Target (TGT) has announced its new limited-edition designer apparel collection with Victoria Beckham nearly six months before customers will even get to see the items.
The discount retailer said on Thursday that Beckham’s line will go on sale April 9, 2017, and will include about 200 items with soft pastels, bright colors, spring prints, and Beckham’s first ever items for kids. Prices will range from $6 to $70, with most items under $40.
Beckham’s line is not unlike the retailer’s other cheap-chic collaborations, which in the past have included lines by top names like Isaac Mizrahi and Missoni. But what’s unusual is how far in advance Target has clued in the public. Last year, the retailer announced its Lilly Pulitzer collection only three months ahead of time. And earlier this year, Target unveiled its Marimekko line just a month in advance.
So why the unusually long lead time? For one thing, Target is heading into a tough holiday season against Walmart (WMT) and Amazon.com (AMZN). As a result, Target is not expecting to see sales increase. So the early notice could help the retailer create buzz for the overall brand and put it at the top of customers’ minds.
But also, this early press release will allow Target to track the response on social media, a tool that is likely to help it gauge demand and course correct as needed. A year and half ago, Target got brickbats from many customers after much of the Lilly Pulitzer collection sold out almost instantly (some quickly reappeared on resale site eBay (EBAY)), creating the opposite of the goodwill such collections are meant to build. And the Marimekko line also started off slowly.
As for the collection itself, it’s notable that there is a big emphasis on kids’ clothes, a category Beckham has never dived into before.
“With both the line and my daughter turning five, I felt it was the perfect time to extend into a more accessible price point and to celebrate both milestones by opening the range up to include childrenswear for the first time,” Beckham said in a statement.
Still, it’s not that surprising: kids and babies items are at the top of Target CEO Brian Cornell’s priority list as he looks to win more business from young parents.
The Victoria Beckham for Target line will also include some plus-size items, another priority for the company. Beckham, who broke out as a celebrity 20 years ago as Posh Spice in the Spice Girls, emerged as a designer in 2008 at New York Fashion Week.