Some women need to get their sugar fix. Others have a jewelry habit. Target hopes SugarFix by BaubleBar, a new collection of 180 styles of necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings bowing on Jan. 31, satisfies both cravings and inspires customers to shop its 900 doors where the collection is sold, as well as target.com.
With disappointing sales and declining traffic during the holiday season, the Minneapolis-based retailer is rushing to re-imagine its jewelry and accessories business. Combined comparable sales in November and December declined 1.3 percent, Target said. Comparable sales in stores fell more than 3 percent while digital sales grew more than 30 percent, a trend many traditional retailers are seeing as their growth is siphoned off by the web.
“Our accessories business plays an important role in positioning Target as a style destination,” said Mark Tritton, the retailer’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. “We’re making a number of changes this year that will entice guests to shop with us more often. This includes bringing them the latest trends on a more frequent basis, exploring partnerships with brands that will differentiate Target, and enhancing their experience, both in our stores and online. We think guests will love these changes and believe they will allow us to achieve additional growth in this category.”
SugarFix by BaubleBar is Target’s first partnership in the jewelry and accessories area, which is being updated in stores with a new layout and products displayed on open tables rather than under glass counters and on jewelry grids. The design will be incorporated in 200 doors in early summer and will roll out to 300 more in the fall. Jewelry in March will be relaunched online with a more appealing and interactive and digital experience.
BaubleBar cofounders Daniella Yacobovsky and Amy Jain said jewelry is low-hanging fruit for Target. “There’s easily high demand for self-gifting of jewelry,” said Yacobovsky. “We wanted to address that with Target. We realized we’re partnering with a store our customer already loves and frequents. We know our customer shops and buys small things for herself at Target. BaubleBar was founded on the belief that fashion should be fun and not seen as high budget.”
SugarFix by BaubleBar is a long-term agreement. “They bring a level of credibility and expertise,” a Target spokeswoman said. “Overall, we’re increasing the frequency of newness in jewelry.”
“We all know the importance of bringing newness on a regular basis,” said Jain. “It’s how her shopping has evolved and allows us to offer on-trend products and deliver an emotional connection to drive repeat business.”
SugarFix consists of lower-priced versions of some of BaubleBar’s most popular styles as well as original items designed specifically for the Target brand. Prices for SugarFix range from $9.99 to $29.99, with an average price of $14.99. BaubleBar’s average price is more than $50, Jain said.
The first delivery of SugarFix will feature four stories, including feminine statement necklaces, chokers and earrings with intricate gem work; large, colorful necklaces and earrings in bright, geometric designs; delicate wearable styles with a modern twist in gold, silver and other hues, and bold beads for making a big fashion statement.
The six-year-old, fast-growing e-commerce site BaubleBar has been making its way to retail with partnerships with Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.
Launching a new brand under the BaubleBar umbrella “is a wonderful way for us to meet new customers,” Jain said. “Women shop this category in a lot of different ways. We’re bringing our point of view to Target. There are some fundamental similarities between our customers. Both are loyal and confident in their own style.”
BaubleBar uses real-time data and a reactive business model to give customers what they want. “Target has been very forthcoming with their learnings and insights and we used that information to inform the launch assortment,” Jain said. “We’ll be using the real-time learnings to inform future deliveries and our assortment for spring. We’ll also leverage the insights we see from the BaubleBar line.”
Buried Bauble, a promotion, gave Jain and Yacobovsky a clue that their customers were looking for newness at lower price points. “Every Friday, we provide a clue about a piece of jewelry that’s secretly offered online at a special price, usually $10 to $20,” Jain said. “Shoppers have to search for it on the web site.”
“We’ve never been able to do it at scale,” Yacobovsky said. “SugarFix is an extension of that concept. With 900 doors and monthly new arrivals, we’ll bring [the shopper] an amped-up version.”
Jain and Yacobovsky have gleaned knowledge about physical retail from Target. “We’re really excited about our own retail strategy. Retail is in our future,” said Jain, adding that BaubleBar has been testing the waters with pop-up shops in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, N.Y. “We’ve learned so much that we can incorporate into our strategic thinking.”
While it’s too early to say whether SugarFix will develop any of the do-it-yourself or personalization elements of BaubleBar, Jain said, “it could be a trend or offering we see in the future.”