Target and Neiman Marcus team up
Target and Neiman Marcus have collaborated with 24 high end designers to offer 50 high quality affordable gifts, with designs hailing from Marc Jacobs, Rodarte, Tory Burch, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Jason Wu, and more, and all is available in both stores and on their websites, and the companies have announced they will donate $1 million to the Council of Fashion Designers of America as a result of the co-branded merchandise push.
While the goal is obviously to increase sales for the two companies, “It’s really a gift for all of our customers, Neiman Marcus and Target,” said Ken Downing, fashion director at Neiman Marcus. Target learned many lessons from their last co-branded effort with Missoni, which led to massive crowds in their stores and shoppers buying up all of the popular items and reselling them online. This time around, shoppers are limited to five of any specific item to curb this problem.
“For our brand, it has been a good partnership,” said Neiman Marcus spokeswoman Ginger Reeder. “It has gotten high visibility among consumer groups that haven’t thought of Neiman Marcus as a place to go for high quality affordable gifts.”
How are sales going? Success or flop?
While both companies have expressed they are satisfied with sales so far, there have been no rambunctious crowds or in-store fighting, leading some to call the partnership over-hyped and disappointing. The Wall Street Journal says the sales event kicked off with “a whimper.”
“The largest misconception is that this was intended to be a one-day shopping event,” said Joshua Thomas, a Target spokesman.
The Journal reports that analysts and customers have expressed surprise that crowds weren’t bigger and sales not stronger at many locations, despite prime-time television commercials and other high dollar ad campaigns surrounding the products.
Citibank retail analyst Deborah Weinswig’s research piece, “Don’t Believe the Hype: Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection Disappoints” took issue with Target for placing the collection in the back of the store. She notes that she and others nationally observed that shelves were full and messy and generating too little visitor traffic.
So while sales may not be astronomical, retailers’ efforts to draw attention this year are intriguing, and while there may not be people punching each other out for a $60 Oscar de la Renta bag, there are several items that sold out quickly, so the efforts are steady, which is not exactly a bad sign for the cross marketing effort.
Businesses of all size should learn lessons from this effort and work to find quality cross marketing partners, as creativity clearly reigns in the fight for consumer loyalty and dollars.