TB: You’ve mentioned your merchandising strategy for this holiday. How is that different from Q1-Q3, or from other holiday seasons?

SL: Let me first tell you how it is similar, that really comes back to the root of Target. Our slogan is “Expect More. Pay Less.” So, focusing our brand around value will continue this holiday season, whether it’s everyday great prices, our promotions, or the 5 percent [discount] we offer for our Red Card holders. That will be consistent. What will be different this holiday season starts with our toy catalog.

We’ve had a toy catalog in the past, but this year’s toy catalog is bigger and better than it has been in years past. We have eight more pages in content, which equates to about 10 percent more toys. We’ll have 20 percent more sales in that catalog, and, more importantly, the toy catalog is not focused on just the core items, but we are providing resources within that catalog.

We will highlight all the great toys that her children are excited about, but we’ll give her the opportunity, by placing checkboxes by each of the items in the catalog, to walk through the catalog and check off the items that she is interested in. We also have a tear-off at the back of the catalog that she can take to the store. The content in the toy catalog and those list-building capabilities will also be available on Target.com.

TB: How do you think Target will differ from other major retailers this holiday season?

SL: One thing that I think differentiates us from other retailers is our value proposition. We also believe the ability for mom to do more in one store [is a differentiator]. As much as we are here talking about toys, Target carries a much broader selection—anything from “her needs to her wants.” Specifically compared to our toy competitors, we are offering a greater ability to complete her entire holiday list in Target.

TB: So, let’s switch to this year’s toys. What toys will guests find only at Target?

SL: We actually have 300 Target exclusive items, which is up 20 percent compared to last year. Specifically as it relates to what we believe are going to be top items this season, there are a handful that are exclusives.

Want to know what Target thinks will fly off shelves this holiday season? Click here to get Stephanie Lucy’s take on the five hot trends and the toys that match them for this season.

TB: How do those exclusives come about?

SL: Exclusives for us fall into two different categories. There’s what we call our private labels, and the others are exclusive content in great brands and licenses. In terms of how we go after exclusives, we partner with many manufacturers that have great brands and licenses in advance of launch to develop products that are exclusive to Target and are meaningful to children and mom. It’s a process where we work together with our vendor partners to develop content that is a real “wow” to kids and to moms.

TB: So it’s more of a co-development.

SL: It is. It happens three ways. Sometimes we go to the manufacturer with an idea, sometimes we co-create it together, and sometimes they present ideas to us. But it’s a joint process in its entirety.

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