Retailer hopes to hit the bull’s-eye with laid-back Target Park in London

Target doesn’t have a presence in Great Britain, but during the Olympics it will.

The U.S. retailer has rented Bernie Spain Gardens, a park near Parliament, and beginning Friday will be giving away 25,000 pieces of Target-branded products, from sunglasses to umbrellas, over the next two weeks.

The company will give away the branded merchandise from one of its Target Go-Tubes, a 19-foot-long by 9-foot-high cylinder with the company’s red-and-white bull’s-eye on each end. It also plans to set up a lounge where people can rest, offer bocce and croquet for those who want to play, and have a photo booth where people can share images from London through Facebook and Twitter.

Target Park

Date:

    Open Friday, July 27, to Sunday, Aug. 12
Hours:
    Weekends: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    Weekdays: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“We’re always trying to do something unexpected, and we felt this would be something unexpected — to go follow our best guests and customers and provide something [in London] that they wouldn’t otherwise have,” said Dan Griffis, Target’s director of strategic partnerships, lifestyle marketing and events.

The marketing effort is the second Target has undertaken in an Olympics host city. In 2006, for the Torino Games, it wrapped its Target logo and brand around trains carrying people from town to the mountain for ski and snowboard events.

The company has no international stores. It won’t open its first until it moves into Canada next year, and Griffis said it has no plans to move into Europe any time soon.

The park promotion in London was designed strictly to generate publicity and provide a service for Americans and Canadians traveling to the city during the Olympics.

“We felt a lot of our guests would be in London this summer,” Griffis said, adding that the park is open to Brits and anyone who visits, as well. “It’s a place where people can come play, rest and recharge.”

Target is working with its agency Sub Rosa on the park. The company also bought advertising time on NBC during the Games.

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