The chain retailer is launching an experiment in local appeal: All locations will host the Shops at Target, in-store boutiques of small-batch wares from retailers around the country. It's a nice idea, though also a microcosm of American retail—because the pricey, artisanal items will be facing off against similar, mass-produced products only a few aisles away. Which would you buy?
Target VS. The Shops at Target
Market Pantry gummy bears $1 VS The Candy Store gummy fried eggs $5
Storage ottoman $60 VS Privet House cotton rope pouf $80
Graphic tee $10 VS The Webster graphic tee $20
Organic Grooming bar soap $2.50 VS Cos Bar wrapped soaps $4 each
Boots and Barkley dog collar $3 VS Polka Dog Bakery collar $8
A version of this article appeared in the May 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.