Carol Spieckerman's Brain On ... The Shops at Target

In her latest contribution as a Retail Wire panelist, Carol gives cautious kudos to Target for creating a 2.0 version of its often-aped, limited edition brand strategy.

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Here's what she had to say ... I'm glad to see that Target finally stepped up with a 2.0 version of its limited availability brand strategy. This one checks quite a few boxes.

1. Exclusivity - Critical when price transparency is pervasive.
2. Traffic - Frequent brand launches drive looky loos.
3. Reputation - Supporting, not annihilating, small business.
4. Brand Boost - "The Shops at Target" moniker rolls up to Target, regardless of which brands are being featured.
5. Frequency (and fun) - Treasure hunts turn on trips (just ask Costco).

My only concern is that, unlike the growing number of online marketplaces, Target isn't just passively granting space to third party sellers, they are actively managing the execution of a revolving door of new brands, in multiple categories, under tight-ish time constraints, and with companies not used to executing under a large-scale wholesale model.

If it comes together, this will be a nice addition to Target's bag of tricks.