Visited our local Target Monday to see the launch set for the new LIBERTY of LONDON merchandise. Although the commercial has a WOW! factor to draw customers into the store, it seemed kind of lifeless on the shelves. I would have thought a cross divisional shop would have been set to create a focal point, but they maintained items within their categories. The only visual WOW! factor was found in the ladies apparel shop, located adjacent to swim, dresses, and sportswear.
"As fabrics go, few are as lovely or as interesting as the floral prints from the Liberty of London brand, which is much better known across the pond than it is here. As shopping goes, few experiences are as pleasant as a trip to Target."
Across the aisle from ladies LOL apparel, Accessories were set, however, the quality of the fabric felt cheap: a printed scarf felt rough. Reading these were only the PRINTS from LOL, it looks like quality had to suffer, in order to get the target price. Target is set by classification, so each of these statements were set as shops, or mostly as end-cap leads into a department throughout the store, including Men's, Home, Office, and Kids. (Go to online site here)
The pop-up store, opened in New York last week March 11-March 13 from 9am to 8pm for the launch of the brand . But for those outside of New York, the full collection arrived in select stores nationwide, Sunday, March 14. According to Racked NY, the entire collection had sold out at the pop-up shop. In fact, they actually had to close it.
I love the way retailers set these 'faux' shops in the cross-roads of the world to help drive traffic to their stores by creating a WOW! factor and buzz... But they do NOT look like the shops themselves when actually set...
Now the REAL and current boutique Liberty of London looks like this
Conceived by Creative Director Tamara Salman and designed by Paris-based architects Pierre Buecler and Jean-Christophe Poggioli, the two-storey 1,800 sq ft store provides an opulent canvas for the men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, accessories, scarf, swimwear and jewellery lines.
Not everyone 'gets' all the patterns, layered on top of pattern within the store. Photos of this shop concept and set did not have the nicest comments, however this one summed it up:
"Well done Simon superb work. Some of the people making comments here obviously have no idea about what Liberty stands for. Design is not about personal taste it’s about context and relevance to the target audience and expression an organisation’s core values. Is this design relevant to the target audience?? Yes. Does the design express the core values of the brand?? Absolutely. Just remember nobody ever erected a statue to a critic. (because most art critics are failed artists) If you don’t like this work I guess Liberty is just not for you." The post was from 2008. The comment was from 2009. Interesting reference word: 'target' audience.
NYC pop-up shop
IMHO... I'm not feeling the correlation between the Liberty of London customer and a Target customer... at least down here in Broward. I did read a tweet that Sunday "lines formed and merchandise sold out in New York." Maybe New York is their 'target' audience. Maybe Liberty just can't afford to operate in this economy, and they are switching gears.
Target LOL brand signing
Original LOL in London: it's Black, White & Gold graphic detail.
Why didn't Target use it?
On Monday, their landmark store in London, was sold (READ MORE HERE). They said it is planning to lease back the premises and continue to operate in the 125,000-square-foot, wood-paneled store located on one of London's busiest shopping streets. The deal will ease the financial pressure on Liberty, which ended the first half of 2009 with more than GBP 24 million in net debt.
Original Liberty of London
2008 boutique Liberty of London
Target "pop-up shop" for Liberty of London
"Liberty, one of London's most historic retailers, was founded in 1875. Early fans included writer Oscar Wilde. More recently, the store has attracted an eclectic crowd of shoppers dawn to its unusual mix of designer brands and quirky gift items. Hopefully Target customers will be attracted to the line as well." (Read more about Liberty history here)
Does your Target LOL shop look like this?
Have you seen LOL in your area Target? What do you think of its assortment? Price point? Quality? Have you even heard of Liberty of London until the Target commercials?