As Target refines its assortment with up-and-coming brands and new private labels, the big-box retailer has partnered with two more DTC brands: Jinx, a dog wellness startup, and Stojo, a sustainable homewares brand, the companies announced via email to Retail Dive.
Jinx currently has partnerships with Petco and Rover online, but Target is the pet wellness brand's first brick-and-mortar partner. Jinx entered Target stores Monday, and listed singer Halsey, actor Will Smith and rapper Nas as part of its cohort of high-profile backers.
Stojo is debuting in Target stores and on its website on July 1. The brand touted that the launch coincides with "Plastic-Free July," a month-long event focused on decreasing the use of single-use plastic. Target will feature Stojo's bowl, box, cups and bottle, and will also get exclusives on Stojo's aquamarine colorway and the company's sandwich box, which will be restocked on Stojo's DTC site later in the summer.
For both Stojo and Jinx, the Target collaborations will be the brands' first physical retail partnership with a big-box retailer. For Target, the two brands are part of a long list of partnerships with up-and-comers as the retailer seeks to build out a unique assortment.
Stojo and Jinx are both focused on wholesale growth. Stojo noted in its announcement that it saw a 423% increase in its U.S. wholesale channel from 2020 to 2021 year-to-date, while Jinx noted in its Target launch that the brand recently debuted on Bloomingdales' e-commerce site as well.
Target's Jinx partnership comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted pet stores' sales, a trend driven in part by more consumers buying more pet goods or adopting pets during the pandemic. In Q4 of 2020, Petco saw a net sales increase of 16.5% and added about 1 million new customers, while the next quarter, Chewy saw 31.7% in net sales growth and added 4.7 million new active customers.
Target isn't the only traditional retailer pursuing partnerships with DTC brands. Retailers including Nordstrom and Walmart have also developed relationships with certain DTC brands. Nordstrom has invested in or partnered with several digitally native brands like Bonobos, Everlane and Reformation over the years. Just this Wednesday, the department store announced a long-term partnership with custom men's clothing brand Indochino.
While DTC brands can reach new customers through partnerships with physical stores, retailers see these deals as an opportunity to attract more customers, remain relevant to shoppers and learn from DTC brands on how to approach their private label brands.