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This story first appeared in the December 14, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Most stories that involve a proverbial David and Goliath don’t end well. But Target and Cos Bar proved good things can result when two retailers of two very different sizes join forces. Target tapped the Aspen, Colo.–based beauty boutique to create a bath-and-body collection for the first phase of its Shops at Target initiative. Their partnership prompted Cos Bar’s founder, Lily Garfield, to switch from brand curator—her chain of 12 stores sell ultrapremium beauty brands—to brand creator. She also earned the title of pioneer—while luxe fashion labels have partnered with Target, prestige beauty brands have been slower to follow suit. Until now. The Target–Cos Bar collaboration resulted in a limited-edition assortment that included products like nail polishes, body lotions and scrubs, and scented soaps for under $20 each that launched in early May for a six-week run. Shortly after the introduction, José Barra, senior vice president of health care and beauty at Target, characterized the early results as “fantastic.” Meaning that while Garfield may have been the first to enter uncharted territory, she most certainly won’t be the last.