Pushing the pricing envelope

The willingness of discount-store shoppers to pay a premium for products with a celebrity connection will be put to the test next week when the new line of William Rast apparel hits Target stores. The line includes premium denim, leather and outerwear items with prices beginning at $16.99 and extending all the way to the department store territory of $199.99. The limited duration merchandising initiative is due to hit stores on Dec.19 and runs through Jan. 22.

“Our guests rely on Target for our unique and innovative designer partnerships and the William Rast for Target collection is sure to deliver,” said Target SVP Trish Adams.

The arrival of merchandise in stores on Dec. 19 is curious timing since that doesn’t give shoppers much time to buy the goods as gifts and then after Christmas, those inclined to buy the goods may find themselves tapped out and unable to do so.

William Rast is the creation of entertainer Justin Timberlake and his childhood friend and restaurateur Trace Ayala who came up with the name by combining Timberlake’s grandfather’s first name and Ayala’s grandfather’s last name. The lifestyle brand was created five years ago and today offers a selection of contemporary men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections, footwear and eyewear that, prior to its impending arrival in Target, was sold at price points ranging from $50 to $700 in department and specialty stores. The offer available at Target is said to consist of skinny, bootcut and straight-leg jea