It will never be said that Target undertook its reinvention in the digital age with any lack of persistence or enthusiasm. While many of the more beset big-box stores have approached one or two avenues to mount a response to the increasing pull of the digital commerce experience, Target has pushed widely and broadly. Omnichannel upgrades, payment plays, re-imagined merchandizing in-store and, of course, retail’s new favorite standard for physical retail: experiential consumerism.
Which makes its newest collaboration with SoulCycle a surprising and yet entirely appropriate fit since SoulCycle has managed a quiet change in how exercise products are bought and sold.
That collaboration will include a dual-branded clothing line, wellness shops in-store and free spinning classes in 12 cities.
The clothing will be the popular and emerging athleisure genre – $30 muscle tanks for the ladies, or $30 men’s T-shirts. The wellness shops feature tech items like Fitbit bands. The class will be offered for free three days at a time in 10 major markets like LA, Houston and Seattle in January and late February. Those classes normally ring the register at $35 a pop and must be bought ahead of time online (and fast, because they sell out quick). The pop-up SoulCycles will run six classes per day.
The brand further pushes SoulCycle’s brand clout – the firm already has a well-established and occasionally cultish following with its distinct focus on dim lighting, blaring music and a quasi-spiritual relationship with one’s spinning instructor. It is also an often speculated IPO possibility, though at this time the brand publicly claims it is not thinking about going public so much as it is thinking about its expansion plans.
Target, for its part, is coming off two tough years, kicked off by a massive 2013 data breach that saw consumer confidence in the brand hit an all-time low. That trend has been reversing, as Target has both leveled up it efforts around in-store experience and digital delivery.