Friday, December 21, 2012

Why the Target & Neiman Marcus Collaboration Failed

The collaboration between Target and Neiman Marcus in conjuction with the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) was one of the most anticipated events in the fashion industry in years.  The list of designers participating like Tory Burch, Diane Von Furstenberg, Derek Lam, Marc Jacobs and Altuzarra sent everyone into a tizzy and fashionistas everywhere tried to make their camping plans for December 5th.  So why did this collaboration fail so spectacularly that the entire collection is now 50% just a mere two weeks after the launch?
I've talked to a few people and I believe the number one reason was that Target failed to take into account their base shopper.  I love Target and I shop there frequently, and I'll take it over Wal-Mart any day.  I also love fashion and I love being able to buy a quality garment at a great price.  However, when I am shopping for clothes at Target, I am not looking to spend $99 on a dress or $80 for a top regardless of who designed it.  I was talking to Morgan and a few other friends and they mentioned the adorable Marchesa dresses for girls. Imagine their sticker shock when they saw the $99 price tag for the toddlers' dress pictured above!  As Morgan put it, "No matter who designed it, I am not paying $100 for a toddler's dress at Target!"
Altuzarra Cocktail Tray, Shaker and Tumblers
All I wanted was the Altuzarra cocktail shaker and glasses.  The glasses were $50 and the shaker was another $50.  That is not a reasonable price.  I didn't even go to Target on December 5th because while the look of the collection was very aesthetically pleasing, there was no way I was going to fork over $50 for a yoga mat. A yoga mat! Cost $50! So when I finally went to Target during the regular shopping trip on December 9th and both the shaker & cocktail glasses were still there, I went ahead and bought them.  I kept them in their box with the receipt and figured I would wait for everything to go on sale after Christmas and see if I could get a price adjustment.
Today, Tiffany over at I Am Style-Ish blogged that the entire collection was discounted by 50% so I stopped by to check it out.  I don't know about your Target, but mine is still fully stocked.  Some items that weren't there a few days after the collection launched are now back in stock.  My store would not do a price adjustment on my previous purchase so I just bought them again at the discounted price and then returned the items I bought just over 10 days ago for a full refund.  I also grabbed a couple of other items for Christmas gifts.  I still think even $50 for a toddler's dress is on the higher side, but at least it's now approaching reasonable pricing and $50 for BOTH the shaker and the glasses is definitely within this shopper's price point. I think my yogi friends will love the DvF Yoga Mat for $25!

Do you agree with me? Why or why not? Are there other factors I am not taking into account?
All images found via Google Images and are the property of Target + Neiman Marcus


  1. I was thinking this today. I paid $10 for the Tory lunchbox to use as a makeup case but wouldn't have paid $20. It's not really Tory Burch, you know? The quality isn't there for Target collabs to warrant $100 for a girl's dress or $130 for a blazer, not when you can score much higher quality items on deep discounts for a similar price tag. Your post is spot on.

  2. I completely agree! I go to Target to find good deals (umm I only shop clearance, lol) so there is no way I'd ever want to spend $50 on something from there, even if it IS designed by some fancy schmancy designer.

    Plus, with it being in all Targets across the nation, there is no "exclusivity" as with some designer goods that are only sold in specific department stores. The items are usually distinctive, and I don't usually like people to easily recognize the labels I wear (unless it's something super expensive. Wearing Target is not something I normally like to broadcast, other than my blog) and with the collab being all over the place, there's a high chance of a million other women also wearing the exact same piece. Okay, I don't even know if my train of thought made sense.. but oh well. Happy birthday though!

  3. Yes, I agree with both of you. I don't really think any of the "collaborations" ever result in great quality for the consumer. I think they are great for the designer to get their name out to people who otherwise might never be exposed to their designs, but I do think that the price needs to reflect the base customer and also the quality of the product. I would NOT pay $99 for a designer skateboard, and by the number of skateboards still in stock,I'm guessing that people who skateboard wouldn't either!

  4. one thing i'd like to add to Kimmie's "exclusivity" point is this - shoppers are suffering from collaboration overload. what used to be a rare thing is now something that happens just about every day of the week. there's no excitement...the thrill of snatching up an A-list designer's goods is gone because you know there'll be something else coming down the pipeline in a few short months. consumers just aren't buying it (pun intended!).

  5. Yes, completely agree. I haven't heard anything yet, but now that the Neiman Marcus collaboration is even more discounted to 70%, I am wondering if they are going to cool it with the collaborations for a while. I haven't heard anything so far and by this time last year, we were all anticipating the Jason Wu collection. I hope they give us a break for a while!

  6. I agree, the prices were much higher than what Target does for their usual designer collaborations so they totally missed the mark. Also, I was expecting their to be clothing. There was few items for women and not the selection that their should have been (or usually is for these types of collaborations). To add, Target should have introduced items that the brands are known for. I mean Alice + Olivia doesn't make bikes, they make gorgeous dresses. And Tory Burch should have offered shoes or leather goods, not a lunch box. Fashion clothing and accessories are what Target have thrived on. I'm not sure why they decided to come up with a strange assortment of "gifts," if you could even call those expensive items gifts in the first place. Lol.

    PS, thank you so much for the sweet comment on my blog. It means the world to me! We should keep in touch and follow each other. Talk to you soon :)



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