Have Exclusive Designer Deals Lost Their Value?
Over the holidays, the question of designers came up at the family table. Our 19-year-old and a group of her friends were discussing the relative merits of celebrity fashions compared to those by "real" designers and whether it made sense to purchase products from either when sold in mass outlets (Target), fast fashion specialty (H&M) or department stores (Kohl’s, Macy’s, etc.).
Interestingly, the small group agreed that the whole exclusive thing was getting a bit tired because, let’s face it, pretty much every retailer is doing it these days. Now, that doesn’t mean that these young women wouldn’t go online or stop by a store if Jason Wu or Stella McCartney’s name was attached to an affordable line of clothing, but they weren’t going to rush to a store featuring fashions designed by any member of the Kardashian clan, Selena Gomez, etc.
This week, Target put its exclusive designer cred on the line again (remember the Target + Neiman Marcus partnership did not fare as well as expected) and apparently won with the Prabal Gurung for Target collection. In fact, it appears based on my research that inventory for the line is as deep or deeper on eBay (more than 2,000 search results) than it is in Target’s stores or Target.com.
But this apparent success aside, have chains gone too far with the whole exclusive designer tactic and, if yes, what must they do differently to create excitement and sales for their businesses?
RetailWire BrainTrust member Carol Spieckerman told the Pioneer Press, "The novelty has certainly worn off" retailer and designer partnerships. She suggested that Target and others needed to develop "complementary" programs to create further buzz and drive sales.
- Pinning Prabal: Target Brings Love to Life on Pinterest – a bullseye view
- [Video] Story Behind the Story: Why We Love the Prabal Gurung for Target Ad Campaign – a bullseye view
- Target Announces Partnership with Designer Prabal Gurung – Target Corporation
- Target’s high-fashion partnerships will continue, retailer says – Pioneer Press
- Prabal Gurung’s Line Is The Smash Hit That Target Needed – Business Insider/Yahoo! Finance
Are exclusive designer deals losing some of their value for mass, specialty and department store chains? What can retailers do in place of or in addition to exclusive deals to improve results?