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Target Wants to Go to College With Your Kids and Your Money

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- This summer open houses for high school graduates and weddings for lucky couples might have more in common than the weather. Big box retailer Target (TGT) is taking the "millennial" market head-on with the beta launch of a college registry.

Target launched beta testing for its new college registry, which will complement the retailers' wedding and baby registries. Target is offering categories like bedding, bath, kitchen & dining, furniture, decor, storage & organization, and electronics. The new registry type is set up to encourage friends and families to purchase items for open houses.

In an attempt to appeal to the high schoolers creating the registries, Target has also invested in new technology. iPads will be used instead of in store kiosks for registries and iPod Touches replace the normal scanning guns to select items throughout the aisles of the massive retailer.

"We know that going to college marks an exciting life change for Millennials, and Target offers a variety of tools for high-school graduates and college students as they establish their own style and brand preferences," Jenna Reck told TheStreet in an emailed comment.

The registry "helps students easily create a list of everything they need for college," she added. "It also provides a tool for families and friends to select gifts that graduates want and need. Target is one of few retailers to offer a registry program specifically for college students."

While the new registry service is a nice complement and could boost sales and traffic, it also serves to get people signed up for its subscription service. According to Reck, this service that allows people to order products from Target's Web site on a recurring schedule and have them delivered to their doorstep.

"For college students and families of college students, Target Subscriptions offer a modern day twist on the classic 'care package' by allowing parents or loved ones of college students to provide the necessities on a regular basis," she pointed out.

Launched last year, Target Subscriptions is an attempt to take Amazon (AMZN) head-on in the growing market of providing repeat-item purchases on a monthly basis for consumers. Target offers a 5% discount on all subscription orders.

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