Early last week Minneapolis-based big box retailer Target revealed a look at four of their new private brands via the Wall Street JournalAnd posted a sneak peek, on their official blog “A Bullseye View” The move continues the bold reinvention of their private brand portfolio over the last 10 years. Beginning in June of 2009 when the retailer dramatically tossed its then Bullseye branded products in favor of Up&Up. Followed by the elimination of Target Home in favor of the new private brand Threshold and numerous redesigns including Room Essentials, Market Pantry twice, Archer Farms and numerous other brands across the store. Most recently came the elimination of Circo and the introduction of Cat & JackCloud Island and Pillowfort.

Target more than any other retailer has been unafraid to rethink large ($B) portions of its private brand portfolio and create new brands targeted to specific consumers that will ultimately help the retailer win.

In this behind the scenes interview Mark Tritton, Target’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, gives the scoop on the new brands.

What’s the inspiration behind these new brands?
Our new brands are all about the changing face of our guests—what they need, what they’re looking for from Target. When we took a close look at our existing assortment with this in mind, we saw a disconnect. We knew we’d need to refresh our offerings—and define new ones—so our guests continue to love what they’re discovering at Target and want to keep coming back, again and again.

Does that mean our brands haven’t been working?
Our brands have been solid performers. Take Cherokee and Circo in our kids’ business, for example—they were performing strongly, even in a difficult market. But we talked to our guests, looked at the data, and we realized that there was this huge opportunity to create a unique personality and ownable, differentiated point of view.

When we took the leap and reinvented our approach, like when we launched Cat & Jack as our kids’ apparel line about a year ago, we’ve seen phenomenal results—not just in sales, but in loyalty, basket size and overall preference for Target. Cat & Jack is now one of our biggest owned brands and is a leader in the U.S. kids’ apparel industry. But it’s not just about creating a great product assortment—it’s how we bring the brand to life for our guests in stores, digitally and in our marketing, so that at every touchpoint, our guests understand that this brand’s not just new—it’s created especially for them.

There’s designing a label, and then there’s building a brand. How is Target building brands that guests will love—and that will stand the test of time?
As we’ve been creating these new brands, we’re thinking about the values we want to stand for 5, 10, 15 years down the line, so they’ll have real meaning and depth as we evolve. Everything we do is based not only on our guests’ needs today, but also where we see our brands forging a space tomorrow. To do this, we’re working and thinking differently at Target. We’ve embarked on the most extensive guest research we’ve ever done—and we’re using these insights not just to react, but to get in front of guests’ needs and expectations. It’s been an incredible journey, and the Target team’s had so much fun along the way. We can’t wait to see how our guests respond when these new brands launch.

How do you think these new brands are going to change the way guests shop at Target?
One new brand on its own isn’t going to change the way guests experience Target, though we definitely believe each of our exclusive brands will leave its mark. Big picture, it’s when you take all these new brands, combined with how we’re reimagining storescontinuing to enhance digital and investing in our business to meet guests’ changing needs that you start to feel a real difference. Taken together, these changes will create an experience—a new, fresh interpretation of the Tar-zhay that we know our guests love—that ultimately will drive preference and bring real, affordable joy to our guests’ everyday moments.

A NEW DAY
A New Day, a versatile, mix-and-match women’s brand—coming in September—will take you from weekend to work to dinner date, effortlessly—and have you feeling confident in your skin and in your wardrobe. Expect a modern take on a classic aesthetic and incredible prints and patterns.

GOODFELLOW & CO
Turns out that men come to Target to buy…underwear. We’re not necessarily top-of-mind for men’s style needs, but that’s about to change, thanks to Goodfellow & Co. This modern-meets-classic line of men’s clothing, accessories and shoes—available in September—is grounded in exceptional fabric and fit that guys are sure to love.

JOYLAB
Our C9 Champion activewear is already a big hit. But those looking for a little edgier, street-fashion vibe will love JoyLab, launching in October. It’s fitness-meets-fashion-and-function.

PROJECT 62
Your home’s poised for an upgrade, too! If you’re looking for chic options and more ways to bring your style to life across your home, you won’t want to miss Project 62—a modern home brand thoughtfully designed for everyday life.

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Christopher Durham
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.