'The girly good life finds a home
By Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, 2/3/2003 12:00:00 AM
BROOKLYN, NY —
Target is striving to bring the good life to its shoppers in a girly, yet sophisticated, manner — with the addition of Cynthia Rowley to the growing ranks of its scenester private brands.
The retailer is rolling the fashion designer/author's Swell collection of bedding, bath and tableware where it will meet — briefly or otherwise — other well-known monikers, such as Michael Graves, Todd Oldham and Philippe Stark. In doing so, Target has continued to refine the designer brand business in a mass merchant environment.
Emerging from the pages of "Swell: A Girl's Guide to the Good Life," which Rowley co-authored with Ilene Rosenzweig in 1999, the collection pairs stripes, embroideries, and fun shapes against bright colors or subtle, sophisticated hues. The premier was showcased during prime time ads seen recently on Fox TV's New York market station.
In a visit to a store here last week, the collection placed prominently in the domestics department, commanding two racetrack endcaps out of 16, along with an entire gondola run dedicated to the collection.
Soft and hard goods were also joined in a outside drive aisle display — providing a 20-foot-long exposure — in the tableware section, across from domestics.
It was clear that the program — or at least its rollout — was still in development during this visit. Empty shelf slots and j-hooks were not uncommon in parts of the Rowley section and displays.
In soft home, bedding was given star treatment. Sheet sets and duvets, both packaged in plastic with pink piping and handles, included such styles as Swell Dreams, a colorful stripe design; Tickled Pink, a bright pink look; Silver Lining, with a blue base and white detailing; Pocket Full of Posies, a yellow pattern with delicate pink flowers; and Dutch Treat, a floral look.
The sheets, which also included solids like navy, white, yellow, blue and pink, were constructed of 230-count cotton sateen, with a queen set retailing for $54.99. A queen duvet was priced at $99.99. Each collection included two cotton accent rugs, one measuring 21" x 34" for $14.99 and the other 29" x 48" for $29.99.
The front rounded endcap was filled with Swell's bath collection, showing towel sets, sheets and rugs, along with several stacks of non-Swell Valentine's Day hand towels. Some were already marked down, including a 21" x 33" bath rug for $8.99, from $9.99; towel sets and bath sheets in several designs for $11.69, falling from $12.99; and a 30" x 46" rug for $17.99, down from $19.99.
A few aisles away, Swell bath products were displayed, although, again, some skus were missing. The $9.99 items included martini-shaped shower hooks; hooks with the words "Good," "Clean" and "Fun" on them; sensually-shaped lotion pumps; martini glass toothbrush holders; vinyl shower curtains; blue, round bath rugs; bath rugs with footprints on them; and a Signature Stripe blue cotton towel.
At the $14.99 level, products included fabric shower curtains, pink and blue solid bath sheets, a wastepaper basket and a cotton jar. Other items included an embroidered terry bath pillow ($5.99), tumbler ($7.99) and seven-piece wash cloth sets ($7.99).
In a 20-foot display facing the main aisle in tableware, the collection received more exposure, melding soft and hard home together, though again some items were missing.
Besides colorful plastic serving trays, and wine glasses with numbers in their stems, textiles included tablecloths in vinyl ($3.99 each, in five sizes) in the Dutch Treat pattern, in solid-color fabric with a contrasting colored borders (60" x 84", $16.99), and striped fabric styles (52" x 70", $12.99).
Other linens included 20-inch fabric napkins ($4.99 for two striped or embroidered ones, $5.99 for two with ribbon trim), fabric and vinyl place mats, solid-color and striped chairpads, potholders, oven mitts and kitchen towels. Napkin rings rounded out the selection in either the Dutch Treat pattern or striped fabric with metal belt loops.
Target's website also listed bathrobes among the available Swell items.
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