The two brands aren’t exactly chocolate and peanut butter. But industry observers say the joint announcement from Neiman Marcus and Target may be just as yummy to design-savvy shoppers.
Target (often mocked as Tar-ZHAY for its faux highbrow goods) and Neiman Marcus (aka Needless Mark-up to its detractors) are joining forces on a holiday collection, highlighting the work of 24 designers. The collection even includes a $1 million contribution to the trait that binds the two stores: Designers. The donation goes to the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
The collection is expected to go on sale Dec. 1 at both chains, as well as on their Web sites, and will feature such big names as Proenza Schouler, Jason Wu, Rodarte, and Alice + Olivia.
“All marketing innovations are, to an extent, strategic bets,” Ted Zittell, a Toronto-based consultant for McMillan/ Doolittle, tells Marketing Daily. “But these two companies have shared values about both design and risk-taking. While they are far enough apart in other ways, they’re close enough on those values. Not many companies can say that. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”
“I predict it will be successful,” Zittell adds, because the concept of “high/low” fashion, pairing a $25 dress with $1,000 shoes, for example, has so permeated the fashion world. “There is something chic about being savvy.”
Separately, a new report from Kantar Retail shows that Target has been flexing low-end muscles, too. In its semiannual analysis of whether Target or Walmart is delivering lower prices to consumers, the market research company reports that while Walmart is still somewhat cheaper than Target overall, the gap is narrowing as Target becomes more aggressive in promotional pricing. Target’s basket of edible groceries was 2.9% cheaper than Walmart's, and its non-edible grocery basket was 1.6% cheaper, the first time that has happened since June of 2010.