but converts into a coffee table when rotated 90 degrees. Every item in the collection had to serve a function, he says. “While rooted in value, the brand needed to be more thoughtful, purposeful and inspirational. And we think we accomplished that.”

For the PD&D team, that meant creating and testing more designs than ever. “We went through 200 prototypes before getting to our final bookcase design — a minimal and versatile piece that works as a bookshelf, room divider or a shelving unit,” says James.

Beyond function, color and prints were also a huge focus. “We added more sophisticated hues in addition to neutrals,” says James. “Prints and patterns are also a bit softer, which complements the expanded color palette.”

Take a look at the revamped collection, below!

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.