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Target Neiman Marcus Major Flopus


Screen shot 2013-01-04 at 7.03.57 AMWhen Target announced a collaboration with luxury department chain Neiman Marcus last summer, some retail “experts” pronounce it as v2 of the success Target experienced with the wildly popular Missoni line.

I’m pleased to report that the brains here at Thought-Tech wrote the post, “Target Neiman Marcus Collaboration Is A Head Scratcher” on July 11, 2012. Our two points about this announcement were:

Collaborations Are Good PR for Target – by announcing in mid-summer, typically the dog-days of retail, Target gets media coverage when the competition gets none.

Collaborations Distract From the Weakness of Target’s Apparel Line – we said, “Without these partnerships Target is just another brand selling $19.99 cargo shorts for men and $12.99 sleeveless knits for women. And then marking them down.” Still true.

The Neiman Marcus project seemed to provide PR cover but little else.

In November, CEO Gregg Steinhafel was asked if the Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection would last longer than a day and a half. We think it’s going to be successful across the board,” he told analysts. “It’s just a matter of how you want to gauge success, is it hours, or days, or possibly a week — which might be a stretch.”

Steinhafel missed by a long-shot as Target is moving the deeply discounted T+NM product to a Salvation Army outlet near the Target flagship store in downtown Minneapolis.

Still it’s unclear as to what went wrong. Target said comparing the NM collection with Missoni was unfair. Although the Missoni collection was such a success that the website crashed, the NM partnership was more deeply stocked. Also, customers were restricted to buying no more than five of one item.

OK, so let me get this straight…in order to avoid Missoni Madness, Target offers less desirable product at higher prices and restricts how many shoppers can buy. Sounds like they’ve come up with the formula for retail fail!

Don’t know about you – but we can’t wait to hear about Target’s new collaboration for 2013. Perhaps they’ll introduce collections from former child actors or the cast of Survivor Season 2 – The Australian Outback.


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