Nation & World

Target to launch design-focused home brand

Goal is to add better functionality to its everyday items

Target

Made by Design bowls are part of Target’s fourth new home brand launched in the past year.
Target Made by Design bowls are part of Target’s fourth new home brand launched in the past year.

MINNEAPOLIS — Target, which helped pioneer the idea of democratizing design with its Michael Graves partnership in the 2000s, is returning to that concept with a new home brand with a functional, clean design in mind.

Made by Design is Target’s fourth new home brand launched in the past year. The Minneapolis-based retailer expects it will become a billion-dollar brand, a spokesman said.

The 750-item line that hits stores on June 23 includes items from cookware with pour spouts and lids with built-in strainers to rustproof bath accessories and bath towels with hanging loops on them so they don’t fall as easily on the bathroom floor.

Most items are under $30.

“This is dead on,” said Sandy Stein, a Twin Cities-based retail expert. “Target has been successful with design as a differentiator, and now they’re doubling down on it.”

Some of Target’s other new home brands have filled missing aesthetics in its lineup. Project 62 offered a modern play, Opalhouse gave a colorful and eclectic option, and Hearth and Hand with Magnolia in conjunction with HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines focused on modern farmhouse.

The home brands are part of a flurry of new private-label offerings that Target has introduced as it sought to refresh its brand portfolio and regain its edge as the authority in cheap-chic offerings.

Many of the other new brands have been in Target’s wheelhouse of affordable apparel such as Goodfellow and Co. for men; denim-focused Universal Thread, which replaced Mossimo; and two new clothing lines aimed at teens that will debut in August.

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“We did more guest research on this brand than for any brand we’ve introduced,” Joshua Thomas, a Target spokesman, said of Made by Design. “This was about getting into the homes of our guests, seeing what products they are using every day and what issues they have with those products. How can we make that product better and easier but still keep it affordable?”

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