Merchant Innovation

Target’s Birchbox-Style Surprises

Consumers who found themselves tired of the traditional retail models have been able to enjoy curated subscription services like Birchbox, Bombfell, Blue Apron and more that remove the middlemen of physical retailers by shipping clothes and cooking ingredients straight to customers’ homes based on their preferences. However, those same brick-and-mortar retailers are catching onto the smaller companies that are siphoning away their shoppers.

Target is one such B&M retailer that’s borrowing the tactics of box subscription services, and it began selling its “Wonderpacks” through its online store as of Sunday (Dec. 6). While the Wonderpacks aren’t limited to a single product area or activity like the other popular subscription services they draw influence from, Target is still hoping that shoppers will be drawn to the experience-in-a-box offering that’s unlike anything else the retailer currently stocks.

Target currently lists 12 “exciting experiences” on its dedicated Wonderpack shop portal, and these products include everything from a kit to deck out a remote controlled drone with a sprig of mistletoe to the “lumberjack spa night” that advertises “where flannel and spa essentials meet for the perfect spin on a night in.” Prices range from $95 for Wonderpacks that include gadgets to $25 for the arts and crafts-leaning packages.

Chain Store Age also reported that Target is leveraging Facebook’s Canvas platform to push ads for Wonderpacks throughout the remainder of the holiday shopping season. While the kits aren’t intended to serve as gifts themselves, Target is hoping that Canvas’ fullscreen mobile ads will convince party planners across the country to pick up a Wonderpack or two to supplement seasonal get-togethers.

Whether consumers will see Wonderpacks as the fun-in-a-box products that Target‘s positioning them as remains to be seen, but busy party hosts around Christmas time know that there’s no price that can be put on convenience when the clock is ticking down to Christmas and so much needs to be done before the guests arrive.


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