Target is mad about plaid.
The retailer in late August through October will execute a tartan takeover at its 1,795 units and target.com. Shoppers who visit a Target location during that period will see a barrage of plaid throughout the store, with plaid informing Target-owned apparel brands such as Merona and Mossimo and appearing on the packaging of products from soft drinks to tissues.
More than 360 products including apparel for women, men, kids and baby, grocery, home, electronics and beauty will be touched by tartan.
“Target is known for great design,” said Kathee Tesija, executive vice president and chief merchandising and supply chain officer. “We’ve been talking about doubling down on style and wowing our guests in fun and unexpected ways with surprises around every corner. We wanted to do something really special. Plaid as a concept was very inspiring to us. It’s so quintessentially fall.”
In addition to plaid jackets and dresses, blankets, dinnerware, mixing bowls, trays and even straws will be covered in plaid. Also, Timex watches with plaid faces. tissue boxes, Listerine and Diet Coke bottles, Stacy’s Pita Chips bags, Frédéric Fekkai shampoos and Chapstick tubes will have checkerboards all over, and diapers from the Honest Company will be printed with the pattern.
“Target has done a remarkable job of bridging the gap between ‘designer’ and ‘mass’ in interesting and uncompromising ways that celebrate design at scale,” said JP Kuehlwein, executive vice president of Frederic Fekkai. “Fashion is a part of Fekkai’s DNA. This is an opportunity to capture the attention of women of who may be new to Fekkai and inspire our biggest fans.”
Melissa Schwartz, brand manager for Diet Coke, Coca-Cola North America, said, “We’re excited to dress up our iconic contour bottle in plaid and give fans and Target shoppers a taste of Diet Coke style.”
“Target and Honest share a love of inspiring our audiences with our unique brand of design and delight,” said Christopher Gavigan, co-founder and chief product officer of the Honest Company. “We’re happy to put a colorful modern spin on a classic plaid print.”
“You may want to wear Up & Up bandages as a little fashion statement,” Tesija said. “Wellness is important and we’ll have a Fitbit with a plaid band. We have a very collaborative relationships with our vendor partners. They were intrigued when we brought this idea to them. Nowhere will plaid be this broad and applied to so many categories in so many different ways.”
Target reported a 2.3 percent increase in comp-store sales in the first quarter ended May 2, driven by growth in transactions and basket size. The company said same-store sales in signature categories such as style, baby, kids and wellness grew at more than double the company average.
All the plaid products will be displayed along the perimeter of the store for maximum exposure and an extra pop. Some of the plaid treatments are bold, like the bright red and black cell phone cases. Others, like the ceramic alphabet mugs with plaid only on the letters, are more demure.
“We’ll have plaid product in endcaps where it will be really obvious,” Tesija said. “We’re planning to build a plaid boutique for target.com where you’ll find all the products.”
“This is a different type of initiative,” a Target spokesman said. “We’re going to stand declaratively for plaid and interpret it throughout the entire store.”
In lieu of a traditional designer collaboration, Target took a new approach and challenged Adam Lippes to create a collection inspired by buffalo plaid.
He said the idea appealed to him because “I think of myself as a quintessential American sportswear designer,” he said. “The collection could have been a watered down version of [my own line] for a mass retailer, but it is a real collection with 50 pieces.”
Prices for the collection of oversize plaid-patterned pieces range from $19.99 to $129.99 for apparel and $39.99 to $49.99 for shoes and accessories. There’s also pencils and journals for $10, and throws and dog beds, $35.
The line, which will bow on Sept. 27, features color palettes of navy, white, red and black, and another beige and cream color story.
Lippes said standout pieces in the collection include a cocoon coat made from a fiber similar to mohair, a long satin-backed crepe shirtdress in a hand tie-dyed pattern, a chunky cotton waffle knit Henley shirt and long johns “that can be worn out,” he said.
“Home was an exciting moment for me because I’d never done home before,” Lippes said. “We did beautiful pillows, a dog bowl and a ceramic container with a sculpture of one of my Labradoodles on the lid.”
The Target spokesman said the company’s plaid takeover is “bigger than the sum of its parts. There will be pops of plaid and high-fashion moments. We’ll push the envelope and say, ‘How do you mix two different plaids?’”