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Reuters reports that Target Corp. will try to compete with a Wal-Mart that is working to appeal to more upscale shoppers by itself moving even further upscale, “striking back with a new batch of luxury gifts and fashion for the holiday season” such as cashmere sweaters and silver cuff links.

Not only will Target raise the bar in terms of products carried, it also will use a “limited edition” approach that it hopes will generate greater amounts of customer traffic.
KC's View:
While Wall Street analysts seem to think this is a good idea, we’d like to be contrarian for a moment.

We think that Target has to tread carefully here. While it always has been effective at the whole “cheap chic” thing, Target is still a discounter. There is always the possibility that it will offer one too many sets of silver cuff links or some other product, and that will be the SKU that will change its image in the consumer’s mind.

Not saying this is a certainty. But it certainly is a possibility.

And wouldn’t it be interesting if back in the Wal-Mart war room, where they figure out competitive moves and strategies, the folks sitting around the table actually have this all figured out…that by going upscale, they could push Target further and farther upscale and get it to alienate its core consumer base.

But those are just the ravings of a conspiracy theorist.

Aren’t they?