Target Turns To eCommerce Merchants For A Millennial Edge

Target Turns To Digital Brands For Millennials

Brick-and-mortar retailers are bringing direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands into their stores to reach younger consumers who don’t want to use the same brands as their parents, with Target selecting women’s body care brand Flamingo to include in its product lineup. The move comes as the retailer is looking to become a “cool” shopping destination for millennials, and Flamingo provides the sleek, cool packaging that attracts younger buyers.

The Flamingo brand offers a selection of products designed for shaving and waxing, from body lotion to five-blade razors, and was brought online by the creators of men’s grooming brand Harry’s. The latter brand is no stranger to Target, as the retailer announced a deal to sell Harry’s products in its stores and online back in 2016. In a post on Target’s website following the rollout of Harry’s, Target Senior Vice President of Beauty, Essentials, Hardlines and Services Christina Hennington said that the retailer “can’t wait for our female guests to try Flamingo, the new line of shave and wax products created specifically for their needs.”

The products will now be available at all of the retailer’s brick-and-mortar stores, as well as its eCommerce website. Flamingo General Manager Allie Melnick told CNBC in an interview that the company saw the tie-up as a “natural collaboration,” saying that “we know Target is such a core part of [our core customer’s] weekly shopping experience.” Melnick also noted that more traditional brands haven’t taken advantage of the body care aisles in brick-and-mortar retail stores, which has created an opportunity for Flamingo.

The CNBC report also noted that the brand “uses sleek packaging to promote [that] women shouldn’t be embarrassed to shave their underarms.” That concern is echoed by Melnick, who said the company was “excited to partner with Target to give more women accessibility to great products and continue expanding the honest dialogue around body care.” Flamingo, after all, was formed “because there wasn’t a women’s body care brand we could relate to.”

Direct-to-Consumer Collaborations

Flamingo isn’t the only direct-to-consumer brand to appear on the shelves of Target stores: In 2018, Quip announced plans to sell its electric toothbrush starter sets at the retailer, with the aim of turning shoppers into future subscribers. The company’s products were said to be featured on the end caps at Target’s stores, a set-up that Quip CEO Simon Enever noted in an October PYMNTS interview was a pronounced, clean, simple and easy-to-understand display.

And the display itself is similar to other channels: “It looks a lot like our online ads and our offline ads,” Enever said in October. With the in-store displays, however, consumers can actually experience a toothbrush. Online imagery is simply not the same as touching the brush’s metal handle firsthand and seeing its small size in person. And, to help market the company’s online offerings, the display includes a website that consumers can use to find out where to order refills.

The Road Ahead

While brands like Quip, Flamingo and Harry’s have teamed up with Target, some direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are hesitant to team up with Amazon. One brand cited a hard refusal to share customer data that could aid the eCommerce giant. Beyond DTC brands, however, Amazon is making a push for exclusive product lines that are only sold through the company.

Perrigo, for instance, both owns and manufactures a line of over-the-counter (OTC) products called GoodSense, which is exclusive to Amazon, that treats ailments such as indigestion and allergies. And First Quality has an Amazon-exclusive brand, which is called Earth + Eden, in addition to its competing private-label brand for diapers, called Mama Bear. Looking ahead, a web page called “Our Brands,” per a CNBC report last year, noted that the retailer was looking for companies to “join the Amazon family of brands.”

For now, however, retailers like Target are building upon their efforts to bring eCommerce brands into their stores, as they strive to become a “cool” place for millennials to shop with the help of labels that appeal to younger buyers.