Target is the number one swimwear retailer in the U.S.—proof that legacy retailers and their private labels scale faster and further than digitally-native brands.

WHAT HAPPENED: Thanks to Target’s private label swimwear brands, the company has been the top-selling swimwear retailer for both men and women since 2015. Target launched its latest private label swimwear collection last week with over 1,800 styles, its biggest collection to date.


  • Target can rely on its existing audience, diverse product assortment and far-reaching store locations to drive its private-label sales. While digitally-native competitors want to take a piece of Target’s market share, many Instagram-famous brands feature higher price-points (Target’s average swimsuit is $40) and only attract niche audiences. Target’s all-encompassing brick and mortar presence also allows customers to try on products IRL—a luxury many nascent digitally-native brands can’t offer. Target’s private labels and famous designer collaborations will be enough for the retailer to continue to thrive in this category for the foreseeable future.
  • However, Target’s abundance of cheap and cheerful products won’t fare well with increasing consumer concern about environmental sustainability. Despite its fleet of 1,844 stores nationwide, such a broad product assortment will naturally result in excess inventory, which means waste. While customers are currently excited by Target’s variety, a surplus of inventory could become overwhelming and unappealing. Ongoing criticism around the retailer’s sustainability practices could prompt customers to buy swimwear from a more ethically-conscious brand.