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The last time Target partnered with another retailer for the Holidays, things didn't go so well. The Target x Neiman Marcus team up of Holiday 2012 didn't quite click with customers of either chain, but this time the mass market crowd pleaser might have gotten things right by thinking smaller. Chelsea's revolving concept store STORY has just opened its latest incarnation for next couple of months, and "Home for the Holidays" will feature about 300 items with a familiar bullseye logo in addition to more the more rarefied the store typically offers. The collaboration came about when new Target CEO Brian Cornell visited the store and met its owner Rachel Shechtman, a longtime Target fan, and invited her to Minneapolis to choose from the chain's special offerings to add to her Holiday season assortments. The result is combination of Story's typical curated stock and a select sampling of Target's exclusive product lines including items from Nate Berkus, Merona, Archer Farms and limited collaborations with TOMS shoes and Faribault Woolen Mills that will be available before they are released at Target's regular stores. The whole presentation is appearing now in a brand new environment by interior designer Jason Bell.

Don't expect this to happen in specialty stores everywhere. It works well in Manhattan in part because the nearest Target stores to Story are 100 blocks uptown in East Harlem or in Brooklyn, Queens or The Bronx. A visit to the mothership is still something of a trek for many New Yorkers who have to schlepp their purchases on the subway or bus instead of tossing them in the trunk or driving home. It's an extra convenience for Story shoppers as well as an opportunity for Target's merchants to incorporate new specialty ideas into their City Target or Target Express stores. Story's latest concept opens this week and will run through the beginning of January, which give everyone plenty of time to make it a stop on the Holiday shopping tour.

For Target, a Story of Branding Evolution (WWD)


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