3 cities, 4 days.
With no more than 24 hours in any one city, I spent all of last week on travel for Fall 2013 frames development. I visited some of our best vendor partners along with the rest of my team – sourcing, design and our buyers. We call these meetings “line reviews” and they’re an important touch point in our development process. Almost 6 weeks ago, we sent our vendors direction for next Fall’s products. By direction, I mean designs for all our frames – everything on how our frames should look, feel and function. We prescribe materials, assembly techniques, aesthetics, shape, etc. so the vendor can create products specifically for Target. Vendors use the time following release of product direction to create prototypes that we can see at our line review.
Often times, vendors will create 2 to 3 times as many products as we have room for, so we need to do a little pre-screening during the meeting. This is a highly collaborative time for the team as everyone has to agree on what looks right (designers), what’s made right (engineers), what will sell (buyers) and what we can afford and source (sourcing). Everyone reviews the prototypes together and contributes based on his/her area of expertise. We repeated this three times, once with each vendor. The picture above captures the mood of these meetings perfectly – dozens of products and much discussion.
From here, the team will request real samples of the items that best fit our product direction and the vendor will send them to Minneapolis in preparation for our first review with merchandising and product development leadership. Based on what we saw on travel, this review will be full of new, differentiated product that will ensure a successful Fall 2013!