Before we tie the bow on 2016, we couldn’t help but reminisce about some big moments from the past year. And what a year it’s been—from incredible new brands, design partnerships and music to creating new ways to play. Take a look:
We debuted not one—but two!—new brands, completely designed with kids in mind. (Seriously. We spent tons of time with moms, dads and kids, pouring over every detail). In February, we built the ultimate Pillowfort, a stylish 1,200-piece kids’ home collection featuring everything from bedding and furniture to wall décor—all exclusive to Target.
Come summer we were back at it again, revealing Cat & Jack, our largest-ever clothing line (and a soon-to-be billion-dollar brand) for kids and baby. We tapped real kids from across the country to help design the collection, model the clothes and share the news during back-to-school shopping season by appearing in the look book and on signing in our kids’ department.
And to help fuel our littlest guests’ play, we launched Yummy Spoonfuls, a Target-exclusive line of organic baby food, made in small batches and flash-frozen for optimal freshness.
Even more ways to play…
2016 also had us charting a new course with our CSR strategy: Helping make wellness more accessible and affordable for our team members, guests and communities across the U.S. Some highlights? Becoming the first retailer to carry the UNICEF Kid Power Band and helping expand its Kid Power school program in high-need communities to reach up to 100,000 kids. Partnering with organizations across the country to help kids and families be active and eat healthy—including our team-up with nonprofit KaBOOM! to build unique play spaces for nearly 150,000 kids and launching the Play Everywhere Challenge which awarded $1 million nationally for ideas that transform everyday spaces into awesome places to play. And continuing the tradition of hosting fun-filled events for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital patients and their families as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our partnership.
We hit the bullseye some amazing collaborations this year! This spring, we kicked off our partnership with the celebrity style and fashion aficionados Who What Wear on an ongoing collection of apparel and accessories, with new pieces are introduced each month.
We even went all the way to Finland to bring design house Marimekko’s playful patterns and vibrant prints to Target. The much-anticipated, limited-edition collection kicked off a fan frenzy—and had us all dreaming of endless summer.
And as Fall rolled in, New York Fashion Week was the place to be seen—and heard! We partnered with IMG (the parent company behind Fashion Week) to introduce RED’s, a piano sing-a-long lounge that gave fashion enthusiasts a space to relax, recharge and enjoy NYFW.
Even Barbie® had a style moment at Target this year, modeling our 2016 swimwear—and spreading a #NOFOMO message of confidence and style for every body type.
On the beauty front, we introduced Target guests to two amazing brands. In September, Beautycounter (a beauty industry disruptor known for high-quality products made with safer, cleaner ingredients) made its mass-retail exclusive debut at Target, with a limited-edition line of make-up and skincare products. And in August, we shook things up in our shave department, introducing popular men’s grooming brand Harry’s to our stores and Target.com.
Thinking outside the box
Beyond the big style and brand moments, we also worked on some innovation and new market ideas in 2016. In June, we started testing Connected Living, an in-store experience (modeled on Target Open House) showing guests how connected products like thermostats and door locks can make life easier, more convenient and more efficient than ever. Later in the year we rolled out connected nursery products as well.
We also launched our first accelerator. From more than 550 applications from around the world, we picked 11 tech-based startups to join the rigorous Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator. During the 14-week program in Minneapolis, Target leaders, including CEO Brian Cornell and members of his leadership team, mentored the startup founders, and, in turn, learned about the startups’ pace and work style.
What’s a year-end recap without an awesome soundtrack? We had some incredible artists on our 2016 playlist, but two stood out. First up: Gwen and the GRAMMY® Awards. We made #MoreMusic history in February, creating Gwen Stefani’s official music video for “Make Me Like You” on live TV during a four-minute commercial break.
Then, just in time for the holidays, we teamed up with country super-star Garth Brooks to release “Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Collection” only at Target. The 10-disc collection, including an advance copy of Garth’s latest studio album, set a new pre-order record.
Big Apple debut
In October, Target’s first Manhattan flexible format store (a smaller, urban Target store customized for the local community) opened in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. We debuted a dozen additional flex format across the country throughout the year, bringing convenient, locally-relevant shopping to guests in urban and suburban communities and near college campuses.
Making holiday magic
Prepping for the holidays can feel like staging a production, so we used some marketing magic to help guests steal the show. Throughout the season we followed a colorful cast of characters, including John Legend, Chrissy Teigen and top toys as they prepped for The Toycracker—our modern, Broadway-style take on The Nutcracker. Then, in December we lifted the curtain on our big show—a spectacular eight-minute mini musical.
Cheers to 2016! We can’t wait for the adventures the new year will bring.
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