Target's Victoria Beckham collection will include plus sizes in stores

Dive Brief:

  • With its forthcoming apparel collection put together with fashion designer Victoria Beckham (a.k.a. the former Posh Spice), Target for the first time is featuring plus-size options within a limited-edition designer collection sold in its stores, reports Allure.

  • The Beckham collection, available April 9 in all Target stores and online, includes more than 200 pieces featuring soft pastels, bright color pops and spring floral prints, the retailer said.

  • Victoria Beckham for Target items range in price from $6 to $70, with most under $40, and will be offered in sizes XS-3X for women and NB-XL for girls, toddler and baby. The collection will be available through April 30, or while supplies last.

Dive Insight:

Beckham, once best known as a member of all-girl pop phenomenon Spice Girls, has since proven that she’s more than a "Wannabe" when it comes to fashion. Often dismissed as a sort of fashion novelty even as she worked as a model, stylist and designer, Beckham over time gained respect in the fashion world with modern updates on classic silhouettes, managing to make a Peter Pan collar seem up-to-date. By the time she launched her own eponymous line in 2008, she was a highly respected designer and style influencer.

For that reason, the Target collection is a much anticipated one, destined to attract at least the level of fervor that its 2015 Lilly Pulitzer collection did — and which led to customer frenzy and a problem of resellers hogging much of the merchandise. Target was also criticized for leaving plus sizes of that collection for sale only on its website. By changing that policy, Target will not only assuage critics but also take advantage of what more brands are realizing is a significant market segment.

The collaboration includes firsts for Beckham, too: It’s her first mass-market effort and the first time she’s designed for toddlers and extended sizes. Parents will likely be pleased, considering that Beckham's four children have been fixtures on "best dressed" lists from a very young age.

Target innovated the designer tie-up approach after a bruising price war with Wal-Mart in the 1980s that it quickly realized it could never win. At a time when Wal-Mart is doubling down on its aggressive low-price approach and when apparel sales generally are soft, Target needs to continue to differentiate its merchandise in this way: In its most recent quarter, Target’s same-store sales decreased 1.5%, while same-store e-commerce sales in the quarter rose 34%, contributing 1.8 percentage points of comparable sales growth. Along with some of its differentiated merchandise, the retailer’s “signature categories,” which include baby and wellness, outpaced total comparable sales by nearly 3 percentage points, and same-store sales traffic rose 0.2% in the quarter. 

Target is responding to the challenge by announcing partnerships with Dwell for home goods and furniture merchandise, and has revamped apparel and home goods for children through its new Cat & Jack and Pillowfort lines. Last month, outgoing Target CFO John Mulligan told analysts that home decor and apparel account for some $26 billion in sales.

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