NEW YORK (AP) — Target says it will team up with owners of specialty shops to create affordable, limited edition merchandise for sale online and at its stores in a bid to attract more customers and distinguish itself from rivals.

Target Corp. said Thursday it will start featuring products from five shops starting May 6. The shops will be open for six weeks and then be replaced with another slew of shops in the fall.

The initial group includes The Candy Store in San Francisco; The Privet House home accessories shop in Connecticut; The Webster House, a clothing store in Miami; Polka Dog Bakery in Boston; and The Cos Bar, a cosmetic shop in Aspen.

The items will be sold both at Target stores and online. With prices ranging from $1 for a nail file to a $159.99 online only ottoman for the home, the five collections total nearly 400 products.

“This puts Target at the frontier of what’s next in retail,” said Brian Robinson, director of fashion and design partnership at Target.

Separately, Target says will testing creating mini-Apple shops in 25 Target stores. It provided no details.

Target pioneered the concept of offering designer merchandise at affordable prices starting with its Michael Graves launch of home accessories in 1999. It says rivals have copied its cheap chic mantra.

Target shares rose 17 cents to $49.20 in morning trading Thursday. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range between $45.28 and $56.44.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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