BOSTON — Target Corp., the mass retailer that practically invented the long-term designer marriage, is now seeking only short-term affairs.
Stacia Andersen, president of Target Sourcing Services, said Sunday the retailer is unlikely to form another deal like the one due to expire at the end of this year with Isaac Mizrahi. Or, she said, in a shot at rival Kohl's Corp., like the one that department store chain has with Vera Wang.
Noting that designer brands account for only 5 percent of Target's apparel business, Andersen said, "We don't want to be as long-term as others" in designer partnerships.
Andersen acknowledged the breakup with Mizrahi, who is taking over the design helm for Liz Claiborne, may hurt Target's business when customers loyal to that brand can no longer find the products in Target stores, but "it was time for both of us to move on."
With the departure of Mizrahi, the retailer will concentrate on "in-and-out" relationships with designers to "create more excitement" on the sales floor, she said.
Target will focus on its Go International initiative of tie-ups with young designers, who have included Proenza Schouler, Luella Bartley, Patrick Robinson, Behnaz Sarafpour, Erin Fetherston and, most recently, Jovovich-Hawk. But even that strategy is changing for the latest line, which Target will design in-house.
Prices on the private label collection will range from $16.99 for a tank top to $49.99 for a textured dobby Anorak jacket.
Andersen also revealed Target is seeking sourcing alternatives to China among Pacific Rim and Central American countries.
"We continue to look for opportunities to do business with other countries," she said during a keynote speech at the fourth annual Retail and Luxury Goods Conference at Harvard Business School.
She cited potential apparel business in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, while acknowledging that China, with its large labor pool and "relatively good" infrastructure, will always be a major Target supplier.
"We've always had a good business in Central America because of the lead time advantage," Andersen said. "If they could increase their raw material strategy, that would be helpful."Addressing about 130 M.B.A. students, Andersen said that after recent recalls of Chinese-made goods, Target expanded its safety procedures to more products. The company requires multistage testing on raw materials, during production and on finished products. Target also insists factories meet its working conditions specifications.
"No one wants a $2 T-shirt if it's made by children," Andersen said.
She reiterated that Target has no plans to open stores outside the U.S. "We have a lot of growing to do in the U.S. before we need to open internationally," Andersen said.
Another participant in the conference, Leslie Mueller Fletcher, director of international strategy for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said the giant retailer will move into Russia in the near future but did not provide specifics.
Just returned from Moscow, Fletcher said Wal-Mart is working to develop a strong relationship with the Russian government, and that Russia is eager to have Wal-Mart stores as a sign of the country's improving economy and stability.
Wal-Mart does about $9 billion a year in its international stores and opened its 3,000th overseas store last year. The chain's international stores operate under 40 different names.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion