Target (NYSE:TGT), taking a page from its apparel selection, will be offering a "custom-curated assortment of consumer electronics and gadgets," with the editors of Wired magazine doing the curating, Drug Store News reported on Monday (April 29).
In stores, displays with Wired's name will contain 11 products from the assortment, while on a special page on Target's e-commerce site there will be an additional eight items in the selection. (While Target describes the assortment as consumer electronics, most of the items fall squarely into the gadget category—no TVs or Blu-Ray players, lots of things that connect to a smartphone or tablet.)
While curated collections are pretty standard fare for apparel, that's a lot less common for gadgetry. Target just ended its deal that put mobile phone kiosks operated by RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) in 1,500 Target stores, but that was largely a way for Target to dip a toe into mobile sales that would help push the phone accessories that Target continued to sell on its own. The Wired deal won't involve anything in the stores except branding.
It's also not clear which way the promotional money is flowing—whether this is effectively a paid in-store ad for Wired or a way for Target to raise its visibility among Wired's presumably upscale readers.
In either case, it's a useful experiment. If a magazine's name actually moves more merchandise the way a designer's name can, that could be another weapon in retailers' marketing arsenals. But the biggest challenge may be finding any magazines left that can attract customers.
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