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Photo by Bobak

“Fan Central” Right On Target
December 14, 2009

Among the hundreds of buyers registered to attend the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show is a buying team from Target comprised of David Glaza, Brandon Solberg and Tim Horton. How does Target fit into the big picture of licensed sports and tailgating products? What will they be looking for this January? Licensing Outlook put these questions and more to this Vegas-bound trio of buyers.

LOGO!: Does Target see itself as a “go-to” store for licensed sports products?

Tim Horton: Absolutely. Target has always been focused on the local community, most notably through our charitable giving programs. Providing guests with a destination for local team products is another way we become part of the community. Starting in February, Target will be expanding our team sports licensed business by launching a new concept called “Fan Central”. This will create a pro shop environment within the store integrating both apparel and hard goods. We are very excited to see our guests’ response during MLB’s 2010 season. We think it will be a big hit.

LOGO!: Who is buying licensed sports merchandise at your stores? Who is Target’s target, so to speak?

David Glaza: At Target, it is all about Mom. Mom is either buying the item for herself, for her kids or for her spouse. We always look through the eyes of Mom when planning our assortments. Either she is the sports fan herself or she knows her family is. Cheering for their favorite team is a great way for Mom to get the family together.

LOGO!: In which categories does Target shop most aggressively for licensed sports products?

Photo by Marlith

Brandon Solberg: Apparel is the driver of our assortment, but we are very much focused on offering a well-edited assortment of both hard and soft goods in a licensed environment. With our Fan Central concept, you will see this whole assortment come to life in our stores.

LOGO!: Which teams sell best for you nationally?

Brandon Solberg: Being headquartered in Minneapolis, the local teams always do well. The Vikings, Twins and Wild are good performers in their leagues. Our fans support their teams well. Players like Brett Favre and Joe Mauer obviously help too. Outside of Minnesota, Chicago and Boston are great markets for us. We also do well in some smaller college markets where we have a store really close to campus.

LOGO!: How much room is there for “opportunistic buys” when you see a potential hot seller or high-profit item?

David Glaza: At Target, we concentrate first on making our everyday guest and store team member experience right. That means basics come first. There is room for opportunistic or hot market buys, but only when the sales or margin potential is large enough above normal to justify it.

LOGO!: When you come to a show like Las Vegas, what are your priorities?

Tim Horton: We are always looking for innovation and inspiration for how we can offer a brand-right assortment that our guest is looking for. Specifically, new products geared toward Mom and family that help deliver a comprehensive assortment solution for the guest.

LOGO!: At Target, how much coordination is there between grocery buyers and licensed buyers to give the guest an integrated tailgating solution?

David Glaza: Across the store, Target does a great job creating integrated shopping solutions for our guest that incorporate food, hardlines and apparel. This is most evident in our seasonal areas, Halloween, Valentine’s, etc, where buyers from across the company partner to create a great guest experience with all of Mom’s wants and needs. In the team licensed area, we have an opportunity to expand our cross-merchandising and create a one-stop-shop for tailgating within our store. By pulling together products from across the store, we could create a very impactful solution for our guest.

LOGO!: With Mom as Target’s core guest, how much emphasis is put on her while putting together tailgating merchandise?

Brandon Solberg: With Mom as our core guest, our assortment decisions always start with her, so there is a lot of emphasis. If it isn’t Mom and family friendly, it probably won’t sell very well. We know that Mom is the planner and the shopper in the family. She’s the one planning the menu and the activities. While putting together our assortment we need to make sure we are solving her needs with fun and inspirational products. These needs could be food and drink related, causing us to carry napkins, bowls or glasses. Or, she may be wondering how to entertain the family, so we’ll carry kid-friendly tailgate games and sport balls. Either way, we try to understand our guest and then create a solution for her.

Fan Central at Target


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