Photo illustration: Shanna Ravindra, Courtesy of Target
From Friday through Sunday, you can buy Rogan’s collection for Target at Barneys before it goes on sale at Target. Budget shoppers might rejoice at the prospect of being able to afford merchandise at Barneys. But the partnership has created a spell of befuddlement among retail experts who just don’t understand why Barneys wants to confuse its customers by selling cheapie stuff. Barneys currently offers Rogan’s regular line, which includes $230 pants and $320 dresses. “When you have $29 jeans and $250 jeans from the same designer, consumers will start to ask, ‘Is that fabric really worth ten times more than the other fabric?’” one expert said. Call us crazy, but we really doubt the typical Barneys shopper will see cheap clothing in their fancy terrain and regret purchasing all those other designer pieces. Assuming they never had really bad taste, that is.
So why is Barneys doing it? First, the store’s fashion director, Julie Gilhart, wanted more ecofriendly products, like Rogan’s Target line, in the store and was reportedly instrumental in getting Rogan’s Target line off the ground. Considering she’s so passionate about it, why shouldn’t she have the line she helped create in her stomping grounds just because it’s inexpensive? Second, many blog posts like this one will be written about this weekend’s event. (Not to mention we just read a six-page article about it in WWD.) You know what that is, retail experts? It’s called buzz, and it’s ringing off the chain for Barneys right now.
So try not to worry so much about this stuff next time. It’s bad for the skin.
Barneys Loves Target: Retailing’s Odd Couple Takes Marketing Leap [WWD]