Wellness shopping has often been associated with dreams of a tranquil oasis with wooden flooring, a retail experience with an indoor waterfall and jungle canopy included, decidedly independent and possibly niche.
Target is on a mission to bring wellness to where you might least expect to find it, linoleum floors and all. Instead of dreamy lounge music, shoppers might hear the busy beeping of the self-checkout, but the retailer’s aspiration goes beyond aesthetics: wellness for everyone, regardless of social or economic status (although some wellness solutions, like nature and sleep, are free to all). After all, those who might be in most desperate need of some R&R—a busy single parent, the cash-strapped college student amid deadline madness—might not have the spare time to seek out a separate retail adventure to buy some aromatherapy products or an organic supplement. They need to grab it while throwing the paper towels, coffee, and laundry detergent top-ups into their shopping baskets.
It’s the latest step in the enterprise’s aspirations to widen its beauty and lifestyle offerings, following the launch of Good.Clean.Goop, a lower-priced entry into Gwyneth Paltrow’s clean beauty empire, and the introduction of Kourtney Kardashian’s gummy brand Lemme, and natural deodorant brands like Lume and Native.
Target Corporation now announced that it is adding 1,000 new products to their assortment, with the most affordable having a $1.99 price tag. The categories span from vitamins to tech tools, with hundreds of exclusive brands and items, including Ghia non-alcoholic aperitifs and spritzes and Sèchey nonalcoholic wine, which will complement pre-existing ranges such as Ashley Tisdale’s personal care brand Being Frenshe and athletic wear range All in Motion. New brand introductions include Hum gummies, O Positive women’s health supplements, and Podium whey protein, which will sit alongside well-loved items like Stanley cups and Bala Bangles.
"Wellness has been redefined to encompass a more holistic way of living—and it's also different for every person," states Rick Gomez, Executive Vice President and Chief Food, Essentials and Beauty Officer, Target. "That's why Target is delivering like no other retailer, offering guests the ultimate destination to support their wellness journey, whether that's enjoying a non-alcoholic beverage from Sèchey or stocking up on Bloom to get their daily greens. We're making it fun and easy for our guests to discover new products at a great value, with more than 1,000 new wellness products, starting at just $1.99." Its C-suite is seeing women’s health and nutritional supplements as some of the biggest growth opportunities in the category.
The vast array of categories covered by the retailer, from home fragrance to beverages, is paired with a “mix-and-match” wellness shopping experience. A variety of displays and end caps will be placed throughout the store, with a curated wellness destination at front-of-store. Target’s online wellness hub will sit under its Health & Wellbeing tab, covering key categories including fitness, weight management, and vitamins. Wellness is also featured in the website’s content. Case in point: for the month of January, a new daily product is featured as part of its “Wellness Jumpstart,” offering visitors new ideas on how to better their minds and bodies.
With 82% of US consumers seeing wellness as a top priority in their everyday lives, the $1.8 trillion wellness market is a clear revenue opportunity. In Q4, the retailer reported a 4.3% decline in year-over-year sales, with $25.4 billion in revenue, but a 36% increase in net earnings, reaching $971 million. Other retailers such as Ulta, Sephora, and Space NK have also invested in said categories. Whether the large crowds and busy atmospheres of large-scale stores is at odds with the concept of wellness itself remains to be seen; however, when it comes to the sheer shelf space these larger corporations can dedicate to the wellness category, that’s an undeniable advantage over smaller-scale enterprises.
Furthermore, tying purchases into wellness, rather than purely aesthetics, might leave shoppers digging deeper into their pockets. Psychologically speaking, buying something for one’s mental and physical health versus pure vanity hits differently. One could argue that the average individual would be less likely to feel buyer’s remorse for buying a health supplement than a fifth shade of red lipstick. At the end of 2023, Euromonitor International outlined a category of “wellness pragmatists”; 85% of these consumers would pay more for beauty products with proven benefits. “Easy solutions that provide visible physical or mental enhancements are in high demand. Wellness Pragmatists want products that work faster and integrate into their current routines. Extensive or invasive treatments can be inconvenient. These often require a significant personal investment—whether time or financial. Shoppers will gravitate towards easy-to-use or more manageable solutions,” stated Amna Abbas, Senior Consultant at Euromonitor International.
Affordable, easy solutions certainly fits the Target shopper mindset. Could the hype around its new wellness chapter draw in more customers and higher average basket values? With the Stanley cup craze in full swing and massive lines forming outside Target stores, there is certainly a buzz in the air, but now it’s about drawing their eyes to the other aisles as well.
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