Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

 

RN: This Target Sunday circular ad is fascinating. I probably shouldn’t admit this, since it’s inserted into the newspaper that employs us, but this is the first time I’ve ever looked through it.

 

CP: Was it the back-to-school specials? Or maybe the Bratz Fierce Fitness doll?

 

RN: Don’t tell anyone, but what caught my attention was the two-for-$5 Cap’n Crunch. Holy Costco, Batman! But it got me thinking. Claude, Target needs our help.

 

CP: And helping is what we’re here for. I gather there’s a burr in your saddle. You may as well get it out.

 

RN: For starters, we could suggest a reversal to the company’s unforgivable 11-year-old mistake and buy back Dayton’s. Technically, Marshall Field’s. Then restore the proud Dayton’s name. I’ve had a difficult time shopping at Target — handing over maybe a third of my disposable income, rather than half — ever since they dumped the department store division. You know, the one that birthed Target.

 

CP: Still irked about that, eh? As your therapist has doubtless told you, it’s important to move on. As in, now.

 

RN: Fine. You know me, I’ll just keep shooting at the walls of heartache. Surely Target has realized that the way to a shopper’s heart is through her stomach, which makes me wonder: What’s with the partnership with Pizza Hut Express? It seems very 1987. If the Bullseye can lure Pret a Manger into its slick State Street store in downtown Chicago, can’t it install the sandwich chain everywhere?

 

CP: They certainly aren’t going the healthy alternatives route with their mini-restaurant offerings, unless you favor big intakes of salt, corn syrup and fat. New CEO Brian Cornell did come from Pepsi, after all.

 

RN: At least the company is test-driving Freshii, a health-conscious fast-fooder, in nine stores. Out of 1,800. Things take time, right?

 

CP: Do the nation’s fourth-largest retailer a favor, and do not mention the word Canada.

 

RN: I know I’m supposed to know who Adam Lippes is, because he’s created Target’s fall 2015 designer collection. Instead, I’ll toss out the name Isaac Mizrahi. His cheap-chic bonafides were a big hit for Target in the mid-aughts, generating $300 million a year for the store, according to the New York Times. Just watch “Unzipped,” the riveting all-about-Isaac documentary, for his potential as a TV spokesmodel.

 

CP: If we can’t have Le Miz back, can we at least try again with Philip Lim? His 3.0 pop-up for Target a couple years ago was great, but it sold out in the standard 3½ minutes.

 

RN: I recall you getting into fisticuffs (or was it hairpulling?) with a fellow Target shopper — sorry, guest, and invoking that Target-speak just made me throw up a little in my mouth — over a pair of PL sweats. Was a night in Hennepin County lockup worth it?

 

CP: That pant was what we call a “jogger.” Not sweats. And yes, one must be willing to suffer for beauty. And a bargain.

 

RN: Somewhere in those last two sentences is the replacement for Target’s “Expect More. Pay Less.” motto. And, Mr. Cornell, you’re welcome.

 

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib