Part of the draw of shopping at Target has always been the guaranteed low prices. But in an age where consumer competition is so fierce that one retailer seemingly releases a new line or collection every other week, is that enough to set the company apart? Target isn’t going to wait around to find out: The retailer just announced an entirely new brand of household essentials, upping the ante once more. It’s called Smartly, and it’s all about affordability—the latest addition to their five in-house home decor brands, two of which launched just this year.
How affordable? Prices range from $0.59-$11.99, but most items are under $2. Smartly will include over 70 everyday household goods, like cleaning supplies and even razors, and is best suited for young millennials who probably live alone and are particularly budget conscious.
For one, products are sold as single items or at most in small multi-packs (you can evidently get four rolls of toilet paper for just $0.99)—you won’t need to buy in bulk to get buy-in-bulk prices. Secondly, each product is ideally suited for the generation of colorful minimalists younger millennials are turning out to be: sleek, simple packaging with one singular vibrant color and catchy phrase emblazoned on the front. Or at least, as catchy as taglines for paper plates (“No Dishes Tonight”) and sandwich bags (“Do Lunch”) can ostensibly be.
Packaging and demographic-wise, it’s almost reminiscent of Brandless—the online grocer which launched in mid-2017 and offers everything, from tomato sauce to serving spoons, for $3. As Quartz points out, both Brandless and Smartly have ditched brand names and an over-complicated presentation in favor of a simpler model, wagering that customers care more about value than they do about bells and whistles.
“Where we see white space and an opportunity to bring Target’s guests something differentiated, we’ll go for it. The introduction of Smartly to our owned brand portfolio is another example of how we are listening to consumers and bringing them differentiated solutions to make their lives easier,” said Mark Tritton, Target’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, in the announcement.
Per the announcement, Smartly products will cost approximately 70 percent less than comparable items from national brands. Target devotees are already aware of the brand’s own in-house bargain line—Up & Up—and if you’re wondering, yes, Smartly is purportedly cheaper than even that. Given that a 24 oz. bottle of Up & Up dishwashing detergent currently costs only $1.99, this is fabulous news.
But how exactly does Smartly measure up to other non-Target brands, whose priority also appears to be affordability?
Well, we might not know full pricing for the new line yet, but if a four-pack of toilet paper really is just $0.99, that’s a significant insight into how Smartly will measure up to its competitors. For example, a six-pack of toilet paper is $3.99 at Trader Joe’s, $3.36 for Walmart’s budget brand, Great Value, and $3 (plus famously high shipping) at Brandless. If we hypothesize that a six-pack of toilet paper from Smartly would equal $1.50, that still comes out to less than half the price of most its competitors.
Looking at other common household items, it’s fair to say the same pattern could be expected for Smartly. Here’s how they compare:
Trader Joe’s: a 25 oz. bottle, $2.99
Walmart’s Great Value: a 24 oz. bottle, $1.97
Great Value: $1.62/pack of 50
Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday: $2.99/pack of 100
Trader Joe’s: $2.99/bottle
Walmart’s Equate bargain brand: $2.22/bottle
Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday: $3.99/bottle
All of these are relatively diminutive amounts in the grand scheme of things, but they add up. So if the opportunity to halve our household costs is coming, we’re here for it. Mark your calendars for October 14, when Smartly becomes available online and in Target stores nationwide.
See more of what’s new at Target:
The Best of Target’s Newest Fall Home Products
These Target Dinnerware Essentials Are Low-Key Luxe
We Saw Target’s New Magnolia Line Before Anyone Else, and it’s Perfect
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