Why Target is ahead of the holiday season

Target accelerates differentiation in timely effort to appeal to young shoppers ahead of the holidays.

Target continues to keep up with Millennial and Gen Z trends, as its latest fashion line focuses on the celebration of women ahead of this holiday season.

The company announced the launch of one of its signature limited collections. But rather than its typical team-up with a celebrity or haute label such as Victoria Beckham or Missoni, Target's new fashion collaboration will be with a nonprofit – a move that may strike a chord with young shoppers who prefer to do business with retailers that display a social conscience.

The line, called “A New Day + Vital Voices,” which launched Sept. 29, was designed in collaboration with Vital Voices, an organization that supports women tackling issues in their communities ranging from job training and encouraging women who are in the pursuit of economic reformation, political leadership and the protection of all human rights. The line includes empowering quotes, such as “Use Power to Empower” and “I am a vital voice.”

The release of this line may push Target towards the list of top retailer destinations for younger generations this holiday season. According to a recent Accenture survey, Millennials are going to be the highest spenders during the holidays and it is going to take more to win over this socially conscious generation than sharp prices on key items.

The consulting firm found that retailers’ inclusion and diversity practices – with regards to age, gender, ethnicity and disability etc. – are playing a role in millennial shoppers’ purchasing decisions. The findings suggest that if a retailer is not authentically committed to prioritizing inclusion and diversity, millennials are likely to take their money to a competitor who is inclusive.

“Our research suggests that the millennial generation has high expectations when it comes to retailers’ commitment to inclusion and diversity, and those values are influencing their decision-making in choosing one brand over another,” said Jill Standish, Senior Managing Director and Head of Accenture’s Retail Practice. “National and multinational retailers serve diverse customer bases, so they need to position the brand accordingly – its messaging as well as its product selection. That will require not just more local decision-making, but also assistance from analytics tools that enable retailers to build a granular picture of their customers.”

Millennials are more likely to choose one brand over another if that brand demonstrates inclusion and diversity in terms of its promotions and offers (cited by 70 percent of younger millennial respondents and 69 percent of older millennials), their in-store experience (66 percent of younger and 72 percent of older millennials), their product range (68 percent of younger and 70 percent of older millennials), and their environmental awareness (61 percent of younger and 57 percent of older millennials). 54 percent of younger millennials surveyed believe that retailers have a responsibility and duty toward addressing wider social and political issues with regards to diversity. 51 percent of younger millennials are more likely to shop at a retailer that demonstrates awareness of such issues. 31 percent of younger millennials see diversity in the workplace – with regards to staffing, as an important attribute when it comes to deciding where to shop.