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"Can you let us go to Target and find our favorite things and bring them home for the holidays?" That's what Rachel Shechtman of Chelsea concept shop Story asked CEO and chairman Brian Cornell just minutes after his executive team popped into her store unannounced—while she was in sweatpants, no less. Just eight weeks later, Story has debuted its third iteration of the seasonal Home for the Holidays, featuring 200 Target-branded products previously only found within the mega-chain's walls—including some that have yet to land there.
"I've always said I want to do something with Target when I've been doing Story long enough to know what I'm doing, and now it's been nearly three years," Shechtman explained to Racked. "I had this vision of putting Nate Berkus next to Santa Maria Novella and Sonia Kashuk next to Diptyque—these unlikely bedfellows, so to speak."
More unlikely bedfellows: Story and Target themselves. This may seem like another case of a New York indie concept going mainstream—this year alone has seen Catbird collaborate with J. Crew and Assembly New York team up with Urban Outfitters—but Shechtman's original retail spirit hasn't drowned among corporate sponsorship.
"We gave Rachel full editorial discretion in terms of the products she wanted to carry," Target spokesperson Joshua Thomas said. "We really liked the idea of giving control to someone who has honed in on a unique aspect of retail an opportunity to play with our products and tell Target's story."
To distinguish themselves from the nearly 120 brands available in store, Target products are handily tagged with little bullseye stickers. But they're still well-disguised in their designated areas—him, her, kids, and home—with other products, including those from a recent Pitch Night.
Story also had the opportunity to snag exclusive access to collaborations, like TOMS for Target weeks before it hits regular target stores and the Faribault for Target collection that was launched online-only earlier this week. The latter, with 99-cent ornaments and an $80 weekender bag is cleverly integrated with products from the Minneapolis-based wool company's signature blankets, which go for $175.
Home for the Holidays runs through January 4th, but stop by before for the mountain-lodge atmosphere, forthcoming store events—and, of course, plenty of holiday shopping.
· Story [Official Site]
· Concept Shop Story Goes High-Tech With Intel for Fall [Racked NY]
· New York City's 38 Most Essential Stores, Fall 2014 [Racked NY]