By David Gill
Toward the beginning of this fall, Target plans to have a new brand in its assortment—one that will encompass just about every category in home furnishings.
The brand will be called Threshold. In its initial launch this coming September, it will include bed linens, bath products, dinnerware, pantryware, home accents, accessories, frames, clocks, shelving, rugs of all sizes, furniture, storage, tabletop and seasonal baking items. Threshold products will be in Target stores and on target.com.
Stacia Andersen, Target’s senior vice president of merchandising for home, said, “The fundamental basis of Threshold will be quality and design. The packaging will reflect this. We want to be very overt to our guests, that these elements are what we are promising with this brand.”
The full Threshold rollout will actually take place from this coming fall into spring of 2013. “It will really be an evolution over six months,” said Julie Guggemos, vice president of product design and development for home at Target.
Guggemos said, “We will continue to bring in new categories throughout the fall season. We will introduce the line continuously with new trends throughout the launch period.” The first of these trends will be Upstate, which Guggemos described as “New England vacation homes reinterpreted with a modern twist, with surprising uses of color, brights, tartan plaids and whimsical forest creatures.” Upstate will be featured on decorative accessories for tabletop, decorative pillows, throws, bedding and bath.
“We will leverage Threshold in our holiday assortment as well,” Guggemos said. “This coming holiday season, we will have Threshold as a focus on gifting items and entertaining merchandise. By next spring, the rollout will be 100 percent complete.”
Threshold won’t be nailed down to any specific design theme, according to Andersen. “Threshold will offer a traditional and casual feel, but it’s in no way narrow,” she said. “It will fit into a lot of guests’ homes. It will offer a wide range of color styles. The trends and colors will adapt to the new design trends along the way.”
Andersen said when the decision came down to add a new brand to the home area, Target tested a number of names with consumers, and Threshold emerged as the name with the clearest brand identification to those consumers. “Threshold gives them a true brand name that’s more identifiable,” she said. The shopper “can say she bought sheets under that brand.”
The quality in Threshold products will be reflected in the use of unique materials, and the design elements will be evident in the colors and prints. “We’re very proud of what we accomplished with Threshold,” Guggemos said. “The (product-development) team spent a lot of time talking to guests on how they use these products, what they consider the key functionality points. As a result, the design on Threshold products is great, and the quality is exceptional.”
The Threshold pricing will be in line with the Target Home brand, but, as Guggemos, said, “we’re offering a new value equation because Threshold will be several notches above Target Home in quality and functionality.”
At this point, Threshold is not slated to replace any of Target’s other home brands. Along with Target Home, these labels include Circo in furniture, Xhilaration in teen-oriented home products, Room Essentials in bedding and bath for college students and young adults, Smith & Hawken in outdoor furniture and decor, and Fieldcrest in upper-end bed and bath textiles.
Guggemos said the packaging will reflect what Target is trying to get across with Threshold. “Our marketing team designed packaging that is very clean and very elevated,” she said. “All of the key quality attributes will be on the packaging. The looks are very sophisticated and elevated.”
Target will also slowly rev up on the marketing and advertising campaign for Threshold, Guggemos said. “In the fall, we’ll primarily focus on weekly circulars and target.com,” she said. “Next spring, we will do a full marketing and advertising campaign. I anticipate print media. We haven’t talked TV yet, but it’s a possibility.”
Andersen added that the Threshold marketing and advertising campaign will also include a social-media element. “We want family and friends to have the ability to share Threshold looks,” she said. “Our goal is for Threshold to be one of the largest home brands we have.”