Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

The bodegas are coming! The bodegas are coming!

September 9, 2008

tgtbodegaoutside2.JPGThe drink cooler is lined with linens. The fridge is stocked with jeans. The soup cans don designer labels.

It’s Target‘s take on the local New York City bodega as the discount retailer prepares to open four “Bullseye Bodegas” in Manhattan. 

Bloggers got a preview of the bodega on 57th Street in Manhattan, and the four temporary stores, which are scattered throughout the borough, will open to the public for four days starting on Sept. 12 at 10 am.

tgtbodegacooler.JPGThe bodegas are stocked with merchandise made exclusively for Target by 22 designers, including maternity wear by Liz Lange, kitchen appliances by Michael Graves, and makeup by Jemma Kidd. The soup cans, featuring the names of the Target designers, are just for display, as are the Target paper towels that serve as a wall around the dressing rooms.

“New York is where you go to get noticed,” said Target spokesman Joshua Thomas of the retailer’s decision to open the pop-up stores. Target’s first Manhattan store is set to open in 2009, but the temporary bodegas will help it generate buzz, he said.

The bodegas will also help Target show that designer goods can be had at discount prices.

tgtbodegainterior1.JPG“It’s design, it’s quality, but it’s affordability,” Thomas said. The average selling price for a piece of bodega merchandise is $25. There are Sigerson Morrison high heels for $34.99, Anya Hindmarch clutches for $19.99, and Thomas O’Brien towels for $9.99.

Target has posted four straight quarters of profit declines as its shoppers, who once splurged on its cheap but chic sweaters or handbags or home decor, pull back on spending. The retailer has said its trademark focus on trendy merchandise could be a challenge in a downturn as consumers shy away from splurges.

tgtbodegafridge.JPGTarget is now trying to emphasize the “Pay Less” side of its “Expect More. Pay Less” tagline. 

Thomas said Target has revamped its advertising circulars. It is featuring fewer items but showing them with larger pictures and a bigger emphasis on price.

While Target will not reveal sales projections for the bodegas, Thomas said he expects the bodegas will see a “steady flow of traffic” and it’s very possible some of the merchandise will sell out before the bodegas close on Sept 15.

As an added bonus, Target is selling its Anya Hindmarch handbag collection, its Sigerson Morrison footwear collection, and its Jonathan Saunders fashion collection in the bodegas before offering them for sale in its stores. Quite a few members of the media were seen picking up pieces of the Jonathan Saunders collection for themselves…..

(Pictures: Taken by Nicole Maestri at the media preview)

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