NEW YORK, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Target Corp (TGT.N) is launching a new fashion program aimed at collaborating with established designers, and the discount retailer will kick off the initiative in March with an apparel line by Alexander McQueen.
The new program, called Target Designer Collaborations, will run in addition to Target's existing GO International initiative, the company said.
For its GO program, Target partners with up-and-coming designers, like Proenza Schouler and Jonathan Saunders, to offer limited edition collections of their lines in its stores at discount prices.
Target said McQueen's collection, which will be called McQ Alexander McQueen for Target, will launch on March 1 and will be available through April 11.
The fashion push comes as Target works to reverse a string of quarterly profit declines. Its shoppers, who once scooped up its cheap but chic designer merchandise, are resisting the urge to splurge in a weakening U.S. economy.
At the end of the year, Target is also facing the end of its five-year partnership with designer Isaac Mizrahi.
Mizrahi, who has been named a creative director at Liz Claiborne Inc LIZ.N, helped Target establish its image as a stylish retailer with his exclusive line of discount clothes and accessories.
Target has downplayed the departure of Mizrahi and to improve sales, it is placing more emphasis on the "Pay Less" part of its "Expect More. Pay Less" tagline. But Target has said it does not intend to change its long-term business strategy of differentiating itself with unique, trendy merchandise. (Reporting by Nicole Maestri; editing by Gunna Dickson)