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Bloomberg reports that Target, still seeking ways to regain the cachet that used to define its brand, has decided that it needs to start attracting men into its stores. CEO Brian Cornell “calls them ‘white space’ - retail jargon for an unrealized opportunity.”

According to the story, “The retailer has unveiled Goodfellow & Co., a line of stylish everyday shirts, pants and shoes. With $23 slim-fit chinos and $50 herringbone blazers, the prices are well below J. Crew while the styles are on par with fast-fashion emporium H&M. More than 80 percent of the assortment is available in big and tall sizes.

Target is reaching out to men with ads in GQ magazine and during televised football and baseball games, hoping to lure guys … the Goodfellow brand has clicked so far -- sales are up more than 10 percent compared with Target’s previous men’s offering.”

The story goes on: “Target’s courtship of men goes beyond clothes, to beard wax and craft beer. Last year, the retailer brought in shaving products from Harry’s, an online purveyor of affordable, German-made razors that’s sliced into the market share of Procter & Gamble Co.’s Gillette. Since then, Target has added other high-end brands like Bevel, Beardbrand and Cremo and built an in-store male-grooming display area that’s now in 40 locations, with more to come … The next stop on Target’s testosterone train could be more adult beverages beyond craft beer, although a company spokesman said there are no specific plans for, say, Target Tequila or Bullseye Bourbon. If that works out, men won’t be spending their Target gift cards on teeth whiteners without making a side trip for booze.”
KC's View:
I guess the only thing that worries me about these kinds of stories is whether a company like Target is making a long-term strategic commitment, or is it just a tactical move to see if they can move the needle quickly. I think it needs to be the former … and it has to be chain-wide, consistent and persistent.