Christmas comes early with Neiman Marcus deal

The holiday hype has begun, and Target this week launched one of the first salvos, announcing an innovative partnership with 24 designers and the upscale department store chain Neiman Marcus.

Target has secured an unprecedented partnership with Neiman Marcus and 24 designers that solidifies Target’s uniquely differentiated positioning in the retail landscape and could help the company mitigate the effects of irrational Black Friday promotional activity. The two retailers, working with the 24 designers, plan to create a limited-edition collection of 60 holiday gift items called the Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection. The products will become available in both retailers’ stores and on their websites beginning Dec. 1.

Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel, normally pretty low key when describing various company initiatives, even got carried away in his assessment of the partnership and its implications.

“Target and Neiman Marcus are known for charting new terrain, and by joining forces for the holiday season, we’ve set the stage for a redefining moment in retail,” Steinhafel said.

 “This collaboration is unlike anything Target has done before, and we are confident our guests will be thrilled with this extraordinary collection that features some of America’s most preeminent designers.”

 Indeed. The roster of designers includes some big names that even those with only a passing knowledge of the fashion industry would recognize, including; Alice + Olivia, Altuzarra, Band of Outsiders, Brian Atwood, Carolina Herrera, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Eddie Borgo, Jason Wu, Judith Leiber, Lela Rose, Marchesa, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Philip Crangi, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rag & Bone, Robert Rodriguez, Rodarte, Skaist-Taylor, Thom Browne, Tory Burch and Tracy Reese.

 Products are expected to range in price from $7.99 to $499.99. Most items will be priced at less than $60, which is an ideal price point for mass market gift givers to show someone they care without going crazy.

 “Neiman Marcus and Target share a passion for great design and delighting customers in new and unexpected ways,” said Karen Katz, president and CEO of The Neiman Marcus Group. “We are thrilled to be collaborating to offer a spectacular and special collection of one-of-a-kind items for the holidays. These will be the 'must-have' gifts, whether you are a loyal Neiman Marcus customer, a devoted Target guest or a fan of American design.”

In connection with the partnership, the companies said they would donate a total of $1 million to the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The retailers’ said the donation underscores their long-standing commitment to fostering design talent and recognizes the 24 designers, all of whom are members of the CFDA.

More information about the, including details about the products created by each designer for this limited-edition engagement, will be available in the fall of 2012.


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