Target puts kids in charge of back to school

Target (NYSE:TGT) is putting kids in charge of back to school by directing new merchandising programs and deciding how and where to apply the retailer's charitable donations this season.

In partnership with, a nonprofit dedicated to engaging the public to fund school projects, Target plans to give up to $5 million to fund kids' ideas that help promote healthier, more active lifestyles.

Beginning August 1, kids and their teachers can go to a dedicated website and submit ideas for their schools. Ideas must be focused on promoting healthy eating or increasing physical activity. It's part of the retailer's focus on wellness across categories.

Target will fund all ideas that meet the program criteria, including that they cost less than $1,000 to implement, on a first-come basis.

Kids are also helping to create the marketing campaign by drafting story boards, illustrating the creative components, directing and styling the spots.

This is part of Target's ongoing program to grow its kids' product category. Last month, the retailer revealed plans to invest $40 million this year in organizations committed to helping children and families increase physical activity and eat healthier. It also unveiled Cat & Jack, a children's brand designed and promoted by kids.

Management believes Cat & Jack could ring up $1 billion in sales in its first year.

"Kids and families are incredibly important to Target, and just as parents recognize the potential in their kids, Target does too," said Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer. "We were inspired to work even more closely with kids after seeing the difference they made in the development of our new Cat & Jack and Pillowfort lines. Now, we're taking things a step further, allowing kids to put their mark on Target's community giving and marketing campaign for the back-to-school season. Both are not only inspired by kids, but completely created by kids."

For more:
- see this Target announcement

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