Target, meet Neiman Marcus

A lot of comment recently on RetailWire (and elsewhere) about the planned holiday collaboration between Target and Neiman Marcus. (Both stores will feature a co-branded collection of American designer “gifts” in December.) Most people see this as a win for Target, less so for N-M, but I take a slightly different position:

The Target/N-M partnership is quite an imaginative leap. There is little doubt that the goods will sell out quickly in Target stores and online, and will burnish its reputation. (It’s hard to conceive of a similar partnership between, say, Saks and Walmart.) Whether the move is good for Target’s value equation is a different matter.

Looking at the other side of the coin, this experiment is a way for Neiman Marcus to combat its own reputation (“Needless Markup”) in a very limited way, and without driving enough sales to disrupt the rest of its business.

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