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Target Asks Shoppers to Take a Seat (and a Lamp)


Having tested the high-fashion waters last year with a line of household products designed by Michael Graves, discount retailer Target is taking a bigger plunge.

The 914-store chain has launched a "decorative reinvention" campaign for 2000 and is introducing new designs for many areas of the house. The stores are featuring designer concepts in seating, clocks and lighting, along with a new line of small appliances.

Some of the 12 smart chairs in the "Advanced Seating" collection are by noted designers. Philippe Starck's "Cheap Chic" is a gray polypropylene armless chair with matte aluminum legs. And Italian designer Luigini Cozzi has combined a beechwood frame with a black textured seat and back for his "Bocce."

But Target's in-house team is holding its own in such heady company. One of the most interesting chairs in the collection is Target's "Napa" ($29.99), a folding chair with arms of rubber-wood on a metal frame. It's versatile enough to be used at a dining table or the beach. "Lucy" ($79.99) features a red-sparkled Naugahyde seat and back on an industrial-strength chrome-plated steel frame.

The chairs are just arriving at Target stores along with a new line of clocks by Graves and Robert Abbey and a new line of table lamps with interesting wood or brushed steel bases.

This increasing emphasis on better design is not a total change of direction. Target, which made its reputation as an upscale discount house, will continue to be a shopping base for daily household items, said spokeswoman Aimee Kane. "But they don't want their high design items to be something people just stumble onto while they are buying toothpaste. They want to be a fashion destination for shoppers, just like Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel."


For those who prefer to do it themselves, Home Depot stores will offer free home and garden clinics each Saturday and Sunday this month.

The schedule is the same both days at all of the chain's local stores:

* Laying sod, 9 a.m.

* Installing ceramic tile, 11 a.m.

* Kitchen cabinet assembly, 1 p.m.

* Building a fence with Simpson ties, 2 p.m.

* Installing an irrigation system, 3 p.m.

Connie Koenenn can be reached at

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