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TB: Say you are a small manufacturer and you have a great product, and you are looking to be on Target’s shelves next holiday season—do you have any tips for those companies?

SL: Give us a call… There are a lot of different ways that we find small innovative companies. We are certainly always looking for the next great thing. One, we participate in the toy fairs. Also, there are a lot of reps that we do business with that represent smaller manufacturers and bring content to the merchants here at Target. And sometimes it’s simply just making the call directly. There have been times that a small vendor called on either myself or one of my merchants, had a great item, asked for time to review it, and it ended up on our shelves the following year.

TB: On the other hand, do you have any tips for consumers?

SL: Shop Target! I think there are a lot of great resources that Target in particular is poised to provide mom. You know, mom is so busy during the holiday season… I’m already starting to think about what I want to give my children.

If you pick up our toy catalog, which will be available online November 1 and in the newspapers and direct mail shortly thereafter, we are providing mom a guide to the hottest toys for the holiday season, and we are providing it in a format that it is easy for her to look through. It also provides an opportunity for her to sit down with her children and pick out items together.

If I was giving advice to anyone preparing for the holiday season, it would be to take advantage of the resources being offered that help make that shopping experience easier.