Target strikes deal with jeweler Kendra Scott as it gets ready for holiday season

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Shoppers will soon see jewelry designed by Kendra Scott at about 150 Target stores. Most of the items will be under $40.

Target

Target said Tuesday that it has struck a deal with jeweler Kendra Scott to carry exclusive collections of earrings, bracelets and more, as it looks to get its sparkle back ahead of the key holiday season.

The cheap chic retailer has established a reputation for launching its own brands and dedicating parts of its stores to merchandise from well-recognized national names, such as Levi Strauss, Disney and Apple. It has mini Ulta Beauty shops inside of a growing number of its stores, too.

With the new deal, colorful jewelry designed by Kendra Scott for Target will be available online and at about 150 stores. The first collection of more than 200 items, which range from $15 to $60, will hit on October 22 — just as customers are putting holiday shopping lists together and snagging early gifts. Most items cost less than $40, Target said.

The big-box retailer declined to share the deal’s financial terms, but described it as “a long-term strategic partnership.”

The first Kendra Scott collection will hit Target’s shelves in late October.

Target

The past year and a half has brought a sharp dose of reality for Target, which thrived and gained market share during the pandemic. The retailer dealt with the fallout of having the wrong merchandise last year as shoppers went out and about again.

In more recent quarters, Target shoppers have pulled back on buying clothing, home decor and other discretionary items while they spend more on experiences and pay higher grocery bills because of inflation. The company also faced public backlash over its Pride merchandise collection, which dinged sales in the most recent quarter. It has also pointed to organized retail theft as a challenge weighing on profits.

Target cut its forecast in August. It said it now expects comparable sales to drop by around mid single digits, and earnings per share to range from $7 to $8 for the full fiscal year.

Shares of Target have fallen nearly 18% this year, far behind the 17% gains of the S&P 500. The company’s stock hit a 52-week low in late August.

On an call with reporters last month, CEO Brian Cornell said Target expects consumers will feel pressured in the coming months because of the return of student loan payments, rising interest rates, and the still higher cost of necessities.

Yet Target has had luck getting shoppers to add some discretionary items to their baskets: makeup and other beauty items.

Sales at its mini Ulta shops in the fiscal second quarter more than doubled, and sales of other beauty items posted double-digit gains compared with a year ago, Target’s Chief Growth Officer Christina Hennington said last month.

That’s a formula it wants to replicate in other categories like jewelry.

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